The Wharton School: Everything You Need to Know


The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania is a world-renowned business school, and many aspiring entrepreneurs and future C-suite executives set their sights on Wharton for its rigorous analytical curriculum, impressive roster of professors, and vast network of well-placed MBA alumni. However, Wharton’s acceptance rate is only 19.23%, and its admissions process is highly rigorous, with its MBA Admissions Office showing an independent streak. Whereas many other MBA admissions officers have coalesced around the same questions for recommenders, Wharton’s admissions officers have created their own. And while every other top-ranked MBA program conducts one-on-one interviews, the Wharton Admissions Office has created a one-of-a-kind Team-Based Discussion (TBD). This is why if Wharton is your dream school, you should acquire as much information about the admissions process as possible before you apply.

If you have set your sights on the Wharton MBA program, mbaMission offers a depth of resources and services to help you on your journey.


mbaMission’s The Wharton School Insider’s Guide

The Wharton School Insider’s Guide

After consulting with Wharton MBA students, admissions committee members, and alumni about their Wharton experiences, we have prepared our Insider’s Guide to the Wharton School. We take an in-depth look at life as a Wharton student, highlighting how the school’s location, class size, curriculum, teaching methods, facilities, alumni involvement, and rankings all affect its culture and MBA experience. Then we discuss Wharton’s well-respected faculty and professional student clubs, revealing how they facilitate the careers of Wharton MBA students. Learn more about Wharton beyond its perennial strength in finance. For example, delve into its entrepreneurial offerings through its Venture Lab, hosted in the university’s new entrepreneurship center, Tangen Hall. Or discover more about opportunities to study internationally through the Wharton-INSEAD alliance, the Global Immersion Program, Global Modular Courses, and MBA Leadership Ventures expeditions. Finally, learn how Wharton dean Erika James is shaping the institution for the future, notably by making it the first MBA program to have more female than male students. The more you discover about the Wharton MBA, the more you will likely want to learn.


Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania Interview Guide

The Wharton Interview Guide

Have you ever been in a four-to-six-person group interview in which you had to present your own ideas and then critique—and be critiqued by—others? If you are fortunate enough to be invited for an interview at Wharton, you will have just such an experience because this is the nature of the Wharton Team-Based Discussion (TBD). Because of the unique aspects of the Wharton TBD, we strongly suggest reading our free Wharton Interview Guide. In this guide, we give you a deeper understanding of the TBD process, share insights from former mbaMission clients who have completed the TBD, and provide our tips for success. Further, while the Team-Based Discussion is the main component of the Wharton interview experience, our guide also offers insight into the brief one-on-one interview that follows the group discussion.


Wharton Essay Analysis, 2021–2022

Wharton admissions director Blair Mannix has crafted a pair of MBA essay prompts for the Wharton School that require you to think carefully about your reasons for attending the program, both as a consumer of an MBA education and as a contributor to an MBA community. In Wharton Essay 1, you must discuss what Wharton can do for you—how you can leverage the program’s resources to achieve your ambitious short- and long-term goals. Then, in Wharton Essay 2, you should focus on what you can bring to and do for Wharton—you will need to clearly articulate your anticipated contribution, referencing specific Wharton clubs, courses, and experiences in which you can have an impact.

Your greatest assets in crafting strong responses for both essays will be (1) a profound understanding of the school, its culture, and all it offers and (2) your ability to infuse your essays with a high level of detail. So be knowledgeable, be authentic, and be thorough, and you should be well positioned to submit compelling, effective essays.

In our analysis, we provide in-depth guidance on each of Wharton’s application essay questions:

  • Essay 1: How do you plan to use the Wharton MBA program to help you achieve your future professional goals? You might consider your past experience, short and long-term goals, and resources available at Wharton. (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)

Click here to read our analysis

Wharton Team-Based Discussion Simulation

Because of the atypical nature of the Wharton School’s team-based interview, we strongly suggest that you prep beforehand via our Wharton TBD Simulation, which is held over Zoom and completely secure. You and the rest of your “team members,” who will use their first names only, will participate in a group interview simulation using the very question the Wharton Admissions Office will ask. Two mbaMission Consultants facilitate this 90-minute session, providing the group and each individual with direct feedback on their performance. Our simulation of the Wharton Team-Based Discussion will help each applicant feel prepared when the actual interview arises.

