Services for Military and Veteran Students

Military and veteran students have unique needs, and we have designed student support services and policies to make your time at Penn State World Campus flexible and convenient. This page includes information on how you can access some of your military student services.

Military Advising

Undergraduate military students are advised by trained military academic advisers. You’ll work with your adviser to plan your academic program, stay on track to graduate, choose courses and manage the impact of deployments, trainings and relocations.

Meet our team of military academic advisers

Disability Services

Our disability services team works closely with military advisers to serve students with disabilities, including service-connected disabilities, and identify students who may need accommodations. Learn more about disability accommodations.

Priority Registration for Veterans

Those who are actively serving or veterans who have been honorably discharged from all branches of the U.S. military are eligible for priority registration for Penn State classes through World Campus. The term "veteran" refers to an individual who has served in the United States Armed Forces, including a reserve component and the National Guard, and was discharged or released from such service with a condition other than dishonorable. The term “actively serving” refers to an individual who is currently serving in the United States Armed Forces (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, or Coast Guard), including a reserve or guard component.

The steps for getting priority registration differ based on the educational benefit you use and your active-duty status:

  • If you are using Chapters 30, 31, 1606, and 1607, you only need to submit an email request to [email protected]to receive priority registration. The Office of Veterans Programs will make the appropriate changes in LionPATH.
  • If you are using Chapter 33, please scan and email a copy of your Certificate of Eligibility to [email protected].
  • If you are a veteran who is not using a military benefit, please send a copy of the Member 2 or Member 4 section of your DD 214 (indicating character of discharge).
  • If you are actively serving, send a letter from your command stating their dates and characterization of service, signed by your commander (no electronic signatures will be accepted), by either email to [email protected]or by mail to the following address.

Office of Veterans Programs
325 Boucke Building
University Park, PA 16802
Email: [email protected]
Fax: 814-865-3815

Awarding Academic Credit for Military Training and Experience

Military Credit

If you are a student and a veteran, or a member of the armed forces or the selected reserves, you may be granted academic credit for Military Occupational Specialties (MOS), Rating, or Air Force Specialty Codes (AFSC) held in the armed services, in accordance with University policy. Students interested in receiving credit for their educational experience should use designated military sites to submit any applicable SMARTAARTSCoast Guard Institute, or the Community College of the Air Force transcripts to:

Undergraduate Admissions Office
The Pennsylvania State University
201 Shields Building
University Park PA 16802

College-Level Exam Program (CLEP)

Penn State awards credit for CLEP exams at the level recommended by the American Council on Education. For detailed information on the exams accepted and the credit awarded, visit Penn State's Credit Awarded for CLEP web page.

Penn State World Campus does not charge an administrative fee for an active-duty student taking the CLEP exam at the Outreach Testing Center. Military veterans can seek reimbursement from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairsfor CLEP exams and fees.

Defense Activity for Nontraditional Education Support (DANTES) Subject Standardized Tests

Special circumstances often prevent service personnel from continuing their education in the traditional classroom setting. Through World Campus, DANTES extends educational opportunities to all servicemen and servicewomen in or outside the United States. If you are a student interested in receiving credit for DSST, please visit Penn State's DSST website.

Prior Learning Assessment 

Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) is how Penn State determines whether knowledge gained outside of the traditional academic environment is at the college-level and worthy of college-credit. Your military academic adviser can help guide you through the PLA process. Your adviser can also tell you if credits obtained through PLA will apply to your degree program. If you are interested in pursuing PLA, contact your adviser.

Military Withdrawal Process

If you are deploying, participating in an extended training exercise, or making an unexpected change of duty station, you may request a withdrawal. You will not be charged tuition for the semester of withdrawal, and you will be eligible for "military re-enrollment" to the university, which allows you to stay enrolled in the same major upon resuming your studies. 

To request a withdrawal, complete these steps:

  • Present a copy of your military orders with formal correspondence on unit letterhead to the Registrar's Office at the campus you are attending. The correspondence must include your unit commander’s contact information and the duration and location of your pending assignment.
  • Complete a Withdrawal Form, citing "military" as your reason.

For more information about the military withdrawal process, please visit the Penn State Office of the University Registrar website

Military Honor Cords

Military students who have honorably served or are currently serving are eligible to receive a red, white and blue honor cord to wear at commencement in recognition of their commitment to our country.

Students who have military prior registration are automatically eligible for an honor cord. We will notify by email other students who qualify in the semester they have marked their intent to graduate. We encourage students to send in their information for prior registration to ensure there is no delay in receiving their military honor cord.