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Wharton - University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA

The Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania is the world’s oldest business school. Opening its doors in 1881 through the generosity of Joseph Wharton, Wharton is consistently ranked a top five global MBA program. The school’s “Give and Take” philosophy encourages focused, goal-oriented students to both benefit from and contribute to the Wharton MBA community. Let’s explore Wharton a little deeper.

Wharton School of Business Overview

The MBA program at Wharton is a two-year program and enrolls students from over 80 countries worldwide. The Wharton MBA program is selective, with a 19% acceptance rate for the class of 2023. The extensive network is also a major selling point, as Wharton has over 100,000 alumni worldwide, with 77 alumni clubs spread across 153 countries.

School Rank 2
Course Duration 2 years
Median GMAT 740
GMAT Range 540 - 790
Locations Philadelphia, PA with the opportunity to study in San Francisco for one semester
Tuition Cost $83,230 per year
Estimated Total Yearly Cost $115,464
Average Work Experience 5 years
Average Age of Students 28
Average Starting Salary $150,000
Average Starting Salary in Consulting $165,000
Approx. Class Size 897
% Employed after 3 Months 93.5%

Degrees Offered

  • Accounting 
  • Business Analytics
  • Business Economics and Public Policy
  • Business, Energy, Environment, and Sustainability
  • Entrepreneurship & Innovation
  • Finance 
  • Health Care Management
  • International Business
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • Marketing and Operations
  • Multinational Management
  • Operations, Information, and Decisions
  • Organizational Effectiveness
  • Quantitative Finance
  • Real Estate
  • Statistics
  • Strategic Management
  • Individualized MBA major

Specialty MBA’s include the EMBA – MBA for Executives

Program Details

Are you divided into cohorts? Yes

A member of the Ivy League, the University of Pennsylvania has a legacy of educational rigor, innovation, and excellence. Philadelphia is abundant in professional opportunities, and other major coastal cities like New York City, Boston, and D.C. are a short train ride away. At Wharton, a flexible but intensive core curriculum in general business education is required. The Wharton MBA program length is 20 months, including a recommended 3.5 month summer internship. Year 1 runs from early August-May, and Year 2 from early September-May. Classes are scheduled Monday-Thursday, with some exams scheduled on Fridays. Each MBA class is divided into four equally populated clusters, and within those clusters, diverse learning teams of 5-6 students. About 40% of students complete double-majors.

There are several popular joint programs offered with other graduate schools as well:

  • Wharton + School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins dual MA/MBA (3 years)
  • Wharton + Harvard Kennedy School MPA/MBA and MPP/MBA Dual Degrees
  • 13+ Dual Degree and Interdisciplinary Programs within Wharton

Can you do a joint degree while at the school? Ex: MBA/MD between HBS and Harvard Medical School: Yes

What Makes Wharton Unique?

Students enrolled in the Wharton MBA program have a plethora of extracurricular clubs to choose from, including athletic, social, cultural, and professional organizations. Likewise, the MBA program offers “Wharton Stories: Conferences,” a series of engaging panels, lectures, and discussions that brings industry leaders together across disciplines. Additionally, the CTM (Conversations that Matter) Program offers a 6-week intensive intergroup dialogue around identity by hosting challenging conversations.

The McNulty Leadership program for Wharton MBA students offers workshops, coaching, and ventures. The leadership ventures are typically 6-8 day overnight trips, such as mountaineering in the Andes Mountains of Chile and Peru, sailing in the Caribbean waters of St. Croix, and canyoneering in southern Utah, to name a few. Closer to home, the Semester in San Francisco program is available in the fall of Year 2 to students studying technology, recruiting, and/or entrepreneurship.

The 18 majors and just under 200 electives within the Wharton MBA program are highly touted. The MBA program is known for its finance prowess, featuring a wide variety of finance courses taught by an exceptionally accomplished finance faculty. Wharton MBA graduates are known for landing jobs within finance post-graduation. Of course, the program also places a large number of grads in management consulting.

What is the Wharton Campus like?

Wharton School of Business is located in the heart of Philadelphia, a bustling, diverse, and historic city that is the 5th largest in the United States. The urban campus combines colonial architectural aesthetics with natural beauty. Old, historic buildings and newer, innovative buildings make up Wharton’s campus.

Notable Alumni

The Wharton MBA program has produced dozens of CEOs of publicly traded companies, leaders in government and academia, and accomplished writers and speakers. A select list of examples is offered below:

  • Laurence Tisch, CEO of CBS, 1986-1995
  • Robert Crandall, American Airlines former President
  • Ruth Porat, Former Google CFO, Former Morgan Stanley CFO
  • Anil Ambani, Chairman of Reliance Group
  • Alfred R. Berkeley, NASDAQ President 1996-2000
  • Peter Nicholas, Boston Scientific Cofounder
  • Laura Lang, CEO of Time Inc. 2011-2013
  • Nassim Taleb, Author
  • Bill DeLaney, CEO of Sysco 2009-2017

Wharton Employment Report

Wharton MBA graduates have strong odds of landing a lucrative position out of school. 93.5% of the Class of 2021 reported full-time job offers from 820 unique employers, with a median base salary of $157,000. 62% of graduates reported a sign-on bonus with a median of $30,000. 

Consulting is a popular and lucrative career path, with 34.1% of graduates accepting consultant roles with an average starting salary of $165,000. While 87% of graduates remain in the United States post-grad, 13% of the Class of 2021 accept positions abroad. 

To find out what the prospects are for you to break into consulting from Whartonsee our breakdown of the Wharton employment report here.


Wharton School of Business is one of the strongest business schools worldwide. The global networking opportunities, employment statistics, and prestigious reputation make Wharton an easy choice – but not an inexpensive one.

Applying to Wharton? Work with our team to optimize your resume today!

Vance Hall, Suite 111
3733 Spruce Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104