Surveying Advising

Surveying Advising

Some of the most commonly referenced applicable policies and procedures are briefly described below. Please check the appropriate University manuals for more information. Baccalaureate students can also check the College of Engineering Undergraduate Programs Guide (year of entrance to major) for more information.

High School Requirements

High school math requirements are two years of algebra, a course in trigonometry, and a course in plane geometry. Three years of science, as well as courses in English, arts, and humanities, are also required.


Each student is assigned a faculty adviser in the program. Please refer to eLion for your assigned adviser.  While advisers are one of the most personal links you have with the University, please consider that:

  • Faculty members typically have 15 or more advisees, teaching responsibilities, scholarship and research responsibilities, and service responsibilities. When you have questions or need advice, take the initiative to see your adviser. Be prepared with questions and materials to make the most of your time and your adviser's time. You can access your degree audit from the eLion web site.

  • Because of the many duties of each faculty member, it is almost impossible for them to monitor closely the academic progress of each advisee. It is each student's responsibility to ensure that all graduation requirements are met. However in the first week of your last semester at Penn State, please see the program chair with your degree audit to ensure that all graduation requirements have been met since this is the only time you can modify and add courses to your schedule.

  • As a last resort if you cannot meet with your adviser, make an appointment with the Advising Center in the Murphy Center to meet with one of our campus' professional advisers.

Degree Audits

Degree audits are used to track progress toward completion of degree requirements. The audit indicates program and graduation requirements that have been completed to date, as well as unfulfilled requirements. The Surveying Engineering program uses the degree audit to certify students for graduation.

You can review a copy of your degree audit on the elion web site.

Sixth Semester Audits

You are encouraged to review your degree audit with your faculty adviser during your 6th semester to make sure you are making steady progress toward completing your degree. You should check with your adviser to identify the status of any petitions filed, anticipate any petitions that may need to be filed, and determine scheduling patterns for courses that are only offered during one semester, or those that require prerequisites.


You may request exceptions to published degree requirements by filing an academic petition. The upper portion of a printable version of the College Of Engineering/SEDTAPP petition should be completed and brought to your adviser for review and discussion. The petition should contain a clear and precise statement of what type of exception you are requesting, a reasonable justification (I took the wrong course because my friends were in it is not appropriate), and include any supporting documentation. The petitions must be approved by your adviser, the program chair, and the head of SETAPP.

To the greatest extent possible petitions should be filed before the relevant course or other action is taken. Some petitions only require program approval; the Dean or the University Faculty Senate must approve others. Therefore, a petition can take anywhere from a few weeks to a several weeks before a final decision is made.

To avoid any last minute changes in graduation plans, petitions should be submitted prior to the semester before you activate your "intent to graduate." Petitions submitted the semester in which you plan to graduate may not be reviewed or may be denied.

There are many reasons to file a petition. Perhaps you took a very similar course when you were in another major. Or, perhaps you have transfer or AP credits that were brought into Penn State as general credits but are very similar to a course or requirement at Penn State. Discuss any possible petitions with your adviser if you are unsure.

Policy 83-80

University Faculty Senate Policy 83-80 Limitations on Source and Time for Credit Acquisition requires that:

  1. Every candidate for a degree shall earn at least 36 of the last 60 credits required for a baccalaureate degree and at least 18 of the last 30 credits required for an associate degree in courses offered by the University or in cooperative degree programs that have been established by formal agreement and approved by the University Faculty Senate.
  2. A candidate for a first baccalaureate degree shall earn the last 60 credits required for that degree with a total elapsed time of five calendar years, but an extension of time shall be granted for intervening military service.

Simultaneous Degrees and Multiple Majors

Students must meet entry requirements for each major. University, college, and major requirements are in effect at the time of entry to each degree program must be met.

Simultaneous degrees (Policy 62-60) combine no more than two degrees. A candidate for simultaneous baccalaureate degrees must earn at least 30 credits more than the number of credits required for the degree with the lower total credit requirement. Students receive a diploma for each degree.

Multiple majors (Policy 60-40) combine two or more majors leading to the same degree. There is no minimum credit requirement. It may be possible for a student to complete a multiple major with the number of credits required for the degree with the greatest total requirement. Students  received a separate diploma for each major for which the requirements have been completed. The final academic record indicates the completion of the requirements for each major.

Business Minor

Get value added to your Surveying Engineering degree by obtaining a minor in Business. Many of our employers suggest that our B.S. students consider getting more courses in business management. The B.S. program allows students to use up to nine (9) credits in technical electives towards the Business minor. With additional courses, you can easily obtain this minor and strengthen your position in a company.

Develop an academic plan in consultation with your adviser. To declare the intent to get a minor, complete the Entrance to Minor form and take it to the registrar.

A possible list of courses for the minor include:

  1. Required courses: ACCTG 211, ECON 002 GS, MGMT 301, MKTG 301
  2. STAT 401 substituted for MS & IS 200
  3. SUR 465 and SUR 471

All of these courses can be used in the major.

Learn more about the Business minor.

Auditing and Visiting Courses

Student must obtain written permission from the course instructor before formally scheduling a course for audit.

To schedule an audit, students must process a registration/add/drop form or call the Registrars office at 570-675-9192, prior to the semester/session or during the regular add/drop period. Students are cautioned that, as an auditor, they may be required to participate fully in the class. Courses required for graduation cannot be audited.

To visit a course, the student must obtain prior approval form the course instructor. Students receive no credit for visiting a course, and no record appears on their transcript.

Independent Studies/Special Topics Courses

Independent Studies and Special Topics courses are creative projects, including research and design, which are supervised on an individual basis and which fall outside the normal scope of formal courses. In certain cases, if the subject of the independent study or special topics is known far enough in advance, a specific title may be used. The specific title would appear on your transcript instead of the generic Independent Studies or Special Topics notation.

If you would like to register for an independent study or special topics course, you need to obtain the written approval of a faculty member in the program before registering.

Transfer Credits

You may request to use transfer credits to satisfy degree requirements by using the petition process, or by verifying that the course will transfer directly into an appropriate Penn State course. You can use Penn State's Transfer Course Evaluation Guide to determine transferability of  courses from other institutions. If you would like to take courses at another institution, you should talk to your adviser before you take the course. Transfer credits from another institution will not appear on your record until an official transcript from the other institution is received by the Penn State Admissions Office. For this reason, it is unwise to transfer credits from another institution your last semester since this will delay your graduation for another semester.