Student Classification and Adviser Assignment

Anyone who has not been dismissed or suspended from any college or university for disciplinary reasons may enroll in credit courses at Penn State in one of the following three categories:

Degree Candidate

(Senate Policy 02-20)

Candidates for an associate or baccalaureate degree must have a high school diploma or its equivalent. They are admitted as first-year or advanced-standing students to a college, a major within a college, or the Division of Undergraduate Studies. Undergraduate tuition is charged.

Adviser Assignment

Advising is available to every degree candidate through an assigned academic adviser or the advising center in his/her college of enrollment. A student can find out his/her adviser assignment by using Adviser Information on eLion or by contacting the appropriate advising center. If enrolled in a major, the student should contact his/her department.

Provisional Student

(Senate Policy 02-50, 10-00)

Provisional students are applicants to degree status who have high school diplomas (or the equivalents) but lack the credentials required for admission as degree candidates. (These credentials include adequate high school grade-point average, SATs, and Carnegie units.) These students enroll in classes on a space-available basis after degree candidates have been accommodated. Undergraduate tuition is charged. Provisional students may be eligible for federal financial aid.

Enrollment Policies

A provisional student who interrupts his/her continuous enrollment (other than summer sessions) must seek re-entry to resume studies in provisional status.

Enrollment in provisional status is limited by both academic achievement and credits. Students may not remain in provisional status beyond the semester in which they complete 36 cumulative credits.

Provisional to Degree or Nondegree-Regular Status

If a provisional student has completed 36 or more cumulative credits with a cumulative grade-point average of at least a 2.00, to continue course work he/she must become a degree candidate (see Admission to Degree Status) or enroll in nondegree-regular status. If the student's cumulative grade-point average is less than a 2.00 but he/she has earned over a 2.00 in his/her most recent semester/session, then to continue the student must enroll in nondegree-regular status.

Provisional to Nondegree-Conditional Status (Dropped for Poor Scholarship)

27-Credit Limit: If a provisional student has completed 27 or more cumulative credits with a grade-point average below a 2.00, he/she will not be permitted to continue in provisional status. To continue course work, he/she must enroll as a nondegree-conditional student. However, if the student's most recent semester/session grade-point average is a 2.01 or greater, he/she may continue in provisional status.

36-Credit Limit: If a provisional student has completed 36 or more cumulative credits with a cumulative grade-point average of less than a 2.00 and with an average of less than a 2.01 in his/her most recent semester/session, then he/she must enroll in nondegree-conditional status to continue.

Adviser Assignment

The Division of Undergraduate Studies (DUS) has advising responsibility for provisional students. A student can find out his/her adviser assignment by using Adviser Information on eLion or by contacting DUS.

Admission to Degree Status

A provisional student must complete a minimum of 18 credits (9 credits for associate-degree programs) with no less than a 2.00 cumulative grade-point average in Penn State courses and meet entry requirements. Some programs have higher cumulative grade-point average requirements and/or prerequisite course requirements. In addition, enrollment in some programs is restricted.

To be admitted to degree status, students must complete the provisional to degree request form and submit it to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions.

Nondegree Student

(Senate Policy 02-80, 14-00)

A person enrolled in a course who is not a degree candidate or a provisional student is classified as nondegree. Nondegree students must either have a high school diploma (or the equivalent) or obtain permission from the Undergraduate Admissions Office to take courses. Nondegree students schedule classes on a space-available basis after degree candidates and provisional students have been accommodated. Students in nondegree status are not eligible for financial aid.

A nondegree student who interrupts his/her continuous enrollment (other than summer sessions) must seek re-entry to resume studies in nondegree status.

Nondegree students are classified as nondegree-conditional (NDEGC), nondegree dual-enrolled high school (NDEGH), nondegree-regular (NDEGR), or nondegree-graduate (NONE). Undergraduate tuition is charged for undergraduate students in nondegree status. Graduate tuition is charged for students in NONE status.

Nondegree-Conditional (NDEGC)

Students in this status have been dropped for unsatisfactory scholarship from degree or provisional status at Penn State (see Provisional Student, Enrollment Policies) or from another institution.

When a NDEGC student meets the conditions for reinstatement and re-enrollment (former Penn State degree candidate) or the conditions for admission (former provisional student or student from another institution), then he/she may enroll in degree status.

Enrollment Policies

Semester Credit Load: A NDEGC student may schedule no more than 12 credits per semester through resident instruction, Continuing Education, and/or World Campus. If a student had course work in progress at the time of the drop action, the credits are not included in the 12 credit maximum. (Caution for NDEGC students is advised if he/she is considering auditing a course.) While enrolled in these courses, the student may earn credits toward his/her degree, remove grade-point deficiencies, and work to achieve the grade-point average necessary for reinstatement.

Cumulative Credit Limit: Effective summer 2013, students are limited to 30 credits in NDEGC status. (If a student who was reinstated is again dropped and then enrolls again as a NDEGC student, his/her 30 allowable credits in this status start anew.) Students approaching this limit are sent a warning notification by the Registrar's office.

Effective summer 2013, a student in nondegree conditional status must achieve a semester grade point average of 2.01 or higher every semester.

