Pennsylvania State University

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Updated August 6, 2020

Pennsylvania State University, known simply as Penn State to most people in America, is Pennsylvania's only land grant university. The school has always had a broad mission to educate teachers, researchers and public servants.

In 1855, Centre County became the home of a new college due to a gift from James Irvin, a farmer and ironmaster from Bellefonte. Drawing on the scientific education he received in Europe, founding President Evan Pugh planned a curriculum that included both theoretical studies with practical applications. In 1862, Pugh was one of the leading champions of the Morrill Land-Grant Act, which allowed the federal government to sell lands and invest the proceeds, using the income to support colleges that would teach agriculture and mechanical arts.

It was not until 1880, however, that the college actually begin offering programs under the broad mandate issued by the Morrill Act. Since that time, curriculums in engineering, science, liberal arts and others flourished at the school with a cooperative extension program added in the early 1900s. During the Great Depression, Penn State established branch campuses, offering undergraduate programs to students who were location-bound due to the economy.

Today, Penn State has enrollment of more than 95,900 students and has awarded more than 22, 200 degrees. U.S. News and World Report ranks Penn State as one of the best graduate schools in the country. In addition, their online program has been ranked as the number one school for bachelor's programs and fourth best for online graduate education programs.

Pennsylvania State University Accreditation Facts

Penn State is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. In addition, many specialized agencies and organizations have accredited specific programs at Penn State. Some of these accreditation's include Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, American Psychological Association, National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education(NCATE), Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP)and more.

Pennsylvania State University Application Requirements

Undergraduate students with no prior college credits must have successfully completed four units of English, three units of social studies, three units of science, three units of math and two units in a world language at the high school level. Some programs require additional math courses beyond algebra and geometry at the high school level. Students should discuss the admission requirements with an admissions counselor prior to enrolling.

Graduate students must submit an application for admission as well as official copies of transcripts from all colleges and universities attended. Students who wish to enter a doctorate program may have additional requirements for admission and are urged to contact an admissions counselor before applying.

Pennsylvania State University Tuition and Financial Aid

Pennsylvania residents pay $16,572 for full-time tuition for undergraduate programs and $23,080 for graduate programs. Non-Pennsylvania residents pay $29,522 for full time undergraduate programs and $36,962 for graduate programs.

Financial aid is available in the form of grants and scholarships. In addition, students may be eligible to receive Federal Direct Stafford, Parent PLUS, Graduate PLUS and Perkins Loans subsidized by the federal government or loans from private sources. There are also federal work study positions available both on and off campus for students who qualify. Penn State also accepts veterans benefits and employer-funded tuition.

Pennsylvania State University Online Degrees Available

Educational Leadership

The Educational Leadership graduate program is offered through Penn State's World Campus, offering students two emphasis areas – Teacher Leader and School Leader. The Teacher Leader program allows students to continue teaching while pursuing additional roles, such as lead teacher, mentor teacher or department head. Students develop skills in learning theory, teacher leadership, teacher inquiry and curriculum design. The School Leader program meets requirements in the state of Pennsylvania for certification as a school principal. Only Pennsylvania residents may apply for the School Leadership program. The Teacher Leadership program is open to educators in other states. The program costs $784 per credit hour and is Act 48-approved so that credit hours may count toward professional development. The program is designed for K-12 teachers who want to broaden their leadership potential and renew their passion working in public education.

Engineering Management

The Engineering Management program at Penn State is a master's level program that prepares those who have already mastered technical engineering skills for leadership positions. Students who have an undergraduate degree in engineering, mathematics or physics and have a minimum of three years' experience in the engineering industry are eligible to apply for this program. The engineering programs at Penn State have consistently ranked highly among leading engineering programs in the country. This cohort-based approach creates rich collaboration, interaction and integration of materials through 33-credit hours of instruction. Students develop problem solving skills related to decision and risk, engineering management strategy, financial studies, organizational behavior and technical project management. The cost of the program is $930 per credit hour.

Psychology of Leadership

The Master's level program in Psychology of Leadership is designed for working professionals who seek to enhance their clinical psychology careers. Students learn to support organizational goals and objectives while applying strategies for leadership and motivation of staff. The program focuses on the dynamics between leaders and followers, based on well-supported psychological research and theory. The program is based in research, but also emphasizes the application of learned knowledge in general. Students develop skills and knowledge regarding the various aspects and techniques of leadership as well as how those aspects enhance motivation, attitude and performance. The program does not enhance skills in budgeting or business strategy but emphasizes how people and social situations in the work setting have an impact on the achievement of goals. The cost for the program is $784 per credit hour and students must successfully complete 33 credit hours.

Penn State has been a leader in distance learning since the 1930s when they created satellite campuses to provide higher education to those who were unable to travel to the main campus due to the economy. They have continued expanding their distance learning with the addition of their online programs that allow adult learners to advance their education while meeting work, family and social obligations. Today, Penn State offers four associate degree programs, 24 bachelor's degree programs, 40 master's degree programs and a Doctorate of Nursing program in a completely online format. In addition, Penn State offers many undergraduate and graduate certificates online.

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