I. The Pennsylvania State University

Academic and Research Units

Penn State University Park

The University Park campus, located in Centre County, is the administrative center of the University. It is the primary site for graduate study and enrolls about half of all Penn State undergraduates. Of the University's approximately 5,300 full-time faculty, about 3,000 are located at this campus, and the total work force numbers approximately 16,000. The University Park campus also houses most of the University's major research facilities, both those within colleges and those contained in intercollege research units. Based on an index developed by the Association of Research Libraries, the University Libraries, with their central administration at the University Park campus, rank among the top ten research libraries in the United States and Canada. The campus also is the home of the Palmer Museum of Art and the Center for the Performing Arts.

Thirteen academic units confer degrees at the University Park campus: the Colleges of Agricultural Sciences, Arts and Architecture, Smeal College of Business, Communications, Earth and Mineral Sciences, Education, Engineering, Health and Human Development, Information Sciences and Technology, the Liberal Arts, Nursing, Eberly College of Science, and the Graduate School. Faculty at all Penn State campuses are members of these academic units.

Penn State Abington

Penn State Abington, founded in 1950, is located in Montgomery County on a beautiful suburban site a few miles north of the Philadelphia city limits. The enrollment includes approximately 3,500 students with a diversity ratio of 35% to 40% each year. In 2010-2011, students came from 19 states and the District of Columbia and from 10 countries. There are approximately 115 full-time faculty members, among whom 40 are in the senior ranks. In July 1997, Penn State Abington became the Abington College of Penn State, joining three other new colleges from the former Commonwealth Educational System. The college currently offers 17 baccalaureate degrees and 2 associate degrees, as well as the first two years of more than 160 baccalaureate degrees available throughout the Penn State system.  The upper-division enrollment exceeds 1,000 students. Two baccalaureate degrees (Psychological and Social Sciences and Corporate Communication) are unique to the Abington College. The college offers the upper-division Schreyer Honors College diploma in addition to its own Honors Program for first- and second-year students. With a thriving undergraduate research program, approximately 40 student clubs and organizations, extensive community service opportunities, internships in the Greater Philadelphia region, international study, and NCAA Division III athletics, Penn State Abington offers a comprehensive collegiate experience in a small college environment.

Penn State Altoona

Penn State Altoona was established in 1939 and became a baccalaureate, degree-granting college in 1997. Its mission is to provide a comprehensive undergraduate educational experience for students seeking a Penn State opportunity in a residential, small-campus environment. Penn State Altoona offers 6 associate and 22 baccalaureate degree programs as well as the first two years of more than 160 baccalaureate degrees available throughout the Penn State system. Over 4,000 students study here. With 16 NCAA Division III sports programs, a distinguished speaker series, an honors program, dozens of student organizations and recreational, student, and arts programs, Penn State Altoona offers a full spectrum of academic, cultural, and athletic opportunities.

The college is extremely active in the community and economic development of south central Pennsylvania, especially with its growing downtown campus. Through its Division of Continuing and Distance Education, Penn State Altoona reaches companies and individuals throughout the region and the United States, especially the Northeast.

Penn State Berks

Penn State Berks, founded in 1958, is located in Berks County on a 258-acre rural site nestled against commercial areas just outside of Reading. There are 19 major buildings, including seven residence halls for 805 students, a bookstore, and a conference center. The enrollment includes approximately 2,800 full- and part-time students; there are about 117 full-time faculty members. The college offers 8 associate degrees and 15 baccalaureate degrees. Our extensive Continuing Education Office also offers a variety of certificate programs. With an NCAA Division III athletic program, nationally ranked club sport programs, and active club and theatre programs, students will find the full college experience at Penn State Berks.

