The Wharton School – University of Pennsylvania
The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is the first ever collegiate business school. Wharton offers prospective MBA applicants either a two-year, full-time program or a two-year Executive MBA program. The school also affords students the option of pursuing an MBA/MA through the well-regarded Lauder Program. Wharton is distinctive among leading programs for its high percentage of international students, mandatory yet flexible majors, and rigorous quantitative training.
What is the tuition for Wharton’s MBA program?
The tuition for Wharton’s MBA program is $83,230 per year. The total cost of the Wharton MBA program is $115,464 per year; this includes budgeted living expenses.
How hard is it to get into Wharton’s MBA program?
The acceptance rate for Wharton is 20.7% It is important to consider the acceptance rate in the context of the student profile of those who are admitted. For example the average GMAT score is 733.
What is the average GMAT score for admission to Wharton’s MBA program?
The average GMAT score for the incoming class at Wharton is 733.
Does the Wharton MBA program accept the GRE?
Yes. The Wharton MBA program has accepted the GRE for a few years now.
What is the average GRE score for admission to Wharton’s MBA program?
The average GRE scores for the incoming class at Wharton are 162 Verbal and 162 Quantitative.
What is the minimum number of years of work experience required for admission to Wharton’s MBA program?
Wharton does not state a minimum requirement for years of work experience. However, it is important for candidates to be aware that they are being considered against other candidates with an average of 5 years of experience.
What is the average number of years of work experience for admission to Wharton’s MBA program? (or, What is the average age of a Wharton student?)
The average number of years of work experience among students in Wharton’s MBA program is 5.
What is the average starting salary for graduates of the Wharton MBA program?
The median starting salary for Wharton MBA graduates is $150,000. The salary will vary by industry, with consulting and finance jobs generally commanding the higher salaries.
How long is Wharton’s full-time MBA program?
Wharton offers a traditional 2 year MBA program.
What are the application deadlines for Wharton’s MBA program?
The Round 1 MBA application deadline is September 8, 2021. The Round 2 application deadline is January 5, 2022. The Round 3 deadline is March 30, 2022.
What percent of Wharton MBA students are women?
The percentage of women in the class at Wharton is 52%.
What type of interview does Wharton use for MBA admissions?
Wharton offers interviews by invitation. The interview is a team-based discussion, comprised of 5-6 interviewees. Following the team-based discussion, each interviewee has a one-to-one short interview, which is resume-based. This means the interviewer has not had access to the application materials.
The Class Profile
The Wharton MBA program received 7,388 applications during the 2020-2021 admissions season, and 897 enrolled to be a part of the Class of 2023. Of those 897 students, 52% are women. Thirty-seven percent of the class identifies as U.S. minorities, which includes students of African-American, Asian-American, Hispanic American, Native American and multiethnic backgrounds. Thirty-six percent of the Class of 2023 are international students, and a total of 83 countries are represented in the class. The Class of 2023’s average GMAT score was 733 and their average GRE scores were 162 in each section.
The undergraduate and professional profiles of Wharton students are quite diverse. The largest portion of the class, 39%, majored in the humanities, while another 33% had a STEM background. Business constituted 27% of the class. Of those graded on a 4.0 scale, the average GPA was 3.6. After graduation, enrolled students then earned an average of five years of work experience. In terms of industry experience, 23% of students had backgrounds in consulting, followed by financial services and private equity/venture capital each at 14%. Technology and non-profit/government were next at 10% each Investment banking and investment management claimed 5% total and another 4% of students split evenly across the healthcare and CPG/retail industries.
The Wharton application season includes three rounds that usually occur in early September, early January and late March; those interested in the Lauder Program must submit their applications in the first or second round. Applicants should apply through Wharton’s online application system and are required to fill out a data form concerning both their personal and professional background. Wharton also requires applicants to provide transcripts from all academic institutions attended, GRE or GMAT scores, TOEFL results if applicable, two essays, a résumé, two letters of recommendation and a $275 application fee. An interview is required for admittance to the MBA program, and interviews are offered to applicants by invitation only.
