The Pennsylvania State University is one of America’s finest public research universities ranked in the top 100 best universities worldwide and has an acceptance rate that is quite selective.
A public research university ranked in the top 100 universities in the world with universities like UPenn and Carnegie Mellon.
The Pennsylvania State University offers more than 275 undergraduate majors and over 300 graduate and professional degree programs in various fields of study.
Penn State World Campus offers over 170 online bachelor’s, master’s, degree and certificate programs.
However, we will only be discussing the admission process and requirements at Penn State’s main campus.
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.
The Pennsylvania State University comprises 24 campuses across Pennsylvania. It expands across the state of Pennsylvania and beyond through the Penn State World Campus.
The University Park is Penn State’s main campus and home to over 46,000 undergraduate and graduate students.
Penn State is considered a Public Ivy because of its standard of education, and when it comes to research, the university’s research expenditures are estimated at $ 1 billion.
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
The Pennsylvania State University is currently ranked #77 in National Universities and #31 in Top Public Schools.
Penn State is also ranked #83 on the list of the top 100 universities in the world according to QS World University Rankings.
Student Life at Penn State
The Pennsylvania State University provides one of the best college life experiences 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 diverse community on campus where 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.
The acceptance rate at Pennsylvania State University is 58%, which is below the national average for colleges in the United States.
The Pennsylvania State University over the past few years has sustained an acceptance rate considerably less selective, admitting over 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%.
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 Scale||University Park||Other Penn State Campuses|
|High School GPA (Unweighted 4.0 Scale)||3.59-3.93||3.12-3.78|
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 are the middle 50% SAT statistics scores on the 1600 SAT scale at Penn State.
|Academic Scale||University Park||Other Penn State Campuses|
|SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing and Math||1270-1450||1090-1310|
Below are the ACT scores of students admitted into their first-choice campus and major at Penn State.
|Academic Scale||University Park||Other Penn State Campuses|
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/Humanities||3 units|
|Math||3 units in algebra. Recommended in (Algebra 1 and Algebra 2 at average) and geometry|
|English||4 units (a unit each in composition and literature|
|World Language||2 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.
|Math||Algebra 1, Algebra 2, and Geometry and one-half unit of Trigonometry, Pre-Calculus, and Calculus|
|English||4 units (a unit each in composition and literature)|
|Social Studies/Arts/Humanities||3 unit|
|World Language||2 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.
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.
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 must 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 marks.
- 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.
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 all subjects.
- 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
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.
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 prerequisite 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 Park||PA Resident||Non-PA Resident||International|
|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
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 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.
- 25 Cheapest Universities in USA for International Students
- University of Maryland Acceptance Rate, Admissions, SAT/ACT, GPA, Tuition, Rankings
- University of Iowa Acceptance Rate, Admissions, SAT/ACT, GPA, Tuition, Ranking
- 10 Outstanding Universities in the UK with the Lowest Acceptance Rates
- Easiest Universities in Korea to Get Into Highest Acceptance Rate