Pennsylvania State University is a nationally ranked public university that offers dozens of options for students at both undergrad and graduate levels. Founded in 1850 as the Farmers’ High School of Pennsylvania, it offered classes designed for the high school students living in a rural part of the state. This school then became the Agricultural College of Pennsylvania and offered classes on farming and other agricultural pursuits. It also served as Pennsylvania State College from 1874 through the 1950s. Though some call the university PSU today, most refer to it as Penn State.

Publications that ranked Penn State as one of the nation’s top colleges and one of the world’s best schools include ARWU, QS, U.S. News & World Report, Forbes and Washington Monthly. Many of its programs rank among the nation’s top programs too, including those in social sciences, natural sciences, engineering and life sciences.

Penn State was one of the founding members of a network of colleges that offer online classes called the WUN. WUN works together to ensure that students have access to the best resources. This network also works together to provide funding for online programs. While Penn State has an enrollment of nearly 100,000 students, it has a large enrollment online. Its online system, which the university calls its World Campus, offers opportunities for students living in the United States as well as students living in foreign countries.

Pennsylvania State University – World Campus Accreditation Details

The Worldwide Campus that Penn State runs has the same type of accreditation that the main campus does. This accreditation covers all the various programs that the university offers as well as the degrees that it hands out. In addition to the regional accreditation that the university has, which comes from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and is a type of institutional accreditation, Penn State also has program or specialized accreditation from 23 different organizations for more than 30 of its degree programs. Some of the accreditation comes from the Society of American Foresters, Council on Rehabilitation Education, Association for Clinical Pastoral Education, American Physical Therapy Association, American Occupational Therapy Association and Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Pennsylvania State University – World Campus Application Requirements

PSU accepts right around half of the applications that it gets each year, including those who apply for a spot on its main campus and those who want to take classes online. One of its main requirements for incoming freshmen is that those students follow a college prep curriculum. You need to present a transcript that shows you took between two and four years of classes in English, social studies, math, science and a foreign language. Some programs require that you graduate within the top 10% of your class, score highly on the ACT or SAT and/or maintain a grade point average of 3.0 or higher. Penn State has a priority deadline for applications of November 30. You need to submit the full online application, a high school transcript, official transcript and personal essay.

The acceptance rate among graduate students is even lower, and many of the programs that the university offers will only accept between 10 and 20 students each year. Your application must clearly show why you deserve one of those coveted spots. Penn State asks for an official test score from an exam like the GRE, letters of recommendation for those who can talk about your work or school ethics and a completed version of its online application. You may need to write an essay based on a question given, provide a copy of a paper you wrote in college or give the university a copy of your resume.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Taking 12 or more credits each semester as an undergrad helps you finish college in four years or less. Penn state charges a flat tuition rate of $6,587 for online students taking 12 or more credits. Though it does not charge a nonresident rate, the university does charge $542 per credit for students taking fewer than 12 credits, which makes them part-time students. Some of the graduate programs that are available online charge a flat rate like its MBA program. You may one set amount that will cover the cost of living on the campus when finishing your residency requirement. Other programs charge a rate of around $800 per credit hour.

Penn State offers both payment plans and financial aid packages for online students. When you qualify for a payment plan, you can make smaller payments each month to pay off your tuition over the course of a semester. Financial aid packages go to students who need assistance and can include one or more grants as well as loans. There are some scholarships available for undergrads too, and the university recommends that students see if they qualify for alternative loans if they need more assistance.

Online Degrees Available

The Pennsylvania State University – World Campus offers a wide range of products for students at all levels in their studies. You can enroll in one of more than 30 bachelor’s programs and major in subjects like human development and family studies, nursing or psychology. The nursing program is an RN to BSN program that requires you have an RN degree and a valid nursing license before enrolling. Its human development and family studies program is a good choice for future social workers as well as those who want to work with families in community centers and other facilities. Penn State has a psychology program that lets you pick between earning a BA or a BS degree.

There are more than 40 programs open to graduate students too. When you enroll in a Homeland Security program, you can sign up for the basic program or select a concentration in one of four specialized fields. The online MBA program that PSU offers has a residency component that requires you do some work on its campus. When you pay your tuition, a portion of that money will go towards covering your room and board. The curriculum and instruction program is another popular choice that looks at how educators design and implement the classes and curriculum used in schools. Penn State University also offers associate’s degree, doctoral degree and certificate programs through its World Campus online system.