Answers to Real Admissions Questions from Students

SASD-Arrival.jpgThere are so many great things about Spend a Summer Day, but one of the best things is that interested students can get answers to questions they have about Penn State, our colleges and majors, the application process, and the admission requirements, to name a few.

And while the Undergraduate Admissions staff will be answering questions from students and their families at Spend a Summer Day, we know that there are many students that do not have the opportunity to visit Penn State and ask us those same questions. So instead, we are going to bring those questions – and their answers – to you!

Each week, until the Fall 2013 application is available on September 1, we will post a question that is frequently asked by students at our Spend a Summer Day events. These questions will cover a range of topics related to admissions at Penn State, and they will hopefully help better prepare you for the upcoming application process.

We are going to start off with a big one that can stress out students (and parents) – what to study?

I think I want to study <insert interest here>, but I am not sure about my specific major yet. How do I complete the application?

Don’t worry! Outside of a few majors that students must study all 4 years (like Nursing, for example), Penn Staters do not select their major formally until the end of their second year. Some colleges, like Engineering or the Liberal Arts, allow you to select an “undecided” option in their college when you apply. Or, you can select the major you are most likely to pursue within the college you desire – Penn State’s majors are organized into 12 different colleges – and begin to explore your options once on campus. If after taking some classes you discover that you are not happy with your initial choice, you can always change your major.

Or, if you have interests that fall into multiple colleges, then the Division of Undergraduate Studies might be for you. By applying to DUS (our undecided option), you can explore the many academic opportunities at Penn State with the guidance of a seasoned adviser who will help keep you on track and find the major that is perfect for you.

DUS is ideal for students that are trying to decide between a few fields of study, as well as those students who have absolutely NO IDEA what they want to pursue. The important thing to remember is there is no disadvantage to applying as an undecided student – you will be taking essential classes while on the path to determining your future major, and you will receive wonderful guidance from a DUS adviser throughout the process. In fact, only 8% of DUS students change their major after they make a selection, which is a true testament to how well this program works.

Lastly, it is important to remember that your choice of major is not set in stone! We know a lot can change in 3 months, 6 months, 12 months … and your chosen field of study is one of those things. If that happens before you attend your new student orientation at Penn State, all you have to do is call the Undergraduate Admissions Office to discuss your options.

Do you have more specific questions regarding this topic or any other item related to admissions at Penn State? If so, go ahead and comment below, send us an email, tweet us, give us a call … however you want to ask your question, we are happy to help! See you with another question next week!

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2 Responses to Answers to Real Admissions Questions from Students

  1. Caley Glasgow says:

    Hi Leah – Thanks for your note. Students cannot enter the B.S. program at University Park other than as incoming first-year students admitted directly to the major.

  2. Leah says:

    Since you mentioned that nursing majors have to spend all four years in their major, does that mean if one was to apply undecided, they couldn’t switch into nursing? Also, if this is possible would it be significantly more difficult to do so considering how competitive nursing is?

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