Pennsylvania State University

#105 / #37
Global Influence / U.S. Influence

Public university in Pennsylvania

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 Admissions, Retention, and Graduation Information

Annual Applications Acceptance Graduation Rate Median SAT Score Median ACT Score
95,970 76% 69% 1190 26

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.