York College of Pennsylvania campus
Enrollment Handbook

Handbook: Academics

Engineers are designing robots. Nurses are working in simulation labs to diagnose patients. Theatre students are directing plays. Sport Management students are running the fitness center. At York, your academic path won't be littered with mindless hours staring at a chalkboard and a textbook. We want your doing. 

And that means the best way to thrive here is by giving your full effort. We have many resources to support you along the way, but from your first semester, you'll notice that there's more responsibility on the student than you might have been used to in high school. By the end. you'll graduate with deep knowledge of your chosen profession, an understanding of how your career connects with the world around you, and a work ethic that will make you viable in the job market.

Let's review what we have at York to get you there.

York College chemistry class

What you should know about Academics at York College

  • Academic Advising: What you need to know

    Make sure you're keeping up with these milestones!

    What's coming up:

    • In the summer: For New Spartan Days summer orientation (which you’re expected to attend!), an advisor is assigned to you specifically to help you pick your fall classes. We don’t have parents or family involved in course selection because we want to encourage you to start taking control of your education right away. The advisor is there to make sure you get the courses you need.
    • Throughout the summer: Check your YCP email. That’s where official communication from academic advising is sent, such as information about AP/IB credits that have been processed.
    • In the fall: Your long-term advisor is assigned in August. This is someone you’ll want to get to know (and at York College, we think you’ll quickly find faculty are more than willing to talk!). You'll have a chance to meet with them during fall orientation, but feel free to connect further via email or stop by during their office hours. Office hours are when faculty expect to be in their office and welcome drop-ins. Otherwise, make an appointment!
    • Advisors are not meant to check in on you all semester to make sure you are going to class or turning in all your assignments. That’s where the ownership of your education comes in! In college, you’ll be expected to be much more responsible. If you’re struggling with time management or your coursework, that’s when a conversation with an advisor can help!

    Also, before you start school: Get in the habit of checking your YCP email as soon as it’s set up. All official communication from the College will be sent there, even before you start classes. You can access it from my.ycp.edu. Having trouble getting access? Email ltshelp@ycp.edu.

    Helpful reminder: It’s never too early to ask for help! Students often say they wish they could’ve gone back and sought help sooner.

  • What If I don't have a major?

    What if I don't have a major?

    You’re not alone! York College excels at helping students pair a passion with a career path. Did you know that Undeclared is the largest major on campus? The Undeclared Advising staff will connect with you months in advance of fall classes to start a conversation about your major and class options. Remember, “undeclared” means different things to different students — you may have it narrowed down to 2 or 3 options, or you may have absolutely no idea. We’re here for you.

    Did you know: As an Undeclared student, a peer advisor will be paired with you? This is an upper-level student who was exactly where you are at one point, and they’ll help you make a plan!

    Fun fact: York College processes about 500 major changes a year! Ask your family if any of them changed majors in college — you’ll be surprised how many have.

  • Placement tests

    Placement tests must be completed

    Before you schedule classes for the fall, we need to get an assessment of some of your skills. You’ll need to complete two placement tests: math and foreign language. Yes, even if you haven’t taken a foreign language or do not plan to have a major at York that requires one, we still need you to take the test. Sometimes, plans and/or majors change, and we don’t want to wait long after high school to find out what you know. The exam results are only used to help us decide what level course you are prepared to take.

    In June, you are sent information about how to take the test. You’re welcome to take the tests now if you have your York College account access available. You’re required to have both complete before you arrive on campus for New Spartan Days summer orientation or thereafter for when you schedule classes.

    For math, complete these steps:

    • Click the Math Placement Test Link
    • Enter your MyYCP username and password. Your MyYCP network account is your access to campus computers and MyYCP (my.ycp.edu). If you did not receive your YCP network account or your password is not allowing you to log in to MyYCP, please call the LTS Help Desk for assistance at 717.815.1559.
    • The test instructions are included on the test page.
    • Students will not be able to schedule required math courses without having first taken the math placement test.

    For language, complete these steps:

    • Click the Language Placement Test Link
    • Select the appropriate language. If you haven't taken a language, just pick whatever you feel comfortable with. Again, it's okay if you have limited knowledge. You're just helping us gauge your knowledge level.
    • Provide your name, YCP email (please note that it is not your personal email), your student ID number, and create a unique password for this account.
    • Complete the short survey and try the practice question. Once you submit your answer, the real test begins!

    TIP: Need information on how to get credit for college work you did in High School? Contact the Registrar's Office at 717.815.1273 or registrar@ycp.edu.

