Penn State University Park
PresidentNeeli Bendapudi
Administrative staff
2,787 full-time[1]
Undergraduates40,363 (2017)[2]
Postgraduates6,342 (2018)[3]
Location, ,
40°48′24″N 77°52′49″W / 40.80667°N 77.88028°W / 40.80667; -77.88028Coordinates: 40°48′24″N 77°52′49″W / 40.80667°N 77.88028°W / 40.80667; -77.88028
CampusCollege town
NicknameNittany Lions
AffiliationsBig Ten Conference and Independent
MascotNittany Lion

University Park (also referred to as Penn State University Park) is the name given to the Pennsylvania State University's main campus located in both State College and College Township, Pennsylvania. The campus post office was designated "University Park, Pennsylvania" in 1953 by Penn State president Milton Eisenhower, after what was then Pennsylvania State College was upgraded to university status.


Main articles: Pennsylvania State University and State College, Pennsylvania

Old Main c. 1855
Old Main c. 1855

The school that later became Penn State University was founded as a degree-granting institution on February 22, 1855, by act P.L. 46, No. 50 of the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania as the Farmers' High School of Pennsylvania. Centre County, Pennsylvania, became the home of the new school when James Irvin of Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, donated 200 acres (80.9 ha) of land – the first of 10,101 acres (4,088 ha) the school would eventually acquire. In 1862, the school's name was changed to the Agricultural College of Pennsylvania, and with the passage of the Morrill Land-Grant Acts, Pennsylvania selected the school in 1863 to be the state's sole land-grant college. The school's name changed to the Pennsylvania State College in 1874; enrollment fell to 64 undergraduates the following year as the school tried to balance purely agricultural studies with a more classic education.

In 1953, the university sought a name change for the town called State College to reflect the new status of the school as a university. As the name change referendum failed to pass, the resolution ended with a new postal address to be called "University Park".

Student run media

Media originating from University Park include Onward State; the world's most-read student-run news website, WKPS, a student run radio station; and The Daily Collegian, a student run newspaper.

Student government

Old Main - Penn State
Old Main - Penn State

Within the campus, a student government is a set of elected positions by the student body to represent the students with relations with the university. It is divided between undergraduate and graduate students.

Special interest groups representing minorities also exist within the campus also have an influence towards university policies that get enacted by the university.

Major buildings

Main articles: List of Pennsylvania State University residence halls and List of Penn State academic buildings

Residence Commons

The residence commons are common areas for each of the residence hall areas. Each one has a dining hall and a computer lab. At one point in time, each had a radio station. WEHR (East Halls Radio), which operated in Johnston Commons until 2005, was the last to survive.

Other resource areas

Houses a TV lounge, laundry facilities, Commons Desk, Residence Life/Housing Office for residents of Nittany Apartments and Suites.

Houses a TV lounge, Commons Desk, Residence Life/Housing Office for residents of White Course Apartments.

Houses a TV lounge, Front Desk, Residence Life/Housing Office for residents of Eastview Terrace.

East Halls

East Halls is the largest group of residence halls on campus, and is served by Findlay/Johnston Commons. It is reserved primarily for first-year student housing, and most residents share a double room with a roommate. The area's special living options are First-Year Interest in Liberal Arts and Education and Tri-Service ROTC. All of the buildings in the East Halls residence area are named after former governors of Pennsylvania.[4] All of the halls and commons within East Halls are connected via an underground maintenance tunnel system (entrance doors locked). The residence halls are:

North Halls

North Halls is the smallest residence hall complex at the University Park campus, consisting of five residence halls. They are known as the most comfortable on campus, with all rooms being carpeted and having their own bathroom. Nearly all rooms in North residence halls are suites for two or four students, however there are a few rooms for only a single resident. The two- and four-person suites are made up of four rooms with two bedrooms with a shared living room separating them, and the bathroom connected to the shared living room.

