Get Started

We are honored that you are considering Penn State. We’ve assembled all of the information you need as a military-connected applicant to move quickly into the Penn State admissions process and to gain access to the educational benefits you earned while serving our nation. It is time to take on your next mission by joining Penn State!

01

Discover our programs and campuses

Determine what topics interest you and learn which Penn State campuses offer programs related to those topics. At this point, you can also decide if you want to learn on campus or earn your Penn State degree online. Use our Find Your Campus tool to help you find your way.

Get started with online learning
 

275+ undergraduate majors

300+ graduate programs

11,000+ courses

Choose Your Program

With Penn State’s breadth of offerings, you’re sure to find a Penn State major or program that fits your life and career goals. Many of our programs are offered at a variety of campuses, including University Park. Undergraduates in certain programs can complete two years of study at another Penn State campus and then transfer to University Park to finish their degree. Use the quick links on this page to learn more about specific programs, what kinds of courses you might take, and more information about the Penn State experience.

Choose Your Campus

Penn State offers campuses across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, so there's likely to be a campus near your community or close to where you would like to settle after military service. If you want to be close to family for support, a specific military base, a specific reserve/guard unit, or Veterans Affairs (VA) resources, chances are there is a Penn State campus within reach. This allows you to complete all or some of your degree close to where you want or need to be. Campus student bodies range from 500 students at our smallest campus to over 40,000 at our University Park campus. For graduate students, The Graduate School at Penn State is one of the largest in the nation, with nationally ranked programs and more than 14,000 graduate students enrolled at University Park; Penn State Erie, The Behrend College; Penn State Great Valley; Penn State Harrisburg; Penn State College of Medicine; and Penn State World Campus.

If your home isn’t in Pennsylvania, don’t worry ​— you can still be a Penn Stater! More than 150 programs are offered online through Penn State World Campus. Courses offered online are the same courses that are offered on campus. Therefore, your diploma will be the same and will not differentiate the method of delivery or state that your degree was earned online. There are pros and cons to consider with each campus, so research all of Penn State’s campuses. Use the Find Your Campus tool to see which campus best fits your needs as a military-connected student, and feel free to contact Veterans Services​ personnel at any campus to answer specific questions you might have related to being a military-connected student.

 
02

Earn credit for military service and previous course work

You may be able to earn Penn State credit for previous college work completed, educational experiences in the armed forces, DSST exams, and more.

Undergraduate Students

Programs and experiences outside of Penn State may count as credit toward completion of your Penn State program of study. Credit can be applied toward your program of study through traditional means such as transfer credit from other post-secondary institution course work, Advanced Placement (AP) examinations, and College-Level Exam Program (CLEP) examinations to name a few. In addition, as a student veteran or service member you may be eligible to earn Penn State credit for your military educational experiences and course work completed for your Military Occupational Specialty (MOS), Navy Enlisted Classification (NEC), Marine Corps Enlisted Rating (MCE), and Coast Guard Rating (CGR) as well as DANTES Subject Standardized Test (DSST) examinations. Penn State also accepts transfer credit from the Community College of the Air Force (CCAF). To learn more about earning and transferring credit, go to the Transferring Credits for Adult, Military & Veteran Students page on the Undergraduate Admissions website.

If you want to search for courses at other institutions and view Penn State’s evaluation of each course, explore using the Transfer Credit Tool. To search for courses based on your military experience or CCAF, once you access the Transfer Credit Tool do as follows:

All Military Services except Air Force
  1. Select “Search By Institution”
  2. Enter “Military Service Schools (DC): 100130656” under Institution
  3. Select “All Courses” under All Courses
  4. Select either “Show All” under Course or type the service specific course identifier for the course you are searching
Air Force
  1. Select “Search By Institution”
  2. Enter “Air University-Comm Col Of The Air Force (AL): 100130743” under Institution
  3. Select “All Courses” under All Courses
  4. Select either “Show All” under Course or type the service specific course identifier for the course you are searching

Graduate Students

Graduate school transfer credit policies and processes are different than the policies and processes for undergraduate students. Learn more about graduate school transfer credit policies on the Graduate School's GCAC-309 page.

03

Gather materials

You might need transcripts, an activities résumé, a personal statement, or other materials to apply, depending on your program and campus. Get information on the materials you need and other application details for undergraduate and graduate students.

 

Now that you are one step away from applying to Penn State, this would be a good time to learn about the application process and determine what documents you need to send to Penn State for admission and to gain credit for your military experiences. In order to be considered official, documents such as transcripts from schools, colleges, and universities and grade reports from examination services such as DSST must be sent directly from the originating/creating entity to Penn State. Below are some of the basic application materials required. To view admissions requirements for student veterans and service members, go to the Undergraduate Admissions website. Some degree programs may require additional application materials to complete your application.

