Choice of an Academic Major
Plan carefully before making your choice of academic major. Focus on working with your adviser to identify your own goals and interests, to locate sources of academic information, and to understand the details of university, college and departmental requirements, and possible restrictions.
Consult the Penn State Bulletin for a listing of baccalaureate degree programs that are available at various Penn State campuses. Your adviser or the DUS programs coordinator at your campus can assist you in determining requirements.
As a first-year student, you were asked to present your first, second, and third preferences for an academic major in response to a survey questionnaire. For some majors, you may have already been offered the opportunity to declare your choice and may have been granted entrance to the major. For other majors, you may declare your choice during your sophomore year but not later than the beginning of your fifth semester.
Remember that some colleges and academic majors have special enrollment restrictions. In addition to a minimum 2.00 cumulative grade-point average, some academic majors require the completion of specific course work before entrance to the major will be considered; in other colleges/majors, a portfolio or audition may be required. In certain majors that have administrative enrollment controls, a higher cumulative grade-point average, in part, will determine whether or not you can be accepted into a controlled major. You should inquire whether the major you are considering has enrollment restrictions, and, if so, what are the entrance requirements you will need to meet. If your academic progress or performance so far does not seem to indicate that you will gain entrance to a controlled major, you should work with your adviser and with the DUS programs coordinator at your campus to identify alternative majors.
Students, in consultation with their academic adviser, have the liberty to change these preferences during their first two years. You can change your major preferences in the student records system by using the eLion Major Preferences application. The academic colleges use these student major preferences to identify candidates who have expressed interest in their majors and to select and approve these candidates to a major. You are strongly advised to insure that your recorded choices of preferred major reflect your current academic interest. You can verify your recorded major preference on the eLion Academic Summary application.
Students are informed of the entrance to major process by their academic college. After the selection process is completed, students are informed of the results by the academic college in which the approved major resides.