Classification of Undergraduate Students

Nondegree Students

A person enrolled in a course who is not a degree candidate or provisional student 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 dropped from degree or provisional status by this University or any other college or university for unsatisfactory scholarship will be listed as a nondegree regular student and may enroll in any number of credits, not to exceed the typical credit load of a full-time student per semester if criteria 1, 2, and 3 below are met. Students who have changed from degree candidates to nondegree regular or nondegree students who intend to become degree candidates must also meet criterion 4.

A nondegree student who has been dropped from degree or provisional status by this university or any other college or university because of unsatisfactory scholarship will be listed as a nondegree conditional student and may enroll in a maximum of 12 credits per semester if criteria 1, 2, 3, and 4 (on the following list) are met.

  1. The student has completed the prerequisite for the courses to be scheduled or has obtained permission from the instructor to schedule the course.
  2. Space is available after degree candidates and provisional students have been accommodated.
  3. The student has not been dismissed or suspended for nonacademic reasons from any college or university. An applicant not in good standing at another college or university for disciplinary reasons must consult the director of the Office of Judicial Affairs for admission clearance.
  4. 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.

Limitations to Enrollment as a Nondegree Student

A student in nondegree status (regular or conditional) 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. Nondegree conditional students must achieve a semester grade point average of 2.01 or higher every semester or will be dismissed from the University and may only re-enter through the academic renewal process. Students in nondegree status who are not eligible for a degree program after completing 30 credits may continue to take credit courses provided a semester grade-point average of more than 2.00 continues to be earned and they have written support from their intended major. Students who do not meet these provisions will be dropped and may only reenter Penn State through the academic renewal process. Nondegree regular students who are in good academic standing and do not intend to earn a degree may continue taking credit courses as long as a cumulative grade point average of 2.00 is maintained.

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 or school of enrollment shall decide which credits may be used to fulfill the degree requirements.

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.

Provisional Students (Degree Seeking)

An applicant seeking to pursue a degree program and holding a high school diploma or its equivalent but without the criteria required for admission as a degree candidate may be accepted as a provisional student and enroll in credit courses, if space is available, to pursue a program leading to either a baccalaureate or associate degree if the following criteria are met:

  1. The student is making satisfactory progress toward admission as a degree candidate. Progress is satisfactory if a student has completed 18 credits with a minimum cumulative grade-point average of 2.00 (on a 4.00 scale). If a student has completed 18 credits with less than a 2.00, then he or she is given a warning. A student who has completed 27 credits with a cumulative grade-point average of less than 2.00 will not be permitted to enroll as a provisional student in any subsequent semester unless the student has earned more than a 2.0 grade-point average in the most recently completed semester. No student, regardless of cumulative grade-point average, who has completed 36 credits will be permitted to enroll as a provisional student in any subsequent semester.
  2. There is space available after degree candidates have been accommodated.
  3. The student has not been dropped for unsatisfactory scholarship from any college or university previously attended. If a provisional applicant attended another college or university and attempted 18 or more semester credits within the last four calendar years, the applicant must have at least a 2.0 (on a 4.0 scale) cumulative collegiate average. However, if it has been four or more calendar years since the applicant attended the other college or university and the cumulative grade-point average is less than 2.0, the applicant is eligible for provisional admission consideration.
  4. 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 Judicial Affairs for admissions clearance.

NOTE: An applicant holding a baccalaureate degree or higher is not eligible to enroll as a provisional student. The applicant is referred to the graduate nondegree program.

Admission of Provisional Student as a Degree Candidate

A provisional 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 with at least a 2.00 cumulative grade-point average. All these credits must be earned at this University. To be eligible for admission, the provisional student must satisfy the academic requirements of the University and the college of enrollment.