FAQs

Who is my adviser and how do I set up an appointment?

The name of your adviser can be found on your degree audit or on LionPATH under Program Adviser. Smeal students can set up an appointment with their advisers using Starfish. You should meet with your adviser at least once per semester to discuss your schedule and goals. The Undergraduate Education office is located in 202/203 Business Building.

What is a Degree Audit?

A degree audit is a computer generated analysis that allows the student and adviser to assess the student’s academic progress and unfulfilled requirements. The audit allows for academic planning and course selection. A student can request an up to-the-minute copy of his/her degree audit through eLion. Each student should bring a degree audit with them to an advising appointment. For instructions on how to read your degree audit: http://ugstudents.smeal.psu.edu/critical-information/learn-to-read-your-degree-audit

What are Smeal’s Entrance-to-Major Requirements?

What is an elective?

Electives are a component of the graduation requirements for Smeal business degrees. The number of elective credit requirements varies by major and program year. Electives cannot double count with credits met for college, major, or general education requirements. Electives are generally non-remedial and non-compulsory courses that students may choose from a variety of options. For instance, extra general education, extra business courses, and seminar courses may count as electives. As the Smeal degree is a Bachelor of Science, foreign language credits count as electives. Smeal applies limits to what counts towards electives. Electives may not be duplicate courses. Electives may not be pre-requisites for courses already successfully completed. For example, if you already successfully completed MATH 110, you cannot use MATH 22 as an elective. Smeal students may use only one credit of BA 395A for internship towards their elective requirements. Students should check with their advisers if they are unsure if a course counts towards elective and graduation requirements.

Can I take a class from another institution and transfer it to Penn State?

Students may elect to schedule courses at another institution and transfer them to Penn State in order to meet degree requirements. Before a student schedules a course at another institution, he/she should have the class evaluated for transfer by the admissions office and with an adviser to determine how the credits apply to their academic program. Students are required to have a “C” or higher to transfer a class into PSU. For more information, visit: http://admissions.psu.edu/academics/credit/transfer/.

What can I do when a course is full?

Advisers cannot add you into a class that does not have seats available. If the course is an entrance-to-major requirement or major field class that is required to be taken in the semester you are scheduling for, you should contact the department offering the course directly. Department phone numbers and office locations for each course are listed in the Schedule of Courses.

Smeal’s Accounting Department directs students to submit a waiting list request form that can be found at the following site: http://ugstudents.smeal.psu.edu/academics-advising/information-on-smeal-majors/accounting.

Other tips for scheduling a course that is full can be found at the following Division of Undergraduate Studies link: http://dus.psu.edu/students/full_course.html.

What is a Faculty mentor?

Only students who are in their major have a faculty mentor. The faculty mentor’s primary responsibility is to provide advice in the area of careers and the student's major field courses. Faculty mentors are also the direct source for information related to major field course content.

Faculty mentors are also the key source for letters of recommendation for law school, graduate school, and permanent employment opportunities. Faculty mentors can assist with graduate school advice, selection of courses in the major where choices are available, and advice on appropriate two-piece course sequences that complement the major and the students’ career objective within that major. Faculty in the academic departments also serves as advisers to student organizations, honor societies, and co-ed business fraternities.

If you are unsure of who your faculty mentor is, please contact the department of your major.

How do I contact my academic department?

Academic Department Information
DepartmentOffice LocationPhone Number
Accounting 354 Business Building 814-865-1809
Actuarial Sciences 355 Business Building 814-865-4172
Economics 609 Business Building 814-865-1456
Finance 352 Business Building 814-863-0486
Management 452 Business Building 814-865-1789
MIS 454 Business Building 814-865-1866
Marketing 455 Business Building 814-865-1869
Risk Management 355 Business Building 814-865-4172
Supply Chain 454 Business Building 814-865-1866

How can I find out about Clubs and Organizations in Smeal and PSU?

You can find out more about Smeal clubs and organizations on this site: http://ugstudents.smeal.psu.edu/student-organizations . Every fall semester (usually around the second week of classes) a Smeal Student Organization Involvement Fair is held in the Atrium of the Business Building. Penn State also offers many student organizations on campus. For more information visit: http://studentaffairs.psu.edu/hub/studentorgs/.

Where can I find out more about Internships and Co-ops?

Smeal’s Career & Corporate Connections Office provides information and opportunities for internship, co-ops, and career development for Smeal College of Business Students. The office will help you develop resources to build a strong framework of professional skills. Find out more on this site: http://ugstudents.smeal.psu.edu/careers.

How do I apply for a minor?

Applying for minors is done on-line through LionPATH by clicking "Update Academics" and then "Add a Minor". The only exception is the International Business Minor, where you must meet with the Smeal Office of International Programs.  To apply to any minor at Penn State you must be officially in a major and fifth semester standing. You should consult with your academic adviser if you are interested in a minor.

How do I apply for a concurrent major?

Students considering a concurrent major should make an appointment with their Smeal adviser.

How do I file my intent to graduate?

During the official activation period (please refer to the academic calendar), you can file your intent on LionPATH by clicking "My Academics" and then "Apply for graduation". You must file your intent to graduate to ALL majors (minors are automatically flagged). You will receive a message indicating that you have successfully activated your intent to graduate this semester.

Students who miss the filing period must visit the Smeal Undergraduate Education Records Office in 202 Business Building to file your intent. A copy of a current degree audit is needed. For any questions contact Smeal Records (814-865-3475).

How do I review my name and diploma mailing address?

After your intent to graduate has been activated in eLion, you will be prompted to review your complete name as it will appear on your diploma(s). Any name change requests are handled by the Registrar’s office at: http://registrar.psu.edu/academic_actions/name_change.cfm.

You will also be prompted to review your diploma mailing address. You can change your USA diploma mailing address by selecting the "USA diploma address" button. You will receive an e-mail confirmation of the address change. To change an international diploma address, contact the Registrar's office at: pgamail@psu.edu.

What are the important details for completing final degree requirements for graduation?

  • Transfer Credits - Students finishing general education or elective credits at another institution during their final semester run the risk of not graduating. An official transcript with the final grade must be received by Penn State's Office of Admission at 201 Shields Building prior to commencement.
  • Graduation Verification – Students should review their degree audit prior to their final semester. The degree audit should state “all requirements have been met or are in progress”. We recommend students to meet with their academic adviser prior to the Course Add/Drop Period.
  • “NG”, “R” and “DF” Grades – Students are not permitted to graduate with a “NG”, “R”, or “DF” grade on their degree audit. Students need to contact the professor or Global Programs (if studied abroad) to resolve the grades prior to graduation.

Where can I find commencement information?

  • Information about commencement can be obtained at:
    http://commencement.psu.edu/
  • Home Mailing Address - Commencement information is sent to home mailing addresses so keep this information current.
  • Commencement Participation - Participation in commencement is for graduating students only. During the ceremony, each graduate is recognized by name and processes across the stage.
  • Academic Regalia - Academic regalia or military uniform is required. Candidates for the baccalaureate degree wear the tassel of the cap on the right front edge. Caps and gowns are purchased from the bookstore in the HUB.
  • Diploma Distribution - Diplomas are mailed to home addresses within three to five weeks of the ceremony.
  • Commencement Program Book - A commencement program book listing the names of graduates is available at commencement. Students activating their intent to graduate prior to the filing deadline will have their name printed in the book.