Penn State World Campus courses are located in Canvas, Penn State’s course management system. Use the following resources to prepare for and make the most of your courses.
Scheduling, Dropping, and Late-Dropping a Course
By scheduling a course in an upcoming semester, you are reserving your “seat” in the course. You will not receive your tuition bill until bills are generated for that semester, even if you schedule a course very early before the semester begins. Find out more about how to schedule your courses and paying your bill.
You can drop a course during your course’s regular drop period, with certain restrictions and requirements. It’s also possible to drop after the regular drop period—this is known as "late dropping"—but there are academic and financial implications of late dropping.
If you intend to drop all of your courses during the semester, you will need to complete a withdrawal from the University.
Preparing for Your Courses
Before your classes start, we recommend that you do the following:
- Make sure you have an active Penn State Access Account, user ID, and password (not your Friends of Penn State account).
- Make sure your computer meets our technical requirements.
- Understand the financial considerations and deadlines for dropping a course.
- Purchase the required course materials.
- Check your Penn State email through Outlook in Office 365. It is important to check regularly, as all essential course communications will be sent through that account. You can also forward your Penn State email to your personal email account.
- Familiarize yourself with Penn State’s grading system to understand how your coursework will be measured.
On the first day of your course:
- Log in to Canvas. You will be able to access your course after 10:00 a.m. ET on the first day of class.
- Make proctor arrangements, if required. If any of your courses require proctored exams by webcam or an approved in-person proctor, begin making those arrangements.
Attending Your Courses
Attendance is a critical element of your success as a student, and it can include several factors for online students. Penn State defines attendance for online students as follows:
Attendance in online courses goes beyond course login and is based on documentable participation in class activities, such as interacting with the instructor, interacting with enrolled students, completing assignments with specific due dates, and/or participating in online discussions on a regular basis.
You can find more information about attendance in the Academic Administrative Policies and Procedures Manual.