Business Frequently Asked Questions

Business Frequently Asked Questions

When and where do I get to register for classes?

The exact date when you are able to register for courses appears at the top of your degree audit. The actual registration takes place on eLion.

 

Where do I find the schedule of courses?

Course schedules can be found here. For advanced search options, please ensure that you click on “+ Additional Search Criteria.”

 

What classes do I need to take for next semester?

First, you must consult with the Recommended Academic Plan for your Option on Business major page > “See Recommended Academic Plans for all Business Options".

Additionally, review your degree audit carefully. The audit tells you exactly what courses you must take going forward. As a general rule, you should follow the degree requirements in numerical order, i.e., take care of the 200 and 300-level courses and then move to the 400s, and do so ensuring that you have first satisfied the prerequisites for each course.

 

Where do I find what the prerequisites are for each course?

The online schedule of courses specifies whether a course has any prerequisites. Additionally, you may want to consult with the University’s course descriptions.

 

I do not have the prerequisite for a certain course. Can I still take it?

You are strongly discouraged from doing so, as the practice may have adverse effects on your academic performance. Additionally, you should know that a faculty member has the authority to disenroll you from a course if you do not meet the prerequisites.

 

Reading a Degree Audit

What do the different signs (+, -, OK, NO, IP, etc.) on my degree audit mean?

Please consult with the “LEGEND” section of your degree audit, which appears at the very bottom of the document. The section highlights, in detail, what each sign indicates.

 

On my degree audit, under the Major Requirements it says “Take 3-6 Credits in Business Internship.” What does this mean?

In most cases, students are only allowed to take 3 credits in either BA 495A or BA 495B. So treat this section as requiring you to enroll in only 3 credits of 495 A or B.

Accordingly, for the subcategory below, which says “Take 0-3 credits in 400-level…” ensure that you take 3 credits at the 400-level in any course that has the designation ACCTG, B A, ECON, ENTR, FIN, FINSV, H P A, I B, MGMT, MIS, MKTG, R M OR SCM. Again, any course you take here will not count toward your Option Requirements.          

 

I am enrolled in the Management and Marketing Option. On my degree audit, under the Option Requirements, Subcategory 1 says take 0-6 credits in Business and Communications. What does this mean?

It means that the number of credits you can take in this subcategory may range between 0 and 6. You should read this subcategory in conjunction with subcategory 5, which says “Take 6-12 credits in 300/400-Level Management and Marketing Courses.”

In other words:

  • if you take 0 credits in Subcategory 1, then you must take 12 credits in Subcategory 5;
  • if you take 3 credits in Subcategory 1, then you must take 9 credits in Subcategory 5; or
  • if you take 6 credits in Subcategory 1 (which is the max in this subcategory), you must take 6 credits in Subcategory 5.

 

I am enrolled in the Management and Marketing Option. On my degree audit, under the Option Requirements, Subcategory 2 says “At Least 3 credits of 400-level courses required in at least one of the next 3 areas.” What does this mean?

This subcategory is not an independent requirement; rather, it instructs you on what to do in subcategories 3, 4, and 5, i.e., ensuring that you take at least 3 credits at the 400-level in those subcategories. (As a reminder, the courses you take for your Option will not double-count toward the Major Requirements category.)

 

Major-related Courses

On my degree audit, under the Major Requirements it says “Take 3-6 Credits in Business Internship.” What does this mean?

In most cases, students are only allowed to take 3 credits in either BA 495A or BA 495B. So treat this section as requiring you to enroll in only 3 credits of 495 A or B.

Accordingly, for the subcategory below, which says “Take 0-3 credits in 400-level…” ensure that you take 3 credits at the 400-level in any course that has the designation ACCTG, B A, ECON, ENTR, FIN, FINSV, H P A, I B, MGMT, MIS, MKTG, R M OR SCM. Again, any course you take here will not count toward your Option Requirements.          

 

Do the courses I take under my Major Requirements also count toward my Option Requirements?

No. The courses in the two categories do not “double count.” In other words, you should treat them as completely independent requirements.

 

When should I take BA 420 and 421?

BA 420 is a 1 credit course labeled Internship Planning, and it is one of the prerequisites for BA 495. Therefore, it is advised that you take this course in the semester prior to your actual internship.

BA 421 is Project Management and should also be completed before your internship, since you will need the knowledge from this course to effectively manage your internship. It is not, however, an official prerequisite for BA 495.

