Location
University Park, PA
Undergrads
37,917
Tuition (in-state)
$28,746 ($16,444)
Admission Difficulty
Average
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Reviews 4635 total reviews with an average rating of 3.7

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4 College Junior

Transportation: There are many transportation options at Penn State, and the free campus buses run from 7 AM to about 3AM often there are close to 8 buses running at a time.

4 College Junior

Campus Strictness: The police are very good at their jobs, and do not fool around. They will punish you if you get caught doing something illegal, they are especially strict with underage drinking.

3 College Junior

Weather: Generally nice weather, but a little bit too cloudy on most days. It snows a lot which is great.

2 people found this useful Report
4 College Junior

Weather: It rains alot but winters at Penn State aren't too bad. Autumn is the best season here.

2 people found this useful Report
5 College Junior

Athletics: Penn State is huge on athletics, not only for main sports teams but for club sports as well. There's always a sports club/team that you can get involved with.

3 Recent Alumnus

Computers: Penn State has a large number of computer labs available throughout campus, but be careful! First and foremost, they can fill up pretty quickly--especially at the "popular" locations such as the library. Also, a lot of these labs are reserved for class-times so be sure to check the schedules to make sure they're available. Because of this, a lot of people find it more convenient to bring their own laptop, but it's not necessary. As long as you're familiar with the lab locations, finding an open computer shouldn't be too difficult.

1 person found this useful Report
4 Recent Alumnus

Health & Safety: Penn State has a reputation for being a party school. It's definitely true--there is a lot of drinking during events and weekends and things can get rowdy at times. However, as long as you exercise common sense (such as keeping an eye on your belongings, keeping your dorm/apartment secure, and travelling in groups, especially late at night), there's no reason to feel unsafe. Campus Police generally does a very good job at keeping things under control. There are also various "call-boxes" located throughout campus; by pushing the button on these call-boxes, you can notify emergency services should the need arise.

If you find yourself needing to get home at a late hour but feel uncomfortable, there are also escort and taxi services available.

1 person found this useful Report
3 Recent Alumnus

Transportation: Public transportation at Penn State is decent, but it's not the greatest. You will have busses that will take you downtown and to different parts of campus as well as busses that will take you to the surrounding areas where a lot of the apartments are located. The busses usually arrive on time but the problem is they fill up quickly, especially during events or when the weather gets bad. On a brighter note, the busses that run on campus and into downtown are free of charge and run pretty late at night.

If you don't feel comfortable travelling late at night or need to travel a bit further, Penn State also offer taxi services that aren't that expensive.

4 Recent Alumnus

Majors: I had absolutely no difficulty with getting into the English major. All I needed to do was take two required courses and announce my intent to major in English at the end of my sophomore year. There were no tests or essays involved in the decision process--you just needed to pass the required courses.

5 College Senior

Off-Campus Dining: The State College area is really great for dining because of the wide variety of restaurants. There are many types of ethnic food places, including Chinese, Korean, Mexican, Vietnamese, Lebanese, Thai, Italian, Austrian, and American, just to name a few. There are also some newer cafes that have great vegan or vegetarian options. Many of the restaurants are reasonably priced and there are many options for dollar pizza or fast food as well. Likewise there are some nicer dining options such as The Tavern, Allen Street Grille, Mario's or Facia Luna's if you don't mind traveling off campus a bit. Some more moderate places with drink options would be The Corner Room, The Deli, Rotelli, Inferno or Noodles & Co. Really you can find just about any type food to satisfy you as well as specialty places like Kiwi Frozen Yogurt or Indulge Cupcakes.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Senior

Transportation: There are 2 bus systems for transportation at our school. One is the on campus system where there are 2 bus routes that loop in opposite directions to get students from one end of campus to the other, stopping at convenient locations. On the weekends one of the loop routes is available until 4am. This system also has two more busses that only run back and forth on the busiest road during the busy times of day. This system is also free for everyone
The other system of busses travels to various location off campus and costs $ 1.50 each way. Students who live off campus near to one of the bus stops can purchase a bus pass. These busses usually arrive on schedule and make it easy to travel to the store, the mall, and even to the movies or bowling. However, these busses do not run as late as on campus busses so you need to pay attention to the schedule.

1 person found this useful Report
1 College Sophomore

Diversity: Most people I've come across here at Penn State perfectly fits a certain stereotype.

2 people found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Guys & Girls: Penn State has the most average looking people. They're neither ugly or superb, so you wind up settling for what's okay.

1 person found this useful Report
1 College Sophomore

Nightlife: If you're under 21, the only thing to do around here is to go to apartment parties. They're all the same. After you become of age, there isn't much of a selection of bars to pick from.

