PEnn state university

The Pennsylvania State University (also known as Penn State or PSU, and not to be confused with the University of Pennsylvania) is one of the most frequently searched colleges in the United States, according to a recent internet keyword search of American universities. 

Established in 1855, PSU maintains a current enrollment of almost 100,000 students, making it one of the largest universities in America. 

The school offers undergraduate, graduate, professional, and continuing education courses, both on campus and online. With a medical college and two law schools, PSU is known as a "public ivy." In other words, it's a public university whose quality of education is considered as good as you could get from an Ivy League school. In fact, PSU is listed among the top 1% of universities worldwide. 

Nonetheless, the acceptance rate at PSU is a generous 50%. The average SAT score of incoming students is  between 1200 and 1300. The average high school GPA is 3.58. 

The Pennsylvania State University is accredited by the Middle States Commission of Higher Education

Shown above: "Old Main"

image credit:

Above: Residence Halls at PSU


penn state Q&A

Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions about The Pennsylvania State University.

1. Where is Penn State?

The main campus of PSU is located at the following physical address:


201 Old Main

University Park, Pennsylvania


Here are the addresses of other main campuses of PSU: 

PSU Abington

1600 Woodland Road

Abington, Pennsylvania


PSU Berks

1801 Broadcasting Road

Reading, Pennsylvania


PSU Altoona

3000 Ivyside Park

Altoona, Pennsylvania


PSU Medical Center

500 University Drive

Hershey, Pennsylvania


Dickinson Law School

150 South College Street

Carlisle, Pennsylvania


PSU is a doctoral university, with 24 locations throughout the state of Pennsylvania, in all of the following towns:

  1. Abington
  2. Altoona
  3. Beaver
  4. Behrend (near Erie)
  5. Berks (near Reading)
  6. Brandywine
  7. Carlisle
  8. DuBois
  9. Fayette
  10. Great Valley
  11. Greater Allegheny 
  12. Harrisburg
  13. Hazleton
  14. Hershey
  15. Lehigh Valley
  16. Mont Alto 
  17. New Kensington
  18. Schuylkill 
  19. Scranton
  20. Shenango
  21. University Park
  22. Wilkes-Barre
  23. Worthington
  24. York

2. What types of academic programs are offered at Penn State?

PSU consists of the following 18 schools:

  1. College of Agricultural Sciences
  2. College of Arts and Architecture
  3. College of Earth and Mineral Sciences 
  4. College of Education
  5. College of Engineering
  6. College of Health and Human Development  
  7. College of Information Sciences and Technology
  8. College of Liberal Arts
  9. College of Medicine
  10. College of Nursing
  11. Dickinson Law
  12. Donald Bellisario College of Communications 
  13. Eberly College of Science
  14. Graduate School
  15. Penn State Law 
  16. Pennsylvania College of Technology
  17. Schreyer Honors College
  18. Smeal College of Business 

3. What undergraduate studies are offered at Penn State?

Undergraduate course offerings at PSU include more than 160 majors (as well as quite a few minors). The university features Associate degrees as well as Bachelor degrees in many subjects.

Here is a list of Associate (2-year) degrees offered at various locations of PSU:

  • Biomedical Engineering Technology 
  • Business (General)
  • Business Administration
  • Criminal Justice
  • Electrical Engineering Technology 
  • Forest Technology
  • Human Development and Family Studies
  • Information Sciences and Technology
  • Labor and Employment Relations  
  • Letters, Arts, & Sciences
  • Mechanical Engineering Technology
  • Medical Laboratory Technology 
  • Occupational Therapy 
  • Physical Therapist Assistant 
  • Radiological Sciences
  • Science
  • Surveying Engineering Technology
  • Turfgrass Science and Management 
  • Wildlife Technology
  • Workforce Education and Development 

Among the Bachelor (4-year) degree programs offered at PSU are:

