Equipping you with the capabilities and connections to thrive across the arc of your career.
Home > MBA Program > Admissions > International Applicant Requirements

International Applicant Requirements

As an international applicant to the Penn State Smeal MBA Program, please submit the following application components. The application should be completed online and all supplemental documents should be mailed in one envelope.

Application requirements for prospective international Penn State Smeal MBA students.
Application ItemDescription
Online Application Fill in the online application including application data, resume, essay, and application fee.
Letters of Recommendation Recommendations should be provided from two people you feel are able to present a specific evaluation of you professionally. Recent work or military supervisors are most appropriate.
Official GMAT/GRE 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).
Official Transcripts Two official transcripts must be submitted from every educational institution attended. International students must also submit official copies of the graduation certificate, degree certificate, and diploma. Scanned copies of these official documents are needed at the time of submission. If admitted, official copies will then be required. Failure to provide original copies to our program in a timely could greatly delay other University processes.
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).

Mail all supplemental documents to:

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

United States GPA Conversion Tables

If your school does not use the 4.0 grading scale we do not require you convert to a 4.0 grade scale. You can leave any questions regarding GPA blank.

Penn State Graduate Admissions Process

Admission is granted first by the Penn State Smeal MBA program and then by the Penn State Graduate School. The MBA program recommends admission to the Graduate School, which then verifies authenticity of documents, checks minimum requirements, and makes the final admissions decision.

  • The Graduate School does not act on your application without a recommendation from the Penn State Smeal MBA program. Questions regarding the status of your application should be directed to the Penn State Smeal MBA program by emailing

Application Fee Waivers

Application fee waivers are only offered in the following cases. If you qualify under one of the following, please email with your qualification status to request a fee waiver code.

  1. Penn State Alumni
  2. Active duty U.S. military and U.S. veterans
  3. Individuals reapplying to the Penn State Smeal MBA program from a previous year


GMAT/GRE scores, in combination with the undergraduate academic record, are an indicator of an applicant’s ability to manage the academic rigors of the MBA Program.

Penn State Smeal MBA, Full-Time Code: 2660

The GMAT (Graduate Management Admissions Test) is suggested for all Smeal MBA candidates. Official score reports must be sent directly from Pearson-VUE. Your GMAT score must be less than five years old at the time you apply. We urge all applicants to take the test before February 1st of the year of your intended enrollment. For more information and testing locations, visit

Penn State All Campuses, Full-Time Code:

Official score reports must be sent directly from ETS and must be less than five years old at the time you apply. We urge all applicants to test prior to February 1st of the year of your intended enrollment. For more information and testing locations, visit:


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


Penn State Smeal MBA, Full-Time Code: 2660

The TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) is required of all applicants from all countries whose official language is not English. Required scores:

Required scores for TOEFL
Test Delivery MethodMinimum Score
Speaking Section
Paper-based 600

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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

IELTS required scores
Test Delivery MethodMinimum Score
Test Centre 7.0

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.

Academic Integrity and Plagiarism

The 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.

Plagiarism Includes:

  • Copying sentences, phrases, or paragraphs exactly as they appear in the original source
  • 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: Plagiarism & You

Should you have any questions about what constitutes adherence to our policies, please consult "Plagiarism & You" linked above. If you still need clarification, please contact us at

Agents and Consultants

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. However, Penn State does not partner with agents to recruit students nor administer the application process. Agents/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/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 Turnitin for Admissions authenticity software.

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

Education USA:

Free TOEFL Practice tests: