School Advising FAQs

Common Questions Across All EECS Majors

Where can I submit a course substitution petition?

Petitions can be submitted using the University's Course Substitutions and Transfer Reviews system. For Entrance to Major (ETM) requirements, you must submit petitions prior to requesting entrance to a major.

How do I submit a Faculty Senate petition?

CSE: Please submit your Faculty Senate petition letter and all supporting documentation to Kellie Scofield at

EE: Please submit your Faculty Senate petition letter and all supporting documentation to Gabriele Rhineheart at

For more information about what to include in a faculty senate petition, visit

What do I do if I haven't taken a first-year seminar course?

Please file a petition to have one credit of an unused course, replace the missing credit. This credit must be something that can count as a department list (DL) credit (CMPSC/CMPEN/DTSCE) or related elective credit (EE).

What do I do if I have credit from an AP Computer Science A exam?

These credits may be petitioned to substitute for CMPSC 131. Submit a petition prior to attempting to enter your major. Credit from AP Computer Science Principles may not be counted towards a COMPSC/CMPEN/DTSCE/EE degree requirement.

What counts for department list (CMPSC/CMPEN/DTSCE), relative elective (EE), and supporting course (CMPSC) credits?

Information for department list/related elective/supporting course credits can be found in the handbook for each major. 

How long will it take to hear back about my petition?

Petitions are typically reviewed within one week of submission and will either be approved or denied. If approved, your degree audit will eventually be updated (this could take several weeks). Do not contact us if your petition has been approved, yet not implemented.

Faculty Senate petitions can take over a month to go through the necessary levels of review. Contact the Faculty Senate office at 814-863-1203 to check on the status of Faculty Senate petitions. 

Can I take a course if I have not yet satisfied the prerequisites?

Prerequisites for our courses are strictly enforced. If you expect to have a satisfied prerequisite via a course substitution, you should submit a prerequisite override request (see instructions below). 

How can I request a prerequisite override?

The prerequisite override request form can be found in the enrollment section of LionPATH student home base. There you can locate step-by-step instructions on how to complete the form. Students are encouraged to consult with their assigned advisor before submitting a prerequisite override request.

How do I register for a course I want to take next semester, but I haven't completed the prerequisite yet because I am taking it over the summer or transferring the course from another college?

Request a prerequisite override (see instructions above).

How do I register for a course when I am receiving an error that says I have exceeded the number of permitted attempts?

How can I request a third attempt at a course?

You must complete this form. Please note that the deadline to complete this form is prior to the start of classes.

How can I get into a full CMPEN/CMPSC/DTSCE/EE class?

We unfortunately do not do overrides. You will need to place yourself on the waitlist. You can also check if there are other sections that have open seats.

How can I request grade forgiveness?

You can access the Grade Forgiveness Request form online in LionPATH by choosing Grade Forgiveness under Academic Records. Before submitting a request for grade forgiveness, please read the H-2 Undergraduate Grade Forgiveness procedure, which includes the complete policy and procedure regarding grade forgiveness. Students should consult with their academic adviser before submitting a Grade Forgiveness Request form.

How can I tell whether I need a C or higher in a specific course?

The PDF version of your degree audit has a label on each section that is C-required. For sections without that label, a D or above is needed.

I want to register for internship credits, how do I do that?

Learn more on the Career Resources and Employer Relations website

I'm an international student and I have questions regarding my VISA, I-20, reduced course load request, OPT, and CPT.

Please contact the ISSA Office.

Can I use STAT 480, 481, 482, or 483 toward my degree requirements?

No, these are introductory programming courses and may not be used.

Can I late add a CMPSC/CMPEN/DTSCE/EE class?

No, students must add a class during the regular add period which typically ends on the Sunday after the first week of classes. Even if seats later become available due to students dropping the class, you may not add it. The waiting list is deleted after the regular add period, so we cannot fairly add students after this time.

What are the options for statistics classes for my major?

Computer science majors can take MATH/STAT 318, MATH/STAT 319, MATH/STAT 414, MATH/STAT 415, MATH/STAT 418. Computer engineering majors must take either EE 465 or MATH/STAT 418. Data science majors must take MATH/STAT 414 & 415. Electrical engineering majors must take one of EE 465, MATH/STAT 414, MATH/STAT 418, STAT 401, or IE 424. 

How can I have a course evaluated to count as a general education domain course?

Submit a petition, including a syllabus for the course and a detailed explanation justifying why you think this course fulfills the University's expectation of a general education domain course as described in the Undergraduate Bulletin. You must specifically address the outcomes listed for the domain.

Major-specific Common Questions 

Computer Science

What do I do if I completed level four of a foreign language in high school?

Submit a course substitution petition to waive the foreign language proficiency requirement in the computer science degree. 

Can I take a test for my foreign language requirement for computer science?

Yes, instructions on how to complete this can be found in the computer science handbook. You will need to contact the appropriate language department for a proficiency test. 

What are the 12 categories for supporting courses on the computer science degree audit?

LionPATH recognizes 12 distinct categories based on course abbreviation (e.g. MATH, IST, ECON, etc...) Do not be concerned with which category is used. 

Can I take any two non-CSE 400-level courses to satisfy the supporting course requirement for the computer science major?

Please see the computer science handbook for suggested areas. You must submit a petition for your supporting courses. 

Since the supporting courses are 400-level courses, do I need to satisfy prerequisites to get into the ones I want to take?

Yes, you should contact the department offering the courses to determine if any exceptions can be made. You should plan ahead to ensure that you can take the supporting courses.

Computer Science and Computer Engineering

Do my required 400-level CMPSC/CMPEN courses count towards fulfilling my 400-level CMPSC/CMPEN electives?

No, for the computer science degree you must complete 3 400-level CMPSC/CMPEN electives. These are in addition to the prescribed 400-level courses (CMPSC 461, 464, 465, 473). This is similar for the computer engineering degree.

Computer Engineering

If I am double-majoring in electrical engineering, should I still take EE 353?

No, instead of taking EE 353, take EE 350 (required for the EE degree) and EE 351 (elective for the EE degree). 

Electrical Engineering

Can I use CMPSC 200 or CMPSC 201 in lieu of CMPSC 121/131?

If you took CMPSC 201 and earned an A or an A-, you can file a course substitution petition to use it instead of CMPSC 121/131. You will also need to submit a pre-requisite waiver request in order to take CMPSC 132. 

If you earned less than A- in CMPSC 201, you must take CMPSC 121/131. The CMPSC 201 credit cannot be used to meet any degree requirements in this case. 

CMPSC 200 credit cannot be used to substitute for CMPSC 121/131 and cannot be used to meet any degree requirements. 

If I earned a D in EE 210, can I take any of the follow-up EE courses (310/330/340/350)?

You can fill out a prerequisite override form to take EE 330 or EE 340 with a D in EE 210. You cannot take EE 310 or EE 350 with a D in EE 210, however, you will have to retake EE 210 first.  



The School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science was created in the spring of 2015 to allow greater access to courses offered by both departments for undergraduate and graduate students in exciting collaborative research fields.

We offer B.S. degrees in electrical engineering, computer science, computer engineering and data science and graduate degrees (master's degrees and Ph.D.'s) in electrical engineering and computer science and engineering. EECS focuses on the convergence of technologies and disciplines to meet today’s industrial demands.

School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

The Pennsylvania State University

207 Electrical Engineering West

University Park, PA 16802


Department of Computer Science and Engineering


Department of Electrical Engineering