Our Typical Student
Penn State Online MBA students come from a variety of backgrounds. If you're curious what types of qualifications our applicants usually have, take a look at these student body profile statistics (numbers are averages):
- Work Experience: 7–10 years post-undergraduate full-time work experience
- Undergraduate Cumulative GPA: 3.3
- GRE Scores: 153–155 per section
- GMAT: 575+
- Percentage of Women: 34%
- Percentage of Military and Veteran: 20%
- States Represented: 30+
For admission to the Graduate School, an applicant must hold either (1) a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution or (2) a tertiary (postsecondary) degree that is deemed comparable to a four-year bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution. This degree must be from an officially recognized degree-granting institution in the country in which it operates.
The Penn State Online MBA is suitable for individuals of diverse academic and professional backgrounds and requires no prerequisite course work. However, previous course work in accounting, economics, math, and statistics, or knowledge of these subjects gained through work experience, adds to the strength of your application portfolio. Additionally, post-undergraduate, full-time work experience is strongly recommended and preferred. Course success will rely heavily on the ability to apply real-world experience to academic concepts and teamwork.
What You Need
Applications are submitted electronically and include a nonrefundable application fee. Applicants who are in the military qualify for an application fee waiver. Contact us to request the military fee waiver code. You will need to upload the following items as part of your application:
Official transcripts from each institution attended, regardless of the number of credits or semesters completed — Transcripts not in English must be accompanied by a certified translation. Penn State alumni do not need to request transcripts for credits earned at Penn State but must list Penn State as part of your academic history. If you are admitted, you will be asked to send an additional official transcript. You will receive instructions at that time.
GPA and Test Scores — postsecondary (undergraduate), junior/senior (last two years) GPA is required. GMAT or GRE waivers are offered to applicants who meet certain qualifications. Submit your official score report as follows:
GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test): Pennsylvania State University – World Campus – Penn State Online MBA Program ZZ8-JW-99.
GRE (Graduate Record Examination): Code 2660 for Penn State.
GMAT or GRE required score waivers are offered to applicants with Ph.D., M.D., or D.O. degrees, and may also be considered for those with other advanced professional degrees, progressive work experience, or leadership experience, and who have not taken either test in the past 5 years. Factors considered for granting a waiver include an applicant's quantitative and analytical readiness for graduate study. Your request for waiver consideration should be sent to [email protected]. As part of your request, please include your résumé and undergraduate academic transcripts, along with transcripts from any graduate course work that you may have taken. All waiver requests will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis; this evaluation typically takes about 1–2 weeks to process. You should request the waiver evaluation prior to submitting the application, as application fees are non-refundable.
English Proficiency — The language of instruction at Penn State is English. With some exceptions, international applicants must take and submit scores for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Minimum test scores and exceptions are found in the English Proficiency section on the Graduate School's "Requirements for Graduate Admission" page. Visit the TOEFL website for testing information. Penn State's institutional code is 2660.
References (2) — You will need to initiate the process through the online application by entering names, email addresses, and mailing addresses of two references (preferably professional). Upon submission of your application, an email will be sent to each reference requesting they complete a brief online recommendation regarding your commitment for success in an online program. Please inform all recommenders they must submit the form in order for your application to be complete.
Résumé — You will upload your résumé (one to two pages) to the online application. A minimum of two years of professional experience is strongly preferred, with emphasis on post-undergraduate, full-time work experience. Internships and other experiences will be considered holistically but are not considered as part of the work experience minimum recommendation.
Essay Response — Submit 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:
- What are your short-term and long-term career goals?
- What will you contribute to your classmates and the program? Why should we admit you?
- 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 and resolving team conflict, and plans for how you will handle unexpected changes/interruptions to your schedule.
- 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?
- Explain how you are prepared/preparing to succeed in a quantitatively rigorous graduate program.
Application Portfolio Evaluation — The Admissions Committee considers the entire portfolio and seeks applicants who can succeed in a competitive MBA program. GMAT or GRE scores are a standardized admission criterion and are an important element of the application portfolio for some applicants. However, the portfolio is considered in its entirety, and occasionally provisions are made if the applicant has strengths in other areas such as a strong undergraduate GPA and exceptional work experience.
Online Interview — For the purpose of ensuring a good fit between the program and the student, the committee may want to gather additional information from the applicant not available in the written application materials. An online interview may be requested by the admissions committee on a case-by-case basis.
Start Your Application
You can begin your online application at any time. Your progress within the online application system will be saved as you go, allowing you to return at any point as you gather additional information and required materials. Your admission will be considered once your application portfolio is complete.
- Choose Enrollment Type: "Degree Admission"
- Choose "WORLD CAMPUS" as the campus
Checking Your Status
You can check the status of your application by using the same login information established for the online application form.
A computer is required for this program. You must have administrator rights on the machine that enables you to install new software. While our core courses are designed to operate using either Windows or iOS, concentration courses may require software that is compatible only with Windows. Please contact the program office at [email protected] for more information about specific concentration requirements.
Please review the other technical requirements for this degree program.