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Entrance to Major Requirements

Students admitted to the Smeal College of Business as first-time students are placed in pre-major status (B A) while completing entrance requirements for one of the eight business programs available.  These entrance requirements are a combination of overall and specific grade point averages in courses at Penn State along with completion of business foundation and supporting courses.  

Applying for a major, known around campus as the Entrance to Major process, occurs within a defined window of completed cumulative credits at Penn State.  This occurs traditionally during the student’s second year of study.

Once a student has completed or has in progress the necessary entrance to major courses and has attained the specified overall cumulative grade point average, the student can apply for a Smeal College major.  This process must be completed within the specified window of completed cumulative credits, so all students must plan accordingly. 

In order to receive final approval for a Smeal major, students must maintain the initial criteria and additionally, attain a specific cumulative GPA in the entrance to major courses.

Requirements for Conditional Approval into a Smeal major

Students apply for their major of choice upon meeting the following:

  1. Must be enrolled at Penn State as a pre-major student in the Smeal College of Business (B A) or in the Division of Undergraduate Studies (DUS).
  2. Complete or be currently enrolled in all Entrance to Major courses, including obtaining grades of “C” or better in specified courses.
  3. Attain a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.20 or higher for all majors except Finance (FIN) which requires a GPA of 3.50.  This cumulative GPA must also be met at the conclusion of the entrance to major process.
  4. Students may only apply for a Smeal College major upon earning a minimum of 44 cumulative credits but no more than 59 cumulative credits earned at Penn State and have all entrance to major courses are either completed or in progress.

For example: A student in BA pre-major status or DUS may apply for the accounting major if he/she is:
1)  Within the credit window of 44 to 59 Penn State earned credits.
2)  Has all of the entrance to major courses completed or in progress    
3)  Has a cumulative GPA of a 3.20 (even if their ETM GPA* is below a 3.20 at the time of application)
 
If all of the above are met, the student will receive a conditional offer for the accounting major. The student must successfully complete his/her remaining entrance to major courses and achieve a 3.20 or higher cumulative GPA and a 3.20 or higher cumulative ETM GPA at the conclusion of the semester for the conditional offer to be confirmed. If entrance to major criteria is not successfully completed, the student will be changed back to their prior academic status.
 
* The cumulative ETM GPA refers to the GPA earned from taking the entrance courses required for all Smeal majors.

Requirements for Final, Confirmed Approval into a Smeal major

Students receive a final approval for a Smeal major upon meeting the following:

  1. Must be enrolled at Penn State as a pre-major student in the Smeal College of Business (B A) or in the Division of Undergraduate Studies (DUS).
  2. Complete all Entrance to Major courses, including obtaining grades of “C” or better in specified courses.
  3. Attain a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.20 or higher for all majors except Finance (FIN) which requires a GPA of 3.50. 
  4. Attain a cumulative GPA of 3.20 in the entrance to major courses (as listed below) for all majors except Finance (FIN) which requires a cumulative GPA of 3.50 in these courses. 
  5. Students may only apply for a Smeal College major upon earning a minimum of 44 cumulative credits but no more than 59 cumulative credits earned at Penn State and meeting the entrance to major criteria.*

* If entrance to major criteria is not successfully completed, the student will be changed back to their prior academic status.

Entrance to Major Courses

Eight entrance to major courses are required for all majors (nine for the actuarial science option in Risk Management):

  • English Composition (ENGL 015 or ENGL 030)
  • Calculus (MATH 110 or MATH 140) * #
  • Microeconomics (ECON 102)
  • Statistics (SCM 200 or STAT 200) *
  • Management (MGMT 301) *
  • Financial and Managerial Accounting (ACCTG 211) *
  • Marketing (MKTG 301) *
  • Finance (FIN 301) *

* These courses require a grade of “C” or better.

# The Actuarial Science option in the Risk Management major requires MATH 140 and MATH 141 with grades of “C” or better.

In order to promote student academic success, the Smeal faculty has designated the successful completion of specific "entrance-to-major" courses prior to the beginning of “major field” course work. In order to ensure all students are equally prepared for success, the Smeal College of Business requires that the following “entrance-to-major” courses must be completed at a Penn State campus: Accounting 211, Management 301, Marketing 301, and Finance 301.  Therefore, transfer courses or those designated as direct equivalent courses for the four courses above listed will not be credited toward Smeal entrance-to-major progress.

General transfer credits may not be used for entrance-to-major courses.

Cumulative Grade Point Averages

Finance (FIN) - 3.50 cumulative GPA in all entrance to major courses along with an overall (all courses) cumulative GPA of 3.50.

All Other Smeal Majors - 3.20 cumulative GPA in all entrance to major courses along with an overall (all courses) cumulative GPA of 3.20

Other Smeal Majors include:

  • Accounting (ACCTG)
  • Corporate Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIENT)
  • Management (MGMT)
  • Management Information Systems (M I S)
  • Marketing (MKTG)
  • Risk Management (R M) with three options
  • Supply Chain and Information Systems (SC&IS)

Smeal’s Entrance to Major GPA Predictor

There are many factors that go into qualifying for a major in the Smeal College of Business. This tool is designed to facilitate discussion with your academic advisor. The numbers, interpretations, or other statements produced by this tool are not final and conclusive and thereby do not guarantee acceptance into a Smeal major. It is important to consult with your academic adviser to verify your qualification for an academic major under the applicable standards.

The interpretations provided by this tool are based on information obtained from Penn State's University Faculty Senate Policies for Students and the University Undergraduate Advising Handbook. Because this information is subject to change, it is important that you also consult with an academic adviser to make sure that the information is current and applicable to your situation.

Smeal's Entrance to Major GPA Predictor tool: https://php.smeal.psu.edu/uge/predictor

 

Cumulative Credits

Matriculating from pre-major status to enrollment in a major is contingent upon the timing and completion of cumulative credits at Penn State.

  • Cumulative credits are credits (courses) taken at Penn State. 
  • Advanced Placement (AP) credits and credits earned at other institutions are included in Total Credits but are not included in the cumulative credit total.
  • Once a minimum of 44 cumulative credits but no more than 59 cumulative credits are earned and entrance to major criteria is met, students apply for a major.
  • Typically the application period (44-59 credits) is during the spring semester of the second year of study.
  • Students who have completed 59.1 or more cumulative credits who are still in pre-major status become ineligible to apply for a Smeal major and will become ineligible to continue their enrollment in the college.