Wharton MBA  – A Complete Overview

By admitStreet Team

The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania is one of the most prestigious business schools globally and has consistently set the standard for business education. We know almost all business school hopefuls have Wharton on their ‘dream school’ list. So, if you want to make this dream school a reality, this article is your starting point.

In this comprehensive guide, we dive deep into the Wharton MBA Program. From unveiling the unique Class of 2025’s profile to dissecting the career trajectory of the Class of 2023, we leave no stone unturned. We also explore application deadlines, the cost of attendance, scholarships, the admissions process, and the MBA curriculum. 

Let’s get started with some general information.

General information on Wharton MBA

Here is some essential information about the Wharton MBA program:

DeanErika H. James
Location3733 Spruce Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
Admissions OfficeOffice of MBA Admissions and Financial Aid, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, Vance Hall, Suite 111, 3733 Spruce Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
Social MediaFacebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, LinkedIn

Wharton MBA Class Profile 2025

Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania has once again curated a diverse and accomplished MBA class for the year 2025. Let’s delve into the key statistics that define the composition of this esteemed cohort.

Enrollment Overview

Wharton received a staggering 6,194 applications for the MBA class of 2025, a testament to its global appeal. However, only 14.1% of the applicants received the golden ticket, resulting in an enrollment of 874 students.

Applications ReceivedTotal EnrolledEnrollment Rate

Diversity at the Forefront

Maintaining diversity is a priority for leading business schools, and Wharton has excelled in this aspect for the class of 2025. Half of the cohort comprises female students, fostering gender equality, while 31% of the students come from 70 different countries, emphasizing the international character of the class.

% Women% International Students

Academic Excellence Reflected in Test Scores and GPA

Wharton continues to attract some of the brightest minds globally, evident in the impressive academic credentials of the class of 2025. The average GPA stands at 3.6, with the average GMAT score at 728 and the average GRE score at 324.

Average GPAAverage GMATAverage GRE

Undergraduate Backgrounds

The diversity in academic backgrounds adds richness to the Wharton MBA class of 2025. Humanities takes the lead with 40%, followed by STEM programs at 33%, and Business at 27%.

Undergraduate MajorPercentage of Wharton Class of 2025

Professional Experience

Every member of the Wharton MBA class of 2025 comes equipped with prior work experience, averaging an impressive 5 years. Consulting dominates the pre-MBA industry backgrounds at 27%, followed by Private Equity/Venture Capital at 14%, and Technology at 12%.

Pre-MBA Industry% of Wharton Class of 2025
Venture Capital/Private Equity14%
Investment Banking9%
Financial Services7%
Health Care5%
Investment Management3%
Real Estate2%

Wharton MBA Employment Report

The employment outcomes for the Wharton MBA Class of 2023 reveal a comprehensive picture of salary distributions across different industries, functions, and global locations. 

Let’s explore the key data points, focusing on the median salary, the number of graduates receiving sign-on bonuses, and the median sign-on bonus in each category.

Salary by Industry

IndustryMedian Annual Salary (US $)# with Sign-On BonusMedian Sign-On Bonus (US $)
Legal & Professional Services$190,0001$25,000
Financial Services$175,000123$40,000
Financial Services: Investment Banking/Brokerage$175,00054$50,000
Financial Services: Private Equity/Buyouts/Other$175,00030$25,000
Financial Services: Hedge Funds/Other Investments$175,0003$25,000
Financial Services: Investment Management$170,55922$40,000
Financial Services: Insurance & Diversified Services$162,00010$36,250
Financial Services: Venture Capital$150,0004$22,500
Health Care$160,00020$22,500
Media, Entertainment & Sports$150,0002$12,500
Real Estate$147,5006$15,000
Social Impact$135,0002$12,500
Consumer Products$120,0008$40,000

