Using this Bulletin


The Graduate Bulletin is Penn State's comprehensive source for graduate academic information and program requirements.

New Features

Program Page Layout

  • Consistent layout of graduate major degree program information organized within the following tabs:
    • Overview (including the Program Code and Campus)
    • Admission Requirements
    • Degree Requirements
    • Dual-Titles (if any)
    • Integrated Undergrad-Grad Program (if any)
    • Joint Degrees (if any)
    • Student Aid
    • Courses
    • Learning Outcomes
    • Contact

Please note that the University may make changes to policies, procedures, educational offerings, and requirements.

Changes Page

  • Real-time amendments to information in the Bulletin will be tracked on the Changes page.
  • The Bulletin is updated every semester. The Bulletin Archive contains previous versions of graduate program information.

Course Bubble

When a course link is clicked, a course bubble will appear with important course information including, but not limited to:

  • course title, description, and credits;
  • prerequisites and recommended preparation;
  • if the course is repeatable;
  • if the course is cross-listed.

Statement of Nondiscrimination

The University is committed to equal access to programs, facilities, admission, and employment for all persons. It is the policy of the University to maintain an environment free of harassment and free of discrimination against any person because of age, race, color, ancestry, national origin, religion, creed, service in the uniformed services (as defined in state and federal law), veteran status, sex, sexual orientation, marital or family status, pregnancy, pregnancy-related conditions, physical or mental disability, gender, perceived gender, gender identity, genetic information, or political ideas. Discriminatory conduct and harassment, as well as sexual misconduct and relationship violence, violates the dignity of individuals, impedes the realization of the University's educational mission, and will not be tolerated. Direct all inquiries regarding the nondiscrimination policy to the Affirmative Action Office, The Pennsylvania State University, 328 Boucke Building, University Park, PA 16802-5901; Email:; Tel 814-863-0471.

Penn State encourages qualified persons with disabilities to participate in its programs and activities. If you anticipate needing any type of accommodation or have questions about the physical access provided, please contact the Student Disability Resources, 814-863-1807, in advance of your participation or visit.

Academic Authority

The Graduate Council has responsibility for, and authority over, all academic information contained in the Graduate Bulletin.

Each step of the educational process, from admission through graduation, requires continual review and 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 its requirements for admission or graduation, and to reject any applicant for any reason the University determines to be material to the applicant's qualifications to pursue higher education.


Definitions and Abbreviations

Described below are definitions related to graduate major degree programs:

Graduate / Postbaccalaureate Certificate Program

A graduate or postbaccalaureate credit certificate program is a group of courses that focuses upon an area of specialized knowledge or information and is developed, supervised, and evaluated by the faculty members of the academic unit offering the program. Postbaccalaureate credit certificate programs reflect emerging academic areas, and may supplement or enhance existing degree programs. Postbaccalaureate certificates and graduate certificates differ in the number of graduate credits required; see the Postbaccalaureate Credit Certificate Programs policy for more details.

Graduate Dual-Title Degree Program

A dual-title program is a fully integrated program of study that integrates course work and research in the graduate major and dual-title fields early in the student’s program. Dual-title programs are adopted by existing graduate major programs; after entering those graduate major programs, students can apply to the dual-title and earn a degree in both their graduate major and the dual-title field. See the Dual-Title Graduate Degree Program policy for more details.

Graduate Joint Degree Program

A joint degree program allows students to pursue work simultaneously towards an existing, specific graduate degree and a professional degree (J.D. or M.D.) offered at Penn State. Joint degree programs enhance students’ educational and research opportunities within the graduate and professional programs, provide students with valuable complementary training for a variety of career opportunities, and enable students to complete both degrees in less time than it would take to complete them separately. See the Joint Degree Programs policy for more details

Graduate Minor Program

A graduate minor may be taken in any of the approved graduate major degree programs. In addition, there are stand-alone graduate minors which are unaffiliated with a graduate major. Graduate minors are available for both master’s and doctoral degrees; see the following Graduate Minors policies for more details: Minor - Research Doctorate, Minor - Professional Doctoral Degrees, Minor - Research Master's Degrees, Minor - Professional Master's Degrees.

Integrated Undergraduate-Graduate (IUG) Degree Program

An Integrated Undergraduate-Graduate (IUG) degree program combines a Penn State baccalaureate degree with a master's degree as a continuous program of study. An IUG program allows qualifying students to:

  • create a cohesive plan for baccalaureate and master's degree studies, with advising informed by requirements for both degree programs;
  • complete the combined degree program in less time than it would take to complete each program separately;
  • become familiar with the expectations of graduate studies in their programs;
  • access the resources of the Graduate School; and
  • learn from current graduate students who share academic interests.

