See what students say:

Academics

Immense "pride and a sense of community" pervade every aspect of life at Penn State. Students love the remarkable "school spirit" and "strong family feel" on this vibrant campus, and they are equally proud of the "quality education" they receive. An affordable public institution, PSU offers "highly regarded programs across a wide range of academic colleges," including a "prestigious undergrad business school," top engineering and education majors, and the competitive Schreyer Honors College, which participants describe as "the finest honors program in the nation." "Classes freshman year are mostly lectures," which can be "intimidating" for new students. Fortunately, "even in lectures with hundreds of students, many professors still make an effort to get to know their class and have plenty of office hours to make themselves more accessible." Plus, the academic experience becomes more individualized as you move through the system. A current student shares, "As I have gotten into my majors, my classes are down to about fifteen to forty people and there are a lot more discussions. I know all of my professors personally now." Academics are often described as "rigorous" and "competitive," but most students are able to stay afloat; here, "professors will challenge you, but it's nothing that a hard-working student can't handle." Job-seeking seniors praise the career center, as well as the school's fantastic alumni connections, saying, "The Penn State networking web is incredible!" Not to mention, the school's enviable "location within driving distance to Philadelphia, Washington, and New York" makes it easier to score a job at graduation.

Student Body

With a total enrollment of more than 40,000, "Penn State is the passion and pride of a large and diverse student body." Demographically, the school draws heavily from the Northeast; in particular, there are "lots of kids from the tristate area," and most could be described as "athletic, suburban, and friendly middle-class." While some note that "the percentage of minorities and foreign students is low," they also say, "pretty much every student will find somewhere to fit in." Especially during the first year, "there are many opportunities to meet new people," and "mostly everyone is friendly," making it easy to form bonds and build relationships. The best way to make friends is to "try different clubs and find your niche"; from Greek organizations to sports, most Penn Staters have "a great enthusiasm for extracurricular and philanthropic involvement." On that note, most undergrads "take their education seriously," but achieve a "good balance of school and social life."

Campus Life

If you are looking for the "full college experience," you'll find "the perfect mix of great academics, social life, and sports" at Penn State. While "the library is usually filled with students" during the week, "everyone counts down the days till the weekend, then its party, party, party." Throughout fall semester, football is a campus-wide obsession; "game days are super exciting and unifying for the student population," which turns out in large numbers to tailgate and cheer at Beaver Stadium. In addition to sports, "Greek Life dominates the social scene," though students also flock to the many bars in downtown State College. A current student jokes, "Nothing brings the Penn State community together like stumbling around downtown with 3,000 other drunken students." Those looking for a mellower night out will find "on-campus concerts, stand up comedians, craft nights, sporting events, and other ways of having fun without drugs or alcohol." Others like to "go out to the local avenue and try new eateries, and walk around campus and enjoy the scenery." In addition to the "killer social life," there are hundreds of clubs and student groups; of particular note, many students "fit in by joining THON, the largest student-run philanthropy in the world, that raises money for children with pediatric cancer." No matter what your interests, "between football games, Late Nights at the HUB, festivities downtown, movies, shows at Eisenhower Auditorium or the Penn State Theatre, concerts at the BJC…there is something for everyone."

Overview

Applicants
56,114
Acceptance Rate
50%
Average HS GPA
3.58

GPA Breakdown

33%
Over 3.75
30%
3.50 - 3.74
23%
3.25 - 3.49
10%
3.00 - 3.24
4%
2.50 - 2.99

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Test Scores

SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing
25th-75th percentile
(enrolled students)
580 - 660
SAT Math
25th-75th percentile
(enrolled students)
580 - 680
ACT Composite
25th-75th percentile (enrolled students)
25 - 30

Testing Policies


ACT Writing Policy
ACT with or without Writing accepted

SAT Essay Policy
SAT with or without Writing accepted

Other Admission Factors

Academic

Academic GPA
Standardized Test Scores

Selectivity Rating


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Faculty and Class Information

Student/Faculty
16.2:1
Total Faculty
3,066
with Terminal Degree
2,355

1,800
Men
1,266
Women
545
Minority
285
International

Most frequent class size
20 - 29
Most frequent lab / sub section size
20 - 29


Graduation Rates

Graduate in 4 years
67%
Graduate in 5 years
83%
Graduate in 6 years
85%

Majors

  • AGRICULTURE, AGRICULTURE OPERATIONS, AND RELATED SCIENCES.