Penn State Erie, The Behrend College

Penn State Erie, The Behrend College, is a residential college offering more than thirty bachelor’s degrees and two master’s degrees. The college’s 4,700 students can also complete the first two years of most other baccalaureate degree programs offered by the University.  Students at Penn State Behrend benefit from the resources and opportunities provided by a major research institution while enjoying the advantages of learning in a smaller setting. The college is comprised of four schools:

  • Black School of Business.  Supported by a $20 million gift, the Sam and Irene Black School of Business offers ten baccalaureate degrees and two master’s degrees in Business Administration and Project Management. The School is accredited by AACSB International.
  • School of Engineering.  The School offers seven baccalaureate degrees in engineering and engineering technology. Students enjoy some of the finest undergraduate engineering facilities in the nation, including a 10,500 square-foot plastics processing lab. All of the School’s programs are accredited by ABET.
  • School of Humanities and Social Sciences.  The School offers eight baccalaureate degrees, including the University’s only BFA in Creative Writing. The breadth of academic disciplines represented in the School provides students with a rigorous education in the traditional liberal arts.
  • School of Science.  The School offers nine baccalaureate degrees, including programs in life sciences, physical sciences, mathematics, math education, computer science, and nursing. Undergraduate students are able to work in newly renovated labs and in cutting-edge teaching environments, such as the SCALE-UP teaching lab.

Land-grant institutions were founded with the idea that higher education could maintain classical and scientific studies, but also should be responsive to the needs of the public. To this end, the college has developed a number of initiatives that attend to community needs, especially in the area of economic, technology, and community development. These outreach- and research-related programs fall into four broad categories that build on the college’s physical and intellectual capacity:

  • Knowledge Park.  A 200-acre area of campus reserved for knowledge-based organizations which are likely to require a strong connection to college resources.
  • Applied research, education, and technology transfer.  Centers and institutes related to such things as economics, radio frequency identification technology, eBusiness, enterprise resource planning, engineering design, and customized education and training.
  • Promoting innovation.  The college is committed to establish industry partnerships to drive the creation and implementation of new or improved products, processes, or services leading to commercial success.
  • Faculty and student research/outreach.  The college promotes research and outreach among its faculty and students.

Penn State Harrisburg

Penn State Harrisburg, located in Middletown, is an undergraduate college and graduate school. The campus enrolls more than 4,200 students and offers 2 associate, 32 baccalaureate, 24 master's, and 3 doctoral degrees as well as certificate programs. Penn State Harrisburg also offers the first two years of study leading to more than 160 Penn State undergraduate majors available throughout the Commonwealth.  Its proximity to the state capital provides rich opportunities for internships, networking, cultural, and other out-of-class experiences. 

University College

The University College comprises fourteen campuses located across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania: Beaver, Brandywine, DuBois, Fayette, Greater Allegheny, Hazleton, Lehigh Valley, Mont Alto, New Kensington, Schuylkill, Shenango, Wilkes-Barre, Worthington Scranton, and York.

Selected baccalaureate programs are offered at University College campuses including programs in business, human development and family studies, information sciences and technology, and science. In addition, the first two years of course work for most of Penn State's baccalaureate majors are offered at all campuses. Also available are a variety of associate degree programs and the opportunity to pursue minors in 14 subjects. Several campuses offer master's degrees in selected subject areas. For more information about the degree programs offered and the organization of the University College, refer to Appendix 1.

College of Information Sciences and Technology

The Penn State College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST) is an interdisciplinary program that integrates computer science, information technology, and system users at the individual, group, organizational, and societal levels. Degrees are offered at the associate, baccalaureate, masters, and Ph.D. levels.

IST offers three undergraduate majors: Information Sciences and Technology (B.A. and B.S.) and Security and Risk Analysis (B.S). Doctoral candidates complete a core curriculum that gives them an integrated view of research methods and issues in information, technology and people; students then specialize their studies to support personal research interests. IST also offers two online Master of Professional Studies degrees in Information Sciences and Homeland Security through Penn State’s World Campus.

Founded in 1999, IST was conceived and built for the Information Age, so that its students and faculty members could help shape the emerging digital, global society. Its educational philosophy is to help develop articulate graduates who can lead, work in teams, and solve real-world problems—women and men poised to address the complex issues that technology has created in our society.

Schreyer Honors College

The Schreyer Honors College is a University-wide honors program for academically superior undergraduate students. It does not confer degrees, but provides a diploma notation. Admission is highly competitive. Schreyer Scholars from all of Penn State's academic colleges pursue enriched honors study and research, as well as a wide selection of international and service opportunities.

