Master of Business Administration

School of Business Administration

The Penn State Harrisburg MBA program satisfies individual needs for professional growth and fosters lifelong learning. Students may expect to gain problem-solving and critical-thinking skills as well as technical expertise, desirable attitudes and values, and participative strengths. The program emphasizes oral and written communication, research, integration of concepts throughout the curriculum and cross-functional approaches.

The MBA program welcomes full-time and part-time students. Many students in the program are employees of area businesses, state and local governments, and not-for-profit organizations, who study on a part-time basis.

Courses blend classroom and online delivery and are held at Penn State Harrisburg, in Middletown, Pa. Classes are also available in Lancaster, Pa., on the campus of Franklin & Marshall College.

Students may elect to take courses in “tracks” organized around a common theme and designed to be integrative and cohesive.

The tracks provide competencies and skill sets for decision making in several areas:

  • Accounting
  • E-business
  • Human Resource Management
  • Financial Analysis
  • General Business
  • Information Systems
  • Supply Chain Management

Degree Conferred: M.B.A.

Graduate study also available in Engineering Management

Program Requirements for Admission

Requirements More Information
GPA Decisions are based primarily on undergraduate junior/senior grade-point average and the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) scores.
Supporting Materials
  • GMAT test scores (the test must have been taken within the past five years);
  • two letters of recommendation

Post-baccalaureate course work, professional experience, and the statements provided in the application may also be taken into account.

Deadline for Application

Semester Deadline
Fall July 18
Spring November 18
Summer April 18

Application Process

Gather supporting materials and begin the standard graduate application.

Prerequisite Courses

Mathematics Requirement: Prior to enrolling in their MBA course work, students are required to demonstrate competence in quantitative skills. This may be demonstrated by: (1) satisfactory completion of a college-level calculus course, such as QUANT 310 or MATH 110 as well as STAT 200; or (2) successful completion of a mathematics proficiency examination approved by the MBA program.

Credit by Examination: Interested students should obtain a Credit by Examination form from Enrollment Services and should consult with the mathematics faculty in the School of Science, Engineering, and Technology to schedule the exam and obtain a list of suggested preparatory materials.

Computer Requirement: Students are required to demonstrate competence through a college-level microcomputer applications course within the past six years or significant work experience with computer applications. If this requirement has not been met, a college-level microcomputer course is required. Course work must be taken either during the first semester or summer session of the student’s matriculation and completed with a grade of B or better.

Communication Skills: The MBA program requires the ability to think clearly and write effectively. If a score of 4 or more on the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) Analytical Writing Assessment is not achieved, students will need to satisfy this requirement through course work in college-level English and/or other remedial work.

Prerequisite Business Courses (18 credits): The business prerequisites provide a foundation in theory, tools, and techniques required for competent legal and ethical management of profit and/or nonprofit organizations. The prerequisites also provide a basic understanding of the concepts and applications of financial reporting, domestic and global economic environments of organizations, creation and distribution of goods and services, and human behavior in organizations.

For holders of an undergraduate degree in a business field from an accredited college-level business program, the 18 credits of required prerequisite courses will be met if the relevant undergraduate course work in the undergraduate degree program was completed with a grade of B or better in each course within seven years prior to admission to the MBA program. Course work not meeting these tests of relevancy, grade, or currency must be taken at the graduate level as a prerequisite prior to starting the remaining prescribed, additional and elective course work in the 30-credit MBA program.

An applicant holding a baccalaureate degree in a non-business field from an accredited, college-level institution may satisfy a prerequisite requirement through completion of a minimum of 6 credits of advanced undergraduate work in a single area of concentration completed with a grade of B or better within seven years prior to admission to the MBA program or through credits earned in an equivalent graduate-level program at an accredited college-level institution with a grade of B or better within seven years prior to admission to the MBA program. Course work not meeting these tests of relevancy, grade, or currency must be taken at the graduate level as a prerequisite to course work in the 30-credit program.

