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.

The table below provides a link to the main website for each peer institution as well as the office at that institution which is best able to answer institutional data questions.