FAQs

Courses, Majors/Minors, and Status Changes

When do I declare a major?

Enrollment controlled majors in the College of Engineering must be declared when students are within the 40-59 credit window. For non-enrollment controlled majors, students should still be planning to enter into their major during this period and should be working with their respective academic departments if they will need additional time to enter their majors.

I am currently having an issue declaring my major. I have completed all of the ETM courses, have the required GPA, and am currently within the credit window. What gives?

Occasionally there are issues with LionPATH recognizing that a student is eligible for their major. We will review these on an individual basis. If you believe that you were wrongfully denied entry to your major, we will forward your information on to the folks who will look into the issue further. We will follow up with you directly when an answer for the error is discovered and what the course of action will be at that point.

How and when can I add and/or drop a course?

Courses can be added and/or dropped during the regular Drop/Add period, which is during the first six calendar days of the semester. You can either fill out a Drop/Add form and submit it to the Registrar's Office or go through LionPATH. If a course is dropped during the regular Drop/Add period, it will not show up on your transcript.

Courses can be dropped during the Late Drop period, which is from the seventh day of the semester to the end of the twelfth week of the semester. If a course is dropped during the Late Drop period, it will show up on your transcript as an "LD" grade. Contact your adviser for further details.

Review the Registrar’s website for associated costs and more information about dropping courses.

Course adds occurring after the sixth day are considered late adds. A late add requires the signature of the course instructor on a registration drop/add form. The student takes the completed form to the department offering the course for processing.

Review the Registrar’s website for associated costs and more information about adding courses.

I am currently having an issue declaring my major. I have completed all of the ETM courses, have the required GPA, and am currently within the credit window. What gives?

Occasionally there are issues with LionPATH recognizing that a student is eligible for their major. We will review these on an individual basis. If you believe that you were wrongfully denied entry to your major, we will forward your information on to the folks who will look into the issue further. We will follow up with you directly when an answer for the error is discovered and what the course of action will be at that point.

What do I do when the course I want is full?

Keep checking the Schedule of Courses. A new section of the course may be added, or someone might drop the course.

Call or stop by the department offering the course to ask:

  • Is there any way I can schedule this course?
  • Is it possible that more sections will be added? If so, when?
  • Is there a waiting list? (If so, get your name on it!)
  • What's the name of the instructor? (Call, e-mail, or stop by during the instructor's office hours to ask, What would you recommend if I really want/need this course?)

*Tip: Department phone numbers and office locations are on the Schedule of Courses.

Schedule a course that would be a good alternative. Be sure to review all of your course selections with an adviser. Please note: it is not recommended that you send your schedule or course selection ideas to an adviser through email for review. Please stop by during walk-in advising hours or schedule an appointment instead.

Wait until the semester begins. Many courses will have space available within the first week of classes. If it is okay with the instructor, attend the class, even if you cannot add it at that point. That way you will be sure you really want the course, and you will not have missed anything if the course does open up.

Ask the course instructor to sign a registration drop/add form giving you permission to enroll (even though the class is full). If the instructor signs this form, take it to the department that offers the course for approval and processing. If the department does process the “override,” double-check your schedule to be sure the course you added does not conflict with other courses already on your schedule.

What is the limit of repeat attempts of a course?

A student cannot attempt a course more than three times without the permission of the appropriate dean in their unit of enrollment. It is important to note that it is the academic official of the student's unit of enrollment; not the unit offering the class. Under no circumstances will approval be given for more than four attempts. Attempts are tracked in LionPATH; students will be denied enrollment after a third attempt in a given course.

Attempts include all courses on a student's transcript (including courses attempted prior to fall 2016) with a letter grade or a symbol indicating satisfactory/unsatisfactory grading (SA/UN) or LD, WN, WP, or WF.

Attempts also include courses offered by more than one department that are designated as combined section (cross-listed). For example, if a student attempted CAMS 5 and then attempted HIST 5, it would be considered a course repeat because this is a "combined section course."

Attempts will also include sections of a course differentiated by suffix: for example, attempting CAS 100A and CAS 100B would be two attempts.

Please refer to Policy C-7: Course Repeats in excess of three attempts. A student needs to complete and submit the Additional Course Attempt Request form, found within the policy link, to an academic adviser when requesting a fourth attempt. College of Engineering students must use the electronic workflow process that has been approved to use. 

What degree audit do I select if I am in a pre-major?

A What-if Report is used to request an Advisement Report for a plan other than the one(s) in which you are currently enrolled. Students would run a What-if Report for their intended major(s)/option(s).

Please refer to the tutorials on the LionPATH help page for directions on running a What-if Report and Interpreting a Degree Audit.