 

When should I take BA 422W?

BA 422W is the capstone course in the Business degree program. Preferably, you should take this course in the last semester of your graduation. Also, please note that this course also counts toward your Writing Across the Curriculum (“W”) requirements, so you do not need to register for an additional W class.

 

When should I take BA 495?

For questions on BA 495, please consult with the FAQ section on Internships.

 

Options

How many credits do I need to complete for my Option – Management/Marketing, Accounting, etc.?

18 credits. All coursework under the Option Requirement should add up to 18 credits. Please remember that these courses will not double count toward your Major Requirements.

 

I am enrolled in the Management and Marketing Option. On my degree audit, under the Option Requirements, Subcategory 1 says take 0-6 credits in Business and Communications. What does this mean?

It means that the number of credits you can take in this subcategory may range between 0 and 6. You should read this subcategory in conjunction with subcategory 5, which says “Take 6-12 credits in 300/400-Level Management and Marketing Courses.”

In other words:

  • if you take 0 credits in Subcategory 1, then you must take 12 credits in Subcategory 5;
  • if you take 3 credits in Subcategory 1, then you must take 9 credits in Subcategory 5; or
  • if you take 6 credits in Subcategory 1 (which is the max in this subcategory), you must take 6 credits in Subcategory 5.

 

I am enrolled in the Management and Marketing Option. On my degree audit, under the Option Requirements, Subcategory 2 says “At Least 3 credits of 400-level courses required in at least one of the next 3 areas.” What does this mean?

This subcategory is not an independent requirement; rather, it instructs you on what to do in subcategories 3, 4, and 5, i.e., ensuring that you take at least 3 credits at the 400-level in those subcategories.

As a reminder, the courses you take for your Option will not double-count toward the Major Requirements category.

 

Internships & BA 495

When should I do my internship (BA 495)?

The objective of the internship is to give you an opportunity to apply knowledge that you have gained from the coursework to the real work place. Therefore, you should complete the internship after you have completed most of the courses in your option.

 

Where do I get preliminary information about the requirements and process of the internship?

The Career Development Office holds an internship planning workshop usually in the second week of the semester. The announcement is posted on the student listserv.

 

What is the difference between BA 495A and BA 495B?

BA 495A is a course on Business Internship. BA 495B is Undergraduate Research in Business. You must take one or the other. In most cases, BA 495B is reserved for non-traditional students who have already had significant professional experience and who may not necessarily benefit from doing an internship.

 

Can I take BA 495A AND BA 495B?

Generally, this will not be permitted.

 

Transfer Credits

I have transfer credits from another university. How can I petition these courses to count toward my degree at Penn State?

Additionally, you should consult with the Transfer Credit website, to assess your earned or planned transfer credits and whether you may receive credits for the work done at another institution.

For more information.

 

Graduation

When will I graduate?

You are in the best position to answer this question. Please review your degree audit carefully, write down every class that you still need to take (the ones that are showing up as minuses) and the associated number of credits for each class. Then, consider how many credits you wish to enroll in during each term, including summer sessions, in order to arrive at an accurate assessment of your expected graduation date.  

As you may know, the Business Program requires a minimum of 120 credits, at least 15 of which must be at the 400-level. Note, however, that while the bottom portion of your degree audit indicates the total number of credits “earned” and “needed” (to get to 120), there are times that this may not be an accurate indication of how many credits you actually need to graduate. In particular, if you have transfer or other credits that are showing as “Electives” and are not satisfying specific requirements for your degree (toward Major, Option, and General Education requirements, for instance), the credits must effectively be discounted in the calculation of the number of credits you actually need to meet your degree requirements.

 

I plan on graduating next semester. Should I complete any special paper work?

First, you should ensure that you have thoroughly reviewed your degree audit to make certain that you are on the right track and select the appropriate courses for your final semester.

Once you actually register for your courses, wait a few minutes and then retrieve an up-to-date copy of your degree audit, to make sure that the courses you have selected are satisfying your degree requirements (i.e., turning minuses into pluses, “NOs” into “OKs” or “IPs,” etc.).

Lastly, early in the semester that you will be graduating, make sure that you follow the deadlines that the Registrar will send you through e-mail, prompting you to “Declare your Intent to Graduate” on eLion by a specific date.