Application Process

Detailed information related to the application process and required criteria of the Master's in Management and Organizational Leadership (MOL) program offered by the Penn State Smeal College of Business.

Admission Criteria

IN FOCUS: Employer Testimonial

Himark Logo"[The MOL graduate] demonstrated professional maturity, teaming, and leadership skills that far outweigh that of a similar professional at this stage of their career. He was also able to quickly apply techniques such as statistics, ethics, finance, and strategy directly into his work – which I can tell was a product of this program."
– Chris Muller, Director of Learning and Development at Highmark Health

The Penn State Smeal MOL Program is designed for students from STEM-related disciplines with less than 18 months of post-undergraduate full-time work experience. The program features a multi-step application process, during which you will be asked to submit the following:

  • Penn State Graduate School Application
  • Admissions Essay
    • What are your short-term and long-term career goals? How does your past experience enable you to achieve these goals? How do you see your MOL experience fitting into this plan? (600-word limit)
  • Resume
  • Copies of Official Educational Transcripts
  • Video Application Response
  • Letters of Recommendation (2)
    • Academic recommendations preferred
  • Official English Language Proficiency Exam Scores (International Candidates)
  • Application Fee: $65

Application Deadlines

The Penn State Smeal MOL features multiple application deadlines throughout the year. Application reviews and decisions are made on a rolling basis. All aspects of the application process must be completed, submitted, and received by the applicable deadline to be considered for admission.

Deadlines for Fall 2023 Intake Submit Your Application By Expect a Decision By
1st Round October 1 December 1
2nd Round December 1 February 1
3rd Round February 15 April 1
4th Round April 1 June 1

Video Application Response

You will be asked to respond to a series of interview questions using a webcam. For each question, you will have limited time to consider your response and a set amount of time to respond as the system records. The system allows for unlimited practice sessions but once you start the formal video interview process, you will only have one chance to respond to each question. Your application will not be considered complete or evaluated by the committee until you have completed this part of the process, which is separate from the Penn State Graduate School application.

  • Technical Requirements: Visit the video application website to get started. You will need an internet-connected computer with a functioning webcam and microphone.
  • Time Required: 15 to 20 minutes to respond to all the questions. You can register within the system beforehand and complete your interview later at your convenience.

Admission Decisions

All applications will be reviewed by both the Penn State Smeal MOL Program Admissions Office (MOL requirements and admissions criteria) and the Penn State Graduate School (verification of educational documentation and credentials and international visa requirements). You may be contacted by parties from either area.

Admission is granted first by the Smeal MOL Program and then by the Penn State Graduate School. The Graduate School does not act on your application without a recommendation from the MOL Admissions Office. The only accurate way to confirm receipt of your application materials and to check the status of your application is to contact the Smeal MOL Admissions Office at

Academic Integrity and Plagiarism

The Penn State Smeal College of Business has a strong commitment to ethics and integrity as reflected in our Honor Code. The admissions committee will not tolerate any form of plagiarism or appearance of impropriety in an applicant’s materials. To ensure academic integrity, all essays will be confirmed through iThenticate authenticity software. 

Plagiarism includes:

  • Copying sentences, phrases, or paragraphs exactly as they appear in the original source (this includes using sample essays)
  • Copying sentences and putting them in a different order
  • Copying sentences and replacing a few words with synonyms
  • Copying sentences and adding a few of your own

Paraphrasing includes:

  • Re-stating the author’s idea in your own words, using your own voice
  • Summarizing the author’s main points in your own words

Source: "Defining Plagiarism and Academic Integrity" from "Plagiarism Tutorial for Students"

Failure to follow these guidelines will result in a deny decision. Email with questions.

Ready to begin your application? Visit our Apply page to take the next step.