two female engineering students studying in the library

Pre-First Year in Science and Engineering (PreF)

The Pre-First Year in Engineering and Science Program (PreF) is an academic summer bridge program designed for first year students in an engineering or science-based major. PreF also includes structured social and cultural events that invite students to build relationships with each other and relate in-class activities to out-of-class experiences. The overall objective is to maximize the retention of first year students in engineering and science majors at Penn State. We guide participants toward academic success through the first-year required courses to give them a head start in the challenging yet rewarding fields of engineering and science.

A Closer Look

PreF students will have a head start in transitioning to the college pace, in particular, to the College of Engineering’s curriculum. Group study sessions will be incorporated into the schedule, along with professional development workshops and a field trip to enhance the in-class experiences.

PreF will preview:

  • College Calculus
  • Meta-Cognition
  • College Success Skills

Why Do It?

After 24 successful years of the PreF program at Penn State, our research indicates that our students tend to benefit in specific ways. PreF participants:

  • Have higher GPAs than non-participants
  • Are more likely to land competitive-salary internships, co-ops, and full-time employment
  • Have better opportunities to earn amazing scholarships
  • Build extensive networks of lifelong friends
  • Learn Effective college study skills


The program costs $1,200 and includes room and board, field trips, courses, and tutoring. This is a highly subsidized price; the remaining expenses are covered by corporate sponsorships. If you are unable to pay the fee, please include a statement of financial need with your application, including how much you can contribute.



The Center for Engineering Outreach and Inclusion assists women and multicultural students in the pursuit of their undergraduate and graduate degrees. Our support system of faculty and staff encourages current students to become involved with our programs and student organizations.

Center for Engineering Outreach and Inclusion

College of Engineering

211 Hammond Building

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802

Phone: 814-865-4287