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Before You Apply

To be prepared for success in Smeal College, you should take the following courses during your junior and senior years in high school:

  • one-half (1/2) credit of trigonometry (required for admission to Smeal College)
  • take as many years of a foreign language as possible

We also recommend that you take advanced course work that enhances your oral and written communication skills. Those two skills are valuable to success in college as well as after graduation in business and industry.

Advanced Placement

Take advanced placement or AP courses if you have the opportunity. Successfully placing out of college level courses provides credits toward the degree that may potentially reduce the number of credits needed to graduate. To learn more about AP courses offered at various high schools, visit the Academic Placement Web site.

Decisions to Make When You Apply

Apply Early

Submit your application for admission as early as possible. Admission into Smeal College is highly selective, and enrollment is limited. The students who apply on or before the priority application date of November 30 will have a competitive advantage.

Choose Your Major

When you apply, if you are considering a business degree, but are still slightly undecided about your choice of academic college or major within Penn State, you should choose Smeal College of Business. Due to a high demand for our majors, it may not be possible to join Smeal College at a later point in time. If you decide later to change to a major in another college, you can easily make that change then.

Consider all Penn State Locations for Your Start

Before you apply, consider starting your Smeal College experience at a campus other than University Park.

Penn State's various locations offer you an opportunity to begin your university experience at a smaller campus location. Benefits at these campuses include smaller class sizes and closer interaction with business faculty early in your academic career.

Although University Park campus is the administrative home for the Smeal College of Business, many Smeal students complete the first two years of their college careers at other Penn State locations.

If you start at a campus other than University Park, you must complete the first two years at the respective campus before you relocate to the University Park campus to complete your junior and senior years.

Think About When to Start

Many students get a jump start on their undergraduate education by starting in the summer. With a summer session start, you take your first set of college courses in smaller classes and learn the mechanics of the university with fewer students on campus in a more relaxed atmosphere.

One top quality summer program to consider is called Learning Edge Academic Program (LEAP). In LEAP, students attend class and live in on-campus housing with a cohort of students with the same expressed interests. Learn more about LEAP.

Transfer Admission

Transfer admission to the Smeal College is currently under enrollment limits and may not be available to most transfer students. For more information, please review the policy on the Undergraduate Admissions Web site.