Academic Advising

With students learning on campus and remotely, we want to assure you that academic advisers across Penn State are well prepared to support you regardless of your location. This video will provide you with important information about academic advising during the fall 2020 semester.

Frequently Asked Questions

Review the following frequently asked questions about advising. For additional information, read all frequently asked questions.


Access to academic advisers will be maintained throughout the fall semester. Please check Starfish to schedule an appointment with your academic adviser or contact your academic adviser via email to learn more about how they will conduct advising appointments.

For the fall 2020 semester, faculty have had months to prepare their courses, with around half of all courses already being delivered remotely. Students, faculty, and staff have all been aware of the need to prepare for a potential pivot to more fully remote instruction if required for health and safety considerations. Therefore, it’s very unlikely that alternative grading will be implemented under the current circumstances or in the event that the we must pivot to greater use of remote instruction prior to the planned November 20 switch.

Your academic adviser will have tips and strategies for communicating with your course instructors. If you have already tried to resolve the issue through communication with your instructor and are still experiencing problems, you may contact the department head, school director, or director of academic affairs of the unit offering the course. You can also complete our Academic Concern form to get your issues addressed.

Your instructors will let you know how best to contact them, how quickly you can expect to hear back from them on correspondence, and when and where they will be holding office hours, whether in-person or virtual. This information will be on your course syllabus, but if you are unsure, please ask until you have the information you need. Penn State Learning resources may also be provided at the department or college level, and every campus has a learning center.

You are expected to attend all scheduled classes for each of your courses, regardless of instructional mode. In the event of occasional and/or temporary absence, students will follow the attendance policy of the University with some flexibility. If students must quarantine or isolate, courses delivered face-to-face will include elements of remote delivery to allow them to continue to engage in class.

Students must continue to meet the academic requirements set by the college or major.

There are many resources available to help students enrolled in remote courses. You can also access more general student support resources that are being offered in flexible ways at this time. Talk with your adviser regarding specific academic concerns you may have.

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