To register for credit courses the semester in which a student reaches his/her 30-credit limit, a student must either

  • Be reinstated/re-enrolled or admitted in a degree program.
  • Obtain written support from the appropriate dean or director of academic affairs in the college/major the student intends to enter/re-enter. The dean or director records his/her support on ISIS screen ARUSPP. To continue in NDEGC status, the student must earn a minimum of a 2.01 grade-point average in the semester the limit is reached and in each subsequent semester/session of enrollment. When the support indicator is entered on ARUSPP, it remains on the student's record until he/she is admitted, re-enrolled, or dropped (unless the supporting college removes it).

Students who do not meet these criteria will be dismissed from NDEGC status and must qualify for academic renewal in order to register for credit courses at the University.

Adviser Assignment

A NDEGC student who was dropped for poor scholarship from another institution works with advisers in the college to which he/she seeks admission. If a student is exploring curricular options, he/she may consult with advisers in the Division of Undergraduate Studies for goal clarification and a referral to the appropriate college.

Admission to Degree Status

A nondegree-conditional student must satisfy the requirements established by the appropriate dean's office (see Adviser Assignment above) for reinstatement or admission.

Nondegree Dual-Enrolled High School (NDEGH)

Students in this status are dual enrolled: they are in high school and also enrolled in University course work.

Enrollment Policies

A student in this status is limited to eight credits per semester. The admissions office at the campus where a student is enrolled checks the semester grades. To continue in this status a student must earn a minimum of a C grade in each course. Students are able to schedule consecutive semesters. If there is any break in attendance, a new application and approval are required.

Adviser Assignment

The Division of Undergraduate Studies (DUS) has advising responsibility for NDEGH students. A student can find out his/her adviser assignment by using Adviser Information on eLion or by contacting DUS.

 Nondegree-Regular (NDEGR)

Nondegree students who have not been dropped for unsatisfactory scholarship from degree or provisional status by this University or any other college or university will be classified as nondegree-regular. Degree candidates who were not dropped for unsatisfactory scholarship may elect to enroll in this status.

NDEGR status is also an option for students who have graduated and who elect to return to further their education with undergraduate course work but do not intend to obtain another degree (see Sequential Majors). Course work taken in this status is recorded on the student's undergraduate transcript. For information on NDEGR registration, students should contact the Registrar's office.

"Enrichment course takers," students who have no plans to earn a degree, may enroll in NDEGR status. To determine if a student is an enrichment course taker, authorized advisers may use ISIS screen ARISPN/ARUSPN. Students in this status have an "A" under ENRICH.

Enrollment Policies

Semester Credit Load: A NDEGR student may schedule a regular credit load.

Cumulative Credit Limit: Effective summer 2013, students are limited to 30 credits in NDEGR status. Students approaching this limit are sent a warning notification by the Registrar's office. To register for credit courses after reaching the 30-credit limit, a student must either

  • Be admitted or re-enrolled in a degree program.
  • Inform the Registrar's office that he/she is an enrichment course taker. Enrichment course takers must have and maintain a minimum of a 2.00 cumulative average.
  • Obtain written support from the appropriate dean or director of academic affairs in the college/major the student intends to enter/re-enter. The dean or director records his/her support on ISIS screen ARUSPP. To continue in NDEGR status, the student must earn a minimum of a 2.01 grade-point average in the semester the limit is reached and in each subsequent semester/session of enrollment. When the support indicator is entered on ARUSPP, it remains on the student's record until he/she is admitted, re-enrolled, or dropped (unless the supporting college removes it).

Students dropped from NDEGR must qualify for academic renewal in order to register for credit courses at the University.

Adviser Assignment

An adviser is not officially assigned to students in NDEGR status. A NDEGR student who has never been enrolled as a degree candidate at Penn State should work with advisers in the college to which he/she seeks admission. Because there is no guarantee that a student will be admitted to a particular college, work with an adviser in the student's intended college is critical. NDEGR students who are exploring their curricular options can consult with advisers in the Division of Undergraduate Studies for goal clarification and a referral to the appropriate college.

Admission to Degree Status

A NDEGR student who has never been a degree candidate must complete 18 credits for admission to baccalaureate degree programs (9 for associate degree programs) with a minimum of a 2.00 cumulative grade-point average in Penn State courses and meet entry requirements. Some programs have higher cumulative grade-point average requirements and/or prerequisite course requirements. In addition, enrollment in some programs is restricted. To be admitted to degree status, students must complete the Web application for undergraduate admission.

A former degree candidate enrolled in NDEGR status must meet the conditions for re-enrollment in the college and/or major where re-enrollment is sought. To be admitted to degree status, the student must complete a re-enrollment form.

Nondegree-Graduate (NONE)

Enrollment in nondegree-graduate status is an alternative to NDEGR for students who have graduated from an accredited baccalaureate program. This status is appropriate if the student wants the work to be recorded on a graduate transcript or wants to schedule 500-level course work. There is no limit on the number of credits that a student may schedule, and there is no performance criterion that must be met while a student is enrolled in this status. For more information on nondegree-graduate status, see the Graduate Enrollment Services Web page, or contact their office: 115 Kern Building, University Park, 814-865-3425.

Adviser Assignment

Students registering in NONE status are basically responsible for their own advising. However, assistance may be obtained from the Registrar's office, Continuing Education counselors, World Campus advisers, Division of Undergraduate Studies advisers (whichever is most appropriate) or, if the student is degree-aspiring, in the college or department in which admission is sought.


Last Update: May 2013

Reference(s): Senate Policies 02-00, 05-00, 10-00, 12-00, 14-00, 16-00, 18-00, 32-40