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in the Eberly College of Science


Introduction to the Graduate Program.


An overview of the Penn State Physics research program.


The university, town and environs.


Nature, entertainment, athletics, culture and the arts.


Opportunities both on and off campus.


Assistantships, financial support, and living espenses.


Comments from current and former graduate students in the department.

The Pennsylvania State University is a land-grant university founded in 1855, with twenty locations throughout Pennsylvania. The University Park Campus, currently the home of approximately 38,000 students and more than 2,000 faculty, is located in the municipality of State College. Nestled in the middle of Pennsylvania among wooded mountains and rural valleys, the University Park Campus offers one of the most beautiful settings of any major university. The campus is adjacent to the community of State College, within easy walking distance of shops, restaurants, bookstores, and movie theatres. State College was listed as one of the top 10 college towns and top 50 places to live by Modern Maturity magazine in 2000. State College has also been voted one of the least stressful places to live by Psychology Today.

The total population of State College (including students) and nearby surrounding townships is about 100,000. As a result, considerable housing is available in the vicinity of the campus, as well as in a number of pleasant neighborhoods linked to the campus by extensive, moderately priced bus service.

While clearly removed from large cities, the region is accessible to major metropolitan areas. Travel times by car to Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, D.C., and New York range from approximately three to five hours. Greyhound and other bus service to Pittsburgh and Philadelphia are also available in State College. University Park Airport, conveniently located about five miles from campus, provides the University and surrounding communities with commuter service to the major cities listed above. Train service is available in the town of Lewistown, about thirty miles to the east.

Penn State's small-town setting contributes to a very safe personal environment. Here are some of the annual crime rates per 10,000 students at Penn State and comparable institutions. Penn State has by far the lowest crime rate of all these universities.

PSU Penn Harvard MIT Chicago Illinois Columbia UCLA Berkeley Stanford Cornell
Robbery: 0.4 19.0 2.2 2.5 4.2 2.6 8.8 3.9 7.3 0.6 1.8
Assault: 0.8 2.9 9.7 12.5 3.3 7.6 7.0 4.2 4.7 3.1 4.3
Burglary: 15.0 43.0 34.6 30.1 42.5 23.3 28.8 157.3 52.7 116.6 64.5

You can find further information from the Chronicle of Higher Education.

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