The institutions listed below comprise the official peer group that Bucknell uses for benchmarking institutional performance, both on quantitative metrics and qualitative measures (e.g., best practices). This peer group was established during the planning process that resulted in the University's 2005 strategic plan, The Plan for Bucknell.

It is difficult to find institutions that match Bucknell on all significant characteristics because the University occupies a very distinctive niche in higher education. Salient characteristics of Bucknell include:

  • A distinctive size range (approximately 3,500 undergraduates and 200 graduate students), which is larger than most traditional liberal arts colleges and is an important scaling factor for institutional complexity.
  • A primary focus on undergraduate education in a residential setting.
  • A combination of traditional liberal arts with professional programs in engineering, management, education and music.
  • An organizational structure of separate colleges for Arts & Sciences and for Engineering, and plans for a third college in Management.
  • Master's degree programs in a range of disciplines.
  • Division I intercollegiate sports (I-AA in football) and membership in the Patriot League.

Each peer institution combines some but not all of these key characteristics. The peer list encompasses institutions of different Carnegie Classification types and different control (College of William & Mary is a public institution), and includes both traditional peers and aspirant institutions.


Peer InstitutionInfoCarnegie Classification
Colgate University (NY) Institutional Planning and Research Baccalaureate Colleges — Arts & Sciences
College of the Holy Cross (MA) Office of Planning and Budget Baccalaureate Colleges — Arts & Sciences
College of William and Mary (VA) Institutional Research & Reporting Research Universities (high research activity)
Davidson College (NC) Institutional Research Baccalaureate Colleges — Arts & Sciences
Dartmouth University (NH) Office of Institutional Research Research Universities (high research activity)
Furman University (SC) Office of Institutional Assessment and Research Baccalaureate Colleges — Arts & Sciences
Lafayette College (PA) Office of Institutional Research Baccalaureate Colleges — Arts & Sciences
Lehigh University (PA) Office of Institutional Research Research Universities (high research activity)
Middlebury College (VT) Office of Planning and Assessment Baccalaureate Colleges — Arts & Sciences
Trinity College (CT) Office of Institutional Research and Planning Baccalaureate Colleges — Arts & Sciences
University of Richmond (VA) Institutional Research Baccalaureate Colleges — Arts & Sciences
Villanova University (PA) Office of Planning and Institutional Research Master's Colleges & Universities (larger program)
Wake Forest University (NC) Institutional Research Research Universities (high research activity)
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