Dickinson School of Law

Penn State Dickinson School of Law embraces the University’s mission to improve the lives of the people of Pennsylvania, the nation, and the world through legal teaching, scholarship, and service. Law is the foundation of social order and prosperity. Penn State Dickinson trains students to practice law at the highest level in an increasingly global world through a rigorous course of study including both classroom-based and clinical learning. Our faculty and staff reflect diverse life experiences and ideas. We understand the important role lawyers play in the administration of justice and are committed to meaningful diversity among our students.       

Students with an undergraduate degree may earn a juris doctor degree in a three-year program. Foreign students with a juris doctor equivalent may earn a master of laws degree (LL.M.) in a one-year program. The Law School participates in several joint degree programs including, J.D./M.B.A. and J.D./M.P.A. Courses are offered at University Park in the new Lewis Katz Building and in Carlisle.

Penn State Great Valley School of Graduate Professional Studies

The Penn State Great Valley School of Graduate Professional Studies is a special-mission campus of the University, providing graduate programs and continuing professional education for adults in southeastern Pennsylvania.

Penn State Great Valley offers master's degree programs in Business, Education, Engineering Management, Finance, Information Science, Leadership Development, Software Engineering, and Systems Engineering. The school also offers an array of certificate programs and course work leading to Pennsylvania Department of Education certification. About 1,300 students enroll at this campus each year, making it one of the largest graduate units at the University. More than 500 professionals enroll in noncredit course work each year.

Strategically located on Route 202's high-technology corridor in suburban Philadelphia, the school represents a historic alliance between higher education and business and industry. Penn State Great Valley was the first permanent campus in the nation to be built in a corporate park, and its location among world-class businesses lends a fast-paced, cutting-edge atmosphere to the classes.

College of Medicine

The College of Medicine, which is home to nearly $100 million of funded research, is located on the campus of Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center in Hershey. Primary clinical operations controlled and operated by the Medical Center are located there also, and include a Teaching Hospital; Children's Hospital; Cancer Institute; University Physician's Center; Rehabilitation Center; Heart and Vascular Institute; Sports Medicine Center; Level One Trauma Center (pediatric and adult) and Emergency Medicine Department; Arthritis, Bone, and Joint Center; and Women's Health Center.

The College of Medicine confers the doctor of medicine degree and, in conjunction with the University's Graduate School, offers doctor of philosophy degrees in anatomy, biochemistry and molecular biology, bioengineering, cell and molecular biology, genetics, immunology and infectious diseases, integrative biosciences (options in bioinformatics and genomics and chemical biology), microbiology and immunology, molecular medicine, molecular toxicology, neuroscience, pharmacology, and physiology. In addition, the College of Medicine offers master of science degrees in anatomy, health evaluation sciences, homeland security, laboratory animal medicine, and physiology. The M.D./Ph.D. program provides an opportunity for students interested in academic medicine and research to undertake training in both clinical medicine and fundamental research in a seven-year period. In addition, the Medical Center provides graduate medical education, education for allied health professionals and nurses, and continuing medical education.

Pennsylvania College of Technology

Pennsylvania College of Technology is an affiliate of the University as a wholly owned subsidiary to the Corporation for Penn State, but maintains its own mission, goals, and board of directors. Admission and administrative policies are set by Penn College and may differ from those of Penn State.

Penn College is a special mission affiliate of Penn State, committed to applied technology education. Partnerships with business and industry are a key ingredient of Penn College's "degrees that work." Unique bachelor's and associate degree majors, as well as specialized certificate programs, focus on applied technology and provide students the opportunity to work on projects that combine hands-on experience with theory and management education related to their field of study.

Academic majors at Penn College are offered by the Schools of Business and Computer Technologies, Construction and Design Technologies, Health Sciences, Hospitality, Integrated Studies, Industrial and Engineering Technologies, Natural Resources Management and Transportation Technology.

Classes are held at the Main Campus in Williamsport, the Aviation Center at the Williamsport Regional Airport, the Earth Science Center near Allenwood, and the Advanced Automotive Technology Center in Williamsport.




Penn State Faculty Handbook



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Web page last modified August 4, 2014