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777 West Harrisburg Pike
Middletown, PA 17057-4846
p. 717-948-6452
w. hbg.psu.edu/

Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Harrisburg

Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Harrisburg Rating: 4.4/5 (13 votes)

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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:

  • Behavioral Sciences and Education
  • Business Administration
  • Humanities
  • Public Affairs
  • Science, Engineering, and Technology
  • 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.

    Most Popular Fields of Study


    Admissions to the spring session open in January while fall session applications open in March. More details can be found through the college’s academic calendar.

    Admission requirements at Penn State Harrisburg are the same as in other colleges of the Pennsylvania State University. Penn State Harrisburg is a selective college, just like the main university.

    Freshmen Students

    To apply as a first year student, students must provide high school transcripts, SAT or ACT scores, and ACT writing scores. A minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale is required. Students should also attach an essay and a personal statement highlighting extracurricular activities and additional academic qualifications.

    Transfer Students

    Penn State Harrisburg accepts transfer students from either Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education universities or Pennsylvania community colleges. Students are advised to use the college’s transfer credit tool to determine how credits will be transferred.

    Students who have completed more than one semester of course work are not required to submit high school transcripts or GED scores.

    International Students

    To apply at Penn State Harrisburg, international students are required to provide proof of English proficiency by taking TOEFL or IELTS. It is mandatory to attach proof of secondary and post secondary education and SAT scores.

    Please include copies of passport, visa, and I-94 form.

    Graduate Students

    Graduate program requirements vary depending on the program you are applying to. All programs require GRE scores, with the exception of Master of Education programs which may require GMAT or PRAXIS results. All applications must be accompanied with 2-3 letters of recommendation, a personal statement and work experience documents (if applicable).

    Financial Aid

    Federal financial aid is available in the form of Pell grants, Supplemental Educational Opportunity grant, Perkins loans, Diversity grant, and work study programs. To be eligible for federal financial aid, students must first complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid at FAFSA.

    In addition to the FAFSA, another application form must be completed for Penn State scholarships and submit a personal autobiographical essay. A minimum GPA of 3.0 is required to apply for institutional scholarships.

    Among the most prestigious scholarships at Penn State Harrisburg is the Board of Advisers Graduate Scholarship. Others include Graduate School Doctoral Fellowships, Bunton-Waller Graduate Scholar Awards, and Capital College Graduate Assistantships.

    Students are also encouraged to apply for scholarships like Blue Sky Award, Hershey Foods Graduate Scholarship, Kunkle Scholarship, and others.

    Student Financial Aid Details

    Ranks 1729th for the average student loan amount.
    Secrets to getting the best scholarships and financial aid in Pennsylvania.


    As of 2011, approximately 400 students live on campus at Penn State Harrisburg’s Village Housing Complex. Four apartment buildings provide residence for upper class students. Upper class apartments include four single occupancy bedrooms, a common living room, a fully functional kitchen and two bathrooms. First year students are housed in a residence hall style building with study areas and lounge rooms at each floor.

    Dining areas at the campus include a food court called the Stacks Market and a bistro style café, Biscotti’s Coffee Bar. Students can purchase meal plans to eat at these places.

    At Penn State Harrisburg, students benefit from the academically challenging learning environment and the ability to participate in numerous extracurricular activities which are organized by student clubs and organizations.

    Greek fraternities on campus include Alpha Sigma Lambda, Chi Alpha, Kappa Beta Gamma, Psi Chi and several others. In addition to this, multiple clubs like the Black Student Union, Residence Life Council, Running Club, American Studies etc. also help students with peer to peer learning and networking.

    Recreational facilities are present at Capital Union Building and Aquatics Center.

    Student Enrollment Demographics

    Student Graduation Demographics


    Athletic teams at Penn State Harrisburg are members of the National Collegiate Athletic Association. Varsity teams compete in the North Atlantic Conference and North Eastern Athletic Conference. The teams play in the official school colors of navy and white.

    Men’s sports include:

  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Cross country
  • Soccer
  • Tennis
  • Women teams play basketball, cross country, soccer, softball, tennis, and volleyball.

    Penn State Harrisburg Fitness Facility includes a state of the art gymnasium which has basketball, badminton, and volleyball courts. The weight training room is equipped with dumbbells, treadmills, and chest press machines.

    A three mile fitness trail lines the campus and is open from dawn to dusk.