See the Integrated Undergraduate-Graduate (IUG) Degree Programs policy for more details.


An option is a distinct curricular specialization within a graduate major. It is the only formal curricular specialization within a graduate major that is recognized on the transcript and diploma for students in the major. Options are defined by certain minimum requirements related to the distinctiveness and commonality of the course work in the major; see the Degree Program Options policy for more details.

Abbreviations, Acronyms, and Codes

Described below are common codes, abbreviations, acronyms, and other types of academic shorthand used at Penn State, along with a brief explanation of each.

Code Explanation
A Special topics (course suffix; indicates different versions of the same course, e.g., CAS 100A, CAS 100B, CAS 100C)
A & A Arts and Architecture (college abbreviation)
AA Arts and Architecture (college code)
AAPPM Academic Administrative Policies and Procedures Manual
AB Abington (campus code)
AB Abington (college code)
ACUE Administrative Council on Undergraduate Education
AG Agricultural Sciences (college code)
AL Altoona (campus code)
AL Altoona (college code)
AP Advanced Placement Program
APPL Course requires an application with the School of Music (course characteristic)
APPT By appointment (class meeting time)
AU Audit, attended regularly (grade reporting symbol)
AUDN Course requires an audition (course characteristic)
AUU Audit, did not attend regularly (grade reporting symbol)
B Special topics (course suffix; indicates different versions of the same course, e.g., CAS 100A, CAS 100B, CAS 100C)
BA Business, Smeal College of (college code)
BC Behrend (college code)
BK Berks (campus code)
BK Berks (college code)
BR Beaver (campus code)
BW Brandywine (campus code)
C Special topics (course suffix; indicates different versions of the same course, e.g., CAS 100A, CAS 100B, CAS 100C)
CA Capital (college code)
CALC Course requires a calculator (course characteristic)
CAMP College Assistance Migrant Program
CAT Online catalog, University Libraries
CC Commonwealth Campuses
CCP College Contact Person
CCRR College Contact and Referral Representative
CCSG Council of Commonwealth Student Governments
CE Continuing Education
CGPA Cumulative grade-point average
CIC Committee on Institutional Cooperation
CLEP College-Level Examination Program
CM Communications (college code)
CNCR Course is scheduled concurrently with another course (course characteristic)
CNTL Course is controlled (course characteristic)
COMM Communications (college abbreviation)
CORD Course is coordinated with other course(s) (course characteristic)
COST Course requires an additional fee (course characteristic)
D Special topics (course suffix; indicates different versions of the same course, e.g., HIST 297D, HIST 297E)
DAA Dean/Director of Academic Affairs
DF Deferred grade (grade reporting symbol)
DN Dickinson School of Law (campus code)
DS DuBois (campus code)
DU Division of Undergraduate Studies (college code)
D U S Division of Undergraduate Studies (college abbreviation)
E Special topics (course suffix; indicates different versions of the same course, e.g., HIST 297D, HIST 297E)
ECoS Eberly College of Science
ED Education (college code)
EM Earth and Mineral Sciences (college code)
EM SC Earth and Mineral Sciences (college abbreviation)
EN Engineering (college code)
ENGR Engineering (college abbreviation)
EOP Educational Opportunity Program
EPR Early Progress Report
EPS Educational Planning Survey
ER Behrend (campus code)
ESL English as a Second Language
EVEX Course has evening exams (course characteristic)
F Special topics (course suffix; indicates different versions of the same course, e.g., HIST 297F, HIST 297G)
FE Fayette (campus code)
FINL Course has a final exam (course characteristic)
FL Failure under pass/fail option (grade reporting symbol)
FYS First-Year Seminar
G Special topics (course suffix; indicates different versions of the same course, e.g., HIST 297F, HIST 297G)
GA Arts (General Education code)
GA Greater Allegheny (campus code)
GH Humanities (General Education code)
GHW Health and Wellness (General Education code)
GN Graduate non-degree (college code)
GN Natural Sciences (General Education code)
GPA Grade-point average
GQ Quantification (General Education code)
GR Graduate (level code)
GR ND Graduate non-degree (college code)
GS Social and Behavioral Sciences (General Education code)
GV Great Valley (campus code)
GV Great Valley (college code)
GWS Writing/Speaking (General Education code)
H Honors course or section (course suffix)
HB Harrisburg (campus code)
H H D Health and Human Development (college abbreviation)
HH Health and Human Development (college code)
HN Hazleton (campus code)
HY Hershey Medical Center (campus code)
I Incomplete (grade reporting symbol)
I Special topics (course suffix; indicates different versions of the same course, e.g., HIST 297I, HIST 297K)
I COL Intercollege programs (college abbreviation)
IB International Baccalaureate Program
IC Intercollege programs (college code)
IL International Cultures (General Education code)
INCP Incomplete (grade reporting symbol)
INTG Course is integrated with other courses (course characteristic)
IS Information Sciences and Technology (college code)
IST Information Sciences and Technology (college abbreviation)
ITS Information Technology Services
IUG Integrated undergraduate/graduate degree programs
IVID Course uses interactive video (course characteristic)
J Individualized instruction (course suffix)
K Special topics (course suffix; indicates different versions of the same course, e.g., HIST 297I, HIST 297K)
L Lecture section (course suffix)
LA Liberal Arts (college code)
LEAP Learning Edge Academic Program
LIAB Course has liability attendance policy (course characteristic)
LV Lehigh Valley (campus code)
LW Law (level code)
M Writing Across the Curriculum and Honors (course suffix)
MA Mont Alto (campus code)
MAC Morgan Academic Center (for Student-Athletes)
MD Medical (level code)
MD Medicine (college code)
MED Medicine (college abbreviation)
MEP Multicultural Engineering Program
MRC Multicultural Resource Center
MS Military Science (ROTC) (college code)
NACADA National Academic Advising Association
NC Non-credit (level code)
NDEGR/C/H Nondegree Regular/Conditional/High School (Classification of Undergraduate Students)
NG No grade (grade reporting symbol)
NK New Kensington (campus code)
NR Nursing (college code)
NSO New Student Orientation
OCLC Course meets at an off-campus location (course characteristic)
ODS Office for Disability Services
OSA Office of Student Aid
OUR Office of the University Registrar
P Pass (noncredit course) (grade reporting symbol)
P Practicum (or laboratory) section (course suffix)
PC Penn College (Pennsylvania College of Technology; campus code)
PREQ Course has prerequisites (course characteristic)
PS Pass (pass/fail option) (grade reporting symbol)
PSU Pennsylvania State University
R Recitation section (course suffix)
R Research (grade reporting symbol)
RAP Recommended Academic Plan
RI Resident Instruction
ROTC Reserve Officers' Training Corps
S First-Year Seminar (course suffix)
SA Satisfactory achievement (grade reporting symbol)
SATL Course is offered at multiple locations via satellite uplink (course characteristic)
SC Science, Eberly College of (college code)
SCIEN Science, Eberly College of (college abbreviation)
SEGM Course is segmented (course characteristic)
SGPA Semester grade-point average
SH Shenango (campus code)
SI Supplemental Instruction
SITE Schreyer Institute for Teaching Excellence
SL Schuylkill (campus code)
SLO Special Living Options
SOTP Student Orientation and Transition Programs
SRTE Student Ratings of Teacher Effectiveness
SSSP Student Support Services Program
T First-Year Seminar and Honors (course suffix)
TMDT Course has additional meeting times/dates (course characteristic)
U United States Cultures/International Cultures and Honors (course suffix)
UAO Undergraduate Admissions Office
UC University College (college code)
UE Undergraduate Education
UFO University Fellowships Office
UG Undergraduate (level code)
UG ND Undergraduate non-degree (college code)
UN Undergraduate nondegree (college code)
UN Unsatisfactory achievement (grade reporting symbol)
UP University Park (campus code)
UPUA University Park Undergraduate Association
US United States Cultures (General Education code)
W Official withdrawal (grade reporting symbol)
W Writing Across the Curriculum (course suffix)
WB Wilkes-Barre (campus code)
WC World Campus
WEB Web course; offered entirely through the Internet (course characteristic)
WEP Women in Engineering Program
WF Withdrew failing (grade reporting symbol)
WISE Women in the Sciences and Engineering
WN Withdrew no grade (grade reporting symbol)
WP Withdrew passing (grade reporting symbol)
WS Worthington Scranton (campus code)
X Writing Across the Curriculum and First-Year Seminar (course suffix)
XC State College Continuing Education (campus code)
XF Failure, academic dishonesty (course grade)
XS Foreign studies program (campus code)
Y Writing Across the Curriculum course and United States Cultures/International Cultures (course suffix)
YK York (campus code)

Common abbreviations for course attributes and suffixes can be found in the University Course Descriptions section.

