University Park, PA
Tuition (in-state)
$28,746 ($16,444)
Admission Difficulty
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Reviews 4649 total reviews with an average rating of 3.7

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3 College Junior

Majors: Admission into your specific major just depends on whether or not you have completed the required classes to declare that major. I first started out as a Pre-Med major freshmen year, then switched to Microbiology sophomore year. Because of this change, I am a year behind for my major and I couldn't declare or get into my major the end of junior year. What also puts you behind in you major is failing or dropping classes that you need to get into your major because you'll still have to make it up the following semester. There aren't any abnormal application processes. The process is quite easy and is done on elion. Changing your major is fine freshmen and sophomore year becasue you're still taking intro classes, but once you get to junior year, changing classes with put you behind a semester because that's the year you start to focus on the classes specific to your major. My tip would be to not fall behind in your classes or put yourself in a situation where you have to drop the class.

4 College Junior

Majors: I like to learn about microbes and the diseases they cause. SO even though I have to take lots of labs and they're long, I don't mind them so much. They keep my attention better than a lecture. My major as well as many others offer internships, work study, and research opportunities. Labs do require a lot of preparation and work beforehand.

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3 College Junior

Scholarships: Penn state does have any grants, but its unlikely you'll it. I rely on my FASFA to get any type of funding. Most of my tuition is paid for through loans unfortunately. Applying for scholarships is such a nightmare and you're competing with so many other students who need aid too. That is a difficult process. But the FASFA is straight forward and after doing it the first time, your info is already saved so you won't have to keep re-filling it out every year, just updating it.

3 College Junior

Greek Life: Currently, I am not involved in Greek-life. I tried it, but couldn't manage with academics. But walking around campus, you feel like everyone is in Greek-life, but that's actually not true at all. Only 35% of students of involved in Greek-life. There are many frats and sororities to rush.They offer community service options too. Greek-life is very involved on and off campus. Non-Greek and Greeks don't treat each other differently. I have Greek friends and non-Greek friends. At the end of the day, we all represent Penn State and have the same school pride. Most frat guys live in Frat houses. Sororities do not have houses so they are located on campus. Penn State just built new dormitories for the sororities so they are located with their sisters on the same floor or in the same building.

3 College Junior

Guys & Girls: Majority of students are very active and are in great shape. The typical look for girls are yoga pants/leggings and a tshirt/tank. You can most of the times look at a guy or girl and automatically tell that they're involved in Greek-life. THON is the biggest interest on campus (GET involved freshmen year, you'll regret it if you don't). Campus and downtown is busy at all times of the day. When the weather nice, you'll see plenty of joggers to make you want to go to the gym.

3 College Junior

Academics: It's a lot of labs, which is expected. You end up taking the same classes as Pre-Med, Bio, Chem, and Kines and some other science majors. MY best advice is to not fall behind! It's impossibly hard to bring up your GPA up after not doing so well freshmen year. Have fun, but always ALWAYS make time for homework and studying!

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4 College Junior

Academics: Professors are a hit or miss. They can be enjoyable or a nightmare, but they always tend to follow the syllabus so you know what to expect and when. Registration is easy, it's determined by the number of credits you have. I recommend meeting with an adviser to talk over your class choices. Registration is found on the Degree Audit which is VERY helpful. It tells you the number of credits needed in each category (Art,Humanity, Health, Science, etc..) depending on your major. Workload depends on you major also. If it's too much, either cut down on the number of credits you're taking or get your priorities straight. There will be many nights where you'll have to stay in and study. Every dorm on campus and some apartments have study rooms, study lounges or computer labs. The best place to study place is the library. The hours are great and there's a coffee and food place downstairs. And all food places deliver to the library. There are places for talking and groups or complete silence. The library is free, USE it. You'll be much more productive and get way more studying done in the library than in any study room or your dorm.

4 College Junior

Off-Campus Housing: I personally live on-campus still. But there are various options for off-campus housing is all over downtown. Prices for apartments are reasonable if you have the maximum number of roommates allowed. For example, it is cheaper for four people to rent r a two-bedroom apartment. The benefit of living off-campus is that you are closer to restaurants and shopping places. There are close bus stops located all over downtown and the buses run every 5-10 minutes, so you'll never have afar walk or long wait for a bus; which comes in handy during the WINTER.

