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Undergraduate Policies and Procedures

A guide for students, faculty and staff

When a student is awarded a degree, it means that the faculty and dean of the college certify that the student has achieved competence in a specific discipline. To receive this certification, students must complete sufficient coursework for the faculty to evaluate competency.

This policy outlines the requirements for establishing competency in a major from the Eberly College of Science.

  1. Students enrolled in, or hoping to enroll in, majors of the Eberly College of Science are expected to attend the University Park campus once they have earned a total of 60 credits. It is critical for students to be at University Park with enough time to develop mentoring relationships with their faculty advisers, to choose from a broad selection of classes in the major and to interact with other students in that major.  Students who do not transfer to University Park must choose a major at another location and change their college of enrollment to that location.
  2. No more than 91 credits may be earned while enrolled at another institution may be applied to degrees granted by the Eberly College of Science. (Faculty Senate Policy 83-80.1)
  3. Thirty-six (36) of the last 60 credits earned for the degree must be taken at the University.  (Faculty Senate Policy 83-80.1)
  4. Common-numbered courses (research -94; -95, independent study -96, special topics – 97 and -98, and education abroad -99) may not automatically count toward the major. Students wishing to use these courses to meet major degree requirements should confirm their applicability with a University Park adviser.
  5. All course substitution requests, whether for a common-numbered course or any other course, must be accompanied by documentation indicating that the content and evaluated work is comparable to the required course category. The substitution must have similar or greater scope and depth than the course choices specified in the required category.

Students in the College of Science must follow the Academic Progress Policy (Faculty Senate Policy 54-00). To graduate from Penn State University, a degree candidate must complete the requirements for the candidate's major and earn at least a C (2.00) cumulative grade point average for all courses taken at Penn State (Faculty Senate Policy 82-40). Please consult with an advisor as soon as possible if you are concerned about your academic standing. A full description of the procedure for students on Academic Warning,Academic Suspension, and Academic Dismissal can be found at

Eberly College of Science students seeking to obtain concurrent majors request approval to do so by the departments and the dean of the college. (Faculty Senate Policy 60-10)

Eberly College of Science students may not concurrently enroll in a general science major (either Science BS or Premedicine) and another Eberly College of Science major degree program.

Penn State graduates who wish to return to complete an additional baccalaureate degree may do so by requesting re-enrollment. Please see Faculty Senate Policy 60-20 for the steps and procedures. The college reviews each re-enrollment for sequential degree request to determine whether enrollment in major or pre-major status is appropriate

Students seeking retroactive registration for a course must file a request for retroactive registration to the University Registrar, which requires an authorized signature. ( In the Eberly College of Science, the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education is authorized to sign this request.

Early change of location from another Penn State campus to University Park is one that would take place before the entrance to major requirements are met and/or before at least three semesters of course work are completed.  These requests will not be approved by the Eberly College of Science, except in the circumstance that progress cannot be made toward the degree at that campus location (see the campus-specific Recommended Academic Plans).  The originating campus must first approve of the change of location request.

All students whose entrance to major requirements are in progress during the spring semester of the second year and who request a change of assignment to University Park will be conditionally approved for change of location.  These students’ academic records will be re-reviewed when the spring semester grades are available, and at that time any student who does not meet the entrance to major requirements will revert to SCIEN pre-major status.

Course instructors have the right to limit enrollment to students who have the prerequisites for the course and/or who are enrolled in required concurrent courses. Before making a dis-enrollment action, instructors will notify students in writing, before the end of the regular drop/add period, that they have not met the course prerequisites and will be dis-enrolled from the course.

Students who re-register for a course from which they have been dis-enrolled are in violation of an administrative directive, and will be referred to the university office of student conduct.

Bills for lab fees will be applied to students’ accounts after the regular drop/add period for that semester. These fees are not refundable.

Commencement ceremonies are a celebration of the completion of the baccalaureate degree. Only students who have been placed on the graduation list, i.e. those that have completed or will complete the degree requirements during the semester of the ceremony, will be allowed to participate in the commencement ceremony.