  • Agribusiness/Agricultural Business Operations.
  • Agricultural and Extension Education Services.
  • Agriculture, Agriculture Operations, and Related Sciences, Other.
  • Agriculture, General.
  • Agronomy and Crop Science.
  • Animal Sciences, General.
  • Food Science.
  • Horticultural Science.
  • Landscaping and Groundskeeping.
  • Plant Sciences, General.
  • Plant Sciences, Other.
  • Soil Science and Agronomy, General.
  • Turf and Turfgrass Management.

  • ARCHITECTURE AND RELATED SERVICES.

  • Architecture.
  • Landscape Architecture.

  • AREA, ETHNIC, CULTURAL, GENDER, AND GROUP STUDIES.

  • African-American/Black Studies.
  • Asian Studies/Civilization.
  • Latin American Studies.
  • Women's Studies.

  • BASIC SKILLS AND DEVELOPMENTAL/REMEDIAL EDUCATION.

  • Developmental/Remedial English.

  • BIOLOGICAL AND BIOMEDICAL SCIENCES.

  • Animal Physiology.
  • Biochemistry.
  • Bioinformatics.
  • Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Other.
  • Biology/Biological Sciences, General.
  • Biotechnology.
  • Ecology.
  • Entomology.
  • Medical Microbiology and Bacteriology.
  • Neuroscience.
  • Pathology/Experimental Pathology.
  • Plant Pathology/Phytopathology.
  • Toxicology.

  • BUSINESS, MANAGEMENT, MARKETING, AND RELATED SUPPORT SERVICES.

  • Accounting and Business/Management.
  • Accounting.
  • Actuarial Science.
  • Business Administration and Management, General.
  • Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services, Other.
  • Business/Corporate Communications.
  • Business/Managerial Economics.
  • E-Commerce/Electronic Commerce.
  • Entrepreneurial and Small Business Operations, Other.
  • Entrepreneurship/Entrepreneurial Studies.
  • Finance and Financial Management Services, Other.
  • Finance, General.
  • Financial Planning and Services.
  • Hospitality Administration/Management, Other.
  • Human Resources Management/Personnel Administration, General.
  • Labor and Industrial Relations.
  • Labor Studies.
  • Logistics, Materials, and Supply Chain Management.
  • Management Information Systems, General.
  • Management Sciences and Quantitative Methods, Other.
  • Marketing/Marketing Management, General.
  • Organizational Behavior Studies.
  • Real Estate.

  • COMMUNICATION, JOURNALISM, AND RELATED PROGRAMS.

  • Advertising.
  • Communication and Media Studies, Other.
  • Communication, Journalism, and Related Programs, Other.
  • Digital Communication and Media/Multimedia.
  • Journalism, Other.
  • Journalism.
  • Mass Communication/Media Studies.
  • Organizational Communication, General.
  • Public Relations, Advertising, and Applied Communication, Other
  • Public Relations/Image Management.
  • Speech Communication and Rhetoric.

  • COMPUTER AND INFORMATION SCIENCES AND SUPPORT SERVICES.

  • Computer and Information Sciences, Other.
  • Computer and Information Sciences, General.
  • Computer and Information Systems Security/Information Assurance.
  • Computer Science.
  • Data Modeling/Warehousing and Database Administration.
  • Data Processing and Data Processing Technology/Technician.
  • Informatics.
  • Information Science/Studies.

  • EDUCATION.

  • Adult and Continuing Education and Teaching.
  • Art Teacher Education.
  • Counselor Education/School Counseling and Guidance Services.
  • Curriculum and Instruction.
  • Education, General.
  • Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research, Other.
  • Educational Evaluation and Research.
  • Educational Leadership and Administration, General.
  • Educational/Instructional Technology.
  • Elementary Education and Teaching.
  • Foreign Language Teacher Education.
  • Higher Education/Higher Education Administration.
  • Music Teacher Education.
  • Secondary Education and Teaching.
  • Social and Philosophical Foundations of Education.
  • Special Education and Teaching, General.
  • Teacher Education and Professional Development, Specific Subject Areas, Other.
  • Teacher Education, Multiple Levels.
  • Teaching English as a Second or Foreign Language/ESL Language Instructor.
  • Trade and Industrial Teacher Education.