Essay Topic Analysis
Wharton MBA Essays & Analysis
The following essay topic analysis examines the Wharton MBA essays for the 2021-2022 admissions season. You can also review essay topic analyses for other leading MBA programs as well as general Essay Tips to further aid you in developing your admissions essays. Wharton MBA Essay Topic Analysis 2021-2022 Essay 1 How do you plan to use […]
UPenn / Wharton MBA Recommendation Questions
The MBA application for the Wharton School requires two letters of recommendation, preferably from a current or former supervisor. The Wharton MBA recommendation questions for the 2021-2022 admissions season are below. 2021-2022 Wharton Recommendation Questions Recommender Information The recommendation begins with the recommender’s contact information, followed by a handful of background questions: Relationship With Applicant: (e.g. […]
Wharton MBA Interview Questions & Report: Round 1 / Second-Year Student / Zoom
Like all interviews this year, my team-based discussion was hosted on Zoom by two second-year Wharton students. As everyone logged onto the platform, we introduced ourselves and kept some light chatter. Once the interview officially kicked off, the two second-year students kept their video on and watched us carry out the TBD. The prompt was […]
Wharton MBA Interview Questions & Report: Round 3 / Second-Year Student
The first interview was a team based discussion with 5 other applicants. There were 75% men and 25% women, myself included. The question discussed was how to plan the inauguration of a new building on the UPenn campus. What surprised me was that some candidates were completely silent and some completely dominated the conversation repeating […]
Wharton MBA & Lauder Interview Questions & Report: Round 1 / Second-Year Student / Zoom
Post-TBD, I had a 15-minute 1-on-1 interview with an Admissions Fellow in a separate Zoom link. It was very straightforward with only 2 questions: “Why MBA at Wharton?” and “What questions do you have for me?” For Lauder, it was a 30-minute Zoom call with another Admissions Fellow that was more conversational and less structured […]
Wharton MBA Interview Questions & Report: Round 1 / Adcom / Skype
Team Based Discussion: Received interview invite on October 28th along with the discussion prompt (not allowed to disclose details of the prompt). I scheduled my team discussion for mid-November. I studied the prompt and prepared a few ideas and my 1 minute pitch before the interview. I was able to join the Skype link for […]
Wharton MBA Interview Questions & Report: Round 1 / Second-Year Student / Zoom
TBD with introductions for 35 min followed by 1-1 for 10 min Why MBA? Why Wharton? Questions for interviewer?
Wharton MBA Interview Questions & Report: Round 1 / Second-Year Student / Zoom
I logged into Zoom about 10 minutes before the interview and had some free time to chat with the five other students in my TBD group. I wore a suit and tie. One guy wore a button up with blazer. The women wore business formal. One guy was in his Navy working uniform. We got […]
UPenn Wharton Interview Questions & Report: Round 2 / Second-Year Student / On-Campus
With the COVID-19 impacting interviews across schools, I wasn’t sure if Wharton was going to cancel the on-campus interviews, especially after hearing that the Tokyo sessions were cancelled, but I was able to get to campus and participate in the other events as well. Scheduling I scheduled for the 3:30 pm time slot so I […]
Wharton Interview Questions & Report: Round 2 / Second-Year Student / On-Campus
Visit: Welcoming tenor from admissions office staff guiding daily events to class visits and panel lunch Type of Interview: Two-part. First, team-based discussion overseen by two second year students. Next, a ten minute one-on-one session with one of those second year students. One-on-one was blind. Interview atmosphere: Slightly impersonal, disengaged. Felt that I was being […]
Wharton Interview Questions & Report: Round 2 / Second-Year Student / On-Campus
Everyone knows Wharton uses the “Team-Based Discussion” (TBD) format for their interviews, so if you are invited to interview you will be given a prompt with some deliverables that you *should* prepare some thoughts/answers to before arriving. No need to do extensive research, but be able to justify your ideas. At least this year they […]
Wharton Interview Questions & Report: Round 2 / Team-Based Discussion / On-Campus
For the TBD–make sure you watch the timer. It’s not nearly as terrifying as you think it is, and it will all be over before you know it. Write down your teammates’ names along with the key points from their proposals, and write down your observers’ names as well. One-on-one is exactly what you would […]
Admissions Director Q&A: Blair Mannix of The Wharton School
We are rolling along with our Admissions Director Q&A series and are thrilled to welcome Blair Mannix, Director of Admissions for The Wharton School. Blair has a rich history in higher education, working at Penn since 2008 and specifically in admissions at Wharton for nearly a decade. She has an undergraduate degree from Saint Joseph’s […]
Admissions Director Q&A: Blair Mannix of the Wharton School
We continue our Admissions Director Q&A series with Blair Mannix, the Director of Admissions of the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School in Philadelphia. In addition to rigorous quantitative training, Wharton MBA students enjoy an intimate learning environment due to the Learning Team and cohort structure. Students spend their first year divided into Learning Teams of […]
Admissions Director Q&A: Blair Mannix of Wharton
While you may have recently enjoyed her podcast with Clear Admit or her Real Humans profile, Blair Mannix, the director of admissions at the Wharton School, has plenty more to share about the leading MBA program. While she has been a member of the Wharton MBA Admissions team and admissions committee for seven years, her career […]
UPenn / Wharton LiveWire and DecisionWire
Students in the MBA program at Wharton have access to over 240 professors; the school overall has roughly 270 faculty members. Faculty teach across 10 academic departments and also contribute to Wharton’s 20 research centers and initiatives, which have study areas ranging from customer analytics to health economics.
