LEAP Program

The Learning Edge Academic Program (LEAP) is for incoming first-year students accepted to the University Park campus. The program, which runs during Summer Session II, combines small, cohort-based courses with out-of-class programming and peer-mentoring to help students successfully transition to Penn State.

Each student enrolls in two linked courses that make up a LEAP Pride and each pride is assigned an upper-class mentor who plans programming and helps support LEAP students throughout the summer program.


  • Small, linked classes that help you get to know faculty members
  • Peer mentoring
  • LEAP housing
  • Out-of-class programming


LEAP Pride: The two courses you enroll in are linked together to form a LEAP Pride. Each student selects one LEAP Pride by enrolling in the two classes that are listed for the pride. Each pride will have no more than 24 students.

LEAP Mentor: A LEAP Mentor is an upper-class student who serves as the mentor to a LEAP Pride. The mentor plans social and academic programming for their pride throughout the summer. This programming includes activities to help the students get to know each other, learn about campus resources, and the State College community. Mentors also plan study sessions and other academic activities for their LEAP Pride.

General Education: Most LEAP courses help students fulfill General Education requirements. General Education courses comprise approximately one-third of the courses students will take for their Penn State degree. For more information about the General Education curriculum visit the Office for General Education website.


There is no additional cost for LEAP. Enrolled students pay the same tuition, fees, and room and board costs as any other summer student.

The LEAP program was a bridge that helped me easily transition from high school into college without feeling so overwhelmed.