The Gateway Admissions Process
Schreyer Scholars are expected to demonstrate excellent academic achievement with integrity, build a global perspective, and seek opportunities for leadership and civic engagement.
Current Penn State undergraduates may seek entry to the Schreyer Honors College (SHC) after they have at least one semester completed and before they have fewer than four semesters remaining at Penn State. The process is known as the Gateway.
The Gateway entry process is based upon an evaluation of a student’s performance and research potential. The evaluation of all applications is done by the faculty and/or administrators of an academic unit, and is overseen by the SHC administration. The evaluation is typically based on:
- academic achievement since beginning college
- desire, ability and motivation to conduct research or creative projects leading to the completion of an undergraduate honors thesis
- interest in and aptitude for leadership, civic engagement, and international experiences as an undergraduate
Eligibility for the Gateway Process
The SHC requires Gateway applicants to have:
- at least one full-time semester of study completed at Penn State
- a minimum of four full-time semesters of study remaining before graduation
- a cumulative GPA of 3.70 or higher at the time of application
- an application-semester GPA of 3.50 or higher for rising juniors and 3.70 for rising sophomores
The criteria stated here are minimums set by the SHC. In some cases, additional criteria for Gateway entry have also been established by the academic unit (e.g., higher cumulative GPA, specific courses, declaration of major, etc). The online application form includes additional criteria for your academic unit. In all cases, the department or academic college reviews applications and makes decisions which are communicated to applicants by the SHC.
Requirements and Benefits of the SHC
Gateway Schreyer Scholars are required to attend an orientation in the fall. Students admitted as juniors into the SHC are required to complete 14 credits of honors coursework and an approved honors thesis prior to graduation. Students must also file relevant progress reports such as annual academic plans and the thesis proposal. Students admitted as sophomores into the SHC are required to complete three honors courses for nine or more credits in their sophomore year, along with the requirements described above for juniors.
Students entering the SHC through the Gateway enjoy most of the benefits of SHC membership, including priority registration, a wide array of honors courses, the ability to honors-option courses, enhanced access to research and scholarly opportunities, and travel and research support funding. However, Gateway Scholars do not receive the Academic Excellence Scholarship.
For more information about SHC requirements and opportunities, please refer to the SHC Student Handbook.
Students typically apply during the Spring semester, and the applications are reviewed in late spring and/or early summer. Students and their department supporters will be notified as decisions are made by departments. Successful spring applicants become members of the college in the fall semester.
Schreyer Honors Orientation
Gateway Schreyer Scholars will be sent detailed information about the required orientation. The orientation will be held on a Saturday, early in the fall semester.
Paterno Fellows Program for Liberal Arts Majors
The Paterno Fellows Program (PFP) is a special Liberal Arts enrichment program that includes membership in the Schreyer Honors College. The PFP has specific requirements for entrance (including major-specific requirements in some majors), and specific responsibilities for Paterno Fellows that go beyond what the SHC requires. If you wish to enter the Schreyer Honors College as a Paterno Fellow, or if you have questions about your eligibility, please contact your Liberal Arts adviser and do not submit a Gateway application. Qualifying Paterno Fellows will be admitted to the Schreyer Honors College through a separate process.
If you are applying to join the SHC via the Gateway process, without the PFP, please submit a Gateway application.
The Gateway application for fall 2014 is now open. Submission deadlines vary by college and major. Please see the top of the application for full details.
Transfer applicants: If you are currently not a Penn State student, you should contact Dr. Richard Stoller at email@example.com or call (814) 863-4550. The online application is only for students currently enrolled at a Penn State location (University Park or elsewhere).