Semester Planning

Semester Schedules

Visit the University Registrar site for the following planning resources:

Registration Timetable for Summer and Fall 2021

Class Search for Summer and Fall 2021

Summer 2021 Academic Calendar

Fall 2021 Academic Calendar


Summer Session 2021

Summer Session for Continuing Students

Summer courses are available in flexible terms beginning in May and June and offer a wide variety of courses to keep you on track for a timely graduation. You can take summer courses at any Penn State campus, providing you the flexibility to select course sections that meet your needs, including courses offered in various time frames, lengths, and instructional modes. Learn more on the Office for Summer Session site.

Steps for Planning for Summer Session

  1. Review the schedule of courses

    As you prepare to schedule courses for summer session 2021, review the course offerings. You should meet with your adviser to plan your courses and ensure you are on track to meet your academic milestones. Registration for all students is now open.

    In the summer, you can take courses at any Penn State campus and can choose when you take your courses across multiple summer session options. You can also choose from in-person, remote, and web offerings.

    Some programs may require in-person components in order for students to make full progress toward their degree. Students in these programs should consult with their academic adviser to understand the options and implications if they are unable to or choose not to return to in-person instruction.

    Penn State plans to safely transition during the summer toward a full, in-person experience for fall 2021.

  2. Consult with your academic adviser

    Your academic adviser can assist you in achieving your academic goals, guide you in making well-informed educational plans, and help you to understand and choose the best options for summer session. You and your academic adviser can discuss how your academic requirements, course availability, and course instructional modes will impact your summer schedule.

    It’s important to make an appointment with your academic adviser to discuss your plans. You should schedule an appointment with your academic adviser via Starfish or email to learn more about how they will conduct advising appointments. If you aren’t able to meet with an academic adviser before your first day to register, use the tools and resources available to you to make plans, enroll in courses, then check in with your adviser as soon as you are able. Adjustments to your plans can still be made, but the sooner your plans are finalized, the more options you will have.

Instructional Modes

Summer 2021 instructional modes will be the same modes used in spring 2021.

Tuition

Tuition rates for summer 2021 have not yet been announced. Tuition in the summer is charged by credit hour, and the amount per credit hour is based upon the campus offering the course. For the most up-to-date tuition schedule, review the 2020–21 Tuition and Fees Schedules.

Summer Session for New First-Year Students

Penn State provides the opportunity for new first-year students to begin their course work in the summer. Students admitted to any of Penn State’s Commonwealth Campuses can learn more about the opportunities available to them on the Summer Start site. Students at University Park can learn more about summer course-taking opportunities, including the Learning Edge Academic Program (LEAP), on the Office for Summer Session: First-Year Students page.


Fall Semester 2021

Undergraduate and graduate students can expect mostly in-person classes in fall 2021. The full list of fall 2021 instructional modes are described on the Registrar’s website. The University’s priority continues to be the health and well-being of its students, faculty, staff, and local communities. Additional information about Penn State’s response to the pandemic can be found on Penn State’s Virus Info website.

Fall registration began for those with priority registration on April 8. You can confirm your registration date in the Registration Timetable, which provides a schedule of when you can begin registering for classes for fall semester.

You are encouraged to discuss your course selections with your academic adviser, who will guide you in making well-informed educational plans and help you to schedule courses that will ensure your progress to graduation. Schedule an appointment with your academic adviser via Starfish or by contacting your adviser via email to learn more about how they will conduct advising appointments.

If you are enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate in-person program in fall 2021 but cannot be on campus for unavoidable reasons (e.g., visa, travel restrictions, or health), please review the appropriate section below:

Newly admitted undergraduate first-year and transfer students who can’t be on campus in fall 2021

All new undergraduate students will have an opportunity to learn about and discuss their options with an academic adviser during their New Student Orientation program. If your circumstances necessitate you enrolling in a completely online course schedule, your academic adviser will discuss your options and help connect you to Penn State World Campus. These conversations will happen during New Student Orientation, when each student meets with an academic adviser as part of the scheduled program.

Note: New students are still required to submit the necessary immunization records to the University, even if they choose Penn State World Campus. You can read more information about the required immunizations for first-year students.

If your circumstances necessitate delaying your start at Penn State to a future semester, contact Undergraduate Admissions to discuss a deferment of your offer of admission.

Newly admitted graduate students who can’t be on campus in fall 2021

If you are a new Penn State graduate student starting fall 2021 who cannot learn on campus for unavoidable reasons (e.g., visa, travel restrictions, or health), inform your graduate program by “Raising Your Hand” in Starfish.

