The Pennsylvania State University was founded as the Pennsylvania State Agricultural Society in 1851 to provide agricultural education to the masses. The society kept adding new programs and finally renamed itself as the Pennsylvania State College in 1874.
During the Great Depression, the college opened campuses at multiple locations in the state to provide educational provisions for students who couldn’t afford to attend a residential campus. It was during this time the Harrisburg campus was also founded.
Penn State Harrisburg offers more than 30 bachelor’s programs and 24 master’s programs. There are also a host of certificate and diploma courses that students can choose from. Currently, the Penn State Harrisburg campus has five schools:
Students can take the first two years of learning at Harrisburg and then transfer to any college under the Penn State educational system or continue their program at Harrisburg. However, the college does offer master degrees and doctoral programs. Joint degree programs are available through partnership with Penn State Dickinson School of Law and Penn State College of Medicine.
The Harrisburg campus is among the top 50 public universities according to the 2011 U.S. News and World Report. It is accredited by the Middle States Association.
Students can also take certificate programs in business management, food safety, and presentation skills. All these are campus programs which are taught via a classroom model (evening classes and weekend programs) at the Adult Learning Center.
A 115,000-square foot state of the art library was added to the campus in the year 2000. It boasts of an art gallery, a 24/7 cyber café, and a reading room dedicated to Holocaust studies.