What Is Pennsylvania State University?

Pennsylvania State University, or Penn State, is a public institution of higher learning with a main campus in University Park, Pennsylvania, and 24 satellite campuses located throughout the state. Founded in 1855, Pennsylvania's flagship research university boasts an undergraduate enrollment of just over 40,000 students as of 2015.

Popular majors at Penn State include business, engineering, communication, social sciences and health professions, and the school offers over 160 baccalaureate degrees and more than 20 associate degrees in a number of different disciplines. When the state's only land grant university began, however, its charter was as an agricultural college with a mission to enhance agriculture through the use of scientific principles. The school expanded over the years, opening a graduate program in 1922 and a medical college in 1967. Two law schools operate under the university's jurisdiction, and an online world campus has been graduating students since 2000.

In addition to a strong academic program, Penn State enjoys a vigorous athletic program. The Nittany Lions play in the Division I Big 10 Conference. Beaver Stadium, home to the school's football team, is one of the nation's largest, accommodating more than 107,000 people. Many other clubs and organizations, including sororities and fraternities, keep Penn State students occupied on the main campus.