Considering a Campus Change

When you accept your offer of admission to Penn State, you are committing to completing two years of your degree at that campus. You have many options to complete your Penn State degree, including in many instances, staying at your campus of admission. Or you may choose one of our many other Penn State campuses located throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania or online through our World Campus. As you consider which campus might be best for you, please be sure to consider the following. Click on the boxes below to expand and explore each item.

Majors and Minors

Penn State campuses offer many degrees, and you can earn degrees at many campuses. Very few majors are specific to a campus, so there are many choices when it comes to finishing your Penn State degree. An important first step is seeing what majors will lead to your intended careers. You might find this information from Penn State’s Career Services Center helpful: You should also consider how minors or certificates can supplement your major. These will enhance your in-class learning.

Combined with your cocurricular activities, you’ll be well on your way to finding your right campus -- and it might be the campus where you currently are enrolled!

See which campuses offer academic programs you may be interested in by exploring the Undergraduate Bulletin:

Academic Advisers

Throughout this process, your academic adviser (found in LionPATH) is an important resource to help you explore, clarify, and/or change your choice of major and your future plans about changing campuses.

You should also be considering what classes you may take at your home campus or your new campus. See if it’s possible for you to start and end a course sequence at one campus. For example, if you have to take Physics 1 and Physics 2, are you able to complete both at the same campus? Our advice is to do that.

Penn State's tuition rates vary by campus, program, student level, and residency. For instance, if you plan a change to University Park, you will likely experience an increase in cost. To assist you with planning for a campus change, please visit the Tuition and College Cost Calculators on the Office of the Bursar website. This calculator will help to provide an estimate of the tuition, fees, and essential costs of attending Penn State. You can choose different campus locations in this estimate, as well. You should be fully aware of this cost differential as you make decisions about where you will complete your Penn State degree.

Final tuition and fees for each academic year are determined by the Board of Trustees each July. Please use these cost estimates for planning purposes only.

Financial Aid

In order to be considered for student aid, you must submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). When you complete the FAFSA, you are automatically considered for all University-wide scholarship opportunities; no additional application is needed. Consider checking with your academic college for college-based scholarships that may require a separate scholarship application.

You should plan to meet with the financial aid office at your campus to learn more about any campus-specific scholarships that you may have and how those could be impacted by a campus change. Not all scholarships will move with you between campuses. One example is our Discover Penn State Award, which is available at Penn State campuses other than University Park and World Campus.

An important thing to consider is campus and class size. If you’re interested in taking several large classes, you may want to consider that in your decision to make a campus change.

Another consideration is the distance in between classroom buildings. For instance, it can upwards of 20 minutes to walk from one end of our University Park campus to the other. If you are changing from a smaller to a larger campus, will you have time to make it to your next class?

You should definitely be considering housing options. Think about where you want to live – on-campus or off-campus? The Living On & Off Campus website has some important elements to consider as you decide to live on- or off-campus, including: cost, location, amenities, flexibility, and responsibility.

You can learn more about which campuses offer on-campus housing here. Some campuses offer Special Living Options, which are residence hall floors or apartments that bring together students who share a common interest. You can learn more here.

If you’re currently living on-campus, and are considering making a change, you should enter the process at both campuses (your home campus and your requested campus). Depending on what happens with your campus change, you’ll only be obligated to the contract at the campus at which you enroll.

If you’re considering living off-campus, please know that leases are legally binding documents and many leases are 12 months in length.

This is one that only you know the answer to! Are there family or other obligations that are keeping you close to home? How would you changing campuses impact those around you? 

Once you decide if changing Penn State campuses is for you, you should be in regular contact with your academic adviser to make sure that you’re on the right path towards degree progress.

Academic advising is provided by the academic college in which you are enrolled. Your adviser may be a member of the faculty in your major or a professional adviser. They can help you evaluate your educational plans, develop an academic program, and schedule each semester's courses. To find out who your assigned academic adviser is, go to the "My Advisors" section under the "Academics" tab in LionPATH.

Ultimately, you are expected to be responsible for your academic program, to initiate appointments, understand your degree audit, and be prepared with questions when you meet with an academic adviser. Giving thoughtful consideration to the information included in this section of the website will help you and your academic adviser build a plan best tailored to your needs. 

TIP: Don't rely on other students for official information or for course information. Student advice on rules, regulations, program requirements, and courses may be misleading, if not incorrect.

Here are some additional advising resources that might be helpful:

Link UP

In addition to the above resources, University Park hosts Link UP each spring to better prepare students for the change-of-campus process. Link UP is a day-long visit program for students who are considering a campus change or who have already been approved for a campus change. To learn more about Link UP, click here: