Penn State World Campus Review

By Henry R. Steele - April 17, 2017
Reading Time: 4 minutes

Penn State University is a public university that was founded in 1855. It currently has an undergraduate enrollment of 40,742. It is ranked as the #50 best national university according to US News and World Report.

Favorite Features

Penn State World Campus highly regarded online learning system

The Penn State World Campus first opened its virtual doors in 1998. It is one of the most well established online universities in the world. Its online offerings offer the same quality as its top tier campus based degree programs.

Read our Featured Penn State World Campus Interview

Penn State has a very high level of experience in teaching and understanding the complex needs of online students. All courses online have been carefully designed according to the latest best practices. All faculty teaching online have been rigorously trained in teaching online, and all technology supports positive learning outcomes, not merely convenience.

All online students also have the same access online to services that business students on campus receive, including:

  • Academic advising
  • Career counseling
  • Technical support
  • Research library
  • Orientation

Penn State topped college recruiter rankings in 2010

The Wall Street Journal reported that Penn State was ranked tops in the country in 2010 for producing the best, most well rounded graduates who could succeed once they were hired.

Online bachelor’s programs highly rated in US News and World Report

Penn State’s online World Campus is highly rated overall, but US News and World Report particularly notes that its bachelor’s programs are very highly regarded.

US News currently ranks its online bachelor’s programs as #8 in its rankings. Its online bachelor’s programs also score a high peer assessment score of 4.2 out of 5. This indicates that the university’s bachelor’s programs online have a very high rating with other universities in the US.

Online MBA program highly ranked by US News and World Report

The online MBA program offered by Penn State’s World Campus is ranked #8 in the country according to US News and World Report.

Online MBA and other business programs are AACSB accredited

When it comes to the accreditation of business and accounting programs, the most important without a doubt is the accreditation body AACSB International. This body is the gold standard for the accreditation of business and accounting programs across the world.

Only 5% of all business programs globally have AACSB International accreditation. The online MBA and other business programs at Penn State World Campus are so accredited.

The AACSB seal of approval means that your business education has met the highest quality standards. When recruiters see that you have graduated from an AACSB-accredited business program, they know they are dealing with a highly trained business management professional.

Online MBA faculty credentials and training highly rated

US News and World Report notes that the faculty credentials and training rank of the online MBA program are very high. Their rank is 6 in the US for online MBA programs and their credentials and training score is 96 out of 100, which is outstanding.

Least Favorite Features

Online MBA not currently eligible for GI Bill benefits

The online MBA at Penn State World Campus has not yet been approved for GI Bill eligibility. So if you are a military member or veteran and want to use your GI Bill benefits for this MBA program, you will not be able to do so until it is approved. Their website does not give a timeline for GI Bill approval.

GMAT or GRE scores are required

Unlike some other top graduate schools, Penn State still requires applicants to take the GMAT or GRE and submit their scores to be considered.

See also Online MBA Degrees w/GMAT Waiver

There is plenty of debate today whether standardized test scores are an accurate reflection of one’s likelihood to do well in graduate school.

Studying for and taking standardized tests such as the GMAT or GRE is a hassle, and not every school requires them.

5 day residency required for online MBA program

One of the defining parts of the online MBA is the mandatory, five day residency that is held on campus in University Park, PA at the beginning of the two year program. This five day residency will provide you with important information, introduce you to many different resources, and offer many networking opportunities with faculty and students.

This program will include a core course overview, introduction to all of the MBA concentrations, and technical training on the online system you will use. There also are workshops about student services, career placement, managing stress, working with alumni, and time management.

This is a very important part of the program and highly valuable. But all students must be aware that this part of the MBA program is mandatory. Students who have very busy schedules will have to make an exception to attend this five day event.

The Details

General Information

  • Founded in 1949
  • Application deadline: Rolling
  • Application fee: $50
  • School type: Private
  • Term Schedule: Semester
  • Location: University Park, Pennsylvania
  • Student-faculty ratio: 16:1

Tuition Rates

  • Graduate: Online MBA – $1,185 per credit hour in state and out of state
  • Undergraduate: Online: $584 per credit hour in state and out of state

Business Degrees

  • Graduate: Master of Accountancy, Master of Business Administration, Master of Professional Studies in Business Analytics, Master of Applied Statistics, Master of Finance, Master of Project Management, Master of Professional Studies in Supply Chain Management
  • Undergraduate: Bachelor in Business Administration, Bachelor in Finance, Bachelor in Economics

Concentrations – MBA

Class Profile

  • 209 online MBA applicants, 185 accepted; 89% acceptance rate
  • Average undergraduate GPA for MBA: 3.3
  • Average months of work experience for MBA: 41
  • 98,000 total students enrolled on campus and online
  • 51% acceptance rate overall
  • 54% male, 46% female

Graduation and Retention Rates

  • 4 year graduation rate: 64%
  • Overall graduation rate: 86%
  • 93% of freshmen return for their next year, which is far above the national average of 70.9%

US News Rankings

  • Best online business programs (not MBA): 7
  • Best online MBA programs: 8
  • Best online bachelor’s programs: 8
  • National universities: 50
  • High school counselor rankings: 56
  • Top public schools: 14
Henry R. Steele
Henry R. Steele
Managing Editor
Henry is Managing Editor of BusinessStudent.com. He is a seasoned business professional who regularly consults with local business's throughout Southern California. Henry pursued his undergrad in Business and Economics at the University of San Diego and gained valuable life changing experience through a unique internship upon graduation.Follow on Twitter.com

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