At a Glance

At a Glance

Burke Center in fallThe College

  • With 5,050 undergraduate and graduate students, 40-plus academic programs, and an 854-acre campus, Penn State Behrend is among the largest campuses in the Penn State system.
  • Penn State Behrend is among the top public colleges and universities in Pennsylvania for student-to-faculty ratio, SAT scores, first-year student retention rate, and graduation rate, based on U.S. News & World Report data.
  • We're part of the University ranked #1 in a Wall Street Journal survey of business recruiters for producing graduates prepared to succeed.
  • U.S. News & World Report and The Princeton Review regularly list that our MBA program is among the best graduate programs in the country.
  • According to the latest senior survey, 95 percent of our graduating seniors would recommend us to friends who are considering college.
  • Among those Penn State Behrend students who go on to graduate with Penn State degrees, nearly three-quarters complete their degrees here at the college.
  • The campus was originally the Glenhill Farm estate of Ernst Behrend, co-founder of Erie’s Hammermill Paper Company, later acquired by International Paper. In 1948, Mary Behrend donated the Glenhill property to the University in memory of her late husband, and the college opened that same year with just 146 students. Read more about the college's history.


  • Penn State Behrend offers more than forty degrees at the bachelor's, master's, and associate degree levels as well as a range of minors and certificates in addition to continuing education and training programs for youth, business and industry, and area residents.
  • The faculty-to-student ratio is 1:16, and the average class size is 26.
  • Academic areas of study are organized within four schools: the Black School of Business, School of Engineering, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, and School of Science.


  • The Behrend Lions have twenty-four NCAA Division III varsity athletic teams: men’s and women’s basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, swimming and diving, tennis, indoor track and field, outdoor track and field, volleyball, and water polo, as well as men’s baseball and wrestling and women’s softball and bowling.
  • The college is a charter member of the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference (AMCC) and the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference (ECMC). The Behrend Lions have captured the AMCC Presidents' Cup, given annually to the member school with the strongest overall program, sixteen of the seventeen times it has been awarded.
  • Five intercollegiate club sports—cheerleading, men’s lacrosse, women’s lacrosse, rugby, ice hockey—and more than twenty intramural sports are also offered.

Bridge to Behrend FieldsCampus

  • The 854-acre campus features more than 50 buildings, from the original Glenhill Farmhouse to the 160,000-square-foot Jack Burke Research and Economic Development Center.
  • Beautiful walking and hiking paths make their way through Wintergreen Gorge, located on the western edge of campus. Recognized as an arboretum through its membership in the American Public Gardens Association, the Penn State Behrend campus is home to more than 200 species of native and exotic trees.
  • The college is located just minutes from the heart of Erie and the shores of Lake Erie, and is within about 100 miles of Pittsburgh, Cleveland, and Buffalo.


  • Enrollment as of Fall 2016: 5,050
  • Students represent 32 states, districts, and territories, and 24 countries. (Fall 2017)

Faculty and Staff

  • Penn State Behrend has nearly 700 employees, including more than 330 faculty members.
  • The college is led by Dr. Ralph Ford, named chancellor in January 2016. He had served as interim chancellor since July 2015.


  • Penn State Behrend has nearly 35,000 alumni. Graduates are involved in the Penn State Behrend Alumni Society and the Lake Erie Chapter of the Penn State Alumni Association, both of which develop programs to encourage campus involvement, community outreach, and social interaction.

Senat HallStudent and Residence Life

  • There are more than 120 clubs and organizations on campus, including those of an academic, fraternity and sorority, service-oriented, recreational, arts, and multicultural nature.
  • More than 1,750 students live on campus in three traditional-style residence halls, six suite-style halls, and nine apartment buildings, including housing specifically for honors students.
  • All of the college's residential buildings are named for commanders or ships that took part in the Battle of Lake Erie during the War of 1812.


Research and Outreach

  • Research is a critical area of focus for the college's faculty, staff, and students. Annually, the college funds nearly $350,000 in undergraduate research opportunities and faculty participate in $6.1 million of sponsored research. The college also oversees operation of more than two dozen outreach centers, programs, and initiatives for business and industry, area school students, and the community.
  • The college is also home to Knowledge Park, a 200-acre research and development complex on the eastern edge of campus that gives companies housed there access to the college’s strengths in applied research and technology transfer, while providing  internship and employment opportunities for students and graduates.

For more information on Penn State, check out the University's Fact Book.