How to Apply to the MBA Program

How to Apply to the MBA Program


To be considered for enrollment in Penn State Behrend's Erie and Pittsburgh MBA programs you must have received a bachelor's degree from a regionally-accredited institution under residence and credit conditions substantially equivalent to those required by Penn State.

Please note that if you are an international student who requires an I-20 visa, you cannot enroll in our MBA program. Visas are not issued for programs that are predominantly offered online, as ours is. If you currently reside in the U.S. on a work visa, you will need to submit additional information in the application.

Individuals with international credentials must hold the equivalent of an American four-year baccalaureate degree and must submit scores for the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or the IELTS (International English Language Testing System).

Admission decisions are based on undergraduate grade-point average, Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) scores, recommendations, and our assessment of how well your objectives match those of the program. Admission to the MBA program is granted jointly by The Graduate School of Penn State University and Penn State Behrend's Black School of Business.

The GMAT waiver policies outlined below allow an exemption for individuals with significant work experience and/or a strong undergraduate GPA.

To Apply

You can submit your online application prior to taking the GMAT, if required. Learn about important application deadlines and semester dates.

  • Completed applications are processed on a rolling basis.
  • A complete application (including GMAT score, if required) must be submitted by the deadline date.
  • Individuals who require a student visa should not apply to this program.
  • View semester dates and student action guidelines on Penn State's academic calendar
  • Applicants will need to complete all pre-enrollment modules prior to enrolling in the program; applications should/can be started in advance to meet application deadlines.

To apply to begin in spring 2018 Your application portfolio is due by November 13, 2017; take the GMAT, if required, by November 11. Pre-enrollment modules must be completed by January 1, 2018.

To apply to begin in fall 2018 Submit your online application now; your entire application portfolio is due June 18, 2018. Take the GMAT, if required, before or by June 16, 2018.

1. Submit Penn State’s Graduate School Online Application.

If you are ready to proceed to the application but have NOT read the Graduate School requirements, please visit that website first.

If you have read both the Graduate School requirements and the Black School of Business MBA requirements (below) and are ready to apply, you should proceed to the application.

Note that once you submit your application, you can still access it to upload documents.

2. Submit a Statement of Purpose: The statement should address the following:

  • Why have you chosen to pursue the Penn State Behrend MBA?
  • How will these studies help you achieve your personal and professional goals?
  • How will your participation contribute to the Penn State Behrend MBA program?
  • Indicate your current, or most recent, work responsibilities.

3. Upload transcripts to the application. Upload only official transcripts that were sent to you in a sealed envelope.

  • Don’t upload student or advising transcripts or ones that have UNOFFICIAL marked on them. Once uploaded, you cannot delete them.
  •  If your bachelor’s degree has been conferred, we recommend that you order two official (sealed) transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate institutions attended. Open one envelope and upload this to the application. Keep the other transcript sealed; this will be sent to the Graduate School later in the process, if you are offered admission. If your bachelor’s degree has not been conferred, order one official (sealed) transcript and upload to the application.
  • Upon admission and your acceptance of admission, you will be asked to send the second official (sealed) transcript to the Graduate School located at University Park. You will receive instructions directly from the Graduate School. If you have not yet completed your degree, you will be required to submit an official and “final” transcript, upon graduation. The “final” transcript documents the date of degree conferral and the degree completed.
  • Penn State alumni do not need to request transcripts for credits earned at Penn State, but must list Penn State as part of their academic history.
  • Upload an official transcript from each institution attended, regardless of the number of credits or semesters completed.
  • Transcripts not in English must be accompanied by a certified translation.

4. Submit contact information for three individuals who will complete the online references/recommendation form.

The MBA program requires three references from academic or professional sources. Current undergraduate students are required to have faculty within their academic school submit all three recommendations. Register each individual and their email address on the online application; they will receive an email directing them to complete a web-based form. Recommenders will not be sent an email until you have submitted the application; allow them plenty of time to meet the application deadline.

5. Submit GMAT scores, if applicable.

GMAT waiver policy: The GMAT is required for admission unless an applicant:

  • has completed a master's degree or higher from an accredited institution, OR
  • has demonstrated professional, post-baccalaureate work experience of seven years or more, OR
  • has demonstrated three to seven years of professional, post-baccalaureate work experience AND an undergraduate GPA of 3.3 or above, OR
  • has obtained an undergraduate degree from an accredited institution with a 3.6 or above GPA, and has up to three years of professional, post-baccalaureate work experience.

If you have questions about the above requirements, please contact Dr. Al Warner, MBA academic chair.

The GMAT must have been taken within five years of applying to the MBA program. The GMAT score that is required is based on your undergraduate GPA. Individuals who have a GPA of 3.0 or higher will be required to provide a minimum total GMAT score of 450. Learn more about GMAT requirements, minimum scores, and test preparation.

On the day of GMAT testing, do two things:

  1. Select Pennsylvania State University (School Code: 2660) as a score recipient. Graduate Admissions will be able to access your scores within ten days.
  2. Upload the unofficial score report to the application; this allows us to continue processing your application while we wait for your official score.

6. Individuals with international credentials have additional requirements.