Pennsylvania State University-World Campus Review

A strong academic reputation and multiple highly-rated online programs clearly demonstrate Pennsylvania State University-World Campus' commitment to top-tier education.

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The Good

Five top 25 program rankings:

Pennsylvania State University-World Campus (Penn State- or PSU-World Campus) has earned five different top 25 rankings in the latest U.S. News & World Report rankings for online education. The school was recognized by the publication for every major program area category, including two top ten rankings for their online graduate engineering and online graduate computer information technology programs. The online bachelor’s and online graduate business degrees are ranked in the top 20, while the graduate education program comes in at number 25. Numbers like these are not surprising for such a world renowned school, and you can be sure that you receive the same top-notch education online as you would on-campus.

Large selection of degree choices:

The online degree choices available at both the undergraduate and graduate levels are quite impressive at PSU-World Campus. Current offerings include 18 different bachelor’s degrees and 27 master’s degrees, many with further areas of concentration for you to choose from. Majors span from the very traditional economics and psychology to specialized degrees like geographic information systems and turfgrass science. Having access to a large number and variety of degrees is beneficial whether you are interested in a specific degree or you want the freedom to change your mind later on.

Strong reputation and career network:

Penn State-World Campus is the online campus of the well-known and strongly established Penn State University. The World Campus division has received many national rankings from the likes of U.S. News & World Report, and the traditional campus itself has also received many national rankings and recognitions including those from Times Higher Education and the The Princeton Review. Access to career services and an extensive online alumni community are two resources that may help you when you enter the job market.

Leaders in online education:

PSU established the World Campus in 1998 to offer online degrees to anyone regardless of geographic location or other life factors. Since PSU World Campus was such an early adopter of online education, they have well over a decade of experience which has been spent perfecting their online education model. Some online colleges have only just been established in the last few years and delivery models and policies are not as thoroughly refined as those at PSU. This longevity helps ensure that the same standards and high quality instruction that are offered at their traditional campus are also available to you in their virtual classrooms.

The Bad

Slightly high tuition rates:

Nearly every online student pays both tuition and an information technology fee on a semester basis, and both of these combined make the cost of attending Penn State-World Campus slightly higher than average. While the tuition rates are not sky-high above other online colleges, the rates do run a bit higher than most. This shouldn’t be totally unexpected though, as you are receiving an education from a top-tier university.

On-campus presence may be required:

Certain online degree programs have on-campus sessions, or what the school refers to as residency experiences, that may require your attendance. Additionally, some online courses may require you to take a proctored exam at a specific, pre-approved location instead of from the convenience of your desk at home. Also, some online classes may require you to complete an assignment live via webcam, as might be the case for an oral exam for a foreign language class. All of these requirements are meant to improve the quality and integrity of your online education, but for they can be difficult or impossible to work into some schedules.

The Details

General Information

  • Application Fee: $50 - $65
  • Location: PA
  • Region: Northeast
  • School Type: Public
  • Term Schedule: Semester

Number of Programs

  • Online Bachelor's: 19
  • Online Graduate Business: 4
  • Online Graduate Education: 6
  • Online Graduate Engineering: 5
  • Online Graduate IT: 4
  • Online Graduate Nursing: None

Tuition Rates (per credit)

  • Online Bachelor's (In-State): $518
  • Online Bachelor's (Out-of-State): $518
  • Online Doctorate (In-State): N/A
  • Online Doctorate (Out-of-State): N/A
  • Online Master's (In-State): $761 - $930
  • Online Master's (Out-of-State): $761 - $930
  • Online MBA (In-State): $930
  • Online MBA (Out-of-State): $930

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