Salary by Function

FunctionMedian Annual Salary (US $)# with Sign-On BonusMedian Sign-On Bonus (US $)
Investment Banking$175,00049$50,000
Private Equity/Venture Capital – Investor$175,00034$25,000
Investment Management/Portfolio Mgmt$170,00021$40,000
Operations/Production Management/Supply Chain$165,0009$35,000
Entrepreneurial Management$162,5001$10,000
Business Development$160,50016$25,000
Product Management$160,00026$35,000
General/Project Mgmt/Mgmt Development$160,00020$27,500
Corporate Finance (Analysis/Treasury)$155,0002$22,500
Real Estate$150,0007$20,000
Product/Brand Marketing$126,50017$35,000

Salary by Location

U.S. Location

U.S. LocationMedian Annual Salary (US $)# with Sign-On BonusMedian Sign-On Bonus (US $)
United States of America$175,000348$30,000
U.S. LocationMedian Annual Salary (US $)# with Sign-On BonusMedian Sign-On Bonus (US $)
New York City$175,000144$35,000
Washington, D.C.$165,00025$25,000
Los Angeles$175,00023$30,000
San Francisco$170,00050$27,500

International Location

International LocationMedian Annual Salary (US $)# with Sign-On BonusMedian Sign-On Bonus (US $)
Middle East$175,0001$30,000


  • Industry Insights:
    • Consulting Dominance: Consulting emerges as a leading industry with a median annual salary of $175,000 and a substantial number of sign-on bonuses (123), highlighting its prominence in Wharton’s post-MBA placements.
    • Financial Services Impact: Financial services sectors, including Investment Banking, Private Equity, and Venture Capital, offer competitive salaries and significant sign-on bonuses, emphasizing the lucrative nature of these roles.
  • Function Highlights:
    • Investment Banking and Consulting Prestige: Investment Banking and Consulting/Strategy roles exhibit high median salaries of $175,000, reflecting their prestige and attractiveness to Wharton graduates.
    • Diverse Compensation: Functions like Business Development and Real Estate showcase a diverse range of median salaries and sign-on bonuses, indicating varied opportunities for MBA graduates.
  • Location Trends:
    • U.S. Powerhouses: Major U.S. cities such as New York City and San Francisco lead in terms of median salaries, sign-on bonuses, and the sheer number of job opportunities, reaffirming their status as economic powerhouses.
    • Global Variances: Europe presents a diverse range of median salaries, and the Middle East offers a high median salary, showcasing the global reach and opportunities for Wharton graduates.

Wharton MBA Admissions

Application Deadlines

The admissions process is conducted in multiple rounds, providing applicants with several opportunities to submit their materials. 

Here are the deadlines:

Application Timeline Overview

Application RoundDeadlineInterview InvitationsDecisions Released
Round 1September 6, 2023October 24, 2023December 14, 2023
Round 2January 4, 2024February 16, 2024March 26, 2024
Round 3April 2, 2024April 19, 2024May 13, 2024

Deferred Admissions Round

For candidates considering deferred admissions, the Wharton School offers a specific round.

Application RoundDeadlineInterview InvitationsDecisions Released
Deferred Admissions RoundApril 24, 2024May 28, 2024June 27, 2024

Wharton MBA Application Components

Securing a spot in the Wharton MBA program involves a comprehensive application process that assesses candidates based on various criteria. Below is a breakdown of the key components required for a complete application and insights into each element:

Application ComponentDetails
Background Information– Contact information (e.g., mailing address and phone number) – Date of birth – Academic degrees earned – Professional experience – Family information – Prior Conviction Information
Application Fee– The application fee is $275 and non-refundable. – Payment can be made by credit card (Visa, MasterCard, or American Express) along with the application.
Essays– 2 Required Essays – 1 Reapplicant Essay – 1 Optional Essay
Transcripts– Transcripts of all academic work completed at the baccalaureate/undergraduate level and beyond are required. – Regardless of credit or degree, transcripts are a crucial component.
Letters of Recommendation– Two letters of recommendation from individuals familiar with the candidate’s work performance, preferably from a current or former supervisor.
GMAT or GRE Score– All applicants must submit GMAT or GRE results no more than five years old.
English Language Test Score– Non-native English speakers with limited exposure to English must provide results from TOEFL iBT, PTE, or IELTS. – Required for those whose native language is not English or completed a degree in a non-English institution.
Resume– A one-page resume highlighting functional job skills, depth of experience, leadership, and potential for growth. – Emphasizes learning and skills acquired rather than the duration of work experience.

