A Penn State Access Account is a digital identity for students, faculty, staff, and designated affiliates of the University. The electronic profile grants permissions to users for protected online University resources and services. Access Accounts provide access to the University community at all times, while maintaining a high level of security.
Each person with an Access Account is assigned a unique username (called a user ID) of three letters paired with a series of digits (for example, xyz5002). A user ID is associated with only one individual and is never recycled. User IDs are used as a representation of an individual when logging in.
A password is used to ensure that the correct individual is logging in under the entered user ID. Coupled with a user ID, a password helps to complete the authentication process when gaining access to a service. A number of different systems and procedures are used for authentication of an identity, as well as determining the level of authorization an individual has in regard to the specific service.
In addition to a user ID and password, all faculty and staff are required to verify their identities using Penn State’s Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) service.
For forms and links related to the management of Access Accounts, go to Forms and Links.
- Allows Penn State faculty, staff, students, and designated affiliates of Penn State to securely interact with the appropriate Penn State services and gain access to necessary Penn State resources. Examples include University-based e-mail services, LionPATH, ANGEL or Canvas (Penn State’s course management system), ITS computer labs, and other Penn State-affiliated resources.
- Various options are available to best suit the needs of person requesting access and Penn State.
Account Types and Options
Options: Two types of Access Accounts are available to individuals, which will determine the number and types of services and resources available:
- Short-Term Access Accounts (STAA)
- Sponsored Access Accounts
- Friends of Penn State Accounts
- All faculty and staff automatically qualify for a Full Access Account.
- All full-time students and part-time students registered for at least one credit automatically qualify for a Full Access Account.
- Graduate applicants who do not have an Access Account may obtain an Access Account with limited services.
- World Campus students have a separate standard in qualifying for an Access Account. Please refer to the World Campus Access Account and Information Technology Fee page for more information.
- Designated affiliates of the University may qualify for other account options through sponsorship by a University department.
There is generally no charge for Full Access Accounts; however, there are some charges (listed below) for a Short-Term Access Account, a Sponsored Access Account, or a student leave of absence.
- Sponsored Access Accounts (Slim): $3.00 per month
- Sponsored Access Accounts (Full): $8.00 per month
- Short-Term Access Accounts (Slim): $0.10 per day
- Short-Term Access Accounts (Full): $0.27 per day
- Short-Term Access Accounts: Initial setup fee is equal to the one-day charge (per user ID) for a Short-Term Access Account (as listed above)
- Extension for Student Leave of Absence: $8.00 per month
Availability and Maintenance
- 24 hours per day, seven days per week
- Service is automatically backed up daily
Request Service and Get Support
If you have questions about Access Accounts or want to request an Account, then email the Accounts Office or call by 814-865-4772.
The ITS Accounts Office is responsible for providing assistance to Access Account holders and resolving any problems related to Access Accounts. Each Penn State campus provides its own on-site computer support department, including the Hershey Medical Center.
For complete support information, see the Access Account Getting Support page.
- Account Creation
- Account Activation
- Contact the appropriate office listed in the Getting Support page
Access Account Resources
- Account Creation
- Account Activation
- Deactivation and Extension
- Signature Stations
- Getting Support
- Data Backup
- Risk Mitigation
- Short Term Access Account (STAA)
- Sponsored Accounts
- Friends of Penn State (FPS) Accounts Information
- Useful Links
Forms and Links
For forms and links related to the management of Access Accounts and other ITS services, go to Forms and Links page.
Reports, Policies, and Guidelines
- Account and Passphrase Security
- ITS Policies, Guidelines, and Laws
- Use of Group Communication Tools to Communicate University Business to Employees and Students
- ITS Password Policy
- Access Account Password Management
- Authentication and Authorization for Penn State Applications
- Penn State Access Domain Configuration
- Identity and Access Management Final Report