Course Materials

Find Out What Materials and Software You Will Need

You can find required materials for your courses by viewing the course details in LionPATH, or by using the public class search. Information about your course materials will include the title, edition, author, ISBN, and sources. Whether you choose to purchase materials from MBS Direct/Barnes and Noble College or from another source, be sure the ISBN and edition are correct.

Obtaining Course Materials

You may have access to course materials from the Penn State University Library through the E-Book program. If an e-book is available for your course, you can also access it directly in Canvas.

You can also order your books and materials through MBS Direct/Barnes and Noble College — either by renting or purchasing — three weeks before your course starts. 

You will be responsible for purchasing books and materials required for your courses, before your courses begin. 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/Barnes and Noble College or any other vendor) under any circumstances. We recommend ordering all textbooks for World Campus courses through MBS Direct/Barnes and Noble College. In the case that your World Campus course is canceled, MBS Direct/Barnes and Noble College will refund the cost according to their return policy. If you purchase materials from a provider other than MBS Direct/Barnes and Noble College, 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/Barnes and Noble College:

  • Shop on the Penn State World Campus section of the virtual bookstore or call 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/Barnes and Noble College 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/Barnes and Noble College 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.

Software and Other Technology Resources

Visit the Technology Resources page to learn more about JourneyEd, WebApps, and other available tools.