Upon entering the Wharton MBA program, first-year students are immediately divided into Learning Teams of approximately five to six students. The teams are chosen with professional and personal diversity in mind. When classes begin, multiple Learning Teams are brought together to form cohorts of about 70 students. Wharton students complete most of the core curriculum with their cohort fellows and work with the same faculty for their first year; they are better integrated into the Wharton learning community as a result. Wharton adds another layer of group activity through clusters which are groups of approximately 210 students from three cohorts. These students share faculty and administrative resources as well as social elements of the program, like group community service projects. Course material at Wharton is delivered through a mix of lectures, case studies and field study.
Pre-Term commences for first-year MBA students in mid-August, three weeks before the formal beginning of the program. All students are required to participate in Pre-Term activities, which include preparatory courses in key subjects such as financial analysis. In addition, the first core course of Wharton’s curriculum, Foundations of Leadership and Teamwork, is taught during Pre-Term. Wharton students also attend a two-day Learning Team Retreat at an offsite location, where they are first introduced to the other members of their Learning Team and the second-year student who will serve as their Leadership Fellow.
Wharton’s MBA program operates on a semester system, with the fall semester running from late August through mid-December and the spring semester lasting from mid-January to early May. Students must earn a total of at least 19 and no more than 21 credit units over their four semesters at Wharton. Both semester-long and quarterly classes, which last for about six weeks, are offered each semester. The core curriculum is comprised of nine courses, though students may waive courses through pre-term exams or the demonstration of other relevant qualifications. Since 2012, students have been able to choose from two or more options to satisfy the requirements of most core courses, allowing them to select the subject track that interests them most within each core discipline. MBA students also have the option to fulfill certain core requirements in either their first or second years of study.
While Wharton provides students with nearly 200 elective courses to choose from, those seeking to further expand their studies may take up to four credit units at another University of Pennsylvania graduate school or may spend a semester studying abroad at one of Wharton’s 17 international exchange partner schools. MBA students are required to tailor their studies by choosing a major or double major from among 19 areas of study and completing at least five credit units in each major area. The 19 major options include the “individualized major,” an opportunity for students to complete their majors in an area not adequately covered by the more standard offerings. Nearly 5 percent of students choose to pursue this path, while about 40% of students opt to double major. Students wishing to pursue Wharton’s Health Care Management Program must note their interest in this program at the time of application; the program provides supplementary academic and professional resources to help students gain the necessary education in all areas of health care.
Other MBA Degree Options
Beyond the full-time MBA, Wharton offers the MBA/MA Lauder Program—the first joint degree in international management—as well as a three-year MBA/JD from Wharton and Penn Law, and 13 other dual-degree options at University of Pennsylvania schools. Students may also choose from three dual degrees in conjunction with Johns Hopkins University and the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. In addition, Wharton offers an Executive MBA program at its campuses in Philadelphia and San Francisco.
