International Applicant Requirements

Overview of requirements for international applicants to the Penn State Smeal MBA Program.

For international applicants to the Penn State Smeal MBA Program, the multi-step application process includes additional requirements:

  • Visa Application: The Penn State Office of Global Programs will not begin to process your i-20 and visa application until after you have been admitted and paid your enrollment deposit. At that time they will be in contact with you and all documents can be provided electronically.
  • Official English Language Proficiency Exam Scores: Scores must be submitted directly from the testing agency. To expedite your application review, you may also include an unofficial copy of scores with your supplemental documents (official scores are still required).

United States GPA Conversion Tables

If your school does not use the 4.0 grading scale, estimate as best you can in the GPA section of the application. You can then enter your unconverted GPA in the section titled "Optional Clarification Statement, Additional Information, GPA and Test Score Clarification."


Only the equivalent of a four-year U.S. bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution can be considered for admission into Penn State. Official transcripts must be submitted from each educational institution attended. Transcripts are reviewed for course content, academic performance, and any trends in academic progress. Transcripts may be digitally duplicated and submitted online for the purposes of initial application review, but originals must follow.

International applicants whose transcripts are not in English should submit both the originals as well as translated transcripts along with an official copy of the bachelor's degree and graduation certificate. Contact the Penn State Graduate School to determine if your degree is equivalent to a U.S. four-year baccalaureate degree before submitting an application.

Applicants from India who have completed a four-year bachelor's degree or the masters degree examinations following a three-year bachelor's degree are eligible to apply. Those completing the Chartered Accountancy final examination and awarded an Associate Membership (following a three year bachelor's degree) are also eligible. Three-year bachelor's degrees followed by a post-graduate diploma may be acceptable if the diploma program is one year full-time in length and offered by an Indian University that is recognized by the Association of Indian Universities. Professional programs offered by external organizations are not eligible.

The Graduate School at Penn State will not review academic credentials of a prospective student until an application is officially submitted. If you feel strongly about having your credentials verified before completing and submitting your application, you may have your credentials reviewed by Educational Credential Evaluators (ECE). Approval from ECE will assure you are academically eligible for not only our program, but most other U.S. Institutions as well. Please note the Penn State Graduate School does not accept credential reviews from World Education Services (WES), only reviews done by ECE.

English Proficiency Exams


The Test of English as a Foreign Language is required of all applicants from all countries whose official language is not English. The Penn State Smeal MBA TOEFL code: 2660. Minimum required scores:

  • Internet-Based: 80
  • Speaking Section: 19
  • Paper-Based: 550

International candidates may be exempt from the TOEFL if any of the following apply:

  • The candidate has received a degree from a U.S. college or university. This does not include individuals whose international university instruction was taught in English.
  • The candidate has received a baccalaureate or a masters degree from a college/university/institution in any of the following: Australia, Belize, British Caribbean and British West Indies, Canada (except Quebec), England, Guyana, Republic of Ireland, Liberia, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales.
  • The candidate is a U.S. Permanent Resident.

 For more information or to find testing locations, visit, call 1-607-771-7100, or write:

TOEFL/TSE Services-Princeton
P.O. Box 6151
Princeton, NJ 08541-6151


The Penn State Smeal MBA program will accept the IELTS as a test of English proficiency. Minimum required score: 6.5.

IELTS offers the choice of up to 48 fixed test dates each year. You must apply to a test center to take an IELTS test prior to the test date. Applications are made on an IELTS application form, which you can send or take into a test center along with the test fee and two passport-sized photographs. You will also need to include your passport number, or in some circumstances a national identity card number, on the application form – check with your test center. Once you have applied, the test center will confirm your IELTS test date and time. 

Visa Materials

The U.S. Department of State requires that international applicants provide evidence of sufficient funds to cover all expenses for at least one calendar year before a visa will be issued. The amount required this year is $63,600 U.S. For the most current figures, additional information, or special assistance, visit the Penn State Office of Global Programs. You may also call or write:

Office of Global Programs
The Pennsylvania State University
410 Boucke Building
University Park, PA 16802-5900
Phone: US 814-865-6348

Additional Resources