Penn State Undergraduate Admissions Penn State University

4-Year Baccalaureate Majors

Majors by Campus


Altoona

Biology (Start at any Campus and Finish: Altoona)

The curriculum in Biology helps students prepare for professions requiring competence in biological science or for gaining an understanding of the world of living things. The professional group includes students who intend to pursue graduate study, students who are interested in work with various governmental agencies or industries having biological responsibilities, and students who want to prepare for careers in medicine or other health-related professions. Students with other interests may select the curriculum because its broad approach can result in an educated view of the structure and function of living things. Achievement of these goals, including a special interest in a particular area of biology, can be met by selecting one of three options: Ecology, General Biology, and Vertebrate Physiology.
(Altoona College)

Campus website: Altoona

Please see the Basic Admissions Requirements page for more information about high school and transfer requirements.

Business (Start at any Campus and Finish: Altoona)

The bachelor of science degree in Business is an upperdivision, professionally oriented business degree program for individuals who are seeking general preparation in business. The degree combines the theoretical underpinnings of core business disciplines, notably management, marketing, finance, and logistics, with applied study in a practical setting, especially small businesses. Through the choice of an 18-credit option, students develop a specialty related to a key business sector. Students also develop written and oral communication skills throughout the program, acquire contemporary computer skills, and engage in active and collaborative learning. The degree allows students to become familiar with the unique business environments of their local communities, a design that sets the degree apart from other business degrees offered both within the University and throughout the Commonwealth.
(Altoona College)

Campus website: Altoona

Please see the Basic Admissions Requirements page for more information about high school and transfer requirements.

Communications (Start at any Campus and Finish: Altoona)

The major provides a general grounding in traditional media forms along with work in the area of media convergence. Students do course work at both the practical and theoretical level. On the theory side, course work will be offered in the areas of media criticism and theory, visual communications, and media history at the introductory and advanced levels. On the applied side, course work will be offered in video and audio production, news writing and photojournalism, radio and television studio production, and public relations and advertising at the introductory and advanced levels. Students will be strongly encouraged to do an internship sometime during their junior or senior years. Finally, the capstone Convergent Media Seminar will bring seniors together to consider the larger, theoretical issues related to the fast-paced changes in communications today and into the future. Graduates are well positioned to go right into industry, where they will be able to compete in a number of different job markets, or to graduate school for advanced training.
(Altoona College)

Campus website: Altoona

Please see the Basic Admissions Requirements page for more information about high school and transfer requirements.

Criminal Justice (Start at any Campus and Finish: Altoona)

Students receiving a baccalaureate degree in Criminal Justice should understand each of the three main components of the criminal justice system and their interrelationships, be able to evaluate critically both current and future crime control policy proposals and criminal justice research, and understand the complexity of the crime phenomenon and its relationship to individual, social, and cultural factors. This major includes study in law enforcement, courts, and corrections—individually and as components of a system; theories of crime causation; and crime control policy. Students should expect reading, writing, and critical thinking skills to be rigorously applied and developed throughout the degree program. The bachelor of arts degree in Criminal Justice provides a broadly based liberal arts background for the study of crime, justice, and the criminal justice system. The bachelor of science degree offers an opportunity for educational enrichment in fields not traditionally considered part of the liberal arts. Either degree is excellent preparation for a career in criminal justice, graduate, or professional study, or informed citizenship.
(Altoona College)

Campus website: Altoona

Please see the Basic Admissions Requirements page for more information about high school and transfer requirements.

Criminal Justice: Bachelor of Science (Start at any Campus and Finish: Altoona)

Students receiving a baccalaureate degree in Criminal Justice should understand each of the three main components of the criminal justice system and their interrelationships, be able to evaluate critically both current and future crime control policy proposals and criminal justice research, and understand the complexity of the crime phenomenon and its relationship to individual, social, and cultural factors. This major includes study in law enforcement, courts, and corrections—individually and as components of a system; theories of crime causation; and crime control policy. Students should expect reading, writing, and critical thinking skills to be rigorously applied and developed throughout the degree program. The bachelor of arts degree in Criminal Justice provides a broadly based liberal arts background for the study of crime, justice, and the criminal justice system. The bachelor of science degree offers an opportunity for educational enrichment in fields not traditionally considered part of the liberal arts. Either degree is excellent preparation for a career in criminal justice, graduate, or professional study, or informed citizenship.
(Altoona College)

Campus website: Altoona

Please see the Basic Admissions Requirements page for more information about high school and transfer requirements.