Changes to the Graduate Bulletin

Changes to the Graduate Bulletin will be tracked in real-time and listed below. At the end of every semester, these updates will be incorporated into the Bulletin.

Program Changes Effective Summer 2021

Artificial Intelligence

New graduate program offering the M.P.S. degree.

Communication Sciences and Disorders

Adopt the Social and Behavioral Neuroscience dual-title for the Ph.D. degree.


Adopt the International Agriculture and Development dual-title for the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees; change degree requirements.


Add an IUG with the B.A. or B.S. in Economics.


Adopt the Climate Science dual-title for the Ph.D. degree.

Information Science

Change degree requirements and offer the M.S. degree online through World Campus.

International Agriculture and Development

Change degree requirements.


Add four options to the D.N.P. degree; remove options from the M.S.N.; drop the M.S. degree.


Adopt the Social Data Analytics dual-title for the Ph.D. degree.

Public Policy

Add an IUG with the B.A. in African-American Studies.

Real Estate Analysis and Development

Add new degree Master of Real Estate (M.R.E.); change M.S. degree requirements.


New graduate program offering the M.Acc. degree.

Certificate Changes Effective Summer 2021

E-Learning Design Graduate Credit Certificate

Renewed for five years.

Geospatial Intelligence Applications Postbaccalaureate Credit Certificate

Change certificate requirements.

Organization Development and Change: Essentials Graduate Credit Certificate

Renewed for five years.

Remote Sensing and Earth Observation Graduate Credit Certificate

Renewed for five years.

Program Changes Effective Fall 2021

Bioinformatics and Genomics

Change degree requirements.

Biomedical Engineering

Merge the Bioengineering Ph.D. and M.S. degrees into the Biomedical Engineering graduate program.

Business Administration (EXMBA)

Change degree requirements.

Civil Engineering (CE)

Adopt the Climate Science dual-title for the Ph.D. degree; adopt the International Agriculture and Development dual-title for the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees; change degree requirements.

Civil Engineering (CENG)

Change degree requirements and add Environmental option.

Engineering, Law, and Policy

New graduate program offering the M.Eng. degree.

Homeland Security

Change degree and option requirements.

Human Resources and Employment Relations

Change admission and degree requirements.

Lifelong Learning and Adult Education

Discontinue residential delivery of the D.Ed. degree to Penn State Harrisburg.

Organization Development and Change

Change degree requirements.

Public Administration

Change admission and degree requirements for the Ph.D.

Social Data Analytics

Change admission and degree requirements.

Certificate Changes Effective Fall 2021

Applied Demography Graduate Credit Certificate

Change certificate requirements.

Applied Statistics Graduate Credit Certificate

Renewed for five years.

Distance Education Postbaccalaureate Credit Certificate

Change certificate requirements.

Electrical Engineering Postbaccalaureate Credit Certificate

New certificate offering.

Financial Analysis Graduate Credit Certificate

New certificate offering.

Global Justice and Security Graduate Credit Certificate

New certificate offering.

International Affairs Graduate Credit Certificate

Offer this certificate online via World Campus.

International Human Resources and Employment Relations Graduate Credit Certificate

Renewed for five years.

Organizational Leadership Graduate Credit Certificate

New certificate offering.

Taxation Graduate Credit Certificate

New certificate offering.

Certificate Changes Effective Spring 2022

Financial Engineering Graduate Credit Certificate

New certificate offering.

Information Systems Cybersecurity Graduate Credit Certificate Program

Renew and revise this certificate; change from a Postbaccalaureate to a Graduate Credit Certificate.


  1. Where can I find the Undergraduate Bulletin?
  2. Where can I find a list of courses and course descriptions?
    • You may find courses and descriptions several different ways within the Bulletin. You may navigate to the full listing of courses and descriptions from the Courses link in the top navigation menu. You may also scroll over any course number within the Bulletin to see the course description in a course bubble. Search for specific courses through the search option on the homepage or in the search functions throughout the Bulletin.
  3. Where can I find past Bulletins?
    • Past Bulletins can be found on the Archive page, which can be accessed from any page in the Bulletin's top navigation menu.
  4. When will the Graduate Bulletin be updated?
    • The Bulletin will be updated at the beginning of each semester (fall, spring, and summer). Changes that occur between updates are identified on the Changes page.
  5. Why are there are some courses listed in the Bulletin that I can't schedule?
    • The Bulletin Course Description section displays all courses that are currently active at Penn State. Not all of these courses are taught every academic semester or year. To view courses that are available for enrollment by semester, please view the LionPATH Class Search.

Have a question we didn't include? Please let us know by emailing