FAQs

Good to Know

What is NSO? Your academic orientation to Penn State, and to the college of your enrollment.

When do I get my ID? You should get your PSU ID card when you come to campus for NSO, first thing in the morning.

Who is my Adviser?  You’ll be sent a letter with that information before you begin your first semester. In the meantime, feel free to contact the Smeal Advising Center where anyone can help you.

What is eLion? eLion is the online program that keeps track of your grades, registration, bill, etc. Penn State is transitioning out of this program and will be fully using LionPATH for Fall 2016; However, Summer 2016 will students will still use this system.

How many credits/classes should I take each semester? There is no set number, but most students take between 4-6 courses and 14-17 credits. Talk to a Smeal adviser during NSO about your situation.

How many hours should I be studying? Get ready... you should study at least 3 hours out of class for every 1 hour you are in class.

When do I get into my major? You enter Penn State as a pre-major student. You will apply to your major once all ETM criteria have been satisfied.

How do I get involved in activities on campus? You can play intramural sports, participate in community service, or join a student organization along with many other possibilities.

How do I buy my books? As soon as you schedule your courses, you can start buying your books! Go to the student bookstore in the HUB (student union) to print out a list of your books, or find out the books you need from their website.

When do classes begin/end? An academic calendar for each semester is available online on the PSU website.

How do I get my grades? You will receive your grades after the conclusion of each semester on eLion. No paper grade report will be sent to you or to your parents.

Who is my Smeal Student Mentor? Mentors will be assigned before the semester begins and they will contact you either before you arrive, or right after you get here.

Why can't I schedule my classes yet? You should begin by discussing your courses with an adviser. For Fall 2016 students you can add courses to their shopping cart if you have completed all "to do" items and accepted your Financial Responsibilities Agreement; however, you the enrollment process is completed at the College Advising Meeting.

Who is Smeal? Mary Jean and Frank P. Smeal both graduated from Penn State in 1942, and have been generous supporters of the University and the business college which is named in their honor in 1990.