Prerequisite Courses (18 credits)

  • BUS 500 NEGOTIATION, COMMUNICATION, TEAMWORK (2). Prerequisite: admission to the MBA or MSIS program
  • BUS 505 DATA ANALYSIS FOR BUSINESS DECISIONS (2). Prerequisite: admission to the MBA or MSIS program; QUANT 310 or MATH 110, STAT 200 or equivalent
  • BUSEC 502 PRICES, MARKETS AND COMPETITIVE STRATEGY (2). Prerequisite: admission to the MBA program or the MSIS program
  • BUSEC 503 ECONOMIC ENVIRONMENT OF BUSINESS (2). Prerequisite: admission to the MBA program or the MSIS program
  • MNGMT 511 ORGANIZATIONAL BEHAVIOR (2). Prerequisite: admission to graduate degree candidacy
  • MRKT 513 MARKETING MANAGEMENT: STRUCTURES AND PROCESSES (2). Prerequisites: BUSEC 502
  • MNGMT 522 OPERATIONS MANAGEMENT (3). Prerequisite: BUSEC 505 or
    MNGMT 523 SERVICE OPERATIONS MANAGEMENT (3). Prerequisite: BUS 505 and
  • ACCT 501 FINANCIAL STATEMENT ANALYSIS (3). Prerequisite: admission to MBA or MSIS program

The Curriculum

Standard Program

The core of the MBA degree requires 30 credits of course work at the graduate level (500-level or higher). These are distributed over two groups of courses: prescribed and elective.

Prescribed Courses (18 credits)

The prescribed courses are intended to develop general competence for overall management.

  • BUS 515 BUSINESS ETHICS AND CORPORATE GOVERNANCE (2). Prerequisite: Admission to the MBA program or the MSIS program
  • MRKT 514 MARKETING MANAGEMENT: RELATIONSHIPS AND INSTITUTIONS (2). Prerequisite: MRKT 513
  • MNGMT 514 ORGANIZATIONAL LEARNING (2). Prerequisite: MGNMT 511.
  • FINAN 521 CORPORATE FINANCE (3). Prerequisite: ACCT 501.
  • INFSY 540 INFORMATION RESOURCES MANAGEMENT (3). Prerequisite: admission to MBA or MS/IS program
  • ACCT 540 MANAGERIAL ACCOUNTING (2). Prerequisite: ACCT 501
  • BUS 588 STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT (2). Prerequisites: ACCT 540, BUS 584, FINAN 521, INFSY 540
  • BUS 589 STRATEGIC VENTURE PLANNING AND INNOVATION (2). Prerequisite: BUS 588

Elective Courses (12 credits)

Electives allow students to select additional courses of interest. Six credits of elective courses must be taken from courses offered by the School of Business Administration such as Accounting (ACCT), Business (BUS), Economics (ECNMS), Finance (FINAN), Information Systems (INFSY), Management (MNGMT), Marketing (MRKT) and Supply Chain and Information Systems (SC&IS). Other electives may be selected from courses offered by the School of Business Administration and/or courses offered by other academic programs. Electives must be selected in consultation with a faculty adviser and have prior MBA approval. Students may elect to take courses in “tracks” organized around a common theme and designed to be integrative and cohesive.

The tracks provide competencies and skill sets for decision making in six areas:

  • E-business
  • Financial Analysis
  • General Business
  • Human Resource Management
  • Information Systems
  • Supply Chain

Accounting Track

The accounting track is designed to enable students who have an undergraduate degree in accounting or its equivalent to meet the requirement of 150 course credit hours to be certified and licensed as a CPA in Pennsylvania.

Courses are offered during the evening and students may enroll on a part-time or full-time basis.

For most students who have majored in business at the undergraduate level, this will be a 35 credit-hour program.

The accounting track requires the same prescribed course requirements as the standard program; however, this track replaces the elective courses in the standard program.

Graduate Accounting Courses

The accounting track requires a minimum of 12 credits of accounting and permits a maximum of 15 credits of accounting. Students taking fewer than 15 credits in accounting may take up to 3 credits of other elective courses.

