Planning to venture abroad for your higher education? Before you take the final call, it’s important to familiarise yourself with all the top colleges for your course of study. In this blog, let’s focus on one of the most prestigious schools in the circuit – The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
To begin with, this elite institution can be called the first ever collegiate business school. With a legacy of business education stretching back more than 130 years, The Wharton School has created an MBA programme designed to give students all the tools needed to be successful leaders and make a difference in the world.
And, talking of reputation, Wharton, of course, is to Finance what Harvard is to General Management or Northwestern is to marketing.
Ever wondered what precisely are those few things that you can expect from Wharton? Take a look:
Learning is an interesting process at Wharton, with a few unique initiatives from the B-school.
When it comes to directing their own education, students are encouraged to forge their own path. That might mean choosing a dual degree (as 30% of Wharton students do), or creating an individualised major focusing on a subject the student is passionate about, or just taking advantage of the more than 200 electives offered for MBA students.
The Wharton School offers many global immersions and exchange opportunities, and requires all students to take a global management course. However, they do not have the requirement to participate in international work or study programmes that many other top-ranked business schools do.
Nonetheless, the alumni network for Wharton business school is comprised of more than 90,000 graduates in 150 countries, combined with an international student population that ensures all students learn to work closely with a diverse group of talented individuals.
Wharton Curriculum and Pedagogy
Teams: Upon entering the Wharton MBA programme, 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.
Curriculum: 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 programme, like group community service projects. Course material at Wharton is delivered through a mix of lectures, case studies and field study.
Term: Pre-Term commences for first-year MBA students in mid-August, three weeks before the formal beginning of the programme. 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 Teamwork and Leadership, 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.
Semester: Wharton’s MBA programme 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 fulfil 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 18 areas of study and completing at least five credit units in each major area. The 18 major options include the “individualised major,” an opportunity for students to complete their majors in an area not adequately covered by the more standard offerings. Nearly 5% of students choose to pursue this path, while about 30% of students opt to double major. Students wishing to pursue Wharton’s Health Care Management Program must note their interest in this programme at the time of application; the programme provides supplementary academic and professional resources to help students gain the necessary education in all areas of health care.
Concentrations offered at the Wharton MBA include:
Clubs, Conferences & Competitions
Wharton students can get involved in extracurricular activities across more than 100 student-run organisations, including professional clubs, culture-based clubs, intramural athletic organisations, 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 Outdoor Club organises 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 programme’s student government organisation, known as the Wharton Graduate Association.
Each year, Wharton typically features over a dozen 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 Business Plan Competition has helped student entrepreneurs receive thousands of dollars in funding and national media coverage for over a decade.
Wharton Application Deadlines for the Fall 2017 intake
Note: To be considered for a round, you must submit a complete application by 5:00 pm Eastern Time (ET) on the day of the deadline. International students are strongly advised to submit their applications by Round of the application deadline.
Wharton MBA application for the Fall 2017 intake
The Wharton application process is online. The application documentation includes:
Wharton MBA recruitment
Wharton’s MBA Career Management Team offers a multitude of resources for MBA students seeking employment, including career education programmes 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 week-long session that takes place while first-years are still completing core courses, and on-campus recruiting for full-time positions starts up around the first 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.
There have always been jobs galore for Wharton graduates and these numbers bear testimony to that fact:
Recruiting companies for the Fall 2015 intake include:
Median Salary Post the Wharton MBA (Class of 2015)
The undergraduate and professional profiles of Wharton students are quite diverse.
Funding your Wharton MBA
The tuition for first-year students in the academic year of August 2016 – May 2017 is $105,265, broken down as follows:
|Cost of Attendance Budget|
|Academic Year 2016-2017|
|Tuition and Fees (Includes $2,000 Pre-Term fee)||$73,634|
|Room and Board||$22,444|
|Books and Supplies||$1,352|