How Can We Help Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
We are glad you would like to learn more about the Schreyer Honors College. The answers to many of our commonly asked questions regarding admissions, academic requirements, and more can be found below.
Courses & Credit
- Can I have multiple majors? What about minors?
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.
- Will I only take honors courses?
No, unlike high school, the Honors College does not recommend that Scholars enroll in numerous honors courses each semester. Scholars are required to take a certain number of honors credits based on their entry into the College. Most Scholars take 1-2 honors classes per semester. Other courses, both general and within the chosen major, are not necessarily honors courses.
- What requirements do I have to maintain in Schreyer?
Scholars must maintain a 3.40 GPA while at Penn State to be in good standing with Schreyer. Should you drop below a 3.40, you do have a semester to bring it up. Scholars are also required to have a certain number honors credits by the time they graduate. Those credits are spread out over your time in Schreyer and can equate to two honors classes per semester. Scholars are also required to submit a thesis approximately one month prior to graduation.
- Are interviews required?
The admissions interview is optional.
- 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 Undergraduate Admissions website. Please keep in mind the credits will not count as honors credits but will apply toward your degree requirements.
- How do I keep in touch with Schreyer?
E-mail is our primary method of communication with applicants, so remember to frequently check the address you provided on your application. You can always contact us with any questions. And remember that once you've submitted your application, you can track its status online.
- Is financial aid available?
In addition to other financial aid, the Schreyer Honors College provides an Academic Excellence Scholarship for each incoming first-year student.
Effective Fall 2018, all first-year Scholars will receive a $5,000 annual scholarship renewable for all four years of your undergraduate education. Schreyer also offers additional grants and scholarships for experiences such as travel abroad, research, etc.
- What is your GPA requirement?
Due to the variability of grading scales used by high schools, we do not set a GPA requirement for admission to the College.
- What SAT scores are required?
We have found that standardized test scores do not adequately predict the likelihood of a prospective student's success in the College, so we do not require scores as part of your application. Keep in mind that standardized test scores are required for the Penn State application.
Once the incoming class of first-year Scholars enrolls each fall, the Schreyer Honors College does report the standardized test scores of the first-year class in its annual report.
- When will we hear about admissions decisions?
The Honors College usually announces admissions decisions in the spring by the beginning of March. Penn State admissions decisions are announced first and all applicants to the Schreyer Honors College must have an admissions offer to Penn State.
- Which application do I submit first?
We advise you to work on your Penn State and Schreyer Honors College applications at the same time. Submit Penn State's application first, followed by ours — please do not wait for an admission decision from Penn State. Then, enjoy your senior year!
- I just heard about the Leadership Development Center. What is it? What's the benefit of attending?
The Leadership Development Center (LDC) is a one-day developmental experience offered twice a semester to Schreyer Scholars only. During the LDC, students participate in several exercises simulating a highly engaging "day at work" within the context of a specific business scenario applicable to all majors and career paths. Students complete independent work tasks, interact with professionally trained assessors, and collaborate with their peers.
After participating in the LDC, students receive individualized developmental feedback and are given insight into competencies deemed most pertinent to success by industry leaders. Students can then use the feedback to create an action plan with a trained assessor. The action plan outlines specific ways students can develop as leaders in ways most applicable to them to initiate actual growth in leadership skills using resources at Penn State and beyond. This unique opportunity is offered free of charge to Scholars in partnership with PNC.
- I want to do an internship or co-op. How do I access those opportunites?
Internships and co-ops are required by some majors, but not all. Regardless of the requirements, you will have support from faculty, your advisor(s), Schreyer Honors College Career Development, Penn State Career Services, etc. to ensure you're able to take advantage of all the opportunities you are interested in.
- There are so many events on campus. Why should I attend Schreyer Career Development events?
The events that are listed in the weekly newsletter are Honors College specific and an exclusive benefit to being a Scholar. The sessions are much smaller (a dozen or so vs. hundreds of students) than other employer sponsored events on campus. Almost all of the events are hosted by employers who are Scholar alumni who want to recruit and assist other Scholars, thus providing for a unique networking experience.
- What's the best way to network?
Attend Schreyer Honors College events; talk to faculty, your peers, and upperclass Scholars; join a Schreyer student organization (Medical Team, Schreyer Consulting, Schreyer for Women, and the Career Development Program, for example).
- 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.
- Is it possible to live in Honors Housing with a roommate who is not in Schreyer?
Yes. While Scholars have priority for housing, as long as they remain in the housing system and complete paperwork each year, they are able to name a non-Scholar as a roommate of choice, subject to the roommate having a housing contract and space being available in Atherton or Simmons Halls. It is important that both students preference each other on the housing contract.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!