Penn State Harrisburg

Advising for Current Students

Exploring Majors

Trying to figure out what major to pursue can be a difficult task. Below are several resources available to explore and navigate the many academic programs at Penn State.

Entering a Major

All Penn State majors have entrance to major requirements.  Most students enter a major during the spring of the sophomore year (pool semester) by completing the Entrance-to-Major (ETM) process on eLion.   If you are not sure of the process you need to follow, please contact your assigned adviser.

Entrance to Majors Requirements

Scheduling Courses and Registration

Students are expected to work with an assigned adviser each semester to discuss academic plans.  There are several steps that can be used to in academic planning and for preparing to meet an academic adviser:

Step One: Decide What to Study

Majors at Penn State Harrisburg

Majors and academic resources at other Penn State campuses

Step Two: Generate a Degree Audit

The Degree Audit is used for academic planning and course selection, because it matches the courses that the student has taken with the requirements of his/her degree program or anticipated program. Audits are available for anyone who has enrolled for credit as a Penn State undergraduate and has at least one graded semester record. This includes undergraduate students in any classification (degree, provisional, or nondegree) and former students.

How to generate a Degree Audit (Pre-Major Students)

  1. Log in to to eLion.
  2. Click on “Degree Audit”.
  3. Under Major, Select “Alternative (majors to explore)”.
  4. Select a College from the College drop down box.  Remember to select the academic college of where you plan to graduate from and not the campus.
  5. Select a Major from the Major drop down box.
  6. Click on “Submit Degree Audit Request”.
  7. Click on “View Audit Request Status”.
  8. Select the audit with a "Ready" status and then select "View audit".  Audits with "Not ready" status are still processing. Use the "Recheck status" button to refresh your screen.

How to generate a Degree Audit (Students in the Major)

  1. Log in to eLion.
  2. Click on “Degree Audit”.
  3. Under Major, Select “Current”.
  4. Click on “Submit Degree Audit Request”.
  5. Click on “View Audit Request Status”.
  6. Select the audit with a "Ready" status and then select "View audit".  Audits with "Not ready" status are still processing. Use the "Recheck status" button to refresh your screen.

Review your degree audit with your assigned adviser each semester.  For more information on how to read the degree audit:  Interpretation of the Degree Audit

The RAP provides a recommended way for how students can schedule courses semester by semester as they pursue a particular degree. Use the RAP along with the degree audit to develop a list of courses you will schedule for the upcoming semester.

Step Four: Review the on-line schedule of courses

Use the on-line Schedule of Courses to identify the days and times you want to take courses for the upcoming semester.  

Step Five: Meet with an Academic Adviser

Students are encouraged to meet with an assigned adviser each semester not only to review selected courses for the next semester but to also discuss how current courses are going and additional questions you want addressed (minor, education abroad, etc.).

Schedule an appointment with your assigned adviser at least two weeks before your course registration date. Log in to eLion and select the “Adviser Information” link to find out who your adviser is.

Identify your registration date located on your degree audit or using the link:” When Can I Schedule?” on the schedule of courses.

To your meeting, please bring in a copy of your current degree audit, your list of selected courses for the next semester, an appropriate RAP, and any other items you want to discuss with your adviser.

Step Six: Registration

On your registration day, you can access the Registration application on eLion.  Enter the schedule numbers for each course you wish to enroll.  If a course is filled, use the Course Watch List application on eLion, or contact the course instructor, or select an alternative course.

For additional information:


Roles and Responsibilities of Advisers/Advisees

Both advisers and advisees share responsibility for making the advising relationship succeed. By encouraging their advisees to become engaged in their education, to meet their educational goals, and to develop the habit of learning, advisers assume a significant educational role.

Advisees in turn will routinely contact their advisers each semester and will assume final responsibility for course scheduling, program planning, and the successful completion of graduation requirements.

Additional information is available in the University Policy on Academic Advising.

Common student questions on policies/procedures

Q: When can I add and/or drop a course?

A: Courses can be added and/or dropped during the regular Drop/Add period, which includes the first ten calendar days of the semester including weekends.

