The Smeal Advantage

An overview of the Smeal advantages offered to professional graduate students at the Penn State Smeal College of Business.

More options, greater flexibility, and a commitment to lifelong learning

At the Penn State Smeal College of Business, we recognize that the desire for knowledge and professional growth extends well beyond graduation day. That is why we created a portfolio of graduate professional programs for all stages of your career. 

We make it easy to customize a learning plan that meets your specific career aspirations. With more concentrations and the most integrated, flexible offering of online and residential programs in the United States, Penn State Smeal allows you to “build your own” plan for lifelong learning. Here, you can “stack” graduate certificates and master’s degrees based on what is important to you.

An entire team dedicated to your success

Our team will explain the many options and possible paths that Penn State Smeal offers and will help you craft the educational experience best suited to your interests and career goals. It all starts with a simple, but critical question: “What are your goals?” Our career services experts are also prepared to help you refine your career strategy and round out your experience.

The very best of online and in-person learning – completely integrated for a rich educational experience

At Penn State Smeal, we don’t view online and resident education as two separate and distinct concepts. In fact, we understand that today’s professional graduate learners want the best of both worlds: real-time discussion and interaction with faculty and classmates along with the technologies and flexible approaches of contemporary online learning. By mixing these audiences, we bring richness, depth, and diversity to the overall educational experience.

Flexible, analytics-based course design and delivery

Penn State Smeal’s culture of innovative teaching and learning is exemplified across disciplines in the flexible design and delivery of our classes and the unique use of course analytics to ensure a customized experience focused on real-world problem solving. Here, Creative Teams, consisting of a lead faculty member, a Teaching Support Specialist (TSS), and an Instructional Designer develop and deliver contemporary online graduate courses that promote application and engagement as a fundamental approach to learning for the professional student.

A “real-world perspective” inside and outside of the classroom

  • Industry professionals inside the classroom: Many of Penn State Smeal’s classrooms feature Teaching Support Specialists (TSS), industry professionals who, like you, have been in the trenches and work hard to make an impact every day. These professionals, most of whom hold a Smeal graduate degree, partner with our world-renowned faculty to provide a rich academic context with real-world application.

  • Global Immersion*: Penn State Smeal’s Global Immersion trip will enhance your ability to communicate cross-culturally, adapt to evolving business environments, and manage all of the risks and benefits of operating on a global scale. All students will have the opportunity to participate in this optional, faculty-led experience for elective credit. Previous destinations have included Shanghai, China; Johannesburg, South Africa; Prague, Czech Republic; Santiago, Chile; and Zagreb, Croatia.

  • Leadership Immersion: The Penn State Smeal Leadership Immersion experiences offer graduate students and alumni the opportunity to extend skills and use real-time strategies beyond class sessions. Event activities encourage team-building and provide a forum for peer interaction and feedback. One leadership immersion event offers students the chance to complete the Vertical Adventures Challenge Course at the Stone Valley Recreation Area near the University Park campus.

  • Dean’s Tailgate: Professional Graduate students and alumni are invited to Dean Charles Whiteman’s annual tailgate, held for graduate students in advance of a Penn State football game. The tailgate features great food and drink, and the opportunity to expand your Penn State Network.

  • Executive Update Workshops: As part of the Dean’s Tailgate weekend, students and alumni are invited to attend faculty-led educational workshops designed to provide updates on contemporary topics taught in our master’s programs. 

The largest and one of the most influential networks in the country

At Penn State, you are part of a worldwide community of instructors, learners and more than 700,000 alumni who support one another and strive to make a meaningful impact in the world. Within that network, 95,000 are graduates of the Penn State Smeal College of Business. Penn State Smeal alumni benefit from connections around the globe as well as networking events, podcasts, webinars, a powerful LinkedIn community, and countless opportunities to give your time and talents. Our Alumni Career Services team* will support you across all career stages with professional advancement opportunities and coaching to help you stay focused on achieving your goals.

* Services are available only to students and alumni of Penn State Smeal’s degree programs and online degrees led by Smeal and delivered through Penn State World Campus. Students and alumni of online graduate certificates are not eligible to receive these benefits unless they are also enrolled in a degree program.