Application for Admission
  • Official high school transcript and/or GED
  • Official transcripts from any post-secondary institution where course work was attempted
  • Official university or college transcript

Penn State does not require military transcripts as part of the application evaluation, but if accepted, applicants may receive Penn State credit for work reflected on these transcripts. For this reason, we highly recommend that you submit your military transcript for credit evaluation.

Credit for military experience

Graduate Students

Admission requirements and materials for graduate programs can be found by visiting the Requirements for Graduate Admission page.

 
04

Complete Your Penn State Application

You’re ready to apply to Penn State. Best of luck!

Undergraduate Student Application

As a service member or veteran, you are classified as an adult learner. Adult learners are not required to send Penn State official test scores (i.e., SAT or ACT scores) as part of the application process. As an adult learner you will also be classified as either a first-year applicant or a transfer applicant. You are a first-year applicant if you have not attempted or completed 18 or more credits at another college or university after high school graduation. For first-year adult learner applicants, the application review is largely based on the student's high school record. First-year applicants are expected to have met the minimum high school requirements to be eligible for enrollment.

You are a transfer applicant if you have attempted or completed 18 or more credits at another college or university after high school graduation. The application evaluation for transfer adult learners is based on the student’s post-secondary course work, in addition to the verification of the minimum high school requirements. In order to be eligible for admission as a transfer student, applicants need to meet the high school requirements, any GPA minimum for the program and/or campus, any specific application deadline (if applicable), and any other campus and/or program requirements. Some Penn State programs have specific academic course prerequisites that students need to meet to be eligible for their intended major. For detailed steps on how to apply to Penn State and our admission requirements, go to the Military & Veteran Student admissions page. To start your application now, go to MyPennState.

Helpful Tip!

When completing your Penn State undergraduate admission application, you will be given the opportunity to identify your military connection as either a service member or veteran. If you self-identify as a service member or veteran when completing your Penn State undergraduate admission application, your application fee will be automatically waived — free application!

Helpful Tip!

When completing your Penn State application, you will be given the opportunity to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FASFA) and the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) state-based financial aid form. Complete both of these financial aid forms even if you do not feel you will be eligible for aid, because more often than not, service members and veterans are eligible. Also, completing the FASFA makes you eligible to be considered for Penn State scholarship opportunities.

Graduate Student Application

Before applying to the Graduate School at Penn State, applicants are encouraged to review the Graduate Bulletin and contact the graduate program they are interested in applying to. Graduate programs set their own application deadlines and timeline for review. Throughout the application process, applicants will interact with both the graduate program and the Graduate School's Office of Graduate Enrollment Services (GES). All applications to the Graduate School at Penn State are reviewed by GES to verify academic credentials (transcripts, diplomas, and other educational documents), ensuring eligibility requirements established by the Graduate Council are met. To apply to the Graduate school create a Penn State account and complete the online application.

05

Apply for military-connected education benefits

Once you have applied to Penn State, been given an offer of admission, and accepted that offer, you ​can apply​ to use the educational benefits you have earned through military service to subsidize your educational expenses at Penn State.

 

Once you have been admitted to Penn State and complete the enrollment process, there are a few additional steps you must take to gain access to resources specifically for military-connected students and to any educational benefits that you earned through military service. One of the first items you will receive is the Military-Connected Student Activity Guide (SAG). This activity guide collects information about your military service and helps ensure that we are able to assist service members, veterans, and their dependents with access to all benefits and services available to them, including but not limited to, veteran/dependent specific programming and scholarships. You should automatically receive this guide through email after you accept your offer of admissions and start the enrollment process. If you do not receive the SAG, contact your campus Veterans Services or School Certifying Official (SCO).

To gain access to VA educational benefits (GI Bill ®, Voc Rehab, etc.), DoD Tuition Assistance, or any other benefit earned through military service, you need to verify your eligibility and then apply for the benefit through the providing entity (VA, military service branch, etc.). Once the providing entity has verified your benefit and approved its use, you need to apply to use the benefit at Penn State through your Penn State campus Veterans Services or School Certifying Official (SCO).

GI Bill® Benefits
  1. Apply for GI Bill® benefits with the VA
    1. Go to VA website to apply online
    2. (Reservist Only) to apply for Montgomery GI Bill® Selected Reserve benefits go to VA MGIB-SR website to apply online
    3. If deemed eligible, the VA will mail you a “Certificate of Eligibility” (COE), “Award Letter,” or “Notice of Basic Eligibility” (NOBE) detailing your VA educational benefits
  2. Apply to use GI Bill® benefits at Penn State
    1. Submit VA Certificate of Eligibility, VA Award Letter, or VA Notice of Basic Eligibility to your campus SCO, in person or via email
  3. Register for classes at Penn State
  4. Complete Penn State’s Certification Request Form (CRF)
  5. Submit your CRF to your campus SCO, in person or via email

NOTE: Steps 3 through 5 must be completed every semester to use GI Bill® benefits at Penn State. In addition, if there are changes in your enrollment status (add/drop, withdrawal, change of major, etc.) you must report these changes to your campus SCO as they may affect your VA education benefits.

