Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Harrisburg
Middletown, PA, USA

Reviews

Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Harrisburg
3.44 Average Rating

Nailah from Upper Marlboro, MD

a current student here
3 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
My classes are varied. And I learn everyday.
I love EVERYTHING about my college!! I felt like I was suppose to come here.
Am enjoying being here
I met so many people during first week of school. At Penn State Harrisburg we even had Welcome Week for us freshman, catered exclusively to us! All the activities were fun, free, and real icebreakers!!
Bang for the buck
Penn State education, what more can I say. (Well it , its reputation, prestige, and rigor are nothing to mess with !)
Tips for prospective students
- Try to be active in as many clubs, and activities as you can! Fun during your first year is a must!
- Think about renting (off-campus). Dorms (on - campus). Off campus is way cheaper ,yearly! But meal plans are usually for the on campus students.
- If you do drugs, don't come! This is a dry campus (no alcohol)!
Great for these types of students
-Artistic
-Athletic
-Unconventional sorts
-Hippies
-Hard-working
-Honor Roll students
- Rural
- Urban
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Keisha from New Bloomfield, PA

a current student here
2 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
Penn State Harrisburg is honestly the best university. The professors are great and hands on. Your education will be a cut above the rest!
Tips for prospective students
Some tips are:
-Don't come here and think it will be like High School, this mindset will KILL your GPA
-GO TO CLASS
-DO YOUR WORK
Academic Rigor
The academics are challenging but as long as you remain focused, you can get through it! College is not supposed to be easy.
Dorm Life
I love living on campus and I love the housing. Not many colleges have the option of having your own room and I LOVE that being an option at Penn State Harrisburg.
Food and Dining
Stacks (the campus cafeteria) is amazing, I live for their breakfast sandwiches. Also, Biscotti's serves Starbucks drinks, even specialty ones and you can pay with your meal plan! How awesome is that?
What to do for fun
There's a ton to do for fun here. You can join THON and help run the events the club hosts. Not to mention there's a ton of other clubs you can join. There's also baseball, basketball, volleyball games to attend and many on campus events such as the annual Carnival For A Cure or Big Man on Campus!
Bang for the buck
This college is a lot more affordable than most universities and you get, in my opinion, a better experience and education.
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
We have Starbucks!
Clubs and Activities
There are way too many clubs/events to list!
Greek Life
There's plenty of sororities and frats on campus, however there's no greek housing!
Campus Safety
They notify you IMMEDIATELY when there is a crime on campus, which there almost never is. We also have our own police station and they are actual state officers.
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Sophia from Harrisburg, PA

a current student here
2 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
Penn State Harrisburg offers quite a diverse array of subjects -- especially in the Mathematical/Scientific fields ('Astronomical Universe,' 'Mammalian Anatomy,' and 'Intro to Programming Techniques' are a few examples). However, PSH is unfortunately lacking when it comes to the Fine Arts -- only a minimal amount of applied art classes are offered, and they're mostly Beginner's Courses (as PSH doesn't offer a BFA). Overall, though, I thoroughly enjoy my classes -- plus Penn State Harrisburg offers an efficient way to get rid of GenEds if you plan on heading up to UPark/a more specialized college after a year or two!
Am enjoying being here
I'm pleasantly surprised just how much I've enjoyed my first semester here. While this isn't a big party campus like UPark is, there are enough events offered throughout the week to make it interesting (Zumba classes and trips to Broadway, anyone?) for students. And concerning the surrounding area, while Middletown is obviously not a metropolitan city like New York or Philly, it does have a certain 'small-town charm'. I often feel like I'm transported back into the 1950s walking by the Elks Theater (one of the first movie theaters in the nation), diners, countless antique shops, and the centrally-located Brownstone Cafe. And if Middletown is too boring for you, downtown Harrisburg is only about 20-30 minutes away (and you can always buy a $5 Megabus ticket to State College for the weekend). Plus, there's an Amtrak station right in downtown Middletown!
Bang for the buck
I find the tuition at PSH pretty reasonable, but then again I also qualify as an in-state student. Room & board definitely adds a lot to tuition costs, too (though I can't complain, as my on-campus housing is quite nice, as far as on-campus housing goes). A monetary factor a fair amount of students are unhappy with, however, is that meal plans are a requirement for first-year students, which soaks up another $300-500. Lastly, textbooks also add on to tuition fees (the cost for my first-semester textbooks averaged at around $550) so take advantage of sites like Chegg, Half.com, etc. However, one must also keep in mind that Penn State is a nationally-acclaimed school, so the tuition is well worth it.
Tips for prospective students
- If you plan on living on-campus but aren't comfortable sharing a room with another person, request a single room as soon as possible (the 3000, 4000, 5000, and 6000 bldgs. are all single room apartments) as they go pretty quickly!
- DON'T expect it to be 'party hardy' like UPark. But don't assume that because it isn't a renowned party campus there's nothing going on. Ask around -- word travels.
- Try to participate in class as much as possible -- my in-class participation made up 15% of my grade for one of my courses. Additionally, the more you get used to speaking in public settings, the better. Trust me.
- Sign up for activities! Meeting new people will gradually help you get settled in.
Great for these types of students
- Students who want to get warmed up to college life first before continuing on to a bigger university (ex.: the 2+2 program).
- Students who hope to major in the Technological/Mathematical/Scientific fields.
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Christopher from Mechanicsburg, PA

