Visiting Penn State
Whether you're on campus for graduation, a sports event, or as a proud Penn Stater visiting your future alma mater, we want to make sure you have a chance to experience Penn State!
If you're visiting from outside the United States, be sure to check out information on visa requirements and more!
Plan Your Travel
Hotels and Lodging
Hotels near University Park fill fast, so make your hotel reservations as soon as you know your travel plans!
- If you want to stay on campus, you can check out The Nittany Lion Inn, or the The Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel (which is across the street from where World Campus staff work!).
- Find off-campus hotels and lodging through the Central Pennsylvania Convention & Visitors Bureau.
Maps, Directions, and Parking
- Printable campus maps
- Where to park on campus
- Centre Area Transportation Authority (CATA) bus lines (free transportation on campus)
- Directions to Penn State's HUB-Robeson Center (where many students meet on campus)
- Directions to the Outreach Building (where many World Campus staff work!)
- For a guided tour of the University Park campus, you can check out the Lion Ambassadors' walking tours.
- If you’re feeling adventuresome, check out the self-guided, cell-phone tour of University Park campus landmarks, iHear Penn State.
There are many options when it comes to air travel, including the University Park Airport (Airport Code SCE) located just a few minutes from campus. From the airport, you can take a rental car, taxi, or hotel shuttle to get to your hotel.
|Airport Location||Airport Code||Approximate Driving Distance from University Park|
|Harrisburg, PA||MDT||1 hour and 45 minutes|
|Philadelphia, PA||PHL||3 hours|
|Pittsburgh, PA||PIT||3 hours|
|Baltimore, MD||BWI||3 hours|
|Washington, D.C.||DCA, IAD||4 hours|
|Newark, NJ||EWR||4 hours|
|New York City, NY||JFK, LGA||4 hours and 45 minutes|
International Visitors — Secure a Visa
Unless you qualify for a visa waiver, you will be required to secure a B-2 Tourism and Visit visa. There are several steps to apply for a visa and these steps can vary depending on the embassy or consulate website where you will apply. The U.S. Department of State recommends that you wait to make travel arrangements until after you have officially secured a B-2 visa. Our staff can also help answer any questions you might have as an international visitor.
Experience Penn State
Photo at the Nittany Lion Shrine
Local legend has it that the shrine is the second most-photographed place in Pennsylvania, second only to the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia.
Whether or not this can be proven, one thing is for sure: if you visit Penn State’s University Park campus, you must have your photo taken at the shrine.
Berkey Creamery (Open Year Round)
Penn State’s Berkey Creamery is the largest university creamery in the United States! On football weekends, several thousand cones are dipped — and in the summer, lines snake out the doors as visitors wait their turn for famous flavors such as Peachy Paterno and Alumni Swirl. Berkey Creamery also makes its own cheeses, yogurts, and milkshakes!
THON — For the Kids! (February)
The Penn State Panhellenic Dance Marathon, fondly known by Penn Staters as THON, is the largest student-organized philanthropy in the world. Every February this fundraising effort — benefiting The Four Diamonds Fund, Conquering Childhood Cancer, at the Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center in Pennsylvania — culminates in a forty-six-hour, no-sitting, no-sleeping dance marathon. In 2014, THON raised more than $13 million.
Blue-White Game (April)
Don’t miss the chance to join fellow Penn Staters to celebrate one of Penn State's most popular spring events — the Blue-White Game!
In recent years the Blue-White Game has drawn more than 70,000 fans to Beaver Stadium to watch the Nittany Lions take the field against one another. The game is free; no tickets are needed.
Arts Festival (July)
The Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts (Arts Festival) is a five-day celebration of the arts that brings more than 300 artists and 125,000 visitors to State College and Penn State’s University Park campus every summer.
Children’s Day is a longstanding tradition that kicks off Arts Festival and draws a large crowd of participants every year.
Nittany Lion Sports Events
Penn State is home to 23 varsity sports — football, baseball, cross country, lacrosse, soccer, field hockey, volleyball, fencing, wrestling, and more!
Visit GoPSUSports, the central online hub for Penn State’s athletic programs, to get ticket information and buy merchandise. The site includes schedules, scores, analysis, ticket information, video highlights, and access to live audio feeds.
First completed in 1863, Old Main is one of the most well-known landmarks of campus today. It was designed by Hugh McAllister to contain classrooms, laboratories, offices, a chapel, and residential space for 400 students. Over the years, Old Main burned down twice and was rebuilt each time, serving many different purposes. Today, it serves as an administration building for Penn State’s President and other leaders.
The Arboretum at Penn State
With more than 17,000 plants representing 700 species, the Arboretum is the perfect relaxation spot on campus.
The 370-acre Arboretum boasts more than a mile of hiking trails and was opened in April 2010 after Penn State received a $10-million donation from alumnus Charles H. "Skip" Smith.
For hours and exhibit information, visit each museum’s website.
- Palmer Museum of Art — home of 35 centuries of painting, sculpture, ceramics, and works on paper
- Earth and Mineral Science Museum and Art Gallery — minerals, rocks, and fossils, and the nation's largest collection of paintings depicting mining and related industries
- Matson Museum of Anthropology — artifacts depicting the lives of people from 5 million years ago to the present
- Frost Entomological Museum — more than a half-million specimens of insects representing about 10,000 species
- All-Sports Museum — photos, memorabilia, and audio-visual displays honoring Penn State student-athletes
- Old Main's land-grant frescoes — a unique work of art on the walls of Old Main's second-floor lobby in which artist Henry Varnum Poor depicts the University's history to 1950
- Pasto Agricultural Museum — approximately 1,200 rare and unusual farm and household items dating from 4,000 BC to the 1940s
- Paul Robeson Cultural Center — provides programs and services that encourage Penn State’s appreciation of diverse perspectives, experiences, and cultures