Our Focus

Information related to the main areas of focus for the Penn State Smeal MBA program, including the four pillars of principled leadership, functional expertise, integrated perspective, and global perspective.

An MBA to Meet the Needs of Business

Designed and modified with input from corporate recruiters and alumni advisers, the Penn State Smeal MBA educational experience arms students with both functional expertise and broad business perspective.

Our Focus

Principled Leadership Functional Expertise
The academic and professional integrity initiative at the college began several years ago within our MBA community and serves as the foundation for our focus on principled leadership. Our graduates carry the honor code and its responsibilities with them into the business world. Other leadership elements include intensive communications training, a focus on teamwork, and a structured 360-degree survey program, which helps you objectively identify strengths and opportunities for growth and sets the stage for individualized leadership coaching. Our rigorous first-year curriculum focuses on business fundamentals, with coursework in areas such as accounting, economics, and statistical analysis. Functional courses in year one build competencies in specific areas of business including finance, marketing, and supply chain management, with content on communication and team process skills to help you get the job done. A flexible approach to the second year gives you the power to further strengthen your functional competencies to help you solve any business problems that arise.
Integrated Perspective Global Perspective
First-year core coursework prepares you to evaluate and develop strategies for creating organizational value and increasing competitiveness. These skills are enhanced in the second year through a variety of concentration opportunities that bridge distinct business silos. Unique experiences such as our first-year Executive Panel Case Competition and the Professional Services Engagement Practicum--which calls on student teams to act as consultants on live cross-functional business challenges--help you hone your total business understanding. With a community of students drawn from countries around the world, cross-cultural insight and discussion are fundamental parts of the Smeal MBA experience. Gain unique perspective on a range of critical business topics, from corporate governance in India and management practices in China, to sustainability issues in South America. Integrated global business content throughout the curriculum, along with our Global Business Immersion experience in the second year, sharpen your international focus.