  • ENGINEERING TECHNOLOGIES AND ENGINEERING-RELATED FIELDS.

  • Electrical, Electronic and Communications Engineering Technology/Technician.
  • Environmental Engineering Technology/Environmental Technology.
  • Mechanical Engineering/Mechanical Technology/Technician.
  • Nanotechnology.
  • Plastics and Polymer Engineering Technology/Technician.

  • ENGINEERING.

  • Aerospace, Aeronautical and Astronautical/Space Engineering.
  • Agricultural Engineering.
  • Architectural Engineering.
  • Bioengineering and Biomedical Engineering.
  • Chemical Engineering.
  • Civil Engineering, General.
  • Computer Engineering, General.
  • Electrical and Electronics Engineering
  • Engineering Mechanics.
  • Engineering Science.
  • Engineering, General.
  • Engineering, Other.
  • Environmental/Environmental Health Engineering.
  • Industrial Engineering.
  • Manufacturing Engineering.
  • Materials Engineering.
  • Mechanical Engineering.
  • Mining and Mineral Engineering.
  • Nuclear Engineering.
  • Petroleum Engineering.

  • ENGLISH LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE/LETTERS.

  • English Language and Literature, General.

  • FAMILY AND CONSUMER SCIENCES/HUMAN SCIENCES.

  • Adult Development and Aging.
  • Child Development.
  • Human Development and Family Studies, General.

  • FOREIGN LANGUAGES, LITERATURES, AND LINGUISTICS.

  • Chinese Language and Literature.
  • Classics and Classical Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics, General.
  • Comparative Literature.
  • French Language and Literature.
  • German Language and Literature.
  • Italian Language and Literature.
  • Japanese Language and Literature.
  • Linguistics.
  • Russian Language and Literature.
  • Spanish Language and Literature.

  • HEALTH PROFESSIONS AND RELATED PROGRAMS.

  • Athletic Training/Trainer.
  • Bioethics/Medical Ethics.
  • Communication Sciences and Disorders, General.
  • Health Professions and Related Clinical Sciences, Other.
  • Health/Health Care Administration/Management.
  • Practical Nursing, Vocational Nursing and Nursing Assistants, Other.
  • Pre-Medicine/Pre-Medical Studies.
  • Pre-Veterinary Studies.
  • Registered Nursing, Nursing Administration, Nursing Research and Clinical Nursing, Other.
  • Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse.
  • Rehabilitation and Therapeutic Professions, Other.
  • Veterinary Microbiology and Immunobiology.

  • HISTORY.

  • History, General.

  • HOMELAND SECURITY, LAW ENFORCEMENT, FIREFIGHTING AND RELATED PROTECTIVE SERVICES.

  • Criminal Justice/Law Enforcement Administration.
  • Criminalistics and Criminal Science.
  • Forensic Science and Technology.

  • LIBERAL ARTS AND SCIENCES, GENERAL STUDIES AND HUMANITIES.

  • Liberal Arts and Sciences/Liberal Studies.

  • MATHEMATICS AND STATISTICS.

  • Applied Mathematics, General.
  • Mathematics, General.
  • Statistics, General.

  • MULTI/INTERDISCIPLINARY STUDIES.

  • Biological and Physical Sciences.
  • International/Global Studies.
  • Medieval and Renaissance Studies.
  • Nutrition Sciences.
  • Science, Technology and Society.

  • NATURAL RESOURCES AND CONSERVATION.

  • Environmental Science.
  • Environmental Studies.
  • Forest Management/Forest Resources Management.
  • Forest Sciences and Biology.
  • Natural Resource Economics.
  • Natural Resources and Conservation, Other.
  • Natural Resources/Conservation, General.

  • PARKS, RECREATION, LEISURE, AND FITNESS STUDIES.

  • Kinesiology and Exercise Science.
  • Parks, Recreation and Leisure Facilities Management, General.

