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Application Instructions

Apply now for Fall 2016

All parts of the application to the Penn State Smeal MBA program including recommendation letters and essay must be received by the applicable deadline to consider the application complete.

  • The only accurate way to check the status of your application and whether or not your materials have been received is to contact us at

Part 1: The Application 

  • Please use the Penn State Graduate School Application portal to access the application. You can return to this portal anytime during the process.
  • After you begin your application, you will be asked to select the desired program. Your selections for the full-time residential Smeal MBA program at Penn State should be:

    Degree: M B A
    Semester: Fall of 2016
    • Complete application including program specific questions and upload resume, essay, and transcripts as prompted. Pay the application fee of $65 unless you have a fee waiver code.

    Part 2: Essay, Resume, and Transcripts

      • Format: Please complete the following essay and upload it to the application in .pdf or .rtf format.
      • Length: Please limit your essay to the word limit provided.
      • Academic Integrity: Please follow academic integrity guidelines regarding plagiarism - "using someone else's words or ideas without properly giving credit." Plagiarism includes use of material from sample essays and any website. To ensure academic integrity, all essays will be confirmed through iThenticate authenticity software. Failure to follow these guidelines will result in a deny decision.

    Essay Question

    • What are your short-term and long-term career goals? What is your plan for achieving these goals? Please be as specific as possible, including industry and function. How do you see your experience at Smeal fitting into this plan? (600 word limit)

    Resume & Transcripts

          • Resume: Please submit a current version of your resume, including all work experience and secondary education up until the date of application. The sample PDF posted here is the format in which we require our students to complete their resume. While this format is NOT required for application, you may find it to be a useful resource when preparing your resume.
          • Transcripts: The application will ask you to upload a copy of your undergraduate transcripts for the initial review of your application. The Graduate School asks that these copies uploaded to the application for initial review be scans of the official copies. If you are admitted and enroll, the hard copy original/official copies of these transcripts from your undergraduate institution will be required.

          Part 3: Video Application Questions

          • Part of our online application process requires each applicant to complete video application questions. We’re excited to get to meet you virtually, through the medium of video interviewing. You’ll see that we’ve recorded the questions ourselves and you’ll be able to get a sense of our culture and values, as well as what we're looking for in our candidates. The value we get with this, in addition to your traditional application, is to virtually meet you, get a sense of your personality and potential, and see how you think on your feet. This has proven to be a helpful strategy for us and our applicants, as it is both time-efficient and meaningful.
          • The process is simple - you will be asked a question, given prep time, and a set amount of time to respond. It should only take 15 to 20 minutes to complete and can be done on your own time. You will require an internet connected computer with a functioning webcam and microphone, or a smartphone. The system allows for unlimited practice sessions but once you start the formal interview questions you only get one chance - this allows us to see your candid responses. You can register now and complete your interview later. Your application will not be considered complete or evaluated by the committee until you have completed this requirement. For more detailed information on the video interview process, please proceed by clicking the link below!
          • Begin your video application questions

              Part 4: Letters of Recommendation

              • Two letters of recommendation are required. At least one letter from a current or previous supervisor is preferred.
              • The online application "References" section may be left blank and saved, as the site below will register your two references.
              • Use the following link to register yourself. After creating your account in the recommendation system, login and submit your two recommenders. Upon submission, they will be sent access to a webform to complete their recommendations. You may go back to the registration page to change recommenders.
              • If your recommenders are unable to use the electronic form above, please have them fill out and mail the following form.
                Recommendation Form
              • Additional recommendation letters may be submitted as supplements, however, we prefer that only the form is used. This allows us to most equitably compare candidates and ensures that candidates' assessments rely on specific ratings rather than their references' varied language and writing styles. There will be an option in the system to add a 3rd letter of recommendation.

              Additional Information