Our History

As Pennsylvania's only land-grant university, Penn State has a broad mission of teaching, research, and public service. But that mission was not so grandly conceived in 1855, when the Commonwealth chartered it as one of the nation's first colleges of agricultural science, with a goal to apply scientific principles to farming.

Leadership and Mission

Penn State is a leader in higher education and carries out its mission of teaching, research, and service with pride and focus on the future.

This is Penn State

Twenty-four campuses; 17,000 faculty and staff; 100,000 students; a teaching hospital with 1 million patient visits a year; over one-half million active alumni; an online World Campus that empowers anyone to pursue an education—anytime, anywhere; and the largest student-run philanthropic organization on the planet.

That's what makes Penn State ... Penn State.

Inspiration meets perspiration ... here. Head meets heart ... here. On our campuses, across our country, around the world.


Whether you’re interested in a Penn State campus down the street or across the state, visit us soon. We’d love to see you.   


From art to artifacts, from basketball to bugs, University Park campus houses six museums as well as several art galleries.


With over $800 million in annual research expenditures, Penn State ranks among the top 20 U.S. research universities, and is one of only two institutions in the nation accorded land grant, sea grant, sun grant, and space grant status.   

Business and Industry

Do you own or run a business? Are you interested in getting help with research or hiring? Penn State is a reliable source of information and innovative graduates who are workforce ready.


Penn Staters gain the global perspective needed to become citizens of the world. The University is committed to providing students with an impressive array of opportunities to redefine boundaries by studying abroad, sharing cultures, and changing lives.


Subscribe to Penn State University RSS