Pennsylvania State University--University Park is a public institution that was founded in 1855. It has a total undergraduate enrollment of 40,085, its setting is urban, and the campus size is 8,556 acres. It utilizes a semester-based academic calendar. Pennsylvania State University--University Park's ranking in the 2015 edition of Best Colleges is National Universities, 48. Its in-state tuition and fees are $17,502 (2014-15); out-of-state tuition and fees are $30,452 (2014-15).
There is rarely a dull moment on the Pennsylvania State University—University Park campus, also known as Happy Valley. With around 950 clubs and organizations, there are broad opportunities to get involved in campus life. The school mascot is the Nittany Lion, and teams compete in the Division I Big 10 Conference. The football team plays in Beaver Stadium, which is one of the largest arenas in North America with room for more than 107,000 fans. Penn State is home to a thriving Greek system with nearly 90 sororities and fraternities. About 15,000 students volunteer in THON, the largest student-run philanthropy in the world. Students raise money for pediatric cancer research and awareness throughout the year and participate in a 46-hour dance marathon - no sitting or sleeping allowed. Freshmen must live in one of five housing areas on campus. Across the street from campus is State College, a bustling small town with an array of coffee shops, restaurants, shops and bars populated mostly by students. Surrounded by mountains, the school is also close to skiing, snowboarding and hiking opportunities.
The land-grant institution, which originally was offered state land in exchange for agricultural courses and research, offers highly ranked graduate programs through the College of Education and the College of Engineering. Undergraduates produce the Daily Collegian newspaper, and students get free daily copies of The New York Times, USA Today and Centre Daily Times - the local paper - through the school’s Newspaper Readership Program, the first of its kind. Notable alumni include John Cappelletti, a Heisman Trophy winner and former NFL player; and Valerie Plame Wilson, former CIA agent and author.
Penn State is the flagship public university of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, with an historic land-grant mission of teaching, research and service. The university enrolls more than 98,000 students at 24 campus locations statewide and the Penn State World Campus, including more than 46,000 at the University Park campus in State College. Penn State has a campus within practical commuting distance of virtually every Pennsylvanian. Many students start their degree programs at one of nineteen Penn State undergraduate campuses across the state and complete their requirements at University Park. The World Campus delivers more than 60 degree and professional programs online to nearly 14,000 students a year, including military personnel serving overseas. The university also holds a unique responsibility for outreach and engages in collaborative activities with industrial, educational and agricultural partners around the world to disseminate and apply knowledge. Penn State Outreach programs reach more than a million households in Pennsylvania each year. The university also offers degree programs at the College of Medicine at Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, and Penn State Dickinson School of Law at the University Park and Carlisle campuses. Boasting one of the nation's largest graduate schools, the university is a leader in engaging students in landmark research. More than $2 million in research activity takes place at Penn State each day. Opportunities for discovery extend beyond the graduate school, as Penn State undergraduates have unique opportunities to work with world-class faculty conducting significant research that advances and serves the nation in important ways. Penn State's research and creative initiatives, powered by more than $800 million in annual expenditures, range across all disciplines. Internationally recognized work is done is such diverse areas as alternative energy, nanomaterials, infectious diseases, and child psychology. With fundamental science as a foundation, translating innovative ideas and technologies into practices that accelerate economic development and improve the quality of life is a top priority. As evidence, the University's research expenditures supported by industry and private partners have exceeded $100 million in each of the last six years. Penn State's Alumni Association has nearly 173,000 members, making it the nation's largest dues-paying alumni organization, with more than 275 chapters, societies and interest groups worldwide.