  • Accounting
  • Acting
  • Administration of Justice
  • Advertising
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • African Studies
  • African American Studies
  • Agribusiness Management
  • Agricultural Science
  • Air Force Training (ROTC)
  • American Studies
  • Animal Science
  • Anthropology
  • Archeology
  • Architectural Engineering
  • Architecture
  • Army Training (ROTC)
  • Art
  • Arts Administration
  • Art Education
  • Art History
  • Asian Studies
  • Astronomy
  • Athletic Training
  • Biobehavioral Health 
  • Biochemistry
  • Biological Engineering 
  • Biology
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Biotechnology
  • BioRenewable Systems
  • Business
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Chemistry
  • Chinese
  • Civil Engineering
  • Classics
  • Communication
  • Communication Arts & Sciences
  • Community, Environment and Development
  • Comparative Literature 
  • Computer Science
  • Computer Engineering
  • Construction Engineering 
  • Corporate Communication
  • Creative Writing
  • Criminal Justice
  • Criminology 
  • Cybersecurity
  • Dance
  • Data Sciences
  • Digital Journalism
  • Digital Media
  • Earth Science 
  • Economics
  • Education and Public Policy 
  • Electrical Engineering 
  • Electro-Mechanical Engineering 
  • Elementary and Early Childhood Education 
  • Energy and Sustainability
  • Energy Engineering 
  • English
  • Entrepreneurship 
  • Environmental Systems Engineering
  • Environmental Science
  • Environmental Studies
  • Family Studies 
  • Film & Video
  • Finance
  • Food Science
  • Forensic Science
  • Forest Ecosystem Management 
  • French Studies
  • General Studies
  • Geobiology 
  • Geography
  • Geosciences
  • German
  • Global and International Studies
  • Graphic Design
  • Health Policy & Administration
  • History
  • Hospitality Management
  • Human Development
  • Humanities
  • Immunology
  • Industrial Engineering
  • Information Sciences and Technology
  • Information Systems
  • Integrated Social Sciences
  • Integrative Arts
  • Interdisciplinary Studies
  • International Business
  • International Politics
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Jewish Studies
  • Journalism
  • Kinesiology
  • Labor and Employment Relations
  • Landscape Architecture
  • Latin American Studies
  • Law and Society 
  • Letters, Arts & Sciences
  • Management
  • Management Information Systems
  • Marketing
  • Materials Science and Engineering
  • Mathematics
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Media Studies
  • Medieval Studies
  • Meteorology
  • Microbiology
  • Middle Level Education
  • Mining Engineering
  • Music
  • Music Education
  • Musical Arts
  • Musical Theatre
  • Naval Science
  • Nuclear Engineering 
  • Nursing
  • Nutritional Science
  • Organizational and Professional Communication
  • Organizational Leadership 
  • Petroleum Engineering  
  • Philosophy 
  • Physics
  • Planetary Science 
  • Plant Sciences 
  • Plastics Engineering 
  • Political Science
  • Pre Med 
  • Project and Supply Chain Management 
  • Psychology (Applied) 
  • Public Policy
  • Rail Transportation Engineering 
  • Recreation, Park and Tourism Management
  • Rehabilitation and Human Services 
  • Risk Management
  • Russian
  • Science
  • Secondary Education 
  • Security and Risk Analysis
  • Social Data Analytics 
  • Social Sciences 
  • Sociology
  • Software Engineering
  • Spanish
  • Special Education
  • Statistics
  • Strategic Communications
  • Structural Design
  • Supply Chain and Information Systems
  • Surveying Engineering
  • Telecommunications
  • Theatre
  • Toxicology
  • Turf Grass Science 
  • Veterinary Science
  • Visual Arts
  • Wildlife and Fisheries
  • Womens Studies
  • Workforce Education and Development
  • World Languages Education
  • Wrestling (Professional)

4. What graduate programs are available at Penn State?

Here is a list of graduate certificate programs offered at PSU:

