Over a student's three-year enrollment in the Presidential Leadership Academy, the following are required:


Dean's Seminar

Completion of a three-credit honors course led by the Dean of the Schreyer Honors College during the second year.

President's Seminar

Completion of a two-credit honors introductory seminar led by the President of Penn State University during the second year.

Leadership Course

Completion of an additional three-credit course during the third or fourth year that emphasizes critical thinking. Qualifying courses will be identified from diverse disciplines across the University and approved by the Director of the Academy.


Completion of an honors course (401H) during the fourth year that culminates in an e-Portfolio of the student's PLA experiences and demonstrates critical thinking, analysis and decision making. This course will be led by the Dean of the Schreyer Honors College and is three credits.


Students will blog weekly during their time in the Academy. A calendar will be given out each year that indicates whether students will be writing a blog entry or commenting on another student's blog during a particular week. Students will utilize Sites@PSU and Canvas for their blogging platforms.

Field Trips

Participation in at least three field experiences, trips planned annually by the PLA, which will give students a broader perspective on social and political issues. Students must be in good standing in the Academy in order to participate in field experiences.


Students must earn a GPA of 3.0 each semester to remain in the Presidential Leadership Academy.

Sponsored Activities

Participation in lectures, events and activities sponsored by the Academy to address topical issues to enhance your experience will be expected of PLA students.