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Pennsylvania State University


Pennsylvania State University, usually called Penn State, is a public, research institution of higher learning that encompasses 24 campuses throughout the state of Pennsylvania, as well as an extensive online presence through Penn State World Campus. It is home to about 100,000 students, 17,000 faculty and staff members, and a global community that spans over 40 countries. The university’s broad mission focuses on instruction, public service, and research. It is committed to providing students with a well-rounded education to help them become diligent leaders with an international outlook. The school was founded in 1855 as one of the country’s first colleges of agricultural science. In 1922, the graduate school was established. In the 1930s, the school founded various undergraduate branch campuses to meet the needs of students affected by the Great Depression. In 1967, the college of medicine and a teaching hospital were founded and the Pennsylvania College of Technology became an affiliate in 1989. In the year 2000, the university merged with Dickinson School of Law, while the online campus graduated its first students. Penn State continues to be the only land-grant university in Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania State University Accreditation Details

The Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools regionally accredits all academics at Pennsylvania State University, including its online programs. Also, many of the university’s online degrees have additional accreditation. The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business accredits the business programs. The Pennsylvania Department of Education approves all education programs. Other accreditations include National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, American Psychological Association, Engineering Technology Accreditation Commission of ABET, and Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

Pennsylvania State University Application Requirements


• Create a MyPennState profile to access online application materials
• Access the online application and note important dates
• Complete profile information
• Provide academic history, including high school transcripts or GED diploma, and any other higher education records
• Provide official standardized test scores
• Provide English proficiency test scores for international students
• Provide desired program information
• Provide activities resume
• Include a personal statement
• Submit nonrefundable application fee of $50 for domestic students and $65 for international students


• Provide documentation of a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution or a postsecondary degree that is comparable to a four-year bachelor’s degree.
• Submit official transcripts from all postsecondary institutions of higher learning
• Submit official graduate test scores, such as the GRE or GMAT
• Submit English proficiency test scores for international students
• Submit statement of purpose, letters of recommendation, and writing samples
• Submit resume
• Submit application for admission and a nonrefundable application fee of $65 for degree admission or $30 fee for nondegree admission.


Same requirements as campus-based programs with the additional of the following technical requirements:

• Windows 2000/XP, Vista, or Windows 7; Mac OS X 10.4 or higher recommended operating system
• 2 GHz or higher processor
• 1 GB of RAM memory
• Sound card, microphone, and speakers
• Monitor capable of a minimum of 1024×768 resolution
• 20GB free disk space of hard drive space
• Latest Angel-supported version of Firefox or Internet Explorer web browser with Cookies, Java, and JavaScript enabled.
• Adobe Reader plugin and flash player
• Microsoft Office, 2003 or later
• Cable or DSL internet connection
• Access to a printer capable of handling graphics

Tuition and Financial Aid

Tuition at Penn State differs greatly by campus, student level, program, and residency. In general, the cost per semester for undergraduate students is around $8,300 for residents and $14,800 for nonresidents. For graduate students, the cost is around $9,400 for residents and $16,000 for nonresidents. For online programs, tuition is calculated at a cost-per-credit rate and it is based on specific programs and number of credits enrolled. The cost per credit for undergraduate online programs is $535 for fewer than 12 credits and a flat rate of $6,506 per semester for 12 or more credits. The cost per credit for graduate online programs is $784 for fewer than 12 credits and a flat rate of $9,408 for 12 or more credits. All programs also require an information technology fee.

Pennsylvania State University participates in a variety of financial aid programs to assist students with paying for their college education. Scholarships, grants, loans, work-study and employment options are available. The scholarships include academic college scholarships, administrative unit scholarships, office of student aid scholarships, outside scholarships, scholarships for residents of Pennsylvania, and scholarships for special groups. The Pennsylvania State Grant, out of state grants, and federal grants are also available. The university participates in both federal and private loan options. The online campus also participates in these financial aid programs for students who meet the eligibility requirements, however the Pennsylvania State Grant is limited for online education programs.

Online Degrees Available

Pennsylvania State University offers a variety of online undergraduate programs including business, finance, criminal justice, nursing, psychology, international politics, and turfgrass science. At the graduate level, it offers unique options including geodesign, enterprise architecture, and renewable energy and sustainability systems.

The geodesign program prepares students for leadership roles in tackling complex environmental issues. Students learn to get the most out of spatial knowledge and establish a unique process in designing communities. The program features comprehensive study in geodesign and geography and requires 35 credits. It offers flexibility to enable students to complete the degree at their own pace. The courses include geodesign history, theory, principles; geode sign models; and geodesign studio. Students are also required to complete a geodesign capstone project.

The enterprise architecture program at Penn State links various disciplines to help students achieve success in their careers. It focuses on business and engineering, information sciences, project management, and the technocentric aspects of enterprise architecture to provide students with a rich and comprehensive learning experience. The courses are flexible and meet the needs of full-time students, enabling them to improve their professional competencies. The program requires the completion of 36 credit hours and the courses include enterprise architecture foundations, enterprise modeling, enterprise information technology architecture, and enterprise architecture leadership.

The renewable energy and sustainability degree helps students make a difference with the emerging, eco-friendly economy throughout the world. The degree prepares students to meet the demands of the renewable energy field. It provides a comprehensive education on related topics and enables students to draw on the know-how and unique outlook of faculty from varied backgrounds. It provides students with a focused curriculum paired with flexibility in a constantly changing area. Students can also specialize in bioenergy, solar energy, wind energy, and sustainability management and policy. The program requires 32 credit hours and the courses include renewable and sustainable energy systems, biomass energy systems, ethical dimensions of renewable energy and sustainability systems, applied energy policy, solar resource assessment and economics, and deterministic models and simulation.

Pennsylvania State University offers a wide variety of programs at both the undergraduate and graduate levels; it is a great choice for both online and campus-based students.