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University Bulletin

Undergraduate Degree Programs

Penn State Erie, The Behrend College

PENN STATE ERIE, THE BEHREND COLLEGE, located on 854 wooded acres in Erie, Pennsylvania, provides a small-university environment within the context of a major university. With its thirty-six undergraduate programs, Penn State Behrend offers an alternative within Penn State to the larger University Park campus. Classes are small and students are encouraged to interact with faculty outside the classroom. Enrolling more than 4,600 students, Penn State Behrend is a comprehensive four-year undergraduate and graduate college with a full range of supporting services, from residence halls through varsity athletics. The college offers a wide variety of co-curricular activities, including Greek life, more than 120 student clubs and organizations, intramurals, bands and choirs, and a nationally renowned speaker series.

Penn State Behrend students can earn the Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, or Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at the four-year level; they can earn associate degrees in selected two-year programs; or they can complete up to two years of most baccalaureate programs available within the University and then move to other Penn State locations to complete their degree program. Academic enrichment is provided through the Behrend Honors Program and the University-wide Schreyer Honors College as well as through study abroad opportunities and a very active undergraduate research program. The college's programs capitalize on the proximity of such "natural laboratories" as the Erie urban area, Lake Erie, and other nearby resources.

For additional information write to Penn State Erie, The Behrend College, 4701 College Drive, Erie, PA 16563-0101; or visit Penn State Erie on the Web (



To be certified for graduation, a student must complete the General Education, Writing Across the Curriculum, and Intercultural/International Competence requirements, the First-year Seminar requirements for the major, and the number of elective credits required in each program. The minimum number of credits for each program is listed in the description of the major. In addition to the minimum number of credits required, each student must earn at least a grade of C in each 300- and 400-level course in the major field and must have earned a minimum 2.00 grade-point average.




Note: See for the most current information.


FOREIGN LANGUAGE (0-12 credits)
Student must attain a 12th credit level of proficiency in one foreign language

B.A. FIELDS (9 credits)
Humanities, Social and Behavioral Sciences, Arts, Foreign Languages, Natural Sciences, Quantification (may not be taken in the area of the student's primary major; foreign language credits in this category must be in a second foreign language or beyond the 12th credit level of proficiency in the first language)

OTHER CULTURES (0-3 credits)
Select 3 credits from approved list. Students may count courses in this category in order to meet other major, minor, elective, or General Education requirements, except for the General Education US/IL requirement. See approved list at



Recommended Academic Plans provide, in table form, the courses students might schedule semester by semester as they pursue a specific undergraduate degree. Each college or campus maintains Recommended Academic Plans for its own majors/degree programs. Links to these plans are on the Division of Undergraduate Studies website at: Questions concerning the Recommended Academic Plans should be directed to the college or campus involved or the Division of Undergraduate Studies.  




DONALD L. BIRX, Chancellor

ROBERT W. LIGHT, Senior Associate Dean for Research and Outreach, and COO

JOHN M. MAGENAU III, Interim Associate Dean for Academic Affairs



Academic and Career Planning Center -- MARY BETH McCARTHY, Director

Admissions and Financial Aid -- MARY-ELLEN MADIGAN, Director

Business, Sam and Irene Black School of -- BALAJI RAJAGOPALAN, Director

Center for eLearning Initiatives -- WAYNE E. ANDERSON, Instructional Designer

Community and Workforce Programs -- MARGARET I. McCARTHY, Director

Center for Teaching Initiatives -- QI DUNSWORTH, Director

Computer and Information Systems -- RONALD G. HOFFMAN, Manager

Copy and Multimedia Center -- JOHN J. FONTECCHIO, Manager

Development and Alumni Relations -- MARGARET U. TAYLOR, Director

Engineering, School of -- RALPH M. FORD, Director

Financial Officer and Bursar -- TRACY CLAYBAUGH

Housing and Food Services -- J. MICHAEL LINDNER, Director

Humanities and Social Sciences, School of -- STEVEN V. HICKS, Director

Intercollegiate Athletics -- BRIAN F. STREETER, Director

Learning Resource Center -- RUTH C. PFLUEGER, Director

Library -- RICHARD L. HART, Director

Marketing Communication -- WILLIAM V. GONDA, Director

Office for Adult Students -- BIDDY A. BROOKS, Director

Operations -- J. RANDALL GEERING, Director

Registrar -- MARY ELLEN BAYUK, College Registrar

Science, School of -- MARTIN G. KOCIOLEK, Interim Director

Student Affairs -- KENNETH P. MILLER, Senior Director of Student Affairs




The Sam and Irene Black School of Business is an academic unit dedicated to high-quality teaching, research, and outreach. The school offers nine Bachelor of Science degree programs: Accounting; Business, Liberal Arts, and Science; Business Economics; Finance; Interdisciplinary Business with Engineering Studies; International Business; Management Information Systems; Marketing; and Project and Supply Chain Management. The school also offers a four-year Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and an associate degree in General Business. At the graduate level, a Master's in Business Administration (MBA) and a Master's in Project Management (MPM) are offered. Minors are available in Accounting, Economics, Finance, Management, Management Information Systems, Marketing, Operations and Supply Chain Management, and Technical Sales.

The late Sam and Irene Black provided Penn State Behrend a transformational $20 million estate gift that supports academic quality, innovation, and scholarships. One of Erie Insurance's first employees, Sam Black was a highly successful innovator who later founded his own agency. Pat Black, son of Sam and Irene, is a Penn State graduate and a director of the college's Council of Fellows. In 2003, the Sam and Irene Black School of Business was named in honor of the couple's lifetime support of Penn State Behrend and the Erie community.

For more information, visit the school website at

Accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, 600 Emerson Road, Suite 300, St. Louis, MO 63141-6762; 314-872-8481



DR. RALPH M. FORD, Director

The school offers nine Bachelor of Science degree programs: Computer Engineering,1 Computer Science, Electrical Engineering,1 Electrical and Computer Engineering Technology,2 Mechanical Engineering,1 Industrial Engineering, Mechanical Engineering Technology,2 Plastics Engineering Technology,2 and Software Engineering. In addition, associate degree programs are offered in Electrical Engineering Technology,2 Mechanical Engineering Technology,2 and Plastics Engineering Technology.2

A minor is available in Computer Engineering.

Design is the central skill required of engineers to be effective problem solvers, and can only be taught through repeated practice. The design experience in the Engineering programs is developed by introducing the various elements and features of design throughout the program. Students are exposed to each of the design elements and features repeatedly and at different levels of complexity. By the time the student reaches the senior design projects course, he or she should have an adequate understanding of the role each design element or feature plays in the design process. Successful completion of the senior design project requires the student to integrate all aspects of design.

For more information, visit the school website at

1Accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board of Engineering and Engineering Technology, 111 Market Place, Suite 1050, Baltimore, MD 21202; 410-347-7700.
2Accredited by the Technology Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board of Engineering and Engineering Technology, 111 Market Place, Suite 1050, Baltimore, MD 21202; 410-347-7700.




The school offers seven four-year Bachelor of Arts degree programs: Arts Administration, Communication, English, General Arts and Sciences, History, Political Science, and Psychology. The school also offers a Bachelor of Science degree program in Psychology and a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree program in Creative Writing. In addition, a two-year associate degree program in Letters, Arts, and Sciences is available. Minors are available in Communication, English, History, International Studies, Political Science, Psychology, and Women's Studies. This school also houses prelaw advising and a four-plus-one teacher certification program.

For more information, visit the school website at



DR. MARTIN G. KOCIOLEK, Interim Director

The school offers seven Bachelor of Science degree programs: Biology, Chemistry,1 Mathematics, Nursing,2 Physics, Science, and Secondary Education.3 A Bachelor of Arts degree program in Science is also offered. In addition, a two-year program in Nursing is offered.4 Minors are available in Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Mathematics, Physics, and Statistics. The school also houses pre-medical advising.

For more information, visit the school website at

Note: 1Major has American Chemical Society approval.
Note: 2Major has National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission and Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education accreditation.
3Major has National Council for Accreditation for Teacher Education accreditation.
Note: 4Major has National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission approval.





The Academic and Career Planning Center is an academic unit of Penn State Behrend that offers all undergraduate students University programs and services relating to (1) precollege testing, counseling, and advising for entering freshmen; (2) enrollment and registration for students who want to explore several areas of study before identifying a specific area of academic study and for students who encounter changes in interest and career objectives; (3) professional advising, counseling, and referral services coordinated through the services of the colleges and faculty; and (4) an undergraduate academic information center that provides students and faculty with current information on the many academic programs offered throughout the University.



BRIAN F. STREETER, Director of Athletics

Penn State Behrend offers twenty-two sports for men and women and is a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division III and a founding member of the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference. Penn State Behrend is also affiliated with the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC). The college subscribes to the Division III philosophy of competition and embraces the concepts of fair play and equity in all programs. Men's varsity sports are baseball, basketball, cross-country, golf, indoor track and field, soccer, swimming and diving, tennis, track and field, volleyball, and water polo. Women's varsity sports are basketball, cross-country, golf, indoor track and field, soccer, softball, swimming and diving, tennis, track and field, volleyball, and water polo.


Updates posted: 7/18/13