About Us

Grange Building at Penn State

Officially founded in 1973, the Division of Undergraduate Studies is one of the landmark programs of its kind in higher education. To gain an understanding of how the Division operates and what its goals are, please review the Mission and Vision statements below.

Vision

DUS aspires to lead the continuing development of the academic advising profession at Penn State and across the nation. We will demonstrate our leadership by contributing to the scholarship of advising, guiding the continuing development of professional standards, and providing the advising community with the most exemplary advising practices and the most sophisticated assessment models.

Mission

As a creation of the University Faculty Senate, DUS serves as an exemplary model of academic advising for students, advisers, the University, and other institutions nationally. Through interactions with DUS academic advisers, students are guided to make well-informed educational plans and create the most meaningful educations for themselves by using Penn State's many resources. DUS provides systematic decision-making tools, accurate and timely information, individual attention, and referrals when appropriate. This mission is accomplished through five principal responsibilities:

  • Enrollment in DUS: For students who want to explore the University's academic offerings before deciding on a field of study and for students in transition from one college or major to another. DUS encourages students to meet their academic potentials through well-informed educational planning, as well as through meaningful experiences such as internships, education abroad, public scholarship, research, and student organizations.
  • Educational Planning Session and Academic Consultation components of New Student Orientation: Developed with leadership from DUS, these components teach students about Penn State's academic colleges, the General Education program, as well as graduation requirements and include time to meet with an academic adviser to discuss educational options and decisions.
  • Academic Information: A network of DUS programs coordinators and advisers supports the University's academic advising programs through the coordination, development, and dissemination of up-to-date information about academic programs, policies, and procedures.
  • Academic Advising and Educational Planning: Consultation and academic information for University students, prospective students, and others requesting advising assistance.
  • Support of Advising Programs (at Penn State and nationally): DUS practices sustained intellectual inquiry and produces publications to help shape and define the dynamic and evolving field of academic advising. Within Penn State, DUS regularly publishes monographs, minigraphs, the Undergraduate Advising Handbook, The Mentor (an electronic journal), and several informational websites, as well as oversees eLion advising modules.

DUS also promotes excellence in faculty advising throughout Penn State by providing professional development experiences for faculty advising colleagues and maintaining the Center for Excellence in Academic Advising website.

At the national level, DUS contributes to the scholarship of advising and plays a leading role in the National Academic Advising Association.

DUS is a member of the Association of Deans and Directors of University Colleges and Undergraduate Studies.