Academic Advising

Undergraduate Students

Your academic adviser can help you be successful in your educational journey. You’ll form a collaborative relationship with your adviser to plan your academic program, stay on track with your goals, choose courses that meet requirements and your interests, and find answers to your questions. Your adviser will help you formulate the most progressive plan in hopes that the end result will be graduation.

You will be assigned an academic adviser based on your degree or certificate program. Undergraduate military students receive military academic advising and course support.

You can find your assigned adviser on your LionPATH homepage, and you can make an appointment with your academic adviser in Starfish.

To make sure you’re on track for meeting your degree requirements, we recommend contacting your adviser at least once a semester, as well as during the following scenarios:

  • course planning or anytime you have questions about your degree audit or requirements
  • transferring credits into Penn State
  • declaring a minor or pursuing a concurrent major
  • thinking about dropping a course during the semester, or withdrawing from all courses
  • when you are ready to graduate
  • you’re not sure where to go for help

Your adviser is here to help you and provide support along the way. Here are some things that you may want to consider or prepare prior to meeting with your adviser:

  • review information for newly admitted students to help you get started and prepare for courses
  • review academic requirements and major check sheets
  • draft semester-by-semester plans that include your educational goals and graduation timeline using suggested academic plans
  • be in front of your computer or tablet to review information electronically
  • be prepared to make decisions; your adviser is here to help you and provide support and guidance along the way
  • consider the amount of time that you have to dedicate to your studies
  • prepare specific questions you want your academic adviser to answer

Meet Your Adviser

You can find a comprehensive list of our academic advising staff who will help you on your academic journey. 

Graduate Students

As a graduate student taking courses through Penn State World Campus, you will be advised by Penn State faculty from your degree program. You will work with your adviser to plan your path through a program and to get answers to other academic questions you may have.  

If you’re not sure who your adviser is, visit the “Your Program” section and select your program to find general contact information.

For questions related to your student record or processes, such as changing majors, please contact Penn State’s Graduate School at 814-865-1795 or [email protected]

Building a Strong Partnership with Your Adviser

Be proactive to establish and maintain a successful relationship with your academic adviser:  

  • Make sure your Access Account is active so that you can use Penn State systems and communicate with your adviser.
  • Take ownership of your course selections, academic decisions, and completion of graduation requirements.
  • Communicate with Penn State offices using your Penn State email address. Follow these tips to maximize communication with your adviser (PDF).
  • Complete your To-Do List items in LionPATH, including your “Pre-Registration Activity Guide” (which includes the Financial Responsibility Agreement and resolves the associated hold) before scheduling courses each semester. If you are in a pre-major program, you will also need to complete your “Major Preferences Activity Guide” in LionPATH.
  • Review your Academic Requirements Report in LionPATH and contact your adviser to review your course selections prior to your course registration date each semester.
  • Use resources such as New Student Orientation, websites, student communications and emails, and other resources to learn about Penn State World Campus policies and procedures.

Your adviser will support you in several ways:

  • Provide accurate and timely information regarding academic policies and procedures.
  • Refer you to the appropriate student resources.
  • Advocate for and support you while promoting active learning (i.e., engaged scholarship, participation in student clubs and activities, study abroad opportunities, etc.).
  • Respond to inquiries through multiple means of communication.
  • Prepare for all pre-scheduled meetings with you.
  • Document pertinent interactions with, and on behalf of, you.