Degree Worksheets

2 minute read

Path@Penn worksheets have a variety of known issues, see below

What is a degree worksheet?

CSCI worksheet A degree worksheet is a degree requirements checklist that is available in Path@Penn, in the Degree Audit section. There is a separate worksheet for each degree, second major, or minor, and each worksheet lists the specific requirements for that degree or minor. You can see a concrete example (listing the first part of the CSCI degree) on the right.

There are several things that a worksheet can do for you:

  • It helps you plan the courses you need to take. For instance, you can see how much progress you have made, which requirements you have yet to fulfill, etc.
  • It can help you keep track of approvals and exceptions. For instance, certain courses (e.g., NETS Technical Electives) must be approved by the program director, and that approval will be reflected on the worksheet by showing the course with a green check mark icon (more about the colors and symbols below.)
  • While the ability for students to manually assign courses to different requirements is not yet implemented in Path, it be available in the future. This will help you figure out whether a course can satisfy a given requirement or not.
  • During your senior year, the worksheet will be checked by the department to see whether you are ready to graduate.

Creating a worksheet

Path’s Degree Audit section shows only worksheets for your currently-declared majors. However, under the Explore Programs section you can view worksheets for other majors/degrees and see how your existing coursework maps to their requirements.

Current issues with Path worksheets

last updated 16 September 2022

There are a variety of small issues with the current versions of the degree worksheets in Path. Sometimes a course that satisfies a requirement is missing from the worksheet, or a course that doesn’t satisfy the requirement is listed on the worksheet incorrectly. Some students who should have a 40 CU worksheet have a 37 CU worksheet instead. Technical Electives in particular are not yet encoded very well across the board. Path worksheets also employ an auto-assignment of courses to degree requirements, which is sometimes not particularly intelligent (e.g., it will put a course into a Free Elective slot when it could count elsewhere); and there is no way for students to rearrange courses to different slots. Advising staff can rearrange courses, but the process is quite painstaking and is undone if the worksheet is updated (e.g., to fix errors).

While the Path worksheets are mostly correct, small issues are a big deal when graduation is at stake. The end result is that Path worksheets are not yet very useful. However, they are the official documentation of a student’s degree and are being used to certify graduation. The advising team and registrar are aware of many issues and are working to fix them, focusing on the 40CU worksheets so that seniors can graduate.

Advising staff can rearrange courses on a worksheet, and are doing so to allow students to be approved for graduation. Since this is a slow process, we are focusing on doing this just for seniors currently.

Definitive degree requirements

The registrar has the definitive list of degree requirements. We recommend working from these requirements for the time being until Path worksheets are more accurate.