The Division of Undergraduate Studies (DUS)

First-year students who wish to explore academic programs before choosing a specific college or major may enroll in the Division of Undergraduate Studies (DUS). DUS is a popular choice for first-year students because it provides opportunities to explore programs in several colleges simultaneously under the guidance of an academic adviser. Students enter an academic college when they are qualified and ready to do so. They may remain in DUS for no more than two semesters beyond their first year at Penn State. After they complete their DUS enrollment, they should be prepared to choose a field of study that is well suited to their interests, abilities, and aspirations.
(Division of Undergraduate Studies)

Campus website: Altoona

Please see the Basic Admissions Requirements page for more information about high school and transfer requirements.

Electro-Mechanical Engineering Technology* (Start at any Campus and Finish: Altoona, Berks, New Kensington, York)

The bachelor of science in Electro-Mechanical Engineering Technology degree program provides the basic undergraduate education required for a career as an electro-mechanical engineering technologist. The program emphasizes a breadth of knowledge in all fields of engineering technology related to typical, highly automated manufacturing, production, or assembly plant processes. Courses cover all major areas of technology involved in the operation and control of manufacturing and production processes, including instrumentation and monitoring methods, principles of machine design, automated control techniques, thermal and fluid sciences, computerized manufacturing systems, principles of electrical and electronic circuit operation, computer-aided drafting and design, economics of production, and statistical analysis and quality control. The primary aim is to provide graduates with the knowledge and skills necessary to apply current methods and technology to the development, design, operation, and management of electro-mechanical systems, particularly in those industries where automated systems are prevalent.
(College of Engineering)

* Accredited by the Technology Accreditation Commission of the ABET, 111 Market Place, Suite 1050, Baltimore, MD 21202-4012; telephone, 410-347-7700; www.abet.org.

Campus website: Altoona

Please see the Basic Admissions Requirements page for more information about high school and transfer requirements.

Elementary and Early Childhood Education (Start at any Campus and Finish: Abington, Altoona, Berks, Behrend, University Park)

There are three options within this major: Early Education PK-4, English 4-8, and Social Studies 4-8. Students successfully completing this major will have met all the requirements and are eligible to apply for the PK-4, English Education 4-8, or Social Studies Education 4-8 Instructional 1 certificate issued by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. Students must apply for admission to the major.
Not all options are available at every campus. Contact the campus you are interested in attending to determine which options are offered.
(College of Education)

Campus website: Altoona

Please see the Basic Admissions Requirements page for more information about high school and transfer requirements.

English (Start at any Campus and Finish: Altoona)

Students explore the imaginative and practical uses of English through courses in literature, writing, rhetoric, and language. They develop perspectives on human nature and cultural values through American, British, and other English literatures; they learn how to gather, analyze, synthesize, and communicate information; they gain mastery over their language. These skills help English majors find careers in publishing, business, industry, government, and teaching. English majors often go on to postgraduate study not only in English but also in such areas as law, business, education, or other liberal disciplines. Majors can emphasize writing, literature, or rhetoric, or a mix of literature, writing, and rhetoric. All provide a liberal arts education and all develop analytic and writing skills.
(University College)

Campus website: Altoona

Please see the Basic Admissions Requirements page for more information about high school and transfer requirements.

Environmental Studies (Start at any Campus and Finish: Altoona)

This interdisciplinary major is designed to provide students with an integrated and critical knowledge of the natural environment and human interactions with it. Students receive a strong foundation in the natural sciences but extend their studies across several disciplines, emphasizing both public policy issues and the role of the natural environment in history and culture. The goal of the program is “ecological literacy,” which means that students will develop a broadbased understanding and awareness of environments and environmental issues, as well as the problem-solving skills to address those issues.
(Altoona College)

Campus website: Altoona

Please see the Basic Admissions Requirements page for more information about high school and transfer requirements.

