ETM Considerations for Administratively Controlled Majors

Like in fall 2020, there will again be restrictions in spring 2021 on how alternative grades can be used to meet Entrance to Major (ETM) requirements for administratively controlled majors. These represent important changes from spring 2020 when alternative grades were first introduced at Penn State.

This page addresses how the selection of alternative grading will affect ETM requirements in administratively controlled majors offered at the Penn State University Park campus. While all majors have general ETM requirements, administratively controlled majors have more stringent requirements for entering a major. This may include, but is not limited to, additional prerequisite classes, course credit limitations, differing GPA standards, etc.

You are strongly encouraged to speak with an academic adviser to consider all the implications of alternative grading when seeking admission to an administratively controlled major. Your best option may be different than would be the case for students pursuing other majors because of the additional requirements. Your current GPA, the required GPA for ETM, your progress in ETM courses, and where you are in the credit window all might have an influence on your decision.

Administratively Controlled Majors at University Park

These majors are currently under administrative controls. You can find complete information on these majors in the Undergraduate Bulletin.

Smeal College of Business:

  • Accounting (ACCTG_BS)
  • Actuarial Science (ACTSC_BS)
  • Corporate Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIENT_BS)
  • Finance (FIN_BS)
  • Management (MGMT_BS)
  • Management Information Systems (MIS_BS)
  • Marketing (MKTG_BS)
  • Risk Management (RM_BS)
  • Supply Chain and Information Systems (SCIS_BS)

Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications:

  • Advertising/Public Relations (ADPR_BA)

College of Earth and Mineral Sciences:

  • Energy Business and Finance (EBF_BS)
  • Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering (PNGE_BS)

College of Engineering:

  • Aerospace Engineering (AERSP_BS)
  • Biomedical Engineering (BME_BS)
  • Chemical Engineering (CHE_BS)
  • Civil Engineering (CE_BS)
  • Computer Engineering (CMPEN_BS)
  • Computer Science (CMPSC_BS)
  • Industrial Engineering (IE_BS)
  • Mechanical Engineering (ME_BS)

College of Information Sciences and Technology:

  • Cybersecurity Analytics and Operations (CYAOP_BS)
  • Human-Centered Design and Development (HCDD_BS)
  • Information Sciences and Technology (ISTBS_BS)
  • Security and Risk Analysis (SRA_BS)

Meeting Grade and Credit Requirements

An SAT grade satisfies some requirements where a C or better is required to enter a major. Policy changes implemented in fall 2020 have created some restrictions and will continue to apply in spring 2021.

Spring 2021 Policy

As in fall 2020, each administratively controlled major has identified a list of ETM courses for which alternative grades cannot be used to satisfy the ETM course requirement, unless the course was taken in spring 2020. It is important that you retain standard letter grades in these courses for the fall 2020 semester. If necessary, students who select alternative grades for these courses will be able to repeat the course for letter grades or file Senate petitions to revert to their letter grades.

As in spring 2020 and fall 2020, courses taken for alternative grades in spring 2021 will not count toward the ETM credit window. These credits do count toward the semester standing, but are specifically excluded from the threshold for admission to administratively controlled majors. In spring 2020, colleges committed to providing exceptions to allow students to enter majors if they would have made the lower credit threshold if the alternatively graded courses had been counted, but as in fall 2020, these exceptions will not be provided for courses with alternative grades selected in spring 2021. This step is being taken to ensure that all students have a minimum number of graded credits on which ETM decisions are based. Alternative grades can continue to be used to help avoid exceeding the upper ETM credit limits. Please speak with an academic adviser if you have questions about the ETM process for your major of interest.

Courses Requiring Letter Grades for Specific Majors

The courses in the list below are organized by the administratively controlled major that requires a letter grade for the course. The list includes any special designation of these courses, including honors and writing enhanced.

Smeal College of Business:

  • Accounting (ACCTG_BS): ACCTG 211, FIN 301, MGMT 301, and MKTG 301
  • Actuarial Science (ACTSC_BS): ACCTG 211, FIN 301, MGMT 301, and MKTG 301
  • Corporate Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIENT_BS): ACCTG 211, FIN 301, MGMT 301, and MKTG 301
  • Finance (FIN_BS): ACCTG 211, FIN 301, MGMT 301, and MKTG 301
  • Management (MGMT_BS): ACCTG 211, FIN 301, MGMT 301, and MKTG 301
  • Management Information Systems (MIS_BS): ACCTG 211, FIN 301, MGMT 301, and MKTG 301
  • Marketing (MKTG_BS): ACCTG 211, FIN 301, MGMT 301, and MKTG 301
  • Risk Management (RM_BS): ACCTG 211, FIN 301, MGMT 301, and MKTG 301
  • Supply Chain and Information Systems (SCIS_BS): ACCTG 211, FIN 301, MGMT 301, and MKTG 301

Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications:

  • Advertising/Public Relations (ADPR_BA): ENGL 15 or any of the permitted substitutions: ENGL 30, ESL 15, ENGL 137H, or CAS 137H

College of Earth and Mineral Sciences:

  • Energy Business and Finance (EBF_BS): None
  • Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering (PNGE_BS): None

College of Engineering:

  • Aerospace Engineering (AERSP_BS): MATH 141
  • Biomedical Engineering (BME_BS): MATH 141
  • Chemical Engineering (CHE_BS): MATH 141
  • Civil Engineering (CE_BS): MATH 141
  • Computer Engineering (CMPEN_BS): MATH 141
  • Computer Science (CMPSC_BS): MATH 141
  • Industrial Engineering (IE_BS): MATH 141
  • Mechanical Engineering (ME_BS): MATH 141

College of Information Sciences and Technology:

  • Cybersecurity Analytics and Operations (CYAOP_BS): CYBER 100; IST 140 or CMPSC 101 or CMPSC 121; IST 210; IST 220; IST 242; STAT 200
  • Human-Centered Design and Development (HCDD_BS): HCDD 113 or HCDD 113S; IST 140 or CMPSC 121 or CMPSC 131 or (CMPSC 101 and IST 240); IST 242 or (CMPSC 122 and CMPSC 221) or (CMPSC 132 and CMPSC 221); IST 210; IST 220; STAT 200
  • Information Sciences and Technology (ISTBS_BS): IST 110; IST 140 or CMPSC 101 or CMPSC 121; IST 210; IST 220
  • Security and Risk Analysis (SRA_BS): IST 140 or CMPSC 101 or CMPSC 121; IST 210; SRA 111; SRA 211