Pennsylvania State University

#105 / #37
Global Influence / U.S. Influence
Public university in Pennsylvania
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Pennsylvania State University Featured Rankings

About Pennsylvania State University

By James Barham, PhD

Pennsylvania State University (Penn State) was founded in 1855 as the Farmers’ High School of Pennsylvania.

In 1862, the school’s name was changed to the Agricultural College of Pennsylvania. In 1874 it was changed once again, this time to Pennsylvania State College, at which time a classical liberal arts curriculum was married to the agricultural training program.

In 1953, under the presidency of Milton S. Eisenhower—the brother of former US Army Supreme Commander and then–US President, Dwight D. Eisenhower—the college was upgraded to Pennsylvania State University.

With 23 campuses statewide in addition to the flagship University Park campus, Penn State is the first-tier public university system in Pennsylvania (the University of Pennsylvania being a private institution). With a total student population of more than 96,000, it is one of the largest universities in the US.

Prominent Penn State connected individuals include the following:

  • Poet, Theodore Roethke
  • Novelists, John Barth, Joseph Heller, Alan Furst & Richard Russo
  • Screenwriter, Steven E. de Souza
  • Computer scientists, Jef Raskin & John M. Carroll
  • Physicists, David Bohm, Roger Penrose & Lee Smolin
  • Nobel laureate in chemistry, Paul Berg
  • Climate scientist, Michael E. Mann
  • Plant geneticist, Nina Fedoroff
  • Population geneticist, Masatoshi Nei
  • Anthropologist, Nina Jablonski
  • Radical social critic and Catholic priest, Ivan Illich
  • Online education pioneer, Michael G. Moore
  • Former US Senators Richard Schweiker, Rick Santorum & Kelly Ayotte
  • Prime Minister of Bhutan, Jigme Thinley

According to Wikipedia, The Pennsylvania State University is a public state-related land-grant research university with campuses and facilities throughout Pennsylvania. Founded in 1855 as the Farmers' High School of Pennsylvania, Penn State became the state's only land-grant university in 1863. Today, Penn State is a major research university which conducts teaching, research, and public service. Its instructional mission includes undergraduate, graduate, professional and continuing education offered through resident instruction and online delivery. The University Park campus has been labeled one of the "Public Ivies," a publicly funded university considered as providing a quality of education comparable to those of the Ivy League.

