Wharton School: Wikis


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The Wharton School

Wharton School Logo
Mission Apply unparalleled intellectual resources to prepare business leaders who fuel the growth of industries and economies throughout the world
Established 1881
Official name The Wharton School
University University of Pennsylvania
School type Private
Endowment $691 million
Dean Thomas Robertson
Faculty 304
Undergraduates 2,305
Graduates 1,671
Alumni 81,000
Location Philadelphia, PA, USA

The Wharton School is the business school of the University of Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It was established in 1881 through a donation of Joseph Wharton and is the world’s first collegiate business school.

Alone and in conjunction with the other schools and colleges of the university, Wharton grants B.S. and M.B.A. degrees, offers a Ph.D. program,[2] and houses or co-sponsors several diploma programs. With the most electives of any business school,[3] Wharton offers concentrations in Accounting, Business and Public Policy, Entrepreneurial Management, Environmental Management, Finance, Health Care Systems, Human Resource and Organizational Management, Insurance and Risk Management, Legal Studies and Business Ethics, Management, Marketing, Multinational Management, Operations and Information Management, Real Estate, Retailing, Statistics and Strategic Management.

Since the 1990s, the popular and financial press has consistently ranked Wharton as one of the world's top institutions for business education.[4] Moreover, it has been ranked the best business school in the world by the Financial Times in every year in which the newspaper has ranked business schools, considering that in 2005 and 2009, it tied in 1st place with Harvard Business School and London Business School respectively.[5] Wharton usually receives the highest reputation scores from academics and recruiters.[6] According to Forbes Magazine, 90% of billionaires with M.B.A.s obtained their master's degree from one of three schools: Harvard, Columbia Business School or Wharton.[7]

The school currently has 278 faculty members, translating to an 17:1 student-to-faculty ratio. The school's faculty are the world’s most published and most cited among business schools.[8] Research published in the peer-reviewed Academy of Management Journal ranked Wharton as top institution in the simultaneous pursuit of scholarly achievements and excellence in teaching.[9] Most recently, the Chronicle of Higher Education rated Wharton's Marketing and Management departments as the first and second in the world for research productivity, respectively.[10]

The admissions process at Wharton is highly selective — it is one of the most competitive business schools in the U.S. A high GPA, high GMAT score, and very strong non-quantitative credentials are typically prerequisites to admission.

The School publishes an influential[11] on-line journal, Knowledge@Wharton, that is "the envy of every other school" according to the Economist magazine,[12] and has a newly established publishing house Wharton School Publishing. Wharton maintains the world's largest financial, economics, management, marketing, and public policy data warehouses accessible through state-of-the-art web-based data management services, called WRDS.[13]



The Wharton School, the world’s first business school, was founded in 1881 by Philadelphia industrialist and philanthropist Joseph Wharton.[14] A native Philadelphian, Wharton became a leader in industrial metallurgy and built a fortune through his American Nickel Company and Bethlehem Steel Corporation. The anvil, a School symbol, reflects Wharton’s pioneering work in the metal industry. Joseph Wharton envisioned creating a new collegiate foundation that would produce educated leaders of business and government. From the beginning, he defined the goal of the Wharton School of Finance and Economy to be "to provide for young men special means of training and of correct instruction in the knowledge and in the arts of modern Finance and Economy, both public and private, in order that, being well informed and free from delusions upon these important subjects, they may either serve the community skillfully as well as faithfully in offices of trust, or, remaining in private life, may prudently manage their own affairs and aid in maintaining sound financial morality: in short, to establish means for imparting a liberal education in all matters concerning Finance and Economy."[15]

Undergraduate program



Prospective Wharton candidates apply in their senior year of high school either through the early decision (ED) process or regular decision (RD) process. Unlike many other undergraduate business programs where students transfer in after their freshman or sophomore year (University of Virginia's McIntire, Emory's Goizueta, UC Berkeley's Haas), Wharton applicants apply specifically for Wharton during their senior year of high school. These candidates are then grouped with a pool of applicants separate from those applying to University of Pennsylvania's College of Arts and Sciences (CAS), School of Engineering and Applied Science (SEAS), or School of Nursing.[16] Though some of the admissions criteria for admissions into Wharton, CAS, and SEAS overlap, the admissions committee, when selecting Wharton students, also looks for qualities that fit with the business school's unique undergraduate culture.

