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Incoming Student Checklist

Welcome to the Penn State Smeal MBA Program!

2016 Incoming Student Checklist

  • Complete the Penn State Smeal MBA Enrollment Form. (Today)
  • Find a place to live. (As soon as you enroll)
    • Housing Information - This should be the first thing you do. Housing can be very difficult to find as the school year approaches. It is imperative that you find housing quickly.
    • Discussion Boards/Social Media - The place to get in touch with other incoming students and find a roommate or get other information on the best place for you to live.
  • Submit your FAFSA (US Students Only). (As soon as you enroll)
    • Submit your FAFSA application for Federal Student Aid. Do this whether or not you intend to secure a loan as it is required for any scholarships or payments in the Penn State system.
  • Apply for your I-20 (International Students Only). (As soon as you enroll)
    • Once you have enrolled, the Office of Global Programs will be in contact with you about completing your Visa Application, providing copies of financial statements and an Affidavit of Support (if applicable). Eventually, the Office of Global Programs will issue you an I-20, which you will need to have to acquire your visa. If you have any questions you can email the Office of Global Programs at .
    • International Student Information - View important information that pertains specifically to international students.
  • Complete your Enrollment Information Survey and send in your photo. (May)
    • Early in summer, we will ask you to submit a photo and complete an enrollment information survey.  This will come in one of our Monday Messages, which you will receive via email. 
  • Complete the Activity Guide in LionPath. (May)
    • Make sure you log on to LionPath, go to the Student Center, and complete the Activity Guide in the "To Do's" section of your profile.  This will allow us to schedule your courses upon your arrival.  Please contact us immediately should you have any complications with this process.
  • Purchase your laptop (June)
    • 2016 Laptop Recommendations - Students entering the MBA Program are required to have their own laptop for coursework. Students must have their laptop in hand by the first day of Orientation.  Please review our section on Laptop Specifications as well as our IT Handout for more details regarding your laptop and the requirements it needs to meet for our program.
  • Purchase Football Tickets (June)
    • Registration for graduate students is typically held in June of each year. It is advised that you attempt to register early in the offering as tickets have been known to sell out quickly.  We will provide you with information on how to purchase tickets in one of Student Services Weekly Messages in May.
    • For more information, view the Penn State Athletics Student Central page.
  • Begin Accounting Pre-Work (June)
    • Mandatory pre-term accounting work will be sent to you in mid-June. You must complete the module and the final assessment test by August 8th. 
  • Estimate your expenses and learn about billing (July)
  • Review and understand health insurance requirements. (July)
  • Purchase your textbooks. (July - August)
    • Course Materials - During the summer, you can enter your course information into the Penn State Bookstore's website for the most up-to-date list of textbooks. Keep in mind that faculty members can order textbooks for their courses throughout the summer, so be sure to check back over the summer months for the most up-to-date information. Upon your arrival on campus, you can visit the Penn State Bookstore for a comprehensive list of textbooks and course materials required. You can swipe your Penn State ID+ card at the Bookstore to get a list of your required materials.
  • Prepare for Orientation. (Orientation begins Monday, August 8, 2016 and is REQUIRED)
    • Orientation activities are required. You will have a busy schedule during Orientation. See our Orientation page to view a past agenda in order to get an idea of what Orientation is like.
  • Arrive early to unpack and settle in (Recommended no later than August 6)
  • Register your vehicle. (August 16-18)
      • Registration is held online through the Transportation website. The registration dates for Fall 2016 are available and listed on their website in the Student section under Student Parking.
  • Fall 2016 Course Registration (August)
    • Course and Registration Information - The MBA Office will register you for your Fall 2016 classes in mid July.  Fall 2016 tuition bills will then be prepared at the beginning of August and will be due August 22nd.   Student aid should be distributed at the end of July and reflected on your bill.  Please be sure to check your student profile in LionPath in early August to ensure your tuition bill has been properly generated, and there are no items left for you to complete.  Further details can be found on the Bursar’s website.
    • Please be aware that Penn State is using LionPath, a new student information system, for student registration and financial payment this Fall.  As a result, the information provided above is subject to change and our office will update this information appropriately as relevant information and updates become available.

      Note: The $1,000 tuition deposit will be credited to your account after you begin the program.  Do not expect the $1,000 to appear on your initial semester bill.  Typically the credit will be issued by late-September.   Additionally you will be assessed program fees in the amount of $200 (for orientation activities and the communications course) – these fees are also assessed after you begin the program.  We make every attempt to coordinate the post of the $200 in conjunction with the $1,000 deposit credit.
  • And, finally, please check back often as this list will continually be updated.