3 College Junior

Diversity: This may not be true, but I feel like most students are out of state students. There are many international students and do to the location campus as diverse as other Universities, but still diverse.

3 College Junior

Campus Strictness: Most of the strictness really depends on your living options, surroundings, and RA. But it's guarantee that if you get caught drinking, smoking, or being disruptive on campus in the dorms, you're getting into trouble.

5 College Junior

Overall Experience: Wonderful. I can vouch for most students that we wouldn't want to be anywhere else. It's a wonderful school with many clubs, organizations, and Greek-life options to get involved with. There are many restaurants and activities on and off campus. Campus is clean, safe, and very active. Penn Staters are filled with school pride and really do bleed blue and white! We Are!

4 College Junior

Off-Campus Dining: Whatever you're in the mood for or are craving, you can find it downtown!

4 College Senior

Off-Campus Dining: We have many restaurants around campus for everyone's liking. There are a few more popular restaurants, and the prices are not too bad. Student-friendly! All of the bars are great, I don't have a favorite.

3 College Senior

Campus Strictness: Parking is a big deal on campus, and underage drinking as well. As long as you follow the rules and be responsible, you'll have no issues. The professors are pretty lenient as well; your success is up to you. They treat you like adults.

5 College Senior

Facilities: Penn State students have so many opportunities. There are so many people that truly want to help you succeed. Everyone is so nice and friendly and there is so much to do. You can meet a different person every single day. If you don't know what you want to do, no problem. There are so many programs to choose from.

5 College Senior

Facilities: If you have an interest in something, we've got it... guaranteed. For example, I love to dance. There are about 5 different dance clubs/teams to choose from. We have a huge library where you could practically live, and we have the ability to provide the students with any book they could ever possibly need.

4 College Senior

Health & Safety: There are police telephones located everywhere throughout campus.We also receive emergency text message alerts if anything suspicious is going on around campus. No matter where you are though, you must not be alone at night.

4 College Senior

Off-Campus Housing: The pros of living off-campus include more space and better amenities. The cons include having to rely on public transportation to get them onto campus. The cost is somewhat similar to on-campus housing, maybe a little higher depending on the certain contract you sign. The school has housing fairs throughout the year, but many students fend for themselves and use word of mouth and social media.

5 College Senior

Local Atmosphere: Downtown State College is so beautiful and fun. There are many attractions and lots of shopping and eating. People all over the world come to see the many attractions that Penn State has to offer, including the lion shrine and to experience a football game in Beaver Stadium.

4 College Senior

Campus Dining: I also do not eat on-campus much, but I do know there is a large variety of options. There are four dining halls and alot of restaurants around the college accept flex dollars as well.

3 College Senior

Campus Housing: I personally have never lived on campus, but many of my friends have and there weren't many complaints. I'd say it is pretty similar to any on-campus housing.

5 College Senior

Diversity: There are people from all over the world at Penn State. Every person that lives in my apartment has a different economic background, and it's been the best learning experience of my life. I could not emphasize the importance and acceptance of diversity on our campus enough.

5 College Senior

Athletics: Penn State athletics is huge, ESPECIALLY FOOTBALL. I have never in my life been a football fan, but it's tru;y impossible not to attend football games when you're at Penn State. The fan support for all athletic teams is great and the school spirit it out of this world. The professors work very well with athletes as well as far as classwork goes.

4 College Senior

Guys & Girls: Again, because Penn State is so large, we have a huge diversity of people. There are hundreds of clubs and organizations that students can join in order to meet and interact with people just like them. As far as an overall generalization... there's no such thing at Penn State! Everyone is themselves, and that's what makes the culture so special.

5 College Senior

Overall Experience: Penn State's atmosphere is unlike any other. We are on, big Penn State family and I wish I would've spent all four years there. However, coming out of college it is hard to choose the best college, so transferring isn't as big of a nightmare as some people think it is.


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Pattee Library and Mall
Pattee Library and Mall

Overall ExperienceWhat's This?

James Bunting
Whitehall, PA
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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