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Incoming Student Checklist

Welcome to the Penn State Smeal MBA Program!

2017 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.  Please contact us immediately should you have any complications with this process.
  • Purchase your laptop (June)
    • 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.  Please note that this information is from 2016, and information for 2017 will be available closer to May and June.
  • 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 the given deadline.
  • 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 is MANDATORY)
    • Orientation activities are mandatory. You will have a busy schedule during Orientation. Visit our Orientation page to see the dates and view a past agenda.
  • Arrive early to unpack and settle in (Recommended no later than 2 days before the start of Orientation.)
  • Register your vehicle. (August)
      • Registration is held online through the Transportation website. The registration dates for Fall 2017 have not been set yet.  Please refer to their website periodically for further information.
  • Fall 2017 Course Registration (August)
    • Course and Registration Information - The MBA Office will register you for your Fall 2017 classes in mid July.  Fall 2017 tuition bills will then be prepared at the beginning of August and will be due towards the end of August.   Student aid is typically 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.
    • 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 early October.   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.  If you would like to have the remainder of your deposit reimbursed to your personal bank account, you can sign up for eRefund in LionPath.  Directions for this process can be found at http://www.bursar.psu.edu/refund.cfm. If not, then the deposit will be used to pay for other student fees that may be assessed on your student account.
  • And, finally, please check back often as this list will continually be updated.
    • Also, look for the Student Services Weekly Messages and letters throughout the summer as new and vital information becomes available.  The available letters above are from 2016, and provide great insight into what you may expect in the months before Orientation.