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Paterno Fellows Program

Students interested in the Paterno Fellows Program will begin pursuing the Program as aspiring students in their first semester.  Upon successful completion of departmental entrance requirements students will be officially admitted to the Paterno Fellows Program (along with Schreyer Honors College).  Students will then continue to complete the necessary requirements needed to graduate as an Undergraduate Fellow with Schreyer Honors. While it is your  responsibility to meet the necessary requirements, use this handout to help you remain on track with both the departmental entrance requirements and the Fellows graduation requirements.

Department of Political Science Entrance Requirements*

Complete the following by the end of your sophomore year:


Cumulative GPA of 3.7 or higher (cannot have consecutive semesters below 3.4)

Introductory Courses

Complete at least 2 of the following courses at Penn State and earn a grade of A- or better

  • PL SC 001
  • PL SC 003
  • PL SC 010
  • PL SC 014
  • PL SC 017

Advanced Course
Complete PL SC 309 with a B+ of better
Honors Credits
Complete 21 honors credits (First and Second Year)

**Students who enter Penn State already admitted to Schreyer Honors College and want to be admitted to the Paterno Fellows Program must complete PL SC 309 with a B+ or better

Paterno Fellows Program Graduation Requirements

Once you have become a Paterno Fellow it is your responsibility to ensure your record is up to date and accurate.  Thus, at the end of each semester you should be sure to update your record in the Paterno Fellows Program database.  This will help ensure you are on track to graduate as a Paterno Fellow.  Use the following link to update your record in the database:

  • Select "Check my Status" under the section labeled “Paterno Fellows” and log in to update your record.
  • If you are in the process of completing a requirement, select the status “In Progress” and note in the comments box how you are completing the requirement.  For example, if you are studying abroad next semester, you might write "Studying abroad in Rome Semester/Year" under the Study Abroad/Internship requirement.
  • Once you have completed the requirement, change the status to “Claimed Satisfied.”  If necessary update the comments box to indicate what you have done to complete the requirement.  Your adviser will then review your record and verify you have completed the requirement by marking the requirement "Satisfied."

Complete the following by the end of your senior year:

  • Honors Credits Complete 14 additional honors credits (Junior and Senior year)
  • Global Awareness

Students can do this by completing two additional courses beyond the 12th credit proficiency level in one foreign language, meet 12th credit level proficiency in two foreign languages, OR take 9 credits of International Cultures (IL) courses beyond the general education requirement.

  • Complete an e-Portfolio

Use the following link to access information about the e-Portfolio:

*Students must register for a 1.0 credit course (currently LA 397A) by the end of their third year.

Honors thesis supervised by a faculty member (non-tenure line faculty with approval of Schreyer Honors College):

  • Complete PL SC 300H (Junior Year)
  • Submit a Thesis Proposal Report (TPR) one year before intended graduation.
  • Complete 6 credits of thesis writing in PL SC 306H (1.5 crdits FA/SP senior year) and  PL SC 496H (3.0 credits, SP senior year)





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