Most students are admitted to Penn State in a college, i.e Liberal Arts, Engineering, etc. At the end of three semesters, they are asked to declare a major. Many majors at Penn State have very specific criteria for Entrance to Major. Students are encouraged to contact the Advising and Career Center to discuss their choices and to learn about specific criteria for particular majors.
The University's goal is 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. Students generally are admitted to the controlled major after completion of specified courses and on the basis of academic merit as measured by their cumulative grade point average (GPA) typically after three semesters. Students who apply for entrance to a controlled major must be enrolled in the college offering the major or in the Division of Undergraduate Studies (DUS) and declared as heading toward the college.