Discover Penn State


The University that would become Penn State was founded in 1855 as an agricultural college. Several years later, it became a land-grant institution, having been granted an endowment through the state’s sale of certain government lands. Curriculum and outreach programs began immediately to expand, and the land-grant tradition of serving the common good through teaching, research, and public service became the Penn State mission.

Penn State’s history is one of making vital improvements in education at all levels, providing expertise on global issues, and arriving at solutions for a host of urgent social needs. The University and its people have put knowledge to work for society—through an extensive research enterprise, high-quality educational programs, extensive cultural assets, and a vast number of partnerships across the nation.


Engagement is at the heart of the Penn State work experience. And what does it take for the approximately 39,000 employees of Penn State to work as one team? It takes shared ownership, by every team member, of Penn State’s inspiring set of core values. Prominent among these are:

  • Collaboration
  • Dignity of the individual
  • Diversity of team members
  • Equality of opportunity
  • Freedom of expression
  • Civility
  • Shared governance
  • Service to others

By living out these values, the people of Penn State champion a work culture of mutual respect, receptivity to new ideas, assertive helpfulness, and other characteristics that promote successful, satisfying job performance. Reflecting an emphasis on putting others’ needs first, our work culture also serves to facilitate a University-wide goal: becoming the model of a student-centered university.


University Park campus, State College, PA

The University Park campus, Penn State’s administrative and research hub, is located in State College, Pennsylvania, a classic college town in the central part of the state. Situated in a region of fresh air and clean water, green mountains and broad valleys, sprawling farms and quaint towns, State College is ranked in the top twenty of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine’s “Fifty Smart Places to Live.” The community is also consistently rated among the safest in the nation. For information on Penn State's crime rate statistics, please click here.

The University Park campus itself hosts 40,000 students and employs 22,000 people. The Nittany Lion football team, a Big Ten Conference member, draws throngs to the 107,282-seat Beaver Stadium on campus. Among several other highly popular facilities are the 16,000-seat Bryce Jordan Center, an entertainment arena, and the Center for the Performing Arts, one of Pennsylvania’s major cultural resources. Off campus, the Penn State Downtown Theater hosts a broad array of national and international performing acts in music, theater, comedy, and more.

One university, geographically dispersed, Penn State comprises twenty-four campuses throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Job opportunities are available at many of these.

Special-Mission Campuses: