Adult Students

Adult learners are over age 24, veterans or active-duty members of the U.S. military, or are more than four years out of high school.

Information for Adults

In today's dynamic and competitive marketplace, education has become a lifelong endeavor that is an essential element of career success. Understanding that education improves job performance and enhances marketability, adult learners are enrolling in colleges and universities in record numbers. As an adult student at Penn State, you will not only earn the quality education employers demand, but you will receive the individual attention you deserve.

Penn State understands that while pursuing higher education can be an exciting experience for an adult learner, this experience can also prove to be challenging. To help adult learners make the most of their educational opportunities and achieve academic success, Penn State offers a number of resources unique to the needs of these students. Whether you are just beginning a college career or you are returning to college after several years, Penn State is here to help you achieve your goals.

Am I an Adult Learner?

Penn State defines an adult learner as a student who is:

  • 24 years of age or older; or,
  • a veteran or actively serving member of the armed services; or,
  • returning to school after four or more years of employment, homemaking, or other activity; or,
  • assuming multiple adult roles, such as parent, spouse/partner, employee.

If you have attempted 18 or more credits at an accredited institution of higher education, please also see information for transfer students.

If you are also an international student (would require a visa to attend Penn State), you will also need to review our requirements for international students.

Admissions for Adult Learners

Every Penn State campus has professional staff dedicated to assisting adult learners through the enrollment process. Contacting the admissions office at your campus of interest is the first step towards starting your Penn State education - click here for a list of campuses. If you are interested in continuing education and the opportunities through the University Park campus, or one of its nearby locations, please visit Penn State Continuing Education.

Please refer to the helpful navigation to learn more about Penn State, understand the admissions process, and access important information and resources for adult students.