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University Bulletin
Undergraduate Degree Programs

Minimum Requirements for Admission to Degree Candidacy

To be eligible for admission consideration to the University as a degree candidate, either as a beginning student or as a student with advanced standing, an applicant must meet the following minimum requirements:

  1. Graduation from an accredited secondary school. Penn State requires proof of graduation or a GED for admission to four-year degree programs.
  2. Completion of the required units of preparatory work as indicated under the heading Minimum Carnegie Units.

A secondary school diploma issued by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, or appropriate authority in another state, may be accepted as equivalent to graduation from an accredited secondary school and as equivalent to the minimum secondary school units required for admission, as indicated under the Minimum Carnegie Units heading, with the exception of math and world language.

The University accepts the definition of a secondary school unit as established by the Carnegie Foundation. A unit represents a year of work in a subject in a preparatory school or secondary school, provided that the work done in that subject is approximately one-fourth of the total amount of work regularly required in a year in the school.

The University reserves the right to deny admission to any applicant for admission for any reason the University determines to be material to the applicant's qualifications to pursue higher education.

Admission to degree candidacy is specified in terms of enrollment in a college or school of the University or in the Division of Undergraduate Studies. Entrance to a baccalaureate major is a subsequent step that normally occurs near the end of the second year of study. Both for admission to a college or school and for entrance to a major, a student must satisfy the requirements of the University, of the particular college or school, and of the major area. In special circumstances, the University may need to further restrict admissions to a college or school and entrance to majors because of space limitations.

Minimum Carnegie Units

Baccalaureate and Associate Degree Programs


See the minimum number of secondary school units required for admission consideration to a baccalaureate degree program here.


See the minimum number of secondary school units required for admission consideration to an associate degree program can be found here.


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Course descriptions are stored in LionPATH, the University-wide student information system. Please visit the LionPATH Course Catalog to access current course descriptions. At that point, you will be leaving the University Bulletin website.

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