Penn State Altoona

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Pennsylvania State University, Altoona Campus
Motto "This is My Penn State Altoona, Make it Yours"
Established 1939
Type Public
Endowment $1,056,078 (2004)
Chancellor Lori J. Bechtel-Wherry
President Eric J. Barron
Administrative staff
Undergraduates 4,182[1]
Postgraduates 0
Location Logan Township and Altoona, PA, USA
Campus Urban
Mascot Lion
Penn State Altoona University Mark.png

Penn State Altoona is a commonwealth campus of The Pennsylvania State University. It is located in Logan Township, Pennsylvania, just outside of Altoona, although some of its buildings are located in the heart of Altoona's downtown. It is one of four full-fledged four year institutions in the Commonwealth Campus network.


In 1939, a citizen’s committee led by the Altoona Chamber of Commerce Chairman at the time convinced Ralph D. Hetzel, president of the Pennsylvania State College, to support an undergraduate center in Altoona. In July, the citizen’s committee launched a campaign to raise money to renovate an abandoned grade school building to house the new center. More than $5,000 was raised from 8,000 local contributors in two months. The college opened its doors to just 119 freshmen and nine faculty members. Sixty-eight years later, Penn State Altoona numbers keep growing, with more students graduating each spring.

Penn State Altoona offers internships, research programs and study abroad programs along with continuing education and training. Students can complete their degrees at Penn State Altoona or transfer to another Penn State location.

Degrees offered[edit]

Baccalaureate Degrees[edit]

  • Biology, B.S.
  • Business, B.S.
  • Communications, B.A.
  • Criminal Justice, B.S.
  • Criminal Justice, B.A.
  • Electro-Mechanical Engineering Technology, B.S.
  • Elementary and Kindergarten Education, B.S
  • English, B.A.
  • Environmental Studies, B.A.
  • History, B.A.
  • Human Development & Family Studies, B.S.
  • Integrative Arts, B.A.
  • Letters, Arts & Sciences, B.A.
  • Mathematics, B.S.
  • Mathematics, B.A.
  • Nursing, R.N./B.S.
  • Organizational Leadership
  • Political Science, B.A.
  • Psychology, B.S.
  • Psychology, B.A.
  • Security and Risk Analysis, B.S.
  • Science, B.S.

Associate Degrees[edit]

  • Business Administration
  • Criminal Justice
  • Electrical Engineering Technology
  • Human Development & Family Studies
  • Letters, Arts & Sciences
  • Mechanical Engineering Technology
  • Nursing
  • Science

Student life[edit]

Currently there are over 75 Active Student Groups on campus, including five fraternities, and two sororities, the Black Student Union, Christian Student Fellowship, Students About Living the Truth, Psychology Club etc. The student groups are overseen by the Student Government Association, whose other duties include improvement of campus, student advocacy, and distributing money to groups. Student Life also includes many planned events, speakers and musicians, as well as plenty of student organization run events.

One student activity is the Altoona Film Series. It takes place at 7pm on Sundays at the Devorris Downtown Center.[2]


Penn State–Altoona teams participate as a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association's Division III. The Nittany Lions are a member of the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference (AMCC). Men's sports include baseball, basketball, cross country, golf, swimming & diving, soccer, tennis and volleyball; while women's sports include basketball, bowling, cross country, golf, swimming & diving, soccer, softball, tennis and volleyball.

Greek life[edit]

Currently there are two fraternities including Phi Sigma Kappa, and Sigma Pi. There are also two sororities: Gamma Phi Beta and Alpha Sigma Tau.[3]

Housing and Food[edit]

Penn State Altoona offers its students on campus housing during the fall and spring semesters (not available in the summer). These housing options include:

  • Oak Hall - Built in 1964, Oak Hall is a traditional residence hall which, along with Maple Hall, houses the majority of freshmen who live on campus. There are two students per room and the halls are coed by wing. There are Resident Assistants, who live on each floor, who serve as student counselors to the residents of the floor.
  • Maple Hall - Built in 1970, Maple Hall is a traditional residence hall which, along with Oak Hall, houses the majority of freshmen who live on campus. There are generally two students per room and the halls are coed by wing, on the first floor, while the second floor houses male students and the third floor houses female students. There are Resident Assistants, who live on each floor, who serve as student counselors to the residents of the floor.
  • Spruce Hall - Built in 1987, Spruce Hall consists of suites: four students share two bedrooms and a private bathroom. Spruce Hall is reserved mostly for sophomores. Residence life staff office space is also located here.
  • Cedar Hall - Built in 1997, Cedar Hall houses 320 students, includes living space for professional residence life staff, office space, and a guest staff/faculty apartment. The rooms in each hall are furnished with two single beds, two desks, two dressers, closet space, cable TV,and a small microwave/refrigerator/freezer. Vending machines and coin operated laundry machines are located in each hall. The lounge contains a TV and study, and professional staff members are available for the residence halls.

There are also several off campus housing locations, the most popular of which is Nittany Pointe.

In addition to housing on campus, there is a cafe on campus called 'Port Sky Cafe' which serves food from hamburgers and French fries to more varied foods. In the Slep Student Center building, there is a coffee shop called "Common Grounds" as well as "Coasters Coffee Bar" located in the Hawthorn Classroom Building. There are also a few fast food restaurants within a mile radius of the campus as well. The campus is located less than two miles from downtown Altoona.


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°32′20″N 78°24′21″W / 40.53887°N 78.40585°W / 40.53887; -78.40585