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

Academics: PSYCH 105 – Penn State University has an entire class devoted only to Psychology majors. Not only does this class address most of the problems facing Psychology majors; such as finding a job after college and taking the right courses to match our career choices, this class also allows us to network with other Psychology majors.

4 College Junior

Academics: Bio Behavioral Health – The material was straight forward and to the point. The professor was very helpful as well

3 College Junior

Campus Dining: A Lot of Locations and Variety, but Not the Healthiest – There are dining halls at every corner of campus, plus several more in the HUB. The nice thing is that most of the locations have not only a general dining hall buffet, but also smaller specialty places, too. For example, in East there's a sandwich/wrap place, a salad place, a pizza and deli place, and a place that specializes more in burgers. The other dining areas have other choices (Redifer has the most). Probably the worst part about dining on campus is that it's easy to find pizza and unhealthy foods, but it's hard to find much in the way of healthy foods besides salads.

4 College Junior

Academics: Professors Are Passionate About Their Classes – For almost all of my Communications-specific classes, my teachers have been really passionate about what they were teaching, and none of them taught "straight from the book". Even in my larger classes, the professors encouraged everyone to come to office hours so they could get to know each of us. Unlike some of the gen. ed. classes, the professors for Communications classes are actually interested in getting to know you and helping you out.

4 College Sophomore

Overall Experience: Get Ready for a Blast – Penn State is great. You get to meet people that are extremely diverse and people that are just like yourself. The party seen is amazing, and the academics are not bad either. Football and basketball tickets are a must!

4 College Sophomore

Academics: Get Ready for Lecture Halls – With the size of Penn State, it is almost impossible not to be placed in a class with atleast 600 other students. However, the teachers do their best to help you learn and are readily available to assist you.

4 College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: So Much to Drink – State College is a nice town with very nice people. Every weekend there are parties occurring everywhere. It is almost impossible not to find a party to go to. However, with that being said, there is not much to do aside from drink on the weekends. Penn State does offer other activities for students to do on weekends, but sometimes these are not that amusing.

5 College Sophomore

Academics: I am a biobehavioral health major at Penn State. This major is not offered in a lot of colleges. When it comes down to this major , there are a bunch of resources that helps determine what you can do with this major. The advisers help you plan out how your next years in the college are going to be like and what courses to take. This is a reading intensive major, and for a person like me who doesn't like reading, I have to work harder. If you follow the course and go at the pace of the professor there should be a problem with excelling. With this major, you are not limited to only one profession, and you could take almost any class in addition to the requirement. In regards to workload, this is not a very overwhelming major unless you make it. I really enjoy majoring in this and I hope to succeed.

3 College Junior

Off-Campus Dining: Good Options – There are numerous options on the main road by the college, and the surrounding State College area. Many places offer a discount if you use Lion cash from your Penn State ID card. Very convenient.

4 College Junior

Academics: Penn State has many excellent educational programs, some of which rank among the best in the country. I was originally an astronomy/astrophysics major but change to statistics; both programs have excellent courses and professors. The classes are challenging, but interesting. The workload can get a bit heavy at times, but this is outweighed by the benefit of being enrolled in a great program/course.

4 College Senior

Academics: Faculty are available and willing to help. The program is one of the top programs in the country and I feel that I am getting a good education here. There is a lot more work than I expected in Grad school, but I feel that I am learning what I need to learn and will be a good counselor after because of it.

4 College Senior

Transportation: Penn State offers the Cata Bus system which is great for students! It is free to travel around campus, but for a small fee you can go off campus to the movies, mall, walmart, etc.

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4 College Senior

Health & Safety: Security Measures – Penn State has "call buttons" around down town and on campus to ensure students' safety. They are lit up and readily available to any walker who may be in need of help.

5 College Senior

Academics: Penn State offers an incredible amount of options to students. there are plenty of organizations for anybody to join.

3 College Senior

Guys & Girls: Penn State is--in a word--diverse; any race and religion you can think of, Penn State's got it. For this reason, Penn State's a pretty tolerant school--everyone feels welcome and relaxed.

4 College Senior

Academics: English Field Lacking, but Professors Make the Most of It – This may not be a fair judgment considering that Penn State is having financial trouble at the moment. The English department has unfortunately faced some cuts in professors and classes--many of these are on subjects that I wish to pursue. However, though the subject matter and reading material is limited at this point in time, the professors take special care to get to know their students and to create a relaxed but productive atmosphere by encouraging discussion and critical thinking. They strive to make the best of their situation.

1 College Freshman

Scholarships: Not So Great – Understandable that they are a big school and therefore it's hard to give out scholarships, but I thought financial aid would be a little more helpful to my family than it actually was.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Junior

Health & Safety: Safe in Happy Valley – Penn State is referred to as Happy Valley for a reason. I feel totally safe on campus here. I know there have been instances of theft or pranks, but I feel like the campus security tries to take care of issues as efficiently as possible.

4 College Junior

Academics: Art Education Student – I am an Art Education major in Penn State's college of Arts and Architecture. I have been taught by some of the most influential professors and authors in the Art Education field and have enjoyed learning from them and getting to know them on a personal level. Understanding and learning from their personal experiences and diverse methods will be extremely beneficial to me as a new teacher. I am looking forward to the student teaching that Penn State offers in hope of getting a job when education is complete. The most difficult part about being in the School of Visual Arts at Penn State is the apparent lack of funding for the studio facilities.

4 College Student

Campus Dining: Love the HUB – I eat at the HUB almost three times a week. There's a pretty big selection. My recommendation is to find a seat first, then get your food. Also, downtown is within walking distance. Literally across the lawn from the HUB which has everything imaginable.

4 College Student

Computers: More Labs Than I Can Count – With a school this size, it's no wonder that there seems to be a computer lab in every building. Also, the tech support is phenomenal!!! They've helped me with both my Asus Eee PC and my Macbook Pro.

4 College Student

Academics: Professors Going the Extra Mile – I have to say that the professors are extremely accessible and completely willing to assist with all needs of their students.

1 Recent Alumnus

Scholarships: The Penn State Student Aid Office is great at putting you in debt. Scholarships don't exist, unless you are in the Honors College, but even that is pretty low relative to tuition. Need loans and don't mind being in bondage to debt for 20 years? This is the place for you!

1 person found this useful Report
2 Recent Alumnus

Campus Strictness: Only Flaw: Massive Alcoholism – School policies are very lax, to the point that there is massive alcoholism and punishments are almost non-existent. Alcohol is not bad on its own, but the students here are typically out of control and rather in danger of injuring their lives through alcohol abuse.

4 Recent Alumnus

Academics: Good School, but Don't Get Lost in the Crowd – I have taken classes in a wide variety of departments. Most professors genuinely care about their students, but a student can easily be lost in the throng if they don't make an effort to get to know professors. The school has a good reputation, as far as job hunting goes. The curriculum is very thorough and the workload neither light nor burdensome. All in all, it is a great school.

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Pattee Library and Mall
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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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