The Pennsylvania State University Acceptance Rate, Admission, SAT, ACT, Tuition, Rankings

We have provided reliable information regarding the admission and acceptance rate at the Pennsylvania State University. In this article, you will discover the admission requirements for first-year, international, and transfer applicants.

The Pennsylvania State University is one of the earliest public research institutions in America, and it also has one of the largest undergraduate and graduate students. Since its inception, Penn State has become one of the well-recognized public institutions worldwide. It offers more than 275 undergraduate majors and over 300 graduate and professional degree programs in various fields of study.

Penn State provides a wide range of opportunities to many individuals to acquire an education irrespective of where or who they are. The university offers continuing education and bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate online degree programs.

The information in this article provides guidelines for a successful application and the academic requirements for admission into Penn State.

The Pennsylvania State University Acceptance Rate

About the Pennsylvania State University

The Pennsylvania State University is a public research institution in the state of Pennsylvania. Penn State was founded in 1885 initially as the Farmers High School of Pennsylvania. In 1863, the university became the only land grant institution in the state of Pennsylvania, providing education to a few enrolled students. 

Over the years, Penn State has emerged as a top public research institution with global recognition for providing excellent education and academic research. The Pennsylvania State University comprises 24 campuses across Pennsylvania.

The University Park is Penn State’s main campus which holds over 45,000 undergraduate and graduate students. Programs offered at Penn State cover undergraduate, graduate, and professional fields of study in engineering, medicine, liberal arts, law, etc.

Penn State is considered a Public Ivy due to its quality of education, and when it comes to research, the university’s research expenditures are estimated at $ 1 billion.

Also Read: University of Pennsylvania Acceptance Rate, Admissions, SAT/ACT, GPA, Tuition

List of Colleges and Schools at Penn State

Below are the 18 colleges and schools at the Pennsylvania State University.

  • College of Agricultural Sciences
  • College of Arts and Architecture
  • Smeal College of Business 
  • Donald P. Bellisario College of Communication
  • College of Earth and Mineral Sciences 
  • College of Education 
  • College of Engineering 
  • College of Health and Human Development
  • College of Information Sciences and Technology
  • School of International Affairs
  • Dickson Law 
  • Penn State Law
  • College of Liberal Arts 
  • College of Medicine
  • Nese College of Nursing 
  • Eberly College of Science 
  • Schreyer Honors College 
  • Division of Undergraduate Studies

The Pennsylvania State University Rankings

Here are the latest state and national rankings of Penn State, according to 

National Rankings

  • #5 Best College for Information Technology in America 
  • #7 Best Greek Life College in America 
  • #9 College with the Best Student Life in America 
  • #11 Top Party School in America 
  • #11 Best College for Criminal Justice in America 
  • #13 Best College for Kinesiology and Physical Therapy in America 
  • #17 Best College for Communication in America 
  • #17 Best College for Sports Management in America 

State Ranking 

  • #1 College with the Best Student Life in Pennsylvania 
  • #1 Top Party School in Pennsylvania 
  • #1 Best College Campuses in Pennsylvania 
  • #1 Best College for Education in Pennsylvania 
  • #1 Top Public University in Pennsylvania 
  • #1 Best Big College in Pennsylvania 
  • #2 Best College Athletics in Pennsylvania 
  • #2 Best College for Student-Athletes in Pennsylvania

Student Life at Penn State

The Pennsylvania State University has one of the best student life full of experiences and opportunities across all campuses. There are clubs and students organization on campus to participate in. Support services are also available for undergraduate students to help them succeed in achieving academic excellence. 

The Penn State housing system accommodates the on-campus diverse community where the students get to live and learn from each other perspectives.

Penn State prioritized the safety of every student with campus police on steady patrol to ensure the reduction of crimes and accidents. If you are passionate about athletics and recreation activities, Penn State has lots of fun-loving opportunities for you on campus. 

The Pennsylvania State University Acceptance Rate 

The Pennsylvania State University receives an average of 70,000 applications across all campuses each year. In the last admission cycle, the Pennsylvania State University received 78,508 freshman applications, and the acceptance rate admitted 58% of those applications. The first-year applicants were vying for a place in the class of 2025, and fortunately, 45,233 of them were successful. 

The Pennsylvania State University over the past few years has sustained an acceptance rate considerably less selective, admitting more than 50% of its overall applicant.

Penn State’s overall application from all campuses is expected to exceed 90,000 in years to come, and its admit-rate is projected to drop to 49%.

Also Read: 30 Affordable Online Master’s Degree Programs

GPA Requirement

The middle 50% of the newly admitted at Penn State had a GPA range of 3.59-3.93. The students were admitted into the University Park campus for the class of 2026.

