University Park, PA
Tuition (in-state)
$28,746 ($16,444)
Admission Difficulty
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4 College Junior

Facilities: The campus is beautiful, new, and modern. The one thing I don't like like is students must pay a membership fee to use the campus exercise facilities. As much as tuition is this should be included. The classrooms and study area are new and up to par.

4 College Sophomore

Facilities: The student life on campus is pretty fun

5 College Sophomore

Facilities: There are so many places for students to study, exercise, eat or meet with friends. During finals there are endless places to study and if you look hard enough you are sure to find one.

4 College Junior

Facilities: I love this campus, there is always something pleasing to look at and I love the buildings and classes.

5 College Sophomore

Facilities: There is always a place to do your work, hangout and relax.


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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 5th
    Best Library
  • 8th
    Best Student Centers
  • 15th
    Best Athletic Facilities
  • 92nd
    Greenest Campuses
  • 104th
    Best Performance Venues

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

James Bunting
Whitehall, PA
View all previous student authors

Not many students complain about the facilities available on campus. The HUB is the epicenter of campus, with study lounges, restaurants, auditoriums, and an art gallery. The IST Building on the west side of campus is the most tech-savvy place on campus. The Smeal Trading Room in the Business Building was the first of its kind in the country and displays real-time stock information. The athletic facilities are constantly being upgraded. Medlar Field at Lubrano Park is one of the top 10 college baseball stadiums in the country, and Beaver Stadium isn’t too bad either.

The presence of construction machinery is a reflection of Penn State’s continuing efforts to expand and keep itself up-to-date with other major universities. In the midst of a rural area, the University is an island of new technology and modern resources.

Facts & Statistics

Service & Maintenance Staff
Campus Size
5,500 acres
Student Centers
The HUB Robeson Center
Campus Library?
Main Libraries
The Pattee and Paterno Libraries are the two main libraries on campus. There are also five smaller branch libraries for specific colleges.
Popular Places to Chill
  • The Big Onion (East Halls)
  • Coffee shops and cafés
  • The HUB
Bar on Campus
Bowling on Campus
None on campus, but Northland Bowl is a short drive away on Martin Street.
Coffeehouse on Campus
  • Blue Chip Bistro (Business Building)
  • KC Café (Career Services Building)
  • MacKinnon's Café (Pattee Library)
  • Multiple other Java Express locations around campus
  • Off the Ground (South Halls)
  • Sisu Coffee Bar (West Halls)
Movie Theater on Campus
There is no movie theater on campus, but LateNight-PennState sponsors free movies at the HUB on weekends. The State Theater on College Avenue shows mostly indie and foreign films, with the occasional mainstream movie. There are three traditional cinemas within 10 minutes of campus.
School Slang
  • BJC: The Bryce Jordan Center, home of PSU basketball and numerous shows and events.
  • The Fish Tank: The large aquarium and popular meeting place in the HUB.
  • Grilled Stickies: Delicious cinnamon rolls from The Diner on College Avenue.
  • The HUB: The Hetzel Union Building, the student center on campus.
  • JoePa: Joe Paterno, the famous Nittany Lion football coach.
  • The Mall: The strip of land that extends from the library to College Avenue.
  • Pattee/Paterno: The library
  • ResCom: Residential Computing, the people you want to know if you have any computer problems, in student labs or with your personal computer.
  • : The Mifflin Streak-every year, the students of Mifflin Hall streak across campus. No one quite knows why, but it is a long-standing tradition.
  • : Every year, PSU's Interfraternity Council sponsors THON, a 48-hour dance marathon that raises money benefiting the Four Diamonds Fund at Penn State Children's Hospital.THON is the largest student-run philanthropy in the world.
  • Guarding the Lion Shrine : During homecoming of 1966, Syracuse fans doused the Nittany Lion statue with orange paint. Every year since then, The Lion Ambassadors have been responsible for an overnight security session around the statue leading up to the game.
  • : Not knowing the words to the Alma Mater is probably the greatest Penn State tradition. Students typically know the general tune, but sing "I don't know the words to this song" instead of any actual lyrics.
Urban Legends
  • "Nittany" is named for Native American Princess Nita-nee, a former inhabitant of the region. Historically, Princess Nita-nee never existed; however, the name is derived from a Native American term meaning "single mountain."
  • If you get hit by a CATA bus, you have earned free tuition. No one really knows how this one started, but please do not throw yourself in front of a Blue Loop.
  • Mrs. Atherton, the wife of former PSU President Atherton (1882-1906), haunts Old Botany, so she can watch over her husband's grave. (Ghost hunting, anyone?)
  • Sororities aren't allowed houses because, under State College law, a house with 16 or more women living together is considered a brothel. This is also false: sorority houses did exist on campus until the 1950s, when sororities relocated to newly-available residence hall housing. State College zoning law makes no distinction between fraternity and sorority houses.
  • The ghost of an actress who died in Schwab Auditorium still haunts it. Whether this is true or not, some backstage areas of Schwab are definitely creepy!
  • The sun-dial on the Old Main Lawn marks the geographic center of Pennsylvania. (False-and who comes up with this stuff, anyway?) The sun dial was a gift from the class of 1915, and holds no more significance than historic value.
Favorite Things To Do
Grab a cone of Peachy Paterno at the Creamery, shoot pool at Corner Pocket in the HUB, watch a free movie at LateNight-PennState, visit the Palmer Art Museum, check out a performance at the Eisenhower Auditorium, or support a Penn State sports team. Join a basketball/tennis/volleyball/Frisbee/wiffle ball game in East Halls, lay out in the sun on spring afternoons, anything and everything Penn State football, lunch with friends at the HUB, and watch a big game at the Big Onion.
Student Organizations Web Site
Air Force ROTC: Yes
Navy ROTC: Yes
Army ROTC: Yes

