The Undergraduate Bulletin is Penn State's comprehensive source for undergraduate academic information and program requirements.
Use this section and navigation tools throughout the site to become familiar with general Bulletin information and discover new ways to explore academic opportunities across Pennsylvania and the world.
Students should follow the edition of the Bulletin that is active on their first day of class at the University. Past versions can be found on the Archive page.
Program Page Layout
- Consistent layout of program information organized within the following tabs:
- How to Get In
- Program Requirements (University Degree, Bachelor of Arts Degree, General Education, and Major requirements)
- Integrated Undergrad-Grad Program
- Learning Outcomes
- Academic Advising
- Suggested Academic Plan
- Career Paths
Begin and End Campus
At the top each program page, you will find a box that indicates where you can begin and end a program. Programs may have different begin and end campuses, so it is important to use this information to determine program availability at each campus.
How to Get In
This section describes requirements on how to enter your major. Common examples include, but are not limited to, minimum GPA and/or successful completion of a skills test, coursework, or preparation programs.
Suggested Academic Plan
The course series provided in the Suggested Academic Plan provides only one of many possible ways to move through the curriculum. To create a personalized academic plan, begin by taking the following steps:
- Consult with a Penn State academic adviser on a regular basis to develop and refine your academic plan.
- Use the Suggested Academic Plan in conjunction with your degree audit (accessible in LionPATH as either an Academic Requirements or What If report).
- Familiarize yourself with information available in this Bulletin to learn about academic opportunities.
- Explore resources available on your college and campus websites.
Please note that the University may make changes in policies, procedures, educational offerings, and requirements.
- Real-time amendments to information in the Bulletin will be tracked on the Changes page.
- Currently or previously enrolled students should consult the Bulletin Archive, their adviser, and degree audit reports for specific requirements.
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;
- course attributes and General Education learning objectives;
- if the course is repeatable;
- if the course is cross-listed;
- if the course can be counted towards General Education requirements.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org; 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 Office for Disability Services, 814-863-1807, in advance of your participation or visit.
The Undergraduate Bulletin is Penn State's comprehensive source for undergraduate academic information and program requirements. Using the search features, explore options to design your own, unique academic path at one of the world's leading research institutions. Discover new opportunities as you pursue your academic passion. Search boxes are located on the Undergraduate Bulletin landing page and throughout the website.
Narrow your search by using the following fields:
Choose the degree type to begin your search. Information on the following degrees are included in the Undergraduate Bulletin:
Two-year majors that, with few exceptions, provide concentrated instruction to prepare graduates for specialized occupational assignments.
Baccalaureate programs of study consist of no less than 120 credits and typically take four years to complete.
An academic program of at least 18 credits that supplements a major. A minor program may consist of course work in a single area or from several disciplines.
Undergraduate certificates can reflect emerging academic areas, necessary professional development requirements, or groups of courses that do not constitute a degree program.
Learn more in the Definitions and Abbreviations section.
Penn State has over 20 campuses across Pennsylvania. Visit the Campus page to see the full listing and a brief description of each campus.
Search broad topics to discover programs associated with your interests. From helping people, to science, or business, select an area to help narrow down your academic choices.
Academic colleges at Penn State grant degrees and are generally organized around a subject matter. All Penn State majors are divided among academic colleges, which are the units from which students receive their degrees. Visit the College page to see the full listing.
The University Faculty Senate has responsibility for, and authority over, all academic information contained in the Undergraduate 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.
Understanding Course Description Information
The course description data that appears in the University Bulletins is directly imported from LionPATH, the student information system. At several times within an academic year, new or updated course description information is approved by the Faculty Senate and entered into LionPATH. This updated information subsequently appears in the University Bulletins on the date(s) it takes effect.
What course description data is currently showing in the University Bulletins?
There are three course effective dates within an academic year. These effective dates correspond to the semesterly releases of the Schedule of Courses. The University Bulletins shows course description data that is active as of the most recently released Schedule of Courses. When an upcoming semester's Schedule of Courses is released, the course description information is updated on the same day to match that course data.
Course Description Update Calendar
September 3, 2019: University Bulletins begins showing course description information that is active for the Spring 2020 semester
November 18, 2019: University Bulletins begins showing course description information that is active for the Summer 2020 semester
February 4, 2020: University Bulletins begins showing course description information that is active for the Fall 2020 semester
Previous Versions of Course Description Information
If a course description is updated after the beginning of an academic year, the previous course description information for that course can be found on the Changes to the UG Bulletin page. Course description information from past years can be found in the appropriate archived Bulletin edition.
Definitions and Abbreviations
Described below are definitions referring to degrees, majors, options, minors, concurrent or sequential majors programs, and integrated undergraduate-graduate degree programs:
Two-year majors that, with few exceptions, provide concentrated instruction to prepare graduates for specialized occupational assignments.
Penn State offers more than 160 majors with four-year baccalaureate degrees. A baccalaureate program of study shall consist of no less than 120 credits. Students may elect to take courses beyond the minimum requirements of a degree program. Particular types of baccalaureate degrees identify educational programs having common objectives and requirements. Degree programs may provide academic, pre-professional, or professional experiences and preparation. Majors lead to a baccalaureate degree. Each student must select a major within a baccalaureate degree type. If options are offered within a major, a student selects one. The student may also elect to enroll in a minor to supplement the major. Alternatively, the student may seek to enroll in multiple majors within the same type of baccalaureate degree or to enroll in a simultaneous degree program.
