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L-6: MINORS – ENTRANCE AND CERTIFICATION

Definition:

A minor is an academic program of at least 18 credits. A minor program may consist of course work in a single area or from several disciplines, but must include at least six credits at the 400-level. Total requirements for a minor are to be specified and generally limited to 18 to 21 credits. All courses for a minor must be completed with a grade of "C" or above.

At least six (6) credits of the minor must be completed in courses offered by the University or in cooperative degree programs that have been established by formal agreement and approved by the University Faculty Senate.

At least six (6) credits of the minor must be unique from the Prescribed Courses required by the student’s major program(s).
Some minors are generally intended to add breadth to the student’s academic experience and often will have minimal prerequisite preparation required to begin the minor. Other minors are intended to add depth or specialization to the student’s major. Therefore, entrance to some minors may require the completion of a number of prerequisites including courses, portfolios, auditions, or other forms of documentation that are not included in the total requirements for the minor.

Any prerequisites necessary to complete minor requirements must be clearly detailed in the minor description. Requirements for a minor may be completed at any campus location offering the specified courses for the minor. Students may not change from a campus that offers their major to a campus that does not offer their major for the purpose of completing a minor.

Procedure:

  1. Students wishing to declare a minor must use LionPATH unless the minor has a Faculty Senate-approved entrance requirement, such as an audition or portfolio review, or carries restrictions necessitated by explicit articulation or licensing requirements. Under these circumstances, LionPATH will generate an automatic message referring the student to the unit with administrative oversight.
  2. Intent to pursue a minor may be declared after the student has achieved at least third semester classification or has been accepted into his/her major, but prior to the end of the late drop period of the student's final semester. A student may not declare a minor that is the same as his/her major (e.g., a student majoring in History may not also declare a History minor). In those instances where a minor requires an entry fee or entrance requirement, the student must declare before the end of the regular add/drop period of their final semester. The fee will be applied to the student's semester bill at the time the intent is submitted. 
  3. If the student has declared a minor, but then terminates degree enrollment, the minor declaration becomes void. The student must submit a new minor declaration after receiving degree status through the reenrollment process.
  4. The academic authority for undergraduate minors is established in a college or colleges through the AAPP P-1 process. Moving a minor to the World Campus requires a P-3 process. A student's ability to complete a Penn State minor exists independent of the campus at which he or she is registered. Each campus offering a minor should identify a faculty contact and list that contact in the Bulletin and other relevant materials. The authority to approve course substitutions for a minor, and to certify completion of a minor resides with faculty contacts identified in the Bulletin for each minor.
  5. Circumstances can arise in which there are multiple versions of a minor (for example, there have on occasion been several concurrent versions of minors such as psychology, math, English, etc.); a student may complete only one version of that minor.
  6. During the seventh week of the student's final semester, the University Registrar will distribute the list of minor candidates and their degree audits to the office of the appropriate associate dean or designee.
  7. The associate dean or designee will certify completion of minor requirements on each student record.
  8. The Office of the University Registrar will prepare a minor certificate for each approved student. The certificate will include the signatures of the President of the Board of Trustees, the President of the University, and the Executive Vice President and Provost of the University. The minor certificate will be issued to the graduate along with the diploma as long as completion of the minor was approved by the end of the 13th week of classes of the semester commencing in graduation.
  9. The Registrar is responsible for recording on the student's academic record the successful completion of the minor program at the time the baccalaureate degree is conferred.
  10. A minor may be awarded retroactively through the following process: The associate dean or designee certifies that a student has met the requirements for the minor at the time of graduation and forwards this information to the University Registrar in writing. The Registrar adds the appropriate notation to the student's transcript. The certificate for the minor is produced and mailed to the student.

The following conditions apply to the retroactive awarding of minors:

Senate Policy: 59-00, Minors and Certificates

Senate Policy: 59-10, Requirements for the Minor

Approved: ACUI (4-7-83)
Revised: ACAS (6-10-88)
Revised: ACAS (9-8-89)
Revised: ACUE (11-2-95)
Revised: ACUE (9-26-96)
Revised: ACUE (1-21-99)
Revised: ACUE (3-2-00)
Revised: ACUE and editorial (1-8-04)
Revised: Editorial (4-9-07)
Revised: ACUE and editorial (6-4-09)
Revised: ACUE and editorial (2-3-11)
Revised: ACUE (5-5-11)
Revised: ACUE (7-7-11)
Revised: Editorial (8-17-11)
Revised: ACUE (11-3-11)
Revised: ACUE (4-3-14)
Revised: ACUE (2-4-16); Effective Fall 2016
Revised: ACUE (7-7-16); Effective Fall 2016
Revised: ACUE (6-1-17)