Penn State University's admissions policy for a first-year applicant to a four-year degree program is to count the student's high school grade-point average and class rank toward approximately two-thirds of the decision. Factors contributing to the remaining third of the decision are the personal statement and activities list. Although Penn State does not require a minimum GPA or class rank, admission is competitive; approximately 60,000 people apply and only about 12,000 spaces are available, as of 2015.
Adult learners and military veterans who have completed 18 or more college credits do not need to submit high school transcripts. They must still submit proof of graduation or GED.
Penn State uses a modified rolling admissions schedule. First-year students who submit all application materials by November 30 have a better chance of acceptance to the campus and program of their choice. After that date, the university moves to rolling admissions. All transfer student admissions occur on a rolling basis.
Different colleges and programs have somewhat different requirements regarding high school courses, but most Penn State colleges require applicants to have taken four units of English, two units of another language, three units each of math and science, and another three units of any combination of arts, humanities and social studies. Some of the colleges of business, engineering and science require an extra unit of math.
Applicants to Penn State's two-year programs must have completed four units of high school English, two units each of science and math, and five units of any combination of world language, social studies, humanities and arts. Specific programs may have slightly different requirements.