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Pennsylvania State University

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I transferred from a community college.Quite BrightBusiness - 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
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If you want a quality education, I wouldBrightBiology
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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If you're coming to penn state simply forBrightChemical Engineering
If you're coming to penn state simply for education... Don't. The reality is that the education is poor. the physics department is virtually incompetent, and the most of the faculty could care less about students. They only care about themselves and their research. Most of this gets overlooked by people who "bleed blue and white" because they love frats and football. Well this university is basically just frats and football.
1st Year Male -- Class 2017
Campus Aesthetics: A, Surrounding City: F
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