It is anticipated that these accounting track courses will be offered once a year:

  • ACCT 504 Auditing Theory & Practice
  • ACCT 510 Business Tax Planning Theory & Practice
  • ACCT 545 Strategic Cost Management
  • ACCT 572 Financial Reporting I
  • ACCT 573 Financial Reporting II

CPA Exam

The Pennsylvania State Board of Accountancy provides answers to frequently asked questions about the CPA exam and about the certification and licensing processes. Additional information is available from the Pennsylvania Institute of CPAs.

The basic education requirement to take the exam is completion of a baccalaureate degree with a minimum of 24 credits hours in accounting and auditing, business law, finance, and tax.

Two additional educational requirements must be met to be certified and licensed. These are:

  1. completion of 12 credit hours of courses in accounting and auditing, and tax, and;
  2. completion of 150 total credit hours of course work.

https://harrisburg.psu.edu/page/cpa-exam-requirements

Transfer Credits and Course Substitutions

Transfer Credits: Up to 10 transfer credits may be applied toward the degree. However, credits used to complete a previous degree may not be applied. These courses must have been completed within the past five years, appear on a graduate transcript, and have been passed with a B grade or better earned in an equivalent graduate-level program at an accredited, college-level institution. It must be the opinion of the reviewing faculty that these courses are equivalent in quality to those offered at Penn State Harrisburg.

Course substitutions: Except for BUS 588 and BUS 589, which must be taken at Penn State Harrisburg, up to 6 credits of prescribed courses may be replaced with more advanced courses in the same field. Substitutions are based on a minimum of 6 credits of advanced undergraduate course work in an area of concentration or credits earned in an equivalent graduate-level program at an accredited, college-level institution. These courses must have been completed within the past five years and have earned a grade of B or better. Substituted courses must be replaced with other advanced graduate courses in the same field for which the substitute is an important foundation/prerequisite. Students will be informed of this in a letter received from the program office. Substitutions are based on past academic performance. An examination cannot be used for earned graduate course credit.

Grade-Point Average and Time Limit

A 3.00 (out of 4.00) minimum grade-point average is required before a student is awarded an M.B.A. degree. All course work must be completed within six years, or seven consecutive summers of matriculation.

Additional Courses

Accounting (ACCT)

  • ACCT 501 FINANCIAL STATEMENT ANALYSIS (3). Prerequisite: admission to MBA or MSIS program
  • ACCT 510 BUSINESS TAX PLANNING THEORY & PRACTICE (3)
  • ACCT 540 MANAGERIAL ACCOUNTING (2). Prerequisite: ACCT 501
  • ACCT 545 STRATEGIC COST MANAGEMENT (3). Prerequisite: ACCT 540
  • ACCT 561 FINANCIAL STATEMENT ANALYSIS II (3). Prerequisite: ACCT 501
  • ACCT 571 STRATEGIC TAX PLANNING (3). Prerequisite: ACCT 501
  • ACCT 572 FINANCIAL REPORTING 1 (3).  Prerequisite: ACCTG 472
  • ACCT 573 FINANCIAL REPORTING 2 (3).  Prerequisite: ACCT 572
  • ACCT 574 ACCOUNTING AND MANAGEMENT CONTROL SYSTEMS (3). Prerequisite: ACCT 501
  • ACCT 596 INDIVIDUAL STUDIES (1-9)
  • ACCT 597 SPECIAL TOPICS (1-9)

Business (BUS)

