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Pennsylvania State University

9 Reviews

Salary Score







83% of 9 students said this degree improved their career prospects
67% of 9 students said they would recommend this school to others
By the OnlineU team | Updated 6/15/2023



Pennsylvania State University (PSU, also known as Penn State) in University Park is a public institution serving almost 89,000 students, including distance learners, according to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). Penn State offers 108 online degree programs, including 7 online associate degrees, 41 online bachelor's degrees, 56 online master's degrees, and 4 online doctoral degrees. There are also 81 online certificates at the undergraduate and graduate levels available. Disciplines are diverse, ranging from business and education to nursing and engineering.

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Salary Score for Online Degrees at Pennsylvania State University

Associate's Degrees

Business/Commerce, General $17,725 $40,242 93
Information Science/Studies $21,000 $41,003 91
Liberal Arts and Sciences, General Studies and Humanities $16,852 $31,892 90
Human Development, Family Studies, and Related Services $19,875 $24,148 71

Bachelor's Degrees

Natural Resources Management and Policy $39,750 $62,018 100
Entrepreneurial and Small Business Operations $26,250 $59,349 96
Marketing $25,000 $51,414 94
Finance and Financial Management Services $25,000 $61,200 91
Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services, Other $24,823 $61,252 91
Computer/Information Technology Administration and Management $26,746 $65,214 87
Business Administration, Management and Operations $24,947 $49,437 81
Information Science/Studies $26,000 $60,548 80
Parks, Recreation and Leisure Facilities Management $22,500 $33,729 77
Health and Medical Administrative Services $25,000 $45,122 76
Human Resources Management and Services $27,000 $48,779 75
Agricultural Business and Management $26,000 $47,444 74
Forestry $23,235 $41,479 74
Polymer/Plastics Engineering $27,000 $66,366 72
Agricultural Engineering $27,000 $60,836 71
Political Science and Government $26,000 $37,482 69
Natural Resources Conservation and Research $26,947 $34,969 69
Computer Engineering $27,000 $76,448 68
International Relations and National Security Studies $24,500 $39,513 67
Accounting and Related Services $25,125 $51,228 67
Atmospheric Sciences and Meteorology $27,000 $38,061 66
Mining and Mineral Engineering $29,375 $71,938 64
Journalism $25,000 $33,090 64
Natural Resources and Conservation, Other $27,000 $28,554 61
Biology, General $26,991 $28,620 59
Registered Nursing, Nursing Administration, Nursing Research and Clinical Nursing $23,000 $67,759 58
Psychology, General $26,000 $29,652 58
Communication, Journalism, and Related Programs, Other $24,236 $34,758 58
Biological and Physical Sciences $26,000 $33,036 57
Nuclear Engineering $27,000 $62,046 56
Liberal Arts and Sciences, General Studies and Humanities Not Reported $33,395 54
Petroleum Engineering $27,000 $80,718 51
Engineering, Other $27,000 $61,978 49
Communication and Media Studies $26,000 $32,077 47
Criminal Justice and Corrections $26,000 $34,135 47
Human Development, Family Studies, and Related Services $27,767 $29,005 46
Business/Commerce, General $25,931 $42,524 46
Rehabilitation and Therapeutic Professions $26,000 $30,749 45
Economics $24,974 $45,928 43
Biochemistry, Biophysics and Molecular Biology $25,625 $30,110 42
History $26,250 $27,051 33
Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Other $26,000 $26,833 31
Research and Experimental Psychology $27,000 $27,946 26
Surveying Engineering $27,000 $52,230 24
Engineering, General Not Reported $55,455 19
Business/Corporate Communications $25,000 $35,169 14