The admissions process for Wharton's undergraduate program is extremely competitive, with statistics comparable to those at Harvard, Yale, or Princeton. The undergraduate business program typically receives about 5,500 applications, of which 540 are admitted (9.8%).[17] Wharton's yield, or the percent of students who matriculate after being accepted, is usually around 80%, a number matched only by Harvard (76%).[18]. Princeton's yield in 2009 was 60% and Yale 69%. Through its selective admissions process and consistently strong performance, Wharton has maintained its position as the top undergraduate business program in U.S. News & World Report, the most widely used undergraduate ranking table in the United States, since the ranking's inception.[19]

Students in the other three undergraduates schools who satisfy certain prerequisites may transfer into Wharton after their freshman year. The transfer process is objective: students with the necessary coursework are ordered by GPA and admitted from highest to lowest until all spots are filled. Conversely, Wharton students may also transfer out of the business program into CAS or SEAS, although this process may be less competitive.


The specialized program at Wharton focuses on a broad range of business or finance-related subjects. Though students graduate with a B.S. in Economics, Wharton's curriculum is very different from that of a typical economics major (which the University of Pennsylvania offers through its College of Arts and Sciences). Wharton emphasizes teaching students the skills they need to obtain and succeed in many careers as opposed to general economics theory.

At the same time, undergraduate students are given a general liberal arts education to complement their business concentration. Potential concentrations include Actuarial Science, Business and Public Policy, Environmental Policy & Management, Finance, Health Care Management and Policy, Insurance and Risk Management, Management, Marketing, Operations and Information Management, Real Estate, Statistics, and Transportation. Second concentrations are also available in more specialized topics such as Entrepreneurship & Innovation or Retailing. Emphasis is placed on an international perspective, aided by the geographically diverse student body. Leadership and communication skills are also an area of focus with many core classes incorporating group projects and all freshmen enrolled in MGMT 100, a course in which student teams complete a semester project benefiting a partner Philadelphia community organization.

A small group of students also choose to apply for a dual degree, allowing them to graduate with two degrees—a B.S. in Economics from Wharton as well as a B.S. or B.A. in another subject taken at the University of Pennsylvania such as Engineering or Mathematics. Dual degree programs require significantly more work than a double major or double concentration because students must complete as many as 40% more credits than a single degree student.


With average combined compensation of some $130,000 per year, first year Wharton graduates earn some of the highest starting salaries for college graduates in the nation.[20] Over 45% of the typical class of 500 go into investment banking with the majority employed at a bulge bracket firm, earning a base salary of approximately $65,000, an $8,000 signing bonus, and an additional $50,000 to $70,000 typical first year analyst bonus.[21] In 2008, Goldman Sachs was the top employer at Wharton with 36 accepted offers. The next most common industry after investment banking is consulting, with firms like McKinsey & Co., Boston Consulting Group, Bain & Company and many other firms hiring approximately 20% of the students. A number of students also enter the buy-side with offers from top hedge funds such as Citadel Investment Group or private equity firms such as Evercore Partners or Blackstone Group.[22]

Graduate programs

Wharton MBA program

Wharton School's differentiation lies in its 19 majors, 250+ world-renowned faculty members, 11 academic departments, nearly 200 electives, 24 research centers and initiatives, and a strong alumni network. It has the largest elective offering[23] and the largest alumni network of any business school.[24]

The school offers two paths- MBA for full-time students and MBA for executives.[25] Students can elect to pursue double majors or individualized majors. During their first year, all students pursue a required core curriculum that covers traditional management disciplines—finance, marketing, statistics, and strategy—as well as the leadership, ethics, and communication skills needed at senior levels of management.[26] Students pick electives in the second year.[27]

Wharton MBA's required pre-term for full-time students includes coursework, waiver testing, and the "Learning Team Retreat". Coursework includes introductory and review courses in financial accounting, microeconomics, statistics, and financial analysis. Preparatory courses cover material not included in fall coursework that students are expected to understand. In addition, pre-term includes classes on business history and languages, as well as short seminars in communication skills, computing technology, trading simulations, and career management. Students may also spend term time at INSEAD's Fontainebleau and Singapore campuses.

Wharton's MBA for Executives is a two-year, lockstep, weekend residential program with the same curriculum, campus classroom time, credit requirements and elective choices as the full-time MBA program. As such, this is one of the most highly sought and rigorous programs with very high selectivity (low acceptance rate). This program, for more experienced professionals, has the same campus classroom time and credit hours as the full-time program by having longer classroom hours during residential periods and running full terms during summers (when full-time students are interning). Notably, Wharton admits only one class with a single entry point every year.

In July 2009 Wharton School announced that they would also accept the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) for future admission to its MBA program in addition to GMAT scores.[28]

Academic honors for MBA program

William L. Mack Plaza

The top academic honor in the Wharton MBA Program is the Palmer Scholar designation, given to the top 5% of the graduating MBA class. Students who rank in the top 20% of the graduating class after both their first and second years are awarded Graduation with Honors. Students who rank in the top 20% of their class after the first year are awarded First Year Honors.

The student (or students) with the top cumulative GPA at the end of the first-year of the MBA Program is awarded the Ford Fellowship.