What if courses are not appearing in the correct areas of my degree audit?

Sometimes courses can cover more than one requirement and adjustments to your degree audit are needed to correctly reflect how you intended them to be used. Contact your academic adviser.

Why can’t I schedule a course? What are course controls?

The Class Details page contains the meeting and enrollment information, class availability, course description, textbook information and additional details including if a course is targeted for a population (majors, minors, etc.). The Enrollment Information can vary between sections of the same course.

How do I change into the College of Engineering?

Students can use Update Academics to change, add, or remove majors, options, minors and certificates.

To move into the pre-major, ENGR_PMAJ, in The College of Engineering students need to have successfully (with a “C” or better) completed one of the Entrance to Major math course while at Penn State and a 2.0 cumulative GPA.

Changes that are approved during the drop/add period of a term will be approved effective for that current term. Changes that are approved after the drop/add period of a term will be effective for the upcoming term and will be visible in the Student Center at the beginning of that term.

Please refer to the tutorials on the LionPATH help page on using Update Academics. 

If I repeat a course, how will the new grade affect my cumulative grade point average?

When a course has been repeated, all of the credits and grades earned are included when calculating your cumulative grade-point average. However, the course credits counts only once towards total earned credits.

What do I do when a course is full?

In LionPATH, if a course is full and a Wait List is available, a student can choose to be automatically added to the class if a seat opens (tutorial: Wait List Frequently Asked Questions). Note: Be sure to uncheck Show Open Classes Only in order to see full sections, including those with Wait List availability. Even if you are on the Course Wait List, continue to use Search for Classes to monitor seat availability. Not all courses have Wait List as an option.

What do I do if I want to add over 19 credits?

To schedule more than 19 credits, a student must add the overload credits during the drop/add period. No additional tuition is charged. Consultation with your adviser is suggested but not required.

Can I declare more than one option within a major?

An option is a specialization within a major. A student can only officially declare one option in a major. Courses in the other option(s) can be taken and can be acknowledged on a resume, for example.

Where do I find my enrollment date (when you can schedule your next semester courses)?

A student’s enrollment dates can be found by going to the “Academics” tab. In the bottom right-hand side of the page are folders, select the “Enrollment” folder and then select the link titled, “Enrollment Dates.”

If you are looking at the Classic View of LionPATH your enrollment dates can be found along the right column within the Student Center (LionPATH) under the heading of "Enrollment Dates." This is the first day you are eligible to enroll in courses for the corresponding semester.

How do I declare a concurrent (double) major?

There are only two concurrent major options for Enrollment Controlled majors:

  • Mechanical Engineering/Biomedical Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering/Nuclear Engineering

Students request to add a concurrent major through Update Academics in LionPATH. The concurrent major needs to be declared during the time when the student is in the credit window. However, access to Enrollment Controlled courses may be restricted until the concurrent majors are approved. All Entrance to Major courses must be completed or in progress before a student is eligible to declare a concurrent major. The student is responsible for creating a workable plan, approved by all advisers involved to ensure requirements for all majors are met. Course substitutions should also be included in this plan.

If you are interested in pursuing a double major that is not included above, talk with your adviser about how to move forward with declaring that plan.

Please refer to the tutorials on the LionPATH help page on using Update Academics.

How and when do I enter a major?

First-semester baccalaureate students with a major goal in the College of Engineering are admitted to the College of Engineering in the ENGR_PMAJ pre-major. Students are eligible to apply for entrance to our majors once they have met the entry criteria for Entrance to Major and can declare their major through Update Academics in LionPATH.

Specific requirements can be found under each major.

How and when do I declare a minor?

Students wishing to declare a minor must use UPDATE ACADEMICS through LionPATH. Intent to pursue a minor may be declared after the student has achieved at least third-semester classification (29.1 credits) or has been accepted into his/her major, but prior to the end of the late drop deadline of the student's final semester. If students no longer wish to complete a minor they declared, they need to use Update Academics to remove the minor from their student record.

Degree Requirements

What is a Degree Audit/What-If Report?

The Penn State Degree Audit Report is a computer-generated report that matches the degree requirements of an undergraduate degree program with a student's course work taken. The audit identifies those graduation requirements completed as well as those requirements needing completion prior to graduation. The purpose of the audit report is to provide each student and his/her adviser with a degree progress monitoring tool to assist in academic planning and appropriate course scheduling each semester. Students can obtain an audit of their current major or explore other majors by seeing how their completed coursework matches with the requirements of other majors. Degree audits can be obtained from LionPATH.

Which courses do I need to earn a C or better?

The Academic Requirements (LionPATH degree audit) and what-if Report indicates which courses/requirements are designated as “C or higher required”.

