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About the University and Community

Penn State's post office is called "University Park" even though there is no such city. Penn State is actually located in State College, the core of a metropolitan area of more than 100,000 residents that retains a collegiate atmosphere enhanced by small shops, restaurants, cinemas and bookstores. The safest university town in the United States, State College ranked fifth lowest in crime in a recent survey of 281 metropolitan areas.

Located in the Allegheny Mountains, we are little more than a three-hour drive from Washington, D.C., Baltimore (both to the south), Pittsburgh to the west, and Philadelphia to the east. New York City is about four hours away. The immediate area provides wonderful opportunities for hiking, camping and winter sports.

If you get the itch to really get away, University Park Airport is served by United Airlines, Northwest Airlines, and US Airways. More than 20 flights each day allow efficient connections to North America, Europe and Asia.

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The University

Founded in 1855, Penn State is one of the nation's premier universities. Richard Moll's book, The Public Ivys, described Penn State as one of 24 elite institutions in the public sector that offer academic quality and ambiance on par with Ivy League institutions. In two of the last three years, Penn State ranked first in the nation in the number of faculty winning Fulbright awards (including three political scientists). The Penn State library holdings rank 13th among research libraries in North America.

Current graduate enrollment at University Park is over 10,000 students, of whom about forty percent are women and about 6 percent identify themselves as members of minority groups. International students constitute about 25 percent of the graduate student population.

The main University Park Campus is noted for its scenic beauty, pleasant environment, and spacious park-like setting.

A diverse cultural scene is facilitated by The Palmer Museum of Art (and several smaller museums), the Bryce Jordan Center (hosting pop and alternative rock bands), plus Eisenhower Auditorium's schedule of symphonies, modern dance, drama, and Broadway shows (e.g., Wings Over America, Les Miserables). Various student organizations also sponsor a steady stream of international and alternative films.

 

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