Only grades earned from courses taken at Wharton qualify for academic honors. Courses taken Pass/Fail or electives taken outside of Wharton do not count towards the eligibility for academic honors, but do count towards the MBA degree.

Wharton doctoral programs

Wharton offers PhD in business degrees (as opposed to some programs, which grant DBAs.) However, unlike other departments in Wharton, "the Wharton School name will not appear on your diploma", as "the University of Pennsylvania awards all research Ph.D. and master's degrees."[8]. It takes approximately four to six years to complete the program. Eleven fields of specialization are offered by the program: Accounting, Business and Public Policy, Ethics and Legal Studies, Finance, Health Care Systems, Insurance and Risk Management, Management, Marketing, Operations and Information Management, Real Estate, and Statistics. The entering class of 2005 contained 34 students, half of which were U.S. citizens. The average age of an entering student is 26. All Wharton doctoral students are funded.[29]

International study

Options for international study and experience include Wharton's Lauder Institute, the Global Immersion Program, Leadership Ventures, Global Consulting Practicum, and exchange programs with schools in 11 countries, including an INSEAD alliance.

Dual and joint degrees

Silverman Hall, Penn Law School

Wharton MBA students may pursue a dual degree with the Lauder Institute, Johns Hopkins University's Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, or in one of the graduate schools at the University of Pennsylvania:

Wharton Undergraduates may pursue joint degrees in engineering through the Jerome Fisher Program in Management and Technology, international business through the Huntsman Program in International Studies and Business, Nursing & Health Care Management, and a joint program in life sciences and business through The Roy and Diana Vagelos Program in Life Sciences and Management. Undergraduates may also, independent from these programs, pursue dual degrees with any of Penn's three other undergraduate schools.

Wharton lists three types of Degrees on their interdisciplinary lineup: Undergraduate programs, MBA programs and the Executive Masters in Technology Management Program. Wharton co-sponsors the EMTM Program with the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS). This degree prepares engineers and scientists for leadership roles in technology-based organizations. Graduates receive a Master's of Science in Engineering (MSE) in the Management of Technology from Penn Engineering.

General academics

Cohen Hall, former home of The Wharton School

The school has 304 standing and associated faculty, 11 academic departments and 20 research centers and initiatives. The institutional mission of the Wharton School is to apply unparalleled intellectual resources to prepare business leaders who fuel the growth of industries and economies throughout the world.

Academic departments

  • Accounting
  • Business and Public Policy
  • Finance
  • Health Care Systems
  • Insurance and Risk Management
  • Legal Studies
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • Operations and Information Management
  • Real Estate
  • Statistics

Research centers

Business school rankings


BusinessWeek[30] 3
U.S. News & World Report[31] 1


BusinessWeek[30] 4
Economist[32] 9
Financial Times[33] 1
Forbes[34] 5
U.S. News & World Report[35] 3
Wall Street Journal[36] 11

†Indicates worldwide ranking

  • Reginald Jones Center for Management, Strategy, and Organization
  • Fishman-Davidson Center for Service and Operations Management
  • William and Phyllis Mack Center for Technological Innovation
  • Emerging Technologies Management Research Program
  • Risk Management and Decision Processes Center
  • SEI Center for Advanced Studies in Management
  • Sol C. Snider Entrepreneurial Research Center
  • Weiss Center for International Financial Research
  • Boettner Center for Pensions and Retirement Research
  • Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research
  • Samuel Zell and Robert Lurie Real Estate Center
  • Zicklin Center for Business Ethics Research


On December 5, 2003 Wharton enacted a policy of declining to actively participate in the rankings of business school programs,[37] citing concerns for alumni and students' privacy.[38]

Aresty Institute

The Wharton School operates the Aresty Institute of Executive Education, a highly regarded center for post-graduate and professional advancement.[39] Sharing its faculty with the full-time Wharton degree programs, the Institute offers open-enrollment, semester, and custom programs in Executive Development, Advanced Management, Financial Wealth Management, and a wide variety of evolving fields.[40]

Founded in 1987,[41] the Aresty Institute has expanded its reach from the Wharton campus to a worldwide network of programs offered under its Global Wharton umbrella in Asia, India, Europe, and the Middle East.[42] Aimed at individuals in the public and private sectors seeking advanced education and professional certification at the Wharton level, Aresty programs continually adapt to keep pace with the ever-changing real world financial environment.[43]

Alumni network

Wharton alumni network has 81,000+ members in 142 countries around the world. Eighty-two alumni clubs provide support to the School. In addition to the annual campus-based Wharton reunion, Wharton partners with its alumni clubs to mount three annual Global Alumni Forums around the world.

