Pennsylvania State University - Overview & Background

Pennsylvania State University, also fondly called as PSU or as Penn State, was started in 1855. As a Public Research University, Penn State is often considered amongst the Public Ivy League institutions in the country. The University offers graduate programs, many of which are highly ranked. The College of Engineering at Pennsylvania State University--University Park is an acclaimed school for engineering while the Smeal College of Business is quite respected as an undergraduate business school.



February 22, 1855 

Also Known As

Penn State | PSU

University Motto

"Making Life Better" "Virtue, Liberty, and Independence"

University Type

Public State-Related Land-Grant Research University

University Location

University Park, Pennsylvania, United States

Student to Faculty Ratio


Graduation Rate


Employment Rate


Main Campus

University Park

Campus Size

7,343 Acres


$3.40 billion (2020)

Acceptance Rate


Official University Website 

 Pennsylvania State University, United States

Contact Number  



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Pennsylvania State University Virtual Tour

Penn State University Ranking

Pennsylvania State University world ranking is #101 in the QS Global World Rankings 2021. The university is ranked 114th in the World University Rankings 2021 and 109th in the US College Rankings 2021 by the Times Higher Education's World University Rankings.  

Acceptance Rate

Pennsylvania State University acceptance rate is usually around 51% overall. Its acceptance rate for Indian students has been 39% historically.


Penn State is located in the rural area of University Park and the campus is spread over 5500 acres. The campus has two main libraries as well as 5 small libraries. All the libraries, combined together, have 2 million volumes of books. The heart of the campus is the HUB – a place where many students like to chill out or engage in something constructive. The campus is also dotted with numerous coffee shops.

Residing Options

Penn State offers on-campus accommodation to students and charges $4,500 annually for it. However, most students prefer to live off-campus and can be found living in nearby areas such as Beaver Canyon, Beaver Avenue, and College Avenue.

Faculty and Pedagogy

Though the faculty at Penn State cannot be termed excellent, they are good enough and known in their respective fields too. Most of the faculty here are friendly and willing to help the students.


Pennsylvania State University tuition fees for Indian students is around $36,000, of course, depending upon the course the student is choosing. The annual off-campus living cost is around $5,000.

Financial Aid

Penn State, being a public University, has numerous scholarships. However, getting the scholarship depends on the profile of the student. And the competition for these scholarships is quite tough too. However, students can apply for Research Assistantships and Teaching Assistantships – which are not too difficult to get.

Click here to see more Pennsylvania State University Scholarships

Jobs and Placements

As per the US News & World Report, The Pennsylvania State University ranks 59  in National Universities in 2019. If one looks at the ranking of individual departments, one would know that graduating out of the Penn State will guarantee one an excellent placement.

  1. Aerospace - 16th
  2. Chemical - 24th
  3. Civil - 17th
  4. Computer Engineering – 26th
  5. Electrical  - 30th
  6. Environmental – 17th
  7. Industrial – 7th
  8. Materials – 12th
  9. Mechanical – 16th
  10. Nuclear Engineering – Ranked 9th

As can be implied, all these departments are in the top twenty in schools in the US.

The overall average annual starting salary for Penn State graduates is  $70,997. The school has an extensive alumni network consisting of more than 645,000 living alumni all over the world which is one of the largest alumni networks among all US colleges. 

The Career Resource Center of the university provides support services to facilitate a student’s career development. Some of the services include a resume and cover letter review, job and internship search, interview prep, and so on.

The top popular companies recruiting from Penn State are Lockheed Martin Corp; The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc.; Penn State - University Park; Booz, Allen, and Hamilton; Pennsylvania State University (PSU)

Notable Alumni

Some famous alumni from Pennsylvania State University include: 

  • Eugene O'Kelly, former CEO of KPMG
  • Dale Brown, Bestselling Author (Act of War, Battle Born, and Plan of Attack)
  • Louis D'Ambrosio, former CEO of Sears Holdings Corporation
  • Matt Brezina, co-founder of Xobni
  • Valerie Plame, former CIA officer
  • William E. Ward, General, United States Army
  • Paul Berg, recipient of 1980 Nobel Prize in Chemistry
  • Guion Bluford, astronaut, first African-American in space
  • Muriel Davisson, Neuroscientist
  • Joel N. Myers, founder and CEO of AccuWeather
  • Kristal Uzelac, former U.S. Olympian
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Penn State is a good college with a reasonable fee structure. Though getting in quite difficult, it remains a favorite with Asians and certainly deserves being in your top choice too.

