Course Materials

Find Out What Materials and Software You Will Need

You can see a list of required materials for each course in our online course catalog. The catalog contains the title, edition, author, ISBN, and source information for your course materials.

For most courses, the cost of most of your course materials is available through MBS Direct. However, if you do not wish to go through MBS Direct, you can acquire textbooks from other booksellers. Just be sure the ISBN and edition are the same as the one listed in the World Campus Course Catalog.

Ordering Course Materials

You can usually order your books and materials through MBS Direct — either by renting or purchasing — three weeks before your course starts. Using MBS Direct will provide you with more control over your textbook order, more options on the method of delivery, and a textbook buyback or rental return option.

You will be responsible for purchasing books and materials required for your courses, as Penn State does not provide book vouchers or direct payments to suppliers. Please note that your excess financial aid is not immediately available for these purchases. You can monitor aid disbursement and check on the status of your excess aid refund in the "Finances" section in the Student Center in LionPATH.

Important: World Campus is not responsible for refunding the cost of your course materials (purchased through MBS Direct or any other vendor) under any circumstances. We recommend ordering all textbooks for World Campus courses through MBS Direct. In the case that your World Campus course is canceled, MBS Direct will refund the cost according to their return policy. If you purchase materials from a provider other than MBS Direct, you are responsible for verifying that the edition of the text is exactly the one required for your course; you are also responsible for knowing that vendor's return policy in the event your course is canceled.

Here's how to buy from MBS Direct:

  • Shop on the Penn State World Campus section of the MBS virtual bookstore or call MBS Direct at 800-325-3252; identify yourself as a Penn State World Campus student and provide your course number(s).
  • Pay by using VISA, MasterCard, Discover, or American Express.
  • Your order will be shipped within 24 hours.

Please note:If you’re renting books, you must return them at the end of your courses. If they are not postmarked for return 15 days after the end of your course, you’ll be charged a pro-rated rental amount, which will automatically renew every 15 days until you reach the retail value of the book, or the rental book is returned.

Returns, Refunds, and Book Buyback

  • MBS Direct allows books/materials (new or used) to be returned within 14 days of a course’s start date or the date received (whichever is later) for a full refund. Electronic content such as access key codes and eBooks are nonrefundable.
  • MBS Direct will buy back (as used) all books having a resale value. Items not eligible for buyback include study guides, working papers, audio- and videotapes, reprints, and custom publications.

Buying Software Provides Software to Students

One of the benefits of being a registered Penn State student is that you are eligible to receive educational discounts on software titles related to a variety of topics — including digital and web publishing, test preparation, animation/modeling, computer security, and utilities. The vendor offers products at discounts of up to 85% off retail prices to verified academic buyers wishing to purchase software.

Here's how to purchase it:

  1. Go to the website and select Pennsylvania as your state. (Don’t worry, we know that’s not where you live, but that’s where we are!)
  2. Scroll through the list of colleges and universities and select “Penn State University — World Campus.”
  3. From there you can search for the software you wish to purchase. We suggest that you review the Agreement Forms at so that you are aware of any additional criteria that may apply to the purchase of specific software packages.
  4. Once you locate the software you want to purchase, you can proceed to check out. To check out, you will need to create an account at You may place your order at any time; however, you must provide valid proof of enrollment to complete your order. will put your order "on hold" until they receive your proof of enrollment.
    Types of proof of enrollment include:

Send your academic verification through any of the following:

  • Email attachment to (Attachments must be less than 300KB; anything larger will not be accepted.)
  • Fax a copy to 972-481-2150
  • Upload your verification at the website after you have placed your order.
  • Mail to:

    13755 Hutton Drive
    Suite 500
    Dallas TX 75234

Once your verification is received, JourneyEd will ship your order. Any questions you may have regarding purchasing software from should be directed to Customer Support at 800-874-9001.