Frequently Asked Questions

Listed below are some of our more frequently asked questions. If you still have questions after looking through the list below, please email us at or call us at (814) 865-4178. We’d be happy to assist you!

What is Welcome Programs?

Welcome Programs is our portfolio of events to welcome new and returning students to University Park at the start of each semester. Welcome Programs is comprised of three separate programs: Spring Welcome, Summer Welcome, and Fall Welcome. You may hear students, faculty, and staff refer to these events in a number of ways (Welcome Programs, Welcome Week, Spring/Summer/Fall Welcome, etc.), but all of these terms refer to the events at the start of the semester.

The Welcome Programs planning committee is led by Student Orientation and Transition Programs (SOTP) and has representation from Residence Life, Office for Summer Session, Penn State Global, the Penn State Parents Program, Campus Recreation, Student Leadership and Involvement, and Student Affairs.

Who can go to these events?

Any current Penn State student studying at the University Park campus is able to attend. Whether you are a new or returning student, graduate or undergraduate student, first-year or transfer or change-of-campus student, domestic or international students—we want to see you there!

Can I bring guests to these events?

Only current students studying at Penn State University Park are able to take part in our events. We encourage you to bring friends from around campus, but they must be a current student at this campus.

Do I have to pay to attend any of these events?

No! We are committed to bringing you these experiences, free of charge. Welcome Programs is funded in part by your student-initiated fee via the University Park Student Fee Board, so part of your tuition bills help to cover these costs. Because of that, you’re encouraged to participate in as many events and activities as you’re able to.

When does Spring/Summer/Fall Welcome begin?

Our Welcome Programs typically begin with your arrival to campus a few days prior to the first day of class. Information regarding Spring Welcome 2024 can be found here:

More information will become available in the weeks leading up to our Welcome Programs:

  • Summer Welcome will become available in April 2024
  • Fall Welcome will become available in June 2024

Is it mandatory?

Most of our programming is optional, but new students are expected to attend a small number of programs that provide valuable academic and social information for life at University Park. Details regarding those programs will be shared as information is released. To make sure you don’t miss important information, don’t forget to check your Penn State email address in the weeks leading up to your first semester at University Park.

Where can I find a list of events?

More information will become available in the weeks leading up to our Welcome Programs, including a full list of events. A list of upcoming events for Spring Welcome 2024 can be found here:

Information for Summer Welcome will become available in April 2024, and information for Fall Welcome will become available in June 2024.

Do I need to RSVP to any of these events?

Yes and no. Some events may require prior registration while others may ask for an RSVP just so we can get an accurate headcount of how many students to expect. If an event requires prior registration or an RSVP, it will be clearly stated; if there is no mention of prior registration, then an RSVP is optional.

How can I get involved in the future?

As a new student, our only expectation is that you enjoy yourself for the time being. If you would like to help out with Welcome Programs in the future, please contact our office at There are both paid and volunteer opportunities for returning students, and we’d love to have you as part of the team!