What Is the Smeal College of Business?

The Smeal College of Business is a business school located at the Pennsylvania State University. The school offers undergraduate degrees, as well as graduate programs such as the Master of Business Administration (MBA).

The college is home to departments in many of the traditional business school areas, such as finance, marketing, and supply chain management. It is known for its high-quality supply chain education, having ranked 1st in North America in that category on five occasions between 2009 and 2018, with the most recent first-place ranking occurring in 2018.

Key Takeaways

  • The Smeal College of Business is a business school located at the Pennsylvania State University.
  • Its MBA program is ranked among the top 40 worldwide.
  • The college’s instructional style places a strong emphasis on practical and international experiences.

Understanding the Smeal College of Business

The Smeal College of Business was founded in 1953, and is located in University Park, Pennsylvania on a 210,000-foot facility. It is known for its efforts to balance academic training with real-world experience during its two-year MBA program. 

For example, Smeal employs a “7-1-7” course format in which the first seven weeks are followed by one week of “Career Immersion” focused on applying the newly-acquired knowledge in real-world situations. Similarly, the college requires students to gain international experience while attending Smeal College. This is supported through a so-called “Global Immersion” period, in which students visit partnering institutions throughout the world.

Overall, the college’s MBA program is consistently ranked among the top 40 in the world by publications such as BusinessWeek, US News, and The Financial Times. As a public college, the Smeal College of Business has a markedly lower cost of attendance as compared to competing private B-Schools—nearly 70% less, in some cases.

Real World Example of the Smeal College of Business

As is true for all B-Schools, the average compensation received by alumni varies depending on many factors, including the major which the student pursued. In the case of Smeal College of Business, the most lucrative majors as evidenced by the average starting salaries of undergraduates in 2018-2019 were Actuarial Science, Real Estate Risk Management, and Finance, with average starting salaries ranging between $65,000 and $70,000.

The three least lucrative majors were Corporate Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIENT), Marketing, and Enterprise Risk Management, with average salaries ranging between $49,000 and $60,000. By contrast, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates that the average full-time American worker earns roughly $51,000 per year.

Students graduating from the Smeal College of Business will join an alumni network over 85,000 strong. It includes many prominent members, including William Schreyer, former CEO of Merrill Lynch & Co.; Dan Mead, CEO of Verizon Wireless; and Louis D’Ambrosio, CEO of Sears Holdings Corporation.