Undergraduate Education at Penn State Penn State University Penn State University Office of Undergraduate Education Printer friendly version of the Undergraduate Education at Penn State mark.
Topical Index: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Procedure: Application

  1. 1. Applications are available on the web beginning September 1st each year and should be submitted at the earliest possible date. Although there is no deadline for filing the application, the September-November period is recommended since applications with credentials completed by November 30th are the first to be evaluated.
  2. A nonrefundable application fee or fee waiver must accompany the application.
  3. Applications with complete credentials received by the admissions office by November 30 of each year, with SAT or ACT scores from the November test date of the senior year or earlier test, have priority for consideration of campus locations and academic programs. Complete credentials must include
    1. self-reported secondary school record showing grades received for all courses completed beyond the eighth grade;
    2. a self-reported senior schedule of courses;
    3. SAT or ACT assessment scores (applicants are encouraged to submit the results of all SAT or ACT tests);
    4. a record of any courses taken at other colleges or universities.
  4. An adult learner, as defined by the University, is not required to provide a high school transcript for admission review. Applicants with 17 or fewer collegiate credits are strongly encouraged to provide a high school or GED transcript for admission review. If a high school or GED transcript is not received, the application for admission will be evaluated based on the available credentials and may be referred to degree-seeking conditionally enrolled in DUS admission, or other options based on the professional judgment of the evaluator.


  1. An evaluation is determined for each applicant and is based on a combination of the following factors:
    1. grades in applicable courses completed in grades nine through eleven (if the student has graduated from high school at the time he or she applies to Penn State, the ninth through twelfth grade record is used);
    2. SAT or ACT test scores;
    3. and participation in honors or other advanced courses (i.e. AP, IB, etc.).
  2. Applications are processed as they are received in the following manner:

    Eligibility levels are established for campus locations and for certain programs based on the number of students who can be accepted. Applicants who are clearly eligible for admission to the campus of their first choice are offered admission until available spaces are committed. Applicants who are eligible for admission to the University, but not eligible for the campus of their first choice, are offered admission to an alternate-choice campus where eligible. Applicants who are not eligible for admission to baccalaureate degree programs are advised of other possibilities for study at the University.

    Because of uncertainty of the number of students who can be accepted for some campuses and programs, it may be necessary to delay the admission decision for some applicants. These applicants will be notified of this and given the option of making an alternate-choice campus location and receiving an admission decision promptly or waiting until a decision can be made on their first choice location.  

  3. High school transcripts and standardized test scores (SAT, ACT) are not required for admission of adult learners. Additionally, consideration may be given to waiving math Carnegie units depending on the academic program selected.

World Language Admissions Review:

All Penn State University baccalaureate programs require World Language proficiency, which can be met by completion of two (Carnegie) units of a single world language at the high school level or demonstration of the equivalent.

Admission to all baccalaureate programs, including enrollment into the Division of Undergraduate Studies and into all colleges, includes a review of World Language proficiency. To be admitted to Penn State, it is expected that a student will:

  1. Meet the World Language requirement before admission by prior completion of the necessary (Carnegie) units at the high school level or demonstration of the equivalent.
  2. Meet the World language requirement after admission.

If the World Language requirement is unmet but the applicant is otherwise admissible, then the individual may be admitted as a degree student.

A student may be admitted with fewer than two units in a World Language other than English, but must correct this shortfall by the time he/she graduates from Penn State. This shortfall may be corrected by passing one three- or four-credit college-level World Language course or by demonstrating proficiency equivalent to two units of high school world language study.

A student who has not completed the World Language requirement prior to admission will be notified during their first semester of enrollment by his/her academic adviser.

Credits earned to meet a World Language shortfall may be counted toward graduation from a Penn State baccalaureate program and shall count for the purpose of financial aid eligibility.

This requirement applies to transfer students and those moving to baccalaureate programs after completing associate degree programs, as well as to students entering directly from high school.

The Carnegie unit requirement does not apply to students who can demonstrate fluency in a World Language. The goal is not the completion of two awarded credits of high school world language study per se, but equivalency of World Language ability at or above the level of two credits of secondary school world language.

Either a third unit in the same language or an additional unit in a second World Language other than English is recommended.

Senate Policy:  05-80, First-Year Admission as a Baccalaureate or an Associate Degree Candidate

Senate Policy:  05-81, Minimum Entrance Requirements for Admission to Baccalaurreate Degree Programs

Senate Policy:  05-82, Minimum Entrance Requirements for Admission to Associate Degree Programs

Undergraduate Advising

Approved: ACUI (4-29-76)
Revised: ACUI (1-20-83)
Revised: ACUI (3-25-85)
Revised: ACUE (7-26-96)
Revised: ACUE (1-8-04)
Revised: Editorial (4-29-04)
Revised: ACUE (11-3-11)
Revised: ACUE (2-2-12)
Revised: Editorial (2-29-12)
Revised: ACUE (4-5-12)
Revised: ACUE (5-7-15)
Revised: ACUE (5-5-16); Effective FA16
Revised: ACUE (11-2-17)
Revised: Editorial (1-25-18)

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