Executive DBA Admissions

Executive DBA Admissions information for the Executive DBA From the Penn State Smeal College of Business

Admission Criteria

Criteria for evaluating Executive DBA applicants include professional and academic accomplishments and data from application forms that provide indications of future academic and professional accomplishment.

The student cohort should reflect today’s international business environment with selective admittance. With this in mind, admissions requirements include:

  • A minimum of 10 years of relevant leadership experience
  • A master’s degree or equivalent experience
  • Evidence of a foundational background in statistics and/or analytics
  • Submission of all required application materials

Application Information

Domestic and international candidates are welcome to apply. To join the e-mail list for important program announcements, complete this form.

The Penn State Smeal Executive DBA features a multi-step application process, during which you will be asked to submit the following: 

  • A completed Penn State Graduate School Application
  • Resume
  • Admissions Essay (800-1000 words) Describe your professional and intellectual goals, and how you see the Penn State Smeal DBA experience helping you to achieve these goals. What specific research question or dissertation topic would you like to explore throughout the DBA, and how does your experience tie into this area of interest?  
  • Official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended
  • Letters of recommendation
  • The language of instruction at Penn State is English. English proficiency test scores (TOEFL/IELTS) may be required for international applicants.
  • Application Fee: $65

An interview will be required of all applicants, which will be conducted either in person or remotely. Individuals without foundational statistics/analytics maybe required to complete additional education prior to starting the program.

Application Deadlines 

The Penn State Smeal Executive DBA 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 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 1 April 1
4th Round April 1 June 1

Admission Decisions

All applications will be reviewed by both the Penn State Smeal Executive DBA Admissions Office and the Penn State Graduate School. The Smeal admissions office will be evaluating for program requirements and admissions criteria, and the Graduate School will be verifying educational documentation, credentials, and international visa requirements. Students may be contacted by parties from either area.

Admission is granted first by the Smeal Executive DBA program followed by the Graduate School. To confirm receipt of your application materials or check your application status, contact SmealDBA@psu.edu.

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