Q.  How do I add and/or drop a course?

A. Log in to eLion and go to the “Drop/Add” link and follow the steps from there. If a course is dropped during the regular Drop/Add period, it will not show up on your transcript. After the tenth day of the semester, it becomes the Late Add/Late Drop period.

Q.  What is Late Add/ Late Drop? 

A. Late Add/Late Drop occurs starting on the eleventh day of the semester. If a course is dropped during the Late Drop period, it will show up on your transcript as a withdrawal no grade (WN). In addition, a fee is charged for Late Adding and Late Dropping.  Contact your adviser prior to taking action.  There is a deadline to Late Add/Late Drop.  After this deadline, your schedule cannot be adjusted unless you are dropping ALL courses from your schedule.  Dropping ALL courses would be withdrawing from the University.  Refer to the Academic Calendar for dates.

Q. How do I transfer a course from another college and/or university to Penn State?

A. Log in to eLion and go to the “Transferring Credits” link. Read the “Transferring Credits” information carefully. Then link to “Continuing Transfer Courses.” Choose “For Penn State Students” on the new window that appears. Read the options provided and proceed. Once the course is completed and a C grade or higher was earned, send the official transcripts to the following address:

Penn State Admissions
201 Shields Building
Box 3000
University Park, PA 16804

Q. How do I change my Penn State location?

A.  Contact your assigned academic adviser to discuss a change of location.

Q. How do I go about changing my major?

A.  Contact your assigned academic adviser to discuss changing your major.

Q.  If I wish to minor in a discipline, how and when do I declare a minor?

A. Although you may begin working on a minor, minors are declared after entering into a major.  You can log in to eLion to apply for your minor.  The deadline to apply for a minor is during the Drop/Add period of your graduating semester.

Q.  How can I get my final semester grades?

A.  Log in to eLion and select "Grades" and/or "Mail Semester Grades".

Q.  What do I do if I find that I am failing some or all my classes?

A.  Communicate with your instructor/s, utilize the Learning Center in 117W Olmsted and, if you have not improved, contact your adviser to discuss your options.

Q.  Do my cumulative credits include courses in which I have earned an "F" grade?

A.  Yes.  Cumulative credits include the number of credits scheduled at Penn State for a letter grade, even if a final grade of an "F" is earned.

Q.  If I repeat a course that I earned "D" or "F" in and got a better grade, will the "D" or "F" grade be replaced by the better grade?

A.  No.  All grades, including "D" and "F", remain on your transcript. If the course is repeated, the higher grade will also appear on the transcript with a notation stating that the course was repeated. The grades will average out.

Q.  What is Academic Warning?

A.  Students are placed on Academic Warning when they have earned Deficiency Points due to poor grades. If you continue to perform poorly academically, you may be dropped from the University for unsatisfactory scholarship. If you receive an Academic Warning letter, contact your assigned adviser immediately. 

Q. What are deficiency points?

A.  Deficiency points exists when a student's cumulative GPA is below a 2.00. The only way to remove deficiency points is to earn a grade of C+ or higher to raise your cumulative GPA to a 2.00 or better.  contact your assigned adviser immediately if you have grade point deficiencies.

Q. What do I have to do to take a semester off?

A. Contact your assigned adviser or go to the Registrar's Office in the Swatara Building, to complete a Leave of Absence form.

Q. How do I withdraw from the University?

A.  Contact your assigned adviser to discuss withdrawing.  Then, you can withdraw through eLion or go to the Registrar's Office to complete a Withdrawal form.

Q. Can I withdraw from the University and come back?

A. Contact your assigned adviser first to discuss whether or not you can re-enroll after withdrawing from the University.  If you are eligible to re-enroll into the University, complete a Re-Enrollment Form and submit it to the appropriate Registrar's Office.

Q.  If I graduate with a 4-year degree from Penn State Harrisburg, will my diploma say Penn State University?

A.  Graduates of baccalaureate degree programs at Penn State Harrisburg receive a Pennsylvania State University diploma.