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Mary Jean and Frank P. Smeal College of Business

Mary Jean and Frank P. Smeal College of Business Rating: 3.3/5 (4 votes)


The Smeal College offers the Master of Business Administration (MBA) and Master of Science (MS) as well as doctoral programs in accounting, finance, real estate, management, and organization, supply chain and information systems, and marketing, and joint degrees in health administration (MBA/MHA), quality manufacturing management (QMM), law (JD/MBA), and hotel, restaurant, and institutional management (MBA/MHRIM). Other programs include a 3-2 degree in science (BS/MBA) with the Eberly College of Science, summer internships, and joint research. The strongest areas of study are corporate finance, marketing, strategic leadership, portfolio management, supply chain management, corporate innovation, and leadership. The most popular courses are Communications, Corporate Finance, Financial Statement Analysis, Strategic Leadership, Strategy Implementation and Organizational Change, Business Planning, New Product Development, and Integrated Market Communications. Regular programs bring distinguished speakers and visiting professors to campus. A number of specific lecture series bring in high-level executives each year, as do individual faculty members who feature businesspeople as classroom guest speakers.

Forty-eight total credits are required to complete the MBA, including 22 elective credits. Required courses include:

  • Introduction to Managerial Accounting
  • Management
  • Teams
  • Communication Skills for Management
  • Financial Accounting
  • Economics for Managers
  • Risk and Decision
  • Introduction to Finance
  • Supply Chain and Operations Management
  • Marketing
  • Global Perspectives
  • Information Technology
  • Strategies for Converging Economies
  • Negotiations
  • Ethical Leadership

Business students may take relevant nonbusiness courses in other departments. The minimum time permitted to complete the master’s degree program attending full time is 21 months; maximum, 96 months.

There are 89 total full-time graduate business faculty, all of whom hold a doctorate; there is 1 part-time faculty member, who holds a doctorate. Faculty salaries are rated average for Category I institutions, based on the AAUP rating system. Average number of credit hours faculty teach is 9; average business class size is 33.


A bachelor’s degree is required. Most important admissions factors are work experience, GMAT results, and academic accomplishments and ability. A strong mathematics background is not required.

The number of applicants for the 2006-2007 class was 511; 170 were accepted; 85 enrolled. The average GPA was 3.3; average GMAT score was 651. Transfers are not accepted. Minority students are actively recruited by using a minority visitation program, scholarships, fellowships, recruitment and retention programs, and the recently appointed Dean in Diversity Enhancement.

Students may begin the MBA program in the fall only. To apply, students must submit an application form, 2 transcripts, GMAT scores, a nonrefundable application fee of $60, 2 letters of recommendation, essays, and a resume; an interview is required. The application deadline for fall entry is April 15, the deadline is December 1 for eary decision applicants. Students are notified on a rolling basis of the admissions decision. The latest acceptable test date for fall entry is March. Once accepted, students may defer admission for 1 year with receipt of enrollment deposit.

Financial Aid

About 96% of graduate business school students receive financial aid from scholarships, loans, and graduate assistantships, for a total average of $17,023 annually; maximum $32,178. Stipends and programs available for minority students include full tuition plus a stipend for all qualified students. The FAFSA and the previous year’s tax return are required. The application deadline is February 1 for fall entry.

Tuition for in-state residents is $676 per credit, or $16,222 per year. Nonresidents pay $1141 per credit, or $27,380 per year. On-campus room and board costs approximately $7650; books and supplies, $1500; personal expenses, $8000; and other fees, $530, for an estimated annual total of $33,902 for in-state residents and $45,060 for out-of-state residents. Graduate student housing consists of residence halls or 4-bedroom apartments available on a first-come, first-served basis. There is a referral service to help procure off-campus housing.


All of the current graduate business school class are enrolled full time; 95% have had an average of 53 months of full-time work experience prior to entering graduate school, a factor preferred by the school.Twenty-seven percent are women, 12% are minorities, and 35% are foreign nationals. The average age at entrance is 28; ages range from 21 to 45. Nine percent enter directly from undergraduate school; 10% already have a graduate degree. Students’ undergraduate majors were as follows: 34%, business; 22%, engineering; 12%, math and science; 7%, economics; and 4%, social sciences. About 2% of entering students leave by the end of the first year due to academic or personal reasons; 98% remain to receive their degree. In 2006, 72 graduate business degrees were awarded.

220 Business Building
University Park, PA 16802-3603
p. (800) 379-6445
f. (814) 863-8072

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