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Wharton Class Profile (Class of 2023)

Number of Applications Received 7,338
Enrolled Students 897
Average GPA 3.6
Average GMAT 733
Median GMAT 740
Average GRE (Verbal) 162
Average GRE (Quant) 162
Average GRE (Writing) 4.6
Female 52%
International Students 36%
Countries Represented 83
U.S. Students of Color (Black / African American, Asian American, Hispanic / Latinx, Native American / Indigenous / Native Alaskan) 35%
LGBTQ+ Students 7%
Average Years of Work Experience 5
Years of Work Experience, Range 1–14

Wharton MBA Rankings

Wharton ranks among the top three MBA programs in the world in terms of its brand profile, while also enjoying a reputation for being the premier MBA-level finance program on the planet. Wharton typically places among the very top programs in the world’s most prestigious business school rankings—including what are generally accepted as the two most prominent ones, Bloomberg Businessweek and U.S. News & World Report. The 2020 Poets&Quants national ranking, however, placed Wharton at number three, one spot higher than the previous year, and Bloomberg Businessweek ranked Wharton in sixth place for 2020, unchanged from its 2019 position. In the most recent U.S. News & World Report survey (2022), Wharton was ranked second after being first for two years in a row. In addition, Wharton was included among the top 5 MBA programs in the country in the following U.S. News & World Report 2022 specialty rankings: finance (1); real estate (1); executive MBA (2); marketing (2); accounting (3); business analytics (3); management (4); entrepreneurship.

Wharton Deadlines (2021-2022)

Round 1
September 8, 2021

Round 1 Decision
December 15, 2021

Round 2
January 5, 2022

Round 2 Decision
March 23, 2022

Round 3
March 30, 2022

Round 3 Decision
May 20, 2022

mbaMission Testimonials from Wharton Applicants

Gavriella made the impossible happen! Admitted to Wharton!

I genuinely believe I would not have been admitted without the help of Gavriella. I began the MBA process incredibly naïve and completely overwhelmed.

I initially enlisted Gavriella's help for a two-school package. However, the immediate value and impact of her services convinced me to expand my package to include a third school. I only wish I could have used her help for all my applications!

She is equal parts teacher, strategist, therapist, and friend. She dove headfirst into my chaotic mess of a story, helping turn it into a coherent narrative that accurately depicted me and my experiences. Understanding who I am also allowed her to guide me to apply to programs aligned with my interest and post MBA goals that I had failed to consider.

From there, she proved instrumental in assisting me in articulating my story logically, thoughtfully, and compellingly. When interviews came, I was extremely nervous. The preparation she helped me with gave me confidence and empowered me.

If that wasn't enough, she genuinely cared about me and my outcome. I distinctly remember email exchanges with her anxiously waiting for decisions alongside me. She celebrated my admittances AND helped me through rejections.

I cannot speak more highly of Gavriella.

Go with Krista!

In Krista you get so much more than a consultant – you get a mentor who is genuinely invested in this process with you. More than anything, I am grateful for Krista’s patience, encouragement, the confidence she instilled in me, and the areas she pushed me to improve. Krista commitment to her clients is further expressed in the excitement and happiness she feels when they succeed. Having achieved great results with acceptances to three schools, including my top choice in Wharton, I would strongly recommend Krista to anyone who is embarking on this admissions journey.

Heidi is awesome

After struggling with my essays for a whole month, I decided to get a consultant to help me improve them. Choosing Heidi was one of the best decisions that I'd made in my application process.

She first helped me realign my career goal with what I've accomplished and what might be more possible. Then, we started working on my essays and resumes. She was very insightful, always asking the right questions to keep pushing me to reflect on myself, to dig deeper into my stories, and to realize what I want to highlight and what is unnecessary. In addition, she knew very well how to motivate others, and turned the painful writing/revising into a smooth process.

With her help, my essays became a lot more compact and compelling. I got multiple M7 offers, including my dream school Wharton. This won't happen without her help and support! I highly recommend Heidi to anyone who is considering an application consultant.

Hire Melissa!! She genuinely cares and really helps you hone in the critical parts of your story!

When I first started looking for a consultant I had many different phone chats with different consultants at different companies and most felt so cookie-cutter & scripted or scorched earth and interested in bending my story to fit what they thought would combat my overrepresented background of white male / private equity.

Immediately upon chatting with Melissa I knew she would be my pick. She genuinely take a deep interest in understanding your whole story and is great at helping you find a way to authentically tell it while also focusing on the aspects that will be most impactful to the adcoms.

Working with Melissa made what at baseline is a grueling process that much better. She kept me on my timeline, was always super encouraging and helped me tell a story in my essays that we both felt strong about. With that said, she also wasn't afraid to stand her ground and tell me when she thought I needed to change something, which was very helpful.

I would not have gotten into HBS and Wharton without her help!!