Location
University Park, PA
Undergrads
37,917
Tuition (in-state)
$28,746 ($16,444)
Admission Difficulty
Average
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Reviews 4679 total reviews with an average rating of 3.7

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5 College Junior

Transportation: Public transportation in University Park is excellent. Student can get around for free on the buses that are provided through the University and it is always running.

5 College Junior

Overall Experience: The Perfect Campus – I cannot complain about Penn State (Main Campus) at all. From academics to extra-curriculars to the social scene, Penn State has it all. The campus is absolutely beautiful, and has plenty of great places to hang out, study, or just relax between classes. Many students attend the campus, so if you hate big classrooms and crowded sidewalks, this may not be the best campus for you. The courses and professors are excellent and you can get so much out of them - that is, if you honestly put the work in to them. Downtown State College and the surrounding area are filled with things to do, and the town is very affordable (be on the lookout for specials)! If you're looking for a great education, a place to make a difference (THON!), or a place to make friends and have fun... Penn State is the place for you.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Junior

Majors: I have not had one yet but as a psych major I know there are many options for me to choose from. I will def have one soon as I am going to be a Junior. I have no worries about finding a good one.

3 College Junior

Greek Life: Greek life is mostly known for their great parties and campus activities. I have nothing against them, I think they are a great way to network and make life long friends. That may be hard for some people at such a big school so it really helps. They also have to do community service so I think they are great for college campuses.

2 people found this useful Report
2 College Sophomore

Weather: From October to March/April it is COLD. This past year wasn't bad at all though in terms of coldness. However, it rained a lot.

Class never gets cancelled due to snow, so don't count on that.

On nice days, everyone is outside though!

4 College Sophomore

Transportation: Pretty Good – The campus is huge. No getting around that. It's about a 20 minute radius around the major parts of PSU. However, everything is pretty easy to get to.

Buses:
They're free on campus and take you to all the major parts you need to get to. If you need to go off campus there are also buses for those. They cost money, but's it's relatively cheap. Also, unless you live far off campus, not many people need to pay for a bus somewhere.

Driving:
Driving is fine. Parking is difficult and expensive. If you really want to bring your car, go for it. But it really isn't necessary.

Transportation Out:
Megabus and Fullington buses are available. There's also an airport about 45 minutes away.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Senior

Nightlife: Have to Be 21 – Penn state is fun no matter what age you are, but you have to be 21 to get into the nightlife at the bars and clubs. There is only one 18+ place that I know of.

3 College Senior

Campus Housing: West and South Are Good Places to Live – West dorms are nice as well as south. Honors dorms are in South.

3 College Senior

Weather: Cold Cold Cold – It's always cold, the weather is annoying. I hate walking to class. It's only nice in the summer and if we're lucky in a few days in april.

4 College Senior

Campus Dining: Online Ordering – We have the restarants in the area on a website we can order online. Everyone goes on it all the time. It's so convenient. Nothings really cheap though, besides mcdonalds. I tend to go there at night to get something to eat. Some places have $1 slices of pizza but the pizza is disgusting.

3 College Senior

Guys & Girls: Guys Are Mixed. At Penn State we have a variety of nationalities. I also have trouble finding guys I think are cute. For the most part guys dress casual to class. Most don't want a relationship and drink way too much.

5 College Senior

Athletics: Sports Make Us Come Together – Sports bring us all together to celebrate our school. It's the time we get to come together and cheer and be riduculous. The first football game I attended was so exciting and remember thinging to myself, I'm at Penn State. It hit you. You feel apart of something so big and so great.

2 College Sophomore

Weather: Penn State weather is absolutely crazy. Rain is completely unpredictable, not only that but it also gets very hot. This winter we didn't get any snow...just rain, which I find very frustrating because I like snow. One day can be 30 and the next day can be 70 throughout the winter. Rain boots are a "must have" and so is an umbrella.

4 College Sophomore

Majors: Upperclassmen Opportunities – Freshman rarely get involved in internships through Penn State. This is because employers are much more interested in students with more experience and more interested in students who have secured a spot in their anticipated major (end of sophomore year). Due to this, I have not yet been involved in an internship recruiting from Penn State. However, I definitely plan to have one in the future. Penn State hosts Career Fairs for students interested in jobs, internships, or co-ops. The environment is professional, and effective-students talking directly to company's recruiting staff and present their resumes.

4 College Sophomore

Transportation: Buses Always Running for Safety – At Penn State, there are several buses that provide free transportation for people on campus: Blue Loop, White Loop, Green Link, and Red Link. However, the Loops get very packed during the day, and getting on and off can sometimes be difficult, but at this point in time they currently run 24 hours. There are a wide variety of buses that provide transportation off campus, but they require a fee. They can be very useful for those students who do not have cars readily available, you can get anywhere you need to go. For more information, you can visit www.catabus.com for all of the bus schedules and routes.

3 College Sophomore

Majors: Required Courses – The most difficult part of getting in to Chemical engineering is passing all the required courses with a 3.0 at the end since it essentially requires you to pass Calc 1 and 2 and physics 1 before you can enter the major and some of the teachers for calc make it a rough task to accomplish

3 Recent Alumnus

Nightlife: Good Night Life – The dance clubs are okay, but there are a number of bars and restaurants in town that the students like to frequent, especially on the weekends. There are also a number of house parties that take place in the area. The only thing I have to warn about is that we do have underage drinkers and public drunkness at times--especially in the wee hours of the morning. However, common sense, being aware of your surroundings, and travelling with a group will keep you out of trouble.

3 Recent Alumnus

Weather: Lovely in the Spring and Summer, but Winter Time, Watch Out! Penn State's weather isn't bad for the most part. It does rain a lot in the spring and summer, but overall, the days are mild and fair. When the weather's nice, literally everyone spends their time outside. Winter time is a different story though. It gets COLD, and yes, it does snow. Do not expect classes to get cancelled though. Make sure you're prepared too because the sidewalks can get very icy and slippery--it can be an adventure just travelling between classes!

1 College Junior

Campus Dining: Food Is Not Healthy – The cafe is not the place to go for a good meal. It is not healthy at all burgers pizza, sandwiches are the only thing there. Did i forget to mention its the same food everyday

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.

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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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