Undergraduate majors offered at Penn State lead to one or more of the following baccalaureate degrees: Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Architectural Engineering (five-year program), Bachelor of Architecture (five-year program), Bachelor of Design, Bachelor of Fine Arts, Bachelor of Humanities, Bachelor of Landscape Architecture (five-year program), Bachelor of Music, Bachelor of Musical Arts, and Bachelor of Philosophy.
Not all degrees are offered at every location. Baccalaureate degrees offered at Penn State include both those that are designed to provide an academic (including pre-professional) experience and those that are specifically designed to provide professional preparation.
To ensure excellence, all professionally oriented degree majors provide a strong academic base. The Bachelor of Arts degree (with a given major) is an academic degree; the Bachelor of Science degree (with a given major) and the bachelor's degree in any subject area (e.g., Bachelor of Architecture) are professional degrees. The Bachelor of Philosophy degree, described in the Intercollege Undergraduate Programs section of this Bulletin, is planned individually and may be designed to serve either academic or professional purposes.
A major is a plan of study in a field of concentration within a type of baccalaureate degree. Colleges and other degree-granting units may have common requirements for all of their majors. Each major may have requirements identified in prescribed, additional, and supporting courses and related areas categories. Elective credits are not considered part of the major.
An option is a specialization within a major that should involve at least one-third of the course work credits required for the major, but need not be more than 18 credits. All options within a major must have in common at least one-fourth of the required course work credits in the major. A student can only be enrolled in an option within their own major.
A minor is defined as an academic program of at least 18 credits that supplements a major. A minor program may consist of course work in a single area or from several disciplines, with at least 6 but ordinarily not more than half of the credits at the 400-course level. Total requirements are to be specified and generally limited to 18 to 21 credits. Entrance to some minors may require the completion of a number of prerequisites, including courses, portfolios, auditions, or other forms of documentation that are not included in the total requirements for the minor. All courses for a minor require a grade of C or above.
Concurrent and Sequential Majors Programs
At the baccalaureate or associate degree level, students may be approved for admission to more than one major under the Concurrent Majors Program. A Concurrent Majors Program is one in which students take courses to concurrently meet the requirements of at least two majors, with graduation for all majors in the program occurring during the same semester. Concurrent majors must all be at the baccalaureate or associate degree level. Under the Sequential Majors Program, upon graduation from an associate or baccalaureate degree program, a student may apply for re-enrollment in another undergraduate degree program.
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;
- learn from current graduate students who share academic interests.
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.
|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|
|CCP||College Contact Person|
|CCRR||College Contact and Referral Representative|
|CCSG||Council of Commonwealth Student Governments|
|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)|
|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)|
|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)|
|PR||Semester classification (degree-seeking provisional)|
|PREQ||Course has prerequisites (course characteristic)|
|PROV||Provisional (degree-seeking) student (Classification of Undergraduate Students)|
|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|
|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)|
|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)|
|UFO||University Fellowships Office|
|UG||Undergraduate (level code)|
|UG ND||Undergraduate non-degree (college code)|
|UN||Undergraduate non-degree or degree-seeking provisional (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)|
|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 UG Bulletin
Changes to the Undergraduate Bulletin will be tracked in real-time and listed below. At the end of every semester, these updates will be incorporated into the Bulletin.
- Where can I find a list of General Education courses and information about requirements?
- For information about General Education requirements, please see the General Education section in this Bulletin.
- The General Education requirements have changed. Do the new requirements apply to me?
- The new General Education requirements apply to students who start at Penn State in Summer 2018 and later. Requirements have not changed for students who began at Penn State before this semester. The older set of requirements can be found in the Archives page. Additional information is available on the Office of General Education website.
- What does the blue keystone symbol mean?
- The keystone indicates that the course is designated as a General Education course. See the degree requirements for your program to identify the General Education courses that are required. Not all courses marked with the keystone count as meeting General Education requirements when required within your program. See the program requirements and speak to an adviser regarding General Education courses that count or do not count toward the General Education requirements.
- Where can I find bachelor of arts degree requirements?
- Bachelor of arts degree requirements are included in the program requirements section for B.A. programs. You may also see the B.A. requirements in the Academic Information section.
- 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.
- Which Undergraduate Bulletin should I use?
- Your official record of general education requirements, University degree requirements, and program requirements is found in the Bulletin that matches the semester in which you enrolled at Penn State. See the Archive page to find past Bulletins.
- 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.
- When will the Undergraduate 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.
- What course description information is currently showing in the Bulletin?
- The University Bulletins shows course description data that is active as of the most recently released Schedule of Courses. When an upcoming semester's Schedule of Courses is released, the course description information is updated on the same day to match that course data. Please visit the Understanding Course Description Information page to view the course description update calendar.
- 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.
- Where can I find information about minors?
- Minors are a specific type of program and may be found through the search process by filtering by minor.
- Where can I find the Graduate Bulletin?
- The Graduate Bulletin is located at: https://bulletins.psu.edu/graduate.
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