UPenn Wharton MBA: The Complete Guide to Admissions

Wharton MBA at UPenn Sign

Wharton is one of the top B-schools across the globe and has consistently featured in the top tier of major B-school rankings. It was ranked the world’s #1 MBA program by Financial Times Ranking in 2022 for a record 11th time. The Wharton MBA program is a full-time, two-year MBA program at the University of Pennsylvania, an Ivy League university in Philadelphia.

Wharton MBA Class Profile: GMAT Scores, Acceptance Rate, and GPA

Number of applicants
7,338
Number of students enrolling in incoming class
897
Percentage of international students
36%
Percentage of female students
52%
Percentage of students of color
35%
Mean year of work experience
5
Mean GMAT Score
733
Median GMAT Score
740

How to Get Into UPenn Wharton: Admission Requirements

GMAT Scores for Wharton MBA

I’m just going to cut right to the chase on this one: no messing around because Wharton is not messing around when it comes to GMAT scores. In fact, it is the toughest out of all the top b-schools when it comes to scores.

Let’s take a look at the numbers:

For the Wharton incoming class of 2023, the average GMAT score was 733, the median score was 740. You read that right. More than half of the incoming class had a stellar GMAT score of 740 or above. Compare this to Harvard, which had a median GMAT score of 730, and it is clear that Wharton’s median test score for the incoming class of 2023 was more than that of Harvard. Since GMAT scores are factored into the all-important U.S. News and World Report rankings, this could be Wharton’s way of letting us know they don’t think they are second best to anyone, and this is not good news for individuals who are hoping other laurels might carry a low GMAT score on their coattails. So it is safe to say that the first step to getting into Wharton is to aim for a stellar GMAT score.

Wharton reached another big milestone and achieved the highest ever-application, with the school reporting that over 7,338 candidates applied for admission, a 20+ percentage points increase over the last 2 years.

It is also worth noting that Wharton tends to appreciate an even split in quantitative and verbal scores more than some of its competitors, which is perhaps not surprising given its emphasis on well-roundedness and intellectual curiosity. So be wary if you think your stellar quant score is going to compensate for a weaker verbal score into Wharton’s hallowed halls.

Wharton GMAT Score Ranges

  • The safe zone: 730-800
  • The “in the running zone”: 700-730
  • The “pretty please?” zone: 650-690
  • The rare exception zone: 600-650

If your scores are in the “pretty please?” or “rare exception” ranges, I highly recommend you do some serious GMAT prep or consider the GRE as an alternative (although not many Wharton hopefuls are submitting GRE scores, the average GRE score of those admitted is typically lower than the average GMAT score of admitted students).

Application

The Wharton MBA program has a comprehensive application process, and anyone applying for it needs to cover the following core categories –

  1. Basic Personal Information
  2. Essays (2)
  3. Transcripts
  4. Letters of Recommendation (2)
  5. GMAT/GRE Score
  6. English Language Test Score
  7. Resume

Wharton MBA Curriculum

The Wharton MBA curriculum is the highlight of the MBA program. It has a one-of-a-kind structure with the perfect blend of rigor and flexibility. Make no mistake, it is a rigorous and intensive program that covers a broad range of cross-functional concepts including business fundamentals, leadership aspects, communication & analytical skills, etc.

The program has a fixed core part that is mandatory for all students while at the same time has a flexible core part to allow students to experiment and explore their areas of interest. Apart from imparting you the fundamentals of management, the Wharton MBA program allows you to specialize in one or more areas of interest by selecting a major and completing core as well as elective courses from that major. The program also has a flexible structure allowing students to take more electives in the first year to prepare for an internship, entrepreneurial venture, etc, and defer some core courses to their second year.

Why choose Wharton MBA?

Wharton School of Business is consistently recognized as one of the best business schools in the world. Whether it is their innovative teaching methods or their diverse range of academic programs, whether it is their immense resources or their largest and most cited faculty team, Wharton is a leader in all areas.

Breadth of Disciplines & Opportunities

Although it’s known for its strength as a finance program, Wharton is equally powerful in several other areas including entrepreneurship and technology. Wharton students have over 17 different majors to choose from and explore the areas of their interests. You can also take over a third of the classes from any of the other 11 schools under Penn University. The flexibility allows you to complement your foundational business skills with new-age skills like cloud technologies and blockchain or explore other interest areas from arts or science.

Wharton also provides various other avenues and opportunities to its students to ensure their holistic development.

  1. Dual Degrees Programs

    You can pursue a dual degree program with any of the other schools under the Pennsylvania university. (Johns Hopkins School, Harvard Kennedy School, etc.)
     

  2. Internship Track
    Students can explore opportunities to get practical experience and apply their newly acquired knowledge and skills through the internship track.

     

  3. Independent Study Project

    Students can even pursue areas of interest that may not be covered by the course curriculum and receive comprehensive support from the school. ISPs not only allow students to get their work counted towards the official graduation requirements but also provide them with the supervision and support of a faculty member.
     

  4. Depth of Support

    Wharton provides a strong support system through its dynamic community, global alumni network, and world-renowned professors. While Wharton MBA alone has roughly 50 different clubs, the students also have access to the 300+ clubs spread throughout Penn University. Similarly, the 200+ Wharton faculty team is complemented with over 1000+ professors in the 11 Penn Schools. So, no matter what interest areas you might have or what kind of peer group you might be in search of, you will find plenty of students in the same boat.

Wharton MBA Employment Outcomes

Like with any top MBA program, Wharton’s high rating has a lot to do with the career outcomes it creates for its graduates. Wharton graduates are some of the most sought-after job applicants in the country and across the globe. Over 99% of the graduating class of 2021 who was seeking a job received an offer right after earning their MBA. This was the largest class in Wharton’s history and yet managed the school’s highest-ever median base salary at $155,000.

The top three outgoing industries among the graduating class were financial services (35%), consulting (27%), and technology (18%). Since a big bunch of the student pool has prior finance experience, recruiters from banks and other financial institutes are extremely active on campus. A large number of graduates go into investment banking, corporate finance, and even hedge funds & private equity.

All of these factors combined is what makes Wharton’s MBA program one of the most sought after destination for MBA aspirants from across the globe.

Ready to get an awesome GMAT score? Start here.

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Author

  • Ayush Verma

    Ayush is a Test Prep Expert and Application Coach actively involved in the Test Prep and Application Consulting space for several years now. He is a GMAT 99 Percentiler and has extensive experience in delivering private tutoring sessions for GMAT, GRE, and SAT exams. Ayush has a Bachelor’s in Computer Science and an MBA in Strategy from the Indian School of Business. He is an ardent ManUnited fan and when he is not helping students understand that tricky GMAT question or write that dreaded Why MBA answer, he would be likely cheering for his team at Old Trafford (GGMU). To connect with him, feel free to reach out to him via LinkedIn or his website Test Prep Buddy.

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