Frequently Asked Questions

Are all summer students automatically registered for LEAP?

NO! LEAP is a choice each student makes by registering for a LEAP Pride. LEAP is a special program which creates a small-college atmosphere within the larger University by fostering a sense of community. Of the first-year students who will begin their studies at Penn State University Park this summer, more than half will participate in LEAP. In the past, well over 80% of LEAP students were glad they participated! The program is only for first year students who have already been offered fall or summer admission to Penn State University Park, and only takes place during the summer. Students admitted for fall must contact the Admissions Office to change to summer admission, changes must be made prior to May 1, 2017.

How does LEAP work?

Each student selects from one of a number of course combinations called Prides. A pride consists of two 3 or 4-credit classes with the same students in both. One is usually either basic composition or basic speaking, both required for all students. The other course is chosen from a wide selection. If the student was originally admitted for fall semester, their admission must be changed to summer semester. When they are in the computer system as a summer admission student who has paid their registration deposit, they can follow the directions on our registration instructions page.  Students admitted for fall who wish to change to participate in LEAP must change their admission by May 1st.

What are the benefits of LEAP?

There are many, including:

Small classes: each section is limited to 24 students, with a chance to really get to know the faculty.
Integrated courses: your writing or speeches in one class are based on the material you’re learning in the other class, and vice versa.
A mentor for each Pride: an upperclass mentor is there to show you the way, with study skills sessions, library and computer help, social activities, and tips about college life.
The LEAP residence area: we take over an entire dormitory area so that LEAP students live together with other LEAP students! There are no upperclass students, so you get to know a lot of people starting college at the same time as you.

What if there is no Pride for my major or the Pride for my major is filled?

Don’t worry! Remember, over the course of your education, almost a third of your coursework will be outside your major department. Try a skill-related Pride, like Speaking/Writing, which offers skills that any student will use in nearly all of their courses. Every student must take a set of General Education courses in the arts, humanities, social and behavioral sciences, communication, quantification, and natural sciences. This requirement is intended to broaden your education. All Prides offer at least one course which fulfills one of your General Education requirements. Look for a “[GN]” or “[GH]”, etc. after the course number on the Pride List, indicating a “General Natural Science,” or a “General Humanities.” These courses are appropriate for a student in almost any major. (Check with your advisor for specific requirements.)

Which students should choose LEAP?

LEAP is for any first-year student coming to University Park who wants a smooth transition into life at a big University! The program is only open to first-year students already admitted to Penn State for the summer or fall semester, and is only offered in the second summer session. Entrance to the program is first-come, first-served after admission to the University has been offered and accepted.

Can fall admission students attend LEAP? 

Yes, but they must contact the Admissions Office to change their admission to “summer”, this change must be made prior to May 1st to participate in LEAP. Contact Admissions through their web page at under “Email Us,” or call (814) 865-5471.

When can I register?

When you have paid your deposit and have become an “admitted” student, the computer system will be ready for your registration. Information on how to register over the web is available on this page under LEAP Registration.  Registration for LEAP  2017 will open on February 21, 2017 at 5:30pm

How does a student register for LEAP?

Follow the web registration instructions on our LEAP Registration page. If you are changing your registration from fall to summer, remember to complete two housing agreements on the web—one for fall and one for summer. That’s it!

How much does LEAP cost?

There is no extra charge for LEAP. A student’s total fees are based on the number of credits taken and the summer room and meal plan. See the PSU Tuition Page for tuition information. Information on housing and food costs can be found at the Housing Office Web Page. For the latest visit and

Should a student take any other courses in addition to the two courses in their Pride?

No. Six or seven credits is really enough for the six week semester. Summer classes meet every day, Monday through Friday, in 75 minute periods. That’s a full-time student course load for summer. Students will want time to make friends and learn their way around campus and the State College community.

What if a student doesn’t want LEAP? 

Students who choose not to participate in LEAP will select from the standard schedule of courses when they meet with their adviser during the New Student Orientation visit to campus —usually in May or June. See the LionPATH Class Search to search the courses offered in the summer.

How does a student select courses?

Students may review the list of LEAP courses under “LEAP Prides” on our web page, or in the LEAP brochure mailed to over 10,000 prospective students. Then when LEAP registration begins they will go on line following the directions in the web page under “Registration Instructions” and choose the pair of courses they’d like to take. If their first LEAP choice has filled, students may have to select an alternate choice. If a student doesn’t wish to enroll in any of the LEAP Prides, they will choose summer courses when they meet with their adviser on campus at the New Student Orientation. To review the choices available by course names visit LionPATH Class Search.

What is New Student Orientation (NSO)?

