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Review these Frequently Asked Questions


I want to be an HDFS minor. When and how do I declare the minor? icon-olus-circle

As soon as you know you’d like to minor in HDFS, go to “Update Academics” in LionPATH and add the HDFS minor. We send useful information to our minors at least once a semester, and you won’t get our updates unless you have declared the minor.

Will HDFS classes that I’m using in my Gen Eds count toward the HDFS minor? icon-olus-circle

Yes, if you have HDFS classes in your Gen Eds, they will double count in the HDFS minor. A great way to fit HDFS classes into your degree is to take some as Gen Eds. We have classes with various Gen Ed designations including GS, Interdomain, US Cultures, and even IL (HDFS 499).

How do I know what I need to take to complete my minor? icon-olus-circle

Once you have declared the HDFS minor, use the minor tracking provided on your Academic Requirements report (scroll to the bottom for information about your minor). It will slot HDFS classes into the different minor requirements as you take them and tell you how many credits you have left to complete in each category.

What counts as 400-level HDFS credit? icon-olus-circle

Anything with an HDFS designation and a 400-level course number counts. Beyond standard 400-level HDFS classes, consider earning 400-level HDFS credits by

  • working as a peer learning assistant (undergrad TA) for an HDFS professor (HDFS 497 credits),
  • working as part of an HDFS professor’s research lab for HDFS 496 credits, or
  • studying abroad in a program that offers HDFS 499 credits.
Do I need to take HDFS 312w? Information about pre-requisites. icon-olus-circle

Students minoring in HDFS are not expected to complete HDFS 312W, even though it is listed as a prerequisite for several 400-level HDFS courses. The department will waive the prerequisite to 400-level offers as long as you have met both of the following criteria:

  • You have completed at least six credits of HDFS coursework at any level.
  • You have completed any other listed prerequisite to the 400-level course.

To request a prequisite override to access a 400-level HDFS class, complete the prerequisite override request form found in LionPATH.

  • Log into LionPATH and find the "Request Prereq override" button in the enrollment area.
  • Fill out the form with the course you want to take.
    • In the justification, indicate that you are an HDFS minor. Include your GPA and whether you have taken the other prerequisites for the course.
  • Submit the form.
  • Within a week, you will receive an email telling you whether the request was approved or denied.
  • If it is approved, then add the course to your schedule in LionPATH.

Please note: Prerequisite overrides will be approved only for students who have the HDFS minor on their academic records in LionPATH. If you have not declared the minor, please use the "Update Academics" feature in LionPATH to add the HDFS minor, then submit the prerequisite override request.

Can I take HDFS 411? icon-olus-circle

Unfortunately, due to high demand for this course and limited seats, this course is restricted to HDFS majors only.

I’ve taken a class in another department that is similar to an HDFS class. Can I count this toward my HDFS minor? icon-olus-circle

Typically, no. Courses for the minor must have an HDFS designation.

Can I use cross-listed courses for my HDFS minor even if I scheduled for the class through the other department? icon-olus-circle

Yes. A few courses (e.g. CMAS/HDFS 258N, HDFS/SOC 440, PSYCH/HDFS 416, CMAS/HDFS 465) are cross-listed classes. Even if you scheduled the course using the non-HDFS code (e.g. you took CMAS 258N), we will count these courses toward the HDFS minor. If they are not slotting into the minor automatically in LionPATH, reach out to an HDFS adviser.

I love my HDFS minor and want to see if I can double major in HDFS or switch my major to HDFS. Who should I contact? icon-olus-circle

Please call the HDFS office at 814-863-8000 to schedule an appointment with an HDFS adviser. We’re happy to talk with you about your options and let you know how many additional classes you would need to add the HDFS major.

Have questions?
Learn more about the HDFS Minor on the Penn State University Bulletin or contact the HDFS advising office.