High School Course Requirements: 4-Year Degrees

Review the minimum high school course requirements for admission to a four-year (baccalaureate) degree program.

Requirements by Academic College

The following charts outline the minimum high school requirements for admission into Penn State's academic colleges or the Division of Undergraduate Studies. The charts outline units of study, which in most high school curricula is equal to one year of work.

Admission Requirements by academic college
Subject Minimum Units Required for:

College of Agricultural Sciences
College of Arts and Architecture
Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications
College of Education
College of Health and Human Development
College of the Liberal Arts
College of Nursing
Undecided, Division of Undergraduate Studies
English 4 units, including 1 unit each in composition and literature
Social Studies/Art/Humanities 3 units in any combination of social studies, arts, or humanities
Science 3 units
Math 3 units, in algebra and geometry
World Language 2 units*

 

Additional Math Requirement for Specific Academic Colleges

Some colleges and majors require the completion of additional math in high school in order to be eligible for admission. Review the additional math requirement for those colleges below.

Math Requirements by academic Colleges
Subject Minimum Units Required for:

Smeal College of Business
All other Business programs
College of Earth and Mineral Sciences
College of Engineering
Engineering/Engineering Technology at Erie and Harrisburg
College of Information Sciences and Technology
Eberly College of Science
Science at Altoona, Abington, Berks, Erie, Harrisburg, and Lehigh Valley
Math Algebra I,  Algebra II, and Geometry plus one-half unit of Trigonometry, Pre-Calculus, or Calculus 
English 4 units, including 1 unit each in composition and literature
Social Studies/Art/Humanities 3 units in any combination of social studies, arts, or humanities
Science 3 units
World Language 2 units*

Language Notes

*Two units in a single world language other than English are required. American Sign Language can be used to satisfy the World Language requirement.

A student may be admitted with fewer than two units in a world language other than English, but must correct this deficiency by the time s/he graduates from Penn State. This deficiency may be corrected by passing one three- or four-credit college-level world language course, by earning transferable credits from another institution, or by demonstrating proficiency equivalent to two units of high school world language study.

Additional Information for Applicants with a GED

If you did not graduate from high school and earned a GED, official high school transcripts through the last year you completed AND an official GED transcript are required.

All high school and GED transcripts must be sent directly to Penn State from the high school (educational institution of origin) or GED testing center to be considered official. Students can obtain their official GED through the Department of Education in the state from which the GED was received.

Adult Learners

Adult learners are required to send a GED transcript only. Please review Penn State’s definition of an adult learner.

The following links are helpful in acquiring the GED transcript:

The Undergraduate Admissions Office will review each applicant's high school coursework and/or GED individually when considering a student for admission.

Information on 2-Year Degrees

If you are interested in an associate degree, please review the minimum high school requirements for our two-year programs.