  • BUS 500 NEGOTIATION, COMMUNICATION, TEAMWORK (2). Prerequisite: admission to the MBA or MSIS program
  • BUS 505 DATA ANALYSIS FOR BUSINESS DECISIONS (2). Prerequisite: admission to the MBA or MSIS program; QUANT 310 or MATH 110, STAT 200 or equivalent
  • BUS 515 BUSINESS ETHICS AND CORPORATE GOVERNANCE (2). Prerequisite: admission to the MBA program or the MSIS program
  • BUS 548 QUANTITATIVE METHODS (3). Prerequisite: MNGMT 522 or MGNMT 523
  • for the last 6 credits of the MBA program.
  • BUS 555 INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS (3)
  • BUS 556 ECONOMIC AND BUSINESS FORECASTING (3). Prerequisite BUSEC 503
  • BUS 561 BUSINESS CONDITIONS ANALYSIS (3). Prerequisite: BUSEC 502 and BUSEC 503
  • BUS 588 STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT (2). Prerequisites: ACCT 540, BUS 584, FINAN 521, INFSY 540
  • BUS 589 STRATEGIC VENTURE PLANNING AND INNOVATION (2). Prerequisite: BUS 588
  • BUS 590 COLLOQUIUM (1-3)
  • BUS 595 INTERNSHIP (1-18). Prerequisite: prior approval of proposed assignment by instructor
  • BUS 596 INDIVIDUAL STUDIES (1-9)
  • BUS 597 SPECIAL TOPICS (1-9)

Business Economics (BUSEC)

  • BUSEC 502 PRICES, MARKETS AND COMPETITIVE STRATEGY (2). Prerequisite: admission to the MBA program or the MSIS program
  • BUSEC 503 ECONOMIC ENVIRONMENT OF BUSINESS (2). Prerequisite: admission to the MBA program or the MSIS program

Finance (FINAN)

  • FINAN 518 FINANCIAL MARKETS AND THE ECONOMY (3). Prerequisite: ECNMS 510
  • FINAN 521 CORPORATE FINANCE (3). Prerequisite: ACCT 501
  • FINAN 522 INVESTMENT AND PORTFOLIO MANAGEMENT (3). Prerequisite: FINAN 521
  • FINAN 526 INTERNATIONAL FINANCE (3). Prerequisite: FINAN 521
  • FINAN 527 DERIVATIVE SECURITIES (3). Prerequisite: FINAN 521
  • FINAN 530 FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT (3). Prerequisite: FINAN 521
  • FINAN 531 MANAGING FINANCIAL OPERATIONS (3). Prerequisite: FINAN 521
  • FINAN 575 SEMINAR IN CURRENT ISSUES IN FINANCE (3). Prerequisite: FINAN 521
  • FINAN 596 INDIVIDUAL STUDIES (1-9)
  • FINAN 597 SPECIAL TOPICS (1-9)

Information Systems (INFSY)

  • INFSY 535 OBJECT-ORIENTED DESIGN AND PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT IN BUSINESS (3). Prerequisite: admission to the MBA or MSIS program or program approval
  • INFSY 540 INFORMATION RESOURCES MANAGEMENT (3). Prerequisite: admission to MBA or MSIS program
  • INFSY 543 ELECTRONIC COMMERCE (3). Prerequisite: INFSY 540 or permission of the program
  • INFSY 544 DESIGN, DEVELOPMENT, AND MANAGEMENT OF E-BUSINESS (3). Prerequisite: INFSY 543
  • INFSY 545 PROGRAM, DATA, AND FILE STRUCTURES (3). Prerequisite: INFSY 535
  • INFSY 547 WEB ENABLED TECHNOLOGIES (3). Prerequisite: INFSY 535 or permission of the program
  • INFSY 550 STRATEGIC INFORMATION SYSTEMS (3). Prerequisite: INFSY 540
  • INFSY 554 MASTER’S PROJECT (3). Prerequisite: last 6 credits of MS/IS program
  • INFSY 556 DATA WAREHOUSING (3). Prerequisite: INFSY 555
  • INFSY 560 DATA COMMUNICATIONS SYSTEMS AND NETWORKS (3). Prerequisite: INFSY 540
  • INFSY 562 NETWORK PROTOCOLS (3). Prerequisite: INFSY 535 and INFSY 560 or permission of the program
  • INFSY 563 NETWORK SECURITY (3). Prerequisites: INFSY 535 and INFSY 560 or permission of the program
  • INFSY 564 WIRELESS NETWORKS (3). Prerequisite: INFSY 535 and INFSY 560 or permission of program
  • INFSY 565 INTELLIGENT SYSTEMS IN BUSINESS (3). Prerequisite: INFSY 535
  • INFSY 566 DATA MINING AND KNOWLEDGE DISCOVERY (3). Prerequisite: INFSY 565
  • INFSY 570 SOFTWARE ENGINEERING IN THE ANALYSIS AND DESIGN OF INFORMATION SYSTEMS (3). Prerequisite: INFSY 535
  • INFSY 575 SEMINAR IN INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY MANAGEMENT (3). Prerequisite: INFSY 555 or 570
  • INFSY 578 INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY AND LIFE SCIENCES (3). Prerequisite: 3 credits in life sciences, INFSY 556 and INFSY 566
  • INFSY 585 APPLICATIONS IN MEDICAL INFORMATICS (3). Prerequisite: INFSY 540 and INFSY 556
  • INFSY 587 GLOBAL INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY (3). Prerequisite: INFSY 555 or 570
  • INFSY 595 INTERNSHIP (1-18)
  • INFSY 596 INDIVIDUAL STUDIES (1-9)
  • INFSY 597 SPECIAL TOPICS (1-9)

