Location: Reading, PA
Size: 2,800 undergraduates
Percent Women: 62 percent
Tuition (one year): $24,356
Most Popular Majors: Applied Psychology, Childhood and Early Adolescent Education, Communications Arts and Sciences, Information Sciences and Technology, Mechanical Engineering
Greek Life: No
Acceptance Rate: 82 percent
For more information about financial aid, scholarships, majors, study abroad, and average test scores, visit Penn State Berks' website at www.bk.psu.edu.
Why Choose Penn State Berks?
"It is an easy school to get in to, but it is a hidden gem. The classes are small so you get to know your professors and get one-on-one attention. This has really helped me learn."
"It is a really small school but offers all the resources of a giant university. This gives students a unique advantange. There are so many more opportunities available to students at Berks than at University Park. I've completed research with professors and five internships."
"The community is close-knit. People who stick around here for all four years get to know each other really well. Most students leave for University Park after two years, so if you stay you will become really close with the other students in your major."
"Choose Berks because of the beautiful campus, great location, amazing student life, and engaging academics!"
"If you love Penn State, but prefer a smaller school setting, choose Berks! I've visited a bunch of PSU commenwealth campuses and this is by far the best."
"Berks is a big "second chance" school. We get a lot of transfers, etiher from other Penn State campuses or other schools in the area. So if you are a transfer student, you are not alone! There is always going to be new people for you to meet. It is definitely a welcoming environment."
"It is an incredibly safe campus. The campus police offer escort services but I have never felt the need to use them. I walk alone at night and never have to worry."
"The campus grounds are beautiful. Some of the residence halls are located in the woods and there is a huge park with walking trails and a river right next to campus."
"The Gaige building is brand new and my favorite place to have class. It also has a bunch of Mac computer labs."
"Student life in incredible! Berks students have a lot of spirit, not only in Penn State, but in Berks as well."
"Academics are first class! Combine Penn State's reputation with a small class setting, and you get engaging classes with indivdualized attention."
"The Luerssen building is really outdated. I don't like having class there, but it is supposed to be renovated soon."
"We definitely need more parking. The parking lots get so crowded, especially at midday. I waste so much time looking for a spot."
"General Education courses could use improvement. It's a lot of busy work. I didn't feel that I learned much. My major courses are a lot more exciting."
"They should really build more residence halls. I think a lot more people would live on campus if given the option. Right now there is only enough room for about 800 out of 3,000 students. Housing is given on a first-come, first-served basis."
New Collegiette on Campus
"Go to the club fair and get involved in clubs. It's the best way to meet people."
"Always consider the option of spending four years at Berks. My first two years, I was so intent on transferring to University Park that I didn't bother getting involved at Berks. Two years later I decided to stay. It was a waste that I hadn't gotten involved on campus earlier."
"Get to know your professors. They can be of so much help to you in the future. Invest in their classes and they will invest in you."
"A lot of freshmen come to Berks thinking they will transfer to University Park after two years. However, so many love it here and end up staying. Never rule that option out!"
"If you are a commuter, try and hang around after class and join atleast one club. It will help you feel so much more connected."
All About Academics
"The general education workload is much less than at University Park. Definitely try to get all your difficult course requirements out of the way before you transfer there."
"The library is a great place to study on weekends; it's so (quiet). During the week, not so much."
"If you decide to stay at Berks all four years, you will get to know your major professors very well and you will have a plethora of research opportunities. If you decide to transfer to University Park after four years, get to know your Berks professors during your time here. They can really help you out by serving as references or writing letters of recommendation. Once you transfer to University Park, it will be difficult to get within 50 feet of a professor, let alone develop a relationship with them, and there is a lot more competition for research opportunities."
"Upper level courses are very engaging. Think about Penn State's academic reputation plus a small class size. I get so much indiviualized attention from professors that I could never find at other schools."
"Put effort into your classes and you will thank yourself. You will get so much more out of your academic experience and your professors will become an incredible resource for anything you need."
Learn from the Best
"Painting class with Dr. Kunkelman is fun. It is an easy art gen. ed."
"All the psych professors are really cool. It's a tradition for them to take the psych seniors out to eat at the end of the semester."
"Dr. Fidanza is awesome. I had him for my general education science courses. He finds a way to make general education classes exciting and he is just a really cool guy. He invests in his students and their academic experience rather than just focusing on his research."
"The CAS professors are fun. Their classes are interesting and unique. You will be expected to participate a lot in class, but you will rarely have to do busy work."
"If you enjoy rhetoric, definitely take Dr. Rose. She is a challenging professor, but very friendly and always willing to help out her students. You will feel very accomplished after taking a course with her."
