Pennsylvania State University

Susan Welch Liberal Arts Building

The new hub of social sciences will inspire its inhabitants and support applied learning and cutting-edge research. The classrooms, labs and learning spaces support problem- and discovery-based education and emerging pedagogies.

The building is designed in uniformly planned modules to allow for future flexibility and adaptability. It houses Anthropology, Sociology & Criminology, Political Science, the Population Research Institute, Criminal Justice Research Center, School of Public Policy and School of International Affairs. Anthropology’s research laboratories include:

  • An anatomy lab suite to allow students to work with both cadavers and a virtual dissection table.
  • Genetics and genomics lab suites, specialty labs to support cell culture, histology, molecular testing, hair and fecal analysis, low-biomass, insect/entomology and isotope labs.
  • A dry collections lab suite for the research and storage of anthropological artifacts.
  • A human subjects sampling lab with public access and a waiting room for the collection of hair, saliva, blood and other research samples.

A highly visible element within the building is the Matson Museum of Anthropology, which supports teaching and research of ancient human cultures, human evolution and biological diversity. Archeological objects from around the world are displayed and significant numbers of collections not on display require storage.

The building is anticipated to earn a minimum of LEED certification.


University Park, Pennsylvania


142,000 GSF


Laboratory programming, planning and design


Minimum of LEED Certification


Bohlin Cywinski Jackson