Skip to main content
Get Urgent Help


Student Care and Advocacy offers general consultation related to academic areas: personal circumstances, instructor complaints, grade grievances, withdrawals, withdrawal, re-enrollment, and a variety of other issues. If you have questions about an academic issue or a combination of issues, contact our office for assistance.

Academic Advising

Academic Advising can be one of the most beneficial resources to students during their college career. An academic advisor will listen to students as they brainstorm ideas and will help shape a recommended path to academic success. An advisor will assist with the course selection process and will provide guidance and information on curriculum requirements and academic opportunities.

Some Advising Centers require students to make appointments and others do not. For more information, call the center you plan to visit.

Advisors can help with the following concerns. 

  • Choosing a major/minor
  • Changing a major/minor
  • Adding/dropping courses/retroactive late drops
  • Withdrawal/retroactive withdrawal
  • Making a plan for a return to the University after being away for a length of time
  • Transferring to another Penn State Campus or any other college or university
Class Attendance

University policy states that all instructors organize and conduct their courses in a way that encourages class attendance. A student should attend every class for which the student is scheduled and should be held responsible for all work covered in the courses taken.

Instructors should provide, within reason, opportunity to make up work for students who miss class for regularly scheduled, University-approved curricular and extracurricular activities. Instructors should provide, within reason, opportunity to make up work for students who miss classes for other legitimate but unavoidable reasons.

Students should review their class syllabus and direct any questions regarding class and University policies to their professors, department heads, and academic advisors. If a class will be missed due to an unavoidable absence, the student should contact the instructor as soon as the unavoidable absence is known to discuss ways to make up the work. Any academic accommodations or arrangements to make up missed work must still be agreed upon by the student and faculty member within the confines of the Faculty Senate Attendance Policy. Student Care & Advocacy does not have the authority to approve absences or make-up work.


A student would withdrawal from the University if they want to drop all credits in which they are enrolled. Withdrawing releases enrollment in all courses in which a student is currently enrolled and cancels enrollment in courses the student scheduled for an upcoming semester or session. Students should discuss this option and process with their academic advisors before making this decision in order to fully understand the impact.

In the event of a medical emergency, a student may decide to medically withdrawal from the University for a period of time to receive necessary care. Students who withdraw from the University for medical reasons may petition for a tuition waiver. A letter from the student along with medical documentation supporting the medical need to withdrawal should be submitted to the Bursar’s Office by the student, in partnership with the student’s advisor.

Grade Deferral

If for reasons beyond a student's control, the student is prevented from completing a course within the prescribed time, the student may ask the instructor for a deferred grade. If the instructor agrees to this action, the instructor reports the student's grade as a DF at the end of the semester to delay issuing a grade and to allow the student more time to complete coursework.

Leave of Absence

A student who wants to take a limited time off from Penn State coursework may maintain degree status and ensure that their degree requirements will remain the same by taking a leave of absence. A degree candidate who does not register for consecutive semesters and is not on a leave of absence is automatically withdrawn from degree status and must apply for re-enrollment to resume degree status.

Situations in which a leave is NOT appropriate include:

  • If a student does not enroll in summer coursework (enrollment is optional).
  • If a student withdraws or is dropped or dismissed (see re-enrollment).
  • If a student wishes to interrupt studies during an academic semester (see Withdrawal).
  • If a student is enrolled in any Penn State course

The deadline to submit re-enrollment and non-degree applications for a given semester is 5:00 p.m. on the Friday before the first day of classes of that semester.

Re-enrollment is appropriate if you:

  • Withdrew from the University
  • Interrupted continuous degree enrollment during fall/spring semester
  • Were dismissed or suspended for nonacademic reasons
  • Invalidated a leave of absence
  • Plan to return for a second associate or baccalaureate degree
  • Plan to return for graduation
  • Voluntarily changed your enrollment status to nondegree

Students who left in good standing and who are re-enrolling in their previous major (providing the major is not controlled) will be approved to re-enroll. Every re-enrollment request will be reviewed and a decision letter will be sent to the student.

Explore in this Section
Academic Concern


Our events and programs are open to all students regardless of sex, gender, sexual orientation, race, or any other protected class. Student Affairs is committed to building a community of belonging for all.