Interests & Involvement
"Because we are a commuter campus, many students aren't involved in clubs. But the residential students make up for it by being super involved. Our most popular club is THON."
"Joining a club is a great way to make friends and enrich your college experience. Our student body is so small, so it is easy to get involved and leadership opportunities are abundant. My club involvement is one of the reasons I decided to stay at Berks. It is my favorite part of campus life."
"Starting a club is a long process. Because we are such a small student body, it is hard to start a specific-interest club. The most successful clubs are extremely general-interest, such as THON and Campus Activities Board."
"Student life is awesome! It will help you feel so much more connected. Try to commit to atleast one club."
"Always go to the Arts and Lecture Series if you have interest in the topic. These can be really cool."
"Everyone goes up to University Park for football weekends in the fall."
"Basketball is the most popular sport to watch."
"There isn't a strong athletic presence on our campus. Many people go to University Park for the football games."
"Soccer is fairly big in the fall, basketball in the spring. But nothing beats going to State (College) for football weekends."
"If you are looking for a big sports school, you aren't going to find it here. Main campus is where it's at."
"It's pretty normal for girls to wear jeans, hoodies, and boots to class. Because it's a commuter campus and most people have to drive here, you'll find a lot less girls who just roll out of bed and rush to class. Sweatpants and yoga pants are less common than on other campuses."
"There is a pretty equal ratio of women to men. We have a few women's clubs but they don't have a big presence on campus."
"Most girls dress casually for class. Jeans and hoodies are popular. It is rare to see people dress up unless they are doing a presentation for class."
"Join Her Campus!"
"Some majors have are dominated by women. Elementary education is nearly all women. So is professional writing. CAS and psychology are split pretty equally (between men and women). Engineering and IST degrees are dominated by men."
Food & Drink
"Tully's is the only on-campus dining option. It is pretty decent, but pricey for commuters. The buffalo chicken wraps are very popular."
"Don't go to Tully's if you are a commuter because it is overpriced. Moe's is down the street from campus and a lot cheaper."
"I live on campus and Tully's is the best on the weekends because they offer really good brunch all day. I look forward to bacon all week."
"Don't go to Tully's. Chipotle is where it's at."
"If you leave on campus, Tully's is very convenient. Food is pretty good and you get a discount with your meal plan."
"Weekends are really quiet. Most people go home or up to University Park to party. There isn't much pressure to drink or do drugs if you don't want to. It's really the type of thing you have to go looking for."
"Parties are common at off-campus apartments like 525 and Seven Oaks. The Pillar (hookah bar) is a fun place to hang out."
"Partying is definitely not huge on campus. If people do drink, it's either in very small groups or off-campus. Live at 525 if you want to go to big parties."
"During the week, Berks Movie Night is a huge event put on by CAB. LOL (comedy show) is only once a month but it is also huge. CAB also puts on a pretty big concert once a semester. Last semester we had New Politics and last year we had Twenty-One Pilots."
"CAB usually puts on fun events. The concerts and comedian shows are especially awesome."
"Freshman dorms are so much fun. You'll have a roommate and get to know your suitmates really well. The Village is an awesome place to live, especially Cedar. Upperclass dorms are less exciting. Most are single rooms."
"All the dorms are on-campus, extremely close to the academic buildings. The freshman dorms are further than the upperclass dorms, but only by a minute. It is really convenient to live on campus, but there isn't a big opportunity to. Only about a third of students get to live on campus."
"The dorms are safe. I had a lot more fun as a freshman than an upperclassman. Stay in the Village as long as you can. Most students who live on campus stay on campus for all four years. It is just too convenient. However, there is only room for 800 students so you have to be lucky."
"It is incredibly convenient to live on campus. Put in your application early because it is hard to get it. They definitely need to build more housing."
"Living on-campus is fun if you are looking for a quiet place to study and hang out. There are rarely any parties. You will have to leave campus for that."
"The city of Reading isn't far, but the campus is isolated. We are basically in the country with a huge city nearby. There isn't anything in walking distance, but a five-minute drive will get you to a bunch of restaurants and shops."
"The Pillar Lounge and Building 24 are popular places to go at night."
"Many students do live in Reading, either at home or in off-campus apartments, since there is very limited on-campus housing. It is a great place to live. Off-campus internships are very common during the semester."
"Go to the pagoda at night atleast once. Great view of the city."
"Reading has a couple nice clubs and bars, but it isn't the safest city, so be careful."
HC's Complete College Guide: Penn State Berks
Do you have a way with words? Apply to write for Her Campus!