Please refer to the tutorials on the LionPATH help page for a tutorial on running a degree audit.

Additionally, you can look at the Recommended Academic Plan for your intended major and use the Quick Filter in the top right-hand corner to identify which courses require a “C” or better.

Which CAS course should I take?

Only CAS 100 (A or B) courses will satisfy the GWS requirement in the College of Engineering. CAS 100A has an emphasis on public speaking and presentations. CAS 100B focuses on group problem solving and group presentations.

Which ENGL 202 course should I take?

ENGL 202C (Technical Writing) is required for students in the College of Engineering. Students pursuing Biological Engineering will have other courses that substitute for that requirement, consult with your Academic Adviser to review those specific requirements.

What is important for me to know about course prerequisites?

Course prerequisites provide the necessary knowledge base to succeed in the next course. The faculty and Faculty Senate approve these pre-requisites. The College of Engineering departments enforce prerequisites for all ENGR courses, students will be able to schedule a course if the prerequisite is not met or scheduled prior to the semester of enrollment, but the department will reach out to the student and tell the student to drop the course or remove a student from the course. Note: students that have fulfilled a requirement with a course substitution and/or general transfer credit could be blocked from enrollment and should work with their assigned academic adviser.

Why do I have to take courses that fulfill general education requirements?

Not only do these courses fulfill General Education requirements, many of them are requirements for your College of Engineering degree. Additionally, General Education courses give students in the College of Engineering breadth of knowledge across several other areas to make our graduates well-rounded and better critical thinkers who can approach problems creatively.

How do I pick my classes if I do not have any idea of what I want to major in?

If you are unsure which College of Engineering major is right for you, it is best to meet with your Academic Adviser so that they can assist you in identifying a schedule that will allow you to make progress towards several degree programs.

Is there a limit on the amount of credit I can receive for previous study from exam scores and/or transfer credit?

Penn State students may earn credit for a course to fulfill degree requirements by earning a grade of C or higher on a comprehensive examination made available through the academic unit that offers the course. This examination is a substitute for completing the usual requirements of a course.

Non-credit examinations are offered in foreign languages for proficiency certification

Credit by examination is not offered for all courses; the academic unit that offers the course makes the determination.

A student cannot earn credit by examination if the course is already on his/her transcript with a quality letter grade (even if the grade was an F) or with a satisfactory or unsatisfactory grade.

A student cannot earn credit by exam in a course he/she transferred from another institution (described in Senate Policy 42-80) or credit earned by other means (described in Senate Policy 42-90).

The satisfactory/unsatisfactory grading system cannot be used for credits earned by examination.

You can obtain a credit-by-examination application form from the office of your appropriate dean, and follow the directions on the back of the form.

Fee: A $30.00-per-credit assessment is paid in the department offering the course. The fee defrays the cost of preparing, administering, and grading the exam; it is nonrefundable.

Credit by Examination does not result in a quality grade (A, A-, etc.) or effect the calculation of a student's grade-point average. Credits earned are included in total credits on the student's Penn State transcript; however, they are not included in cumulative credits. On the student's transcript, the course is listed, the grade column is left blank, and CRX is noted in the field to the right of the grade column. If a student earns less than a grade of C, credits are not earned and there is no notation made on the student's transcript.

What if I sign up for the “wrong” class?

If you realize your error during the Add/Drop period, you can drop the course and add a new (appropriate) course via LionPATH.

If you realize your error after the Add/Drop period, you can Late Drop the course; this should only be done in consultation with your academic adviser. The Late Drop period ends at the end of the 12th week of the semester (for Fall & Spring semester courses).

How many classes do I have to take in order to graduate? 

This varies depending on your intended major. You can find the exact number for your intended major by reviewing the Undergraduate Handbook for that particular major. Undergraduate Handbooks can be found on department websites.

How many courses may I take each semester?

To remain a full-time student, you should take at least 12 credits. However, due to the requirements of the various Engineering majors, it is best to average 15-17 credits. This also gives you a late drop cushion in case you need it.

When do I have to fulfill my general education requirements?

For students doing the general combination of 6 credits in the General Arts, Humanities, & Social/Behavioral Sciences (AHS), these requirements need to be completed prior to graduation.

For students who are doing the 3-6-9 combination, your final course in the AHS groups should be completed in your penultimate semester. In your final semester, you will complete a petition to have your degree audit changed to reflect a 3-6-9 combination.

LionPATH

What is a Degree Audit/What-If Report?

