The Best Penn State Campuses For Computer Science Majors

Penn State is recognized nationally for its excellence in computer science education across its multi-campus system. But if you’re looking to major in computer science at Penn State, which campus is the best fit for you?

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: The University Park campus offers the most extensive computer science program, research opportunities, and career resources.

In this comprehensive guide, we compare the top Penn State campuses for computer science and look at factors like program offerings, research, career support, costs, and more.

Overview of Penn State’s Computer Science Program

Penn State University is renowned for its exceptional computer science program, offering a variety of campuses that cater to the needs and interests of computer science majors. Whether you are looking for a bustling urban campus or a scenic suburban setting, Penn State has it all.

1. University Park

Located in State College, Pennsylvania, the University Park campus is the flagship campus of Penn State and is home to the highly esteemed College of Engineering. The computer science program at University Park offers a comprehensive curriculum that covers a wide range of topics including programming, algorithms, software engineering, artificial intelligence, and more.

The campus boasts state-of-the-art facilities and research opportunities, providing students with a cutting-edge learning environment.

2. Harrisburg

The Harrisburg campus, situated in Middletown, Pennsylvania, is another excellent choice for computer science majors. The campus offers a strong emphasis on practical skills and real-world applications of computer science.

Students at the Harrisburg campus have access to industry partnerships and internships, allowing them to gain valuable hands-on experience and establish connections in the field.

3. Behrend

The Behrend campus, located in Erie, Pennsylvania, offers a unique blend of liberal arts education and hands-on technical training. The computer science program at Behrend focuses on problem-solving skills, critical thinking, and collaboration.

The campus provides students with opportunities to engage in research projects and participate in internships with local businesses and organizations.

4. Abington

The Abington campus, situated in Abington, Pennsylvania, offers a smaller and more intimate learning environment for computer science majors. The program at Abington emphasizes a strong foundation in computer science principles, as well as practical skills in programming and software development.

The campus provides students with personalized attention from faculty and a close-knit community of learners.

These campuses are just a few examples of the exceptional computer science programs available at Penn State. Each campus offers its own unique strengths and opportunities for students to excel in the field of computer science.

Whether you prefer a large, bustling campus or a smaller, more intimate setting, Penn State has a campus that will suit your needs and help you thrive in your computer science studies.

Top Campuses for Computer Science Majors

University Park

When it comes to computer science education, Penn State’s University Park campus is considered one of the best in the country. With its state-of-the-art facilities, renowned faculty, and a wide range of specialized courses, it offers students an exceptional learning experience.

The campus boasts a strong computer science program with a focus on cutting-edge research and practical applications. Students have access to top-notch resources, including advanced laboratories, industry partnerships, and internship opportunities with leading tech companies.

The University Park campus consistently ranks among the top institutions for computer science majors, attracting students from all over the world.


The Harrisburg campus of Penn State is another excellent choice for computer science majors. With a strong emphasis on practical skills and hands-on learning, the campus provides students with the necessary tools to succeed in the field.

The faculty at Harrisburg are known for their expertise and dedication to teaching, and they are committed to preparing students for the challenges of the tech industry. The campus offers a diverse range of courses, covering topics such as software development, data analytics, and cybersecurity.

Students also have access to internship opportunities and networking events, allowing them to connect with professionals in the industry.


Abington is another campus of Penn State that offers a great program for computer science majors. Known for its small class sizes and personalized attention, the campus provides a supportive learning environment for students.

The computer science faculty at Abington are highly knowledgeable and experienced, and they are committed to helping students succeed. The program offers a well-rounded curriculum that covers both theoretical concepts and practical applications.

Abington also provides students with opportunities for research, internships, and industry collaborations, enhancing their learning experience and preparing them for successful careers in the field.


For computer science majors looking for a more specialized program, Penn State’s Behrend campus is a fantastic option. The campus offers a unique blend of theoretical knowledge and hands-on experience, focusing on areas such as artificial intelligence, robotics, and software engineering.

With its cutting-edge facilities and dedicated faculty, Behrend provides students with the opportunity to work on real-world projects and gain practical skills. The campus also has strong ties to the local tech industry, offering students numerous internship and job placement opportunities.

Behrend’s computer science program has a strong reputation for producing graduates who are well-prepared for the challenges of the rapidly evolving tech industry.

Comparing the Computer Science Programs

Choosing the right campus for your computer science major at Penn State is an important decision. To help you make an informed choice, let’s compare the computer science programs offered at different campuses based on various factors.

Courses and Specializations

When it comes to courses and specializations, Penn State campuses offer a diverse range of options for computer science majors. Each campus has its own unique set of courses and specializations, allowing students to tailor their education to their specific interests and career goals.

