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Pre-Orientation Advice for New Students

Welcome to PSU!

PSU requires all new students (both freshmen and transfers) attend an Orientation: Advising & Registration session, a program designed to assure that all new students:

  • obtain a thorough explanation of PSU's graduation requirements
  • receive free copies of the PSU Bulletin (also called the catalog) and the Student Handbook/Planner
  • have an opportunity to speak with either a faculty or professional adviser
  • register online for their first term of classes

The following information summarizes the basics of PSU's graduation requirements. You should review this prior to attending your Advising & Registration session so you will be better prepared to understand the essential information provided at this session.

Graduation Requirements

There are three sets of requirements for a baccalaureate degree at PSU:

Other Essential Information

Prior to selecting classes for your first term at PSU you should also be familiar with the following:

Important Publications/Websites

The Bulletin (catalog), an essential publication, contains extensive information about PSU, including the requirements and course descriptions for all the undergraduate and graduate programs.

The online Class Schedule lists the courses being offered each term with days and times.

Degree Maps outline academic plans for each of PSU's undergraduate programs. They are designed to assist students on their pathway to a 4-year graduation by laying out suggested courses term by term.

Registration Basics contains information regarding how and when to register as well as academic policies & deadlines. You might also want to view the Registration Guide which includes additional registration information, final exam schedules and other pertinent information for fall, winter and spring terms.

A New Student Checklist includes items that all new students should take care of before beginning their first term.

Freshmen

As a freshman, one of your most important choices for the upcoming year will be which general education track to follow: University Studies or University Honors. Whichever track you choose, you should plan to start this sequence in your first term.

NOTE: All freshmen are required to complete a web-based writing placement prior to attending their Advising & Registration session.

When thinking about your first term at PSU, please remember that your school week and workload will be very different from those in high school. In fact, if you are taking your first college courses, you might be surprised to learn that a weekly schedule for a full-time student will only be three to four classes, meeting for a total of 12-18 hours per week. However, you should plan to study two to three hours each week for every hour you spend in the classroom. Thus, if you register for a typical full-time schedule of 12-15 credits, you can expect to study 24-30 hours per week in addition to the time you spend in the classroom.

Transfer Students

Graduation requirements and institutional policies and procedures differ at every college and university. This is essential information that you, as a transfer student, will receive at an Orientation: Advising & Registration session.

Before attending this session, please review your transfer evaluation and make sure you bring it with you to your Orientation: Advising & Registration session. In addition to listing the PSU equivalents for all the courses you are transferring to PSU, the evaluation shows how these courses fulfill some of PSU's graduation requirements. 

The transfer evaluation does not include your major requirements; however, you can run a degree audit for your intended major by following these instructions. It would also be helpful to bring this report to your Advising & Registration session to review with your academic adviser

As a transfer student you should also review information about your placement for University Studies, one of PSU's general education options. If your transfer evaluation is complete (e.g. includes all the courses you took prior to being admitted to PSU), your University Studies placement will also be indicated on your evaluation.