Center for Excellence in Academic Advising
All Penn State majors have entrance requirements. Access to most majors can be categorized in the following three ways, based on their entrance requirements:
These are only broad categorizations of entrance-to-major requirements, and there may be exceptions to these general rules. Additional information and details can be found in the individual college links below as well as in the following resources:
- Open-access majors: Most majors at Penn State require only a minimum cumulative grade-point average (CGPA) of 2.00 and completion of at least 27.1 credits (third-semester standing). Students can enter open-access majors at any time after these requirements are met.
- Conditional-access majors: Some majors have additional requirements, such as stronger academic records or special talents, before a student can enter the major. Specific examples of these additional conditions include a higher CGPA, completion of specific courses, a grade of C or higher in certain courses, or a successful audition or portfolio review. Students may enter these majors after the additional conditions have been met.
- Controlled-access majors: A few majors may have more applicants than can be accommodated due to limitations of space, faculty, or other resources. Students can apply for these majors only at a particular time, usually the spring semester of the sophomore year (the student's pool semester). To be guaranteed entrance to these majors, students must complete the required courses by the end of the pool semester (often with a grade of C or higher) and have a CGPA of 3.00 (or higher, for some majors) in the semester preceding the pool semester. (In some cases, the CGPA needed to gain entrance to these majors may drop below the guaranteed CGPA.) Other requirements may apply. Officially, these majors have administrative enrollment controls (see links below for additional details).
Entrance-to-College/Major Requirements by College
See ETM Requirements and Procedures.