For example, the University Park campus offers a wide variety of advanced courses in artificial intelligence and machine learning, while the Harrisburg campus focuses on cybersecurity and data analytics.

By exploring the course catalogs and specializations offered at each campus, students can find the program that aligns best with their interests.

Faculty and Research

The quality of faculty and research opportunities can greatly impact the learning experience for computer science majors. Penn State campuses boast highly qualified faculty members who are experts in their respective fields.

These professors are not only dedicated to teaching, but they also actively engage in cutting-edge research, contributing to the advancement of computer science. Students have the opportunity to work alongside these esteemed faculty members on various research projects, gaining invaluable hands-on experience and expanding their knowledge in the field.

Internship and Career Support

Internship and career support services play a crucial role in helping computer science majors secure valuable industry experience and job opportunities. Penn State campuses have strong connections with local and national tech companies, providing students with access to internships and networking opportunities.

Career services at each campus offer resources such as resume-building workshops, interview preparation, and job fairs, ensuring that computer science majors are well-equipped for success in the job market.

Additionally, alumni networks and mentoring programs provide ongoing support even after graduation.


Considering the financial aspect is an important factor when choosing a campus for your computer science major. The costs associated with attending a Penn State campus can vary depending on factors such as tuition, housing, and transportation.

It’s essential to carefully review the costs associated with each campus and factor in any scholarships or financial aid opportunities that may be available. By comparing the costs of different campuses, students can make a well-informed decision that aligns with their budget.

Criteria for Selecting the Best Campus

When considering which Penn State campus is the best fit for computer science majors, there are several important criteria to keep in mind. These criteria can help prospective students make an informed decision about where to pursue their studies.

Program Offerings

One of the most important factors to consider when selecting a Penn State campus for computer science is the program offerings. Different campuses may have varying degrees of specialization within the field of computer science.

Some campuses may offer a wider range of computer science courses and concentrations, while others may have specific strengths in certain areas such as artificial intelligence or cybersecurity. Prospective students should carefully review the program offerings at each campus to ensure they align with their academic and career goals.


The location of the campus is another important factor to consider. Some students may prefer to study at a campus located in a bustling urban area with access to internships and job opportunities in the tech industry. Others may prefer a quieter, more suburban or rural campus setting.

The location of the campus can also impact the cost of living and overall quality of life for students. Prospective students should consider their personal preferences and career aspirations when evaluating the location of each Penn State campus.


Cost is a significant factor for many students when choosing a college or university. Tuition and fees can vary between Penn State campuses, and students should carefully consider the financial implications of attending each campus.

It’s important to take into account not only the cost of tuition, but also other expenses such as housing, meals, and transportation. Students may also want to explore scholarship and financial aid opportunities specific to each campus.

Comparing the costs of attending different Penn State campuses can help students make a more financially informed decision.

Campus Culture

The campus culture is an often overlooked but important aspect to consider when selecting a Penn State campus. Each campus has its own unique atmosphere and community. Some campuses may have a strong emphasis on research and innovation, while others may have a more collaborative and supportive environment.

Prospective students should consider the campus culture and determine if it aligns with their personal values and learning style. Visiting the campuses, attending information sessions, or reaching out to current students can provide valuable insights into the campus culture.

Getting the Most from Your Program

As a computer science major at Penn State, there are several ways to maximize your experience and ensure you’re getting the most out of your program. Here are some tips to help you make the most of your time at Penn State:

Utilize Career Services

One of the best resources available to computer science majors at Penn State is the career services department. They can help you with everything from writing a standout resume to preparing for interviews.

They also organize career fairs where you can meet potential employers and learn about internship and job opportunities in the field. Take advantage of these services to increase your chances of landing your dream job after graduation.

Join Student Organizations

Joining student organizations related to computer science is a great way to enhance your education and network with like-minded individuals. Penn State offers a variety of computer science clubs and organizations where you can collaborate on projects, attend workshops, and participate in coding competitions.

These extracurricular activities not only provide valuable experience but also allow you to build lasting friendships and connections within the industry.

Build Relationships with Professors

Developing strong relationships with your professors can be immensely beneficial during your time as a computer science major. Professors can serve as mentors, provide guidance, and offer valuable insights into the industry.

Take the time to attend office hours, ask questions, and engage in discussions. By showing interest and dedication, you’ll not only gain valuable knowledge but also potentially open doors to research opportunities or internships.

Remember, your college experience is what you make of it. By utilizing the resources available to you, actively participating in student organizations, and building relationships with professors, you can enhance your computer science program at Penn State and set yourself up for success in your future career.


For computer science students at Penn State, the University Park campus stands out as the best choice overall thanks to its extensive program options, research activity, career resources, and vibrant student life.

By carefully considering all the campus differences and choosing the program that aligns with your goals and needs, you can maximize your Penn State computer science education.

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