Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Answers to many of our commonly asked questions can be found below. Additionally, you can watch the recording of "Ask the Dean" — a video chat which took place on Monday, November 17 that features the Dean of the Honors College, current Scholars, and several staff members. The video runs approximately 35 minutes and includes a chat feature that you can scroll through.
- How is Schreyer different from Penn State?
Students in the Schreyer Honors College are, first and foremost, Penn State students and experience everything this great University offers.
But there are distinct opportunities afforded to Schreyer Scholars. Among them:
- Academic enrichment including honors courses, exclusive study abroad programs, and research placements.
- Dedicated honors housing in two residence halls that establish a vibrant setting for learning and living.
- The distinction of graduating with honors from Penn State upon successful completion of the College's academic requirements. Just 5 percent of the undergraduate students enrolled at Penn State are members of the Schreyer Honors College and can earn that distinction.
- How do I apply?
There are two platforms that support the Schreyer application — the Penn State Undergraduate Admissions Application (MyPennState) and the Coalition Application. You must start your Penn State application before you can begin your Schreyer application.
The Penn State application is also available on the Common Application platform, however, this platform doesn't support the Schreyer application. If you are choosing to use the Common Application, you must first submit your Penn State application before you can start the Schreyer application (via MyPennState).
Our priority filing date is November 1 with a firm final deadline of December 3.
- Does Schreyer offer Early Decision?
No, Schreyer does not offer early decision. Penn State does offer Early Action; students must apply by November 1. You have until May 1 to accept any offer.
- What SAT scores should I have to be considered?
The Schreyer Honors College's philosophy is that standardized test scores do not adequately predict the likelihood of a prospective student's success as a Schreyer Scholar. Given that, standardized test scores are not evaluated as part of the College's application process.
However, please keep in mind that standardized test scores are required for the Penn State application.
Once the incoming class of Scholars enrolls each fall, the Schreyer Honors College does report the standardized test scores of the first-year class in its annual report.
- Are interviews required?
If you submit your completed Schreyer Honors College application by November 1, you will be offered an opportunity to interview. Interview signups begin on September 1 with interviews occurring between October 1 and December 10. These interviews are not mandatory, and you can decline with no penalty. All interviews are conducted by Scholar Alumni and will be offered within a reasonable distance of the student's hometown where possible.
- Can I start in the summer?
Yes, Schreyer Scholars may start in the summer. Please keep in mind the classes you take in the summer will not count as honors credit but will count toward your degree requirements.
- Can I be in Schreyer at a campus other than University Park?
Yes! You can begin as a Schreyer Scholar at any of Penn State's 20 undergraduate campuses. You can also graduate as a Scholar from seven of them — University Park, Abington, Altoona, Brandywine, Behrend (Erie), Harrisburg, and Berks. For all of the other campuses, after your first two years, you will need to transition to a campus that offers your specific degree.
- Is financial aid available?
Effective Fall 2018, all Scholars who enter in their first year will receive a $5,000 annual scholarship renewable for all four years of your undergraduate education. Schreyer also has additional grants and scholarships available for experiences such as travel abroad, research, etc.
- Do you accept AP/IB credits?
Penn State accepts credits depending on your exam score. You can find details on the Getting Penn State Credit section of the Admissions website. Please keep in mind the credits will not count as honors credits but will apply toward your degree requirements.
- Should I live in honors housing?
You are not required to live in honors housing at University Park, but we strongly encourage you to do so. Approximately 95 percent of each first-year class does elect to do so. Benefits of living in honors housing include the location on campus, being near your peers and Schreyer staff, etc. If you live in honors housing your first year, you are guaranteed honors housing all four years at University Park, provided you complete the housing contract paperwork in a timely fashion each year.
- Can I double major? I might also be interested in a minor.
Yes, you can double major, triple major, even quadruple major! Approximately 30 percent of Schreyer Scholars have a double major. You can add minors, as well. Penn State has about 200 minors, and about 30 percent of Schreyer Scholars are pursuing at least one minor.
- What study abroad opportunities are available?
Penn State offers about 300 study abroad programs in more than 50 countries. Scholars can pursue those programs or the exclusive opportunities within the honors college. There are generally five to ten exclusive programs for Scholars every year. Locations often include London, India, Cambodia, Vietnam, Greece, etc. Approximately 45 percent of Scholars participate in study abroad.
- What requirements do I have to maintain in Schreyer?
Scholars must maintain a 3.4 GPA while at Penn State to be in good standing with Schreyer. Should you drop below a 3.4, you do have a semester to bring it up. Scholars are also required to have 35 honors credits by the time they graduate. Those credits are spread out over your four years and can equate to two honors classes per semester. Scholars are also required to submit a thesis approximately one month prior to graduation.
- I want to do an internship or co-op. How do I access those opportunities?
Internships and co-ops are required by some majors, but not all. Regardless of the requirements, you will have support from faculty, your adviser, the Schreyer Honors College Career Services Coordinator, etc. to ensure you're able to take advantage of all the opportunities you are interested in.
- Will I be stuck in my room studying? Will I be able to do anything else?
You will only be stuck in your room studying if you choose to do so! You are welcome and encouraged to explore the many sides of Penn State, which includes clubs, activities, organizations, Greek life, etc. Your experience will be what you make of it!
- What's it like in State College, PA?
State College is the quintessential college town. Although it is not an urban setting, it has plenty of amenities for dining, shopping, and recreation.
- Does the Schreyer Honors College use a waitlist?
Admission to the Schreyer Honors College is highly competitive. Due to the increase in the number of highly qualified applicants, the Schreyer Honors College recently adopted a waitlist policy. The waitlist allows the College to manage the admissions process with more precision, especially as it relates to the maximum number of first-year students that can be accepted due to space limitations. That number is 300 each spring for fall enrollment.
- What is the waitlist process and what are the timelines?
Students placed on the waitlist will receive a message on Decision Day that they have been waitlisted. The message will direct them to opt in to the waitlist. Waitlisted students will need to accept their Penn State offer by May 1 in order to remain on the waitlist. The Schreyer Honors College will release or accept waitlisted students in stages as soon after May 1 as possible. Applicants and those who are not selected from the waitlist will be notified by email.