Paterno Fellows Program

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Program Director

Jeremy Engels

Professor of Communication Arts and Sciences
Barry Director of the Paterno Fellows Program

Assistant Director

Joshua Wretzel

Assistant Teaching Professor in Philosophy

Office Staff

Adalenne Polk

Assistant to the Director

Follow the Paterno Fellows Program on social media!

LinkedIn: Penn State Paterno Fellows Program
Facebook: @PennStatePFP
Instagram: @pennstate_pfp
Twitter: @PennState_PFP

Download the Paterno Fellows Recognition Ceremony program

Download the Paterno Fellows brochure for prospective students

About the Program

Paterno Fellows are challenged to reach the highest levels of academic achievement and distinguish themselves in areas traditionally associated with the liberal arts: ethics, service, and leadership; excellence in communication; and intercultural awareness. The program’s rigorous challenges are coupled with significant rewards. Fellows receive financial support to participate in enriching out-of-class experiences like internships, study abroad, and research. And, the program is one of the only pathways at the University for students not initially admitted as honors students to demonstrate their potential and earn their way into the Schreyer Honors College.

The Paterno Fellows experience offers "an education for leadership" in the best tradition of the liberal arts. It molds well-rounded students who are ready for the world and prepares them for citizenship, for lifetime learning, and for the satisfaction derived from an exemplary education. Students aspiring to become Fellows are challenged to perform to their full potential and offered the support they need to achieve their academic goals. Students aspiring to the program have two years to become Fellows and Schreyer Scholars by meeting specific requirements that are outlined in the student handbook. Other students choose to become Paterno Fellows after they have been admitted to Schreyer.

Learn more about becoming a Paterno Fellow.

If you have already submitted your required documents to become a Paterno Fellow, you can check your status here. You will be taken to the Paterno Fellows database where you will need to log in with your Penn State ID.

Resources for Current Paterno Fellows


Alumni and Friends

Check Your Status

Benefits of the Paterno Fellows Program

The most significant benefit of the Paterno Fellows Program is the challenge it puts before students to undertake a rigorous and stimulating academic experience.

Transformative Academic Enrichment in the Liberal Arts

Paterno Fellows will graduate with strong academic credentials in at least two fields; develop ethical reasoning and leadership abilities; gain the ability to think critically, do independent research, and communicate effectively; and demonstrate global and intercultural sophistication. While all Liberal Arts students gain such an education at Penn State, Fellows pursue an education of exceptional ambition, depth, and distinction.

Financial Support for Enrichment Activities

Paterno Fellows receive financial support from the College of the Liberal Arts toward meeting their research, study abroad, and internship goals to build an impressive portfolio of experiences. Such experiences prepare students for leadership, and alumni describe them as the most defining and unforgettable moments in their college careers. To apply, students fill out the Liberal Arts Enrichment Funds application.

Participation in a Distinguished Academic Community

Every academic year offers a variety of events open to all Fellows, such as weekly lunch meetings, film screenings, artistic performances, seminars with visiting scholars, off-campus trips, and social events. Informal events take place throughout the academic year in the Liberal Arts Paterno Fellows Special Living Option.


All PFP students are assigned an academic adviser to ensure that they are meeting expectations in a timely way and to help identify departments, institutes, and other University programs that provide academic and co-curricular opportunities for students. Once a student has chosen a major and has been accepted as a Paterno Fellow and Schreyer Scholar, a faculty honors adviser will be assigned as well. All Fellows work with a faculty honors adviser to develop a thesis topic, conduct research, and complete the thesis project. Fellows have the opportunity to participate in the Liberal Arts Alumni Mentor Program.


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