  • Student Accessibility Services

    Student Accessibility in the Classroom

    York College provides academic accommodations for students with disabilities and health conditions to ensure equal access to their education. Examples of accommodations include:

    • Extra time on tests
    • Separate room testing
    • Copies of class notes or recording lectures
    • Wheelchair accommodations

    Disability information is confidential and diagnoses are not automatically shared with faculty. Use of accommodations is always voluntary on the part of the student. For more information about eligibility and the process to obtain accommodations, please visit the Student Accessibility Services (SAS) webpage or contact Student Accessibility Services at sas@ycp.edu.

    TIP: When it comes to accommodations, don't take the "wait and see" approach! It's better to get accommodations set up so they're available if you need them than to struggle and have to rush to get them later.

  • Academic Support & Writing Centers

    Supporting you outside of the classroom

    Academic Support Center

    The Academic Support Center focuses on improving your strengths as a student, while shoring up your weaknesses. You can meet with a tutor for assistance in a variety of courses, mostly STEM, but other disciplines too, in a comfortable space. You'll have access to review sessions, as well as one-on-one and group tutoring sessions. If there's any way to help you perform better in class, we'll help you find it.


    You can meet with a tutor, consult with an Academic Coach about study skills, and more. It’s a center you’ll want to get familiar with, regardless of your major. Learn more about the Academic Support Center by clicking the button below.

    Writing Center

    What kind of citation format should I be using? What am I supposed to write about on this topic? Can you help me find grammar errors? These are just a few of the topics that the Writing Center can help with. Tutors can help with any type of writing at any stage of the writing process. Some professors even give extra credit if they are informed you’ve used the center! Learn more about the Writing Center.

  • First-Year Seminar and GenNext

    Helping you adjust to college. Helping you see how academic disciplines connect to deepen your learning.

    First-Year Seminar

    We want you to thrive at York, and that means helping you transition from high school to college. Our First-Year Seminar class and the Common Hour it’s paired to help you do just that. First-Year Seminar lets you explore a topic — the topics are truly wide-ranging. You'll also develop skills you need to succeed as a first-year student and for your college and professional career. All first-year students take this course, and you’ll have a First-Year Fellow (a trained student mentor) to guide you along with your professor. You’ll be meeting with them both during Fall Orientation, which means you’ll already know a professor before class begins!

    The Common Hour is a one-credit course paired with FYS that gives you an in-depth look at commonly encountered challenges for first-year students — such as student habits and sleep — and offers practical advice. You’ll be picking your FYS class during New Spartan Days summer orientation, but we give you a preview of course offerings at Accepted Student Days so you can start making a mental list of a few prime options.

    Note: Certain majors have specific FYS courses. Also, certain FYS courses are part of a Learning Community, which means you will be studying, and perhaps living with, your classmates. Learn more about FYS courses and Living Communities by clicking the "First-Year Seminar" button below.

    Generation Next

    You’re heading to a liberal arts college, which means we want you to have a well-rounded education that works with and complements your major. At York, we call that approach Gen Next. We help you design an educational plan of courses and experiences in and outside of the major that will help you have a fulfilling career and personal life. Every semester, you’ll be taking courses from your major requirements, your electives, and your general education requirements. These help you toward your bachelor’s degree and any potential minors.

    Your advisor will help explain all of this, too! But right now, know that when you come to York, you’re going to get so much more than just a set of skills in your major.

  • Academic tips

    Helpful things to keep in mind as you start school

    TIP 1: Don’t wait until you’re past the point of no return. If you feel you’re starting to struggle, reach out right away. York College offers warning grades early in the semester, so students who are in danger of failing get a heads up. There’s still time to catch up! We are here to help you.

    TIP 2: New Spartan Days registration opens up around May 1. We have days available in mid-to-late June; you only need to attend one day. Keep an eye on your email around May 1 for registration info.

    TIP 3: Before you show up for New Spartan Days (when you'll make your fall schedule), you will need to complete the New Spartan Days course located on your YCP Portal. This will give you a general idea what kind of courses you may be taking so you're not caught by surprise.

    TIP 4: Commuters have to attend New Spartan Days summer orientation, too! And everyone attends fall orientation, held the weekend before classes start.

    TIP 5: When scheduling classes, remember to factor in practice time (if you’re a NCAA or club sport athlete!) or hours you’ll be spending at a part-time job. Let your advisor know if you have these kinds of obligations. You don’t want to overload a day and leave no time to study or sleep!

    TIP 6: If you take a class and realize it’s not working out, we have a Drop/Add period covering the first week of the semester. You are allowed to swap out a class without a penalty.

Contact Us
Admissions Office
Miller Administration Building, 111
Phone: 717.849.1600
Monday - Friday: 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Meet our Admissions team