The Penn State Degree Audit Report is a computer-generated report that matches the degree requirements of an undergraduate degree program with a student's course work taken. The audit identifies those graduation requirements completed as well as those requirements needing completion prior to graduation. The purpose of the audit report is to provide each student and his/her adviser with a degree progress monitoring tool to assist in academic planning and appropriate course scheduling each semester. Students can obtain an audit of their current major or explore other majors by seeing how their completed coursework matches with the requirements of other majors. Degree audits can be obtained from LionPATH. 

I am currently having an issue declaring my major. I have completed all of the ETM courses, have the required GPA, and am currently within the credit window. What gives?

Occasionally there are issues with LionPATH recognizing that a student is eligible for their major. We will review these on an individual basis. If you believe that you were wrongfully denied entry to your major, we will forward your information on to the folks who will look into the issue further. We will follow up with you directly when an answer for the error is discovered and what the course of action will be at that point.

How and when can I add and/or drop a course?

Courses can be added and/or dropped during the regular Drop/Add period, which is during the first six calendar days of the semester. You can either fill out a Drop/Add form and submit it to the Registrar's Office or go through LionPATH. If a course is dropped during the regular Drop/Add period, it will not show up on your transcript.

Courses can be dropped during the Late Drop period, which is from the seventh day of the semester to the end of the twelfth week of the semester. If a course is dropped during the Late Drop period, it will show up on your transcript as an "LD" grade. Contact your adviser for further details.

Review the Registrar’s website for associated costs and more information about dropping courses.

Course adds occurring after the sixth day are considered late adds. A late add requires the signature of the course instructor on a registration drop/add form. The student takes the completed form to the department offering the course for processing.

Review the Registrar’s website for associated costs and more information about adding courses.

What do I do when the course I want is full? 

Keep checking the Schedule of Courses. A new section of the course may be added, or someone might drop the course.

Call or stop by the department offering the course to ask:

  • Is there any way I can schedule this course?
  • Is it possible that more sections will be added? If so, when?
  • Is there a waiting list? (If so, get your name on it!)
  • What's the name of the instructor? (Call, e-mail, or stop by during the instructor's office hours to ask, What would you recommend if I really want/need this course?)

*Tip: Department phone numbers and office locations are on the Schedule of Courses.

Schedule a course that would be a good alternative. Be sure to review all of your course selections with an adviser. Please note: it is not recommended that you send your schedule or course selection ideas to an adviser through email for review. Please stop by during walk-in advising hours or schedule an appointment instead.

Wait until the semester begins. Many courses will have space available within the first week of classes. If it is okay with the instructor, attend the class, even if you cannot add it at that point. That way you will be sure you really want the course, and you will not have missed anything if the course does open up. 

Ask the course instructor to sign a registration drop/add form giving you permission to enroll (even though the class is full). If the instructor signs this form, take it to the department that offers the course for approval and processing. (If the department does process the “override,” double-check your schedule to be sure the course you added does not conflict with other courses already on your schedule.)

How do I find out the name of my adviser?

You can check your advisor in LionPATH. Select the “Academics” tab at the top of the page. On the Academics homepage, there should be a box called, “My Advisors,” your assigned advisor should be listed in that box. If there is no name or assigned adviser in that box, contact the Engineering Advising Center (814-863-1033) for assistance in getting an adviser assigned to you. 

How do I change into the College of Engineering?

Students can use Update Academics to change, add, or remove majors, options, minors and certificates.

To move into the pre-major, ENGR_PMAJ, in The College of Engineering students need to have successfully (with a “C” or better) completed one of the Entrance to Major math course while at Penn State and a 2.0 cumulative GPA.

Changes that are approved during the drop/add period of a term will be approved effective for that current term. Changes that are approved after the drop/add period of a term will be effective for the upcoming term and will be visible in the Student Center at the beginning of that term.

Please refer to the tutorials on the LionPATH help page on using Update Academics.

What degree audit do I select if I am in a pre-major?

A What-if Report is used to request an Advisement Report for a plan other than the one(s) in which you are currently enrolled. Students would run a What-if Report for their intended major(s)/option(s).

Please refer to the tutorials on the LionPATH help page for directions on running a What-if Report and Interpreting a Degree Audit.

What if courses are not appearing in the correct areas of my degree audit?

Sometimes courses can cover more than one requirement and adjustments to your degree audit are needed to correctly reflect how you intended them to be used. Contact your academic adviser.

Why can’t I schedule a course? What are course controls?

The Class Details page contains the meeting and enrollment information, class availability, course description, textbook information and additional details including if a course is targeted for a population (majors, minors, etc.). The Enrollment Information can vary between sections of the same course.

What is the difference between the regular drop period and the late drop period?

The drop and add period begins on the first day of class. For full-semester courses, the drop period is the first six calendar days of a semester. The add period extends one calendar day after the end of the drop period. The dates for the drop and add periods are listed on the Academic Calendar.

Dropping a Course during Regular Drop Period:
The period of time at the start of each course when dropping a course can be made without receiving a $6 drop/add fee. Dropping a course during this time means that:

  • Length of drop period is six (6) calendar days during fall/spring for full-semester courses and is a calculated proportional length for all other courses
  • No signature(s) required
  • No fee

Late Dropping a Course:
Dropping a course after the regular drop period and before the late drop deadline, (policy 34-89). A student can drop a course with certain restrictions and requirements. They are:

  • No signature(s) required
  • $6.00 fee for each transaction
  • Courses are recorded on the student record

Please refer to the tutorials on the LionPATH help page for directions on dropping courses.

What do I do when a course is full?

In LionPATH, if a course is full and a Wait List is available, a student can choose to be automatically added to the class if a seat opens (tutorial: Wait List Frequently Asked Questions). Note: Be sure to uncheck Show Open Classes Only in order to see full sections, including those with Wait List availability.  Even if you are on the Course Wait List, continue to use Search for Classes to monitor seat availability. Not all courses have Wait List as an option.

What do I do if I want to add over 19 credits?

To schedule more than 19 credits, a student must add the overload credits during the drop/add period. No additional tuition is charged. Consultation with your adviser is suggested but not required.

How do I apply for graduation?  

The Link for applying for graduation is located on the My Academics page of the Student Center. Refer to the Intent to Graduate-Activation Period of the University's Academic Calendar to determine the dates when you can apply for graduation. The graduation activation period for a semester typically begins a week before the beginning of classes and continues for two weeks into the semester.

Note: If you are an undergraduate student in concurrent majors, you must apply for graduation in each major separately. If you meet the requirements of one major and wish to graduate only in that major, you must remove your concurrent major before applying to graduate.

Where do I find my enrollment date (when you can schedule your next semester courses)?

A student’s enrollment dates can be found by going to the “Academics” tab. In the bottom right-hand side of the page are folders, select the “Enrollment” folder and then select the link titled, “Enrollment Dates.”

If you are looking at the Classic View of LionPATH your enrollment dates can be found along the right column within the Student Center (LionPATH) under the heading of "Enrollment Dates." This is the first day you are eligible to enroll in courses for the corresponding semester.

How do I declare a concurrent (double) major?

There are only two concurrent major options for Enrollment Controlled majors:

  • Mechanical Engineering/Biomedical Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering/Nuclear Engineering

Students request to add a concurrent major through Update Academics in LionPATH. The concurrent major needs to be declared during the time when the student is in the credit window. However, access to Enrollment Controlled courses may be restricted until the concurrent majors are approved. All Entrance to Major courses must be completed or in progress before a student is eligible to declare a concurrent major. The student is responsible for creating a workable plan, approved by all advisers involved to ensure requirements for all majors are met. Course substitutions should also be included in this plan.

If you are interested in pursuing a double major that is not included above, talk with your adviser about how to move forward with declaring that plan.

Please refer to the tutorials on the LionPATH help page on using Update Academics.

Can I declare more than one option within a major?

An option is a specialization within a major. A student can only officially declare one option in a major. Courses in the other option(s) can be taken and can be acknowledged on a resume, for example.

How and when do I enter a major?

First-semester baccalaureate students with a major goal in the College of Engineering are admitted to the College of Engineering in the ENGR_PMAJ pre-major. Students are eligible to apply for entrance to our majors once they have met the entry criteria for Entrance to Major and can declare their major through Update Academics in LionPATH.

Specific requirements can be found under each major.

How and when do I declare a minor?

Students wishing to declare a minor must use Update Academics through LionPATH. Intent to pursue a minor may be declared after the student has achieved at least third-semester classification (29.1 credits) or has been accepted into his/her major, but prior to the end of the late drop deadline of the student's final semester. If students no longer wish to complete a minor they declared, they need to use Update Academics to remove the minor from their student record.

What if I sign up for the “wrong” class?

If you realize your error during the Add/Drop period, you can drop the course and add a new (appropriate) course via LionPATH.

If you realize your error after the Add/Drop period, you can Late Drop the course; this should only be done in consultation with your academic adviser. The Late Drop period ends at the end of the 12th week of the semester (for Fall & Spring semester courses).

What do hold notifications mean when it shows on my LionPATH account?

This means that there is something that you have not completed, for example, there is a bill you have not paid or a variety of other potential things. You can explore how to have the hold removed by selecting the “View Holds” button on your Home page on LionPATH. If you have further questions, reach out to the Engineering Advising Center (814-863-1033).

