How to Read Your Academic Requirements Report
Your Academic Requirements Report (also known as your degree audit) is an unofficial working copy of your degree progress, including requirements you have completed as well as courses you must still complete to earn your degree. If you have transferred credits to Penn State from another institution, they will be included on your Academic Requirements Report. As you schedule and complete future degree requirements, your Academic Requirements Report will be updated. Certification of your degree requirements for graduation is subject to approval by the dean of your college.
If you are considering changing your major or are in a pre-major program, you may also use a What-If Audit to determine how courses you have already completed would apply to your new major, and what courses are remaining. This audit may not be accurate if you are transferring in credits or making course substitutions. If you choose to run a What-If Audit, we recommend you discuss the results with your adviser before making course decisions.
Access Your Academic Requirements Report
You can find your Academic Requirements Report (degree audit) in LionPATH. If you have any questions about your report, or if you would like assistance reviewing your progress toward your degree and planning future courses, please contact your academic adviser.
You can also view LionPATH tutorials to learn more about accessing and interpreting your Academic Requirements Report (degree audit).
Identifying What Courses You Should Take
Your Academic Requirements Report shows what courses you still need to take to complete your degree.
Sections of Your Academic Requirements Report
Each major has its own requirements and organization of courses. Some of the sections you may find on your Academic Requirements Report include:
- Entrance to Major Requirements: Every degree program has Entrance to Major requirements. You may have been admitted into a pre-major program until you complete these requirements. You can switch to your intended major when you complete the Entrance to Major requirements.
- Major Requirements: These are specified courses in your field of concentration within your degree program.
- Option Requirements: Some degree programs require you to choose an "option," which is a concentration of courses which add knowledge in a particular discipline, like business or life sciences.
- Laboratory requirement: Each major has its own list of approved courses that fulfill this requirement. Check with your adviser to find out which courses are recommended for your program.
- General Education Requirements: Every undergraduate major has general education requirements, which fall into several categories: Quantification (GQ), Health and Physical Activity (GHA), Natural Sciences (GN), Arts (GA), Humanities (GH), and Social and Behavioral Sciences (GS). General Education requirements also include English and speech courses. General Education courses allow you to get a more rounded education by focusing on topics and courses that fall outside of your major requirements. Read more about why general education is important.
- Electives: To meet this requirement, you can take any course that World Campus offers, as long as you meet prerequisites. The number of electives required varies by degree program.
- Foreign Language Requirements: Required for all Bachelor of Arts degrees. You will need to complete up to the third level of one language (for example, taking SPAN 1, 2, and 3 would meet this requirement). However, taking SPAN 1, French 1, and RUS 1 would not meet this requirement.
- Bachelor of Arts Requirements: Only required for Bachelor of Arts programs. This is an extension of the General Education requirement. Courses taken for General Education cannot double count with the Bachelor of Arts requirements.
- United States and International Cultures Requirements: Required for all degree programs. Students can choose General Education courses in Arts, Humanities, or Social and Behavioral Sciences that also fulfill these requirements.
- First-Year Seminar: Although this may appear on your Academic Requirements Report, it doesn't apply to Penn State World Campus students.
- Writing Across the Curriculum: This is required for all programs. To fulfill this, you will need to complete one writing-intensive course. To find these courses, you can search for the writing across the curriculum course attribute. In some majors, you will fulfill this requirement by completing your major requirements. Check with your adviser if you have questions.
- General Graduation Requirements: This section shows the minimum number of credits required (total credits, and total taken at Penn State), and minimum GPA required, to successfully obtain your degree. If you transfer in credits, you may graduate with more credits than the minimum listed for your degree, because some credits may count as electives rather than fulfilling degree requirements.