Pennsylvania State University's Online Degrees

BS Accounting
  • Required Credits: 120-128
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: Online
BS Business
  • Required Credits: 120-128
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: Online
BA Economics
  • Required Credits: 120-128
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: Online
BS Finance
  • Required Credits: 120-128
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: Online
BS Nursing (RN-to-BSN)
  • Required Credits: 120-128
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: Online
BS Biobehavioral Health
  • Required Credits: 120-128
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: Online
BS Criminal Justice
  • Required Credits: 120-128
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: Online
BS/BA Energy and Sustainability Policy
  • Required Credits: 120-128
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: Online
BA International Politics
  • Required Credits: 120-128
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: Online
BS Labor and Human Resources
  • Required Credits: 120-128
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: Online
BS Marketing
  • Required Credits: 120-128
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: Online
BS/BA Organizational and Professional Communication
  • Required Credits: 120-128
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: Online
BS/BA Organizational Leadership
  • Required Credits: 120-128
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: Online
BS/BA Political Science
  • Required Credits: 120-128
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: Online
BS/BA Psychology
  • Required Credits: 120-128
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: Online
BS Software Engineering
  • Required Credits: 120-128
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: Online
Master of Professional Accounting
  • Required Credits: 30-36
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: Online
Master of Engineering
Degree Concentrations
  • Acoustics
  • Additive Manufacturing and Design
  • Industrial Engineering
  • Nuclear Engineering
  • Systems Engineering
  • Required Credits: 30-36
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: Online
Master of Artificial Intelligence
  • Required Credits: 30-36
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: Online
Master of Business Administration
  • Required Credits: 30-36
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: Online
Master of Community and Economic Development
  • Required Credits: 30-36
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: Online
Master of Criminal Justice Policy and Administration
  • Required Credits: 30-36
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: Online
MEd in Curriculum and Instruction
  • Required Credits: 30-36
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: Online
Master of Cybersecurity Analytics and Operations
  • Required Credits: 30-36
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: Online
Master of Data Analytics
Degree Concentrations
  • Business Analytics
  • Marketing Analytics
  • Required Credits: 30-36
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: Online
Master of Ecosystem Management and Administration
  • Required Credits: 30-36
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: Online
MEd Educational Leadership
  • Required Credits: 30-36
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: Online
MS in Electrical Engineering
  • Required Credits: 30-36
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: Online
Master of Engineering Management
  • Required Credits: 30-36
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: Online
Master of Enterprise Architecture and Business Transformation
  • Required Credits: 30-36
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: Online
Master of Finance
  • Required Credits: 30-36
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: Online
Master of Geodesign
  • Required Credits: 30-36
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: Online
Master of Geographic Information Systems
  • Required Credits: 30-36
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: Online
Master of Health Policy and Administration
  • Required Credits: 30-36
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: Online
MEd in Higher Education
  • Required Credits: 30-36
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: Online
Master of Homeland Security
Degree Concentrations
  • Agricultural Biosecurity and Food Defense
  • Counterterrorism
  • Cyber Threat Analytics and Prevention
  • Information Security and Forensics
  • Intelligence and Geospatial Analysis
  • Public Health Preparedness
  • Required Credits: 30-36
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: Online
Master of Human Resources and Employment Relations
  • Required Credits: 30-36
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: Online
MS in Information Science
  • Required Credits: 30-36
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: Online
MEd in Lifelong Learning and Adult Education
  • Required Credits: 30-36
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: Online
Master of Marketing Analytics and Insights
  • Required Credits: 30-36
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: Online
MS Mechanical Engineering
  • Required Credits: 30-36
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: Online
MS in Nursing
  • Required Credits: 30-36
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: Online
Master of Nutritional Sciences
  • Required Credits: 30-36
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: Online
Master of Organization Development and Change
  • Required Credits: 30-36
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: Online
Master of Project Management
  • Required Credits: 30-36
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: Online
Master of Psychology of Leadership
  • Required Credits: 30-36
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: Online
Master of Public Administration
  • Required Credits: 30-36
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: Online
Master of Renewable Energy and Sustainability Systems
  • Required Credits: 30-36
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: Online
Master of Software Engineering
  • Required Credits: 30-36
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: Online
MS in Spatial Data Science
  • Required Credits: 30-36
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: Online
MEd Special Education
  • Required Credits: 30-36
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: Online
Master of Strategic Communications
  • Required Credits: 30-36
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: Online
Master of Strategic Management and Executive Leadership
  • Required Credits: 30-36
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: Online
Master of Supply Chain Management
  • Required Credits: 30-36
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: Online
Master of Taxation
  • Required Credits: 30-36
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: Online

Pennsylvania State University Admissions, Retention, and Graduation Information

Annual ApplicationsAcceptanceGraduation RateMedian SAT ScoreMedian ACT Score
95,97076%69%119026

How Much Does Pennsylvania State University Cost To Attend?

How Much Do Pennsylvania State University Graduates Make?

If you graduate from Pennsylvania State University, then you can expect to earn an average of $57,200 per year. You also have a 92% chance of being employed after 10 years.

Pennsylvania State University's Demographics

Demographic data is for full-time, on-campus students.

Where is Pennsylvania State University?

Pennsylvania State University is located at 201 Old Main, University Park PA 16802-1503

What Is Pennsylvania State University Known For?

Pennsylvania State University is known for it's academic work in the following disciplines:

Who Are Pennsylvania State University's Most Influential Alumni?

Pennsylvania State University's most influential alumni faculty include professors and professionals in the fields of Earth Sciences, Psychology, and Computer Science. Here are some of Pennsylvania State University's most famous alumni:

Paul Berg
Paul Berg
An American biochemist, Professor emeritus at Stanford University & Nobel laureate in Chemistry.
Steven Levy
Steven Levy
An American journalist.
Graham Harman
Graham Harman
An American philosopher.
Douglas Comer
An American computer scientist.
Jef Raskin
Jef Raskin
An American computer interface expert .
Benjamin Bloom
Benjamin Bloom
An American psychologist.
Thomas R. Dye
An American political scientist.
John Urschel
A Mathematician, former NFL offensive lineman.
Iris Marion Young
Iris Marion Young
An American philosopher .
Vance Packard
An American journalist.
Harry J. Anslinger
A 1st Commissioner of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics .
Guion Bluford
Guion Bluford
An American astronaut.

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