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 Dining: There are a lot of food and dining options on campus. Each residence hall area has its own dining commons, meaning there are five total, most of which work on an all-you-can eat payment scale. These buildings generally also have one or two a-la carte options where you can pay for food items individually. The prices are a little high, but the buffet style commons are pretty good value for the high price. The food is always well made, with a large variety of options and a clean eating area.

4 College Senior

Academics: I am currently majoring in Crime, Law & Justice with a potential minor in Sociology in the Liberal Arts College. There are some really good courses available for the major itself-- Domestic Violence, Violence in Crime, and Policing in America to name a few. The workload is very manageable for this major; however, the only course that may have a heavy load is the research course that is required for everyone to take. The faculty for this major is very helpful, have a lot of expertise (some are lawyers, former FBI agents or judges) and genuinely care about helping students find resources needed to succeed.

4 College Senior

Academics: Every semester I was blown away by at least two of my professors-- their credentials, experience in the field/ expertise and great personalities were great contributions to my experience in their classes. Penn State offers a very big course selection in many fields, so there is a great choice selection. Although you may have a course with 499 other students, professors may create a good atmosphere so you will forget all about that [well at least from my experience]. Workload for each course [from experience] is manageable, although i've had one class that required a lot of time.

2 College Senior

Weather: Majority of the school year is cold, which can get a little irritating. Starting around October until the end of the school year, there is a lot of snow and cold winds. It is very rare for University Park to close campus and cancel classes. If you live on-campus it may not be too much of a hassle to get to your classes-- although it will still be a tad annoying. However, if you live off-campus you will have to make sure you leave early enough to get on the bus which may be a little hassle.

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5 College Senior

Athletics: Varsity sports, especially football is incredibly big at Penn State. The atmosphere is always filled with love and positivity during home games. There is a huge support from fans, students, faculty members and families. It is great!

1 College Senior

Campus Dining: The campus dining is nothing special, save for the occasional special meals they have (steak, lobster tail, crab legs, etc). The biggest problem I've had is the chicken: I got food poisoning once from it!

4 College Senior

Off-Campus Dining: Most of the off-campus options are the same. Pizza, Chinese and wings are ubiquitous, but it's hard to find anything else. That's starting to change, however, as more ethnic restaurants have started to open up.

College Sophomore

Campus Strictness: The school's police force is sort of strict when need to be. The campus is quite safe because of this but they are not overly strict.

4 College Junior

Transportation: The CATA bus system is very convenient and has plenty of routes and stops for students on campus and off.

5 College Junior

Nightlife: Most people are partying, doing homework, or sleep.

1 College Junior

Parking: Only things that are bad about parking are that its not free and that your car will get towed.

5 College Junior

Off-Campus Dining: There are stores, food places, clothes stores, and churches on East College Avenue.

3 College Junior

Diversity: Penn State is not that diverse of a school. It is predominately white school but I feel that the minority population is growing. Penn State is a very open school so many people are accepted based regardless of how different they are from the majority.

4 College Junior

Transportation: The public transportation at Penn State is fine. The buses run often and are normally on time. Of course they have their times when they are late but overall the public transportation is great.

4 College Sophomore

Facilities: Since Penn State is a big school, there are a lot of facilities for the students to use. There are numerous mentoring programs, tutoring labs, study areas and endless activities. There is always something to do!

3 College Sophomore

Parking: Parking is available for students. However keep in mind that the population at Penn State is around 40,000 students, so the lot is often crowded. The earlier you get there, the better. Parking tickets do exist, so don't think you can get away with parking inappropriately.

4 College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: State College is a college town, so you will find a lot of 'townies' who are from that area. I never experienced any negativity from them and I enjoy walking around downtown and visiting all the different shops. Don't expect any crazy mega stores though! There is a mall that is a bus ride away, along with Walmart, Home Depot, Barnes & Noble etc.

5 College Sophomore

Athletics: Penn State is a Big Ten school! Varsity sports are a huge part of campus life; especially our football games. It's hard not to feel excited about athletics at PSU. The school spirit is extremely contagious and we always rally around our teams. If you enjoy working out, there are tennis courts, ice skating rinks, gym facilities, and of course you can go running!

4 College Sophomore

Computers: Penn State has computer labs in every section of campus. It's hard to not find a computer and the internet speed is always reliable! If you don't have your own personal laptop, you can still get your work done without a problem!

3 College Sophomore

Weather: Being that Penn State is in a valley, temperatures can become extreme. Summers are really hot, and winters are very cold. Classes rarely get cancelled, and the weather can sometimes change up to three times a day. Last winter lasted from December to April so be prepared for the cold!

2 College Sophomore

Majors: The process for getting into any engineering major is relatively difficult. In order for one to be accepted into a specific major within the college of engineering certain requirments must be met.Students are generally expected to enter to major by the end of their sophmore year. A Student must earn a 3.0 or higher and successfully complete the following courses with a grade of C or higher in order to be considered for any specific major.
-CHEM 110 (General Chemistry A)
-PHYSICS 211
-MATH 140 ( Calculus 1)
-MATH 141 (Calculus 2)

This is due to the fact that they only have a certain number of resources to properly educate their "world class engineers." There is a set number of students that the university aims to accept per semester into a specific major. However, if their number arent met it is possible to enter with below a 3.0. If you do have all the entrance to major requirments you are garanteed entrance no matter the quota.

2 College Sophomore

Weather: During the summer it is very hot and humid and there is no air conditioning present in most dorms. In the winter it is difficult for one to get to in from class in the harsh weather conditions such as snow.

5 College Sophomore

Facilities: You can't get this school spirit anywhere else in the world. Being in the football stadium during the game is a completely unique experience. Also, PSU has an event called THON which is an event that raises funds to support families affected by pediatric cancer. It is the largest student run philanthropy in the world. This year we raised over 12 million dollars. You won;t find anything like THON at any other college in the world.

4 College Sophomore

Facilities: Some of the best libraries, gyms, and athletic centers you could ask for. Major downside: always under construction. Our student center is going to be a work in progress until after I graduate.

3 College Sophomore

Drug Safety: There is no more usage here than anywhere else, but the enforcement policy is pretty weak. I reported my roommate's drug habit to avoid being blamed myself, which is the policy at Penn State; if its in your room it is your fault no matter what. I didn't get in trouble but even after multiple complaints from me and my neighbors as well as my emergency move to another room the University still hasn't done anything to address the problem.

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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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