DUS News

DUS News

September 26, 2016
Inside Scoop: What’s A Minor Anyway?

One way to fulfill your goals at Penn State is to add a minor that complements other things you are studying. Find out how to choose a minor and what it takes to complete one at MinorQuest.  

Important Dates:
  • October 3 (Mon): Study Smarter, Not Harder
  • October 10-31 (Mon-Mon): Final exam conflict filing period
  • October 11 (Tues): Agricultural Sciences Career Day
  • October 11 (Tues): Health and Human Development Majors and Minors Night
  • October 12 (Wed): Education Abroad Fair
  • October 14-16 (Fri-Sun): Parents and Families Weekend (University Park)
  • October 15 (Sat): DUS Open House for families and students

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.

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.

Pre-Law Information Sessions

Students thinking about going to law school should sign up for an information session before scheduling an individual appointment with the pre-law adviser. Two kinds of sessions are available throughout the semester: “Pre-Law Orientation” and “Applying to Law School.” See details, dates/times, and registration instructions at Pre-Law Information Sessions. Note: These sessions fill quickly.

Parents and Families Weekend

Join your family October 14–16 at Parents and Families Weekend (or come yourself or with friends!). Enjoy tours, receptions, special programs, exhibits, and open houses across University Park. Registration is free! 

DUS Open House During Parents and Families Weekend

DUS will hold an Open House for students and families in the lobby of the Bank of America Building on Saturday, October 15 from 10:00 a.m. – noon. Come meet DUS advisers and student ambassadors and find out more about opportunities for major and career exploration.

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.

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.

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

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. First majors up are:


Mechanical Engineering
Tuesday, September 27, 5:00-6:00 p.m.
125 Reber Building


Architectural Engineering
Wednesday, September 28, 6:30-8:00 p.m.
112 Engineering Unit B


Chemical Engineering
Thursday, October 6, 5:45–7:00p.m.
105 Wartik Lab

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

Agricultural Sciences Career Day

The College of Agricultural Sciences will be holding its Ag Career Day on 10/11 from 9 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. at the Bryce Jordan Center.  The event is open to all students.  More information and the list of 2016 Participating Organizations can be found at:  http://agsci.psu.edu/students/careers/ag-career-day.

Health and Human Development Majors and Minors Night

On Tuesday, October 11, 5:45-7:00 p.m., come to 10 Henderson Building, University Park, and learn about Health and Human Development majors and minors related to health care, tourism, management, education, child care, fitness, science, and human services.

Education Abroad Fair

Stop by the Education Abroad Fair on Wednesday, October 12, 11:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m., in the HUB-Robeson Center Alumni Hall. You can chat with representatives from schools in other countries, talk to students who have studied abroad, and schedule an appointment with an education abroad adviser. Ask questions and start planning how studying abroad can fit into your schedule.

Sophomore Success: Majors, Internships, Experience

Are you a second-year student who'd like information about 1) What to Do with Your Major, or 2) Determining Your Major, or 3) Finding Internships and Relevant Experience? Go to Sophomore Success Wednesday, October 5 or Thursday, October 6 and attend some or all of these sessions, 10:00 to 4:30 p.m. in the Bank of America Career Services Center. Check session times and preregister at https://studentaffairs.psu.edu/career/students/sophomore.shtml.

See your Adviser

For meetings with your adviser please Make an Appointment online or call 814-865-7576. At all other campuses, contact your Academic Advising Center for assistance.

Smeal Snack and Schedule

First-year students, come and discuss classes and scheduling with a Smeal Student Mentor while enjoying complimentary snacks on Wednesday, October 12 from 7-8:30 p.m. in the Business Building. Check-in table will be in the Atrium.

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.