Admissions

Summary of the Penn State Smeal MBA program, including a description of experience, qualifications, and attributes of the ideal candidate.

The Smeal Fit: Our Ideal Candidate

So here is the part where we are supposed to talk to you about statistics, scores, work experience, and recommendations, but frankly, those aren’t what make an ideal candidate for the Penn State Smeal MBA Program. What matters to us is who you are, and who you aspire to be. We look for individuals who embody the six core values of Penn State; students who are committed to:

1. Acting with Integrity and honesty within and outside of the classroom.
The Smeal Honor Code is a core component of our program: conceived and developed by MBAs, committed to across the Smeal College of Business, and expanding across Penn State. It has become the guidepost by which we judge applicants in the admissions process, trust students to behave ethically in the classroom, and hold one another accountable for our actions. Signing the Honor Code is not just symbolic here – it is a lasting commitment to who we are, and who we aspire to be.

2. Respecting one another’s differences and similarities.
Throughout the admissions process, we strive to create a cohort of diverse individuals from various religious, cultural, and ethnic backgrounds, each with unique hobbies, skills, and interests. It is by bringing these diverse elements and passions together that our family becomes stronger, but only if we commit, as individuals, to embrace civil discourse, and respect and honor one another.

3. Taking Responsibility for actions and decisions, both good and bad, and learning from them.
Not all decisions that you make while in the MBA program will be perfect, and not all actions will have the intended consequences. It is how we act and perform after these moments that mold us into whom we become, strengthen us for the future, and ensure we don’t make the same mistakes twice.

4. Being open to Discovery, new knowledge, and a deeper understanding of themselves and what surrounds them.
This is why you are here. Perhaps surprisingly, most people leave the Smeal MBA Program with different goals and aspirations than what they came with, not because they aren’t committed to a path, but because they discover new avenues to explore, open unseen doors into new ways of thinking, and, ideally, uncover a passion for something that propels them into a career they love.

5. Striving for Excellence in all endeavors, and having a desire and drive to succeed.
One of the unique features of the Penn State Smeal MBA Program is the customizable nature of the program – the ability to take multiple concentrations supported by a broad range of elective options. We hope you’ll strive to broaden your skillset and challenge yourself in new areas, and become a leader within your class. And as an alum, remain engaged with the current students to challenge and mentor them.

6. Participating in the Community.
Within your team, your class, the program, the University, and wherever your career takes you afterward, as a Penn Stater, you are always part of something greater. This is why Penn State has one of the largest active alumni networks in the world – we are passionate about this community, the experiences we’ve had here, and the family we’ve built along the way. This is why alumni from all walks of life return and give back by mentoring, advising, and ultimately hiring our graduates. This is why we say “We Are!” to other Penn Staters no matter where we may be in the world. It’s an instant connection that lasts a lifetime.