DoD Tuition Assistance (TA)
  1. Gain commander’s/services approval to use TA.
    1. See your Unit/Base Education Office to initiate this process.
  2. Complete your TA request online through your service-specific voluntary education portal
    1. GoArmyEd portal, Air Force Virtual Education Center (AFVEC) portal, MyNavy Education portal, or WebTA portal
  3. Select Penn State as your academic institution (OPE-ID # 00332900)
  4. Ensure you identify the correct Penn State campus for your TA request
    1. World Campus use "Penn State University (World Campus)"
    2. All other campuses use "Penn State University (All but World Campus)"
  5. Submit your TA request to your service
    1. Your service will notify you when they have approved your request. If you have not received approval in a timely manner, call your Unit/Base Education Office to enquire about the TA request status
  6. Once your service approves your TA, send the approved TA authorization form to the appropriate Penn State Bursar Office:
    1. For World Campus, the Tuition Assistance Authorization form may be uploaded on the Third Party Payment page.
    2. All other campuses, the Tuition Assistance Authorization form may be mailed, faxed, or emailed to:
      Pennsylvania State University
      Office of the Bursar
      Student Financial Services
      Attn.: Military Funding
      109 Shields Building
      University Park, PA 16802

      Fax: (814) 865-6535
      Email: L-EXTERNALAWARDSTEAM@lists.psu.edu
      If you have questions, you may call the office at (814) 865-0463.
      The email provided is only for sending TA Authorization forms.

  7. NOTE: Steps 2 through 6 must be completed every semester to use TA benefits at Penn State. In addition, if there are changes in your enrollment status (drop or withdrawal) you must report these changes to the appropriate Bursar Office as they may affect your TA education benefits. See Tuition Assistance at Penn State for more detail.

 
06

Sign up for Penn State Veterans Programs and Services

You are eligible for programs and services specifically designed to enhance your Penn State experience as a military-connected student. Learn more about these programs and services and how to access them.

Military-connected programs and services vary by campus. Use the Find Your Campus tool to see what programs and services are available at your campus and where the closest military facility/unit and VA resources are located. A link to your campus’ Veterans Services webpage that contains campus-specific military/veteran information, programs, services, and processes will also be displayed in the Find Your Campus search results.

Priority Registration

After their initial semester at Penn State, service members and veterans are eligible for Priority Registration which will allow you to register for classes ahead of the rest of the student body. To apply for Priority Registration, go to the Priority Registration/Honor Cord webpage and follow the directions provided.

Veterans Announcements LISTSERV

Penn State University Park sends out announcements to the military and veteran community monthly via email LISTSERV. These announcements contain information on VA Education Benefits, Military Appreciation events, veteran programs & services, veteran professional development opportunities, and veteran internship and employment opportunities. Contact the Office of Veterans Programs at University Park, ovp@psu.edu, to be added to the LISTSERV.

Veterans First Year Seminar

All first-year students at Penn State have a first-year seminar requirement that must be completed. The Penn State College of Education in concert with the Office of Veterans Programs offers the 3-credit First Year Seminar entitled "Transition is the Mission" (EDUC 100) at University Park. The course is open to student veterans in any year of study (you are not required to be a first-year student to take the course). Among other topics, the course aims to help student veterans maximize their VA benefits, connect to campus and community resources, prepare for post-college employment, and adjust to life outside of the military. This class can be offered virtually at non-University Park campuses. If you have any questions or are interested in taking this course, please contact the Office of Veterans Programs at ovp@psu.edu.

Veterans Special Living Option (University Park Only)

A Veterans Special Living Option (SLO) is only offered at the University Park campus for first-year undergraduate students with veteran status who are enrolled in the EDUC 100 Veterans First-Year Seminar. The Special Living Option is offered in collaboration with the Office of Veterans Programs.

The First-Year Veterans SLO will give student veterans a space to transition to college with others sharing a similar experience, take a first-year seminar course with others they live with, and engage in a social community with non-traditionally aged college students. The First-Year Veterans SLO is located in White Course Apartments and offers 4-person/4-bedroom fully-furnished apartments. Each apartment features four private bedrooms, two bathrooms, shared kitchen and living room spaces, and a washer/dryer. These apartments are located on the west side of campus, which is easily accessible via the Red Link CATA bus line.

Visit the Penn State Housing Special Living Options page for more information.