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Penn State World Campus appears in these rankings:

30 Best Affordable Online Colleges

Top 19 Cheap Online Master's in Higher Education Degree Programs

Penn State has been providing distance education services since 1892, but only began its Penn State World Campus online environment during the fall semester of 1998. Even so, this makes Penn State World Campus one of the oldest all-online degree programs as well as the oldest all-online campus of a major public university in the United States. Since its inception, World Campus has grown to encompass dozens of online undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs in fields like business, political science, public administration, and the liberal arts. World Campus carries with it the prestigious Penn State name and many top accreditations, and it remains a top choice for students nationwide as a result.

Penn State World Campus Accreditation Details

Penn State World Campus is located within the territory of the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, and has received regional accreditation from the MSCHE to offer its programs both online and offline. This regional accreditation serves as the basis for Penn State's eligibility in federal financial aid programs and allows its degrees to be recognized nationwide, but it is not the only accreditation featured within its many distance learning degrees.

All of Penn State's World Campus business programs are accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International, the most prestigious professional business accreditation for American colleges and universities. The campus also features a Master of Public Administration degree program that is accredited by the prestigious Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration. NASPAA accreditation is the most prestigious accreditation for programs in public policy and administration in the United States.

Penn State World Campus Application Requirements

Application requirements for students who wish to attend Penn State World Campus are largely similar to the requirements of students applying to the University Park campus or PSU's satellite campuses. All undergraduate students must submit their high school transcript and SAT scores in order to be considered for undergraduate programs at World Campus; students who have attended other colleges and universities must submit all official transcripts from those institutions in order to transfer credit and gain admission. International students must submit TOEFL scores with a proficient and passing score in order to be considered. All students must submit the Penn State online application in order to be considered. In addition, many majors enforce "program admission" requirements that require students to maintain a certain GPA in core classes.

Graduate applications are accepted on a rolling basis, much like their undergraduate counterparts. All graduate students must submit transcripts from all colleges and universities attended prior to degree conferral. In addition to this requirement, at least one transcript must show that a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree was conferred prior to full admission to Penn State. The university requires all applicants to its business-related programs to submit official GMAT scores taken within the last five years. Penn State may accept GRE scores from these students on a case-by-case basis, but GMAT scores are strongly recommended by the school's admissions guidelines. Business-related programs require submission of an updated and professional resume as well.

Students in other graduate programs outside of business disciplines must submit GRE scores. All students must submit at least one essay, with the topic issued on a program-by-program basis within the online application. Additionally, graduate students in all disciplines will be required to identify and select a proctor upon admission. The proctor will monitor all official test-taking activities during the full duration of the program.

Penn State World Campus Tuition and Financial Aid

At the undergraduate level, Penn State World Campus charges different tuition rates to students based on their number of credits earned. All undergraduate students who have earned fewer than 59 credits must pay full-time tuition of $6,506 per semester if they take 12 credits or more during a given semester. Part-time students will pay a per-credit tuition rate of $535 if they have earned fewer than 59 credits. Students with 59 or more credits will pay a per-credit rate of $579 and a full-time tuition rate of $7,041 per semester if they take 12 or more credits. All undergraduate students are responsible for a $252 technology fee if they take 9 or more credits, though this is reduced to $189 for students enrolled in fewer than 9 credits during a given semester. Students taking less than 5 credits pay an even smaller technology fee of $86.

Graduate students pay a per-credit tuition fee of $930. Full-time graduate students who are taking at least 12 credits during a given semester will pay a flat rate of $11,160 per semester. All graduate students pay the same technology fee as undergraduates, which is pro-rated at the same credit levels as the undergraduate fee.

Penn State World Campus Academic Programs and Benefits

Penn State offers a vast number of online degree programs across business, technology, social science, and liberal arts fields. Undergraduates can choose from business programs in administration, economics, accounting, finance, and marketing. Majors in computer science, psychology, sociology, turf grass management, mathematics, English, and many other liberal arts pursuits are also available to online students at the undergraduate levels. Students can even opt to earn a two-year associates degree in liberal studies if they aren't sure which major to pursue.

At the graduate level, Penn State World Campus offers a very popular iMBA program that combines courses and professors from the Smeal College of Business and the Behrend College in Erie, Pennsylvania. Students can also choose graduate-level programs in public administration, engineering, several education-related fields, homeland security, information systems, renewable energy management, applied statistics, and several other fields.

There are many benefits to the World Campus program, but the primary benefit of attending Penn State World Campus is its excellent reputation as part of the massive Pennsylvania State University system. Students who graduate from World Campus receive a traditional Penn State diploma that does not indicate courses were taken online. Furthermore, they gain instant access to the nation's largest and most prestigious alumni organization. Thanks to its combination of regional and professional accreditations, the program also offers students the absolute highest standard of education across many disciplines. The university's willingness to work with flexible semesters, military considerations, and nontraditional students, makes Penn State World Campus one of the best choices available to online learners throughout the United States and even around the world.

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