Master's Degrees

Teacher Education and Professional Development, Specific Levels and Methods Not Reported $81,629 100
Psychology, Other $38,615 $81,025 99
Geography and Cartography Not Reported $87,475 98
Information Science/Studies $34,123 $109,295 97
Management Sciences and Quantitative Methods $30,750 $100,372 87
Business Administration, Management and Operations $40,058 $92,512 85
Statistics $23,403 $96,917 76
Accounting and Related Services $20,500 $63,873 75
Human Resources Management and Services $38,975 $72,738 75
Health and Medical Administrative Services $51,250 $72,509 62
Finance and Financial Management Services $39,332 $82,006 60
Public Administration $41,000 $56,081 57
Curriculum and Instruction $26,760 $49,813 53
Computer Engineering $41,000 $100,190 52
Registered Nursing, Nursing Administration, Nursing Research and Clinical Nursing $40,949 $95,304 43
Systems Engineering $34,975 $96,574 37
Educational Administration and Supervision $27,765 $48,179 28
Special Education and Teaching $30,750 $45,891 26
Criminal Justice and Corrections $30,750 $39,000 21

FAQs About Pennsylvania State University

Is Pennsylvania State University Online?

Yes, Penn State is online, with over 175 degrees and certificates at the undergraduate and graduate levels. NCES data shows that 13% of undergraduates and 42% of graduate students participate in online-only education at Penn State through its World Campus. 

The U.S. Department of Education's College Scorecard shows that Penn State has a higher-than-average 70% graduation and an 87% retention rate.

Examples of online bachelor's degrees include digital journalism and media, international politics, project and supply chain management, and security and risk analysis. Online master's degrees include artificial intelligence, corporate innovation and entrepreneurship, educational leadership, and geodesign, among many others.

Is Pennsylvania State University a Good School?

Yes, Penn State is a good school. It's made 11 of our rankings list, including #2 for Best Online Bachelor's in Finance Degrees, #3 for Best Online IT Degrees, and #5 for Best Online Colleges in Pennsylvania and Best Online Political Science Degrees.

Along with its high graduation and retention rates, which speak to the school's ability to keep students motivated and engaged, its average median earnings for graduates are higher than average at approximately $61,200, which may indicate that students are well-trained and prepared for life after graduation.

Additionally, Penn State is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE). This accreditation status signifies that MSCHE finds Penn State's financial practices sound and its academic programming meets federal quality standards. Additionally, Penn State is programmatically accredited by 22 industry-specific agencies in addition to its institutional accreditation. 

To provide the most trustworthy results, OnlineU only includes accredited online institutions on its site. 

What Is Pennsylvania State University Known For?

Penn State has a history of delivering distance education for over 125 years. Its World Campus opened in 1998 and hosts more than 20,000 students representing diverse countries across the globe. Students are from places such as the U.S., Canada, China, South Korea, and India. Penn State has the second-largest alumni network in the world, with over 750,000 graduates. 

Penn State is also known for its student services to distance learners, including access to services — such as academic advising; career counseling; library resources; tutorials; mental health services; disability services; and diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging resources.  

Which Degrees at Pennsylvania State University Provide the Highest Earnings for Graduates?

According to College Scorecard, Penn State's bachelor's degrees in computer and information science, biomedical/medical engineering, and computer engineering provide the highest earnings. Graduates in these fields earn high median annual salaries of approximately $101,500, $97,100, and $95,500, accordingly. 

Additionally, OnlineU's proprietary Salary Score ranks colleges by how much their alumni earn compared to graduates with the same degree nationwide. Penn State has a bachelor's salary score of 64, 71 for its master's degrees, and 58 for its doctoral degrees. Its bachelor's degree in natural resources management and policy has a perfect salary score of 100.

Is Getting Into Pennsylvania State University Difficult?

Getting into Penn State is easy. College Scorecard data shows it accepts 92% of applicants. While entrance exam scores are considered, they are not required, which can help level the playing field for some. However, accepted students who submit their scores have combined SAT scores between 1140 and 1360 and ACT scores between 25 and 31.

What GPA Do You Need To Get Into Pennsylvania State University?

According to its Penn State's website, there is no minimum GPA requirement. However, accepted Penn State students were admitted with GPAs between 3.12 and 3.93. A good rule of thumb is that the higher the GPA, the higher your chances of being accepted when applying to college.

What Are the Admission Requirements for Pennsylvania State University?

Although individual degree programs may have additional requirements, Penn State's admission requirements for first-year baccalaureate students generally include the following:

  • An application 
  • A $65 application fee
  • Official high school transcripts, GED scores, or homeschool program transcripts
  • Official college transcripts, if transferring credits
  • Official military transcripts, if applicable

Additionally, submitting SAT/ACT scores is optional.

