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Life > Academics

The Best Study Spots on Campus

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at PSU chapter.

With a campus as large as Penn State University Park, it can be hard to find a place to study that works best for you. Here are the best study spots to help you succeed this semester!


As one of the busiest buildings on campus, the HUB is always filled with people eating, meeting up with friends or doing homework. If you enjoy a more casual spot to study and go over notes with your friends, the HUB is a great place to check out, especially with all the food options. There is a variety of seating for every need from tables with chairs to couches to even a staircase. 

Also, hidden in the HUB is the relatively unknown HUB Library. The library features cubicles for you to sit down and have your own area to work. This room is also a designated no-speaking zone; a perfect area to escape the business of the downstairs HUB while still being able to enjoy all the food and amenities.


The Arboretum may be the most serene spot on campus to study. It is a bit away from the business of campus, but it’s worth the walk when the weather is nice. 

I wouldn’t be able to do too much serious work here but others have, and it is a great spot where I have been able to finish a math assignment or read either for fun or for class.

Hintz Family Alumni Center Gazebo and Pond

This building is an oasis from the craziness of University Park. Located near the Hammond building, it is tucked away between all the busy buildings. 

The building has short hours: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday — Friday and is only open on select Saturdays for events. There are meeting rooms and chairs inside the building, but come by any time even after the building itself is closed to enjoy its outdoor amenities. 

There are benches around the yard and a gazebo to hang out and do some work. There’s also a pond to sit by, study or even have a picnic with friends!

Westgate building

Home to the College of Information Sciences and Technology, the Westgate building has so much to offer. The student lounge offers conference rooms available for reservation and soft chairs set up to easily work with others or alone. Penn State prides itself on designing the lounge to promote teamwork and collaboration.

On the third floor, the Hansen lounge provides a quieter study area than the other lounges; still providing ample room and seating.

Get hungry while working at Westgate? Just head downstairs to their cafe! Reese’s Café is in the center of the building, sitting right above Atherton Street provides a great view and great grab-and-go food.

Health and human Development building

This building isn’t as popular with students, making it perfect for a quieter working environment. There are comfortable chairs throughout the building and the high-top tables in front of windows provide an excellent view of downtown. 

The location provides an easy escape to venture downtown after a long study session.

Abba Java Coffeehouse

This coffeehouse is technically off-campus but such a hidden gem. Located on the back of St. Paul’s United Methodist Church and Wesley Foundation, there are many tables and chairs for students to sit at, set up as a regular coffeehouse. It is a perfect spot for a change of scenery from the regular spots on campus and for a boost of energy as it offers students free coffee, tea, food and internet access. 

The coffeehouse aims to be a welcoming environment for all college students and feel like a second home. Abba Java is open Monday — Thursday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Friday. 

Bellisario Media Center

Bellisario Media Center only opened last year, making its amenities and seating brand new. The media center features studios for students to produce their shows and work along with my favorite seats on campus. There are benches, high-top tables with stools and large pod-like seats.

On the ground floor, the media center introduced its own version of the HUB stairs to give students countless options to sit.

I may be biased as a member of the College of Communications, but this is my favorite place on campus to get work done, especially on my laptop, as it has such a welcoming atmosphere and is always quiet at night.

Pattee and Paterno Library

Would this article even be about Penn State if the library wasn’t included? Pattee and Paterno library offers countless rooms and seats to boost your GPA and cram during finals week. It is so big that I got lost every time I went there during my first two weeks here.

The Starbucks located downstairs provides a perfect caffeine boost or snack break for all the long hours spent inside. There are also lots of couches and tables next to the Starbucks to work with others.

A lot of the other rooms in the library are very quiet, with some being designated no-speaking rooms if you work best in complete silence. The Humanities Reading Room aka the “Harry Potter Room” is home to probably the comfiest chairs in the building along with rows of long wooden tables. The atmosphere is great for being productive, but after some time the tables can be uncomfortable with the wooden chairs.

Venturing the stacks will also provide many quiet and comfortable working spaces, but beware of getting lost and try to avoid the rumored ghost.

Happy studying and good luck!

Ashley is a freshman at Penn State University majoring in broadcast journalism. In her free time, she loves reading, watching premier league football, obsessing over Harry Styles, and proclaiming her love for Saquon Barkley.