Management (MNGMT)

  • MNGMT 505 MANAGING HUMAN RESOURCES (3)
  • MNGMT 511 ORGANIZATIONAL BEHAVIOR (2). Prerequisite: admission to graduate degree candidacy
  • MNGMT 512 ADMINISTRATIVE THEORY (3). Prerequisite: MNGMT 511
  • MNGMT 514 ORGANIZATIONAL LEARNING (2). Prerequisite: MGNMT 511
  • MNGMT 515 LABOR MANAGEMENT RELATIONS (3). Prerequisite: MNGMT 511
  • MNGMT 520 ORGANIZATIONAL TRANSFORMATION (3). Prerequisite: MNGMT 511
  • MNGMT 522 OPERATIONS MANAGEMENT (3). Prerequisite: BUSEC 505
  • MNGMT 523 SERVICE OPERATIONS MANAGEMENT (3). Prerequisite: BUS 505
  • MNGMT 545 EMPLOYMENT LAW FOR BUSINESS (3). Prerequisite: MNGMT 505
  • MNGMT 560 MANUFACTURING METHODS (3). Prerequisite: MNGMT 522
  • MNGMT 565 PROJECT MANAGEMENT (3). Prerequisite: MNGMT 522
  • MNGMT 570 LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT (3). Prerequisite: MNGMT 510
  • MNGMT 576 MANAGING FOR TOTAL QUALITY (3). Prerequisite: MNGMT 510
  • MNGMT 596 INDIVIDUAL STUDIES (1-9)
  • MNGMT 597 SPECIAL TOPICS (1-9)

Marketing (MRKT)

  • MRKT 513 MARKETING MANAGEMENT: STRUCTURES AND PROCESSES (2). Prerequisites: BUSEC 502
  • MRKT 514 MARKETING MANAGEMENT: RELATIONSHIPS AND INSTITUTIONS (2). Prerequisite: MRKT 513
  • MRKT 570 MARKETING STRATEGY AND PLANNING (3). Prerequisite: MRKT 520
  • MRKT 571 CONSUMER BEHAVIOR (3). Prerequisite: MRKT 520
  • MRKT 572 MARKETING RESEARCH (3). Prerequisite: MRKT 520
  • MRKT 585 BUSINESS-TO-BUSINESS MARKETING (3). Prerequisite: MRKT 520
  • MRKT 586 INTERNET MARKETING (3). Prerequisite: MRKT 513
  • MRKT 587 GLOBAL MARKETING (3). Prerequisite: MRKT 520
  • MRKT 596 INDIVIDUAL STUDIES (1-9)
  • MRKT 597 SPECIAL TOPICS (1-9)

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