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

Campus Housing: North Hall Is the Best Hall – PENN STATE
North hall Dorms Are the Best.The freshman dorms at Penn state Hazelton aren't great, but the options are great for upperclassmen.

3 College Junior

Local Atmosphere: Not That Much Local Activities to Do – Penn state is Hazelton is a decent size campus, but the student government and faculty needs to get more involved and have fun events more frequent for students.

5 College Junior

Majors: Definitely Worth It & I Would Do It Again – I am very happy with my program at Penn State, Energy & Sustainability Policy through the College of Earth & Mineral Sciences via their online program. I get the same courses and teachers as on campus, and my advisor has been amazing. My career goal is to become a policy analyst and/or consultant in the energy industry, for either local or state government. My teachers and advisor are helping me to prepare for this, and they begin helping you think of your career goals early on in the program (the first semester, actually). I don't have any concerns about finding a job in my field, because energy policy is an important part of our society and I feel equipped with the knowledge and skills that I will need to succeed in the field. Also, Penn State is very well known for their energy program and has a reputation for being the best in the nation, and it has been recognized by the President of the United States as being the best.

5 College Junior

Majors: Slightly Challenging, but There Is Support – Getting into the Energy & Sustainability Policy program is a little challenging. You need to have 60 units of general education completed before applying, and you need to have an average or above average GPA (above 2.5, I think - anything below that and they will deny your application). It took about 6 months to get a decision when I applied, but this was because I had difficulties getting the transcript from my old college. Normally, it would probably take about 3 months. I was always able to call the main admissions office in University Park for updates, and after I was accepted, I was assigned an advisor in the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences. She was able to help me get into the right courses and get me set up for orientation. It was definitely an involved process, but they are there to help you along the way. Very friendly and professional admissions staff.

5 College Junior

Majors: Top Notch Program & Staff – I love my program, Energy & Sustainability Policy. It is a part of the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences at Penn State. The teachers and staff are very easy to deal with, even remotely, as I am attending via their online degree program. They are the same teachers and staff as on the main campus in Pennsylvania. If I ever have problems, my advisor or teachers are there to help. The program will help me launch a career in public policy someday, and my teachers and advisors are trying to prepare me for this as much as possible. It is a challenging program, but it is also very rewarding. I feel like I am set up for success. Experiences at two other schools had me worried that I was wasting time and money by studying online, but I am so thankful that I found Penn State's online programs. I've been attending for a year now and am still very happy. I'm getting the same quality education than I would be getting if I lived in Pennsylvania. I'll be looking forward to my graduation ceremony on the campus in two years.

5 College Junior

Majors: Energy Internship – I haven't had an internship yet, but it is a requirement of my major. I have been working with my advisor to find a good internship within the energy industry, and because of her help, I have no fears or worries about finding the appropriate internship.

3 College Senior

Majors: Fairly Easy – Getting into a science major is fairly easy. There is a minimum GPA and course prerequisites before you get into the program but they aren't a huge deal and you will most likely get into the major you're interested in.

3 College Junior

Guys & Girls: Penn state is a predominately white school, considering this most are males. Some are super good looking, while others...ehh..not so much. The same goes for the girls. Penn State is a huge school that attracts people from all over the USA and the world, so there is a mix of good looking guys and girls.

3 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Housing: Apartment Searches Start Very Early for Students Wanting to Live Off-Campus – Finding off campus housing may be relatively easy, but the process begins long before the student actually moves into the apartment/house. Many students start looking for off-campus housing a year before in order to insure that they get exactly what they're looking for. Penn State makes it easy for students to find what they want by holding numerous off-campus housing fairs. The cost is average for any college apartment, but they do begin to rise as the Spring/Summer comes by and more people are looking for apartments. Availability becomes extremely limited past the spring semester, with most apartments selling out before the summer.

5 College Sophomore

Athletics: Athletics play a huge role in the Penn State community. The fall semester weekends are mostly focused on the football game, whether it is home or away. From tailgating to attending sporting events, students are able to notice the importance of athletics at Penn State. Being a nationally recognized D1 school, we take much pride in our teams. The athletic facilities are located off-campus, which is good to separate athletics and academics.