The “Raise Your Hand” feature in Starfish will ensure that you are connected to your graduate program. Program staff can talk with you about your options for starting in the fall or deferring to a future semester.

International students can find more detailed information on the Global Programs fall 2021 web page or email questions to international@psu.edu.

Current undergraduate students who can’t be on campus in fall 2021

If you are a current Penn State undergraduate student who cannot learn on campus for unavoidable reasons (e.g., visa, travel restrictions, or health), inform your college and academic adviser by “Raising Your Hand” in Starfish.

The “Raise Your Hand” feature in Starfish will ensure that you are connected to your undergraduate college and your academic adviser, who can talk with you about the following options and assist you in making plans to continue your progress to graduation.

International students can find more detailed information on the Global Programs fall 2021 web page or complete the “Submit a Question” form in iStart.

Option: Temporary Change of Campus to World Campus

You and your academic adviser can discuss a temporary change of campus to Penn State World Campus. This would allow you to select from the World Campus portfolio of asynchronous online courses, which feature engagement with peers and faculty built into the course design.

This is not a permanent change of campus and you will maintain enrollment in your degree program while you take courses through Penn State World Campus.

More information about making a temporary change of campus to World Campus

Option: Summer Session Enrollment

Working with your academic adviser, you can decide if summer session courses may enable you to get ahead or to schedule courses that are not available to you in the fall. Summer provides an opportunity to choose from a variety of courses offered in in-person, remote synchronous, remote asynchronous, or mixed-mode instructional modes. Undergraduate and graduate students can choose courses offered at any Penn State campus, including Penn State World Campus. Courses offered in a remote synchronous or remote asynchronous instructional mode are ideal for students who cannot be on campus. To search for summer courses across all Penn State campuses, visit the LionPATH Class Search Tool.

Option: Leave of Absence

If appropriate courses are not available to you through Penn State World Campus, you may want to consider a Leave of Absence (LOA) that allows you to step away for the fall semester without altering degree requirements. Additionally, while on an LOA, you remain connected to the University and don’t need to apply to return (re-enrollment). Your academic adviser can discuss the LOA process and assist you in making a successful transition for your return in the spring 2022 semester.

Option: Transfer Credit

Students should discuss with their academic adviser whether taking direct equivalent courses at another institution beyond Penn State would be appropriate. Using the Transfer Credit Tool can help to identify direct equivalent courses that may transfer back to Penn State. Please note there are exceptions, and all academic decisions should be discussed with an academic adviser and approved by your college prior to enrollment at another institution.

Current graduate students who can’t be on campus in fall 2021

If you are a current Penn State graduate student facing unavoidable circumstances, such as visa, travel, or health-related restrictions that will prevent you from returning to campus in fall 2021, inform your graduate program and your adviser by “Raising Your Hand” in Starfish.

The “Raise Your Hand” feature in Starfish will notify your graduate program and adviser of your concern. Be sure to directly follow up with your graduate program head and adviser as soon as possible. They can talk with you about your options and assist you in making plans to continue your progress to graduation.

International students can find more detailed information on the Global Programs fall 2021 web page or complete the “Submit a Question” form in iStart.

Option: Leave of Absence

If enrolling in courses is not an option for you, or if appropriate courses are not available to you at an alternate Penn State campus (including Penn State World Campus), you may want to consider a Leave of Absence (LOA) that allows you to step away for the fall semester without impacting your degree requirements. Contact your graduate program head to discuss whether an LOA is an appropriate option for you and, if so, to submit a request. While on an LOA, you remain connected to the University and can return to campus in spring 2022 without applying to resume study.

Option: Transfer Credit

Graduate students considering attending another university or institution and transferring credits to Penn State should speak with their adviser and their graduate program to discuss the process and ensure that any courses they take at other institutions can be transferred to their Penn State transcript.

Option: Summer Session Enrollment

You may be able to schedule courses that are not available to you in the fall by enrolling in the summer session. Summer provides an opportunity to choose from a variety of courses offered in in-person, remote synchronous, remote asynchronous, or mixed-mode instructional modes. Graduate students can choose courses offered at any Penn State campus offering upper level undergraduate or graduate courses, including Penn State World Campus. Courses offered in a remote synchronous or remote asynchronous instructional mode are ideal for students who cannot be on campus. Working with your graduate program and adviser, you can decide if summer courses are an option for you. To search for summer courses across all Penn State campuses, visit the LionPATH Class Search Tool.