Here are the GPA stats of the newly admitted students at Penn State.

Academic ScaleUniversity ParkOther Penn State Campuses
High School GPA (Unweighted 4.0 Scale)3.59-3.933.12-3.78

Achieving a high school in the upper end of both GPA ranges increases your chances of admission into your first choice campus or major. And achieving a high school GPA in the lower end may not get you into your first-choice campus or major.

SAT and ACT Requirements

Below is the middle 50% SAT statistics scores on the 1600 SAT scale at Penn State.

Academic ScaleUniversity ParkOther Penn State Campuses
SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing and Math1270-14501090-1310

Below are the ACT scores of students admitted into their first choice campus and major at Penn State.

Academic ScaleUniversity ParkOther Penn State Campuses
Composite ACT28-3323-30

First-Year Admission Requirement

For a successful application to the Pennsylvania State University, all first-year applicants are required to provide essential materials for a thorough academic evaluation.

Penn State Requirements by College

Below are the minimum high school requirements for admission into the;

  • College of Agricultural Sciences, Arts and Architecture, Communication, Education, Health and Human Development, Liberal Arts, Nursing, and Division of Undergraduate Studies.

  Subject   Required Unit

Social Studies/Arts/Humanities3 units
Science3 units
Math3 units in algebra. Recommended in (algebra 1 and algebra 2 at average) and geometry
English4 units (a unit each in composition and literature
World Language2 unit

Extra Math Requirements for Penn State College

Most colleges and majors offered at Penn State require additional math from high school to admit an applicant.

If you are an applicant applying to the Smeal College of Business, Earth and Mineral Sciences, Engineering, Information Sciences and Technology, Eberly College of Science and Science at (Altoona, Abington, Berks, Erie, Lehigh Valley, and Harrisburg.

Penn State demands these high school subjects and average units. 

SubjectsRequired Unit 
MathAlgebra 1, Algebra 2, and Geometry and one-half unit of Trigonometry, Pre-Calculus, and Calculus 
English4 units (a unit each in composition and literature) 
Social Studies/Arts/Humanities3 unit 
Science3 unit 
World Language2 unit 

Applicants with GED 

If you are an applicant who did not graduate from high school but earned a GED, you are required to submit your official transcript to Penn State. The GED official transcript must be sent from the high school or GED testing centre in other to be considered an official transcript. 

Also Read: How to get into an Ivy League School and their Acceptance Rate

The Pennsylvania State University Acceptance Rate for International Students

Currently, there is no specific acceptance rate for international students at the Pennsylvania State University. The Penn State community however holds a large number of international students representing over 100 countries. 

Admission Requirement for International Students

All international applicants to Penn State are required to submit essential supplemental materials in other for their application to be reviewed.

Academic Records

As an international applicant, Penn State demands that you complete the Self Reported Academic Record (SRAR) portion in the Penn State application, except if you completed your education in South Korea. 

If you are an applicant who completed the Self Report Academic Record and accepted an admission offer to Penn State, you will need to submit your official secondary/high school transcript once they are available. Your official transcript will be used to validate the information you submitted via the Self Reported Academic Record. 

Visit Penn State’s official website to find out more required material to submit regarding your home country.

Below are the Required Documents from Newly Admitted International Students.

  • All required documents submitted to the admission committee for review must be original or copies certified by Penn State examining board. 
  • All required documents must be submitted in the original language. Those written in a different language other than English must be submitted with a translated English version. 
  • If the school, examining board, or the Ministry of Education decides to send your official documents directly to you, kindly forward the documents to Penn State.
  • Academic records can be faxed from your secondary/high school or exam board to 814-863-7590 or mailed to 
  • The Pennsylvanian State University Undergraduate Admissions 201 Shields Building University Park, Pennsylvania 16802-1294

South Korean students should visit the Penn State official website to find out more specific admission requirements.

Secondary/High School Records

The Pennsylvania State University requires secondary school records from first-year, international, and transfer students.

Students completing the Self Reported Academic Record and accepting their admission offer to Penn State must submit these documents once available.

  • Secondary/high school records listing the subjects studied annually with grades (or marks earned in each subject)
  • Evidence of the marking scheme and details on average pass mark.
  • Provide examination results indicating that you have completed secondary school in your home country. The secondary school leaving examination should be GCSE, GCE, CXC, French Baccalaureate, Abitur, etc.
  • If you have completed your secondary school education, you are required to submit official copies of your diplomas or certificate. 

Also Read: What Are The 12 Ivy League Schools and Their Ranking?

