Penn State Behrend offers undergraduate and graduate students the best of two worlds: The friendly, student-centered environment of a smaller college and the academic resources of a major research university.
Enrollment: About 4,700 students enrolled in Behrend programs on campus and online.
Campus: 854 acres in suburban Erie, Pennsylvania, one of the state's largest cities. The campus is minutes from Lake Erie and about 100 miles from Cleveland, Pittsburgh, and Buffalo.
Facilities: More than fifty buildings, including the 160,000-square-foot Burke Center, the original century-old Glenhill Farmhouse, and the historic Federal House, which was recently renovated and expanded. The newest building, the Erie Hall fitness, recreation, and wellness center, opened in 2023.
Financial Aid: More than $3.7 million in scholarships awarded in 2022-23. Nearly half of all Behrend students receive Penn State scholarships, averaging $2,000 to $6,000.
Employment: More than 800 employees, including more than 360 faculty members.
History: Opened in 1948 with 146 students after Mary Behrend donated her Glenhill Farm estate to Penn State.
Alumni: 40,000+ Behrend attendees and alumni, active in the 700,000-strong Penn State alumni network as well as the Penn State Behrend Alumni Society and the Penn State Behrend Black Leadership Alumni Coalition.
Degree Programs: Forty-seven associate, bachelor's, and master's degrees offered at Behrend.
Minors and Certificate Programs: More than fifty programs that can be used to enhance degrees at Behrend, helping students achieve specific career goals.
Academic Schools: Four—Black School of Business, School of Engineering, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, and School of Science, which includes the Nursing program.
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 12:1—which, along with the average class size of twenty-one, means students have plenty of face time with professors.
NCAA Division III Teams: Twenty-four 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.
Conference: Behrend is a charter member of the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference (AMCC) and the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference (ECAC). The Behrend Lions have captured the AMCC Presidents' Cup, awarded annually to the member school with the strongest overall program, eighteen of the nineteen times it has been presented.
Club Sports: Five club sports—cheerleading, men's and women's lacrosse, rugby, and ice hockey—and more than twenty intramural sports. Behrend also has a competitive esports team.
Clubs and Organizations: More than 140 clubs and organizations on campus, including academic clubs, fraternities and sororities, service organizations, and cultural societies.
Diversity: More than 150 international students from nearly forty countries attend Behrend. They join other Behrend students in participating in a dozen multicultural organizations on campus.
On-Campus Living: More than 1,700 students live on campus in traditional-style residence halls, suite-style halls, or apartment buildings. Fun fact: All of the college's residential buildings are names for commanders or ships that took part in the Battle of Lake Erie during the War of 1812.
Commuters: More than 60 percent of Behrend students commute from home or live off campus, including about 700 living in the housing adjacent to campus. Students who don't live on campus can make use of the Commuter Lounge in Smith Chapel between classes.
Research and Outreach
Undergraduate Research: Annually, the college funds nearly $350,000 in undergraduate research opportunities, essential to the college's Open Lab learning.
Faculty Research: $8 million of sponsored research.
Innovation: More than 240 projects, including nineteen patent applications, have been developed by students working with community partners in the college's James R. Meehl Innovation Commons, a product design and rapid-prototyping lab.
Knowledge Park: 100-acre research and development complex on campus, home to twenty-two businesses employing more than 500.
Outreach Efforts: More than two dozen outreach centers, programs, and initiatives for business and industry, area K-12 students, and the community.
Points of Pride
A Top College: Penn State Behrend ranks among the top public colleges and universities in Pennsylvania for student-to-faculty ratio, SAT scores, first-year student retention rate, and graduation rate—according to data published by U.S. News & World Report.
A Best Value: Penn State Behrend is rated in the top 10 percent of colleges and universities in Pennsylvania for return on tuition investment (ROI) and best value, according to Payscale.com (2022) and SmartAsset.com (2019).
Student Success: Behrend is part of the University ranked first by U.S. corporate recruiters for producing graduates prepared to succeed, according to a Wall Street Journal survey.
Student Retention: Nearly 75 percent of Penn State Behrend students complete their Penn State degrees here.
Senior Surveys: In recent surveys, nine out of ten graduating seniors have described their interactions with Behrend faculty members as exceptional, and 95 percent say they would recommend the college to others.
Engineering: Behrend's School of Engineering has been ranked among the top 40 undergraduate engineering programs in the country by U.S. News & World Report in 2022.
Business: The Black School of Business is the only business school in the Erie area accredited by AACSB International, the premier accrediting agency for schools of business worldwide. Our business programs rank among the top 10% in the country—out of more than 1,700 universities nationwide—for value, or financial return (Georgetown University Center on Education and Workforce).
Science: Behrend's School of Science annually produces more graduates with American Chemical Society certification than other comparably sized institutions.
Humanities: Degree offerings in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences include one of the few creative writing programs in the country to offer the B.F.A. degree with intensive study in poetry and prose writing.
Interdisciplinary Learning: Behrend was the first academic institution in the country to bring its schools of business and engineering together under a single roof for collaborative learning, and several majors are dedicated to interdisciplinary approaches.
Arboretum: The campus is a recognized arboretum, home to more than 200 species of native and exotic trees.
Wintergreen Gorge: The western edge of campus is bordered by the scenic Wintergreen Gorge, filled with walking and hiking paths, streams, and waterfalls.
The Fourmile Creek Trail at Wintergreen Gorge was designated one of the 2022 Great Places in Pennsylvania in the category of Great Greenways/Trails by the Pennsylvania Chapter of the American Planning Association.
For more information on Penn State, check out the University's Data Digest, a modern approach to the Factbook managed and hosted by the Penn State Office of Planning, Assessment, and Institutional Research (OPAIR).