Taking a Single RESS Course

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You can do it! You can take a single RESS course to tread waters before committing to the whole Program. And it will counts towards your degree! 

It is possible to enroll in RESS classes without being admitted to one of our programs. You will first need to register with the Penn State University as a non-degree graduate student using the steps shown below. To be admitted as a non-degree graduate student and take RESS courses, you must have earned a Baccalaureate Degree from an accredited institution under residence and credit conditions substantially equivalent to those required by Penn State.

If after taking the single course you decide to obtain a Graduate Certificate or apply for the MPS degree, your earned credits will count towards it. You can transfer a maximum of 15 credits taken in "non-degree graduate" status to your MPS-RESS degree program!

This is a great way to check if this Program is for you and check your abilities to succede in our graduate-level courses. 

Registering for the first time

If you've already taken classes with us, see "Have you already taken a class with us?" below.

Complete the Graduate School On-Line Application - .

  • If you wish to register for a course and do not plan to apply to a RESS program at this time, select "Nondegree Admission - $30.00." You will then have the option to select "World Campus" as your campus. Finally, you will select the semester you want on the form.
  • NOTE: If you plan to eventually pursue one of our graduate certificates, choose "Certificate Admission - $65.00" instead of "Nondegree Admission." Otherwise you will have to apply to the chosen certificate at a later date and pay an additional fee of $65 on top of the $30 Nondegree Admission fee.
  • Students can schedule courses using LionPATH, Penn State's student system for registration, financial aid management, bill payment, personal information updates, and other tasks related to enrollment.

Complete Required Actions in LionPATH

After you are admitted as a Penn State World Campus student, you will receive a Penn State Access Account. You will use this Access Account to log in to LionPATH. You must complete several required actions in LionPATH before you can enroll in courses:

  1. Accept the Consent to Conduct University Business Electronically. This confirms that you agree to communicate and conduct transactions with the University electronically. You will be prompted to accept this agreement the first time you log in to LionPATH, and then once each year while you are a student.
  2. Complete the Pre-Registration Activity Guide. This will include updating your personal and emergency contact information, and accepting the Student Financial Responsibility Agreement. This agreement confirms that you accept financial responsibility for payment of your tuition and fees. You will need to accept this agreement each semester.

You will receive an "Activity Guide" email to your Penn State email account when you have access to complete these steps in LionPATH. You will not be able to enroll in courses until these steps are completed.

Have you already taken a class with us?

If you have taken classes with us before, but took one or more semesters off (spring or fall), you will need to fill out a Resume Study Form.

Be advised that Resume Study may be denied if you were not able to maintain your graduate GPA at the good level.  

Check Your Enrollment Appointment Date

The first date that you will have access to enroll in courses for a specific semester is known as your Enrollment Appointment Date in LionPATH. You can find your Enrollment Appointment Date in your Student Center in LionPATH.

Your Enrollment Appointment Date is based on whether you are in a degree program and the total credits you have earned to date. Note that veteran students are eligible for priority (early) registration.

Find, Plan, and Enroll in Courses in LionPATH

Using LionPATH, you can search for courses, plan the courses you want to enroll in, and enroll in courses on your Enrollment Appointment Date.

Additional information about enrolling in courses and using the LionPATH tools is available from the LionPATH help center.


If you have any questions on need help to get started, please email us at info@ress.psu.edu. You might also find the answer to your question on our "Frequently Asked Questions about Completing Your Registration" page.

International Students

International applicants whose first language is not English or who have not received a baccalaureate or master's degree from an institution in which the language of instruction is English must submit a TOEFL score with their Graduate School application materials. The Graduate School recommends that a minimum overall total score of 80 points (out of 120) on the new test, with a minimum of 23 points (out of 30) on the new speaking portion, should be required for new students.