  • Bernard Hershberger, owner Stoltz Manufacturing
  • Camilla Robinson, ACJS award winner
  • Bibliography

    • Penn State Harrisburg. Penn State Harrisburg. Web. June 14, 2011.
    • Pennsylvania State University. Pennsylvania State University. Web. June 14, 2011.

    Information Summary

    Ranks 32nd in Pennsylvania and 439th overall
    See the entire top 2,000 colleges and universities list

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    Contributed Photos

    Pennsylvania State University Penn State Harrisburg_building :: Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Harrisburg building :: Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Harrisburg building :: Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Harrisburg

    Campus Crime Statistics

    Ranks 0th in Pennsylvania and 177th overall on StateUniversity.com‘s Safe School Index
      Incidents per 100 Students
    Aggravated assault N/A N/A
    Murder & Non-Negligent Manslaughter N/A N/A
    Rape 1 0.02
    Robbery N/A N/A
    Arson N/A N/A
    Burglary N/A N/A
    Larceny N/A N/A
    Vehicle theft N/A N/A
    Arrest 3 0.07

    Local Crime Statistics

      Incidents per 100 People
    Aggravated assault 11 0.12
    Murder & Non-Negligent Manslaughter N/A N/A
    Forcible Rape 4 0.04
    Robbery 4 0.04
    Arson N/A N/A
    Burglary 17 0.19
    Larceny 120 1.34
    Vehicle theft 6 0.07

    Demographics – Main Campus and Surrounding Areas

    Reported area around or near Middletown, PA 17057-4846
    Surrounding communityLarge suburb (inside urban area but outside city, pop. over 250,000)
    Total Population21,556 (18,331 urban / 3,225 rural)
    Households8,676 (2.39 people per house)
    Median Household Income$40,283
    Families5,769 (2.93 people per family)

    Carnegie Foundation Classification

    Master's Colleges and Universities (larger programs)
    UndergraduateProfessions plus arts & sciences, some graduate coexistence
    GraduateDoctoral, professional dominant
    Undergraduate PopulationFull-time four-year, selective, higher transfer-in
    EnrollmentHigh undergraduate
    Size & SettingSmall four-year, primarily nonresidential

    General Characteristics

    Title IV EligibilityParticipates in Title IV federal financial aid programs
    Highest offeringDoctoral degree
    Calendar SystemSemester
    Years of college work requiredN/A
    Variable Tuition
    Religious AffiliationN/A
    Congressional District4211

    Special Learning Opportunities

    Distance LearningN/A
    ROTC — Army / Navy / Air Force  —   /   / 
    Study Abroad
    Weekend College
    Teacher Certification

    Student Tuition Costs and Fees

    Ranks 751st for total cost of attendance
      In District In State Out of State
    Effective as of 2014-09-19
    FT Undergraduate Tuition $13,338 $13,338 $20,400
    FT Undergraduate Required Fees $902 $902 $902
    PT Undergraduate per Credit Hour $556 $556 $850
    FT Graduate Tuition $18,270 $18,270 $24,348
    FT Graduate Required Fees $902 $902 $902
    PT Graduate per Credit Hour $761 $761 $1,015
    Total Cost of Attendance — On-Campus $30,840 $30,840 $37,902
    Total Cost of Attendance — Off-Campus w/out Family $30,840 $30,840 $37,902
    Total Cost of Attendance — Off-Campus with Family $20,040 $20,040 $27,102

    Student Tuition Cost History and Trends

    Prior year cost comparison
      In District In State Out of State
    Published Tuition & Fees $13,628 $13,900 $13,628 $13,900 $20,400 $20,794
      Cost (regardless of residency)
    Effective as of 2014-09-19
    Books & Supplies $1,536 $1,568
    On-Campus – Room & Board $9,432 $9,702
    On-Campus – Other Expenses $4,050 $4,140
    Off-Campus w/out Family – Room & Board $9,432 $9,702
    Off-Campus w/out Family – Other Expenses $4,050 $4,140
    Off-Campus with Family – Room & Board $3,906 $4,104

    Admission Details

    Effective as of 2014-09-19
    Application Fee RequiredN/A
    Undergraduate Application Fee$50
    Graduate Application Fee$65
    First Professional Application FeeN/A
    Applicants 2,792 (1,502 male / 1,290 female)
    Admitted 2,232 (1,245 male / 987 female)
    Admission rate 80%
    First-time Enrollment 628 (362 male / 266 female)
    FT Enrollment 625 (360 male / 265 female)
    PT Enrollment 3 (2 male / 1 female)
    Total Enrollment4,441

