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Wharton School

University of Pennsylvania


Wharton, the business school at Penn, offered the world’s first undergraduate business program and has a reputation as the “birthplace of modern business education.” It’s widely revered as one of the most prestigious MBA programs in the world. Located near downtown Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the school offers easy access to culture, social activity, and collaboration with neighboring companies. Wharton tends to be at the forefront of business innovation, and plays a significant role in shaping how other schools approach their instruction and curriculum. Wharton is known as a quant school, and carefully integrates analytical skills into its curriculum, offering world-class preparation for a career in finance. However, any offering at Wharton will be among best that any business school could offer.


Though a fairly new development, Wharton now offers a fairly flexible curriculum. Students take a few of their core classes with their cohort, but then customize their academic experience to fulfil the rest of their requirements. To ensure that students are satisfied with their courses, Wharton employs a computer program where students provide the input for their preferred classes, and a computer assigns them the most ideal version possible of their schedule. For students wanting to explore specific interests or gain expertise in a given arena, Wharton offers 17 majors, or allows students to create their own. Classes are a balance between traditional lectures, case method, projects, and experiential learning, granting students a holistic perspective on their academic endeavors.


Pursuits in the finance sector dominate the Wharton graduate pool, with almost 40% of grads accepting offers in fields such as banking, private equity, and venture capital. Almost 5% of Wharton grads, which is significant compared to rates from other MBA programs, pursue entrepreneurial endeavors. Wharton has long observed a policy of grade non-disclosure, though students may disclose Honors or Director’s List status.Though it’s optional, Wharton students tend to honor this policy. Alumni may also enroll in Executive Education classes.


The Penn campus is near downtown Philadelphia, and is home to the several buildings that comprise Wharton. Huntsman Hall, the main building dedicated to business studies, opened in 2002 and sparked the growing trend of business schools building state of the arts facilities for their programs.


With one of the larger class sizes of the top business schools, Wharton can accept a very diverse array of students to their program.Traditional candidates pursuing management consulting or finance may benefit from applying in the early rounds, as Wharton will be seeing a lot of similar applicants, and may have already accepted several people with similar profiles by the later rounds. The application requires one essay:

  • What do you hope to gain professionally from the Wharton MBA? (500 words)

Applicants can submit an optional essay where they have the opportunity to explain extenuating circumstances the Committee should be aware of. There is a required essay for re-applicants:

  • Please use this space to explain how you have reflected on the previous decision on your application and to discuss any updates on your candidacy (250 words)