Student Polls

Rate the campus facilities in the following areas    Based on 206 responses

Very poor
  • Athletics/recreation
  • Classrooms
  • Computer labs
  • Dining
  • General aesthetics/architecture of campus
  • "Green" buildings/initiatives
  • Housing
  • Lawns/green space
  • Library
  • Modernity of facilities
  • Performing arts
  • Science/research labs
  • Student center
  • Study spots
  • Visual arts (work spaces, galleries)

What are your favorite campus events or traditions?    Based on 20 responses

  • 40% THON
  • 23% Football Games
  • 15% Sporting events
  • 13% Homecoming Parade
  • 4% Guarding the Lion Shrine
  • 4% Hockey games

Where are your favorite places to just hang out?    Based on 21 responses

  • 38% The HUB
  • 26% Coffee shops and cafés
  • 23% Dorms
  • 5% The Big Onion (East Halls)
  • 5% Pollock commons
  • 3% The Weather Center

What are your favorite things to do around campus?    Based on 20 responses

  • 40% Walk around on a fall day
  • 31% Football games
  • 17% Late Night in the HUB
  • 9% Jogging in the fall
  • 3% SIt in the weather center and do work

How accommodating is this school to students with physical disabilities?    Based on 8 responses

  • 25% Very accommodating. The school does everything in their power to make sure the needs of every student are met.
  • 62% Pretty accommodating. The school has taken a lot of steps to accommodate the needs of students, but they've missed a few things.
  • 12% Slightly accommodating. The school has taken a few steps to accommodate students, but not nearly enough.
  • 0% Not accommodating. Students with physical disabilities are practically ignored here.

How would you describe the student center/union?    Based on 221 responses

  • 3% The student center is in need of a major renovation.
  • 4% The student center serves its purpose but is not a popular hangout.
  • 27% The student center is great but isn't central to student life.
  • 66% The student center is state-of-the-art and the hub of student life.

What is your overall opinion of your school and the campus community?    Based on 219 responses

  • 2% I hate my school and have no school spirit.
  • 3% The school community is okay-we're all just here for an education, nothing more.
  • 38% I like mostly everything about my school, but there are some things I wish were different.
  • 57% I love everything about my school and have a lot of campus pride.

What are the best on-campus student jobs?    Based on 9 responses

  • 56% Work study for research project
  • 33% Work study
  • 11% Work study in the business building

What are the worst on-campus student jobs?    Based on 14 responses

  • 45% Hub Dining cleaning staff
  • 35% Dining Halls
  • 20% Stadium jobs

What is the most interesting urban legend about campus?    Based on 15 responses

  • 93% The haunting in the stacks in the library.
  • 7% The underground tunnels



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