  • PHILOSOPHY AND RELIGIOUS STUDIES.

  • Jewish/Judaic Studies.
  • Philosophy.

  • PHYSICAL SCIENCES.

  • Acoustics.
  • Astronomy.
  • Atmospheric Sciences and Meteorology, General.
  • Chemistry, General.
  • Geological and Earth Sciences/Geosciences, Other.
  • Geology/Earth Science, General.
  • Materials Science.
  • Physical Sciences.
  • Physics, General.

  • PSYCHOLOGY.

  • Counseling Psychology.
  • Educational Psychology.
  • Psychology, General.
  • Psychology, Other.
  • School Psychology.

  • SCIENCE TECHNOLOGIES/TECHNICIANS.

  • Biology Technician/Biotechnology Laboratory Technician.

  • SOCIAL SCIENCES.

  • Anthropology.
  • Archeology.
  • Criminology.
  • Demography and Population Studies.
  • Development Economics and International Development.
  • Economics, General.
  • Geographic Information Science and Cartography.
  • Geography.
  • International Relations and Affairs.
  • Political Science and Government, General.
  • Social Sciences, Other.
  • Sociology.

  • VISUAL AND PERFORMING ARTS.

  • Acting.
  • Art History, Criticism and Conservation.
  • Art/Art Studies, General.
  • Conducting.
  • Dance, General.
  • Design and Applied Arts, Other.
  • Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts, General.
  • Film/Cinema/Video Studies.
  • Fine and Studio Arts Management.
  • Graphic Design.
  • Keyboard Instruments.
  • Music History, Literature, and Theory.
  • Music Performance, General.
  • Music Theory and Composition.
  • Music, General.
  • Technical Theatre/Theatre Design and Technology.
  • Visual and Performing Arts, General.
  • Visual and Performing Arts, Other.


Degrees

Associate
Bachelor's
Certificate
Doctoral/Professional
Doctoral/Research
Master's
Post-Bachelor's certificate

Career Services

On-Campus Job Interviews Available
Yes

Career Services

Alumni Network
Alumni Services
Classes
Interest Inventory
Internships
Regional Alumni
Opportunities at School

Coop
Experiential
Internship

Notable Faculty


Prominent Alumni


Paul Berg
Nobel Prize winner in Chemistry

Guion S. Bluford
America's first African American in space

Lisa Salters
Journalist for ESPN and Sports Emmy Award Nominee in 2008.

Thomas Ridge
Former Governor of PA and Former Director of Homeland Security

Michael B. Reid
Grammy winning musician and composer

Margaret Carlson
First female columnist for Time magazine

Herman Fisher
Co-founder of the Fisher-Price Toy Company

Academic Rating

Graduation Rates

Graduate in 4 years
67%
Graduate in 5 years
83%
Graduate in 6 years
85%

Career Services

On-Campus Job Interviews Available
Yes

Career Services

Alumni Network
Alumni Services
Classes
Interest Inventory
Internships
Regional Alumni
Opportunities at School

Coop
Experiential
Internship

ROI & Outcomes

Information from PayScale:

Starting Median Salary (Up to Bachelor's degree completed, only)
$55,200

Mid-Career Median Salary (Up to Bachelor's degree completed, only)
$99,600

Starting Median Salary (At least Bachelor's degree)
$56,200

Mid-Career Median Salary (At least Bachelor's degree)
$103,500

Percent High Job Meaning
47%

Percent STEM
35%


Students Say

The typical Penn State graduate has a starting salary of around $55,200, and 47 percent report that their job has a great deal of meaning. Past that, students choose Penn State for its vast alumni network. How vast, you ask? Students boast of “access to an alumni network of over half a million, and . . . of its job recruiting power out of major metropolitan areas such as Philadelphia, New York, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Washington D.C., and across the country.” A student notes that the “giant alumni and brand name make getting internships so much easier. I loved our career fair when just about every company was here. I was offered four summer internships . . . as a freshman!” and this theme is reiterated by a member of the Smeal College of Business, who notes, “One of the best things about Penn State overall is the fact that the alumni network is one of the largest in the United States. Because of this, PSU alums seek out Penn State grads for jobs at their companies.”

