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Choice of an Academic Major

Plan carefully before choosing your 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 as well as possible restrictions. Learn more about the majors that interest you at MajorQuest.

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 eligible 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 you to complete specific course work before entering the major; 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 ask if the major you are considering has enrollment restrictions, and, if so, what you must do to meet them. If your academic progress or performance so far does not seem to indicate you are progressing toward 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 by using the eLion Major Preferences application. The academic colleges use these preferences to identify students who are interested in their majors and to select and approve these candidates to a major. You are strongly advised to ensure 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.

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Visit University Park
Penn State students who are attending one of the 19 Penn State Commonwealth Campuses and participating in the 2+2 program with plans to attend Penn State University Park to finish their degree are invited to visit the University Park Campus during a designated visit day.
Reservations are required.
If you have questions specific to your major, we suggest you make an appointment with your academic college/department. When visiting with the academic college/department, you should arrange for your visit to either end by 10:00 a.m. so you can be in Shields Building by 10:30 a.m. for the tour, or for the college visit to begin after 12:30 p.m.