Wharton MBA Interview

Securing an interview invitation for the Wharton MBA program is a significant milestone, and if you find yourself in this position, you’ll likely engage in an innovative interview format known as the Wharton MBA Team Based Discussion (TBD). Let’s delve into the details of this unique interview process.

Interview Format Overview

Team Based Discussion (TBD)
Duration35 minutes
Participants4-5 fellow MBA applicants
ObjectiveCollaborative problem-solving
AssignmentTeam-based task with a prompt
Random AssignmentTBD groups are assigned randomly

In the TBD, candidates engage in a 35-minute exercise that simulates a team setting, providing a glimpse into their ability to collaborate and solve problems collectively. Here’s what you can expect:

  • Team Setting: You’ll interact with 4-5 fellow MBA applicants.
  • Assigned Prompt: The discussion revolves around a prompt with a specific purpose.
  • Collaborative Outcome: As a team, you’ll work together to achieve a tangible outcome based on the given prompt.
  • Random Group Assignment: TBD groups are assigned randomly, promoting diversity and testing adaptability.

One-on-One Interview

Following the TBD, candidates proceed to a 10-minute one-on-one interview with a member of the admissions team. This individual interview offers an opportunity for reflection on your TBD performance and provides additional insights into your candidacy.

Cost of a Wharton MBA

Pursuing a Master of Business Administration (MBA) at the Wharton School is an investment in your education and future career. 

To help prospective students plan for their financial commitments, here is a detailed breakdown of the costs associated with the Wharton MBA program for the first and second years, covering the academic year 2023-2024.

Wharton MBA Cost Breakdown

Expense CategoryFirst-Year CostSecond-Year Cost
Tuition and Fees (including Pre-Term)$87,370$85,370
Room and Board$26,028$26,028
Books, Supplies, Misc.$6,868$6,868
Health Insurance*$4,210$4,210

Wharton MBA Scholarships

Pursuing an MBA at the Wharton School is not only a transformative academic experience but also a financial commitment. To assist students in their educational journey, Wharton offers a variety of scholarships and fellowships catering to diverse backgrounds, achievements, and aspirations.

List of Wharton MBA Fellowships

Here is a glimpse of some of the notable fellowships available at Wharton:

Fellowship NameCriteriaAward Amount
Joseph Wharton FellowshipsOutstanding academic, personal, and professional achievementsVaries
Emerging Economy FellowshipsSupport for students from emerging economies worldwideVaries
Forte FellowshipsLeadership in academia, profession, or creativity; commitment to women’s empowermentVaries
ROMBA LGBT+ FellowshipLGBT+ and ally business leaders; $20,000 scholarship and exclusive programming$20,000 minimum
Wharton Prism FellowshipLGBTQIA community leadership; Full tuition coverageFull Wharton tuition
Social Impact FellowshipsLeadership in the public and/or not-for-profit sectorsVaries
Chapman Taylor Family MBA FellowshipFinancial support for Wharton graduates with a preference for Peace Corps volunteersVaries

Corporate and Foundation Supporters

Wharton MBA fellowships are generously supported by various corporations and foundations, reflecting a commitment to fostering diverse and talented business leaders. Some of the key supporters include Alcoa Inc., American Express Philanthropic Program, Bank of America Corporation, The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc., and many more.

Additional Fellowship Opportunities

Throughout the MBA program, students have access to additional fellowship opportunities, each with its own application process, award amounts, and criteria. Some notable categories include:

  • 2nd Year Financial Aid Awards: Providing additional support based on financial need and a review of existing financial aid.
  • Academic Fellowships: Recognizing academic excellence in various categories, including best student, top 5%, and top 10%.
  • Entrepreneurial Awards and Fellowships: Supporting innovation and entrepreneurship through various awards and fellowships.
  • Leadership Fellowships: Acknowledging demonstrated leadership and financial need, such as Behrman Family Fellowships.
  • Real Estate Fellowships: Centered on excellence in real estate education, with awards from the Samuel Zell and Robert Lurie Real Estate Center.
  • Whitney M Young Fellowship: Awarded to second-year, active members of the AAMBAA community for academic excellence and contributions to diversity.
  • Toigo Fellowships: Supporting minority MBA candidates pursuing finance careers with networking, leadership training, and merit awards.

