Entrance to Major

Entrance to Major

Definition and Policy

Entrance to major is the point at which students enter particular degree programs.

Upon acceptance to Penn State, most first semester baccalaureate degree students are admitted to a pre-major in a college, such as Agricultural Sciences or Health and Human Development or to the Division of Undergraduate Studies, not to a specific major within the college. Pre-majors for The Behrend College are BCBUS (Business), BCEGN (Engineering), BCHSS (Humanities and Social Sciences), BCSCN (Science) and BCEDU (Education).

All Penn State majors have entrance-to-college/major requirements. Students generally enter a major in their fifth semester at Penn State, usually through the entrance to major (ETM) process. However, some majors are open access majors that require only a minimum cumulative grade-point average (CGPA) of 2.00 and completion of at least 27.1 credits. Students can enter the open access majors at any time after the above requirements are met. Students do not have to go through the entrance to ETM process. They may request a change of major by contacting the Behrend College Registrar’s Office.

Procedures and Designation of Selection Pools

All entering baccalaureate degree candidates are assigned an entrance to major (ETM) selection pool semester, normally the spring of their second year. Students entering the University in the spring semester are generally in the pool for the following spring. Advanced standing students (students who transfer to Penn State from other institutions with 18 or more credits) are assigned a selection pool at the time of their admission. For more information on this, please see the Academic Administrative Policies and Procedures Manual, D-2.2.

Students who are qualified and eligible at the time of the ETM process are considered for a major. To be qualified for a Behrend College major, a student must:

  1. Be enrolled in the University and be assigned the appropriate pool designation.
  2. Have a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0.
  3. Have completed any entrance requirements for a specific Behrend major.
  4. Identify major preferences, identify campus location and confirm major/location preferences on e-Lion.

Students in a specific pool are notified in December before their spring pool about the process and they are given approximately four weeks once the spring semester begins to confirm their major preferences on e-Lion. Soon after the confirmation time period has expired, the college begins the ETM major approval process. Students in the pool of applicants who have confirmed their major and campus preferences will be included in this process. The college will determine if the student will be accepted, accepted conditionally, or denied entrance to his/her desired major. A student who has not yet completed the course entrance requirements but is currently enrolled in these courses is informed that entrance to the major is conditional, pending appropriate current semester performance. A student who is not accepted into his/her first choice is considered for his/her second and, if necessary, third choice. A student can be accepted into no more than one major and campus through the ETM process.

After the selection process is completed, the student is notified by e-mail that he/she has been accepted, accepted conditionally, or denied entrance to his/her desired major. This notification will be received before the beginning of the registration period for the following fall semester. It will include information on change of campus if appropriate. A student receiving approval is assigned to the major effective for the next semester of enrollment.

If the student is accepted into a major, he/she is enrolled in that major and no additional student action is required. If the student is denied all of his/her choices, other majors may be appropriate; the student should consult with his/her academic adviser.


Behrend’s Academic and Career Planning Center (ACPC) provides academic advising, information, and referral services to anyone who requests assistance. Behrend’s ACPC advisers, along with the advisers in the academic advising centers at University Park and the academic advising and information centers at the Commonwealth Campuses, help students evaluate their educational plans, answer questions about exploring major fields, provide general information about academic policies and procedures, and refer students to appropriate resources.

Penn State Behrend has developed recommended academic plans for each of its majors. These plans provide the courses students might schedule semester by semester as they pursue a particular degree. The plans:

  • Identify normal academic progress and course offerings needed, and reveal course sequencing;
  • Assist students and advisers in planning students' schedules both short-term and long-range;
  • Help prospective students and their families to anticipate the academic workload and courses needed to earn a degree and students to anticipate when courses will be offered in order to appropriately schedule prerequisites;
  • Serve as tools to help advisers learn the curriculum.

Semester scheduling recommendations for all baccalaureate and associate degree majors can be found in the University Bulletin.


Students who wish to apply for on-campus housing at Penn State Behrend must do so through the eLiving Housing Contract System. Those students planning to live off-campus should review housing opportunities made available through the Division of Student Affairs at Behrend.

College Contacts

Students with questions concerning Behrend entrance to major or change of major requirements should contact the Academic and Career Planning Center or the Office of the College Registrar.