Pennsylvania State University - Smeal MBA

Contact Information

Smeal MBA Admissions
Penn State University
220 Business Building
University Park, PA 16802

Phone: 814-863-0474
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Smeal Executive MBA Program
220 Business Building
University Park, PA 16802

Phone: 1-866-999-3622

Program Accreditation(s):

Both MBA and EMBA programs at Pennsylvania State University are accredited by the AACSB International (Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business).


Joint MBA Degree Programs:

  • MBA/JD
    A law degree program offered with the Dickinson School of Law, now located at either the Carlisle, Pennsylvania campus or the new University Park, Pennsylvania campus.


  • MD/MBA
    The Medical Degree/Master of Business Administration (MD/MBA) joint degree is designed to fulfill a growing demand in managers and leaders who understand both the scientific part of an industry and the business models driving that industry. The joint degree provides highly motivated students the opportunity to combine a medical degree from the Penn State College of Medicine with an MBA Smeal. Candidates must apply to and meet admission requirements for both the College of Medicine and Smeal separately. Students already enrolled in the MD program may apply to the MD/MBA during the first three years of study by applying for admission to Smeal.


    For additional information on joint degrees please visit our joint degree page.

  • Science BS/MBA

    An undergraduate degree in science with a Smeal MBA, preparing highly qualified and motivated students to be the future leaders of the world's scientific organizations.

    For additional information on joint degrees please visit our joint degree page.


Admission Requirements

The goal of the Smeal MBA admission process is to recruit, admit, and enroll candidates who will succeed academically in the MBA program, excel as leaders, and achieve professional success as Penn State Alumni.

We have identified four major criteria that, when considered together, help us effectively evaluate potential for success. The criteria are discussed in more detail below.

MBA Admissions Criteria


    Criteria Measurement(s) Associated Application
      GMAT or GRE score Official GMAT/GRE Score
    Academic Ability 4-Year Bachelors Degree GPA
    English language proficiency
    Certified Transcripts
    TOEFL Score
    Work Experience Length and Quality of Work Experience Resume
    Leadership Skills Length and Quality Work Experience
    Extracurricular Activities
    Fit with Program Career Goals
    Learning and Leadership Styles
    Personal Essays
    Interview, Video Questions


Successful applicants typically have at least six years of post-undergraduate work history and managerial or team leader experience. Less experienced candidates will be considered with a sponsorship letter from their organizations. Admission is competitive and class size is limited. Students will be selected based on their work experiences, academic backgrounds, and anticipated contributions to the learning environment within the program. We will provide up to two years of enrollment deferral if your MBA plans are delayed by your military service.


Below are estimated tuition expenses for the current academic year:

MBA Program Estimated Expenses for the 2015 - 2016 Academic Year

Expenses Pennsylvania Residents Out-of-State Residents
Tuition $23,708 $38,068
Fees $942 $942
Orientation Fees $170 $170
Communications Course $30 $30
Room, Board, & Personal (estimated) $17,400 $17,400
Laptop Computer $1,300-$2,200 $1,300-$2,200
Books & Supplies $2,200-$2,500 $2,200-$2,500
Global Immersion (first-year only) $1,850 $1,850
Health Insurance (required for international students) $610.80 for MBA Fellows
$1,593 For Non-MBA Fellows
$610.80 for MBA Fellows
$1,593 For Non-MBA Fellows
Student Association Memberships
*While optional, highly recommended. The opportunities that come from joining the associations serve you well in your time in the MBA program and well beyond.
MBA Association - $300 (Lifetime Membership)
Other Student Associations - $30-$50 per association
MBA Association - $300 (Lifetime Membership)
Other Student Associations - $30-$50 per association

EMBA Tuition
Penn State Smeal Executive MBA tuition for the cohort that will begin in August of 2015 is $93,000.

The Smeal Executive MBA program offers a limited number of scholarships each year to students indicating a financial need who receive little to no financial sponsorship from their organizations. The maximum scholarship award is $10,000.

Description of Learning Environment for Students

The Penn State Smeal MBA Program promotes discipline, team orientation, and practical skill building much like the training that you have experienced in your military career. Our program is well-suited for students furthering their education during or following a military career.

Teamwork is a critical element in the Penn State Smeal Executive MBA Program. Our students bring years of experience working at some of the top companies in the region to classroom discussions and work sessions. Course weekends are designed to allow for collaboration, interaction, and deeper engagement in projects and materials.

Residency experiences on Penn State's University Park campus and the week-long global immersion further strengthen the bonds of the community in the program.

The Smeal EMBA community provides a network of peers whose talent, expertise, and experience will remain a resource for students to tap into long after graduation.

Top-Ranked Faculty
The Smeal faculty ranks #1 in Supply Chain Management education, and #1 in Management research. We are top 20 in research excellence across all disciplines. In strategy, we are ranked third in the country, with two of our professors listed among the top ten coaches in the world for strategy and leadership. As a resource, our faculty bring vast experience to the table, which is applied in a uniquely personal, one-on-one process. We believe learning is doing, and our structure ensures you'll have close contact with our faculty at all times. So, you become an integral part of the knowledge creation process working side by side with faculty members on the actual research projects that are guiding businesses today.

Military Highlights

• We have nearly every US military branch represented in the Penn State Smeal EMBA program. Many are those separating and entering civilian professional careers.
• Our dedicated Office of Veterans Programs is available as a resource to our students.
• Smeal participates in the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) "military-friendly" school program.
• Our MBA recruiters all in the top 100 for government contractors – aligning your past experience and future opportunities.
• In funding, research, and support, Penn State is extremely military and veteran focused.

  • Our Office of Military and Security Programs, supports the Homeland Security Initiative and aims to “position Penn State in the lead among academic institutions for military, homeland security and defense, and information operations research and technology development.
  • Penn State does over $355 million in military research. Penn State’s Applied Research Laboratories is one of the U.S. Navy's top civilian research facilities, as well as Penn State's single largest research unit with well over 1,000 employees.
  • We consistently rank among the nation’s top universities for federal investment. We were 18th in the nation overall in the 2007 National Science Foundation ranking (last on record). And we are 4th behind only MIT, Johns Hopkins, and Carnegie Mellon in the Top 100 DoD Contractors Receiving Contract Awards for Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation (RDT&E).

Any United States military personnel who have been on active duty within three years prior to applying are eligible for the Smeal MBA Program.

Application Fee
Your application fee of $65 will be waived for active-duty military personnel and veterans. Simply contact us at to request the military fee waiver code.

Financial Support
We commit to making financial aid available to qualified military personnel who have transitioned from the service in the two years prior to enrollment with the Smeal MBA Program. The amount of support offered will be based on the criteria used for our merit-based awards of scholarships and assistantships.

Post-9/11 GI Bill and The Yellow Ribbon Program
Fully qualified U.S. veterans who have served on active duty since Sept. 11, 2001, and who wish to attend Penn State are eligible for assistance with tuition costs, thanks to Smeal's participation in the U.S. Government Yellow Ribbon Program, part of the Post 9/11 GI Bill. "Penn State recognizes the tremendous contributions being made by our servicemen and women and wants to ensure they have access to a Penn State education, regardless of their state of origin," said Brian Clark, director of Penn State's Office of Veterans Programs. For more info, go to

Lion Partners
Many military students come to Smeal with their families. Lion Partners provides support to significant others, spouses, and families. As an official Smeal organization, the group plans activities such as weekly dinners, hikes on Mount Nittany, and outings to local cultural and athletic events.

We will provide up to two years of enrollment deferral if your MBA plans are delayed by your military service.