Requirements for Graduation as a Paterno Fellow

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Requirements for Graduation

Maintain a Minimum 3.4 GPA Every Semester

  • A student's GPA may NOT fall below 3.4 for two consecutive semesters. This will lead to automatic dismissal.

Complete a Specified Number of Honors Courses Each Year

  • 21 honors credits in the first two years (normally four courses in the first year and three in the second, which includes the Rhetoric an Civic Life honors sequence ENGL/CAS 137/138).
  • At least 14 honors credits in the final two years.
  • Honors courses include advanced 400-level courses taken in the first and second years, and graduate-level courses.

Complete a Second Major or an Enhanced Minor

  • Only one of the majors needs to be in the College of the Liberal Arts. An enhanced 24-credit minor will count as a second area of expertise, especially if a particular field does not offer a major. An 18-credit minor is enhanced by adding six credits from the approved course list for the minor.

Complete 3 Credits of Study in Ethics

  • Students may choose from a variety of ethics courses. Students who wish to propose another course for consideration should write to the Director.

Complete a Study Abroad Experience or an Internship

  • Study abroad experiences must be at least five weeks in-country. 
  • A 3-credit internship will automatically fulfill the requirement. If the internship does not appear on the transcript, students may submit a Non-Credit Internship Form to document 150 hours of work.

Complete a Substantial Leadership or Service Commitment

  • Fellows are expected to take on a leadership role or offer volunteer services to a community of their choice totaling at least 50 hours during their college career. Participants in the Presidential Leadership Academy automatically meet this requirement. To document a leadership or service experience, download the Leadership or Service Form; complete and submit it using the contact information on the form.

Demonstrate Global Awareness (Two Options)

  • Complete two additional courses beyond the 12th-credit-level proficiency in one foreign language, or meet 12th-credit-level proficiency in two foreign languages. (Students majoring or minoring in a foreign language, native speakers of a language other than English, and students studying abroad where the courses are taught in a language other than English will automatically meet this requirement.)
  • Take 9 credits in International Cultures (IL) courses beyond the general education requirement.

      Complete a Senior Thesis Research Project

      • Fellows must demonstrate strong research and critical thinking skills within an "Area of Honors," usually the student's primary major.


      For additional information, including Year by Year Planning, Important Policies, Advice, and Frequently Asked Questions, please refer to the Student Handbook.

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