Apply to the Penn State Smeal MBA

Information on applying to the Penn State Smeal MBA Program.

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

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 2023

GMAT/GRE Results

Scores must be submitted directly from the testing agency (Pearson-VUE for GMAT, ETS for GRE). Please keep in mind that we are unable to make a decision on your application until all materials - including official test scores - have been received.

  • GMAT: Code ZZ8-HD. If asked to select the program, choose "Penn State" as the university, "Smeal College of Business" as the program location, and "MBA" as the program of study. For more information and testing locations, visit
  • GRE: Code 2660. For more information and testing locations, visit

GMAT/GRE Test Waiver Policy

GRE/GMAT waivers may be available for highly qualified candidates who meet one or more of the following criteria:

  1. Advanced degrees (M.D., D.O. and Ph.D. automatically waived)
  2. Have at least 7 years of relevant and progressive post-undergraduate work experience
  3. Significant leadership experience, particularly in the armed forces
  4. Able to demonstrate a readiness to complete graduate education, strong quantitative ability, and advanced analytical reasoning skills.

To request a waiver:

  • Complete both your Smeal MBA Program application and Video Responses.
  • In the optional essay portion of the application, add your request and discuss your eligibility for a GMAT waiver.
  • All requests will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Essay Question

What are your short-term and long-term career goals? Please be as specific as possible, including industry and function. How does your past experience enable you to achieve these goals? How do you see your MBA experience 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. (For additional information, see Application Process: Academic Integrity and Plagiarism.) 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 copies of official transcripts/records from all institutions attended. All transcripts and academic records uploaded to the application are considered “unofficial”. Official/original transcripts are required for any degree or diploma earned. If you are recommended for admission to a graduate degree program, you will be notified with detailed instructions on how to submit the official/original documents.

Letters of Recommendation

Two letters of recommendation are required, with at least one letter from a current or previous supervisor strongly preferred. The Penn State Graduate School application will ask for the email addresses of your recommenders and send out automated requests to fill out their recommendation using our standard form.

If your recommenders are unable to complete their recommendations online, or if you would like to submit more than three recommendations, please use this Recommendation Form. Recommenders can complete and email the form to or mail the form to:

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

Part 2: Video Application Response

You will be asked to respond to a series of interview questions using a webcam. For 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.
  • 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.