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University Bulletin
Undergraduate Degree Programs

Nondegree Students

A person enrolled in a course who is not a degree candidate or provisional student is classified as a nondegree student. A nondegree student must either hold a high school diploma or its equivalent to take undergraduate courses. Exceptions may be made by the Undergraduate Admissions Office for students currently enrolled in high school (dual-enrollment students).

A nondegree student who has not been dropped from degree or provisional status by this University or any other college or university for unsatisfactory scholarship will be listed as a nondegree regular student and may enroll in any number of credits, not to exceed the typical credit load of a full-time student per semester if criteria 1, 2, and 3 below are met.  Students who have changed from degree candidates to nondegree regular or nondegree students who intend to become degree candidates must also meet criterion 4.

A nondegree student who has been dropped from degree or provisional status by this university or any other college or university because of unsatisfactory scholarship will be listed as a nondegree conditional student and may enroll in a maximum of 12 credits per semester if criteria 1, 2, 3, and 4 (on the following list) are met.

  1. The student has completed the prerequisite for the courses to be scheduled or has obtained permission from the instructor to schedule the course.
  2. Space is available after degree candidates and provisional students have been accommodated.
  3. The student has not been dismissed or suspended for nonacademic reasons from any college or university. An applicant not in good standing at another college or university for disciplinary reasons must consult the director of the Office of Judicial Affairs for admission clearance.
  4. The student has obtained academic advising/counseling from an adviser/counselor designated by the academic unit to which admission, or reinstatement and re-enrollment, is desired.

LIMITATIONS TO ENROLLMENT AS A NONDEGREE STUDENT: A student in nondegree status (regular or conditional) may remain in that status for a maximum of 30 credits, at which time the student must be accepted into a degree program to continue taking credit courses. Nondegree conditional students must achieve a semester grade point average of 2.01 or higher every semester or will be dismissed from the University and may only re-enter through the academic  renewal process. Students in nondegree status who are not eligible for a degree program after completing 30 credits may continue to take credit courses provided a semester grade-point average of more than 2.00 continues to be earned and they have written support from their intended major. Students who do not meet these provisions will be dropped and may only reenter Penn State through the academic renewal process. Nondegree regular students who are in good academic standing and do not intend to earn a degree may contninue taking credit courses as long as a cumulative grade point average of 2.00 is maintained.

NOTE: A student must be admitted, or reinstated and re-enrolled, as a degree candidate to apply the credits earned as a nondegree student toward fulfilling the requirements for a degree. The dean of the college or school of enrollment shall decide which credits may be used to fulfill the degree requirements.

OBTAINING AN APPLICATION--A nondegree application can be obtained by contacting the Office of the University Registrar, The Pennsylvania State University, 112 Shields Building, University Park, PA 16802-1292 (telephone: 814-865-6357), or by contacting the Registrar's office at any University location. The form is also available at (Opens New Window) on the Web.

ADMISSION OF NONDEGREE STUDENT AS A DEGREE CANDIDATE--A nondegree student may apply for admission as a baccalaureate degree candidate with advanced standing to a college or school of the University, or to the Division of Undergraduate Studies, upon completion of at least 18 credits earned at this University with at least a 2.00 cumulative grade-point average. An applicant who has completed at least the equivalent of two years of baccalaureate degree work before applying for admission as a baccalaureate degree candidate must have the approval of either the dean of the college or school in which enrollment is desired or of the director of the Division of Undergraduate Studies if the student wants to enroll in that division. To be eligible for degree admission, the nondegree student must meet the academic requirements of the University and the college or school in effect at the time of application.


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