Penn State Undergraduate Admissions Penn State University

4-Year Baccalaureate Majors

Majors by Academic College

College of Arts & Architecture

Acting BFA (Start and Finish at University Park)
The BFA in Acting is an intensive training program for students who intend to pursue a career in acting for stage and film. Admission is determined via an audition and interview process, in addition to admission to the University Park campus. Four years of studio training include one semester in the Theatre Academy of London for advanced training. Performance opportunities are provided for the student, but must be earned through audition. Education in theatre and the general education curriculum provides depth to the actor's intellectual and artistic development. Concurrent majors and minors are allowed only with pre-approval of the program. Like all programs in the School of Theatre, the BFA in Acting is subject to NAST (National Association of Schools of Theatre) accreditation.
(College of Arts and Architecture)

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

Architectural Engineering (Start at any Campus and Finish: University Park)

This major emphasizes the application of scientific and engineering principles to the planning, design, and construction of buildings and building systems. The goal of the program is to provide engineering graduates with the best education available for careers in the building professions. Graduates will have the ability to practice as registered professional engineers in a variety of areas, both public and private, related to the planning, design, construction, and operation of buildings and to assume a place of leadership in society. Four options are available in the ten-semester major: Construction, which emphasizes building construction engineering and construction management; Lighting/Electrical, which emphasizes the design of lighting and electrical systems for buildings; Mechanical, which emphasizes the design of heating, ventilating and air-conditioning systems in buildings; and Structural, which emphasizes the analysis and design of building structural systems.
(College of Engineering)

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

Architecture* (Start and Finish: University Park)

The five-year professional program leads to the bachelor of architecture degree and contains intensive academic studies in architectural and related subjects.

The major provides for the education of architects at the professional and preprofessional levels. This program prepares those who seek careers as practicing architects. It is also professional preparation for those entering related design fields. Graduates holding a bachelor of architecture first professional degree are eligible, after appropriate internship experience, for admission to the professional state licensing examination and subsequent registration as architects.
(College of Arts and Architecture)

*The Department of Architecture is a member of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture and the Bachelor of Architecture degree is accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board.

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

Art (Start and Finish: University Park)

The B.A. degree in art provides a comprehensive liberal arts education coupled with professional resident instruction in art. Depending on each student’s objectives and course choices, this degree provides preparation for a professional career, a foundation for graduate studies, or a liberal arts education in art. Each student must elect an area of concentration from one of the following: ceramic arts, drawing and painting, new media, photography, printmaking, or sculpture. The bachelor of fine arts degree (University Park only) requires thorough preparation and is intended to develop a level of competence that will enable persons who wish to pursue professional careers in art to prepare themselves for specialized graduate studies, specialized professional training, and/or immediate participation in creative work.
(College of Arts and Architecture)

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

Art Education (Start and Finish: University Park)

This major offers two options: Art Education for Schools, and Art Education for Museums and Cultural Institutions. A basic art studio, art history, art criticism, and aesthetics preparation; a variety of observational and participatory experiences in art learning environments; and an extensive pre-practice internship are an integral part of each option. Upon completion of the option, employment prospects and/or acceptance for advanced graduate studies depends upon individual achievement and qualifications.
(College of Arts and Architecture)

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

Art History (Start at any Campus and Finish: University Park)

Art History faculty are internationally known scholars who travel extensively to conduct on-site research. Students begin with foundation survey courses and then take more specialized courses in ancient, Byzantine/medieval, Renaissance/baroque, modern/ contemporary, and African/Asian art history. The histories of painting, sculpture, architecture, and the graphic arts are examined in relation to religion, politics, society, gender, economics, philosophy, and culture. Graduates find employment in galleries, publishing, arts agencies, archaeology, historic preservation, and historic sites. The most common careers are teaching at the college level or working in a museum; these careers usually require further study and graduate degrees.
(College of Arts and Architecture)

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

Dance (Start and Finish at University Park)
The BS in Dance degree is specially designed as a comprehensive study of all elements of Dance, focusing on elements of the artistry and sciences of the body serve to create a more well rounded performer. Students are encouraged to have a concurrent major with any other area of study. Students are encouraged to consider how their concurrent majors will result in career enhancement, for example kinesiology and dance or education and dance. Students will learn to analyze, generate, and influence creativity in their workplaces and their lives. This program will also emphasize the broadening impact of the intersection of the arts and sciences. Students are strongly encouraged to spend Maymester abroad in the dance program's international trip to Ireland.

Unlike the BFAs in Musical Theatre, Design and Technology, and Acting, this degree is designed to allow and encourage exploration by the student, working closely with their adviser. As a student's perspectives and career goals may change over the course of their four years at Penn State, this program is flexible in order to support those changes. Equally, unlike the BA in Theatre, which is a liberal arts based program, the BS focuses on courses that enhance the student's professional aspirations and encourage students to see the "theatricality of the body," the artistic applications of scientific information on the body, and the scientific aspect of artistry. Students who successfully complete the program will be prepared to use their skills in presentation, design, analysis, and critical thinking in every phase of their profession development.
College of Arts and Architecture

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

Digital Multimedia Design (Start and Finish: World Campus)
The Bachelor of Design (B.Des.) in Digital Multimedia Design (DMD) is an online undergraduate degree delivered in collaboration with the Colleges of Arts & Architecture, Communications, Information Sciences and Technology, and World Campus (WD). The major helps prepare individuals to be leaders in digital media technologies and multimedia industries. This interdisciplinary degree develops students' design thinking through courses in art and design, critical thinking through courses that promote active, critical and ethical use of communications media and technologies, and systems thinking through courses in information technology and human interaction.

The DMD will help individuals build capacities to be creative leaders and change agents who engage with critical issues through interconnected projects in design, technology, and communications across a wide spectrum of industries. This discipline integration creates the conditions for working in the collaborative, adaptive environments that characterize the digital media professions. Combining methods, tools, and approaches from each discipline provides the basis for developing design literacy, visual literacy and digital literacy when responding to problems and issues of local and global importance.
(College of Arts and Architecture)

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

Graphic Design (Start and Finish: University Park)

This degree is intended to help students prepare for careers in graphic design. The program includes the technical skills and the creative and intellectual capacity essential to the practices of graphic design and is intended to help students prepare for employment in design studios, advertising agencies, packaging, publications and corporate design, film and television graphics, and Web and interactive design.
(College of Arts and Architecture)

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

Integrative Arts (Start at any Campus and Finish: University Park)

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.
(College of Arts and Architecture)

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

Interdisciplinary Digital Studio (Started and Finish: University Park)

This degree represents an interdisciplinary approach to the use of emerging technologies in the arts and design disciplines of the College of Arts and Architecture. The program incorporates architecture, landscape architecture, graphic design, music, photography, theatre design, and visual arts. Students enter the School of Visual Arts foundation program their first year, and after completing the sequence of 2- and 3-D art and drawing, move into Interdisciplinary Digital Studio curriculum. The program builds on this foundation with selected courses from across the College of Arts and Architecture, ranging from digital fabrication to sound design and composition in music, theatre, and art, to digitally based art explorationsto digital photography to the exploration of virtual architectural and built environment spaces to digital art and design theory and criticism to Internet exhibitions and publishing. Concurrently, students progress through the series of digital studio courses in which they learn how to work within collaborative professional environments.
(College of Arts and Architecture)

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

Landscape Architecture (Started and Finish: University Park)

The five-year Landscape Architecture program leads to a professionally accredited bachelor of landscape architecture degree.

Landscape architecture is the art of design, planning, or management of the land and of the natural and built elements upon it. As an academic discipline, it embodies creative, cultural, philosophical, and scientific knowledge bases. As a professional discipline, the practice of landscape architecture includes site design, urban design, master planning, community planning, regional planning, resource conservation, and stewardship.
(College of Arts and Architecture)

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

Music and Integrated Programs (Start and Finish: University Park)

The bachelor of arts degree in Music combines a broad liberal arts education with a selection of courses in Music. The degree is designed to develop basic musicianship, the ability to perform, and a set of principles that leads to a fuller intellectual grasp of the art. Students are required to pass a piano proficiency examination, enroll in a core ensemble for two semesters, and complete a senior project.
(College of Arts and Architecture)

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

Music (Start and Finish: University Park)

The bachelor of music degree program is intended to help students prepare for careers in composition or performance. Completion of this program requires that the student achieve a high level of competence in order to begin professional work or pursue further studies at the graduate level. All students must pass a piano proficiency examination.
(College of Arts and Architecture)

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

Music Education (Started and Finish: University Park)

The bachelor of music education (B.M.E.) degree is a professional degree program that helps students prepare for teaching in elementary and secondary schools. Students are expected to meet all requirements for Entrance to Teacher Certification Program in Music, must pass the piano proficiency exam, and complete all music courses and SPLED 400 prior to student teaching. Graduates of this program are prepared to receive the Pennsylvania Instructional I certificate for teaching music K–12. (See also Teacher Education Programs)
(College of Arts and Architecture)

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

Musical Arts (Started and Finish: University Park)

The bachelor of musical arts degree is a multidisciplinary or interdisciplinary program that is intended to help students prepare for careers in performance, while developing a secondary area of emphasis outside of music, as determined for each student through an advising process. Completion of this program requires that the student achieve a high level of competence in order to begin professional work or pursue further studies at the graduate level. All students are required to pass a piano proficiency examination.
(College of Arts and Architecture)

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

Musical Theatre (Start and Finish: University Park)

The major is intended to provide students with specialized training leading to a high level of competence in musical theatre. Graduates should be able to begin professional work or pursue further training at the graduate level. This major is intended for those students who wish to pursue a career as a musical theatre professional.
(College of Arts and Architecture)

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

Theatre, bachelor of arts (Start and Finish: University Park)

This program offers the theatre student a general background in the various facets of theatre. A broad liberal arts education is provided and complemented with advanced courses to best serve student interests, talents, and career objectives. Though a strong emphasis is given to the areas of production and performance, students may also wish to emphasize an area of special interest such as literature, design, or acting. Many students choose to spend a semester in study abroad. Students learn to research, analyze, and synthesize information. Students develop strong oral and written skills and many go on to postgraduate study not only in theatre but also in areas such as law, business, and education.
(College of Arts and Architecture)

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

Theatre, bachelor of fine arts (Start and Finish: University Park)

The bachelor of fine arts in Theatre offers two options: Design and Technology, and Stage Management. The Design and Technology option is intended to develop a level of competence that will enable students who wish to pursue professional careers in theatre design, theatre technology, and related entertainment fields to prepare for specialized graduate studies, specialized professional training and/or immediate participation in creative work. The prescribed core curriculum introduces students to each of the theatre design areas and provides them with a basic skill level in technology. The curriculum also features acting, directing, script analysis, theatre history, and criticism. Students choose an emphasis area after their third semester.

The Stage Management option is intended to provide specialized training leading to a high level of competence in the theatre stage management field. Graduates should be able to begin professional work or pursue further training at the graduate level.
(College of Arts and Architecture)

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