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Studying A Postgrad Program In Pennsylvania

One of the original 13 states in America, Pennsylvania is a historic and popular place to live and study. Set between the Delaware Estuary, Lake Erie, Canada, Ohio, New York, New Jersey, West Virginia, Maryland and Delaware with the Appalachian Mountains running through the West. The population of Pennsylvania is approximately 12.8 million and its capital city is Harrisburg. Philadelphia is the largest city in the state with a population of 1.5 million and this is where the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution were written.

Postgrad Courses in Pennsylvania

Where can you study a postgrad program in Pennsylvania?

With almost half a million students and 212 institutions, there is plenty of choice of university for graduate study in Pennsylvania. Some of your choices include:

Temple University: Temple University was founded in 1884. It has multiple campuses, the main one being located in the centre of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, with three other campus locations within the Philadelphia city limits. Temple University also has two regional campuses, one in Ambler, Pennsylvania and another in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and overseas campuses in Rome and Tokyo. There are almost 40,000 students attending Temple University, 29,000 undergraduates and over 10,000 postgrads.

Pennsylvania State University: A public university that was founded in 1855, Pennsylvania State University has an outstanding reputation for academic excellence. With 97,500 students, of which 14,000 are graduates, Penn State is one of the largest institutions in the US. The university also has the largest fee-paying alumni society in the world and the largest student philanthropic organisation in the world. The main campus is based at University Park in the borough of College Town in the centre of Pennsylvania.

University of Pennsylvania: This private Ivy League university was established by Benjamin Franklin in 1740. With 10,000 undergraduates and 11,000 postgraduates based at the campus in Philadelphia, it is a lively and popular place for study. The University of Pennsylvania was the first institution to offer lessons in Medicine and Business in the US. It is a prestigious university with fierce competition for places. A survey of alumni found that the University of Pennsylvania had the most billionaires among its former graduates than any other US institution.

University of Pittsburgh: A public university based in the city of Pittsburgh in the west of Pennsylvania, the University of Pittsburgh was established in 1787. The university has almost 10,000 postgraduate students. Rated as one of the top universities in the US with an excellent reputation for research it is a very popular place for graduate study.

Carnegie Mellon University: Based three miles from Downtown Pittsburgh this private university has an excellent academic reputation. 13,500 students are based at the university and it is also rated as one of the best places to study in the US. The School of Computer Science is extremely well rated nationally as is the School of Drama. Established in 1900 and merged with the Mellon Institute in 1967 the Carnegie Mellon University is an exclusive and selective place for postgraduate study.

Drexel University: Established in 1891 and based in Philadelphia, Drexel University offers a unique learning experience with a strong base of practical work experience. All students are offered the opportunity for about 18 months of work experience in a field related to their undergraduate or postgraduate major. Around 11,000 postgraduate students study in one of the three campuses around Philadelphia. A private research university, Drexel University is a popular choice for postgraduate study.

Tuition fees & living costs in Pennsylvania

Tuition fees in Pennsylvania vary between universities in the public and private sectors. Most public institutions will charge more to out-of-state and international students to in-state students. For example a course at Pennsylvania State University that charges around $19,000 for in-state residents charges out-of-state students just over $30,000. Some universities in Pennsylvania will also charge international students an extra fee of around $1,500 per year. Private universities tend to charge all students the same rate and the fees depend on the course. Tuition Fees for private universities tend to be from about $40,000 to $60,000 per academic year.

The costs of living for a postgrad student will vary depending on location in Pennsylvania. Some universities estimate that you need $22,000 put aside for living costs after tuition fees have been paid and others are closer to $15,000 per annum. Have a read of this to help you consider all of your living costs.

Admissions & applications in Pennsylvania

When you are considering applying to study a postgraduate program at university in Pennsylvania the first thing you will require a good level undergraduate degree in an appropriate subject to be considered. Some institutions, especially the private ones, might also accept substantial experience in place of an undergraduate degree. If English is not your first language, then you will need to provide official evidence of your proficiency. If English is not your first language you will have to take an English-proficiency test like this one. If you are an international student you will also have to provide proof of adequate funds to cover your tuition fees and living costs for the duration of your postgraduate program. 

Reading up on improving your admission for a graduate course is also a good idea for anyone making an application.

Interesting Pennsylvania alumni

With a clutch of large and prestigious universities Pennsylvania has numerous alumni who have gone on to interesting things. The actors Gene Kelly and Ty Burrell both attended Pennsylvania State University. Alumni of the University of Pennsylvania include Donald Trump and Ivanka Trump, as well as business magnate Elon Musk. The actors Ethan Hawke and Josh Gad both attended Carnegie Mellon University.

Student Case Study

Recent University of Pennsylvania postgraduate student, Joop, found that the chance to study many different subjects was a real opportunity to grow and learn. She also felt that she had a great chance to experience other cultures whilst studying.

What can you do in Pennsylvania when you're not studying?

Pennsylvania has a rich history and there are many sites connected to the early years of the US. There are few places, such as Gettysburg, that share their history with the American Civil War that are popular destinations. Philadelphia is a major tourist destination with lots of museums and art galleries. The state and national parks are popular places to go hiking and camping.

As a postgrad student it is important to find activities not related to your studies to unwind and relax and here is some advice to plan for time off.

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