Environmental Studies (Start at any Campus and Finish: Altoona)

This interdisciplinary major is designed to provide students with an integrated and critical knowledge of the natural environment and human interactions with it. Students receive a strong foundation in the natural sciences but extend their studies across several disciplines, emphasizing both public policy issues and the role of the natural environment in history and culture. The goal of the program is “ecological literacy,” which means that students will develop a broadbased understanding and awareness of environments and environmental issues, as well as the problem-solving skills to address those issues.
(Altoona College)

Campus website: Altoona

Please see the Basic Admissions Requirements page for more information about high school and transfer requirements.

The Division of Undergraduate Studies (DUS)

First-year students who wish to explore academic programs before choosing a specific college or major may enroll in the Division of Undergraduate Studies (DUS). DUS is a popular choice for first-year students because it provides opportunities to explore programs in several colleges simultaneously under the guidance of an academic adviser. Students enter an academic college when they are qualified and ready to do so. They may remain in DUS for no more than two semesters beyond their first year at Penn State. After they complete their DUS enrollment, they should be prepared to choose a field of study that is well suited to their interests, abilities, and aspirations.
(Division of Undergraduate Studies)

Campus website: Altoona

Please see the Basic Admissions Requirements page for more information about high school and transfer requirements.

History (Start at any Campus and Finish: Altoona)

This major provides a broad introduction to the history of the great civilizations of the world and specific areas of historical inquiry. Centered in one of the basic, traditional disciplines, the History major offers invaluable preparation for students interested in a career in government, international relations, law, or librarianship, as well as essential training for those interested in a professional career as an academic or public historian, archivist, or secondary school teacher. Along with the perspective on the present that a study of the past engenders, the program develops skills in research, analysis, and synthesis that have proved useful in commerce and industry. The History major permits easy combination with minors, area studies, or even a concurrent major, providing flexibility in students’ academic plans and career choices.
(Altoona College)

Campus website: Altoona

Please see the Basic Admissions Requirements page for more information about high school and transfer requirements.

Human Development and Family Studies (Start at any Campus and Finish: Altoona)

This major is a multidisciplinary program that examines the development of individuals and families across the life span. It enables students to prepare for professional, managerial, or scientific roles in health and human services professions, in public and nonprofit agencies, and in business and industry, as well as for advanced professional or graduate study. Courses emphasize biological, psychological, social/cultural, and economic aspects of development. Through course work and undergraduate internships or research projects, students develop skills relevant to career objectives, such as counseling, human assessment, program planning and evaluation, and research. Two options are available within the major: Life Span Human Services and Life Span Developmental Science.
(Altoona College,)

Campus website: Altoona

Please see the Basic Admissions Requirements page for more information about high school and transfer requirements.

Integrative Arts (Start at any Campus and Finish: Altoona)

Integrative Arts is an interdisciplinary major available to students who desire a curriculum that crosses over traditional single discipline lines. The Integrative Arts student initially establishes an academic plan with the assistance of an approved adviser. The plan must contain a core component of 42 credits and an elective component of 15 credits. The two components combined must clearly illustrate that the plan has clarity, purpose, and cohesion. All Integrative Arts students must complete 6 credits of history of the arts. These credits may be counted as a part of the major or, if outside the major, may be counted under General Education and/or Bachelor of Arts degree requirements.
(Altoona College)

Campus website: Altoona

Please see the Basic Admissions Requirements page for more information about high school and transfer requirements.

Kinesiology (Start at any Campus and Finish: Altoona)

Kinesiology offers a comprehensive program of study in the science of human movement and is designed for students who want to prepare for professions involving physical activity and for graduate study in related areas. 

MOVEMENT SCIENCE OPTION: This option provides interdisciplinary scientific training in academic areas such as biomechanics, exercise physiology, movement neuroscience, psychology of physical activity, and sport history and philosophy to understand movement for prevention and diagnosis of chronic disease, rehabilitation and treatment, and/or theoretical study. Students are prepared for graduate study in many clinical fields including medicine, physical therapy, occupational therapy, physical assistant, cardiac rehabilitation, as well as a broad range of careers in biomedical and health-related fields.

EXERCISE SCIENCE OPTION: (offered only at Penn State Altoona, Penn State Berks and Penn State Harrisburg) This option is a program of study in the science of exercise. This program offers Kinesiology background and applied experience in fitness assessment, exercise physiology, exercise psychology, motor skill development, nutrition and healthy living skills. Graduates will be able to scientifically assess fitness levels of individuals. Analyzing those assessments, graduates will then be capable of designing and implementing appropriate exercise programs. Students in the Business Emphasis can obtain a Business Minor through this program. Students acquire basic business skills in accounting, marketing, management and entrepreneurial skills. Students choosing the Science Emphasis will select courses from a department list that will enhance their opportunity for graduate studies in Kinesiology-related fields, physical therapy and medical schools. The completion of the Exercise Science Option will enable graduates to compete for employment in the corporate fitness arena, private fitness clubs, community-based fitness organizations, hospital and university settings or possibly to operate their own health and fitness company.

(College of Health and Human Development)

Campus website: Altoona

Please see the Basic Admissions Requirements page for more information about high school and transfer requirements.

Letters, Arts, and Sciences (Start at any Campus and Finish: Altoona)

Letters, Arts, and Sciences is a multidisciplinary, theme-oriented, and student-designed major leading to a bachelor of arts degree. The major consists of 36 credits, divided into two sections: the core and the option. The core (12 credits) consists of 3 credits each in the following: research methods/ projects; communication skills; theory/application; and critical analysis. Courses for the option (24 credits) are directed toward the student’s theme, 15 credits of which must be at the 400 level. The student chooses one of six options: Arts; Humanities; Social and Behavioral Sciences; Science and Mathematics; Science, Technology, and Society; or Liberal Studies.
(Altoona College)

Campus website: Altoona

Please see the Basic Admissions Requirements page for more information about high school and transfer requirements.

Mathematics (Start at any Campus and Finish: Altoona)

Two degrees are offered in mathematics: the bachelor of arts and the bachelor of science. Both programs have a common core of mathematics courses; both programs prepare students for graduate work in mathematics. In addition, the B.A. degree program is oriented toward applications of mathematics in the arts, humanities, and social sciences. The B.S. degree program has a number of options, which are oriented toward actuarial science, applied analysis, computational mathematics, graduate study, systems analysis, and teaching. Many of the options are designed for students who want to use mathematics in industry, commerce, or government. In short, the degree requirements have the flexibility to fit many individual interests. The student, with the assistance of a faculty adviser, should select an option by the end of the sophomore year.
(Altoona College)

Campus website: Altoona

Please see the Basic Admissions Requirements page for more information about high school and transfer requirements.

Mathematics (Start at any Campus and Finish: Altoona)

Two degrees are offered in mathematics: the bachelor of arts and the bachelor of science. Both programs have a common core of mathematics courses; both programs prepare students for graduate work in mathematics. In addition, the B.A. degree program is oriented toward applications of mathematics in the arts, humanities, and social sciences. The B.S. degree program has a number of options, which are oriented toward actuarial science, applied analysis, computational mathematics, graduate study, systems analysis, and teaching. Many of the options are designed for students who want to use mathematics in industry, commerce, or government. In short, the degree requirements have the flexibility to fit many individual interests. The student, with the assistance of a faculty adviser, should select an option by the end of the sophomore year.
(Altoona College)

Campus website: Altoona

Please see the Basic Admissions Requirements page for more information about high school and transfer requirements.

Nursing* General Nursing Option (Start and Finish at: Altoona, Behrend, Fayette, Mont Alto, Worthington Scranton or University Park)

This major helps students prepare to become professional practitioners in areas of health promotion and maintenance, illness care, and rehabilitation. After earning a bachelor of science degree in Nursing, students are qualified to take the registered nurse examination for licensure by the State Board of Nursing.

The General (Four-year) B.S. program in Nursing is open to incoming first-year Students at the Altoona, Behrend (Erie), Fayette, Mont Alto, Worthington Scranton, and University Park Campuses. Penn State University Park students will spend one academic year at the Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center.

