Wharton’s acceptance rate is estimated at just 12%. Learn more about this highly-coveted program here.
“Solid applicants across all dimensions with emphasis on strong performance in GMAT and professional experience is what Wharton seeks in its applicants,” shared Meghan, a former Wharton Admissions Officer on the Stacy Blackman Consulting team.
Contact us for an assessment of your Wharton MBA candidacy today. Here’s a snapshot of our Wharton expertise on the SBC admissions consulting team:
Wharton Program Overview
Wharton is the oldest business program in the country and was founded by Joseph Wharton in 1881. The school is part of the University of Pennsylvania and consists of an MBA program and an undergraduate program, as well as an executive program and Wharton West in San Francisco. There are approximately 1600 full-time MBA students and the same number of undergraduate students.
Wharton is well known for having an excellent Finance program, and the Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Strategy, and Operations majors are also popular with students. The school follows a hybrid teaching model- some classes are case-based, others are lecture-based, and many are a combination of both methods. The Wharton academic program focuses on skills and technical abilities. Even a marketing or strategy class will require “running the numbers,” and most students have strong quantitative backgrounds and skills.
Wharton is social, social, and more social. While all MBA programs include a strong networking element, Wharton’s large student body and Philadelphia location ensure endless socializing among the class. Many students came from New York City and return to New York City. The city is a quick train ride away (about 60 to 90 minutes away), and students travel there frequently for recruiting and social purposes.
Here’s a snapshot of Wharton’s student class relative to Columbia Business School:
|Class of 2024 Admission Stats||Wharton||Columbia|
* Estimated. For Wharton, minority/students of color (including Asian American, Black/African American, Hispanic/Latinx and Indigenous students) are at about 35%. For Columbia, the 40% reflects underrepresented minority students.
Rounds & Deadlines
Search our MBA deadlines chart for updates on round and dates.
Wharton’s MBA Admissions Essays
Here are Wharton’s main essay prompts and Wharton’s essay tips can be found here.
Essay 1: What do you hope to gain professionally from the Wharton MBA? (500 words)
Essay 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)
Wharton’s Admissions Tips
We asked the former Wharton Admissions Officers on the Stacy Blackman Consulting team to profile what Wharton seeks. Their consensus is:
Wharton is looking for proven work experience from employers, spanning traditional or niche fields, because that predicts recruitability (aka “exit opportunities”) upon MBA completion. A strong resume marked by increasing career trajectory and quantitative proficiency are essential.
Current Wharton Admissions Director Blair Mannix comments, “The Admissions Committee is looking for candidates who will contribute to all aspects of Wharton life.” Beyond your credentials and experience, being an active part of the community during and after the program is important.
We asked the former Wharton Admissions Officers on the Stacy Blackman Consulting team what Wharton does not want. Their consensus is:
People who quit their jobs to focus on applying to business schools. Too much job jumping is also frowned upon.
Wharton’s Admissions Director Blair Mannix added clarification, “We’re okay with people moving jobs, but we need to see the purpose of the move in their resume and essays. Longevity is important to us, but if a candidate has moved around because they’re looking to change industries or functions and are getting incremental experience with each role change, it is helpful to see where the applicant is going and why the MBA may be the key to their pivot.”
From the SBC Blog:
Check out this post, Wharton Applicants, Get SBC’s Inside Scoop, with advice from SBC consultant Anthony, a former associate director of MBA admissions at Wharton. He offers excellent insights into what it takes to make Wharton applicants shine. If you want to understand the school’s curriculum, culture, and admissions practices, take advantage of this deep dive.
Sample Wharton MBA Essays
Winning essays from our successful admits are new on the SBC site and can be found here:
More Wharton Application Tips
View our extensive overview of how the application for Wharton varies from that of CBS here.