  • Actuarial Math and Statistics
  • Adult Development and Aging Services 
  • Advanced Criminal Justice
  • Advertising
  • African Studies
  • Agricultural Conservation
  • Auto CAD
  • Behavioral Health and Counseling Psychology
  • Business Administration
  • Business Concepts
  • Business Management
  • Chemical Dependency Prevention
  • Child Development
  • Children, Youth, and Family Services
  • Corporate Communication 
  • Corporate Control and Analysis
  • Crime, Psychology, and Public Policy 
  • Digital Arts
  • Diversity Studies
  • Dot NET Programming
  • Earth Sustainability 
  • Engineering and Community Engagement
  • Engineering Design
  • Enterprise Architecture
  • Enterprise Resource Planning with Oracle
  • Environment and Society Geography
  • ERP with SAP
  • Financial Controllership
  • Financial Planning
  • Financial Risk Management
  • Financial Services Sales
  • Foundations of Business
  • Foundations of Employment Relations and Leaderships
  • Geographic Information Science
  • Geospatial Big Data Analytics 
  • German Studies
  • Global Awareness
  • Health Science Professions
  • Healthcare Informatics
  • Holocaust and Genocide Studies
  • Housing
  • Human Factors
  • Human Geography
  • Information Sciences and Technology
  • Information Systems Auditing
  • Information Systems Security
  • International Engineering
  • International Science
  • International Studies
  • Justice, Ethics, Diversity in Space
  • Labor Studies
  • Landscape Ecology
  • Leadership for Engineers
  • Legal Studies
  • Manufacturing Engineering
  • Medical Plastics
  • Medical Sciences
  • Mining Technology
  • Nanotechnology
  • National Security Agency
  • Nursing Forensics 
  • Nursing Informatics
  • Nursing Management
  • Oracle e-Business Suite
  • Organizational Communication
  • Physical Geography
  • Plastics Processing
  • Pre Med Healthcare
  • Presidential Leadership
  • Project Management 
  • Public Relations
  • Real Estate Analysis and Development 
  • Rehabilitation and Human Services 
  • Security and Risk Analysis
  • Space Systems Engineering 
  • Spatial Analysis and Engineering Design Principles 
  • Sports Administration
  • Sports Journalism
  • Supervisory Management 
  • Supply Chain and Operations
  • Supply Chain Management 
  • Systems, Applications, and Products in Data Processing
  • Technical and Business Writing
  • Trauma Studies
  • Turfgrass Management 
  • Weather Forecasting
  • Youth Development 

Visit this link for a list of the PhD programs at Penn State, including those in the fields of medicine and law.  

5. What courses of study are offered at Penn State Law School? 

PSU actually has two distinct law schools: Penn State Law, which occupies a spot on the main campus, and the Dickinson School of Law in the town of Carlisle, located roughly 90 miles south of the main campus. Both schools offer a combination of hands-on training and experiential learning, as well as a core curriculum. 

Here is a list of the legal programs of study offered at PSU:

  • Agricultural Law
  • Arbitration
  • Business Law
  • Children's Advocacy
  • Civil Procedure
  • Civil Rights Law
  • Community Law
  • Constitutional Law
  • Contracts
  • Criminal Law
  • Criminal Procedure
  • Dispute Resolution
  • Entertainment Law
  • Environmental Law
  • Family Law
  • Global Law
  • Government Law
  • Healthcare Law
  • Immigration Law
  • Intellectual Property Law
  • International Law
  • Legal Argument
  • Legal Writing
  • Legislation
  • Medical-Legal Partnership
  • Mergers and Acquisitions
  • Professional Responsibility
  • Property Law
  • Public Interest Advocacy
  • Sports Law
  • Tax Law
  • Torts
  • Trial Advocacy

Above: The Dickinson School of Law in Carlisle


6. How much does it cost to attend Penn State?

According to the PSU website, the total cost of tuition, fees, and other expenses for undergraduate enrollment on the main campus for the 2019 school year is as follows: 

  • $18,436 tuition and fees for Pennsylvania residents
  • $33,664 tuition and fees for out-of-state enrollments
  • Roughly $15,000 in additional estimated costs* for both in-state and out-of-state enrollments. 

Graduate school tuition at PSU varies by program. The cost of the law school program is approximately $70,000. 

For PSU Online, the fee is $555 per credit of you are taking less than 12 credits, or a flat rate of $6,742 for a full time schedule of more than 12 credits. The tuition for Penn State Online applies to both graduate and undergraduate students. 

