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Faculty Resources

Resources for Smeal Faculty

Faculty Resources for the Smeal College of Business

Entrance to Major

All requirements are determined by admit year.  Please make sure you are using the correct admit term for the student. They are found on the Get Into a Smeal Major page.

Credit Window: currently 36.0 - 59.0 cumulative completed Penn State credits.  Once a student exceeds 59.0 cumulative completed Penn State credits, they will no longer be eligible to enter a Smeal major.

Classes: students are required to take 8 (or 9) entrance to major courses.  They are ENGL 15 (or a derivative), ECON 102, MATH 110/MATH 140, SCM/STAT 200, MGMT 301*, ACCTG 211*, MKTG 301*, FIN 301* (and MATH 141 if pursuing Actuarial Science).  All courses need a C or better except ECON 102.   * designates the course must be taken at a Penn State campus.

Candid of Jian Sun & Susie Solo.

Conditional Offer vs Permanent Offer

A conditional offer is earned when a student declares their major meeting the following criteria: within the credit window, achieving the required GPA for their major and all entrance to major courses are completed or in progress.

A permanent offer is earned when a student declares their major meeting the following criteria: within the credit window, achieving the required GPA for their major and have completed all entrance to major courses.

A conditional offer becomes permanent automatically as long as the GPA requirements of the major are still met.  The student CAN exceed the credit window when their conditional offer becomes permanent.  The key is students MUST declare their major when inside the credit window. 

Typically students will be applying sometime between their third and fourth semesters. 

Example: Fred has completed 51 cumulative Penn State credits, has a 3.42 GPA and has completed all entrance to major courses, except FIN 301 which he is currently enrolled in.  Fred would be eligible for a conditional offer at this point for any major except Finance.  As long as he finishes the semester with over a 3.2 GPA and achieves a C or better in FIN 301, the conditional offer would automatically become permanent at the completion of that semester. 

Understanding the Role of an Academic Adviser

An Academic Adviser is assigned to each incoming Smeal College of Business student.  An Academic Adviser is designed to serve as a consultant or guide to the entrance to major process, graduation requirements, major/minor preferences and University and college procedures.  An Academic Adviser can answer questions about study abroad, job/internship search questions and clubs and organizations, but the student should really go to those specific offices (Smeal Office of International Programs, Business Career Center and Smeal Student Organizations) for help with those questions.

Questions about financial aid, billing, housing, etc. should be referred to those individual units as an academic adviser has no access to additional information in those areas.  Academic Advisers can NOT put students into courses, take students out of courses or alter their schedule in any way.  Academic Advising is housed in the Office of Undergraduate Education (UGE), which is also in charge of New Student Orientation, Spend a Summer Day, Accepted Student Programs, The Sapphire Leadership Academic Program, Smeal Student Mentors, Smeal Ethical Leadership Challenge, Graduation, Campus College Outreach, College Dean's Meetings, The Business Core, Student Records, Parents and Families Weekend, and more.

Candid of Alzberta Nei & Olivia Lewis

Crucial Issues

  • Academic Advisers can alter student schedules: FALSE, advisers cannot add or drop courses from student schedules.  Only the department issuing the course can add or drop a students schedule.
  • Academic Advisers can give advice on absenteeism, make-up work, deferred grades (DF) vs failing grades vs no grades (NG) and other adjustments to the course: FALSE, faculty should work with the student directly following principles laid out in the syllabus to determine any exceptions, best course of actions moving forward, etc.
  • Academic Advisers should help international students with documentation issues: FALSE, international students should ALWAYS work with the ISSA (formerly DISSA) office for all questions about status, documentation, etc.
  • Course prerequisites, the entrance to major process and University requirements are flexible: FALSE, these policies are rigid and expectations of exceptions needs to be incredibly limited.
  • A student can transfer to University Park at any time: FALSE, changing a campus (potentially as part of a 2+2 program) have specific requirements and questions should be directed to  (Smeal Change of Campus Coordinator)
  • Students can transfer in major courses: FALSE, all 300/400 level major courses must be taken at Penn State University Park per AACSB accreditation standards

Alternative Grading

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