If you're still exploring schools, we've identified some of the most popular online colleges to help with your search.

Student Reviews

Student Reviews

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Bernadette E.

Reviewed: 2/12/2019

Degree: Psychology

I studied Psychology through Penn State's World Campus. The flexibility afforded by the online program cannot be overemphasized, but this does not mean that it was in any way "easy." In fact, having a history of traditional brick-and-mortar education, I can safely say that the online program was "no joke;" it was rigorous and thought-provoking, with no room for slacking off. There were multiple due dates each week, and weekly discussion posts that mandated references to assigned activities. The discussion... Read More

Veteran Penn Stater

Reviewed: 5/3/2017

Degree: Psychology

Admissions was attentive and professional. Accessing financial aid, billing, grades, online library, etc., all made simple through one-access point! The online platform, Canvas, very easy to navigate and I recall very few technical outages during my entire 18 months in a master degree program. Program advisor was supportive and responded to calls and emails in a timely manner, easily provided me with the answers I needed. Instructors were professional, challenging, and fair. The course design, lectures,... Read More

Kristen Brown

Reviewed: 4/14/2017

Degree: Psychology

I want to state that I received my bachelors degree at Penn State University World Campus (PSUWC), and pursued my masters, but ended up transferring out to another university to finish my masters. I am a 4.0 student, with a high IQ, high EQ, and am a diligent student; no slacker. I am an insightful person who needs little direction. With that being said, if you attend PSUWC, especially as a grad student, be prepared to do EVERYTHING alone. You will likely not have an advisor (one will be assigned,... Read More


Reviewed: 2/1/2017

Degree: Psychology

When it was time to complete my Bachelor's degree, I looked into Penn State's World Campus programs in Psychology. I was originally concerned I would miss out on things being a distance learner, but I felt so connected to the school community through World Campus! I was able to network with my professors and classmates. I believe I got a great education through Penn State!

Michael A. Humphries

Reviewed: 9/27/2016

Degree: Nursing

I attended the online Penn State World Campus to obtain my Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing (BSN). Although I was a registered nurse, the program prepared and reiterated that I was not just a registered nurse but a professional healthcare worker. Every paper written and all communication had to exemplify diction of a professional. While taking classes and working full time, I was able to use what I've been learning to become a more professional nurse. I became a better advocate for my patients.... Read More


Reviewed: 6/5/2016

Degree: Psychology

Penn State is an excellent university. I was able to maintain my military life style and continue my education. Professors are rigorous yet extremely engaging and willing to help. This is definitely not a university for those seeking an easy degree. There are plenty of opportunities to interact with the faculty and other students. I was able to work in two different research labs and improved tremendously my skills and network. If you are willing to put in the work this is definitely an university... Read More

Keith C

Reviewed: 9/12/2014

Degree: Information Technology

Let's face it if you're looking for an online education program you already know the degree plans available are limited. Still I knew the need for a quality education in this day and age it of up most importance. Being active duty I needed something that I could activley pursue from around the world. I constantly hear guys I work with recommending a wide variety of schools because either they are cheap, easy, or accepted a bunch of their bullshit credits. With Penn State you are receiving an education... Read More


Reviewed: 9/8/2014

Degree: Art & Design

Here is the quick and dirty review for Instructional Design. If you would like to pay top dollar for a curriculum that is over 10 years old Penn State is fine. If you are a teachers who would like to learn a little more about technology to use in the classroom the degree is fine as well. However if you are like me and work for Fortune 100 companies they are antiquated. I left the Master's Program and went somewhere else. Some of the people in the department were pioneers in distance learning, but... Read More

Beth Lampinski

Reviewed: 8/5/2014

Degree: Criminal Justice

Penn State world campus offers a very educational Criminal Justice program. For the majority of the program I had very knowledgable professors who taught me a great deal. I know they were continuing to add more versatility to their program as well. I specifically enjoyed my last two years, where the focus of my courses were strictly CJ related. I would recommend PSU world campus for those who have families or cannot attend regular courses. Many of my classmates were in the armed forces, police officers,... Read More