The Smeal College of Business MBA: What You Need To Know
Pennsylvania State’s Smeal MBA program has been offered since 1960. It is ranked fourth in overall faculty quality by The Economist 2021. The program consists of small, community-based cohorts of 60 students per year by design to create an intimate academic environment that provides personalized attention from faculty and program staff. This helps students form deep and lasting connections with a community of diverse perspectives, cultural viewpoints, and business experiences.
The program begins in August and spans two academic years on campus, with each semester seven weeks long. To apply, students will be asked to submit GMAT or GRE scores, an admissions essay, a resume, transcripts, and video application responses among other materials.
Students will complete a minimum of 54 credit hours. The first year is highly team-based, with foundational courses such as Accounting, Statistics, Marketing, Finance, and Supply Chain. Instead of semester-long courses, students take classes in two seven-week modules, with one-week immersions between them. Leadership Communications, Business Ethics, and Negotiations are hallmarks of the program. Alumni say the year-long Leadership Communications is one of the most critical courses because it helps students develop critical presentation, storytelling, sales, feedback and public speaking skills.
In their second year, students may customize their MBA with one of four primary concentrations in Finance, Marketing, Supply Chain, or Management Consulting. Smeal offers about 20 secondary options including Sustainability, Entrepreneurship, and Healthcare so that students may craft an MBA that is best suited to meet their goals.
In addition to student organizations, MBA students have the opportunity to take part in case competitions, a leadership immersion with the New York Fire Department or U.S. Marine Corps, and three different educationally focused immersions locally and globally.
Watch Poets&Quants’ John A. Byrne interview then-MBA Admissions Director (and current Online MBA Director) Stacey Dorang Peeler of the Smeal College of Business at Pennsylvania State University.