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State-Related Universities


Pennsylvania has four state-related universities:

The term "state-related" applies to universities in Pennsylvania which are statutorily established as an instrumentality of the commonwealth and receive an annual appropriation.  Universities are granted "state-related status" either through their initial charters or subsequent legislation. 

Each university is responsible for setting its own tuition, fees and related costs of attendance.  Costs vary from institution to institution.


The Pennsylvania State University was granted its initial charter in 1855 originally constituted as the Farmers’ High School of Pennsylvania. Through subsequent name changes in 1862 (broadening its mission through land and funds generated through the Morrill Land-Grant Act) and 1871, in 1953 the name had evolved to The Pennsylvania State University.

Temple University was chartered as Temple College in 1888 incorporated as Temple University in 1907 and was granted state-related status by the legislature in 1965.

The University of Pittsburgh began as The Pittsburgh Academy established by a charter of the Pennsylvania legislature in 1787. After changing its name in 1819 the name “University of Pittsburgh” was designated in 1908. State-related status was granted in 1966.

Lincoln University of Pennsylvania was chartered in April 1854 as Ashmun Institute as “the first institution found anywhere in the world to provide a higher education in the arts and sciences for male youth of African descent.” Lincoln was granted state-related status in 1972.


For additional information, please contact:

Division of Higher & Career Education |
Pennsylvania Department of Education - Postsecondary and Adult Education
333 Market Street, 12th Fl | Harrisburg, PA 17126-0333
Phone: 717.783.8228 | Fax: 717.722.3622
ra-collunivseminfo@pa.gov | www.education.state.pa.us