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Apply to the Penn State Smeal MBA

Thank you for your interest in the Penn State Smeal MBA Program. All components including the online application, video application response, and letters of recommendation must be received by the applicable deadline to be considered for admission. As part of the online application, you will be asked to pay the fee of $65 or provide a fee waiver code. Please note: Application fee waivers must be applied at the time of application. Fees cannot be reimbursed after an application has been submitted. The only accurate way to check the status of your application and whether or not your materials have been received is to contact us at smealmba@psu.edu.

We are still considering domestic applications through June 1st. All domestic applicants who apply by June 1st should expect a decision on or before June 30th.

Additional Applicant Resources

Part 1: Online Application

Use the Penn State Graduate School Application portal to access the application. You can return to this portal anytime during the process.

Desired Program

You will be asked to select the desired program within the online application. Your selections for the full-time residential Penn State Smeal MBA Program should be:

  • Degree: M B A
  • Semester: Fall of 2016

GMAT/GRE Results

Scores must be submitted directly from the testing agency (Pearson-VUE for GMAT, ETS for GRE). To expedite your application review, you may also include an unofficial copy of scores with your supplemental documents (official scores are still required).

  • GMAT Code: 2660. The Graduate Management Admissions Test is suggested for all Penn State Smeal MBA candidates. For more information and testing locations, visit www.mba.com.
  • GRE Code: 2660. For more information and testing locations, visit www.gre.org.

Essay Question

What are your short-term and long-term career goals? What is your plan for achieving these goals? Please be as specific as possible, including industry and function. How do you see your experience at Smeal fitting into this plan?

  • Format: Upload your essay to the application in .pdf or .rtf format.
  • Length: Limit your essay to 600 words.
  • Academic Integrity: Follow academic integrity guidelines regarding plagiarism – "using someone else's words or ideas without properly giving credit." Plagiarism includes use of material from sample essays and any website. To ensure academic integrity, all essays will be confirmed through iThenticate authenticity software. Failure to follow these guidelines will result in a deny decision.


Submit a current version of your resume including all work experience and secondary education until the date of application. The sample resume reflects the format used by our current students. While this format is not required for application, you may find it to be a useful resource.


The Penn State Graduate School application will ask you to upload a copy of your undergraduate transcripts for the initial review of your application. These can be scanned versions of the official transcript copies. If you are admitted and enroll, the hard copy original/official copies of these transcripts from your undergraduate institution will be required.

Part 2: Video Application Response

Via pre-recorded video you will be asked to respond to a question as part of a series of interview questions. With each question, you will have limited time to consider your response and a set amount of time to respond as the system records. The system allows for unlimited practice sessions but once you start the formal video interview process, you will only have one chance to respond to each question. Your application will not be considered complete or evaluated by the committee until you have completed this part of the process, which is separate from the Penn State Graduate School application.

  • Technical Requirements: Visit the video application website to get started. You will need an internet connected computer with a functioning webcam and microphone, or a smartphone.
  • Time Required: 15 to 20 minutes to respond to all the questions. You can register within the system beforehand and complete your interview later at your convenience.

Part 3: Letters of Recommendation

Two letters of recommendation are required with at least one letter from a current or previous supervisor preferred.

The "References" section within the Penn State Graduate School application may be left blank and saved. Instead, use the Smeal Recommendation System to register your two references. After creating your account and submitting the contact information of your two recommenders, they will be sent access to an online form to complete their recommendations. You may return to the system to change recommenders. You can also add a third letter of recommendation if desired.

If your recommenders are unable to use the Smeal Recommendation System, please ask them to complete and mail the Recommendation Form. Mailing address:

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

Additional recommendation letters may be submitted as supplements to your application, but we prefer that only the standardized form be used. This allows the Penn State Smeal MBA Program to most equitably compare candidates and ensures that candidates' assessments rely on specific ratings rather than their references' varied language and writing styles.