Pennsylvania State University Reviews
Student & Graduate Reviews (67)
The Pennsylvania State University is one I would recommend to everyone. I was a bit worries before I started classes my Freshman year because I knew it was a huge university so I thought that it might be hard to feel a part of it. However, with so many clubs and extracurricular activities available, this university makes it very easy to make a big campus seem much smaller. I can honestly say my years at Penn State have been the best 4 years of my life and I wouldn't change any part of it.
If you want to graduate with a high probability of getting a job or going to graduate school in the STEM fields, then Penn State is it. When I went to school, I got into one of the top 3 biochemistry programs in the country at my time and the curriculum was one of the most rigorous I have ever gone through. Nevertheless, I graduated in two years with my Bachelor's in Biochemistry and a minor in Chemistry. So let me list a couple of things that has a plus on its end. Pros 1. Diverse programs/Academics Penn State, because of the size of its campus and the size of its University, has one of the most diverse and broad range of majors out there. If you are looking for something specific, then Penn State probably has that major. Not Satisfied? You can even come up with your own program and submit it through your college for approval. I know students there that had devised their own programs and ended up graduating with multiple degrees. It's also possible to graduate with two or three degrees since some of the programs intersect and the University is good about letting you graduate with two or three degrees, so you get the most bang for your buck. I graduated with a degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology with the Biochemistry Option and even had time to add in a minor in Chemistry. If I had wanted to I could have stayed an extra semester and done a minor in physics. Of course, it's what you make of it. If you're driven and self-sufficient then it's not a problem for you to go out there and do the work that you need to do to get that degree and harness the opportunities that are there. But if you're one of those people who needs to be told to do something, then this large University with large class sizes might not be it for you. It also boasts one of the largest alumni base ever. So if you are looking for networking opportunities, this University would be ideal. I've known several people, (including myself) that have had the opportunity to get a job just because the one running the place has graduated from Penn State. We're just everywhere. 2. Diversity No debate about this. The campus is super diverse. There are a ton of people from international countries as well as all over the country. There is no shortage of exchange of ideas and cultures here and there is virtually a club for every cultural group on campus. They even have a sorority and fraternity for Asians and South Asian groups. The demographic is not catered to one marginalized group and that actually makes the campus an exciting place to mingle and party. 3. The College Town Rated one of the best college towns in the country. It has three streets of over 40 bars and three night clubs. During the football games it gets hectic and you have alumni coming into town as well for events so you have no shortage of fun. It's what you make of this. The area around it is called Happy Valley for a reason. A lot of people report that it is one of the happiest places around. If you're not into the partying scene then there is always something to do on campus or in some of the niche places on campus. You just have to look for it. It won't come to you. Everyone is always looking out for each other and people are generally nice. Cons 1. Large Class Sizes The introductory courses do have large class sizes, so you can probably get lost in a sea of 400 people in your calculus class with also less access to professors. But as you progress into your harder classes it tends to get smaller. So just watch out for that. A lot of those introductory courses, you'll have to rely on your own since there is less access to professors who are likely to answer your question unless you bug them during their office hours. 2. Not Disabilities Friendly This campus is not disabilities friendly, at all. It's a large campus and sometimes it might take you 15 minutes to get from one classroom to another, so just be aware of that. Take care of yourself and don't get injured so easily. I've known people who have struggled in that respect. In that case, I would recommend seeing if there are online versions of the class you can take so you don't have to be running around campus. 3. Exams are Multiple Choice for Most So this one I did not like. Because of the large class sizes, a lot of the classes only distribute multiple choice exams and these aren't just easy ones. These are very tricky ones. Cheating can become widespread as a result and these exams do not showcase what you know. Most of these classes do not have homework or anything of the sort so these exams are the only way that determine your grade, which can be detrimental if you are not a good exam taker.
My experience at Penn State involved attending a smaller PSU campus for my first two years, then attending the main campus for my last two. This decision allowed me to develop more personal relationships with students with professors while adapting to a college environment. College has allowed me to develop as an adult. To learn about responsibility and what it's like to live on your own. The networking opportunities also has provided me with some great new friendships. Anyone considering going to Penn State won't have any issues with experiencing a social atmosphere!
I attended the online Penn State World Campus to obtain my Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing (BSN). Although I was a registered nurse, the program prepared and reiterated that I was not just a registered nurse but a professional healthcare worker. Every paper written and all communication had to exemplify diction of a professional. While taking classes and working full time, I was able to use what I've been learning to become a more professional nurse. I became a better advocate for my patients. I improved my time management skills. Lastly, I carried myself like a professional nurse. Had I not attended Penn State's World Campus, I don't think I would be the nurse I am today.
A wonderful place that feels like family. Award winning sports, philanthropy, and education
Attending Penn State was one of the best decisions I've ever made. You won't find another school with so much pride and school spirit. Despite being a huge college, the professors care and will make sure you get the help you need if you ask. I made lifelong friendships at Penn State. On top of that, people are always impressed when I tell them where I went to school and the huge alumni always an asset.
I went to a smaller Penn State branch campus in DuBois, PA. I had an excellent experience there with small-sized classes, individual attention, and all the benefits of the Penn State education system. A major benefit of Penn State DuBois was that it made you feel recognized as an individual and not just a number (which tends to be the opposite case with larger campuses). There were also many clubs and activities to participate in on campus.
I don't feel as if any program can truly prepare you for a classroom experience but this was the best it could be.
Penn State is an excellent university. I was able to maintain my military life style and continue my education. Professors are rigorous yet extremely engaging and willing to help. This is definitely not a university for those seeking an easy degree. There are plenty of opportunities to interact with the faculty and other students. I was able to work in two different research labs and improved tremendously my skills and network. If you are willing to put in the work this is definitely an university to be proud of.
Penn State has a great atmosphere. There are a wide variety of academic offerings, and the social culture is great! There is something for everyone!