Administrative Enrollment Controls

Administrative enrollment controls help the University to adjust to shifting student interests and to accommodate all qualified students in the undergraduate majors of their choice. When limitations of space, faculty, or other resources make this goal unattainable, the college dean responsible for the major may request administrative enrollment controls. (See Entrance-to-College/Major Requirements for a comprehensive list of criteria for entrance to each Penn State major, including those majors with administrative enrollment controls.)

Majors with Administrative Enrollment Controls

Due to changing resources and demands, administrative enrollment controls must be approved annually. Therefore, majors approved for these controls change from year to year. Each year's list of majors with approved administrative enrollment controls is available on the Web. Teacher certification programs offered through various majors are controlled. Advisers and students should contact the appropriate academic advising center for additional information.

Entrance to Majors with Administrative Enrollment Controls

Students who want a major with administrative enrollment controls must apply through the eLion entrance-to-major process.

Course Work

Certain courses may be required for entry to a major with administrative controls. A specific grade may be required in some or all of these courses. Generally, students must complete specified courses by the end of their fourth semester of enrollment.


Applicants are considered for admission on the basis of their cumulative grade-point average (CGPA) at Penn State, typically after three semesters. Provided that all of the other requirements for admission have been met, students who have a CGPA of 3.00 or higher cannot be denied entry to most controlled majors. However, for some majors special criteria apply. See the list of majors with administrative enrollment controls to learn about the criteria for entry to each major.

If there is still space after all of the students who meet these criteria have been accepted, selections are made from the remaining students in the pool of applicants, starting with the highest CGPA, until the approved maximum number of students to enter the major is reached. No student with less than a 2.00 cumulative GPA is accepted.

College of Enrollment

Students who apply for entrance to a controlled major must be enrolled in the college offering that major or in the Division of Undergraduate Studies (DUS). Students who want to be considered for controlled majors in more than one college should enroll in DUS to be eligible for consideration.


Exceptions may be considered based on the individual student's situation. Students who have concerns about entry to a major should speak to an adviser in the appropriate academic advising center.

Other Controls on Entrance to Major

Other controls on enrollment in majors include academic entrance requirements and direct admission. Depending on a major's controls and requirements, procedures for entrance may vary (see Entrance to and Changes in College/Major).

Reviewed: June 2014
Last Update: March 2009

Reference(s): Academic Administrative Policies and Procedures Manual, P-5