How many courses may I take each semester?

To remain a full-time student, you should take at least 12 credits. However, due to the requirements of the various Engineering majors, it is best to average 15-17 credits. This also gives you a late drop cushion in case you need it.

Starfish

How do I schedule an appointment with an adviser?

Please visit the Starfish website

How do I reschedule or cancel my appointment

Students can cancel and/or reschedule College of Engineering Advising Center advising appointments through Starfish. NOTE: if you are feeling ill, as a courtesy to your adviser and other staff members, please reschedule your appointment.

Directions for canceling an appointment in Starfish - Click the “x” in the upper right of the appointment block on your Dashboard. If you do need to cancel, please do so well in advance and give the adviser some reasons why the appointment is being canceled.

Entrance to Major

I submitted a petition for a major elective that was reflected on my what-if report. I have since declared my major and now that change on my degree audit is gone. What gives?

The petition system only applies to the major you are in when you originally submit your petition. Since you submitted the petition as a pre-major student, now that you have changed your major, you will need to resubmit the petition. Changes to your degree audit not impacting entrance to major should be done once the student is officially enrolled in their major.

The only exception to this rule are Entrance-to-Major (ETM) courses.

I am currently having an issue declaring my major. I have completed all of the ETM courses, have the required GPA, and am currently within the credit window. What gives?

Occasionally there are issues with LionPATH recognizing that a student is eligible for their major. We will review these on an individual basis. If you believe that you were wrongfully denied entry to your major, we will forward your information on to the folks who will look into the issue further. We will follow up with you directly when an answer for the error is discovered and what the course of action will be at that point.

If I am below the required GPA for an Enrollment Controlled Major, is there still a way for me to get into my intended major?

You must have the required GPA for your intended major at the end of the semester before you go through the entrance to major process. If this applies to you, you can choose to limit your credits to hit exactly 59 and try to reach the needed GPA. If this is not possible, your other option is to consider completing the major at a Commonwealth Campus. Not all engineering majors are available at Commonwealth Campuses.

Which courses do I need to earn a C or better?

The Academic Requirements (LionPATH degree audit) and What-If Report indicates which courses/requirements are designated as “C or higher required”.

Please refer to the tutorials on the LionPATH help page for a tutorial on running a degree audit.

Additionally, you can look at the Recommended Academic Plan for your intended major and use the Quick Filter in the top right-hand corner to identify which courses require a “C” or better.

What degree audit do I select if I am in a pre-major?

A What-if Report is used to request an Advisement Report for a plan other than the one(s) in which you are currently enrolled. Students would run a What-if Report for their intended major(s)/option(s).

Please refer to the tutorials on the LionPATH help page for directions on running a What-if Report and Interpreting a Degree Audit.

Can I take classes over the summer and have them transfer to PSU?

Yes, you can take summer courses at any Penn State campus or at many other colleges and universities. Coursework from another institution will transfer either as a specific Penn State course (e.g., ECON 102) or as general credits in a subject area (e.g., Econ – 3 GEN credits). If appropriate, general credits may be used to fulfill degree requirements and may be applied to the program of study in accordance with the policies established by the college of enrollment.

It is always good to check the equivalency BEFORE taking the course and know how the course will be used in your degree program.  Be sure to use the Transfer Evaluation Tool to find equivalent courses (remember General Credits do not equal the direct equivalent for a course) or talk with your adviser to learn more about having a course evaluated for equivalency. You need to earn a C or better for the course to be eligible for transfer, but the grade is not calculated as part of your Penn State GPA. In other words, the credits transfer but not your grade.

Visit Transfer Credit: Penn State University Undergraduate Admissions for further information.

Is tutoring available for Entrance to Major (ETM) courses?

The Academic Excellence Center is available during the fall and spring semesters for first and second-year courses. Tutors will aid students in their learning by helping to clarify unclear concepts and by supporting students as they practice skills and apply new knowledge.

How do I declare a concurrent (double) major?

There are only two concurrent major options for Enrollment Controlled majors:

  • Mechanical Engineering/Biomedical Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering/Nuclear Engineering

Students request to add a concurrent major through Update Academics in LionPATH. The concurrent major needs to be declared during the time when the student is in the credit window. However, access to Enrollment Controlled courses may be restricted until the concurrent majors are approved. All Entrance to Major courses must be completed or in progress before a student is eligible to declare a concurrent major. The student is responsible for creating a workable plan, approved by all advisers involved to ensure requirements for all majors are met. Course substitutions should also be included in this plan.

If you are interested in pursuing a double major that is not included above, talk with your adviser about how to move forward with declaring that plan.

Please refer to the tutorials on the LionPATH help page on using Update Academics.

