A Complete Guide to the Penn State Online MBA

The Penn State Online MBA at the Penn State World Campus is a top-ranked online business school. While full-time and dual-degree programs might work for some students, Penn State’s online program is 100% virtual to accommodate different lifestyles. Read to learn about admissions data, program description, and why an online program might be right for you.

Penn State Online MBA Data

Acceptance Rate92%
Total Tuition and Fees$59,328
Average GPA3.3
Average GMAT592
Average GRE308
Average Age34
Average Work Experience5 years
DiversityMale: 68%
Female: 32%
The data above represents the Penn’s Online MBA class.
See the full report herePenn’s Online MBA

How to Get into Penn State’s Online MBA?

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What is The Penn State Online MBA?

The Penn State Online MBA is delivered through Penn State State World Campus and the Smeal College of Business. The MBA features a 48-credit program, integrating ICE: Integration, Collaboration, and Engagement. Students are required to choose one of 29 concentrations, ranging from business architecture to negotiation and influence to homeland security. With 39 core credits, the final nine credits center around the student’s chosen concentration. Check out the core and concentration requirements here. Students can also add a second Master’s degree or graduate certificate easily. In addition, there is the option to study abroad on a Global Immersion trip, where students meet with international businesses to learn their strategies and operations.

Why choose an online program over an in-person MBA?

You probably have heard the benefits of full-time, in-person MBA programs. These include focusing full-time on your studies, gaining access to more financial aid options, and networking. Full-time MBAs are an excellent option for students who have the financial resources to quit their jobs for two years and only focus on school. However, if you’re a young professional, parent, or frequent business traveler, the online option could be perfect for you. Learn more about the benefits here.

Do the Full-Time and Online MBA degrees have a similar curriculum?

The MBA curriculum delivered by the online program is the same as the full-time program. The differences include class experience and delivery, which we discuss in this article.

Admission Requirements

General Requirements Personal Info, Resume, Transcripts,
Letter of Recommendations, English Proficiency (if applicable)
ApplyPennsylvania State University Online MBA Application
Application Fee$65 for domestic students and $75 for international students.
Admissions EssaySubmit one document with your answers to 6 short-answer essay questions (50-100 words each) to allow the admissions committee to get to know more about you and to differentiate yourself from the competition. You should respond to these prompts:
a) What are your short-term and long-term career goals?
b) What will you contribute to your classmates and the program? Why should we admit you?
c) Tell us about your leadership style and provide a supporting example.Given the team-based nature of our program, regular engagement with your colleagues is required for success. Please outline how you will meet your obligations to your course team members (completing assignments, attending meetings, etc.). Discuss your strategies, and perceived challenges, that you may have related to time management, resolving team conflict, and plans for how you will handle unexpected changes/interruptions to your schedule.
d) Give an example of a time in which you received professional constructive criticism. What was it, who did it come from, and how did you apply it going forward?
e) Explain how you are prepared/preparing to succeed in a quantitatively rigorous graduate program.
GMAT/GREGMAT or GRE required with exceptions
InterviewAn online interview may be requested by the admissions committee on a case-by-case basis.

See the full details here: Penn State University’s Online MBA Admissions

Class Format

The classes are all asynchronous, meaning there is no scheduled meeting time. Many courses offer an extra synchronous option for higher engagement.

Flexibility for Working Professionals

Many online students work full-time jobs while acquiring an online MBA from Penn State. The program is structured around students who have to travel or continue working while attending school.

What else does this program require of its students?

Each 3-credit class required around ten hours of work per week. Students must participate through discussion posts, collaborative projects, papers, exams, and other coursework. In addition, there is a required residency at the beginning of the program, where students learn about courses, participate in workshops, interact with peers, and meet professors to create an engaging online space. The residency can be completed online or in-person over three days.

Career Support

Online MBA students have access to many career services from the World Campus, Smeal College of Business, and the Alumni Association. Students can speak with a career coach to improve application materials or create a career plan. They can also take professional development assessments, attend webinars, and strengthen their resumes, cover letters, and interview skills.