DUS News

DUS News

October 17, 2016
Inside Scoop: Nominate an Excellent Adviser

By Friday, November 4, you can help Penn State thank an academic adviser for a job well done by submitting a nomination form available at 2017 Excellence in Advising Award. Your opinion will help to honor one staff and one faculty adviser who have made a difference.

Important Dates:
  • October 10-31 (Mon-Mon): Final exam conflict filing period
  • October 18-20 (Tues-Thurs): Graduate and Professional School Week
  • October 24 (Mon): Explore Smeal
  • October 25 (Tues): Earth & Mineral Sciences major discovery night
  • November 6 (Sun): Daylight Saving Time ends (set clocks back one hour)
  • November 10 (Thurs): Study Smarter, Not Harder
  • November 11 (Fri): Late-Drop deadline
  • November 20-26 (Sun-Sat): Thanksgiving Holiday - No Classes

Join the Student Orientation Team

The Office for Student Orientation and Transition Programs (SOTP) is looking for diverse, dedicated, enthusiastic, resourceful, and motivated undergraduate students to join the 2017 Orientation Team. As a member of the OTeam, you would help to welcome more than 10,000 incoming Penn State students and build transferable job skills at the same time. See SOTP Student Staff for details about attending an upcoming information session.  

Graduate and Professional School Week

If law school, medical school, or graduate school is in your future, plan to attend this year’s Graduate and Professional School Week. Each event will take place in the HUB-Robeson Center (Alumni Hall), 11:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m. For details, contact 814-865-5131 or CareerFairs@psu.edu.


Law School Day - includes 3 workshops provided by Penn State's Pre-Law Adviser

Tuesday, October 18


Medical School and Health-Related Programs Day

Wednesday, October 19


Graduate School Day

Thursday, October 20

Engineering Majors Nights

Learn about engineering majors at University Park during information sessions throughout the semester. Go to those that interest you, hear from students and faculty, find out about what you'd study in the major and what kinds of career opportunities there are, and tour the facilities. Upcoming sessions:


Electrical Engineering
Monday, October 17, 6:30-8:00 p.m.
101 EE East

Computer Science and Engineering
Tuesday, October 18, 5:00-7:00 p.m.
333 IST Building

Aerospace Engineering
Monday, October 24, 6:00-8:00 p.m.
112 Walker Building

Visit the DUS calendar for a listing of all upcoming majors nights.

Explore Smeal Majors, Minors and Organizations

First Year Students interested in Smeal majors! “Explore Smeal” is on Monday, October 24th. Learn About Smeal Majors, Minors, & Organizations Other information sessions include: Small Business Development Center / Student Entrepreneurship; Study Abroad; Trading Room (recommended for students interested in Finance); Honor and Integrity; Alumni Mentor program; Career & Corporate Connections / SmealConnect; Sustainability; Diversity Enhancement Programs.

REGISTRATION: Session times are: 5:55-6:35pm, 6:40pm-7:20pm, 7:25pm-8:05pm, and 8:10pm-8:50pm.  Register at  https://php.smeal.psu.edu/uprog/explore

Make sure you register as soon as possible, especially if you know your available time that evening is limited. Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis and once a session fills up, you will just need to periodically check back to see if a seat opens up so you can register.  You can log back into the system and change your registration time(s) at any time up until the Friday before the event.

Study Smarter, Not Harder

Join us for an interactive workshop in which you will learn How to create good learning habits; Effective strategies for processing information; How to break down course material into manageable concepts; the most important factor in successful learning. We will meet in room 111 Wartik on Thursday, November 10 at 6pm.

99% of students surveyed would recommend this workshop to a friend!

Think About Your Spring Semester

Make an appointment with your academic adviser to talk about your goals and the courses you should consider scheduling for spring semester. You can prepare for that conversation by following the steps at Choose Your Courses.

