Academics

Location
Altoona, PA
Undergrads
3,660
Tuition (in-state)
$20,794 ($13,900)
Admission Difficulty
Easy
Branch Campus Of
Penn State
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Reviews

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5 College Sophomore

Academics: Professors are very open to work with you if you have problems. Demanding an "A" from them without doing the work won't fly here.

5 College Student

Academics: I feel like I'm getting the same education that I would be getting up at University Park. The professors are pretty knowledgeable in their subjects. The smaller class sizes are fantastic. It allows for more one-on-one opportunities, something that can be hard to come by at a large college campus. It's great preparation for the classes you'll be taking at UP if you are trasnferring after sophomore year.

5 College Sophomore

Academics: I have so many opportunities here academically. it's my favorite part of being at Altoona and the only thing I think the school does very well.

College Freshman

Academics: It's hard. A lot of work, attendance is a must, professors are very sweet and helpful, work load is heavy

3 College Sophomore

Academics: I am only at Penn State Altoona so I haven't had too many Communications classes yet. I will be transferring up to State College next semester. So far I have enjoyed the comm classes I have taken. I took COMM 100 which was an introductory course and COMM 150 where you watch movies and required to enter into the film and video program. Both courses were taught by the same professor and I really enjoyed them. I am currently taking COMM 242 which is video production and also required to enter into the film and video major and the professor is really laid back and knows what he is talking about. I think I will be satisfied with the course and the program if I get accepted in the spring.

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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 707th
    Best Registration Process
  • 821st
    Most Manageable Workloads
  • 852nd
    Best Technology in the Classroom
  • 937th
    Most Caring Professors
  • 984th
    Most Available Classes

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Bridgetta Parker
Hometown
Dumfries, Va.
Major
English
View all previous student authors

Academics are a big part of Penn State Altoona, and the majority of professors, advisers, and staff members really want the students here to succeed. If you are not sure about what you want to major in or how to go about getting a job, there are many people at the University who are very helpful in pointing you in the right direction. There is also a great deal of focus on the time management aspect of college. One of the primary problems with incoming freshmen is their lack of time-management skills, but at Penn State Altoona, everyone works hard to see students succeed, and that’s not common at all universities.

The biggest concern when it comes to academics at Penn State Altoona is the need for more majors and bigger departments in certain disciplines. Most majors have a very intimate atmosphere but that may lead, in certain concentrations, to a lack of diversity in the ideology aspect. The best piece of advice is to expand your horizons beyond your major—when you have the chance to take electives, go for classes that will challenge you and give you a view of college and life that you previously did not have.

Facts & Statistics

Student-Faculty Ratio
18:1
Full-Time Instructional Faculty
177
Part-Time Instructional Faculty
127
Total FT Faculty
177
Faculty with Terminal Degree
71%
Average Faculty Salary
$61,563
Full-Time Retention Rate
84%
Part-Time Retention Rate
60%
Graduation Rate
66%
Programs/Majors Offered
23
Academic/Career Counseling?
Yes
Remedial Services?
Yes
Class Sizes
  • Fewer than 20 students: 40%
  • 20 to 49 students: 51%
  • 50 or more students: 9%
Instructional Programs
Occupational: Yes
Academic: Yes
Continuing Professional: No
Recreational/Avocational: No
Adult Basic Remedial: No
Secondary (High School): No
Special Credit Opportunities
Advanced Placement (AP) Credits: Yes
Dual Credit: Yes
Life Experience Credits: No
Undergraduate Schools/Divisions
  • Division of Arts and Humanities
  • Division of Business and Engineering
  • Division of Education, Human Development, and Social Sciences
  • Division of Mathematics and Natural Sciences
Degrees Awarded
  • Associate degree
  • Bachelor's degree
  • Certificate
Most Popular Majors
  • Business/Commerce, General: 7%
  • Criminal Justice and Safety Studies: 5%
  • Electrical and Electronics Engineering: 6%
  • Registered Nursing (RN): 10%
Graduation Requirements
  • Arts/fine arts
  • Computer literacy
  • English (including composition)
  • Foreign languages
  • Humanities
  • Mathematics
  • Sciences (biological or physical)
  • Social science
Special Study Options
  • Study abroad
  • Teacher certification (below the postsecondary level)
Other Academic Offerings
  • Accelerated program
  • Cooperative education program
  • Cross-registration
  • Double major
  • Dual enrollment
  • English as a Second Language (ESL)
  • Exchange student program (domestic)
  • Honors program
  • Independent study
  • Internships
  • Liberal arts/career combination
  • Student-designed major
  • Weekend college
Best Places to Study
Eiche Library, especially the study carrels on the first and second floors
Tips to Succeed
  • Be prepared for lots of rain and snow.
  • Develop hobbies to help pass the time.
  • Get involved in campus organizations because they look really good on your résumé and give you something to do other than study.
  • Learn time management, and learn it well.
  • Never underestimate the power of silence. The library will quickly become a resource for quiet.
Did You Know?
The Penn State Altoona campus was once the site of Ivyside Park, a local amusment park in Blair County.

Student Polls

How strongly do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements?    Based on 23 responses

Strongly disagree
Strongly agree
  • The academic advisers are helpful.
  • It is easy to get the classes you want.
  • Grading is generally consistent and fair.
  • There are a variety of interesting courses to take.
  • Students are encouraged to explore a wide range of courses and topics.
  • My Gen-Ed requirements are worthwhile and meaningful.
  • The workload is easy to manage.
  • There are plenty of good online course options.
  • Teaching assistants (TAs) are used effectively.
  • The course scheduling/registration process is efficient and student-friendly.
  • Classrooms/labs are up-to-date and incorporate new technologies effectively.

How strongly do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements regarding the professors at this school?    Based on 21 responses

Strongly disagree
Strongly agree
  • Professors are approachable and helpful when needed
  • Professors are engaging and easy to understand.
  • Professors are experts in their field.
  • Professors are passionate about the topics they teach.
  • Professors care about their students' success.
  • Professors put a lot of effort into teaching their classes.
  • Professors use teaching assistants (TAs) effectively.
4
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