College Advising Structures at University Park

Related topic: Academic Advising

All degree candidates are enrolled in a college, major, or in the Division of Undergraduate Studies (DUS). Regardless of their unit of enrollment, all degree candidates have access to assigned academic advisers in their college/DUS. In the colleges, many faculty members serve as academic advisers. Faculty advisers have in-depth knowledge of their field. In addition, many colleges and departments have professional advisers. Professional advisers, often referred to as  "full-time advisers" are knowledgeable about their college/department's academic programs and University policies and procedures.

Each college and campus has an advising center with a DUS programs coordinator and/or the unit employs an academic advising coordinator. In all cases, the advising focus is on providing academic information and assistance to students considering the colleges' or campus' majors. Colleges and campuses determine the advising structure that best meets the needs of their students. University Park college advising structures are described as follows:

Agricultural Sciences (AG)

Students not enrolled in the college are able to identify a major of interest work with the appropriate Agricultural Sciences advising contact for the majors. If the student is interested in more than one major in the college, he/she meets with the DUS programs coordinator to learn about majors and work on educational plans.

Students enrolled in the college are typically advised by faculty advisers who partner with professional advisers in the majors that interest them to utilize college and University advising resources. Students enter majors as soon as they meet entry requirements.

Arts and Architecture (A&A)

Students not enrolled in the college who are considering A&A majors meet with advisers in the appropriate Arts and Architecture departments to discuss their interests and alternatives. Likewise, a student who has decided on a major in the college meets with an adviser in the appropriate department.

Students enrolled in the college receive advising that varies by department with a combination of faculty and professional advisers.

Stuckeman School majors (architecture, graphic design, and landscape architecture majors beyond their first year) are advised by a professional adviser. (First-year landscape architecture majors are assigned a faculty adviser.)

School of Visual Arts majors (studio art, art education, and interdisciplinary digital studio) have full-time and faculty advisers. First-year students are assigned to a professional adviser.

Art History majors are advised by faculty.

Integrative Arts majors are advised by faculty.

School of Music majors are advised by faculty.

School of Theatre majors are advised by faculty.

The Smeal College of Business (BA)

Students not enrolled in the college but considering BA majors work with professional advisers in the Division of Undergraduate Studies (DUS). Students enrolled in DUS should schedule appointments with their assigned advisers. Student who are not in DUS should go to Grange Building for walk-in advising. If the need arises, DUS advisers can contact the DUS programs coordinator for the Smeal College to make arrangements for a student to meet with a BA adviser.

Students enrolled in the college receive Smeal advising assistance. In addition, students in majors are assigned a Smeal faculty adviser.

Communications (COMM)

Students not enrolled in the college but considering COMM majors work with professional advisers in the College of Communications advising center

Students enrolled in the college in pre-major status are assigned to the College of Communications advising center and meet with a professional adviser in the center. Appointments and walk-in advising are available, as well as small-group advising for first-year students.

Students enrolled in the college and in a major should work with professional advisers in the College of Communications advising center for most advising-related activities. In addition, students are assigned to a faculty adviser to assist with career-related questions. Small-group advising for seniors is also available to monitor graduation status.

Division of Undergraduate Studies (DUS)

Students not enrolled in the division are advised by DUS professional advisers.

Students enrolled in the division (including students admitted to the Division of Undergraduate Studies with Conditions) work with their assigned DUS professional adviser.

Earth and Mineral Sciences (EM SC)

Students not enrolled in the college but considering EM SC majors meet with one of the advisers in the Ryan Family Student Center to learn more about EM SC majors or change to the college. Students interested in Geography can get information in the student center or from the Geography departmental adviser.

Students enrolled in the college are assigned to a faculty adviser (see Adviser Information under Advising in eLion) based upon intended goals. They also have access to professional advisers in the student center and to departmental advisers for questions about policy and procedures.

Education (ED)

Students not enrolled in the college but considering ED majors should make an appointment for a discussion in the Advising and Certification Center (814-865-0488) to learn about ED majors or to change into the college. 

Students enrolled in the college in pre-major status are assigned to an adviser in the College of Education advising center.

Students enrolled in the college and in a major are assigned to a faculty adviser but may consult the advising center for information about policy, procedures, and certification.

Engineering (ENGR)

Students not enrolled in the college but considering ENGR majors can meet with one of the professional or faculty advisers in the Engineering advising center to learn about ENGR majors.

Students enrolled in the college in pre-major status are advised by professional advisers and faculty in the Engineering advising center.

Students enrolled in the college and in a major are advised in their department by faculty advisers.

College of Health and Human Development (HHD)

Students not enrolled in the college but exploring one or more HHD majors are encouraged to meet with an academic adviser in the College of Health and Human Development Student Services Center.

Students enrolled in the college are advised by College of Health and Human Development department and school professional advisers. Schreyer honors students are assigned to a senior faculty honors adviser in their major area of study.

Information Sciences and Technology (IST)

Students not enrolled in the college but considering IST majors can meet the DUS programs coordinator or one of the professional advisers in the IST advising center to learn about IST majors.

Students enrolled in the college are assigned to a professional adviser in the IST advising center. Schreyer honors students in the pre-major status are assigned to Lisa Lenze, director of Undergraduate Academic Affairs.

Liberal Arts (LA)

Students not enrolled in the college but considering LA majors work with the appropriate Liberal Arts professional adviser to identify a major of interest. If the student is interested in more than one major in the college, he/she meets with the coordinator of academic advising, Jamie Brenner, to learn about majors and work on educational plans. Schedule an advising appointment at http://www.la.psu.edu/current-students/undergraduate-students/advising/advising-appt.

Students enrolled in the college are assigned to departmental professional advisers. Schedule an advising appointment at http://www.la.psu.edu/current-students/undergraduate-students/advising/advising-appt.

Nursing (NURS)

Students not enrolled in the college but considering a nursing path should contact the advising center at nursing@psu.edu or 814-863-2229 to make an appointment with an adviser. Students can enter the B.S. program at University Park only as incoming first-year students admitted directly to the major. Pre-major and non-nursing students (NRCOM, previous and current Penn State students, and transfer students) cannot transfer or change major into the four-year nursing program at University Park but may be considered through a competitive entrance-to-major review process for admission at one of the five other campuses (Altoona, Behrend, Fayette, Mont Alto, or Worthington Scranton), which offers the General Nursing program.

Students enrolled in the college in pre-major status (NRCOM) are assigned to a professional adviser in the College of Nursing.

Students enrolled in the major are assigned a professional adviser for the first two years, followed by a faculty adviser for the last two years of the program.

Science (SCIEN)

Students not enrolled in the college but considering SCIEN majors can meet with professional advisers in the Science Advising Center to learn more about SCIEN majors.

Students enrolled in the college work with assigned faculty or professional advisers in their science major of interest. All honors students are assigned to instructional or research faculty or to professional advisers.

Premedicine major and health pre-professional advising for students in all majors is available in the college's academic advising center.


Reviewed: June 2016
Last Update: March 2015