Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Erie-Behrend College


Penn State Erie, the Behrend College (Behrend) is located on an 854-acre campus in Erie, Pennsylvania. What began as the Genhill Farm estate of Ernst Behrend later became the University of Pennsylvania’s Behrend College campus when it was donated to the institution in 1948. It started with a class of 146 students in what was then called The Behrend Center. Students could take only their freshman year at the Center, and then had to transfer to another university. In 1959, this campus became the Behrend campus of Penn State.

The Behrend campus became a four-year institution and began awarding graduate degrees in 1973. It was the first Penn State location beyond University Park to earn this accreditation. Since then, it has continued to expand both its academic programs and its physical campus, adding a number of buildings and facilities to meet growing student needs.

Today, Behrend serves over 4,500 students with over 50 academic, administrative, and support buildings. It has a $10.2 million recreation and athletics center, a chapel, an observatory, a baseball and softball complex, a Research and Economic Development Center, and three residence halls.


Information Summary

Ranks 22nd in Pennsylvania and 251st overall. See the entire top 2,000 colleges and universities list
Overall Score (about) 91.4
Total Cost On-Campus Attendance $33,396
Admission Success rate N/A
ACT / SAT 75%ile scores 27 / 1280
Student Ratio Students-to-Faculty 14 : 1
Retention (full-time / part-time) 84% / 25%
Enrollment Total (all students) 4,312


Behrend offers more than 40 academic programs: 34 bachelor’s programs, 2 master’s programs, 6 associate degrees, and continuing education programs for pre-college students, business employees, and community members. Academic programs are divided into the Sam and Irene Black School of Business, the School of Humanities and Social Science, the School of Science, and the School of Engineering.

Students at Behrend enjoy the college’s focus on hands-on learning and useful experiences. The Jack Burke Research and Economic Development Center gives students the opportunity to learn in a high-tech, state-of-the-art environment with its 160,000 foot facility. The Center includes a behavioral research lab, financial services lab, conference centers, and technologically advanced classrooms. Business and engineering operate together within this building, creating a multidisciplinary and complex learning environment.

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First-year students will apply online to Behrend through the Penn State application system. Students should fill out the general form and indicate that Behrend is their first choice within the Penn State University system. In addition to completing the online application, students should also submit a copy of their high school transcript, SAT or ACT scores, and any AP scores along with the required application fee.


Students at Behrend represent a diverse population from more than 30 states and territories and 25 countries. More than 1,500 students live on campus in Behrend’s traditional residence halls, suite-style halls, and apartment buildings. Living on campus is a great and easy way to get involved in student life, meet new people, walk to classes and dining halls, and participate in impromptu campus events. The college offers special housing for honors students and freshmen interest groups.

Behrend students can participate in more than 110 clubs and organizations. Student groups are available for every imaginable set of interests, including honorary societies, service organizations, Greek life, arts groups, and special interest clubs. A student activity fair at the beginning of each year helps freshmen get introduced to the many societies, but students can also join online and throughout the year.

Student Enrollment Demographics

Student Graduation Demographics


The Behrend Lions are an NCAA Division III team with a number of men’s and women’s varsity teams. Students can try out for teams in basketball, softball, tennis, cross country, water polo, and more. Behrend is a member of the Allegheny Mountain College Conference and has won the Conference’s President’s Cup 10 times in the past 11 years.

Students who aren’t on one of the varsity teams can participate through club sports or intramurals. These activities are great ways to get involved with athletic activity while meeting new people and competing on a friendly level.

Local Community

Behrend is located on an 854-acre campus featuring both historic and modern buildings. The western edge borders Wintergreen Gorge, a beautiful arboretum with over 200 species of trees and a number of walking and hiking paths. Students can reach Erie, Pennsylvania, or Lake Erie itself with just a short drive from campus, or travel further for the city hotspots of Pittsburgh, Buffalo, and Cleveland. Other area attractions include a 3,200-acre state park, boating, cross-country skiing, the Erie Art Museum, and the Erie Playhouse. The Peach Street corridor will be a favorite with students for its excellent shopping and dining options.


  • Penn State Behrend Home Page. Web. 26 Sept. 2011.
  • Penn State Behrend Lions Home Page. Web. 26 Sept. 2011.

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