Downtown State College

Life in State College

State College, Pennsylvania, also known as Happy Valley, has a family friendly atmosphere, rich connection to education, and strong economy. The diverse population that the University fosters means that there are a variety of cultural events, food of all flavors, and places to worship in all traditions.

Whether you are a nature lover or a fan of the arts, Central Pennsylvania has a wide variety of activities and events. There are several outdoor festivals throughout the year, including Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts, which brings over 125,000 people to the area each July. In addition, the area has many entertainment venues from intimate theaters to the large Bryce Jordan Center Arena. For the outdoor enthusiast, State College is surrounded by beautiful mountains and we have several state parks nearby. The sports enthusiast can indulge in college sporting events almost every weekend or attend a minor league baseball game.

State College is easy to get around. We have a robust city bus transportation system that services the University as well as many of the outlying townships. The downtown area is very walkable and the entire city is friendly to bike traffic, with a large network of bike paths.

Among the Best

State College—also known as Happy Valley—makes an appearance on many “Best” lists because of its friendly atmosphere, rich connection to education, natural resources, and strong economy.

  • #2: Smartest Cities (Lumosity, 2013)
  • #3: Best College Towns (American Institute for Economic Research, 2013)
  • #3: Safest Metropolitan Areas in the United States (CQ Press, 2013)
  • #4: Most Secure Small Cities (population less than 150,000) in America (Farmers Insurance, 2013)
  • #7 Best Small Places for Education (Forbes, 2016)
  • #8: Best College Towns in America (, 2016)
  • #38 Best Small Places for Business and Careers (Forbes, 2016)
  • #72 Best Small Places for Cost of Doing Business (Forbes, 2016)
  • #143 Best Small Places for Job Growth (Forbes, 2016)

What to Do

Whether you are a nature lover or prefer the arts, Central Pennsylvania boasts a wide variety of activities to appeal to almost every taste.

For the Outdoorsperson

For the Arts, History, and Music Buff

For the Foodie

For the Whole Family

For the Sports Fan


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With more than 60 faculty members, 330 graduate students, and 800 undergraduate students, the Penn State Department of Mechanical Engineering embraces a culture that welcomes individuals with a diversity of backgrounds and expertise. Our faculty and students are innovating today what will impact tomorrow’s solutions to meeting our energy needs, homeland security, biomedical devices, and transportation systems. We offer B.S. degrees in mechanical engineering as well as resident (M.S., Ph.D.) and online (M.S.) graduate degrees in mechanical engineering. See how we’re inspiring change and impacting tomorrow at

Department of Mechanical Engineering

137 Reber Building

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802-4400

Phone: 814-865-2519