How and when do I enter a major?

First-semester baccalaureate students with a major goal in the College of Engineering are admitted to the College of Engineering in the ENGR_PMAJ pre-major. Students are eligible to apply for entrance to our majors once they have met the entry criteria for Entrance to Major and can declare their major through Update Academics in LionPATH.

Specific requirements can be found under each major.

How do I pick my classes if I do not have any idea of what I want to major in?

If you are unsure which College of Engineering major is right for you, it is best to meet with your Academic Adviser so that they can assist you in identifying a schedule that will allow you to make progress towards several degree programs.

What if I sign up for the “wrong” class?

If you realize your error during the Add/Drop period, you can drop the course and add a new (appropriate) course via LionPATH.

If you realize your error after the Add/Drop period, you can Late Drop the course; this should only be done in consultation with your academic adviser. The Late Drop period ends at the end of the 12th week of the semester (for Fall & Spring semester courses).

Transfer/Alternative Course Credit 

How do I transfer a course from another college and/or university to Penn State?

Use the Transferring Credits Tool to review courses from other universities that have already been evaluated that may be direct equivalents to PSU courses. Other transfer courses not listed here can be reviewed. Please see your academic advisor for an appropriate referral.

If the course transfers to Penn State, have the college or university send an official transcript to:

201 Shields Building
Box 3000
University Park, PA  16804

Note: The final grade of the course must be a "C" or higher and it must be taken for a grade (not as a pass/fail) at the other institution in order to transfer. In addition, grades of transfer credits do not count towards your Penn State GPA.

Can I take classes over the summer and have them transfer to Penn State?

Yes, you can take summer courses at any Penn State campus or at many other colleges and universities.  Coursework from another institution will transfer either as a specific Penn State course (e.g., ECON 102) or as general credits in a subject area (e.g., Econ – 3 GEN credits). If appropriate, general credits may be used to fulfill degree requirements and may be applied to the program of study in accordance with the policies established by the college of enrollment.

It is always good to check the equivalency BEFORE taking the course and know how the course will be used in your degree program.  Be sure to use the Transfer Evaluation Tool to find equivalent courses (remember General Credits do not equal the direct equivalent for a course) or talk with your adviser to learn more about having a course evaluated for equivalency. You need to earn a C or better for the course to be eligible for transfer, but the grade is not calculated as part of your Penn State GPA.  In other words, the credits transfer but not your grade.

Visit Transfer Credit: Penn State University Undergraduate Admissions for further information.

Can I study abroad as a student in the College of Engineering?

Yes. Penn State has programs that vary in length from a summer to a full academic year in various parts of the world. Credit and grades for courses taken in international institutions with which Penn State has agreements may be used to meet degree requirements. Early planning is essential in determining that course work taken abroad will be appropriate to meet requirements in your degree program.

I submitted all my materials for a transfer credit request, but I have not heard back from the department that is reviewing the course; what should I do?

Firstly, most departments need between 5–10 business days to review the course. If you have not heard back from the department in that amount of time you should reach out to the department to follow up on where they are in the process and how you will hear that a decision has been reached regarding your course review.

Is there a limit on the amount of credit I can receive for previous study from exam scores and/or transfer credit?

Penn State students may earn credit for a course to fulfill degree requirements by earning a grade of C or higher on a comprehensive examination made available through the academic unit that offers the course. This examination is a substitute for completing the usual requirements of a course.

Non-credit examinations are offered in foreign languages for proficiency certification

Credit by examination is not offered for all courses; the academic unit that offers the course makes the determination.

A student cannot earn credit by examination if the course is already on his/her transcript with a quality letter grade (even if the grade was an F) or with a satisfactory or unsatisfactory grade.

A student cannot earn credit by exam in a course he/she transferred from another institution (described in Senate Policy 42-80) or credit earned by other means (described in Senate Policy 42-90).

The satisfactory/unsatisfactory grading system cannot be used for credits earned by examination.

You can obtain a credit-by-examination application form from the office of your appropriate dean, and follow the directions on the back of the form.

Fee: A $30.00-per-credit assessment is paid in the department offering the course. The fee defrays the cost of preparing, administering, and grading the exam; it is nonrefundable.

Credit by Examination does not result in a quality grade (A, A-, etc.) or effect the calculation of a student's grade-point average. Credits earned are included in total credits on the student's Penn State transcript; however, they are not included in cumulative credits. On the student's transcript, the course is listed, the grade column is left blank, and CRX is noted in the field to the right of the grade column. If a student earns less than a grade of C, credits are not earned and there is no notation made on the student's transcript. 

Co-Curricular

What are the steps to having my ROTC Academic Plan reviewed and approved?