See also


  1. ^ Facts at a Glance - The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania
  2. ^ The school does not grant Ph.D. degrees. These are granted exclusively by the Graduate Division of the School of Arts and Sciences at the university. See http://phd.wharton.upenn.edu/
  3. ^ Elective information; "The Wharton School", 23.06.2008
  4. ^ Business school rankings; Business Week, 16.10.2000
  5. ^ Business school rankings; Financial Times, 22.01.2007
  6. ^ Best Graduate Schools; U.S.News & World Report, 27.04.2006
  7. ^ Forbes: Billionaire Clusters.
  8. ^ Faculty and Research; The Wharton School; 23.06.2008
  9. ^ Trieschmann, James S.; Dennis, Alan R.; Northcraft, Gregory B. and Niemi, Albert W. , Jr. "Serving Multiple Constituencies in Business Schools: M.B.A. Program Versus Research Performance." Academy of Management Journal, 2000, 43(6), pp. 1130-41
  10. ^ Research Productivity; The Chronicle of Higher Education, 15.10.2006
  11. ^ Experience Wharton: The Finest Faculty; The Wharton School, 29.05.2008
  12. ^ Business-school rankings; The Economist, 22.09.2005
  13. ^ WRDS FAQ; WRDS Website, 23.06.2008
  14. ^ Wharton Facts; The Wharton School, 03.05.2008
  15. ^ http://books.google.com/books?id=ATDuA-p2vSUC&pg=PA206&lpg=PA206&dq=%22wharton+school+of+finance+and+economy%22&source=bl&ots=8QFx79XBTg&sig=rDUdWnkGR0uNnZnfvPSzAaRRtpA&hl=en&ei=ayBoSpHGDs-UkAXC0pCVCw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=3
  16. ^ [1]; Wharton School, 01.09.2006
  17. ^ [2]
  18. ^ [3]
  19. ^ [4]; Wharton School, 01.09.2006
  20. ^ [5]
  21. ^ [6], 04.18.2009
  22. ^ [7]; Wharton School, 01.09.2006
  23. ^ Wharton MBA Electives
  24. ^ http://www.wharton.upenn.edu/mba/your-career/alumni-network.cfm
  25. ^ http://www.wharton.upenn.edu/mbaexecutive/admissions/choosing/compare.cfm
  26. ^ http://www.wharton.upenn.edu/mbaresource/curriculum/core/
  27. ^ http://www.wharton.upenn.edu/mbaresource/courseindex/index.cfm
  28. ^ MBA Channel: "Wharton joins the club", July 31, 2009
  29. ^ Doctoral Program Quick Facts; Wharton School, 01.09.2006
  30. ^ a b "Business School Rankings and Profiles". BusinessWeek. 2009. http://www.businessweek.com/bschools/rankings/. Retrieved 2009-12-23.  
  31. ^ "Best Undergraduate Business Programs". U.S. News & World Report. 2010. http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges/spec-business. Retrieved 2009-12-23.  
  32. ^ "Which MBA". The Economist. 2009. http://www.economist.com/business-education/whichmba/. Retrieved 2009-12-23.  
  33. ^ "Global MBA Rankings". Financial Times. 2009. http://rankings.ft.com/businessschoolrankings/global-mba-rankings. Retrieved 2009-12-23.  
  34. ^ "Best Business Schools". Forbes. 2009. http://www.forbes.com/lists/2009/95/best-business-schools-09_Best-Business-Schools_Rank.html. Retrieved 2009-12-23.  
  35. ^ "Best Business Schools". U.S. News & World Report. 2010. http://grad-schools.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-business-schools/rankings. Retrieved 2009-12-23.  
  36. ^ "MBA Rankings". The Wall Street Journal. 2007. http://online.wsj.com/public/resources/documents/MB_07_Scoreboard.pdf. Retrieved 2009-12-23.  
  37. ^ Why Harvard And Wharton Are Wrong; Business Week, 19.04.2004
  38. ^ Why Wharton and Harvard Are Missing; Business Week, 29.09.2005
  39. ^ http://executiveeducation.wharton.upenn.edu/
  40. ^ http://executiveeducation.wharton.upenn.edu/
  41. ^ http://www.upenn.edu/almanac/v34pdf/n01/071487.pdf
  42. ^ http://executiveeducation.wharton.upenn.edu/global-Wharton/index.cfm
  43. ^ http://executiveeducation.wharton.upenn.edu/

Books on Wharton

  • Nicole Ridgway, The Running of the Bulls: Inside the Cutthroat Race from Wharton to Wall Street, Gotham, 2005.
  • Steven A. Sass, Pragmatic Imagination: A History of the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania Press,1983.
  • Emory Richard Johnson, The Wharton school: Its fifty years, University of Pennsylvania Press, 1931.

External links


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