Plan Ahead to See your Adviser

Do you anticipate needing to speak to your adviser later in the semester? Want to speak with him/her before you schedule? Considering late-dropping a class but concerned about the long-term effects? Plan ahead! DUS Adviser schedules fill up fast, so if you anticipate needing to speak to your adviser, please try to schedule your appointment as early as possible. The more you anticipate your advising needs, the better our advisers can schedule an appointment during a time you want, rather than the only time the adviser has available. Go to the DUS Make an Appointment page online or call 814-865-7576. At all other campuses, contact your Academic Advising Center for assistance.

Changing Your Major

If you have reached a decision about your choice of major and meet the qualifications to enter that major, you can use “Update Academics” in LionPATH to process a change into your major. You won’t be officially changed into your major until Spring semester 2017. Please be sure to visit with your DUS adviser to determine whether or not now is the time to request a change into your new academic home.

First-Year Seminars

If you are a first-year student and have not yet completed a first-year seminar (FYS), you should schedule one for the spring semester. If you completed LEAP during the summer, you have fulfilled the FYS requirement.

When Can You Schedule Spring Classes?

The first date you may schedule classes for the spring is determined by the number of credits you will complete at the end of this semester. Check the Registration Timetable to see what that date is for you. Remember that some students who are scholars, athletes, or veterans or have disabilities have priority registration. These details and more are available at Registration: Student Action

Early Progress Reports

Starting September 6, course instructors are asked to provide first-year students feedback on their engagement in their courses. If your participation is not meeting expectations, your instructor may send you an email, which is also recorded as a flag in your Starfish dashboard. If you receive a warning flag, reach out to your instructor or adviser for help identifying the changes you can make to increase your academic success. If you are engaging well, your instructor might also send you some positive feedback.

Should You Late Drop a Course?

Consider these questions before deciding to late drop: Are you failing the course? Are you passing it with a D but need a C to enter your major? What impact will fewer credits have on financial aid, student visas, or other important issues? Though you can drop a course in LionPATH, make time to talk to an academic adviser first to find out what the consequences might be and if there are other options to consider; and follow the Late-Drop Checklist.

Quick Question Advising

During the semester, students with quick questions can contact an adviser from 8:15 to 11:30 a.m. or 1:15 to 4:30 p.m., Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday and from 10:00 – 11:30 a.m. or 1:15 to 4:30 p.m. on Friday*. Check in at the reception desk on the third floor of the Bank of America Building or call 814-865-7576.


*TUESDAYS ONLY: During the Fall Semester, Quick Question Advising (QQA) will be held in Pollock Commons with DUS adviser Laura Brown every Tuesday from 10:00 a.m. – noon and 1:00–4:00 p.m. Students needing an answer to a quick question should go to the main desk in Pollock Commons to meet Laura. There will be no Quick Question Advising (walk-in advising) in the Bank of America Building on Tuesdays. Regular QQA is available in the Bank of America Building on the other days of the work week.

Using Starfish

Starfish is a product purchased by Penn State to facilitate communication among academic advisers, instructors, students, and others who are here to support student learning. As a student, Starfish provides you with a central location to connect to the people and services that can help you engage with your education. Many academic advisers use Starfish to allow students to schedule appointments. The Starfish for Student Success site has more information about how you can use Starfish as a student.

Additional Resources:

Academic Advising Portal
Advising questions? Need academic information? Check out and bookmark Academic Advising Portal or contact your DUS adviser.

Explore Majors
Making decisions? Use the Exploration Resources on the DUS website to explore and make decisions about possible majors

Make An Appointment
Want to make an appointment with your adviser? Use our online system!

Penn State Events
Interested in more events at Penn State? For a list of workshops, seminars, information sessions, career and major fairs, and more, visit the Events Calendar at Penn State.

Location Change: The Division of Undergraduate Studies advisers will be located on the 3rd Floor of the Bank of America building during the Fall 2016 semester. Please visit us there. Our phone, email addresses and mailing address remain unchanged as noted below.

Mailing Address

Division of Undergraduate Studies
The Pennsylvania State University
101 Grange Building
University Park, PA 16802

Find Us On Google Maps

Phone and Email

(814) 865-7576
(814) 863-8913
8:00am - 5:00pm (M-F)

DUS at All Penn State Locations

For information on DUS enrollment and academic advising at all Penn State locations, please view our list of Advising Centers to find your location.