Pennsylvania State University Campuses

Penn State University has 24 campuses across Pennsylvania and globally online: 

  • Penn State Abington’s suburban campus
  • Penn State Altoona
  • Penn State Beaver
  • Penn State Behrend
  • Penn State Berks
  • Penn State Brandywine
  • Dickinson Law
  • Penn State DuBois
  • Penn State Fayette
  • Penn State Great Valley
  • Penn State Greater Allegheny
  • Penn State Harrisburg
  • Penn State Hazleton
  • Penn State Lehigh Valley
  • Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, Penn State College of Medicine, and Penn State Health Children's Hospital
  • Penn State Lehigh Valley
  • Penn State Mont Alto
  • Penn State New Kensington
  • Penn State Schuylkill
  • Penn State Scranton 
  • Penn State Shenango
  • Penn State University Park 
  • Penn State Wilkes-Barre
  • Pennsylvania College of Technology
  • Penn State World Campus
  • Penn State York

Admission Requirements at Penn State University for International Students

  • Self Reported academic record (SARS)
  • Secondary School records
  • Post-secondary records
  • English Language Proficiency Proof
    • Duolingo English Test (temporarily being accepted)
    • TOEFL
      • Minimum score of 80 for the Internet based or Paper edition TOEFL
      • Minimum score of 80 for the TOEFL iBT Home Edition
      • Minimum TOEFL score of 550 for TOEFL ITP Plus for China
    • IELTS
      • Minimum score of 6.5 on the IELTS academic test
      • Minimum score of 6.5 on the IELTS Indicator
    • SAT
      • Minimum score of 570 on the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing section
    • ACT
      •  Minimum score of 24 on the English section
    • GCSE or GCE Score of A, B, or C on the English language exam
    • International Baccalaureate (IB): Score of 5 or higher on the English Language & Literature (English A) exam
    • IECP: It's an official certification through Penn State's Intensive English Communication Program (IECP)

Penn State University Location

Penn State University has different campuses all over the State of Pennsylvania. The main campus and administrative hub named as University Park is located in a town called State College.  There are 19 other additional campuses, and one can enroll for an undergraduate degree in any one of them too. All 19 campuses are considered a part of Penn State's Commonwealth campus system, and all offer Penn State baccalaureate degrees.

Five campuses are considered “college” campuses. Those five are Penn State Abington, Penn State Altoona, Penn State Berks, Penn State Behrend, and Penn State Harrisburg. It should be noted that although the first two years of education for any Penn State major are available at all campuses, some majors can only be completed at specific campuses.

The University Park campus is centrally located at the junction of Interstate 99 and U.S. Route 322 and is due south of Interstate 80. The nearest train station is in Lewistown which is approximately 48 km from University park though using the train is not a good idea.

The local airport in State College is the University Park Airport (SCE). It is located approximately five miles from the campus. The airlines that service the University Park Airport are: Delta Airlines Connection (from Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW) in Detroit, MI; United Airlines (from Dulles International Airport (IAD)  in Washington DC);  US Airways (from Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) in Philadelphia. 

Coming to bus services, the Megabus offers nonstop service from New York City, Pittsburgh, Harrisburg, and Philadelphia and continuing service from locations in Ohio and Michigan. If purchased in advance, tickets can be less than $10.00.

Penn State University Map Location

Address: 201 Old Main, University Park, Pennsylvania, 16802, United States


Frequently Asked Questions about Pennsylvania State University

Is Pennsylvania State University an Ivy League ?

The renowned diplomat, author, inventor, and scientist Benjamin Franklin founded the University of Pennsylvania (Penn) in 1740. One of the eight private universities that make up the Ivy League, Penn, has more than 21,000 students total, and 4,500 of them are from abroad.

Is Pennsylvania State University a good university ?

In the 2022 QS World University Rankings, which include 1,300 institutions, Penn State is placed 96th globally and 44th among American universities. Out of more than 1,800 institutions ranked globally, Penn State was ranked between 101 and 150 in the top 1,000 colleges in the world by the Academic Ranking of World Universities in 2021.

What GPA is required for Penn State University ?

  At Penn State, the average GPA is 3.58. Despite the fact that many universities have minimal GPA requirements, this is typically the absolute minimum that is required to submit an application without it being immediately rejected.

What is Penn State University known for ?

The only land-grant university in Pennsylvania, Penn State was established with the goals of providing top-notch instruction, world-class research, and international service. It helps in discovering a group that numbers over 740,000 people and is motivated to change the world.

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