Skip to main content
Life in State College
View from the Allen Street Gates

Each year, the BMMB graduate program brings together students from all over the United States and the world. Our students form a tight-knit group that work together both in research and life. A few examples of yearly events include hiking, camping trips, mountain biking, pumpkin carving, Tussey Mountain Wingfest, Spikes baseball games, Penn State football games and tailgates, just to name a few. In addition, the BMB department hosts a fall welcome picnic and holiday party every December. The BMMB Graduate Student Association has put together the below resources for prospective students.


This is a short list of some of the housing options for graduate students. Included are a few of the common apartment complexes for graduate students, on campus housing and home listings. Cooper's Pond Townhomes and Turtle Creek Apartments
Penn State Graduate and Family Housing at White Course Apartments Toftrees Apartments
The Apartment Store Falk Realty
Remax, Centre Realty Craigslist, State College

Ms. Linda Kunes can assist you in connecting with classmates. Additionally, Penn State maintains two sites to help find a roommate. There are local roommate wanted ads on Craig’s list and

Student Affairs, Off-Campus Living Classifieds Student Affairs, Off-Camous Living Roommate Search



HUB (Student Union) Dining Order Up State College Dining and Restaurant Guide State College Menus

Some BMMB favorites:

  • The Deli serves a wide variety of excellent food at reasonable prices with great monthly/seasonal specials.
  • Kamrai is a Thai Sushi House in Lemont. A short drive from town, Kamrai offers the best sushi in the area.
  • Big Bowl Noodle House makes large servings of Asian style cuisine to order from fresh ingredients, and at very reasonable prices.  (Cash only!)
  • Green Bowl is an all-you-can-eat build-your-own stir fry buffet.
  • India Pavilion offers a lunch buffet and dinner to order, as well as take out.

Although it’s not common, some graduate students prefer purchasing a meal plan. More information on campus meal plans can be found at the Penn State Housing, Food Services, and Residence Life website.


The average commute to campus is about 5 to 10 minutes.  Parking is available to graduate students at the stadium for $120 per year.  The stadium lots are approximately one mile from the science buildings and buses run regularly from the parking lots into campus.  For more information you can go to the Penn State Transportation Services website.

The CATA bus system has routes that go near most of the apartment complexes and shopping areas of State College. The “ridepass” program offered through Penn State Transportation Services is $21 a month for graduate students who live more than 1.5 miles from campus and do not have an on-campus parking pass or a bus pass offered through their apartment complex.   For more information, see Ridepass, CATA Bus Website, CATA Map.

There are many bike paths and lanes in State College for those who prefer that mode of transportation. Most roads are biker friendly. Centre Region Bikeway Map

Enterprise CarShare, a car-sharing service from Enterprise Rent-A-Car, is now available to Penn State students, faculty and staff at the University Park campus. A cost-effective alternative to car ownership, the membership-based service offers the freedom and flexibility of using a vehicle while only paying for the hours it is being used. Enterprise CarShare vehicles are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with low rates by the hour, the day, overnight and weekends.


Penn State has a number of fitness facilities open to graduate students.  In addition, students in our department often form intramural teams for soccer, volleyball, and softball.  There are also a large number of club sports that graduate students are able to join. There are both PSU-owned and private golf courses as well as a disc golf course in the area.  There are several private gyms in State College, including the local YMCA, which has rock climbing available for both members and non-members.

Grad students can purchase student tickets to all Penn State athletics events including football, basketball and hockey in the near future.  State College also has a minor league baseball team, the State College Spikes.  Students can get free tickets to most of their home games.

Concerts of all types and sizes can be seen at the Bryce Jordan Center, the State Theatre downtown and at the Eisenhower Theater on campus.  Graduate students can also attend or participate in the music and theater departments on campus.  There are local bands and orchestras that do not require auditions, as well as other local groups.

State College hosts Arts Fest every summer. Downtown is filled with artists selling their work you and vendors selling all types of delicious food.  At the same time, Boalsburg (a few miles away) hosts the People's Choice Festival which brings in local artists.  The annual Bellefonte Arts and Crafts Fair at Talleyrand park is another enjoyable and affordable alternative, featuring a large array of regional vendors.

There are numerous state parks and state forest lands within easy driving distance of State College. Tussey Mountain has skiing, snowboarding and snow tubing hills, as well as mountain biking and hiking trails about 15 minutes from State College.  Bald Eagle State Park, 45 minutes away from campus, features a swimming area with a sandy beach and concession stand, as well as boat rentals and a small marina with both wet and dry storage for boats. Located about 2 hours north of State College is Cherry Springs State Park, which contains some of the darkest skies in the Eastern United States, and is a wonderful place to camp. The dark skies make it one of the best places for stargazing; under optimal conditions, nearly 10,000 stars can be seen with the naked eye.

Pittsburgh (2.5 hours), Philadelphia (3.5 hours), Washington D.C. (4 hours) and New York City (4 hours) are all within driving distance. Megabus has buses between State College and Pittsburgh, Philly and NYC.  The Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History in Pittsburgh are well worth a visit (student admission $11.95 with ID).