Penn State Access Account

A Penn State Access Account is a user ID and password that enables Penn State students, faculty, and staff to use the full range of Internet services (including email) on or off campus, at computer labs or on personal computers.                                          

Your user ID is the "public" part of your Penn State Access Account. This is the part you should share with others so that they know where to send your electronic mail. Your user ID (sometimes referred to as "username" or "userid") is usually your initials followed by a 1- to 3-digit number such as xyz101. The letters are lowercase.

To receive an Access Account, take your Penn State photo ID card to a Penn State Access Account signature station and follow the instructions there. Your account should be fully active within one business day. If you have problems using the Penn State Access Account signature station, please contact computer support staff at the location of the signature station (if applicable), the ITS Computer Accounts Office (204 Wagner Building, , 814-865-4772), or one of the Consulting & Support Services (CSS) consulting locations at University Park.

Note: Penn State Access Account signature stations are available during regular lab hours. A campus map and hours for each of these locations can be obtained at on the Web.

Again, your user ID is the "public" part of your Access Account. Your password, on the other hand, should be kept private.  Guard your password just as you guard your bank card PIN. Don't write it down or make it easy for someone to "crack." Don't share your password with others, as they would then have the opportunity to read your email, see your grades, obtain your transcript, and forge email and news postings from you.

You should change your password as soon as you get your account.

Here are some guidelines that should help you when changing your password.  You should also read the CAC password policy.

  • Use at least six new letters and at least one number. An example is apollo13.
  • Make sure the "caps lock" is not on.
  • Note that your password will not show as you type, so be careful not to make mistakes.
  • Don't use special characters such as exclamation points.
  • Change it to something you can remember but that others won't be able to figure out. For example, don't set your password to your name, your license plate, your friend's name, your pet's name, your favorite drink, or anything else that someone else might easily guess.
  • Change it as often as you wish, but at least once every six months.
  • Access Account passwords are "case-sensitive." This means that uppercase and lowercase letters are recognized as different characters.

Note: The only way to change your password is by using the methods described above.

If you forget your password, present your Penn State photo ID at the CAC consulting locations, the Computer Accounts Office or to other computer support staff.  Staff will help you request a password reset.