Academics

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Academics

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3 College Sophomore

Academics: My program is great, the workload is not too bad; but depending on the level of classes it does get more challenging. Facilities are nice and kept up to date. Internships are great because you can get an internship with the FBI, CIA, Local or State government. Your advisor will help you with your internship aspirations and with scheduling conflicts. They will help you graduate with everything you need in order to get a job after graduation.

2 people found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Academics: Academics depends on the type of student you are. Professors will not come to you when they see that you are struggling with a certain subject. If a student needs help in a subject there is a learning center that they can go for help or if they would rather have their professor help then the professor can help the student as well, if it works with their work schedule. Students study in the library as well as basically anywhere on campus. Registering for classes is based off of the amount of credits you have, so you will most likely get all the classes that you need for a semester. The workload depends on the student, if they want to over credit themselves and have a heavy work load then that is their choice. Most students have about 4-6 classes, and 6 classes is considered a somewhat heavy work load. Although, the work load also depends on the class the student is taking; some classes are easier than others and have a lighter workload.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Junior

Academics: Feels like a factory. Hard to develop relationship with teacher. Classes usually large.

4 people found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Academics: Obviously there are lots of challenges and the workload is pretty large but it's worth it.

2 people found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Academics: I love the education I'm receiving and wouldn't want to be anywhere else

1 person found this useful Report
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Student Author OverviewWhat's this?

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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 64 responses

  • 31% Ben and Jerry
  • 17% Franco Harris - former NFL player
  • 7% Lisa Salters - ESPN reporter
  • 6% Valerie Plame - former CIA officer
  • 6% Terry Pegula
  • 5% Charles Bierbauer - journalist, news anchor
  • 5% Roosevelt Grier - actor, former NFL player
  • 5% Ty Burrell
  • 5% Tom Verducci - Sports Illustrated writer
  • 5% Jonathan Frakes - actor
  • 3% Joe Pa
  • 2% Donald Bellisario -producer of NCIS
  • 1% Margaret Carlson - columnist
  • 1% Julius Epstein
  • 1% Zane shrowker
  • 1% Lara Spencer- Good Morning America
  • 0% Carmen Finestra - actress

How strongly do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements?    Based on 223 responses

Strongly disagree
Strongly agree
  • My Gen-Ed requirements are worthwhile and meaningful.
  • It is easy to get the classes you want.
  • The academic advisers are helpful.
  • Grading is generally consistent and fair.
  • There are a variety of interesting courses to take.
  • Students are encouraged to explore a wide range of courses and topics.
  • The workload is easy to manage.
  • There are plenty of good online course options.
  • Teaching assistants (TAs) are used effectively.
  • The course scheduling/registration process is efficient and student-friendly.
  • Classrooms/labs are up-to-date and incorporate new technologies effectively.

How strongly do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements regarding the professors at this school?    Based on 216 responses

Strongly disagree
Strongly agree
  • Professors are approachable and helpful when needed
  • Professors are engaging and easy to understand.
  • Professors are experts in their field.
  • Professors are passionate about the topics they teach.
  • Professors care about their students' success.
  • Professors put a lot of effort into teaching their classes.
  • Professors use teaching assistants (TAs) effectively.

How often do you:    Based on 38 responses

Never
Always
  • Attend class (lectures and recitation)
  • Do all of your homework
  • Do all of your assigned reading
  • Adequately study
  • Take advantage of office hours/study sessions
  • Take notes

Where did this school rank in your list of potential schools when applying?    Based on 39 responses

  • 41% This was my dream school.
  • 54% This was one of my top choices.
  • 5% This was a school I settled for (safety school).

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