Admissions

Global Programs is not involved in the academic portion of the admissions process.  Here is some information regarding admission...

Students may be admitted as undergraduates, graduate students, or professional students.  After an admission offer has been made, DISSA contacts the student to gather materials required for issuance of a Certificate of Eligibility for F-1 or J-1 visa, (Forms I-20 or DS-2019).  Requested materials may include biographical information, financial guarantee, or documentation of current visa status.

For complete Admissions information, visit Penn State Admissions.

Non-Degree Study

Penn State will not issue an I-20 or DS-2019 to a casual non-degree student.  Approval for study as a full time non-degree student in F-1 or J-1 status is rare. If approved, an I-20 or DS-2019 would be issued for one semester, except in extenuating circumstances.

Sometimes Penn State academic departments will invite students from overseas institutions to study at Penn State as non-degree students. An academic department must indicate the reason it is supporting the request.

F-2 dependents may study part time without violating their status.

Further Information

  • Individuals in B-1 or B-2 status are prohibited from studying in the United States. If you currently hold B-1 or B-2 nonimmigrant status and would like to enroll in classes, you may apply for a change of status to F-1.
  • Non-degree students who are issued a Penn State I-20 or DS-2019 must be enrolled full time and maintain health insurance.
  • If an I-20 or DS-2019 is not requested from our office, the financial guarantee documentation is not required.
  • You may be asked to provide documentation of your current immigration status if currently in the United States.

Undergraduate Non-Degree Enrollment

Please submit the following to DISSA-Adviser@psu.edu:

  1. A letter from the Penn State academic department that states:
    • Reason the department is making the request
    • Plan of how the department will provide guidance and guarantee courses for full-time enrollment
  2. A letter from the non-degree applicant that states:
    • Purpose of non-degree study
    • Understanding that full-time registration is required
    • Understanding that health insurance coverage is mandatory
    • Understanding that non-degree study is limited to one semester
    • Understanding that non-degree study does not guarantee degree admission
  3. Evidence of English language proficiency
  4. Financial guarantee for the duration of non-degree study (typically one semester only)
  5. Completed Penn State non-degree application (Refer to University Registrar enrollment form).
  6. Evidence of current immigration status if you are in the U.S.

Graduate Non-Degree Enrollment

Please submit the following to DISSA-Adviser@psu.edu:

  1. A letter from the Penn State academic department stating
    • Reason the department is making the request
    • Plan of how the department will provide guidance and guarantee courses for full-time enrollment
  2. A letter from the prospective non-degree student indicating
    • Purpose of the non-degree study
    • Understanding that full-time registration is required
    • Understanding that health insurance coverage is mandatory
    • Understanding that non-degree study is limited to one semester
    • Understanding that non-degree study does not guarantee degree admission
  3. Evidence of English proficiency
  4. Financial guarantee for the duration of non-degree study (typically one semester only)
  5. Evidence of current immigration status if you are in the U.S.

If an I-20 or DS-2019 can be processed, you will be asked to apply to The Graduate School for non-degree enrollment. Please follow these directions. Please forward any questions regarding the on-line application to gswww@psu.edu.