Penn State Undergraduate Admissions Penn State University

Steps to Apply for First-Year Students

Please review these helpful steps to understand the Penn State application process, as well as the application requirements for first-year students.

Steps to Apply

The first step of the application process is to create a MyPennState profile, if you do not have one already. MyPennState is where future students can access the online application.

If you are new to MyPennState, you will need to establish a Friends of Penn State (FPS) ID and password, which you will access during the MyPennState profile creation process. Once you have your login information, you can sign in to begin work on your application.

A MyPennState perk: Applicants who receive an offer of admission and decide to attend Penn State typically use the same ID to access many services on campus when they are a student, like checking email, scheduling classes, and using computers on campus.

It's a good idea to look over majors you may be interested in and to review any specific requirements that must be met for you to be eligible for admission. In reading over majors, you may even discover a new area of interest. You'll also be able to see if there are any specific application deadlines that must be met for admission into your intended major.

Your Penn State application allows you to select two campuses as starting points for your Penn State degree. Make an informed choice by learning more about Penn State’s 20 undergraduate campuses and the World Campus, Penn State's online degree program.

Some things to keep in mind about campus selection:

  • Tuition is lower at campuses outside of University Park. Those cost savings can add up—between $6,400 and $9,800 during your first two years of study alone.
  • Students starting at a campus outside of University Park can participate in the 2+2 plan—two years at a starting campus followed by the final years at University Park or any campus offering the intended degree.

The application for admission becomes available on the following dates:

Fall/Summer Admission: September 1

Spring Admission: June 1

Application submission dates vary by applicant type and intended program of study. Some programs have specific deadlines or admissions requirements. Please refer to our Dates & Deadlines for more information about application deadlines and priority filing dates, as well as our Admission Requirements to review information about any additional materials required for your intended program of study.

First-year students who apply by November 30 will receive an admission decision no later than January 31.

If applying through MyPennState:

Click Apply Online to start your Penn State application. Before starting, you can also review the Applying Online Worksheet for more details and helpful hints about the application.

Your application work can be saved at each step of the process by clicking the Save and Continue button at the bottom of the page. This feature will allow you to move back and forth within the application or log off and return to complete your application at a later time.

After completing your profile information, you will need to provide your academic history by completing and submitting a Self-Reported Academic Record (SRAR). You will be directed to a link to complete the SRAR. We strongly encourage you to obtain an official copy of your high school transcript to ensure accurate entry of your coursework completed and grades earned. The SRAR will include all of your high school coursework from grades 9-11 and your grade 12 schedule. If your senior grades are available when you enter SRAR, you can enter them at that time.

After this section, you will need to complete the Program of Study portion. Here, you will indicate your desired starting semester, your intended program of study, and your starting and ending campus. Some notes for this area:

  1. You can select your desired major of interest or “undecided” within a specific academic area of interest (like undecided in business or engineering).
  2. While the ending campus is where you will need to finish your degree, you typically have your choice of starting campuses. Select the campus at which you would like to start your studies. Keep in mind that almost all of our majors can be started at any Penn State undergraduate campus. After the first two years at your starting campus, through our 2+2 plan, when it’s time to begin your final two years of study you can transition to the campus that offers your degree.
  3. We will ask for an alternate campus choice for your starting campus. We will only review your application for your alternate choice if we are unable to admit you to your first-choice campus. Admission to your alternate choice campus allows you to participate in our 2+2 plan.
  4. For University Park applicants applying for the fall semester: You can indicate a willingness to begin in the summer session at University Park should we be unable to offer you fall admission. Summer session typically begins with move-in the last weekend of June with classes beginning the week prior to the Fourth of July and running through final exams the second week of August. First-year students enrolling in summer session typically take two courses for a total of six credits. See our Application Review Process for additional information on this option.

After this portion, you will provide some additional application information, an activities resume, and a personal statement. You will be able to paste in this information from other sources (keep in mind that the formatting may not always copy over as intended).

If applying through the Coalition:

Complete the Coalition for Access, Affordability, and Success application, which will include SRAR. The information asked on the Coalition application is the same as on the MyPennState application.

The application requires a nonrefundable application fee of $65 for domestic students and $75 for international students. If you have an approved application fee waiver, you will be able to bypass the payment screen on the application.

Be sure to complete the last step after "Summary and Review," which finalizes payment of your fee, and be certain it is successfully submitted.

Once the application is submitted, you can verify its completion on the Application Checklist in MyPennState.

In order to complete your Penn State application, we need the following materials:

  • Application
  • Your Self-Reported Academic Record (SRAR)
  • Official test scores: SAT (code #2660) or ACT (code #3656)
    Writing Component and Subject Test

    Please note: The writing component of standardized tests (SAT or ACT) is not required. The writing component will not be used as part of our evaluation. Additionally, we do not require SAT Subject Tests.

Some programs require additional items to complete your application. Please review our Admission Requirements for those details.

Penn State does not require letters of recommendation, nor are they used in a student’s evaluation (unless required for a specific program).

You can always check the status of your application in MyPennState. We will communicate with you via MyPennState and through a series of emails regarding any missing items for your application.

When everything has arrived, you will see a status in MyPennState confirming the completion of your application.

Please note: It is your responsibility to check on the status of your application and send us any missing materials.

Once we have reached a decision regarding your application, we will post a notification in MyPennState (domestic students also receive their decision via mail). Review our Dates & Deadlines to see when you should expect your decision.

If accepted, you can accept your offer of admission in MyPennState to begin the process of becoming a Penn State student. Visit our Accepted Students section to review the next steps in this process.