a current student here
2 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
The course curricula here are challenging and fast. Students are expected to work hard and read much of the material on their own. The teachers are usually extremely knowledgeable, with either doctorate degrees or years of in the field experience. One of the best attributes of this school is the high proportion of graduate students. The reason for this is that Penn State Harrisburg was originally a graduate school. With seasoned academics all over campus, help is always available when needed.
Am enjoying being here
The school is merely a dwarf in terms of student population of its cousin up in State College, PA. Therefore, students will not be crowded out of extracurricular activities. This was one of the main points that brought me to this campus. I assume that at very few public schools, that in the first three weeks I would be able to establish myself as the lead political writer for the school newspaper and the anchor for my own radio show.

The only thing that I dislike about the school is that many of the teachers seem elitist. This was never the case at my previous school before I transferred. It seems like many teachers judge their students are lazy, unintelligent, degenerates even before meeting them. This leads to a prevailing disrespect to the students. To overcome this, make it a point to introduce yourself to and create a friendship with every teacher.
Bang for the buck
The school has an excellent value, and offers merit and need-based scholarships for students leaving High School and transferring from another college. Surprisingly enough, the merit based scholarships are not very difficult to attain. I believe that the grade needed is not much higher than a 3.25 to receive one. There are also plenty of added benefits, like a full gymnasium, weight room, plenty of intramural activities, as well as some kind of special event, like a bonfire, almost every week.
Tips for prospective students
If not living on campus, buy a comfortable car, since the drive is fairly long each day. The school is located in Middletown, PA, which is roughly thirty minutes from the city of Harrisburg.
Great for these types of students
Students who wish to live off campus

Inquisitive students who wish to pick the brains of the many academics on campus
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chelsea - brooklyn, ny

a current student here
1 person found this review useful
Categories Comments
Campus Safety
great campus safety, even on off campus housing like campus heights. penn state police is located literally right on campus, so need to worry about walking at night on campus. in all, from word of mouth, middletown is a safe community.
Tips for prospective students
it is hard to get around if you don't have a car or you don't know friends who have a car. literally you have to take an uber/taxi almost everywhere.
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Anonymous

a current student here
1 person found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
Penn State Harrisburg is a close-knit community of the academically, athletically, musically, and artistically inclined. The professors are fantastic-each and every one is devoted to helping students grow as individuals, and embrace oftentimes unknown talents and skills. Though it may be considered a shadow compared to the main campus in State College, the pride of Penn State Harrisburg is its wide range of academic programs, culturally diverse atmosphere, and supportive environment.
Tips for prospective students
Biscotti's is a great place to study and also provides a place to sip coffee, meet up with friends, and enjoy free time. Utilize the resources offered, join clubs and on-campus organizations, and don't be afraid to interact with others. If you treat professors and other students with respect, they will respect you.
Academic Rigor
Penn State Harrisburg has fabulous academic programs. I found my courses to be challenging, but not impossible. The Honors Program has a good reputation, and strives to increase the intellectual capabilities of students.
Dorm Life
As I do not live on campus, I do not feel as if I am qualified to review this aspect of Penn State Harrisburg. However, most people I interact with say it is fairly nice.
Food and Dining
Both of the eateries on-campus (Stackz and Biscotti's) have a wide variety of foods, which are popular with one and all. I hear the pizza and burgers are particularly delicious, and if you prefer fresh fruits or vegetables, the campus offers these and other healthy options as well. I enjoy the coffee at both places.
What to do for fun
Of course, during the first week of classes for the Spring semester, nothing out-beats attending the Pennsylvania Farm Show, and enjoying all the culinary wonders of Pennsylvania-including fried mozzarella cheese cubes, freshly prepared, world-famous milkshakes, and homemade ice-cream. Hershey Park is fairly close, and is full of exciting rides, and even a mini-zoo (Zoo America). Visiting the nearby capital is both educational and fun, and Washington D.C. Is close as well, making for a great day or weekend trip.
Bang for the buck
If you are looking for affordability and quality, Penn State Harrisburg is the perfect blend. As a branch campus, it offers main campus pride within a smaller, tighter, college family.
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
Convocation is a great experience for freshman, as it introduces one to the atmosphere on campus, and allows one to establish connections with other students.
Great for these types of students
If you are a commuter, attending this campus is particularly advantageous. The professors are very understanding if one faces weather emergencies, and the people involved in commuter-oriented administration are incredibly helpful-they consistently go the extra mile to make sure students understand the procedures that must be carried out to ensure efficiency and safety.
Clubs and Activities
There is a wide range of clubs, including STEM club, Intervarsity, even Anime. If you have an interest, Penn State Harrisburg is sure to have a club which fits that interest.
Greek Life
As I am not a part of Greek Life, I feel that I am not qualified to review this aspect of Penn State Harrisburg.
Campus Safety
I always feel safe at Penn State Harrisburg, as I frequently observe police officers and other security personnel monitoring the area.
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Theresa from Middletown, DE

