Academics

Location
University Park, PA
Undergrads
37,917
Tuition (in-state)
$28,746 ($16,444)
Admission Difficulty
Average
More statistics . . .
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Reviews

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3 College Sophomore

Academics: People believe that psychology is easy and you are going to be jobless after you graduate.

4 College Sophomore

Academics: My major is RHS and almost everyone I know is that major

4 College Sophomore

Academics: Most professors are decent and fair, but people will always find something to complain about. The registration process is done online and easy to do. The workload seems fair for the most part, it's not supposed to be easy.

5 College Freshman

Academics: The first two years are full of gen ed's but I trust that I will be able to take more classes dedicated to my major.

4 College Sophomore

Academics: The are a lot of classes to choose from and many of teachers are very helpful. The registration process is very easy to understand.

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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 4th
    Best Course Variety
  • 12th
    Best Online Course Options
  • 26th
    Best Use of Teaching Assistants
  • 28th
    Best Technology in the Classroom
  • 30th
    Best Registration Process

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

James Bunting
Hometown
Whitehall, PA
Major
Journalism
View all previous student authors

Penn State features a wide range of professors and class types. Most teachers are well trained in their field, but there are always exceptions to the rule. Just like most schools, graduate and international students serve as teaching assistants. Some can be easier to work with than others. It becomes pretty easy to learn which professors are student-friendly and which ones to avoid. Upperclassmen and Web sites like RateMyProfessors.com are good sources to guide you. The bottom line is that your effort will usually dictate your grade: If you put in the work, your grade will reflect it.

Class size also varies widely. It’s easy to get lost in the large auditorium classes, but these are unavoidable when you’re working on general requirements. As you progress in a major, though, you’ll find that classes become smaller, more discussion-oriented, and more personal. Penn State has a lot to offer academically, and this is especially true if you’re motivated to learn.

Facts & Statistics

Student-Faculty Ratio
17:1
Full-Time Instructional Faculty
2,502
Part-Time Instructional Faculty
416
Total FT Faculty
3,196
Faculty with Terminal Degree
77%
Average Faculty Salary
$87,356
Full-Time Retention Rate
92%
Part-Time Retention Rate
85%
Graduation Rate
86%
Programs/Majors Offered
185
Academic/Career Counseling?
Yes
Remedial Services?
Yes
Class Sizes
  • Fewer than 20 Students : 32%
  • 20 to 49 Students : 50%
  • 50 or More Students: 18%
Instructional Programs
Occupational: Yes
Academic: Yes
Continuing Professional: Yes
Recreational/Avocational: No
Adult Basic Remedial: No
Secondary (High School): No
Special Credit Opportunities
Advanced Placement (AP) Credits: Yes
Dual Credit: Yes
Life Experience Credits: Yes
Undergraduate Schools/Divisions
  • College of Agricultural Sciences
  • College of Arts and Architecture
  • College of Communications
  • College of Earth and Mineral Sciences
  • College of Education
  • College of Engineering
  • College of Health and Human Development
  • College of Information Sciences and Technology
  • College of the Liberal Arts
  • Eberly College of Science
  • Schreyer Honors College
  • Smeal College of Business
Degrees Awarded
  • Associate degree
  • Bachelor's degree
  • Certificate
  • Doctorate - Professional practice
  • Doctorate - Research/scholarship
  • Master's degree
  • Post-bachelor's certificate
Most Popular Majors
  • Accounting: 2%
  • Finance, General: 2%
  • Information Science/Studies: 2%
  • Psychology: 2%
Special Study Options
  • Study abroad
  • Teacher certification (below the postsecondary level)
  • Weekend/evening college
Best Places to Study
  • The Hub
  • The Library
  • Quiet coffee shops
Tips to Succeed
  • Always stay a step ahead when planning future housing.
  • Expand your circle of friends.
  • Penn State gives you 16 late-drop credits. Do not be afraid to use them.
  • Read The Daily Collegian for Penn State news.
  • Study from day one, not the day before the test.
Did You Know?
  • Thirty percent of classes have fewer than 20 students.
  • Penn State offers 149 baccalaureate degrees.

Student Polls

Who are the most notable alumni from this school?    Based on 33 responses

  • 31% Ben and Jerry
  • 19% Franco Harris - former NFL player
  • 9% Roosevelt Grier - actor, former NFL player
  • 9% Valerie Plame - former CIA officer
  • 7% Tom Verducci - Sports Illustrated writer
  • 5% Lisa Salters - ESPN reporter
  • 5% Jonathan Frakes - actor
  • 4% Charles Bierbauer - journalist, news anchor
  • 4% Ty Burrell
  • 3% Margaret Carlson - columnist
  • 3% Terry Pegula
  • 1% Julius Epstein
  • 0% Carmen Finestra - actress

Rate your school's academic environment on the following topics    Based on 217 responses

Very poor
Excellent
  • Academic advisers
  • Class availability
  • Consistency in grading
  • Course subject variety
  • Curriculum flexibility
  • Gen-Ed requirements
  • Manageability of workload
  • Online course options
  • Quality of teaching assistants (TAs)
  • Scheduling/registration process
  • Technology in the classroom

Rate your school's professors on the following topics    Based on 210 responses

Very poor
Excellent
  • Accessibility
  • Communication skills
  • General knowledge
  • Interest in class subjects
  • Interest in students
  • Time spent in classroom
  • Use of teaching assistants

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