Skip to main content

Taking a Single RESS Course

Good news! It is possible to enroll in RESS classes without being admitted to one of our programs. To do that, you must first be admitted to Penn State as a non-degree graduate student using the procedures outlined below. The main prerequisite for taking RESS courses as a non-degree graduate student is a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution under residence and credit conditions substantially equivalent to those required by Penn State.

Steps to Register

1. 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 "Non-degree Admission - $30.00." You will then have the option to select "World Campus" as your campus. Finally, you will select the semester you want.
  • If you wish to register for a course and later apply the credits earned to a Graduate Certificate, choose "Certificate Admission - $65.00" instead of "Non-degree Admission." That will spare you from paying another application fee for the Certificate in the future.
  • Once you created your account, you can schedule your courses using LionPATH, Penn State's student system for registration, financial aid management, bill payment, and other tasks related to enrollment.
2. 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:

  • 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.
  • 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.

3. Find, Plan, and Enroll in Courses in LionPATH
  • Check Your Enrollment Appointment Date. The date on which you will first 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 the Student Center in LionPATH.

Note: 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.

  • In LionPath: use the Class Search to search for classes based on criteria such as term (semester), campus, subject, and more. View a tutorial about searching for classes.
  • Use your Shopping Cart to temporarily save a selection of classes you would like to enroll in. You can validate the classes in your shopping cart to make sure that you meet any and all requirements to enroll in those classes. On your Enrollment Appointment Date, you can enroll in the classes in your shopping cart. View a tutorial about using your shopping cart.
  • Join a class Wait List if you would like to enroll in a class that is currently full. Space may become available for you. View frequently asked questions about the Wait List.

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


Applying credits to a Certificate or Degree Program

A maximum of 15 credits taken in "non-degree graduate" status at Penn State will be allowed to count toward the RESS Master's degree program or Graduate Certificates. You should earn a grade of B or higher to be eligible for credit transfer.  

Have you already taken a class with us?

If you have taken Penn State graduate courses before, fill out a Resume Study Form instead of filling out a non-degree application. 

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 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.


If you have any questions on how to get started, please email us at You might also find the answer to your question on our Frequently Asked Questions about Completing Your Registration page.