A degree candidate must hold a high school diploma or its equivalent. A degree candidate may be admitted as either a baccalaureate degree candidate or an associate degree candidate if the requirements specified in Senate Policies 05-00 and 06-00: Degree Candidates are met.
A person enrolled in a course who is not a degree candidate or degree-seeking student conditionally enrolled in DUS is classified as a nondegree student. A nondegree student must either hold a high school diploma or its equivalent to take undergraduate courses. Exceptions may be made by the Undergraduate Admissions Office for students currently enrolled in high school (dual-enrollment students).
A nondegree student who has not been academically suspended or dismissed may enroll in any number of credits, not to exceed the typical semester credit load of a full-time student if criteria 1, 2, and 3 are met. Nondegree students who change from degree candidates to nondegree or who intend to become degree candidates must also meet criterion 4.
- The student has completed the prerequisites for the courses to be scheduled or has obtained permission from the instructor to schedule the course.
- Space is available after degree candidates have been accommodated.
- The student has not been dismissed or suspended for nonacademic reasons from any college or university. An applicant not in good standing at another accredited college or university for disciplinary reasons must consult with the director of the Office of Student Conduct for admissions clearance.
- The student has obtained academic advising/counseling from an adviser/counselor designated by the academic unit to which admission, or reinstatement and re-enrollment, is desired.
Note: A student must be admitted, or reinstated and re-enrolled, as a degree candidate to apply the credits earned as a nondegree student toward fulfilling the requirements for a degree. The dean of the college of enrollment shall decide which credits may be used to fulfill the degree requirements.
Limitations to Enrollment as a Nondegree Student
A student in nondegree status may remain in that status for a maximum of 30 credits, at which time the student must be accepted into a degree program to continue taking credit courses at Penn State. If a student in nondegree status is not eligible for a degree program after completing 30 credits in that status, s/he may continue to take credit courses at Penn State only as long as a semester grade point average of more than 2.00 continues to be earned and the student has the written support of the major s/he intends to enter or re-enter. In this situation, the student must enter a degree program immediately upon reaching eligibility. Nondegree students whose cumulative grade point average is below 2.00, who have reached the 30-credit limit, are not eligible for a degree program and will be dismissed from the University at the end of the semester and may only re-enter the University through academic renewal (as defined by Senate Policy 54-90: Academic Renewal). Nondegree students who have reached the 30-credit limit, are in good academic standing (defined as at least a 2.00 cumulative grade point average), and do not intend to earn a degree may self-identify and continue taking credit courses at Penn State as an "enrichment course taker" for as long as a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.00 is maintained.
Obtaining an Application
A nondegree application can be obtained from the Office of the University Registrar or by contacting the Registrar's office at any University location.
Admission of Nondegree Student as a Degree Candidate
A nondegree student may apply for admission as a baccalaureate degree candidate with advanced standing to a college or school of the University, or to the Division of Undergraduate Studies, upon completion of at least 18 credits earned at this University with at least a 2.00 cumulative grade-point average. An applicant who has completed at least the equivalent of two years of baccalaureate degree work before applying for admission as a baccalaureate degree candidate must have the approval of either the dean of the college or school in which enrollment is desired or of the director of the Division of Undergraduate Studies if the student wants to enroll in that division. To be eligible for degree admission, the nondegree student must meet the academic requirements of the University and the college or school in effect at the time of application.
Degree-Seeking Student Conditionally Enrolled in Division of Undergraduate Studies
An applicant seeking to pursue a degree program and holding a high school diploma or its equivalent may be admitted to enroll in credit courses at the University as a degree-seeking student conditionally enrolled in the Division of Undergraduate Studies (DUS). A degree-seeking student in DUS with conditions is considered a regular student for registration and academic advising and is entitled to all services provided to all students of the University. A degree-seeking student conditionally enrolled in DUS who is admissible to the University may enroll in credit courses if the following criteria are met:
- The applicant provides evidence of academic success based on credentials submitted with the application; however, does not meet all criteria specified in Senate Policies 05-00 and 06-00: Degree Candidates.
- The applicant has not been dismissed for unsatisfactory scholarship from any other college or university previously attended.
- The applicant has not been dismissed or suspended for nonacademic reasons from any college or university.
- An applicant who has any criminal or disciplinary issues and is not in good standing at another accredited college or university must have received clearance from the Office of Student Conduct.