Application Process

Summary of the application process for the Pennsylvania State University (PSU) Smeal College of Business Full Time, 2 year Masters of Business Administration (MBA) program. Including admission criteria, application deadlines, admissions decisions, academic integrity and plagiarism, information for agents and consultants, and additional resources.

Admission Criteria

The Penn State Smeal MBA Program features a multi-step application process, during which you will be asked to submit the following:

  • Penn State Graduate School Application
  • GMAT or GRE Scores
  • Admissions Essay - What are your short-term and long-term career goals? How does your past experience enable you to achieve these goals? How do you see your MBA experience fitting into this plan? (600 Word Limit)
  • Resume
  • Educational Transcripts
  • Video Application Response
  • Letters of Recommendation
  • Official English Language Proficiency Exam Scores (International Candidates)
  • Application Fee: $65
Completed applications will be reviewed, and candidates selected to move forward in the process will be invited for an interview. We invite you to start your application today.

Application Deadlines

The Penn State Smeal MBA features multiple application deadlines throughout the year. Application reviews and decisions are made on a rolling basis. All aspects of the application process must be completed, submitted, and received by the applicable deadline to be considered for admission.

Deadlines for Fall 2020 Intake Submit Your Application By Expect a Decision By
Early decision deadline October 1 December 1
Priority deadline for all applicants seeking merit-based financial aid December 1 February 1
Final deadline for all applicants seeking merit-based financial aid February 1 April 1
Final deadline for all applicants not seeking merit-based financial aid April 1 June 1

Admission Decisions

All applications will be reviewed by both the Penn State Smeal MBA Program Admissions Office (MBA requirements and admissions criteria) and the Penn State Graduate School (verification of educational documentation and credentials and international visa requirements). You may be contacted by parties from either area.

Admission is granted first by the Smeal MBA Program and then by the Penn State Graduate School. The Graduate School does not act on your application without a recommendation from the MBA Admissions Office. The only accurate way to confirm receipt of your application materials and to check the status of your application is to contact the Smeal MBA Admissions Office at

Academic Integrity and Plagiarism

The Penn State Smeal College of Business has a strong commitment to ethics and integrity as reflected in our Honor Code. The admissions committee will not tolerate any form of plagiarism or appearance of impropriety in an applicant’s materials. To ensure academic integrity, all essays will be confirmed through iThenticate authenticity software. 

Plagiarism includes:

  • Copying sentences, phrases, or paragraphs exactly as they appear in the original source (this includes using sample essays)
  • Copying sentences and putting them in a different order
  • Copying sentences and replacing a few words with synonyms
  • Copying sentences and adding a few of your own

Paraphrasing includes:

  • Re-stating the author’s idea in your own words, using your own voice
  • Summarizing the author’s main points in your own words

Source: "Defining Plagiarism and Academic Integrity" from "Plagiarism Tutorial for Students"

Failure to follow these guidelines will result in a deny decision. Email with questions. 

Agents and Consultants

Although Penn State recognizes that agents or consultants are retained in many parts of the world to assist students in applying to colleges and universities in the United States, Penn State does not partner with agents to recruit students or to administer the application process. Agents or consultants retained by students to help with the application process are not recognized as representatives of the University and do not have a contractual agreement or partnership to represent Penn State.

Please ensure that any agent or consultant engaged adheres to principles of ethics in the admission process, including guidelines regarding academic integrity. To ensure academic integrity, all essays will be confirmed through iThenticate authenticity software.