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Overall School Rating
41 Ratings

4 out of 5 Stars

32
3 Stars
0
2 Stars
0
1 Star
0

9 Student Reviews (5 star). See all 41 reviews.

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“Wonderful school. We Are”
October 2017FORMER STUDENT
Uppers

City in the middle of nowhere...FILLED WITH COLLEGE AGED STUDENTS! Great combination of academics and the joys of "the best four years" of your life.

Downers

Can get a bit cold in the winter, and the school prides itself on never(!) closing. But that just makes the warm months more appreciated :)

Comments

Visit the school. Check out the academics first and foremost, but consider taking in a football or hockey game as well. I wasn't a football fan (at all) prior to college, but the experience of being at a Penn State home game is perhaps unrivaled--(and ranked by Sports Illustrated as one of the top 10-sports related experiences to have before you die). Compare the whole vs. the other schools you're considering, and go with your gut (even if it's not Penn State). The academics, campus, people...all wonderful. The camaraderie? I dare you to compare it to the other schools you visit. It's in a league of it's own, and simply tremendous. Last but not least, do a YouTube search for "THON" -- watch a few of those videos, and see what the student body at Penn State is about in just a few short -- unbelievable -- moments.

Would You Recommend

Yes

“Penn State”
June 2015FORMER STUDENT
Uppers

alumni network and career fairs helped place me in my first job after college

Downers

large student population requires one to get involved to make friends and take advantage of what the school has to offer. Can be daunting For some

Comments

great professors that care about their students and make themselves available for advice, additional help, etc.

Would You Recommend

Yes

2010VERIFIED STUDENT
Admissions

application, optional essay.

Graduation Year

2005

2010VERIFIED STUDENT
Academics

The academic experience is fantastic - very engaging and accessible professors, a great mix of both large and small class sizes. Penn State has some monstrous lecture halls (up to 700 students) but this is not as scary as it seems. Classes in such large venues are usually introductory courses or electives and always have smaller components (labs/recitations/group projects) to round out the experience. Average class sizes were much smaller - especially at higher levels. The number of out-of-class opportunities at Penn State is unlike any other institution in the country. The student organizations are very well funded and organized. I got as much from the out-of-class experience (student government, travel opportunities, study groups, sports) as I did from academia at Penn State. In visiting other schools and talking with peers at all sorts of institutions, I never found anyone who could speak about their school in a way that described the vibrant, intense experience I had at Penn State. Its size creates amazing opportunities for networking and career placement as well as resources on campus such as research opportunities and leadership. The facilities are unbelieveable. From the dorms to the fitness facility to the entertainment venues on campus, the place is just incredible.

Quality of Life

They call it "Happy Valley" for a good reason. The on- and off-campus lifestyle at Penn State is like nothing else on earth. There is a very fine line between the two and most students live off-campus by Junior or Senior year. As a freshman there are a ton of free on-campus activities. Penn State attracts the biggest names in politics and entertainment. The campus is a park-like oasis where students buzz about at all hours of the day and night. You have to spend time on campus to really understand what all the hype is about. Once you do, you will fall in love.

Admissions

Highly competitive based on the number of applicants vs number of available spaces in the class; however selectivity varies by College. Business and Engineering are more selective than liberal arts or undeclared path of study. Due to the huge number of applicants, the process is very heavily weighted on test scores and high school GPA. While Penn State is a "state school" it is largely private and has a high percentage of out-of-state and international students. This will influence the admissions process. For example, if you are from New Jersey or New York, there are many other qualified students in the running for a limited number of spaces, as the University is admitting a diverse body of students.

Graduation Year

2005

2010VERIFIED STUDENT
Academics

Penn State University is very tough, especially the weed out courses such as calculus 2 and the sciences. I have heard from tutors themselves that our programs are insanely hard. Penn State is a research school so there is a lot of opportunity in that aspect, but in terms of credit requirements, it's different for all the majors. Forensic Science is about 123 credits. Classes are both enormous and small, with my biggest class being 700 students, and my smallest 30 students. Professors are very available through office hours and because we are such a large campus, there is a lot of competition.

Quality of Life

It is the best university in the world. It is the complete balance between social and academics. We are the third safest city in Pennsylvania and the facilities are great. The healthy eating dining commons is fantastic and the other commons are delicious as well. The library is amazing, and gigantic since it is a research library. Cost of living is regular priced, but for what we get and the facilities, it is worth it.

Admissions

The applications asks a lot of questions about my background and what I want to study at Penn State. It asks me if I am an in state or out of state student, and the essay is optional, but I decided to write one. Letter of recommendations from a teacher and the advisor is required and you can apply for early decision or regular.

Level

2

Graduation Year

2012

2010VERIFIED STUDENT
Academics

From General Education requirements, to honors courses, to grad courses, to research and independent study credits, they are all amazing.

Quality of Life

Absolutely fantastic in every aspect.

Level

2

Graduation Year

2012

2010VERIFIED STUDENT
Academics

Penn State hires only the best in each field.

Quality of Life

Exceptional.

Admissions

A very intensive yet fair application.

Level

4

Graduation Year

2010

2010VERIFIED STUDENT
Academics

A Schreyer Honor's College degree is equivalent to an ivy league degree in terms of prestige and notability. An average size professor to student classroom ratio is 1:17. There are general requirements that must be fulfilled by all students before graduation in Math, Science, Art, Humanities and Writing. All professors are required to provide an hour of office hours for every hour they are in class teaching. There are MANY study abroad opportunities and all students should take advantage of them. Grading is based on the course, college and professor. Most classes are pretty competitive.

Quality of Life

State College, PA is the top-rated safest small town in America. We have 3 branches of police presence here. The food is great and there is a wide variety. The library has over 5.5 million volumes and we also have access to all library material at any other Big 10 school. The dorm and apartments could be better quality but they are livable.

Admissions

Rolling application process. Essays optional. Penn State University is the most applied to school in the country with over 100,000 applicants each year.

Level

4

Graduation Year

2010

2010VERIFIED STUDENT
Academics

There are general requirements for the basic school subjects, but also such a variety of courses that fulfill them, I had no problem finding something that both interested me and fit the requirement. My core classes are small and the professors have a lot of field experience, so they are speaking more than just from text book knowledge. Advising here is amazing and really gets to know their students well. Professors love when students come into office hours for help or just to say hello and are always willing to go that extra mile.

Quality of Life

Living on campus is life made easy. Bathrooms got cleaned everyday, powerwashed once a week and the staff was so friendly! I never had to wait for a shower and everything was always neat. There was a dining commons in my building and another a one minute walk away so it was never a hike to get food! The library is a great place for either quiet studying or meeting for group projects. Also, the librarians can help you with anything because of just how knowledgeable they are on different subjects. I always felt safe because you can only access the building you live in so there isn't any easy way for people to get in. Campus life was great because of the RAs are trained so well and love getting the floor together to bond.

Admissions

You must apply online and there was an optional essay when I applied.

Level

3

Graduation Year

2011

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Uppers Downers Comments Would You Recommend

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