Pennsylvania State University-World Campus Review

Pennsylvania State University-World Campus offers a wide selection of degree subjects and rates highly in terms of student services. Although they are not among the most affordable programs out there, the school is an all-around solid option.

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The Good

Excellent variety of degree programs:

Pennsylvania State University-World Campus (PSU-World Campus) offers a diverse selection of online bachelor’s programs, with 19 different degrees to choose from. In addition to relatively common online programs such as business management, information science, criminal justice, and psychology, the university offers degree programs in subjects you won’t find at many other top schools, including labor studies, turfgrass science, and energy and sustainability policy. This great variety of options is especially valuable to students who are undecided on a subject of study, but who want to get started fulfilling general education requirements before declaring a major. Considering that many other top schools offer eight or fewer bachelor’s subjects, and in some cases as few as two or three options, PSU-World Campus really stands out in this area.

Comprehensive library services:

Pennsylvania State University-World Campus students enjoy excellent access to a world-class research library that is home to a collection of 5 million books, 200,000 e-books, and 100,000 scholarly journals. Online students receive immediate access to all electronic materials through the World Campus Library homepage. Additionally, online students are eligible for distance delivery services, which provide students access to general circulation books and materials through the mail. Simply register a check-out request online and the materials will be mailed to you as soon as they are available. While many other top online programs offer similar services, few schools can match the breadth of resources offered by the PSU library, which is recognized as the seventh largest research library in North America.

Free online tutoring services:

PSU-World Campus students receive full access to the university’s tutoring services by way of online communication and collaboration software. These tutoring services are offered through the Penn State Learning program, an on-campus academic assistance program staffed by undergraduate and graduate peer tutors. Online students simply sign up for a tutoring appointment online and log in at the appropriate time to get help using text- and voice-based communication tools. Whether you’re having some trouble with a math concept or need someone to help you polish a term paper, PSU-World Campus provides you the means to get assistance.

Access to valuable career counseling services:

All Pennsylvania State University-World Campus students are eligible for a variety of career services, including career assessment testing, one-on-one counseling, and regular online seminars. These free services are available throughout your career as a student, giving you the chance to develop a comprehensive career plan that meets your professional goals and personal interests. PSU-World Campus also provides access to an interactive online tool that utilizes a webcam to help you practice your interview skills and develop your verbal and nonverbal communication abilities in preparation for finding a job after graduation. Although most of the top online bachelor’s programs provide access to career services, PSU-World Campus rates among the best in the category.

Excellent networking opportunities:

PSU-World Campus graduates have the opportunity to join the largest dues-paying alumni association in the world, the Penn State Alumni Association. Full members enjoy access to online and in-person networking events and professional development services offered in locations around the world. Prior to graduation, PSU-World Campus students can join the World Campus Chapter of the Blue & White Society, which is the student membership arm of the Penn State Alumni Association. With access to these organizations, you can build a network of Penn State contacts and friends no matter where you live.

The Bad

Slightly high tuition rates:

Pennsylvania State University-World Campus ranks behind some of the top online bachelor’s programs when it comes to affordability, charging students $518 per credit. Although these tuition rates are not by any means extreme, you can find solid online bachelor’s programs that charge less than $400 per credit. For example, one of the most affordable online bachelor’s programs, offered by the University of Nebraska-Omaha, charges tuition of only $250 per credit for both in-state and out-of-state students.

Restrictive credit transfer policies:

While PSU-World Campus accepts most credits earned at accredited two- and four-year colleges and universities, the school is not as flexible as other top programs. For example, the university does not grant students credit for completing formal workplace training programs or military service school programs. If you have completed non-traditional education programs in the past, it may be worth your time to look into a program with more flexible credit transfer policies.

The Details

General Information

  • Academic Year Founded: 2000 - 2001
  • Application Deadline: June 30
  • Application Fee: $50 - $65
  • Application Requirements: Transcripts, Test Scores
  • Location: PA
  • Number of Bachelor's Programs: 19
  • Region: Northeast
  • School Type: Public
  • Term Schedule: Semester

Tuition Rates (Per Credit)

  • In-State: $518
  • Out-of-State: $518


  • Degrees: Business/Commerce, Computer and Information Systems Security, Criminal Justice, Economics, Human Development and Family Studies, Information Science, Labor and Industrial Relations, Legal Studies, Liberal Arts and Sciences, Natural Resources Management and Policy, Organizational Behavior Studies, Political Science and Government, Psychology, Public Relations and Advertising, Registered Nursing, Turf and Turfgrass Management

Class Profile

  • Acceptance Rate: 84%
  • Average Student Age: 31
  • Gender Ratio: 58.3% female, 41.7% male
  • Maximum Class Size: 26
  • Total Enrollment: 3,845


  • Average Online Teaching Experience: 2 Years
  • Full-Time Instructional Faculty: 286
  • Part-Time Instructional Faculty: 264

Graduation and Retention Rates

  • 1 Year New Student Retention Rate (2010): 67%
  • 1 Year New Student Retention Rate (2011): 68%
  • 1 Year New Student Retention Rate (2012): 70%
  • 1 Year New Student Retention Rate (2013): 70%
  • 3 Year Graduation Rate (2009-2010): 18%
  • 3 Year Graduation Rate (2010-2011): 30%
  • 3 Year Graduation Rate (2011-2012): 30%
  • 3 Year Graduation Rate (2012-2013): 35%

U.S. News Rankings

  • Faculty Credentials and Training Rank: 33
  • vFaculty Credentials and Training Score: 76/100
  • Student Engagement Rank: 19
  • Student Engagement Score: 80/100
  • Student Services and Technology Rank: 52
  • Student Services and Technology Score: 56/100

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