Post Secondary School Records

If you are an applicant who has completed a post-secondary education outside the United States, you are required to submit;

  • Official school transcript showing all subjects studied in an academic year and each mark earned in every subject.
  • Evidence of marking scheme and information on average pass mark.
  • Course description of every class taken and classes you intend to take before your enrollment at Penn State.

English Proficiency Testing 

International applicants from countries where English is not an official language are required to submit an English proficiency test score. This requirement is not for students who are American citizens or have permanent residency.

Below are the required English proficiency exams and average scores.

  • TOEFL- minimum score of 80 on the Internet-based or Paper Edition ( Code: 2660)
  • TOEFL iBT Home Edition– minimum score of 80 (Code: 2660) 
  • TOEFL ITP, Plus China– minimum score of 550 (Code: 2660)
  • IELTS- minimum score of 6.5 (on the academic test)
  • IELTS Indicator– minimum score of 6.5
  • SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing section- minimum score of 570 or above (Code: 2668)
  • ACT- minimum score of 24 or above (on the English section) Code: 3656
  • GCSE or GCE– minimum grade A, B or C
  • International Baccalaureate– minimum score of 5 or above
  • Literature- (English A) exam

Standardized Test

The Pennsylvania State University is test-optional for the summer/fall term in 2023. 

The Pennsylvania State University Acceptance Rate for Transfer Students

According to admission statistics, Penn State received 8,806 transfer applications in the 2019 admission year. The applications were submitted to all 24 campuses across the state of Pennsylvania.

The acceptance rate at the Pennsylvania State University for transfer students is approximately 46% which is moderately selective and comparable to the university’s overall admit rate. 

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Application Requirements for Transfer Students

Below are the requirements for transfer admission at Penn State.

The Eligibility for Penn State Campuses.

The 24 Penn State campuses have different requirements for a transfer student to be eligible for admission.

All transfer applicants to University Park must have a GPA of 2.5 on average, while applicants applying to other Penn State campuses are required to have a minimum GPA of 2.0.

Applicants transferring directly to the University Park campus must;

  • Have completed 2 years of full-time college curriculum at any Penn State campus or other accredited institution before their transfer to University Park. 
  • Transfer students with less than 4 semesters of coursework can transfer to Penn State. However, they can only transfer to other Penn State campuses except for University Park. Before a student with less than 4 semesters will be able to transfer to University Park, they need to work with their academic adviser and programs on transferring to University Park.

Academic Eligibility for Penn State Colleges

Colleges offering degree programs at Penn State have academic requirements for transfer students.

Below are the specific course requirements for transfer admission.

  • Completing required college coursework is not a guarantee for admission at Penn State
  • Course requirements are essential to all campus choices unless they are specified by Penn State.
  • Credits for the required college curriculum are listed in Penn State semester hours.
  • Failure to provide prerequisite coursework may deny admission into a specific major. 
  • Your prerequisites coursework must be completed with a minimum grade of C or above. 
  • Colleges at Penn State have different GPA requirements and some might be less or more selective. 
  • Please note that not all majors at Penn State are available for transfer students. 

The Pennsylvania State University Tuition and Fees

Here is the estimated cost of attendance at Penn State.

2021-2022 Penn State Costs: University Park (for Estimating Purposes Only)
Penn State University ParkPA ResidentNon-PA ResidentInternational
Tuition and Fees$18,898$36,476$37,946
Additional Estimated Costs*$14,158-17,380$14,158-17,380$14,158-17,380

The Pennsylvania State University Contact Address

  • School Address: 201 Old Main, University Park, Pennsylvania 16802
  • Phone: 814-865-4700

Frequently Asked Questions about the Acceptance Rate at the Pennsylvania State University

Below are some frequently asked questions regarding the acceptance rate at the Pennsylvania State University.

What GPA will get you into Penn State?

A high school GPA of 3.5 or above will enhance your admission chances. The latest freshmen at Penn State had a GPA range of 3.59-3.93 for the University Park campus and 3.12-3.78 for other Penn State campuses.

How hard is it to get into Penn State?

Penn State is one of the moderately competitive public universities with an acceptance below 50%. Getting into Penn State will require an impressive academic record with a high GPA and test scores.

Can I get into Penn State with a GPA of 3.5?

There is no GPA cutoff at Penn State. An average GPA of 3.5 will get you in a better position in the application pool.


The Pennsylvania State University is one of America’s finest public research institutions, with an expansion across the state of Pennsylvania. Penn State is arguably designed for students who are passionate to learn and discover opportunities in various fields of study.

With the piece of information provided to you in this article, we believe to have answered a few questions regarding admission and acceptance ears at the Pennsylvania State University.



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