Students must start and remain all four years at the campus to which they are admitted.

(College of Nursing)

 

Campus website: Altoona

Please see the Basic Admissions Requirements page for more information about high school and transfer requirements.

Nursing* - for licensed RNs only (Start at any Campus and Finish:Abington, Altoona, Behrend, Fayette, Harrisburg, Mont Alto, New Kensington, Schuylkill, Shenango, Worthington Scranton, World Campus)

This major prepares registered nurse students as professional practitioners in areas of health promotion and maintenance, illness care, and rehabilitation.
(College of Nursing)

* This program is accredited by Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN), 3343 Peachtree Road, NE Suite 850, Atlanta, GA 30326, 404-975-5000, acenursing.org; the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), One DuPont Circle, NW Suite 530, Washington, D.C. 20036, 202-463-6930; and approved by the Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing.

Campus website: Altoona

Please see the Basic Admissions Requirements page for more information about high school and transfer requirements.

Nursing* Second Degree Option (Start and Finish: Altoona, Harrisburg)

This intensive sixteen-month program is for students who already have a baccalaureate degree and wish to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Students who meet the academic prerequisites of the program complete 60 credits in nursing, earn a second degree, and are eligible to sit for the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). Through this program, students will gain experience in diverse settings and be prepared to start a new career in nursing.

(College of Nursing)

 

* This program is accredited by Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN), 3343 Peachtree Road, NE Suite 850,  Atlanta, GA 30326, 404-975-5000, acenursing.org; the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), One DuPont Circle, NW Suite 530, Washington, D.C. 20036, 202-463-6930; and approved by the Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing.

Campus website: Altoona

Please see the Basic Admissions Requirements page for more information about high school and transfer requirements.

Political Science (Start at any Campus and Finish: Altoona)

The Political Science major offers the student an opportunity to understand not only American federal, state, and local governments, but also the political systems of other nations and their underlying philosophies. Courses are offered in American, comparative, and international politics, and in political theory and methodology. Internship opportunities are available.
(Altoona College)

Campus website: Altoona

Please see the Basic Admissions Requirements page for more information about high school and transfer requirements.

Psychology (Start at any Campus and Finish: Altoona)

The Psychology major will combine the knowledge, skills, and values of psychology with a liberal arts foundation. Students should develop a knowledge base consisting of concepts, theory, empirical findings, and trends within psychology; understand and apply basic research methods in psychology; use critical thinking and the scientific approach to solve problems related to behavior and mental processes; apply psychological principles to personal and social issues; and be able to understand the gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, culture, and class issues in psychological theory, research, and practice. Students should also develop information and computer competence, communication skills, and develop realistic ideas about how to implement their psychology education in occupational pursuits in a variety of settings.

The major may lead to either a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science degree. The B.A. degree incorporates a broad exposure to the many facets of the field of psychology, in addition to the B.A. requirements. The B.S. degree provides the same exposure to the field of psychology and adds options in Science and Business to prepare students for more specific career directions. Students in both degree programs may also prepare for graduate school; research experience with faculty members is encouraged for such students.
(Altoona College)

Campus website: Altoona

Please see the Basic Admissions Requirements page for more information about high school and transfer requirements.

Psychology (Start at any Campus and Finish: Altoona)

The Psychology major will combine the knowledge, skills, and values of psychology with a liberal arts foundation. Students should develop a knowledge base consisting of concepts, theory, empirical findings, and trends within psychology; understand and apply basic research methods in psychology; use critical thinking and the scientific approach to solve problems related to behavior and mental processes; apply psychological principles to personal and social issues; and be able to understand the gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, culture, and class issues in psychological theory, research, and practice. Students should also develop information and computer competence, communication skills, and develop realistic ideas about how to implement their psychology education in occupational pursuits in a variety of settings.

The major may lead to either a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science degree. The B.A. degree incorporates a broad exposure to the many facets of the field of psychology, in addition to the B.A. requirements. The B.S. degree provides the same exposure to the field of psychology and adds options in Science and Business to prepare students for more specific career directions. Students in both degree programs may also prepare for graduate school; research experience with faculty members is encouraged for such students.
(Altoona College)

Campus website: Altoona

Please see the Basic Admissions Requirements page for more information about high school and transfer requirements.