Leete was the first hall converted to this format. North Halls special living options are Arts and Architecture (A&A), Business and Society House (BASH), and EARTH House.[5]

Pollock Halls

Pollock Halls is the third-largest residence hall complex on campus, consisting of co-ed and female only residence halls. Most rooms are shared by two students. Pollock Halls houses nine special livings options: Be House (Be-Engaged as of August 2013), Discover House, EASI (Engineering and Applied Sciences), Forensic Science Interest House, HEAL (Health Education and Awareness in Living), HAC (Helping Across the Community), ILH (International Languages), LIFE (Living in a Free Environment as of August 2013), and WISE (Women in Science and Engineering). Pollock Halls also contains housing for eleven sororities.[7]

South Halls and South Proper

Atherton Hall
Atherton Hall

South Halls offers housing for Schreyer Honors College students in Atherton and Simmons, and in addition offers male, female and co-ed residence halls.[8][9] At one point both McElwain Hall and Simmons Hall both contained a dining complex, but as of May 2011 their dining areas were eliminated to increase residential room space.[10] South Halls also contains housing for sororities. On a Residence Life basis, McElwain has been moved to the Pollock Residential Life area.

South Proper

These two buildings are connected to each other:

These two buildings are connected to each other:

These two buildings are connected to each other:

These two buildings are connected to each other:

*A Wet Core restroom concept eliminates the need to have "gender specific" restrooms in that there is a common sink space that everyone shares with every toilet/shower in a separate room behind a locked door. The wet core concept eliminates the traditional restroom design and allows for more privacy for any student without having to worry about gender obstacles.

Nittany Apartments and Suites

Nittany Apartments and Suites provide the luxury of apartment and suite living while allowing students to still live on campus. Nittany Apartments houses same-sex students in either two-bedroom or four-bedroom apartments, complete with bathroom, living room, and kitchen. Nittany Suites—made up exclusively of Nittany Hall—houses single upperclass students in two-bedroom suites. Four people live in each suite. These living areas are available to upperclass students.[11]

Eastview Terrace

Eastview Terrace is a residence location specifically for sophomores, juniors, and seniors. It houses 806 undergraduates, providing a private bedroom and bath for each student.[12] Its location, east of South Halls, is perfect for an atmosphere that feels as though it off campus while remaining on campus. Additional charges do apply to Eastview Terrace rooms.

West Halls

West Halls offers male, female, and co-ed housing in single, regular double, small double, and triple rooms. West Halls also includes the oldest residence halls on campus that are still in use. Several special living options are offered in West Halls, including EMS (Earth and Mineral Sciences), IST Interest House, (LGBT) Ally House, and E-House (Engineering House).[13]

White Course Apartments

This living area has previously only been available to full-time graduate students. As of Fall 2008 the area is open to undergraduates. The area provides housing for single graduate students, as well as graduate students in relationships and with families. The area provides one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments, as well as townhouses.[15]

Major landmarks


Sport League Club Founded Venue League championships Championship years
Basketball NCAA Penn State Nittany Lions Men's Basketball 1897 Bryce Jordan Center 0 N/A
Basketball NCAA Penn State Lady Lion's Women's Basketball 1965 Bryce Jordan Center 0 N/A
Football NCAA Penn State Nittany Lions football 1887 Beaver Stadium 2 1982, 1986
Ice Hockey NCAA Penn State Nittany Lions men's ice hockey 1939 Pegula Ice Arena 0 N/A
Ice Hockey NCAA Penn State Nittany Lions women's ice hockey 1996 Pegula Ice Arena 0 N/A
Soccer NCAA Penn State Nittany Lions men's soccer 1911 Jeffrey Field 0 N/A
Volleyball NCAA Penn State Nittany Lions men's volleyball 1976 Rec Hall 2 1994, 2008
Volleyball NCAA Penn State Nittany Lions women's volleyball 1976 Rec Hall 7 1999, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2013, 2014
Wrestling NCAA Penn State Nittany Lions Wrestling 1909 Rec Hall 10 1921, 1953, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2022


  1. ^ "The Pennsylvania State University - Main Campus Student to Faculty Ratio & Faculty Composition".
  2. ^ "Admission and University Statistics".
  3. ^ "Statistics on Graduate Study at Penn State".
  4. ^ East Halls Archived 2012-02-06 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ North Halls Archived 2012-02-06 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ Beam Hall Archived 2013-08-24 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ Pollock Halls Archived 2012-02-06 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ Student dies in elevator shaft fall Archived 2011-05-25 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ South Halls Archived 2012-02-06 at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-06-13. Retrieved 2015-09-29.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  11. ^ Housing: Undergraduates: Nittany Apartments & Suites Archived 2012-08-30 at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ Housing: Undergraduates: Eastview Terrace Archived 2012-08-07 at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ West Halls Archived 2012-02-06 at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ Irvin Hall
  15. ^ Housing: Graduates: White Course Apartments