a current student here
1 person found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
LOVE Penn State - Harrisburg ! I live off campus but close enough I walk to class every day.
Tips for prospective students
Don't be afraid to ask questions. All of the Staff is very helpful ! They will answer all your questions or direct you to someone who can.
Clubs and Activities
GET active with a club or multiple clubs if your schedule allows. GREAT way to meet new people interested in the same things.
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Kelsey from Jonestown, PA

a current student here
1 person found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
Diverse community. Practical experience. Near Baltimore and Philadelphia allowing fundamental opportunities to recognize and test the many different cultural lifestyles.
Tips for prospective students
Be open minded and be willing to try something new and out of your comfort zone. However, do not be naïve. Know where you are going, who is going to be there and what type of function you are attending.
Academic Rigor
Courses can be tough, and the work load can be extremely difficult. Allow yourself plenty of time to complete the assignments.
Dorm Life
I live at home and commute. I have been to the dorms and they seem updated and easily accessible to both the university and off campus stores and local attractions.
Food and Dining
I have lunch 3 times per week on campus. Meals are reasonable and there is a better than average variety.
What to do for fun
I have attended a few parties on campus, but spend most of my free time nearby eating out in Harrisburg and Hershey and attending concerts in Philadelphia, and Baltimore.
Bang for the buck
Reasonable Cost of Education at a well known University. Easy access to the campus.
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
Great Library.
Great for these types of students
Any and all types of students are welcome and accepted by the student body. I do not think anyone feels out of place.
Clubs and Activities
There are all types of clubs and activities available for a student to join and experience.
Greek Life
It exists. I am not part of it.
Campus Safety
Campus Police are present giving the safe and secure feeling, but not overbearing giving an imprisoned feeling.
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Antwan from Washington, DC

a current student here
1 person found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
Penn State Harrisburg has teachers who really want you to learn. The classes are small and you can meet with your professor. This school is set up for you to succeed.
Tips for prospective students
Always find times to meet with tutors and your professor.
Academic Rigor
The professor really care about the student passing. They will spend time with the students to help them.
Dorm Life
Dorm life is nice. They set you up with good room mates and if you have a suite then you can have your own room with your own space
Food and Dining
The food is healthy and you have plenty of choices of food to choose from.
What to do for fun
Join any extra curricular activities like sports or a club.
Clubs and Activities
There is plenty of clubs and activities that will keep you occupied.
Campus Safety
Campus police is always on the campus and always there when you need them.
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Akwele from Middletown, PA

a current student here
1 person found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
Its a good school with nice people. Teachers are easy to contact. The area is somewhat secluded so a car is helpful.
Tips for prospective students
Like everything in life you do have to put in the work to get the rewards later. Teachers are pretty understandable, so if you have late work most of them will still allow you to email it later. To make friends (especially if your off campus) is to join a club or two and go to events.
Academic Rigor
It sometimes depends on what classes and teachers you sign yourself for. Most teachers will not give you busy work almost every assignment will count to your grade. But if you have a problem with assignments teachers do not mind explaining it further.
Dorm Life
I cant really say because I am an off campus student but I do know people in dorms and have visited them. The freshman dorms have four people no regular size refrigerator only mini ones in each room. There is two washers and dryers and one bathroom (i might be wrong about that though). Some people do not get along with each other just because of personalities and pet peeves and such.
Food and Dining
The cafeteria is pretty nice, its clean and the servers are friendly. They have everything from chicken fingers to pizza, to fajitas and sushi, and they even sell frozen food. The food there is good but some people get bored with the same pattern after a while. They sometimes prefer to buy there own food because the price is high especially for those students that do not have a meal plan.
What to do for fun
About 20 minutes away there is downtown Harrisburg, that has malls and convenient stores. It will feel familiar to those who are from the city.
Bang for the buck
They have occasional trips to places like D.C. and NY. For example this past semester they had free trips to NY to see Lion King on Broadway and one to Six Flags in MD, all you have to do is sign up.
Great for these types of students
Those that like the small town vibe where everyone knows everyone.
Clubs and Activities
Its pretty fun and at almost every event there is FREE FOOD! yes free. Everyone is pretty welcoming and open to new people.
Campus Safety
There are campus police patrolling the campus occasionally but nothing really happens.
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