5 College Sophomore

Computers: Excellent Equipment, Great Service – The computers at Penn State make it easy for anyone to complete assignments, project, or just surf the web. There are computer labs located at every residence hall common's buildings, as well as countless computers in the library and other classroom buildings. They have a wide variety of nice Mac computers and PCs, allowing students to use equipment that they are familiar with. Although the library and computer labs get crowded during exam/finals time, it should be no problem for a student to find an open computer in his/her area. The wireless and internet speed is very fast and there have never been any problems with connection. Printing is also convenient, with black/white and color printers being available in every computer lab, thought the number of copies per semester is limited to 120 sheets.

5 College Junior

Academics: The psych program at penn state world campus is amazing. The profs are very helpful with any questions you may have a love doing their jobs!

4 College Senior

Guys & Girls: Different, Yet Homogenous – There is a lot of variety at Penn State in University Park. Though it might not make sense why so many different ethnic groups converge in one single community, everyone is not so different from each other when sharing the University's values of hard work towards the community.

5 College Sophomore

Facilities: Fun for Everyone – No matter what your race, culture, or background everyone is accepted. Thier is a mix of greek, jocks, and geeks all together thier is no discrimination so you are always accepted. I always felt welcomed no matter what and i have a millon tattoo's and usually i would get the stink eye but I am always looked at as me.

3 College Sophomore

Campus Strictness: Our campus recently became a dry cmpus meaning no drinking what so ever. I been here for three years now and even tho its a way around everything if you do get caught expect an underage meaning it will be on your record. Our campus policy are big on identifying what is intoxicaed and who is underage.

4 College Junior

Campus Housing: Not Bad – They are all definitely clean and for the most part really close to the main areas in which classes are held. The housing process can be really easy. Most likely you'll end up in either east or pollock your freshman year both have there benefits and can lead to lasting social relationships. When you get to be an upperclassman and if you can afford it, try to get into Eastview Terrace, it's absolutely gorgeous and like living in a hotel.

4 College Junior

Campus Dining: Pretty Good – While the food is a bit away from home cooking, it's definitely good and usually there is enough of a variety at the different dining halls to allow you to make choices and not get sick of having the same thing over and over again. There are also some places available that make eating very convenient if you're in a hurry.

4 College Junior

Transportation: Easy to Get Around – Between the Catabus system (which will pretty much take you anywhere you want to go and runs very frequently) and the numerous amount of Taxi companies in the area and the Campus shuttle it is incredibly easy to get around State College and Penn State. Additionally, if you have a bike, parking is numerous and easy to find.

4 College Senior

Majors: Great Courses & Instructors – I am a World Campus student, and even with distance learning, the courses and instructors are excellent. Instructors are always available, and the courses compare to even the most difficult on campus courses. People think online school is easier, but World Campus courses are top-notch.
Additionally, there are so many majors to choose from, that you are not limited in which major to choose.

2 College Senior

Parking: It is difficult to find parking for classes. Get there early.

5 College Sophomore

Nightlife: Whole Lot to Do – There's any thing you can possibly think of. Something for everyone. Parties for those who like to party and other small get togethers for those who aren't as big on partying.

3 College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: A Little of Everything – The school offers something for everyone different. Besides from having the best school spirit, there's a huge amount of diversity at the school. It's more of a little town and every day is like a new adventure.

4 College Senior

Campus Strictness: Although the police and school are strict on underage drinking it is for the safety of all students. The plagiarism policy and other academic honesty policies are there to better the students and have everyone be a better student and all around better student. I appreciate these policies and believe that all students should also feel they are a help to the all around experience of being in college

1 College Sophomore

Weather: Ridiculously Unpredictable – The weather in State College is definitely not the best. You can expect it to be cloudy or raining 75% of the time. It is usually very chilly in the morning, but in the summer months can become unbearably hot by mid-afternoon. It is advised to always keep an umbrella and rain jacket handy.

3 College Sophomore

Transportation: CATA Bus= Lifesaver – There are minimal parking spots on campus and with 40,000+ students this can be a problem. Most students use the CATA bus for transportation. Many do not find it necessary to have a car on campus as everything you need is either in walking distance, or you can ride the free CATA bus. In order to go to the mall or Walmart, there is a small bus fee. Students can also be seen riding their bikes or skateboards to class and around campus.

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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.

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