Indiana University of Pennsylvania has been selected as a College of Distinction for the 2023–24 academic year.

To be selected for the listing, universities must demonstrate a commitment to providing a high-quality undergraduate education that focuses on hands-on learning, strong student-faculty relationships, a vibrant campus life, and successful outcomes.

Colleges of Distinction’s selection process comprises a sequence of in-depth research and detailed interviews with the schools, accepting only those that adhere to the “four distinctions,” editors said.

The distinctions are engaged students, great teaching, vibrant community, and successful outcomes.

“We believe that engaged students are successful students,” said Tyson Schritter, chief operating officer at Colleges of Distinction. “IUP’s dedication to experiential learning shows us that its students have the opportunity to play an active role in their education.”

To be named a College of Distinction, universities are required to provide information that demonstrates excellence in undergraduate education, including student engagement, teaching excellence, outcomes-based learning, and community involvement. This evaluation process differs from those of popular college rankings publications, whose formulas grade institutions based on things like faculty salaries, endowment size, and peer opinion.

“We don’t rank our schools,” said Schritter. “Every student has individual needs and flourishes in a specific environment. We prefer to focus on the innovative ways that colleges all around the country are providing an enriching undergraduate experience. IUP’s inclusion as a College of Distinction is a testament to the way it caters to its own students’ potential and goals, helping them achieve success in unique ways that cannot be ranked against others.”

Since 2000, Colleges of Distinction has been committed to honoring schools with a dedicated focus on the student experience. Its website provides dynamic college profiles, customized tools, and resources for students, parents, and high school counselors.

In November, IUP opened its $90-million, state-of-the-art science and mathematics classroom building, John and Char Kopchick Hall, designed to serve as the hub of activity for all things science and mathematics at IUP. IUP is committed to being a fully student-centered university, launching its Student Success Infrastructure in fall 2023, which includes a navigator for every student and data-driven proactive intervention.

IUP is routinely recognized nationally for excellence by independent publications, including U.S. News & World Report’s 2024 Best Colleges Ranking; the Wall Street Journal and College Pulse’s America’s Best Colleges 2024; the Princeton Review’s “2024 Best Colleges” guidebook, College Magazine’s top 10 colleges and universities in Pennsylvania; Washington Monthly’s national ranking of universities based on contributions to society; Forbes Magazine’s “America’s Top Colleges,” and as the number two most affordable college in Pennsylvania by Academic Influence.

IUP’s overall online undergraduate and graduate programs were recently honored as “best in the nation” by

IUP offers almost 160 academic degree programs, including more than 50 graduate programs. In addition, students can complete more than 65 minors—including a unique teamwork minor—and scores of specialized tracks and certificate programs, including certificates in athletic coaching, preschool education, geospatial intelligence, unmanned aerial systems (drones), photography and digital imaging, popular music, and public history.