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First-Year Experience: Information for Incoming Students

For Your Health

All first-year students must electronically submit documentation of vaccinations for measles, mumps, and rubella. If you have questions regarding your Health History Form, or if you have any health-related inquiries or concerns, please contact Nurse Barbara Kugel, 724-773-3955, in the campus Health Center.

The Pennsylvania State University requires all incoming students to submit immunization and personal history information electronically through a secure website at www.sa.psu.edu/uhs. Here you'll find detailed requirement and exemption information.

PLEASE NOTE: These medical documents are REQUIRED. If you do NOT return them promptly to Penn State, you will NOT be allowed to register for classes.

The Top Ten Things First-Year Students Need to Know

  1. Penn State Beaver offers tutoring services provided by professionals as well as other students. Any current student is welcome to use the services of the Center for Academic Achievement (CAA), which is located in room 105, Ross Administration Building. If you have questions about the CAA, please contact Ms. Jill Tress, learning center and disabilities services coordinator, 724-773-3867.
  2. "Common Hour" is the time set aside for club meetings, campus meetings and, occasionally, special events, all of which are held on campus. There are no regularly scheduled classes held during this time.
  3. Computer labs are open to any Penn State student with an id+. Students can access their email and essential software packages as well as print information and documents.
  4. You should consider waiting to buy textbooks until your first class is over because your professor or instructor might decide to make last-minute changes in the book(s) you will need.
  5. Time management is critical. For example, at Penn State, you might only be in class 15 hours per week. However, unlike high school faculty, college faculty expect each student to spend a minimum of three hours studying and working on every course for each hour spent in class.
  6. You need to make friends with people in your classes. If you don't, your college experience might be a lonely one.
  7. The relationships between faculty and students are very different from those in high school. Faculty members expect you to come to them with problems, questions, and requests for extra help. You must be proactive to ensure your academic success! Don't wait for someone to come to you! If you're experiencing difficulty or having a problem with a class, go to your professor or instructor immediately and let him/her know you need help.
  8. A syllabus for each class is provided by the faculty member. Read it! Ask questions in order to understand the faculty member's assignments and policies. Your syllabus contains critical dates for exams and other important issues. If you know in advance that you'll have a schedule conflict with a class or exam, be sure to see your professor or instructor before you miss the class or exam!
  9. Sophomores, juniors, and seniors can be great mentors as well as sources of information for new students. Consider joining some clubs or organizations and try to meet as many upper-classmen as possible.
  10. A student who is performing poorly in a course cannot drop the course simply by not showing up! Students must go through an official University withdrawal or Late Drop procedure to avoid receiving an "F" in the course.

Policies and Rules

All Penn State students are expected to abide by local, state, and federal laws as well as all Penn State policies and rules governing conduct of individuals and student organizations. Information is provided annually in Policies and Rules For Students, which contains the University Code of Conduct, disciplinary procedures, and other policies relating to student activities.

All students should review the current Policies and Rules for Students. All students are responsible for the information contained in the Student Guide to General University Policies and Rules. An excuse of "I didn't know that" won't work!

Statement Concerning the Release of Information from Student Records and University Policy on Sexual Harassment

Refer to the Student Guide to General University Policies and Rules for the complete text of the University's policy on confidentiality of student records and the statement of policy concerning sexual harassment. If you have questions, concerns, or are confused about sexual harassment, or if you experience sexual harassment, please contact Interim Chancellor Donna Kuga, 724-773-3553, as quickly as possible.


Smoking of any material or substance by University members, including students, faculty, staff, and visitors, is prohibited in all University facilities at all Penn State locations.  When smoking outdoors, you must be a minimum of 30ft from any building entrance.  Receptacles are placed on campus to properly dispose of cigarettes.

Alcoholic Beverages

Possession or use of alcoholic beverages on University property or at University-sponsored activities is prohibited for all students, including those who are 21 years of age or older. Students under the influence of alcohol are not permitted on campus.

Use of Gym and Gary B. Keefer Wellness Center Facilities

Use of the campus gym and the Gary B. Keefer Wellness Center is restricted to Penn State Beaver and University students, faculty, staff, and alumni. Please note that classes, intramural, and varsity sports always take precedence over any other activities that might occur in the gym. Hours are subject to change but can be confirmed by visiting www.beaver.psu.edu/athletics or by contacting Mr. Andy Kirschner, athletic director, 724-773-3826, or Ms. B.J. Bertges, assistant athletic director, 724-773-3845.


Every Penn State student should be covered by some type of insurance. The following are coverage options:

  1. A student can be insured under his/her parent's or guardian's policy.
  2. A student can carry his/her own policy covering accidents and sickness.
  3. A student can apply for the Penn State Student Accident and Sickness Insurance Plan.

    This is available to undergraduate and graduate students:

    • who have no health insurance coverage
    • who need supplemental insurance because their current plan does not provide adequate coverage while they are at Penn State
    • who are international students and must comply with Penn State's Mandatory Health Insurance Requirement.

