Hit the ground running! The people, places, and things you’ll need to start your academic career on the right foot.

Hit the ground running.

The regular drop period is through 11:59 p.m. August 31, and the regular add period is through 11:59 p.m. September 1. Consult your adviser if you have questions about adjusting your schedule. Log into LionPATH or Starfish to obtain your adviser's contact information.

New Student Orientation

During the College Advising meeting at New Student Orientation you’ll meet with college faculty and staff, work on your academic and co-curricular goals, become familiar with campus resources, schedule your first semester of courses, and more.

Ag LEAP (Learning Edge Academic Program)

Ag LEAP is a summer program for incoming first-year College of Ag Sciences students accepted to the University Park campus. It’s a great way to start during a quieter time on campus!

Working with Your Adviser

You will work with your adviser throughout your Penn State career to plan and accomplish your goals. Getting to know both of your roles in this partnership can help you to make the most of the time!

Together you will:

  • Confirm the major that is a best “fit” for you
  • Plan and execute an appropriate educational plan to include curricular and cocurricular opportunities
  • Develop and implement a career and experiential learning plan
  • Evaluate your personal progress throughout your educational career

You can expect your adviser to:

  • Help you understand the University’s academic programs, policies, and procedures
  • Discuss ways you can define and achieve your educational goals
  • Help you plan your academic program and schedule appropriate courses
  • Refer you to other resources when appropriate

Your adviser will expect you to:

  • Schedule and attend advising appointments
  • Prepare for appointments by reviewing program audits and listing topics for discussion
  • Meet with them at least once a semester
  • Take responsibility for your educational decisions

WHEN should you make an appointment to meet with your adviser?

  • At least once a semester to discuss your progress and plan the next semester’s schedule
  • Whenever you have academic concerns or questions

HOW should you contact your adviser?

  • You can find your adviser’s name and email address in your LionPATH Student Center. Your adviser may also communicate with you early in your first semester to let you know the best way to connect with them as some advisers may use Starfish for appointment scheduling.
  • See “Effectively Using Email” in Tools and Resources for communication tips.

First-Year Advising Timeline

Taking proactive steps to monitor and manage your academic progress is an important key to your success. Download our suggested timeline for your first two semesters at Penn State. Be sure to regularly consult with your adviser and see the University academic calendar for important dates.

First-Year Seminar

Penn State students are required to complete a first-year experience as part of their degree requirements. For students who are starting their Penn State experience at University Park, there are several first-year seminar course options, ranging from 1 to 3 credits, that will meet this requirement. The seminars will incorporate student success strategies and resources to introduce the University, college, and their discipline of study. Students should work closely with an adviser to determine which course is most appropriate for their goals.

  • AG 150, section 1: focuses on exploration of majors within the college; offered both fall and spring semesters
  • AG 150, section 4: focused for Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences students; offered only in the fall semester
  • AG 150, section 9: focused for Landscape Contracting, Plant Sciences, and Turfgrass Science students; offered only in the fall semester
  • AG 150, section 10: focused for Animal Science students; offered only in the fall semester
  • AG 160S: offered only during summer through Ag LEAP
  • AEE 297: focused for Agribusiness Management, Agricultural and Extension Education, Agricultural Science, and Community, Environment, and Development students; offered only in the fall semester
  • BE 1: focused for Biological Engineering and BioRenewable Systems students; offered only in the fall semester
  • ERM 150S: focused for Environmental Resource Management students; offered only in the fall semester
  • FDSC 150S: focused for Food Science students; offered only in the fall semester
  • FOR/WFS 150S: focused for Forest Ecosystem Management and Wildlife and Fisheries Science students; offered only in the fall semester
  • VBSC 50: focused for Immunology and Infectious Disease, Toxicology, and Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences students; offered in the fall semester and during summer through Ag LEAP

Additional Resources