Information You Should Know for Enrolling in the Penn State Online MBA Program

Penn State Online MBA

Written by Debadrita Saha

January 31, 2021


Penn State University offers an online MBA program for students who want to gain an in-depth understanding of how a business operates. The Penn State Online MBA program draws upon skilled faculty from Penn State Great Valley School of Graduate Professional Studies, the Black School of Business at Penn State Behrend, and Penn State Harrisburg School of Business Administration. Students in this program can also enjoy Smeal-led program facilities like career coaching, access to global immersion trips, personal advising and additional networking opportunities.

Course Structure

The Penn State Online MBA is an interdisciplinary program which requires 48 credits. The course is built around three-part Integration, Collaboration and Engagement (ICE) framework, a teaching and learning approach which shapes your learning experience at Smeal.

The program is divided into 39 core credit and 9 concentration coursework credits. Asynchronous and synchronous course options are available for students to choose from. The core courses are:

  • Team Performance
  • Financial Accounting
  • Leadership Communications and Change Management
  • Data Analysis for Decision Making
  • Marketing in the Global Environment
  • Financial Management
  • Managing Supply Chains in Global Markets 
  • Economics for Business Strategy 
  • Managing and Leading People in Organizations
  • Ethical and Responsible Business Leadership
  • Global Strategic Management
  • Corporate Innovation and Entrepreneurship
  • Managing in the Digital Economy

We suggest that the students take up the listed core courses for optimum learning. However, students may modify this based on their situation as well. 

The concentration courses offered by Penn State Online MBA program are:

  • Accounting Foundations 
  • Advanced Accounting 
  • Business Analytics
  •  Business Architecture
  • Business Sustainability Strategy
  • Community and Economic  Development
  • Corporate Innovation and Entrepreneurship
  • International Affairs
  • Management Consulting
  •  Marketing Analytics
  •  Negotiation and Influence
  • Public Administration
  • Strategic Leadership 
  • Supply Chain Management
  • Cybersecurity Intelligence Leadership
  • Engineering Leadership and Innovation Management
  • Finance
  •  General Management
  •  Health Care Business  
  • Homeland Security
  • Human Resource Management
  • Project Management

Eligibility Criteria

To be considered eligible to apply for the Penn State Online MBA program one must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • The candidate must hold either a baccalaureate degree or a tertiary degree that is deemed comparable to a four-year bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited US institution.
  • The applicant should have taken the GMAT or GRE tests in the past five years.
  • If a candidate’s native language is not English, they must provide TOEFL or IELTS test scores valid at the time of application. The minimum acceptable score for TOEFL is 60 and for IELTS it is 6.5.
  • Previous course work in mathematics, accounting, economics and statistics adds to the strength of your application. Knowledge gained regarding these subjects through work experience is also an added advantage.

How to Apply

  To apply to the Penn State Online MBA program, the candidates need to enrol within the application deadline in the university’s official website under the degree applications category. The candidates will have to submit the following documents at the time of application:

  • Candidates must provide official transcripts from every institution they have attended. If your transcripts are not in English, you must submit with a certified translated copy. State alumni do not need to provide transcripts for credits earned at Penn State.
  • Applicants must submit their GPA of undergraduate post-secondary as well as junior and senior years.
  • Candidates need to submit their GMAT and GRE test scores. GMAT and GRE waivers are provided to students who have PhD, MD, or D.O. Candidates who have progressive work experience or leadership experience and have not taken the test in past five years are also eligible for a waiver.
  • International candidates have to upload their English language proficiency test results if their native language is not English.
  •  Applicants need to provide the names, mail addresses and e-mail Ids of two professional references while applying online. The references will receive an email requesting them to fill out a brief online recommendation regarding your commitment to success in the program. For your application to be complete your references must submit the online recommendation.
  • The candidate must upload an updated resume focusing on post-graduate and full-time work experience. A two-year work experience is preferred.
  • Applicants need to submit a document answering six short – answer essay type questions in about 100-50 words each. The prompts are:
  1. What are your short term and long term career goals?
  2. What will you contribute to your classmates and the program? Why should we admit to you?
  3. Tell us about your leadership style and provide a supporting example.
  4. Given the team-based nature of our program, regular engagement with your colleague is required for success. Please outline how you will meet your obligations to your course team members (completing assignments, attending meetings, etc.). Discuss your strategies, and perceived challenges, that you may have related to time management, resolving team conflict, and plans for how you will handle unexpected changes/interruption to your schedule.
  5. Give an example of a time in which you received professional constructive criticism. What was it, who did it come from, and how did you apply it going forward?
  6. Explain how you are prepared/ preparing to succeed in a quantitatively rigorous graduate program.

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Admission Procedure

The admission procedure at Penn State Online MBA program has two parts: the application part and the interview round.

  • Application Part: After you have filled out the application form you can check the status of your application in the website. Upload all the necessary documents within the application deadline.
  • Interview Round: After the application part, the admissions committee may request an online interview on a case-by-case basis. The purpose of the interview is to determine whether a candidate is a good fit for the online program and gather additional information about them that is not present in application documents.


During the application process, a candidate needs to submit $65 which is non-refundable. However, candidates who are in military qualify for an application fee waiver. The fee is $1,185 per credit for both in-state and out of state residents for Penn State Online MBA program. 

Application Deadline

There are six rounds of application for the Penn State Online MBA program. Priority consideration will be given to candidates who apply within the early deadline.

  • Summer Early Deadline: January 15, 2021, to start from May 17, 2021.
  • Summer Deadline: February 15, 2021, to start from May 17, 2021.
  • Fall Early Deadline: March 1, 2021, to start from August 23, 2021.
  • Fall Deadline: May 1, 2021, to start from August 23, 2021.
  • Spring Early Deadline: September 1, 2021, to start from January 10, 2022
  • Spring Deadline: October 15, 2021, to start from January 10, 2022.


The Penn State Online MBA program that the university offers holds an overall rank of 6 in the US according to U.S. News.

Acceptance Rate

The acceptance rate of Penn State Online MBA programs is 89%. The average score in the GMAT exam is 546.

Penn State University has been the most recognized institution in U.S. News and World Report’s annual ranking of Best Online Programs since 2017. Penn State Online MBA program has been developed to support the unique requirements of adult learners. Students are free to start from any semester, customise the course they want to take up and complete them according to their schedule. So enrol now to pursue a top-notch online MBA degree which will give your career an outstanding boost. 

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To know more about University of North Florida MBA program, click here




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