Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Question: Will being an Honors Student increase my work load?  Will I be taking on too much?

Answer: This varies with each student. The purpose of the Honors Program is to make Penn State Altoona a more exciting school for the motivated student.  The Honors Sections and Honors Options should be qualitatively deeper rather than quantitatively more.  It is true that this might involve a bit more reading and writing than a "normal" class.  However, this should not take a significantly greater amount of time.  Students who already feel overworked before they enter the Honors Program may find the additional Honors requirements to be a chore.   However, students who are well prepared and motivated will not notice much difference - except that their classes are more interesting!

2. Question: If I am already a Penn State Altoona student, what is the deadline for applying to the PSA Honors Program?

Answer: There is no deadline!  Penn State Altoona students can apply to the program at any time by completing the application online or downloading the application form (PDF or Word Doc), filling it out, and submitting it to the address noted on the form.

3. Question: For Penn State students, why is the GPA requirement for entry into the Honors Program 3.50, but the requirement for retention only 3.33?

Answer: Most honors programs adopt such a policy.  It does not make good sense to admit students into the Honors Program if they are performing right at the retention cut-off.  This puts them in danger of being dismissed from the program during an ensuing semester.  Because many students tend to get somewhat higher grades early in the college careers (when classes often are a bit easier), this policy provides a cushion.  

4. Question: Can non-Honors students register for Honors Sections?

Answer: Yes!  The Honors Coordinator will sign in non-Honors students (bring a filled-out Drop/Add from the Registrar's Office) as long as they understand that an Honors Section is intended for motivated and engaged students.  Honors Sections are NOT available to students who simply are looking for a convenient way to complete their schedule.  As the first question (above) notes, the work load for an Honors Section is not greater in quantity.  However, if a student is not motivated, then the higher quality of the class will no doubt translate to greater difficulty.

5. Question: Non-Honors students can take Honors Sections.  Does that mean that non-Honors students also can turn one of their standard classes into a special Honors Option?

Answer: No.  The Honors Option is available only to students in the PSA Honors Program or the Schreyer Honors College.

6. Question: Is being a member of the Penn State Altoona Honors Program the same as being a member of the Schreyer Honors College?

Answer: No.  The Penn State Altoona Honors Program is distinct from the Schreyer Honors College (SHC).  However, the Penn State Altoona Program maintains academic standards that are consistent with SHC.  To apply to SHC at the same time that you are applying to for admission to Penn State University as a First-Year Student, visit the Application Process page of the Schreyer Honors College site.  For all other current students, Schreyer has a Gateway Admissions process.  For the application, visit the Apply as a Current Student page of the Schreyer Honors College site.