The University of Pennsylvania Wharton School

Undergraduate students at The Wharton School

Undergraduate students at The Wharton School

The Wharton School

G95 Jon M. Huntsman Hall
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Telephone: (215) 898-7507


Poets&Quants (2014): 1
U.S. News & World Report (2014): 1
Bloomberg BusinessWeek (2014): 7

The Back Story:

The University of Pennsylvania has a rich and vivid history which includes an unlikely cast of characters from Benjamin Franklin to Donald Trump. The university is among Franklin’s greatest inventions. While Penn traces its origins to 1740, Franklin altered its vision nine years later to teach students public service and academics rather than religion.

The business school, named after American entrepreneur and industrialist Joseph Wharton, became the world’s first collegiate school of business in 1881. Wharton’s vision for the school was to produce graduates who would become “pillars of the state, whether in private or in public life.” The Wharton School maintains a long tradition of educating visionary business leaders in academe, business, government, and not-for-profit organizations. Its alumni include Donald Trump and Warren Buffet.

Wharton is one of the largest business schools in the world, with 225+ faculty members, 92,000 alumni, and 5,000 students in academic programs.

The Undergraduate Business Program:

This is a four-year business program. Freshmen are put into Wharton cohorts for their first year and take a fall and spring business course with the same group of students. They also reunite with each other for both social and extracurricular events. Cohorts also work together in a sophomore business strategy simulation project.

The school’s Management 100 is one of its gateway courses in which students work in small team cohorts on projects. Each team goes out into the West Philadelphia community and does a service and social impact sort of project. Some recent projects include raising awareness for groups such as Givology, the Global Development Collaborative and the Agatston Urban Nutrition Initiative.

But one of the most distinguishing features of the Wharton experience is choice. Wharton undergraduates can choose from one of 20 concentrations while they’re at the school, studying in-depth topics such as environmental policy and management social impact and responsibility. They also have the opportunity to do dual-degree programs between the Wharton School and the other colleges on campus, an increasingly popular option for many students

“One of our strengths and challenges at the same time at Wharton is to be big and small at the same time,” says Lori Rosenkopf, vice dean and director of the undergraduate program. “We are big enough to have the scope for ten different academic departments and the interdisciplinary stuff I mentioned earlier, but at the same time we want it to feel small for students. There is a host of smaller group curricular experiences and social, travel and networking opportunities. Things like that can make it feel small.

“For example, this is our third year running a senior capstone course. This is an interdisciplinary simulation where small teams of students compete looking at business problems that span different departments and areas we provide here. Seniors practice in the preterm before the spring semester starts, and we then send teams of students to do coursework in a variety of countries. This year, there are three groups from the undergraduate division alone. One group just came back from South Africa over spring break, and we are sending two other groups, one to Hon Hong Kong and Macau, and another group to Greece and Turkey.”

The Numbers:

Enrollment: 2,502
Acceptance Rate: 12%
Yield: 63%
Average SAT Score: 1466

Core Class Size: 36
Elective Class Size: 34

Median Starting Salary: $70,000
Job Offers Three Months After Graduation: 94%

Bottom Line:

Total Annual Cost: $60,002
Tuition: $40,594
Fees: $5,296
Expenses: $14,112