The Wharton MBA |
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The Wharton MBA – University of Pennsylvania

The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania was the first business school in the world, founded in 1881. It is the second largest school and ranked second in popularity in the US, and ranks consistently among the top MBA programs in the major rankings.

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Average GPA of admits: 3.6

Average GMAT of admits: 740

GMAT range: 500-790

Average GRE of admits: 163 verbal, 162 quant

Average Age of admits: 28

Average years of work experience: 5

Women: 43%

International students: 33%

Class size: 904

Percent of Hires in Each Industry:

  • Financial 36.3%
  • Consulting 24.6%
  • Technology 15.1%

Median Starting Salary per industry:

  • Consulting – $165K
  • Financial – $150K
  • Technology – $140K
  • Consumer – $125K
  • Health Care – $140K
  • Manufacturing – $137K
  • Real Estate – $120K
  • Retail – $140K
  • Media – $150K
  • Nonprofits – $89K
  • With 8,500 applications, very important to show WHO you are (hobbies, community service, etc.), beyond professional accomplishments and stats. Be yourself and be candid.
  • Like to see international perspective.
  • Applicants should be very careful as to how they shape the group of essays: they are interrelated and will be taken together as a whole.
  • Because of the vast range of courses and programs, It would serve application well to discuss a Wharton learning path and provide details on how it will aid you in achieving your professional goals.
  • Seem to be becoming more open to students from non-business backgrounds interested in working outside the traditional business sector.
  • Talk to alums – best way to understand what the school and experience are like – key to writing good essays which will show that you have done your homework.
  • Key points in an application: Your professional development; your personal development; your way of using the blend of the former two in order to give back to the community.
These traits make you more likely to get accepted into Wharton’s MBA program:

Trait Importance
(4 is highest, 1 is lowest)
Leader/Manager 4
Team Player/Relationship Builder 3
Smart 3
Initiates 3
International/Cultural 2.5
Creative 1
Presentation Skills 1
Persuasion Skills 1
Community/Society 3
Risk Taker 1
Business Skills 1
Source of career plan/prog choice 1
Promotions 2
Credible Names 2
Story is unique 1
Learn more about the meaning of these traits and how they are reflected in your application.

ARINGO has developed this information through ARINGO employees who worked with the Wharton MBA admissions committee, thousands of hours of research, and by helping hundreds of applicants apply to Wharton. ARINGO knows Wharton, and we can help your strengths shine through your application. Contact us today.

Finance, (Entrepreneurship, Accounting)
  • Arguably the best quant driven business education in the world and great brand name
  • Large alumni network
  • ‘Second year buddy’ programs – can be very helpful for preparing CV, for interviews etc.
  • Highest percentage of international students.
  • Does not want to be perceived as a ‘finance factory’, though finance program still top.
  • Collaborative environment.
  • Expanding emphasis on entrepreneurship as an expression of school’s commitment to ‘innovation’.
  • Breadth and depth- largest faculty of any b-school, largest number of courses, 19 majors.
  • Present themselves as teaching leadership and management skills (which also includes quantitative skills), rather than ‘business skills’ per se.
  • Have new special loan program for international students.
  • $145,000
  • $145,000
  • $70,000
  • $5000
  • $60,000
  • $50,000
  • $30,000
  • $40,000
  • $26,000
  • $26,000
  • $18,000
  • $18,000
  • $44,000
  • $18,000
  • $80,000
  • $50,000
  • $40,000
  • $30,000
  • $50,000
  • $25,000
  • $25,000
  • $20,000
  • $15,000
  • $8,000
  • $8,000
  • $20,000
  • $20,000
  • $20,000
  • $10,000
  • $10,000
  • $20,000
  • $30,000
The program is large, selecting approximately 900 students annually from over 5,500 applicants. Over 40% of students are international – more than any other US school. In this regard, the school likes to see applicants demonstrate an international perspective, and has recently started a special loan program for foreign students.

Wharton also has the largest faculty of all business schools worldwide, with over 250 faculty members. Wharton’s top specialty is finance, but the school is also known for its health care management and marketing programs. Another specialty which has been gaining more traction is entrepreneurship, demonstrating the school’s commitment to innovation.

Wharton is known for its community orientation, and it offers attractive scholarships to students planning to work in the public sector after graduation. The school is also known for complete transparency in the admissions process – the admissions office is always available to applicants and is very open towards them. One of the attributes the school looks for in applicants is maturity and professional experience, resulting in a relatively high average of years of work experience among students.

The school has a wide alumni network worldwide of over 81,000 alumni in 142 countries.

Alumni include the following individuals, with current or past positions in parentheses: Gil Levi (founder of ARINGO), Richard Williams (Chairman and CEO of Dun & Bradstreet), Robert Crandall (Chairman and CEO of American Airlines), John Sculley (CEO of Apple and PepsiCo), Lewis Platt (Chairman and CEO of Boeing) and Laurence Tisch (CEO of CBS).

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