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MBA Spotlight Series: The Wharton School

In the third entry of our MBA Spotlight Series, we turn our attention to the vibrant city of Philadelphia, the home of The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.


The Huntsman Hall at Wharton

The Basics


The University of Pennsylvania dates all the way back to 1740, and was founded by one of the greatest inventors in American history, Benjamin Franklin. In 1881, the Wharton school was established at UPenn, and it has been a leader in business education ever since. Wharton has over 5,000 enrolled students each year, of which ~900 are full-time MBA students.


For students applying to join the Wharton MBA in fall 2021, they have the option of three application rounds, with deadlines on 15th September 2020, 5th January 2021, and 31st March 2021. Check out the deadlines for top MBA programs here.


The average full time work experience of the current MBA batch is 5 years, with an average GMAT score of 732.


The program was ranked 2nd and 4th in the FT Global MBA rankings for 2020 and 2019 respectively.


Key Program Details


  • Faculty and Research: Wharton has a faculty body of over 235 professors which makes it one of the largest and most published faculties in the world. The school also has 20 research centres and initiatives where students and faculty come together to tackle pressing global challenges.

  • Majors: Wharton allows students to select from 19 MBA concentrations during the course of their study, in addition to various electives. The majors offered include accounting, business analytics, marketing, entrepreneurship & innovation, healthcare and many more.

  • San Francisco Semester: MBA students have the option of studying for one semester in the city of San Francisco, California where they explore entrepreneurship, technology, and recruiting in the Bay Area.


Admission Criteria and Wharton Essays


The MBA application consists of academic performance, test scores, professional experiences, essays and recommendations. The application has two essays, which are:

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

  2. Taking into consideration your background – personal, professional, and/or academic – how do you plan to make specific, meaningful contributions to the Wharton community? (400 words)

The two essays differ quite significantly in terms of what they seek to understand from the candidates. The first essay is very forward looking, and requires the applicant to elaborate on why they’ve opted for a Wharton MBA at this stage of their career and how it would help elevate them in achieving their goals.


The second essay is more rounded, it requires reflecting on past experiences and learnings, and showcasing how the applicant will be a useful and engaging member of the cohort.

Check out our MBA Application Strategy Guide for Wharton!

With essay tips, strategies and real essays from Wharton Admits!

Career Outcomes

  • 98.5% of graduates seeking employment received an offer.

  • The average base salary was $150,000 and the average expected other compensation was $52,000.

  • Wharton has a reputation for being a ‘finance school’, which is ref