* Additional estimated costs may include books, supplies, housing, food, and travel expenses. Other fees may also apply, such as technology fees, materials fees, transcript fees, and course fees, to name a few. 

Financial aid is available to some, and may come in the form of Pell Grants, scholarships, and work study programs, among others. 

7. What is the Penn State campus like?

The main campus of Penn State spans about 7,343 acres in a rural college town setting. The main campus is home to most of the college's schools and seven housing complexes, as well as the All Sports Museum, the Matson Museum of Anthropology, the Palmer Museum of Art, the Paterno Library, and a very pretty arboretum.

Above: A map of the Penn State campus at University Park


Attractions on or near the main campus include golf courses, sports stadiums, and the popular Berkey Creamery. Among the nearby conveniences is a Walmart Supercentre. 

Above: The Berkey Creamery at PSU


The school colors are blue and white. The varsity athletes at PSU are called the Nittany Lions. They play for the NCAA Division 1 - Big Ten, at the famously gigantic Beaver Stadium. 

Above: In terms of seating capacity, Beaver Stadium is America's 2nd largest stadium,

providing seating for more than 100,000 excited concert goers and football fans.


Penn State proudly features an award winning football team. Varsity sports for men and women at PSU include:  

  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Cross Country
  • Fencing
  • Field Hockey
  • Football
  • Golf
  • Gymnastics
  • Ice Hockey
  • Javelin
  • Lacrosse
  • Rugby
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Swimming (& Diving)
  • Tennis
  • Track & Field
  • Volleyball
  • Wrestling

Also available on campus are a number of club sports, such as some of the ones listed above, as well as crew, karate, sailing, skiing, snowboarding, and squash. 

Aside form sports, the main campus at Penn State also features hundreds of clubs, organizations, and student activities, ranging from political groups to cultural groups and performing arts troupes, as well as campus publications, a student-run radio station, and countless others. 

Above: This flyin' Lion leaps easily over the heads of the opposing team.

image: Lincoln Journal Star

8. What are the distance learning options at Penn State?

In 1892, Penn State started offering correspondence programs to Pennsylvania farmers, thus becoming one of the first schools in America to offer distance education. 

Today, PSU offers many online courses through the highly acclaimed Penn State World Campus, also known as Penn State Online. Nearly 18,000 students are enrolled in the school's online degree and certificate programs. 

Among the fully online courses offered at PSU are: 

  • Accounting
  • Advertising
  • Agribusiness Management
  • Biobehavioral Health
  • Business Administration
  • Business
  • Criminal Justice
  • Digital Arts
  • Digital Journalism and Media
  • Digital Multimedia Design
  • Diversity Studies
  • Economics
  • Finance
  • Health Policy and Administration
  • Human Development and Family Studies
  • Information Science and Technology
  • Integrated Social Sciences
  • International Politics
  • Labor and Employment
  • Law and Society
  • Letters, Arts, and Sciences
  • Marketing
  • National Security Agency
  • Nursing
  • Organizational and Professional Communication 
  • Organizational Leadership
  • Political Science
  • Psychology
  • Security and Risk Analysis
  • Software Engineering
  • Strategic Communications
  • Systems, Applications, and Products in Data Processing
  • Turfgrass Management 
  • Weather Forecasting 

Click here for More Than 50 Top Ranked Online Colleges.

9. What is the contact information for Penn State?

You can reach the main campus of PSU in University Park by calling 814-865-4700.

For the PSU Altoona campus, call 814-949-5000. 

To contact the Abington campus of PSU, call 215-881-7600. 

To speak with someone at PSU Berks campus in Reading, call 610-396-6000. 

To reach the Penn State Law School (located on the main campus), call 814-865-8900.

To contact Dickinson Law, call 717-240-5000. 

To reach the undergraduate admissions office of PSU, call 814-865-5471. 

For questions about financial aid at PSU, call 814-865-6301. 

The toll free number for the Penn State World Campus (PSU Online) is 800-252-3592. 

Above: Downtown University Park, Pennsylvania

image: Penn State University

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