Rail Transportation Engineering ( Start at any campus and Finish: Altoona)

This major provides disciplinary knowledge in engineering design and focuses on maintenance and management skills required by the rail industry. The program provides study in the major areas associated with the design, operation, and maintenance of rail systems, including the engineering of rail and track structures, basic rail operating practices and safety, wheel/track dynamics, construction and maintenance of railroad infrastructure, and basic railroad communications signals.
(Altoona College)

Campus website: Altoona

Please see the Basic Admissions Requirements page for more information about high school and transfer requirements.

Science (Start at any Campus and Finish: Altoona)

The Science major is an integrated undergraduate–graduate (IUG) degree program that aims to provide a broad, general education in science. The bachelor of science curriculum is designed specifically for students who have education goals relating to scientific theory and practice and who require a high degree of flexibility to obtain their educational objectives. After completing foundation courses in calculus, chemistry, physics, and the life sciences, students will select additional science courses from designated areas. A large number of supporting credits permit students to readily include significant breadth or specialization into their undergraduate curriculum. Some examples include minors in business, computer and information science, education, kinesiology, or other fields. The degree can help students prepare for careers in pharmaceutical, biotechnical, chemical, medical, and agricultural industries. The degree can also be tailored to meet the specific requirements of professional programs such as medical, dental, or pharmacy schools.
(Altoona College)

Campus website: Altoona

Please see the Basic Admissions Requirements page for more information about high school and transfer requirements.

Security and Risk Analysis (Start at Abington, Altoona, Beaver, Berks, Brandywine, DuBois, Fayette, Greater Allegheny, Harrisburg, Hazleton, Lehigh Valley, Mont Alto, New Kensington, Schuylkill, Shenango, University Park, Wilkes-Barre, Worthington Scrantons, York and Finish: Altoona)

The bachelor of science degree program in Security and Risk Analysis (SRA) is intended to familiarize students with the general frameworks and multidisciplinary theories that define the area of security and related risk analyses. Courses in the major will engage students in the challenges and problems associated with assuring information confidentiality and integrity (e.g., social, economic, technology-related, and policy issues), as well as the strengths and weaknesses of various methods for assessing and mitigating associated risk. The major provides grounding in the analysis and modeling efforts used in information search, visualization, and creative problem solving. This knowledge is supplemented through an examination of the legal, ethical, and regulatory issues related to security that includes analyzing privacy laws, internal control, and regulatory policies, as well as basic investigative processes and principles. Such understanding is applied to venues that include transnational terrorism, cyber crimes, financial fraud, risk mitigation, and security and crisis management. It also includes overviews of the information technology that plays a critical role in identifying, preventing, and responding to security-related events.
(Altoona College)

Campus website: Altoona

Please see the Basic Admissions Requirements page for more information about high school and transfer requirements.

The Division of Undergraduate Studies (DUS)

First-year students who wish to explore academic programs before choosing a specific college or major may enroll in the Division of Undergraduate Studies (DUS). DUS is a popular choice for first-year students because it provides opportunities to explore programs in several colleges simultaneously under the guidance of an academic adviser. Students enter an academic college when they are qualified and ready to do so. They may remain in DUS for no more than two semesters beyond their first year at Penn State. After they complete their DUS enrollment, they should be prepared to choose a field of study that is well suited to their interests, abilities, and aspirations.
(Division of Undergraduate Studies)

Campus website: Altoona

Please see the Basic Admissions Requirements page for more information about high school and transfer requirements.

Visual Art Studies (Start and Finish: Altoona)

The bachelor of arts degree in Visual Art Studies offers students the opportunity to explore studio work in Art within the context of a broader liberal arts education. Students can learn fundamental techniques and concepts common to the visual arts. Emphasis is also put on creative problem solving through advanced investigations of artistic themes and issues. Course work includes requirements (classes) related to the portfolio preparation necessary for employment in creative fields or for education at the graduate level.
(Altoona College)

Campus website: Altoona

Please see the Basic Admissions Requirements page for more information about high school and transfer requirements.