Majors at Wharton
- Business Analytics
- Business Economics and Public Policy
- Business, Energy, Environment and Sustainability
- Entrepreneurship & Innovation
- Health Care Management
- Individualized Major
- International Business
- Marketing and Operations Management (Joint Major)
- Multinational Management
- Operations, Information and Decisions
- Organizational Effectiveness
- Quantitative Finance
- Real Estate
- Strategic Management
Degree Offerings at Wharton
Full-time MBA Program
International Studies (Lauder), Healthcare Management, Biotechnology, Design, Engineering, Environment, Law, Medical Sciences, Nursing, Social Work
Wharton/School of Advanced International Studies, Wharton/Harvard Kennedy School
Executive MBA Programs
Philadelphia, San Francisco
Clubs, Conferences & Competitions
Wharton students can get involved in extracurricular activities across more than 110 student-run organizations, including professional clubs, culture-based clubs, intramural athletic organizations, and community service and special interest associations. For example, the Wharton Global Health Volunteer Program sends volunteers to developing countries to consult on healthcare services. Meanwhile, the Mountaineering and Outdoor Club organizes outdoor activities such as hiking, camping and biking that are open to Wharton students, partners and faculty. Most MBA student activities are managed by the graduate program’s student government organization, known as the Wharton Graduate Association.
Each year, Wharton typically features nearly 20 conferences led by students. These include the Global Business Forums, the Annual Wharton Women in Business Conference, and the Restructuring and Distressed Investing Conference, among others. MBA students can also take advantage of Wharton’s competition offerings. For instance, the Wharton Startup Challenge has helped student entrepreneurs receive thousands of dollars in funding and national media coverage for over a decade.
The Wharton School is situated on the University of Pennsylvania campus in the University City neighborhood of West Philadelphia. The core of Wharton’s complex, Jon M. Huntsman Hall, was opened to students in August 2002. Nearly $140 million was spent on this facility, which includes 48 classrooms, 57 group study rooms, four teaching labs, two lounges, and several large spaces such as its 300-seat auditorium. MBA students can opt for on-campus housing at Penn’s graduate student buildings, though many decide to live in Philadelphia’s urban neighborhoods or suburbs.
In 2019, Wharton unveiled plans for Tangen Hall, the first on-campus space dedicated to student entrepreneurship and innovation activities, to be opened in 2021. Tangen Hall will be a seven-story, 68,000-sqft hub developed by the Hankin Group, designed by KSS Architects, and funded by a $25 million gift from the AKO Foundation. Tangen will offer incubator spaces, maker spaces, a test kitchen, a new Venture Lab, and an Integrated Product Design Program operated by Wharton, the School of Engineering, and the Stuart Weitzman School of Design.
Wharton’s MBA Career Management Team offers a multitude of resources for MBA students seeking employment, including career education programs and mock interviews. Wharton students benefit from one-on-one advising in addition to employer information sessions, on-campus recruiting and job fairs, and varied opportunities for engagement with alumni. Recruiting for summer internships begins during the Focused Recruiting Period in January, a weeklong session that takes place while first-years are still completing core courses, and on-campus recruiting for full-time positions starts up around the second week in October. Students can also go on international and domestic career treks hosted by student clubs and MBA Career Management to meet with firms in many industries.
Close to 94% of the members of the Class of 2020 who sought employment after graduation had secured at least one job offer by mid-September 2020. The most popular post-MBA industry for 2020 graduates was financial services, with roughly 36% of the class joining such firms. Nearly 25% of graduates took jobs in the consulting industry. Technology, healthcare, and retail were the next most common post-MBA industries, representing roughly 16%, 7% and 3% of the class, respectively. Graduates also found work in real estate, media and entertainment, manufacturing, energy, social impact and professional services sectors.
Roughly 13% of the Class of 2020 accepted positions outside of the U.S., with Asia, Latin America and Europe being the most popular non-U.S. locations. Forty-two percent of 2020 graduates took jobs in the Northeastern U.S., while the West and Mid-Atlantic welcomed 27% and 8% of the class, respectively. Approximately 3%-4% of the class each accepted positions in the Southwest, South, and the Midwest.
The cost of tuition for the 2021 to 2022 academic year is $83,230, which includes the $850 pre-term fee. Wharton has posted a total cost of $115,464 for students’ first year of study, and this includes $3,874 spent on health insurance, $21,720 for room and board, and $6,640 for books, supplies, and miscellaneous costs. U.S. students and permanent residents qualify for federal and private loans, and Wharton recently established a partnership with Quorum Federal Credit Union that will allow international students to acquire a loan without a cosigner. Wharton also offers a variety of fellowships for which all admitted students are considered and no additional application is required. Students are notified of their acceptance and fellowship nomination concurrently.
Two-Year Program Tuition (per year)
- Tuition and Fees $83,230
- Room and Board $21,720
- Books, Supplies, and Miscellaneous $6,640
- Health Insurance and Personal $3,874
- Total $115,464
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