Dates

Application Deadlines

Required Forms

FAFSA

Financial Aid Statistics

Average Freshman Total Need-Based Gift Aid
$6,536

Average Undergraduate Total Need-Based Gift Aid
$6,629

Average Need-Based Loan
$4,681

Undergraduates who have borrowed through any loan program
54%

Average amount of loan debt per graduate
$37,307

Average amount of each freshman scholarship/grant package
$9,340

Financial aid provided to international students
No

Expenses per Academic Year

Tuition (In-State)
$17,416
Tuition (Out-of-State)
$32,644
Required Fees
$1,020
Average Cost for Books and Supplies
$1,840

Tuition / Fees Vary by Year of Study
Yes
Board for Commuters
$1,800
Transportation for Commuters
$2,250

On-Campus Room and Board
$11,280
Comprehensive Fee

Available Aid

Financial Aid Methodology
Federal

Scholarships and Grants

Need-Based
 

Need-Based College/University Scholarship or Grant Aid from Institutional Funds
Need-Based Federal Pell
Need-Based Private Scholarships
Need-Based SEOG
Need-Based State Scholarships

Federal Direct Student Loan Programs
Direct PLUS Loans
Direct Subsidized Stafford Loans
Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loans

Federal Family Education Loan Programs (FFEL)
College/university loans from institutional funds
Federal Perkins Loans

Is Institutional Employment Available (other than Federal Work Study)
Yes

Direct Lender
No

Financial Aid Rating

Overall


Student Body Profile

Total Undergraduate Enrollment
40,835
Foreign Countries Represented
105

Demographics

6.19%
Asian
4.38%
African-American
6.58%
Hispanic
66.11%
Caucasian
1.78%
Unknown
11.57%
International

47% female
53% male
34% are out of state
97% are full time
3% are part time

Overview


Campus Life

Undergrads living on campus
35%
Help finding off-campus housing
Yes

First-Year Students living on campus

Campus Environment
Suburban

Housing Options

Apartment Married
Apartment Single
Disabled Student
Dorms Coed
Dorms Female
Frat Sorority
Theme Housing
Wellness Housing

Special Needs Admissions

Program / Service Name
Student Disability Resources

Type of Program
For all students with disabilities

Director
Keith Jervis, M.Ed.

College Entrance Tests Required
Yes

Interview Required
No

Documentation Required for LD

See: http://equity.psu.edu/student-disability-resources/guidelines/learning-disorders

Documentation Required for ADHD

See: http://equity.psu.edu/student-disability-resources/guidelines/ad-hd

Special Need Services Offered

Calculator allowed in exams
Yes

Dictionary allowed in exams
2

Computer allowed in exams
Yes

Spellchecker allowed in exams
Yes

Extended test time
Yes

Scribes
Yes

Proctors
Yes

Oral exams
Yes

Notetakers
Yes

Distraction-free environment
Yes

Accommodation for students with ADHD
Yes

Reading machine
Yes

Other assistive technology
Yes

Student Activities

Registered Student Organizations
986
Number of Honor Societies
41

Number of Social Sororities
30
Number of Religious Organizations
55

17% join a fraternity
20% join a sorority

Sports

Athletic Division
Division I

24% participate in intramural sports
2% participate in intercollegiate sports

Men's Sports (Nittany Lions)
17 Sports

Baseball
Basketball
Cross Country
Diving
Fencing
Football
Golf
Gymnastics
Ice Hockey
Lacrosse
Soccer
Swimming
Tennis
Track Field Indoor
Track Field Outdoor
Volleyball
Wrestling
Women's Sports (Nittany Lions)
16 Sports

Basketball
Cross Country
Diving
Fencing
Field Hockey
Golf
Gymnastics
Ice Hockey
Lacrosse
Soccer
Softball
Swimming
Tennis
Track Field Indoor
Track Field Outdoor
Volleyball

Student Services

Day Care
Health
Womens Center
LGBT Support Groups
Minority Support Groups
Army ROTC Offered on-campus
Navy ROTC Offered on-campus
Air Force ROTC Offered on-campus