5 College Senior

Majors: I am planning to have an intrenship after i graduate because i need some experience in order for me to get a decent job.
i am currently a member with the society of petroleum engineers and i have been volunteering for them since last semester

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Senior

Majors: I love my major as a petroleum engineer i would say that this major is the best i have ever had because whenever you graduate you will have the best job and many opportunities as long as you maintain a good G.P.A

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Senior

Majors: Getting to the my petroleum engineering program wasnt that hard because the minimum G.P.A they needed was a 2.0 so it was easy. Classes are pretty easy for my major it might have a little complicated analysis and derivation problems to solve but i got through them. The most important criteria is to maintain a 2.0 G.P.A.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Senior

Computers: Some of the computer are fast enough that you could be able to access the web real quick but others like the Mac Pc are really slow due to the new ios6 that they made

1 person found this useful Report
2 College Senior

Greek Life: Frats are not one of my favorites because all they do is party and but that's the problem all frat brothers are not in the frat just because of the name but also because of the girls and the brother hood that they never had. But for me i can say that fraternities are not worth it at all the line are always long and crowded also if you don't come with a girl they don't let you in all the time

1 person found this useful Report
2 College Freshman

Guys & Girls: Penn State is a really preppy school. I see far too many boys in pink button downs and sperrys. The girls are also very cliquey. If you are into the preppy scene then Penn State is a good option, but if you are not then you would absolutely hate it here.

5 people found this useful Report
5 College Student

Guys & Girls: Here at Penn State, University Park we have every flavor, category, or conception of girl you can find here. There are so many attractive women that you almost get numb to it over time. All options are open here at the buffet, you just gotta choose. It is easy to find the hook-ups or dance partner for the night, but just as easy to find a good friend or study buddy.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Student

Majors: You have the choice of all the majors in the world. All of them are pretty much top-notch and highly respected and regarded by the professional world. For admission, all I can say is to have plenty of activities and good ACT/SAT scores and a good GPA. It is harded to get into University Park compared to the other campuses, so just make sure you don't catch too much senoiritis in high school before you get here

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Student

Local Atmosphere: The campus is one of the safest in the country. Heck, you will find lots of drunk persons on any given weekend, but that is the most danger you will come across. The police even have an escort service where an officer can walk you back to your dorm if you dont feel safe. There really isnt a reason to be afraid walking around State College

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Student

Facilities: The dorms in East Halls are not that great. I luckily live on a co-ed floor in Sproul Hall, which makes the experience very much better. Our RA even told us "guys protect the girls, girls make sure the guys shower." So, while it isn't exactly a "nice" place, you can make it home if you want to get to know your floormates and others on the other floors. You just have to put in the effort.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Student

Facilities: The academics here are like none other. You cannot find a more comprehensive set of majors and minors at any other school. I am out-of-state and that is exactly what I came for.

Social Scene around here always has SOMETHING happening. It could be a party, club meeting, company events, career fairs, classes, lunch, whatever. If you do not find something to do or your niche, make it happen or you are not looking or trying.

Career Opportunities here are fantastic. As an engineer, I have a great chance to get one anyway, but with Penn State and its connections everywhere, it is practically gaurenteed. Plus, companies love the students here, we do a great job.

1 person found this useful Report
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Pattee Library and Mall
Pattee Library and Mall

Overall ExperienceWhat's This?

James Bunting
Hometown
Whitehall, PA
Major
Journalism
View all previous student authors

Despite common reservations about the location and climate, most Penn State students are fiercely loyal to their alma mater. Penn State boasts one of the largest alumni populations in the United States; graduates are proud of their degrees, and employers recognize the University’s name immediately. Although the campus is located in a very rural area, school is technologically up-to-date and on the cutting-edge of current research.

Aside from academics, PSU is also known for its social scene, especially in relation to sports and parties. Nittany Lion football—home of the 2008 Big Ten Champions—is a national draw and a point of pride for both the University and the town of State College. For anyone interested in playing or watching varsity sports, PSU is a top choice. Penn State has also been ranked highly by many polls and “party school” surveys as one of the top party schools in the nation. While it certainly isn’t the wildest town, these rankings are definitely accurate. The small-town setting and large-school atmosphere makes for little else in the way of entertainment, so it can be hard to avoid encountering the party scene during your time as a student. Still, the mix of work and leisure seems to work well for most of the student body, and academic standards at Penn State remain relatively high. It’s easy to spend four years at Penn State as an ever-serious student, focused completely on whatever you choose to study. With so many opportunities to relax nearby, balance and moderation are some of the best skills to learn from your four years in college.

Admitted Students' GPA/Test Scores More on admissions . . .

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