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Pennsylvania State University

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I transferred from a community college

May 03 2014Business - Management and Administration
I transferred from a community college. I always thought that it would be hard coming from a community college, because it should be more challenging at a good school like Penn State. Imagine the surprise.

In one case my marketing professor argued that 2 marketing terms have the same definition, when by definition they are completely different (for the marketers among you, the terms were "promotion" and "advertising").

In other classes my teachers didn't teach at all, expecting us to learn by ourselves. In one case we were given take home exams, which were the questions that come with the instructor's book. He didn't even bother to go ahead and pick the relevant question, resulting in multiple questions with the same answers sequentially (each test has about 150 questions). Not only that, by the end of the course we completed only 10 quizzes for 10 chapters out of the 24. To sum up - great campus, but don't go if you actually want to learn anything.

3rd Year Female -- Class 2014
Perceived Campus Safety: A, Education Quality: F

I study English as a major here at

May 10 2014English
I study English as a major here at Penn State. The English program here is excellent. However some of the lecturers can be a bit stuck up/arrogant, and one department head of the Rhetoric department takes too many drugs. The professors are of very high quality and do challenge you as a student.

Professors are easily accessible but you have to be the one to contact them and make the time/effort to communicate with them.

The student body consists of mainly middle/upper class white students but you're in the middle of rural central Pennsylvania, and most people come from out of state, other countries, or from Pittsburgh or Philadelphia.

If you are an LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, or trans) student Penn State is very accepting of LGBT people, and LGBT students. The surrounding community is very LGBT friendly as well.If you are from a large city the town/small city of State College will take some time to get used to as it is sort of rural. Yes people do drink a lot but there are many other things to do besides drink.

1st Year Female -- Class 2016
Education Quality: A+, Collaboration/Competitive: D-

If you want a quality education, I would

Mar 14 2014Biology
If you want a quality education, I would suggest you avoid Penn State. While there are some outstanding professors that do care about educating the next generation of scientists and health care professionals, they are very rare. The majority of the professors at this university do not care about undergraduate students and would rather put their attention to their research. This is evident by the fact that the Millennium Science Complex (a multi-million dollar facility) does not have any space dedicated to undergraduate instruction. Classes usually do not encourage active learning or critical thinking; most classes are simply based on multiple choice exams with a professor that typically reads off lecture slides and nothing else. The fact of the matter, most (but certainly not all) of the faculty are mediocre in teaching the subject matter and will be quite condescending should you ask for explanation or clarification. Instructional labs are amongst the most poorly implemented, typically assigning tedious busy work instead of assignments that actually have value and merit. Often times in these instructional labs, you would run out of reagents because the lab coordinator would not provide the sections with enough. That is just a further reflection of how poorly they regard undergraduates. Some advisors have little to no concept of undergraduate life and oftentimes will advise students very poorly (e.g. since when is advising students to take 16+ credits of science/semester a feasible and smart piece of advice?)The only good thing I can say that relates to the academics is that research is phenomenal, but sadly education quality takes a hit because of this.

The atmosphere is a different story. Student life is great at PSU. Contrary to what a lot of people say, there is a lot of stuff to do besides drinking. There are many clubs you can get involved in; there is something for everyone at PSU and chances are you will find other students with similar interests. Football games are outrageously fun. The campus has 3 great fitness facilities (really do take advantage of this, because it is a great way to de-stress). Downtown is a nice scene, especially with the wide variety of restaurants and bars that you could go to. Then there is, of course, THON (the 46 hour dance marathon dedicated to pediatric cancer). THON really is the shining star of philanthropy and service at PSU. PSU is definitely not for everyone. If you are alright with large classes and little to no professor-student interaction, you may do well here. If you would rather have meaningful student-professor interaction that could benefit you in your schoolwork, Penn State is definitely not a school for you. I guess it also depends on your program as well so just research your particular program and do talk to current students, as they will give you the best portrayal of the school.

4th Year Male -- Class 2014
Perceived Campus Safety: A+, Education Quality: F
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