All first-year students attend New Student Orientation (NSO). Once students accept their offer of admission to Penn State and after March 1, Student Orientation & Transition Programs will send email information with instructions to complete the ALEKS Math Assessment. Once the ALEKS Math Assessment is complete, students will be able to make their reservation for NSO. During NSO students will meet other new Penn Staters, learn what it means to be a member of the Penn State community, and schedule their courses. First-year students who choose LEAP will already have their summer course schedule and will schedule fall courses during NSO. Non-LEAP students will select both summer and fall courses during NSO. For more information visit

Can I register for LEAP at NSO?

If you are admitted for summer and there is space available your NSO advisor can help you enroll in LEAP, keep in mind that enrolling in LEAP at NSO will mean that you will be housed in a building adjacent to the LEAP Program Buildings.  If you are interested in LEAP we encourage you to enroll prior to May 1.

Do local area residents have to live on campus?

If you choose to live at home, you must submit a written request for a freshman housing exemption to the Assignment Office before contracting for a room on the web. If you complete the web contract for a room, that is a legal contract making you responsible for room charges. For further information email or call the Assignment Office for Campus Residences at (814) 865-7501.

Can I bring a car

First-year students are allowed to bring automobiles for the summer. You should register the car as soon as possible after your arrival, but certainly by the time classes begin. The Parking Office in the basement of Eisenhower Parking Garage (behind Eisenhower Auditorium) will need a valid registration and driver’s license. See the Parking Office web page for more information at, or call 814.863.7021. Keep in mind first year students may not have a car on campus fr Fall and Spring semesters.

What is the deadline for LEAP registration?

The deadline to register for LEAP is May 1, 2017.  LEAP registration opens February 21, 2017 at 5:30pm.  Due to the popularity of some of our Prides, it is best to register for LEAP early to secure a place in your preferred Pride.

Do I need a camera to take the Photography and Writing Pride?

Students may bring their own digital cameras for PHOTO 100 if they so desire, but it is not required. Students who do not bring a digital camera may borrow one from Media Services as needed throughout the summer. Traditional film cameras will not be used for PHOTO 100.

Where will I stay?

LEAP Students are housed together in South Halls typically in Simmons, McElwain, and Beaver Halls. Students who register for the program after May 1 (as space allows) and students who request a roommate who is not enrolled in the LEAP program will be house in an adjacent residence hall.  Keep in mind that students admitted for Fall must change their admission to Summer prior to May 1st in order to participate in the LEAP program

Can I room with a student who’s not in LEAP?

LEAP housing areas are for LEAP students only. You may request a non-LEAP roommate, but you will not be assigned to live in a LEAP building.

Can I room with another LEAP student I know?

If you know someone who is also participating in LEAP you may request to live with that student.  Student roommate requests must be mutual, which means that student must also request to live with you. Requests submitted after the May 15th housing preferences deadline may not be honored, as space becomes more limited.  For more information go to the assignments office website (look up link) or you can email, or call 814-865-7501.

Can I keep a bicycle in my room? 

There are outside racks available for storage – you must provide your own lock and register your bike with the Parking Office. Bicycles may be stored in the residence hall with the permission of your roommate.

Can I live in my brother or sister’s apartment for the summer and attend LEAP?

University policy states that all first-year students are required to live on campus unless the student will be residing with a parent or legal guardian in their primary residence, is over 21 years of age, is married, or is a veteran. If you have a question about receiving an exemption, please contact the Assignment Office for Campus Residences directly at 814.865.7501.

Why do all LEAP classes seem to be full?

LEAP is a very popular program. Some of the prides fill within the first 24 hours of LEAP registration. If the pride you were hoping to enroll in is full, chances are there will be space in other prides. Keep in mind that you will have to complete general education coursework across a number of subject areas, not just classes in your intended major. Summer is a great time to complete some of these requirements and try out something new. All of the pride options are listed on our website at the LEAP Prides link. You can also see if there is space left in a LEAP course by searching for it in the LionPATH Class Search.

Can provisional students or students admitted to other Penn State Campuses register for LEAP?

The LEAP program is unique to University Park.  Provisional Students and students admitted to other Penn State campuses may not enroll in LEAP. Contact your campus to explore summer opportunities that they may offer

I’m participating in LEAP at University Park, when will I schedule my fall courses?

Students participating in the Learning Edge Academic Program (LEAP) will enroll in their summer courses when they commit to the LEAP program. Fall course scheduling will occur when you attend New Student Orientation in consultation with an academic adviser. After you complete your ALEKS Math Assessment, you’ll be able to make your reservation to attend NSO. If your LionPATH student center says that your enrollment appointment begins before your NSO program, that simply means that you are ready to schedule your courses during NSO. Please be sure to complete fall 2017 Pre-Registration Activity Guide prior to attending NSO so that you don’t encounter any delays. You can learn more about NSO here.