Wharton MBA Program Overview

The Wharton MBA program is renowned for its comprehensive curriculum, providing a flexible and dynamic approach to learning. Let’s explore the intricacies of the program, including the curriculum structure, core courses, major requirements, and the extensive range of elective courses available.

MBA Curriculum Overview

The Wharton MBA Curriculum is structured into three categories, each contributing to a holistic learning experience:

Curriculum ComponentCredit Units (CU)
Core Curriculum9.5 CU
Major Requirements5.0 CU
Electives4.5 CU
Total19 CU

MBA Core Curriculum

The MBA Core Curriculum forms the foundation of your Wharton education, blending fixed core and flexible core courses. This core curriculum, totaling 9.5 credit units (CUs), is divided into two parts:

Fixed Core (3.25 CU – First Semester)

  • Leadership: Foundations of Teamwork and Leadership
    • Develop your personal leadership style through interactive simulations.
  • Marketing: Marketing Management
    • Apply analytical concepts and marketing tools to strategic decisions.
  • Microeconomics: Microeconomics for Managers
    • Master the fundamental theory of microeconomics.
  • Microeconomics: Advanced Microeconomics for Managers
    • Apply microeconomic theory to firm management.
  • Statistics: Regression Analysis for Managers
    • Gain expertise in regression analysis and experimentation.
  • Management Communication: Speaking and Writing
    • Enhance communication skills through speaking and writing courses.

Flexible Core (6.25 CU – First Semester or Later)

  • More than half of the core courses offer flexibility, allowing customization based on individual learning styles and interests.

Options within Flexible Core Areas:

  • Operations, Information, and Decisions
  • Marketing
  • Communication
  • Accounting
  • Corporate Finance
  • Macroeconomics
  • Management
  • Legal Studies & Business Ethics

MBA Majors

The Wharton MBA program offers a diverse array of 21 majors, enabling students to tailor their education to specific career goals. Each major typically consists of five CUs, including four CUs beyond the core curriculum. 

Some notable majors include:

  • Business Analytics (STEM Certified Major): Equips students with tools for solving real-world business problems using data.
  • Finance (STEM Certified Major): Develops financial leadership skills for both private and public sectors.
  • Health Care Management: Blends specific coursework with professional development opportunities in the healthcare sector.
  • Entrepreneurship & Innovation: Prepares students for entrepreneurial careers in various settings.
  • Real Estate: Focuses on industry-specific courses and electives, providing tools for leadership in real estate.
  • Strategic Management: Deepens understanding of competitive advantage and broader competitive dynamics.
  • Social and Governance Factors for Business (STEM Certified Major): Explores relationships between business, society, and environmental, social, and governance factors.

Elective Courses

Wharton offers nearly 200 elective courses across 10 academic departments, allowing students to delve deeper into specific areas of interest. Notably, students can select up to four courses from the University of Pennsylvania’s other schools, enhancing the interdisciplinary nature of the Wharton MBA.

Final Thoughts

As we conclude this guide, it is evident that the Wharton MBA Program stands as a dream school for ambitious individuals seeking an unparalleled business education. The Class of 2025’s profile showcases the diversity and excellence that defines the Wharton community. Insights from the employment reports for the Class of 2023 provide a glimpse into the program’s impact on career trajectories. 

Prospective applicants can navigate the application process armed with knowledge about deadlines, cost considerations, and available scholarships. The overarching program overview emphasizes Wharton’s commitment to shaping future business leaders. May this guide empower you to embark on a transformative journey at Wharton, where academic excellence meets real-world impact.

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