Please be mindful of your academic plan requirement for ROTC, and the time it will take to complete the plan with an adviser. In the College of Engineering, you must have your ROTC Academic Plan reviewed by a faculty adviser. You will need to schedule an appointment with a faculty adviser in your respective intended major. Appointments can be scheduled utilizing Starfish, our online scheduling program. If you need to have your adviser review and sign your academic plan, you must send a copy of any forms to your adviser prior to your appointment.  Please be aware that review and approval could take several days, so plan accordingly. Having the plans prior to the meeting will allow your adviser time to make comments and provide feedback ahead of the scheduled meeting. ROTC forms cannot be dropped off for signatures.

Where can I get information on internships, resume, and professional placement?

As a student in the College of Engineering, you are encouraged to use the career resources available from the Engineering Career Resources & Employer Relations Office and from Penn State’s Career Services in the Bank of America building.

Can I study abroad as a student in the College of Engineering?

Yes. Penn State has programs that vary in length from a summer to a full academic year in various parts of the world. Credit and grades for courses taken in international institutions with which Penn State has agreements may be used to meet degree requirements. Early planning is essential in determining that course work taken abroad will be appropriate to meet requirements in your degree program.

Petitions

I am a DUS student or student in another college at University Park and I am not able to get access to the e-petition system. What gives?

Currently, only ENGR students at University Park can utilize the e-petition system through CSRS.

I am an ENGR student at a Commonwealth Campus and I am not able to get access to the e-petition system. What gives?

Currently, only ENGR students at University Park can utilize the e-petition system through CSRS.

I submitted a petition for a major elective that was reflected on my What-If Report. I have since declared my major and now that change on my degree audit is gone. What gives?

The petition system only applies to the major you are in when you originally submit your petition. Since you submitted the petition as a pre-major student, now that you have changed your major, you will need to resubmit the petition. Changes to your degree audit not impacting entrance to major should be done once the student is officially enrolled in their major.

The only exception to this rule are Entrance-to-Major (ETM) courses. 

I am a faculty or staff person who is trying to submit a petition for an ENGR student. I do not have access to the system. What gives?

Currently, only ENGR students at University Park can utilize the e-petition system through CSRS. Faculty and staff cannot submit petitions on behalf of students. 

I am an ENGR student that has submitted an e-petition. Where are my petitions in the process?

Once you submit a petition, depending on the type of petition you have submitted, the petition will be sent to either the undergraduate coordinator or the Assistant Dean of Engineering. Every time a petition you have submitted has had a decision made about it, you will receive an email about your petitions current status.

I am an ENGR student that has submitted an e-petition. I am not hearing anything about the status of my petition(s). What gives?

Every time a petition you have submitted has had a decision made about it, you will receive an email about your petitions current status. Make sure you are checking your spam folder of your Penn State email as the messages from CSRS (the petition system) are automated. This means that the updates will only be sent to your Penn State email and they may be put into your spam folder as they are automated.

I have an issue with a grade I received last semester. Is there anything that I can do?

You should first meet with the instructor to discuss the grade.  If a disagreement about a grade cannot be resolved with the instructor, you may follow the Grade Mediation and Adjudication process.

Miscellaneous

What is a Leave of Absence? How would I pursue this?

For students considering a Leave of Absence from the University, you should first meet with your adviser for assistance in understanding any repercussions. You can also find additional information in the Undergraduate Advising Handbook.

What is an Administrative Course Cancellation?

An administrative course cancellation resolves a registration error and results in the removal of a course (or courses) from the student's academic record. It is appropriate only if the student never participated in the course. If this procedure is used, drop or late drop of the course is not necessary. If this procedure results in the cancellation of all courses on a student's current semester schedule, the student must re-enroll to resume degree candidacy.

What if I want to participate in spring Commencement and my coursework is not completed?

You can be approved to “walk” in the spring ceremony if you are within no more than two (2) courses or eight (8) credits from meeting all graduation requirements and are registered to complete these credits the following semester. See your academic adviser for further discussion.

What are the options in the DATSC major? 

The DATSC degree program is part of an intercollege initiative between the College of Information Sciences and Technology, College of Engineering and Eberly College of Science. Students will gain a breadth of knowledge through common core classes, as well as depth in one of the three options. Students will choose among options focused on application, computation, and science. More information about the options and course requirements can be found here and here

 
 

About

The Engineering Advising Center (EAC) serves as the academic advising resource for students in pre-major status (ENGR) at University Park. Once students have been admitted to a College of Engineering major, they will be assigned to a faculty adviser in that major.

Engineering Advising Center

208 Hammond Building

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802

Phone: 814-863-1033