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Quacquarelli Symonds ranked Penn eighth overall in the United States and fourth in the Ivy League.

Credit: Kylie Cooper

Penn was ranked eighth best university in the U.S. and 15th in the world by Quacquarelli Symonds, which publishes annual ranking reports of the best universities.

The University was first in Pennsylvania and fourth in the Ivy League, behind Harvard University, Columbia University, and Yale University, in the domestic rankings

Universities and liberal arts colleges in the 2020 ranking were evaluated according to four key indicators: research, learning experience, diversity and internationalization, and employability.

Penn earned a combined score of 76.1 points out of 100, just over two points behind Yale and the University of California, Los Angeles, which tied for sixth place. The highest-ranking university, Harvard, had a final score of 93.3.  

In the QS World University rankings report released on Wednesday, Penn climbed from 19th place in 2019, but fell behind other Ivy League universities such as Harvard and Cornell University.

The QS USA Rankings weigh diversity and internationalization factors more heavily than other rankings, QS Communications Manager Serena Ricci wrote in a press release. The company uses institutional data regarding the proportion of undergraduates receiving Pell Grants, the percentage of international students, and faculty gender diversity. In the "diversity and internationalization" category, Penn was ranked 21st with a score of 78.0. 

Penn received its highest domestic ranking in the "employability" category, placing fifth among the other schools. The results of this metric, which quantifies the employment prospects for each university’s students after graduation, are derived from QS datasets for alumni outcomes and the average post-graduation salary after 10 years. 

The QS Employer Survey, which contributed to this ranking category, allowed employers to identify institutions from which they source the most competent, effective, and innovative graduates, according to the press release. 

This is the first year the QS World University Rankings included a list of the top 300 American universities, Ricci wrote in the release.