Penn State is one of the largest universities in the United States, with more than 45,000 traditional students and more than 100,000 students taking into account online and part-time students. That means at Penn State you will get an education in an environment that is truly diverse. There are twenty-four campuses and more than 17,000 faculty and staff. Penn State is included in the “Big Ten” athletic conference in football, basketball, cross country track and baseball. The university operates the largest university medical center in the nation too. Started in 1855 as one of the first agriculture colleges in the country, Penn State expanded to include other majors. When the United States inaugurated the land grant system, Penn State became a land grant university. In 1922, the school began offering graduate level classes and in 1967 the medical center and college of medicine were born. Penn State’s online graduate programs are ranked #6 for best online graduate programs and #1 for best online bachelor’s degrees by the U.S. News and World Report. The school offers more than 160 majors and four year programs are available at all of the university’s campuses. In addition to the university’s twenty-four campuses in Pennsylvania, it operates three “world campuses” in Australia, Germany and China to give students who cannot afford to travel to the United States a chance for a great education.

Penn State Accreditation Details

Penn State is accredited by the Commission of Higher Learning, Middle States. That organization also accredits the Information Technology and Sciences programs.

Penn State University Application Requirements

Applicants to the undergraduate level must have taken four units of English including one each of composition and literature, three units of arts and social sciences, science and math and two units of world language in high school. Applicants to the College of Information Sciences and Technology must have taken three units in algebra, geometry and trigonometry including a half-unit of a higher level math. The admissions procedure for first year students, including current high school students and those who have recently graduated high school, must first create a MyPennState profile. Students access the online application through that portal. To use the site you will need to select an ID and password. Once you access the portal, you will find the application deadlines listed. Applications for fall and summer session enrollment are available on September first and must be received by November thirtieth. There are other dates available and the school uses a rolling application system, but students have the best chance of admission to the school if they meet that first deadline. May first is the deadline for the university to inform you of acceptance. Penn State reviews more than 60,000 applications annually. Submitted applications are reviewed on the basis of 2/3 high school GPA and 1/3 other factors. You apply to one of Penn State’s campuses, not to your major. The school website can guide you through other factors affecting your application, for instance GED graduation and application to accelerated and other special programs.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Penn State’s tuition varies according to which campus you select, the program you are in and your year in school. Generally, though, university tuition for Pennsylvania resident first and second year students who take twelve or more credits is $16,572. Part-time freshmen and sophomores pay $691 per credit. Third and fourth year students pay $17,916 and part-time tuition is $747. Out-State students pay $29,522 the first and second years and $32,622 the third and fourth years, with a part-time rate for lower division of $1230 and for higher division, $1293. Students in some special programs such as Information Science and Technology pay a slightly higher tuition of $19,378 for upper division students and $807 per credit for part-time students. Students in the College of Information Science and Technology pay an additional per semester fee of $252 for nine or more credit hours, $186 for five to eight hours and $86 for less than five credit hours. There are other fees you may be assessed, such as parking fees. Once you have an idea of your total education cost you can apply for financial aid. Filling out the FAFSA application should be your first step. FAFSA will tell you which federal aid you are eligible for, including Pell Grants. There are also scholarships, student loans and work/study programs which you must apply to separately. Penn State has some scholarships available to university students on a very selective basis. Application deadlines and qualifications vary. The Penn State financial aid department along with your high school advisor, if you are a first year student, can help you select and apply for aid.

New World Technology and the Bachelor of Science in Information Science and Technology

Because of globalization and digitalization of data, this degree is in high demand. If you want a career that will prepare you to work in this challenging area, the Bachelor of Science in Information Science and Technology may be for you. Penn State offers the degree in online and traditional classroom formats. It is a four year, 125 credit hour program that focuses on team work and requires an internship and a capstone experience. There is a “study abroad” opportunity that lasts either for a summer or an entire calendar year. That global impact and the resources of a large university will make your degree more relevant and position you for transition into national and international business. You can select one of three approaches to the degree.
• Information Systems Design and Development: the specialization for those who want to design software and create apps for smartphones. If you take this path you will also learn to troubleshoot many technical issues.
• Information Technology Integration and Application: for students who want to learn how to use technology in solving business problems and in forming bridges between businesses.
• Information Context People, Organizations and Society: a study of how organizations and cultures use information and how information technology applies to the future.
The program, in both the online and traditional formats, includes courses such as Introduction to Statistics, Micro Economics, Macro Economics, Technical Writing, Introduction to Computer Language and Computer Programming.
If you are considering a Bachelor of Science in Information Science and Technology, Penn State can give you a competitive edge.

See Penn State University featured in Top 10 Best Online Schools for Computer Science Degrees