Student Conduct

Penn State Beaver administration and faculty are proud of the fact that throughout its long history, the Beaver campus student body has always exhibited outstanding conduct and behavior. This is a record all students are expected to respect and uphold.

Members of the University community are accountable to several different authorities, each with its own interests, obligations, regulations, sanctions, and processes for enforcement and adjudication. Furthermore, all members of the University community, i.e. full and part-time students, faculty, and staff, have an obligation to fulfill the responsibilities incumbent upon all citizens as well as the responsibilities of their particular roles within the academic community.

Therefore, the University has established a Code of Conduct related to its educational mission. All members of the University community share the obligation to abide by this Code of Conduct which describes behaviors that are inconsistent with the essential values of the University community.

Intentionally attempting or assisting in these behaviors may be considered as serious as actually engaging in these behaviors. A person commits a violation when, with intent to commit a specific violation of the Code of Conduct, he/she performs any act that constitutes a substantial step toward the commission of that violation. Many Code of Conduct items are supported by University Policy Statements. For more information, please visit http://www.sa.psu.edu/ja/.

Campus Environment

Penn State Beaver faculty, staff, and students take great pride in the campus environment. In order for everyone to appreciate a clean environment, we count on your individual contributions, which are as simple as clearing your table in the Brodhead Bistro, depositing garbage in the proper campus receptacles, and recycling paper, glass and plastic bottles, cans, etc. whenever possible. Take "Penn State Pride" in your campus!

Computer and Software Misuse

Access to and use of computer facilities, electronically stored data, and software shall comply with federal law, the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and the rules and regulations of the University. Misuse of computers, computer facilities, and software are violations of law and may be charged as such. A member of the Penn State community may also be subject to University regulations if he/she:

  1. Intentionally and without authorization accesses, alters, interferes with the operation of, damages, or destroys all or part of any computer system, computer network, computer software, computer program, and/or computer database.
  2. Intentionally or knowingly and without authorization gives or publishes a password, identifying code, personal identification number (PIN), or other confidential information about a computer, computer system, computer network, or database.

University regulations apply to all University computers and computer equipment, computerized data, and all data owned or held through agreement by the University. These regulations may also apply to computer equipment and data belonging to or held by agreement by members of the University community or others when violations are deemed to have a substantial adverse effect upon the University community or upon individual members of the University community.

Penn State Beaver's computer labs are for classes and general student use, but they are not open to the public. For more information, please visit computer lab hours, or contact Mr. Ted Froats, director of information technology, 724-773-3566.

Laptop Borrowing Program

The University does not provide students with computers. However, wireless Internet-ready laptop computers are available from the the library for short-term loan to students. Loans require a $10 refundable deposit which is returned to the student if/when the laptop is returned undamaged and on time. To make arrangements to borrow a computer, students should visit the library's front desk. Computers are provided through the Student Computer Fee Fund and can be used only by University students. If you have questions or need more information regarding borrowing a laptop, please contact Ms. Amy Deuink, associate librarian, 724-773-3791.

Student Lockers

Student lockers are available for student use only. Students must provide their own locks. To obtain a locker or information about a locker, please contact Mrs. Denise Turyan, staff assistant, Office of Student Affairs, 724-773-3951. Mrs. Turyan will provide you with the paperwork needed to request a locker. Lockers are located in the upper level of the Student Union Building near the television lounge area.

Parking Privileges

All students, faculty, and staff must register their vehicles. During the first full week of classes, all vehicle registration must be completed through the Office of Finance and Business, 724-773-3502 or 724-773-3546. Please bring your vehicle owner's card, student id+, and your driver's license when registering your vehicle. Penn State Beaver can provide all students with a parking space, but students should park only in the student parking areas which are clearly designated by white lines.


Important Contacts

As a new member of the Beaver campus community, you might have questions or concerns. Please understand that our staff is here to help you in any way. Below you'll find a list of staff members whom you may contact at any time. Simply call or email us or stop by our offices; we're here to help you!

Registrar's Office

Gloria Deschler, Registrar, 724-773-3786
Jennie Ward, Staff Assistant, 724-773-3789

Division of Undergraduate Studies (DUS)

Gretchen Samchuck, Coordinator, Division of Undergraduate Studies, 724-773-3677
Jennie Ward, Staff Assistant, 724-773-3789

Financial Aid

Gail Gray, Student Aid and Veterans Coordinator, 724-773-3803
Debbie Hormel, Staff Assistant, Admissions Office, 724-773-3801

Housing and Food Services

Jeremy Lindner, Director of Housing and Food Services, 724-773-3775
Kelly Marcello, Manager of Housing and Food Services, 724-773-3776
Trish McDermott, Staff Assistant, 724-773-3778

Finance Office

Beth Hewitt, Assistant Financial Officer, 724-773-3596
Diane Hunt, Staff Assistant, 724-773-3519

If you need more help, have questions, or don't know where to turn, please contact the Admissions Office, 724-773-3801.