Undergraduate Education at Penn State 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



All baccalaureate degree program presentations for inclusion in the baccalaureate degree programs portion of the Undergraduate Bulletin will follow the formats as established in the templates for the Bulletin program pages.

  1. Overview
    1. Program Description which is specific language approved by the University Faculty Senate through the program adoption/update process.
    2. “What is (program discipline)?” statement is a definition of the field/discipline that does not redefine or repeat concepts found in the official University Faculty Senate approved program description.
    3. “You might like this major if…” statement that provides 3-4 bullet points describing typical characteristics of the students who choose to pursue this field
  2. ”How to Get In” statement communicates the language approved by the University Faculty Senate regarding academic entrance requirements for the program.  Links to specific procedures for the execution of the approved policy may be included.  In addition, non-academic requirements (i.e. US citizenship for ROTC) may also be included.
  3. Program Requirements
    1. General Education Requirements
    2. University Baccalaureate Degree Requirements (where applicable)
    3. Requirements for the Major
      1. Retention requirements for the program (where applicable)
      2. Prescribed Courses (specific courses which must be taken)
      3. Additional Courses (lists of courses from which the student must choose a specified number.)
      4. Supporting Courses and Related Areas (courses and areas from which the student is required to develop supplemental knowledge or competencies but in which considerable choice is permitted.)
    4. Requirements for the Option (where applicable)
    5. Electives

(Ref: Senate Record, 7-1-75, and Senate Committee on Curricular Affairs Guidelines for Semester Changes, 8-17-81)

Approved: Senate (7-1-75)
Revised: Senate (8-17-81)
Approved: ACUE (5-3-18)


The following guidelines have been established for writing program descriptions for the Undergraduate Bulletin.

  1. A program description should be limited to about 200 words. If there are options or additional bona fide special features (e.g., dual degree programs, cooperative programs such as work study), descriptions of these should be limited to approximately an additional 75 words each.
  2. The content of program descriptions should be limited to
    1. a statement of program learning objectives.
    2. fields of study within the major emphasizing any unique aspects or facilities specially related to this program.
    3. requirements and any recommendations or limitations regarding competencies, skills, or abilities needed for admission, retention, transfer, and graduation.
    4. total credits necessary for graduation.
    5. if space remains, a general statement about subsequent academic or professional work possible in the field.
  3. The program description should contain only straightforward objective language, not generalized, colorful, or vague statements which might be ambiguous or misleading.
  4. The following revised disclaimer will be printed in the catalog:
    The educational process necessitates change.
    Each step of the educational process, from admission through graduation, requires continuing review and appropriate approval by University officials. The University, therefore, reserves the right to change the requirements and regulations contained in this bulletin and to determine whether a student has satisfactorily met requirements for admission or graduation, and to reject any applicant for admission for any reason the University determines to be material to the applicant's qualifications to pursue higher education. Nothing in this bulletin should be considered a guarantee that completion of a University program and graduation from the University will result in employment.
  5. All curricular course updates will be published in the online Bulletin through a digital feed from the Student Information System (LionPATH) that takes place after each curriculum report released by the University Faculty Senate and published based upon the implementation date approved for the course.  Program changes will be updated at the beginning of every semester (fall, spring, summer).  Requests to the colleges for updates of other information will be initiated by the Office of the University Registrar every spring in order to publish the new edition of the Bulletin in May.

(Ref: Senate Agenda, Appendix D, 3-4-80)

Approved: Senate (3-4-80)
Approved: ACUE (5-3-18)

Previous Version