Sustainability

Penn State students have plenty of opportunities to take the lead on green issues while they’re on campus. Eco-Reps are first-year undergraduate sustainability educators living in residence halls who encourage their peers to practice sustainable lifestyles. There are also more than twenty-five student sustainability groups, including the STATERS, who collect recyclables during football games and other university events, and the Advanced Vehicle Team, which looks for new technologies to increase fuel economy and decrease emissions. Penn State offers approximately thirty undergraduate major programs in sustainability-related disciplines, and another eighteen minors, including a BS in agroecology, a BA in energy and sustainability policy, and a BS in community, environment, and development. A new minor in sustainability leadership is open to all majors, and global educational experiences with a sustainability emphasis are offered to locations such as Peru, Jamaica, and South Africa. Some classes offer students hands-on experience with sustainability projects in the local community. Students may apply for grants from the Reinvention Fund to try out their ideas for solutions to sustainability challenges. The campus is replete with LEED-certified buildings, including a solar house called “The MorningStar,” and the first LEED-certified baseball stadium. Campus-wide composting in all residence halls, office buildings, and classrooms is expected to divert up to 75 percent of waste from the landfill. Penn State has reduced its campus greenhouse gas emissions by 18 percent since 2005, and has set an ambitious new reduction goal of 35 percent by 2020. The Sustainability Institute was recently formed within the Office of the President to integrate sustainability into all facets of the university.

93/99
School Has Formal Sustainability Committee
Yes

Sustainability-focused degree available
Yes

School employs a sustainability officer
Yes

Public GHG inventory plan
Yes

% food budget spent on local/organic food
9%

Available Transportation Alternatives

Car Sharing Program
Yes

Carpool/Vanpool Matching Program
Yes

Free Or Reduced Price Transit Passes And/Or Free Campus Shuttle
Yes

Indoor And Secure Bike Storage, Shower Facilities, And Lockers For Bicycle Commuters
Yes

School Adopted A Policy Prohibiting Idling
Yes

School Offers A Telecommute Program For Employees
Yes
Data provided by Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), STARS®, as of March, 2017.

Campus Security Report

Campus Security Report

The Jeanne Clery Act requires colleges and universities to disclose their security policies, keep a public crime log, publish an annual crime report and provide timely warnings to students and campus employees about a crime posing an immediate or ongoing threat to students and campus employees.

Please visit The Princeton Review’s page on campus safety for additional resources: http://www.princetonreview.com/safety

The Princeton Review publishes links directly to each school's Campus Security Reports where available. Applicants can also access all school-specific campus safety information using the Campus Safety and Security Data Analysis Cutting Tool provided by the Office of Postsecondary Education of the U.S. Department of Education: http://ope.ed.gov/security


Other Information

Campus-wide Internet Network
Yes

% of Classrooms with Wireless Internet
100

Fee for Network Use
Yes

Partnerships with Technology Companies
Yes

Personal computer included in tuition for each student
No

Discounts Available with Hardware Vendors
No

Campus Visits Contact

Contact
Clark V. Brigger
Executive Director for Undergraduate Admissions

Address
201 Shields Building
University Park, PA 16802

Phone
814-865-5471

Email
admissions@psu.edu

Experience College Life

Most Popular Places On Campus
Hetzel Union Building
Pattee/Paterno Library
The Creamery
Old Main
The Lion Shrine

Most Popular Places Off Campus
Beaver Stadium/All Sport Museum
The Bryce Jordan Center
Mount Nittany
Shaver's Creek Environmental Center
The Arboretum at Penn State

Campus Tours

Campus Tours
Appointment Required: Yes
Dates: Varies
Times: Varies
Average Length: Varies

On Campus Interview

Campus Interviews
No

Information Sessions
Available

Times

Faculty and Coach Visits

Dates/Times Available
Year-round

Arrangements
Contact Athletic Department

Contact Email Address for Visit
Varies

Class Visits

Dates/Times Available
Varies

Arrangements
Contact Admissions Office

Overnight Dorm Stays

Overnight Dorm Stays
Not Available

Transportation

Types of Transportation Available to Campus
http://transportation.psu.edu/students

Driving Instructions to Campus
http://www.psu.edu/visitors-and-neighbors

Local Accommodations
http://www.psu.edu/visitors-and-neighbors


Articles & Advice