Penn State University, State College

Must see · Educational Site · Tourist Spot
Penn State, founded in 1855 as an agricultural college, admitted its first class in 1859. The Pennsylvania legislature designated Penn State as the Commonwealth’s sole land-grant institution in 1863, which eventually broadened the University’s mission to include teaching, research, and public service in many academic disciplines. Penn State has awarded more than a half-million degrees, and has been Pennsylvania’s largest source of baccalaureate degrees at least since the 1930s.

Although the University is privately chartered by the Commonwealth, it was from the outset considered an “instrumentality of the state,” that is, it carries out many of the functions of a public institution and promotes the general welfare of the citizenry. The Governor and other representatives of the Commonwealth have held seats on Penn State’s Board of Trustees since the University’s founding, and the legislature has made regular appropriations in support of the University’s mission since 1887.

Today Penn State is one of four “state-related” universities (along with the University of Pittsburgh, Temple University, and Lincoln University), institutions that are not state-owned and -operated but that have the character of public universities and receive substantial state appropriations. With its administrative and research hub at the University Park campus, Penn State has 23 additional locations across Pennsylvania. While some of these locations, such as the Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, have specialized academic roles, they all adhere to a common overall mission and set of core values and strategic goals.
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Penn State University reviews

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619 reviews
  • P.S.U was one of the happiest days of my life. It is out in the open near mountains. Wish I would have had time to go on nature walks. However, I spent some days walking 3 hours to classes. The...  more »
  • If you visit just one thing at Penn State, make it the Nittany Lion! The Nittany Lion Inn is beautiful also, but currently being utilized to house students.  more »
  • Freshman move in day. Great organization and easy move in day. Extremely helpful employees directing you. I wish I was the student.... Great school  more »
  • No trip back to Dear Old State is complete without a stroll through the Palmer Museum. It is always great, including the gift shop. If Zoller Gallery is open, we stop there also.
  • I am a student of Penn state and just to let anyone know Penn state is a great school and our PSU pride is what keep this school together it is the thousands of students who made this school so one man and couple other people cannot break us down. Also it is a beautiful campus and the rotc programs are always awesome to watch I am in it and it is quite an experience WE ARE.....PENN STATE
  • I am a proud Penn State alumnus and would encourage any prospective student to consider Penn State. The Smeal College of Business is a top 25 program and the facilities are second to none. The Wall Street Journal ranked Penn State graduates #1 in their preparedness for the workplace and the alumni network is a great asset as well. The most important thing that Penn State gave me was a traditional college experience. The school's pride is unprecedented which is evidenced by the Penn State Dance Marathon, or THON. THON, the largest student run philanthropy in the world, is a year long effort with 15,000 volunteers which culminates in a 46 hour no sitting, no sleeping dance marathon. In 2013 alone, the students raised over $12 million dollars. All proceeds go to help kids fight cancer. It is a one of a kind event and, in my opinion, attending THON is the only way to truly understand what Penn State is all about.
  • I got accepted into their School of Business. I like Penn State, except it is too far away from my house.

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