Have you learned about AURORA?

This page covers information regarding RIGEL, AURORA’s expedition for transfer and transition students. To learn about general AURORA issues and concerns regarding physical fitness, required equipment, expected level of experience, and more, visit the AURORA FAQ.


Nestled in the Ridge-and-Valley Appalachians, University Park is surrounded by seemingly endless beauty. RIGEL takes advantage of Penn State’s location and gets you out into the Pennsylvania wilderness. RIGEL has received the seal of approval from dozens of transfer students. It’s close; it’s your new home; and it’s waiting for you!

RIGEL sends you backpacking in the rugged, beautiful terrain of central Pennsylvania for five days and four nights. You’ll learn how to camp, backpack, and care for both yourself and the environment.

Does it cost money?

RIGEL is a three-credit course. Full-time students are billed the flat full-time rate; part-time students are billed the per-credit rate. The RIGEL expedition is billed to the fall semester. For more information regarding your tuition charges, please visit tuition.psu.edu and explore the tuition calculator.

There is a class fee of $295. This fee will be billed directly to your student account upon registration, and it covers the cost of instruction, special equipment, transportation, camping gear, and food for the expedition.

If you must cancel, please do so by emailing aurora.registration@psu.edu.  If you cancel on or after June 1, you will be charged a cancellation fee of $295.

Where do we meet? Can I park my car?

RIGEL begins on campus at University Park. From there, you will be shuttled into the wilderness after an opening orientation. If you choose to drive yourself, you may park your vehicle on-site for the duration of your expedition. Further instructions will be given when you arrive.

I registered! Now what?

You will receive, via email, the Essential Information Packet containing all necessary information, including detailed travel information and a list of required items.

Pay attention to your course schedule. Due to the nature of Penn State’s registration policies and timeline, KINES 89 will be added to your LionPath schedule no later than then first week of classes for the semester in which you are enrolled. KINES 089 is RIGEL. If you have submitted your application and received confirmation of your acceptance into the program, consider yourself registered! Do not drop this course or you will lose your spot!

Lastly, check out what we’re up to on Instagram and Facebook as you wait desperately in anticipation for your expedition!