    Admission Criteria

     = Required,   = Recommended,   = Neither required nor recommended
    Open Admissions
    Secondary School GPA / Rank / Record  /   / 
    College Prep. Completion
    Formal competency demoN/A
    Admission test scores
    Other testsN/A

    Admission Credits Accepted

    Dual Credit
    Life Experience
    Advanced Placement (AP)

    Athletics - Association Memberships

    Sports / Athletic Conference Memberships NCAA
    NCAA Basketball Conference Division FBS Independents
    NCAA Baseball Conference Division FBS Independents
    NCAA Track & Field Conference Division FBS Independents

    ACT Test Admission

    969th for 75pctl scores
    Applicants submitting ACT results 5%
    Verbal scores (25/75 %ile) 20 / 24
    Math scores (25/75 %ile) 20 / 27
    Cumulative scores (25/75 %ile) 22 / 24

    SAT Test Admission

    655th for 75pctl scores
    Applicants submitting SAT results 82%
    Verbal scores (25/75 %ile) 440 / 550
    Math scores (25/75 %ile) 460 / 600
    Cumulative scores (25/75 %ile) 900 / 1150

    Student Services

    Remedial Services
    Academic / Career Counseling
    PT Cost-defraying Employment
    Career Placement
    On-Campus Day Care
    Library Facility

    Student Living

    First-time Room / Board Required
    Dorm Capacity431
    Meals per WeekN/A
    Room Fee$6,570
    Board Fee$4,900

    Student Completion / Graduation Demographics

    Total 20 80 43 39 1 835 38 1,076
    Adult and Continuing Education and Teaching 3 3
    American/United States Studies/Civilization 23 23
    Applied Mathematics, General 1 6 7
    Business Administration and Management, General 7 1 2 31 2 45
    Business/Commerce, General
    Civil Engineering, General 1 27 1 29
    Clinical Psychology 1 8 10
    Community Psychology 1 1 9 12
    Computer and Information Sciences, General 4 1 1 1 16 1 24
    Creative Writing 3 3
    Criminal Justice/Safety Studies 5 7 1 41 2 57
    Curriculum and Instruction 1 1 69 2 73
    Electrical and Electronics Engineering 2 1 7 16 4 31
    Elementary Education and Teaching 1 29 1 32
    Engineering Science 1 2 3
    English Language and Literature, General 1 1 17 2 22
    Environmental Engineering Technology/Environmental Technology
    Environmental/Environmental Health Engineering 1 1 2 15 19
    Finance, General 2 3 3 2 24 2 36
    Health Teacher Education 2 27 29
    Health/Health Care Administration/Management 1 1 1 17 20
    Homeland Security, Law Enforcement, Firefighting and Related Protective Services, Other 3 3
    Human Development and Family Studies, General 4 2 2 13 21
    Human Resources Management/Personnel Administration, General 1 1 1 3
    Humanities/Humanistic Studies 1 14 15
    Information Science/Studies 5 1 1 7 14
    International Business/Trade/Commerce 1 2 4 4 27 40
    Liberal Arts and Sciences/Liberal Studies 1 7 8
    Management Information Systems, General 2 13 16
    Management Science 1 4 46 1 53
    Management Sciences and Quantitative Methods, Other 2 1 3
    Marketing/Marketing Management, General 1 6 1 2 19 1 32
    Mechanical Engineering 1 3 1 3 53 3 64
    Multi-/Interdisciplinary Studies, Other 1 8 1 10
    Organizational Behavior Studies 1 1 1 14 17
    Psychology, General 3 6 1 39 51
    Public Administration 5 6 1 2 33 49
    Public Policy Analysis, General 3 1 14 3 21
    Reading Teacher Education 21 21
    Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse 4 1 2 52 3 63
    Social Studies Teacher Education 1 8 1 10
    Sociology 4 5 1 10
    Speech Communication and Rhetoric 8 1 28 1 39
    Structural Engineering 1 1 1 16 2 21
    Teacher Education and Professional Development, Specific Subject Areas, Other 3 9 1 13
    Teaching English as a Second or Foreign Language/ESL Language Instructor 1 1

    Faculty Compensation / Salaries

    Ranks 632nd for the average full-time faculty salary.
    Effective as of 2014-09-20
    Tenure system N/A
    Average FT Salary $82,368 ($86,010 male / $71,278 female)
    Number of FT Faculty 228 (139 male / 89 female)
    Number of PT Faculty 355
    FT Faculty Ratio 0.6 : 1
    Total Benefits $4,077,775

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