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University Bulletin
Graduate Degree Programs

M.B.A.--Additional Specific Requirements

Master of Business Administration degree programs are offered at the University Park campus, Penn State Great Valley, Penn State Harrisburg, and Penn State Erie.

University Park Campus--The purpose of the MBA program at the University Park campus is to develop professional managerial knowledge and skills as these are applied to decisions in complex organizations. The curriculum was developed by the graduate business faculty to blend technical rigor, managerial theory, and integrative learning experiences through case studies and other teaching methods.

A minimum of 48 graduate credits is required, with a minimum of 42 credits at the 500 level. Twenty-six credits must be in specific core courses. Also required are 22 credits in portfolio and breadth electives. Work for this degree may be started in the fall semester only. Applications for this AACSB-accredited M.B.A program must include the results of the Graduate Management Admission Test.

Penn State Harrisburg--The goals of the Harrisburg MBA program are to provide graduates with a foundation for personal and professional growth and lifelong learning; a firm grounding in the academic disciplines underlying the field of business; participative strengths; and decision making, problem solving, and critical thinking skills. Major emphasis is placed on the social, legal, and ethical context of business—particularly ethical values needed in the conduct of business. Program faculty place high value on teaching and currency of curriculum, an emphasis on oral and written communication, collaborative learning, and cross-functional integregration of concepts. The students served by the MBA program are, primarily, employees of area business, government, and not-for-profit organizations who reside within the Capital Region and study on a part-time basis. However, either full- or part-time study is possible. The M.B.A. is also offered as a concurrent MBA/Ph.D. program with the College of Medicine at the Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center Department of Pharmacology, and concurrent MBA/J.D. degree program with The Dickinson School of Law.

The M.B.A. requires a minimum of 30 graduate credits, and is offered at the college's Middletown campus and in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Eighteen of these credits are in prescribed areas of business, including accounting, finance, management, marketing, and information systems. An additional 12 credits are elective, permitting students to select courses in such areas as e-business, human resource managements, financial analysis, or general business to meet their personal and professional goals. Depending on their level of preparation, some students may need to take additional course work beyond the baccalaureate to permit them to begin their advanced business studies with a common conceptual foundation and adequate understanding of the integrated nature of the business enterprise. Applications to this AACSB-accredited program must include results of the Graduate Management Admission Test and two letters of recommendation. In addition, applicants whose first language is not English or who have not received a prior degree from an institution in which the language of instruction was English must provide scores on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).

Penn State Erie--The Penn State Erie M.B.A. is a general degree emphasizing development of the planning and problem-solving skills crucial in middle and upper management. Course work emphasizes the integration of business functions and the practical application of theory in the business world, using simulated problems and actual situations students are experiencing at work. Many students are fully employed professionals who bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the classroom. Both full- and part-time study is possible and the program can be completed by attending evening classes. The Master of Business Administration degree program consists of three parts:

  1. Foundation Core Courses (18 credits): The courses introduce students to the ethical, legal, social, political, technological, and societal environment of business, accounting, economics, finance, management, marketing, operations management, and the application of quantitative methods to the analysis of business problems. The foundation core is required of all applicants who have not completed an undergraduate degree in business or previous undergraduate or graduate course work relevant to the foundation core requirements.
  2. Advanced Required Courses (15 credits): These courses build on the knowledge base established in the foundation core and provide greater depth of knowledge in the subject areas included. This component of the MBA program consists of five 3-credit courses that cover advanced topics in cost management, information systems management, managing a diverse workforce, global operations and supply chain management, and strategic management and business policy.
  3. Elective Courses (15 credits): All students are required to take 15 credits of elective courses covering advanced topics of their choice. Electives must include at least 3 credits of community outreach-oriented and 3 credits of internationally focused course work from the program-approved list of courses.

Penn State Great Valley--The M.B.A. at Great Valley's School of Graduate Professional Studies is designed to meet the needs of the working professional desiring to advance her or his career. The M.B.A. requires 45 credits for degree completion. Courses are categorized into four groups: core, advanced, elective, and capstone. Students may be exempt from up to 15 credits from the core courses based on academic preparation and test scores. Students entering the program are expected to meet preprogram requirements that build a foundation for effective communication skills and quantitative analysis.

In addition to the general M.B.A. program, options are available in Biotechnology and Health Industry Management, and New Ventures and Entrepreneurial Studies. Classes are offered evenings and Saturdays in seven-week sessions, and the program may be completed in as little as 18 months. M.B.A. students are admitted year-round at the beginning of each of the seven-week sessions. Applications must include the results of a Graduate Management Admissions Test. For more information, refer to the Web at (Opens New Window).


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