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Tuition and Financial Support

Tuition and Expenses

Below are estimated tuition expenses for the current academic year for the Penn State Smeal MBA program. Estimated housing expenses are based upon on-campus graduate housing fees, which may be lower than off-campus options.

Overview of tuition, expenses, and financial support for the Penn State Smeal MBA program.
Estimated Expenses for the 2015-2016 Academic Year
Expenses PA Residents Out-of-state Residents
Tuition $23,708 $38,068
Fees $882 $882
Orientation Fees $140 $140
Communications Course $60 $60
Room, Board, & Personal (estimated) $17,400 $17,400
Laptop Computer $1,300 - $2,200 $1,300 - $2,200
Books & Supplies $2,200 - $2,500 $2,200 - $2,500
Global Immersion (first-year only) $1,700 - $1,900 $1,700 - $1,900
Health Insurance (required for international students) $1,593 for students without graduate assistantships

$427.40 for students with graduate assistantships
$1,593 for students without graduate assistantships

$427.40 for students with graduate assistantships
Student Association Memberships
*While optional, highly recommended. The opportunities that come from joining the associations serve you well in your time in the MBA program and well beyond.

MBA Association - $300 (Lifetime Membership)

Other Student Associations - $30-$50 per association

Sources: Tuition and Fees Schedules

Return on Investment

A Penn State Smeal MBA pays for itself within 3.5 years according to Forbes’ 2013 rankings. As a land-grant institution, Penn State offers competitive tuition and is recognized as a top school in return on investment (ROI). Our costs are comparatively low and our graduates yield competitive salaries, making the Smeal MBA a great investment. Furthermore, many of our MBA students receive assistantships and scholarships, making their MBA degrees an even better investment.

Financial Support

Smeal offers scholarships and graduate assistantships to many students each year. They are awarded based on merit using the admission-process criteria that considers academic ability, work experience, leadership skills, and overall fit with the program.

All applicants are automatically considered for funding and there is no additional application for these awards. For full consideration, candidates should apply by the February application deadline.


The Penn State Smeal MBA scholarships are funded by alumni and friends of Penn State to attract outstanding students who will bring academic excellence, leadership potential, diversity, and unique perspectives to the class. In recent years, approximately 20 percent of incoming students have received a scholarship award typically ranging from $5,000 to $10,000. Those who apply by the February deadline are automatically considered for scholarship awards.

We invite you to learn more about our generous donors who have made these scholarship opportunities possible.

Graduate Assistantships

Graduate assistantships (GA) are two-year awards funded by Penn State to attract outstanding students and to provide support to fulfill the University's mission. Recipients work 10 hours per week for the Smeal College of Business with responsibilities ranging from assisting faculty to working in one of Smeal’s research centers.

In return, students receive a 100 percent waiver of tuition, subsidized health insurance, and a stipend of approximately $7,000/academic year. In a student’s second year, the graduate assistantship may be adjusted to twenty hours per week with a corresponding doubling of the stipend to approximately $14,000. Global Immersion costs and fees are not covered by a GA award.

Each year, approximately 35 graduate assistantships are awarded within a typical incoming class. If a student is not awarded a graduate assistantship for the first year, there are additional opportunities to obtain a graduate assistantship position in the second year. Approximately 6-8 graduate assistantships are awarded in this manner each year.

Bunton-Waller Fellowships

Bunton-Waller fellowships are merit based and seek to enhance the diversity of the student population within the Smeal MBA program. Fellowships from this program are awarded to individuals from various ethnic and cultural backgrounds with strong academic and professional potential. Factors considered in assessing each candidate’s application include quality and quantity of professional work experience, academic performance and potential as shown by transcripts and GMAT results, extracurricular and community activities, leadership potential, and the candidate’s ability to add strong and unique value to the overall class experience. Bunton-Waller fellowships are awarded for two years and carry a full tuition waiver. In addition, recipients receive a monthly stipend as well as subsidized healthcare in return for working part-time for the college. The tuition waiver does not include the enrollment deposit, program fees, or the cost of the Global Immersion. The Bunton and Waller Fellowship program is named in honor of the first-recorded African American male and female Penn State graduates.

Other Financial Aid Opportunities

Additional need-based financial aid, including student loans, is available for U.S. citizens through the Penn State Office of Student Aid.

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