New one-year Smeal master's program to enhance business acumen of STEM students

May 11, 2016

The Penn State Smeal College of Business will begin accepting applications this summer for fall 2017 enrollment in its new Master of Professional Studies in Management and Organizational Leadership, an accelerated master’s program designed primarily for recently graduated baccalaureate students from technical, nonbusiness backgrounds.

The Management and Organizational Leadership Program is modeled after the first year of the internationally ranked Penn State Smeal MBA. It will feature the same faculty, core MBA course content, and tight-knit environment with an emphasis on teamwork and collaboration.

“Studies have shown a rapid one-year return on investment for students who sharpen their business capabilities in accelerated graduate programs like this,” said Brian Cameron, associate dean for Professional Master’s Programs at Smeal. “We invite undergraduates to apply to Management and Organizational Leadership early in their senior year or even earlier as a powerful career launch pad and an alternative to immediately joining the workforce after graduation. We’ll also consider applications from M.S. and Ph.D. graduates with little or no industry work experience who are planning careers in business-facing roles."

CALLOUT: Penn State Smeal College of Business Associate Dean for Professional Master's Programs Brian Cameron discusses the advantages of the Management and Organizational Leadership Program in this video. 

During the two semesters of the 32-credit Management and Organizational Leadership Program, students will complete foundational business courses in areas such as accounting, finance, management, marketing, strategy and supply chain management. Spanning both semesters will be the college’s highly lauded leadership communications program, a hallmark of the Penn State Smeal MBA that provides the tools to persuasively and professionally present ideas in a business context.

“Employers consistently tell us that they value technical capabilities in areas like engineering, science, and technology, but that their strongest job candidates also understand the world of business and have the ability to communicate effectively,” added Cameron. “This program is designed to increase the marketability of students who haven’t had substantial business training or experience and enhance their ability to compete for accelerated leadership roles early in their careers.”

The capstone experience of the Management and Organizational Leadership Program will be a leadership immersion for two weeks in May, where students gain hands-on exposure to on-location team-building challenges with partners like the United States Marine Corps and the Fire Department of New York. Other aspects of the program include dedicated career services and entry into Smeal’s global alumni network of more than 75,000.

“We’re excited about what the Management and Organizational Leadership Program will offer to highly motivated students from Penn State and beyond,” said Charles H. Whiteman, the John and Becky Surma Dean of Smeal. “The program is just the first of several new planned professional graduate offerings from the college. Our expanding residential and online portfolio reflects increasing marketplace demand for more targeted programming across the business spectrum and our capabilities as a leading business school to meet that demand.”

Students interested in learning more about the Master of Professional Studies in Management and Organizational Leadership and signing up to be notified when the application for fall 2017 is available can visit Specific questions about the program can be directed to or 814-863-0474.

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Last Updated May 13, 2016