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How To Get Into Wharton MBA Program (2024) - Complete Guide

June 12, 2024
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Wharton MBA Acceptance Rate: 18% Wharton MBA Admissions StatisticsWhat is Wharton MBA Looking For In Applicants?Wharton MBA Admissions Requirements Wharton MBA Application DeadlinesHow to Improve Your Chances of Getting Into Wharton MBAWharton MBA Essay PromptsWharton MBA InterviewFAQs

The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania is one of the most well-known and prestigious business schools in the country. Located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and was established in 1881 and was the world’s first collegiate business school.

Featuring rigorous courses in disciplines like finance, healthcare administration, and economics Wharton’s MBA program attracts some of the most ambitious, career-driven MBA applicants.

This can make the process of getting into Wharton quite daunting. Not to worry, you are in the right place to learn how to get into Wharton MBA. Keep reading as we run through how to tackle the application, make yours stand out, and secure your place at Wharton.

Wharton MBA Acceptance Rate: 18%

The Wharton MBA acceptance rate for the past year is 18%, making it one of the toughest business schools to enter. The Wharton MBA program’s acceptance rate hasn’t changed drastically for the past few years. Here is a table showing the school’s acceptance rate for the past few years. 

Year Acceptance Rate
2023 18%
2022 22%
2021 21%

Although these acceptance rates are competitive, there is still hope! If you want to be considered a serious Wharton applicant, ensure you score highly on the GMAT and have a high GPA. 

How Hard Is It to Get Into the Wharton MBA?

With an acceptance rate of 18%, Wharton MBA is extremely selective when it comes to admissions. For context, the Wharton MBA had 6,194 applications, and only 1,115 were admitted. If you are considering applying to Wharton, ensure you have a strong application to guarantee admissions. 

Wharton MBA Admissions Statistics

It is always helpful to look at the school’s admissions statistics before applying. Below, we’ll cover Wharton MBAs recent average GPA, GMAT score, GRE score, and average year of work experience. 

Wharton MBA Average GPA: 3.6

The average GPA of recently admitted students at Wharton MBA is 3.6. Although there is no minimum GPA requirement, if you want to attend Wharton, you must aim for a GPA of 3.6 or higher. It’s always best to aim for a 4.0! 

Wharton MBA Average GMAT Score: 728

The average GMAT score for Wharton MBA admitted applicants is 728. Wharton does not have a minimum GMAT score; however, if you want to be a competitive applicant, aim for a score of 728 or higher. Also, note that you should submit a score no older than five years old. 

Wharton MBA Average GRE Score: 162

The average GRE score of admitted Wharton MBA students is 162. There is no minimum GRE score for admission required. However, you should always aim for as high a score as possible. In this case, you should aim for 162 or higher. Also, your GRE score shouldn’t be older than five years.

Wharton MBA Average Year of Work Experience: 5 Years

The average work experience of admitted Wharton MBA students is five years. Applying to the program requires no minimum or maximum years of experience. The top industries admitted students have work experience in consulting, technology, and nonprofit/government work.

What is Wharton MBA Looking For In Applicants?

The Wharton MBA evaluates applicants based on professional maturity, focusing on the quality of the work rather than the years spent in the field. The admissions committee assesses applicants on their contributions to the work environment, level of responsibility, and career progression. 

Specifically, applicants are encouraged to demonstrate an interest in leveraging business for positive societal impact and showcase leadership abilities.

Female student showing leadership

Wharton MBA Admissions Requirements 

Getting accepted into Wharton’s MBA program is quite difficult and very competitive. Successful applicants must demonstrate their passions, abilities, and good character through their application. 

Wharton’s MBA program admissions requirements include: 

  • Background information that includes contact information, date of birth, academic degrees earned, and professional experience 
  • An application fee of $275 
  • Two required essays
  • Undergraduate transcripts
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • A GMAT or GRE score
  • For non-native English speakers with limited exposure to English they must include either;
  • The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL iBT)
  • Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE)
  • Or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS)

Ensure you have all these application materials completed and ready for submission at least a month before the deadline. This helps with any unforeseen mishaps from happening. 

Wharton MBA Application Deadlines

To avoid missing any important deadlines, take a look at these important Wharton MBA application dates:

Application Step Deadline
Round 1 Early September
Round 2 Early January
Round 3 Early April
Deferred Admissions Round Late April

Source: Wharton University of Pennsylvania 

Wharton MBA Regular Decision Deadline

Wharton MBA has three rounds of application deadlines. The next round of applications is due April 2nd. The decision release date will be May 13th. 

How to Improve Your Chances of Getting Into Wharton MBA

Once you know the necessary elements of a Wharton MBA application, there is still plenty to think about regarding how to make your application authentic and outstanding. Admissions want to know more than just how you look on paper.

professor giving lecture

An effective application will give reviewers context on how your professional and educational journey brought you to Wharton’s MBA program and what will motivate your success if admitted.

To help you begin thinking about how to communicate this adequately, we have provided tips for creating an application that will get you into Wharton:‍

Write a Compelling Resume

When crafting your resume for the Wharton MBA application, consider the perspective of the Admissions Committee. They're interested in seeing your growth and development as a professional, which goes beyond job titles. Highlight the skills you've acquired and the lessons you've learned throughout your career. 

Each applicant brings a unique background, educational history, and career trajectory. Differentiate yourself by showcasing your journey and aspirations for the program.

Substantiate Your Choice of Major or Joint Degree

Being a well-rounded student and successful professional may justify your admittance into the Wharton MBA, but you’ll also need to show why your selected major or joint emphasis suits you.

For example, going into an MBA discipline like accounting or finance requires some proof that you have a quantitative background and are prepared to calculate at the graduate level. If you have a significant personal story behind your major selection, the essays present a good opportunity to express a strong connection to the material you will be taught.‍‍

Be Strategic When Writing Your Essay‍

The MBA essay will be a very important piece of your application that the admissions team will look at. When writing your essay, ensure that you’re concise and do not reiterate everything you’ve already mentioned in your resume. Jeb, the Director of Operations states

“Be strategic when crafting your essays – a lot of candidates fall into the trap of reiterating their resumes. We can easily scroll to your resume in the application, so take the opportunity to present new information in your narrative. Feel free to use elements of your other application components as connecting points but avoid a direct rehashing of something you’ve already shared.”

It’s best to use your application as a stepping stone for your essay, however, ensure that you add a fresh new story to entice the admissions team. 

Wharton MBA Essay Prompts

Wharton MBA admissions team requires first time applicants to complete two essays and an optional essay,  while reapplicants have to complete one. The essays prompts are: 

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)

Required Essay for all Reapplicants: Please use this space to share with the Admissions Committee how you have reflected and grown since your previous application and discuss any relevant updates to your candidacy (e.g., changes in your professional life, additional coursework, and extracurricular/volunteer engagements). (250 words)

Optional Essay: Please use this space to share any additional information about yourself that cannot be found elsewhere in your application and that you would like to share with the Admissions Committee. This space can also be used to address any extenuating circumstances (e.g., unexplained gaps in work experience, choice of recommenders, inconsistent or questionable academic performance, areas of weakness, etc.) that you would like the Admissions Committee to consider. (500 words)

When writing the essays, ensure that you’re concise and don’t exceed the word limits. 

Wharton MBA Interview

The Wharton MBA interview implements its Team Based Discussion (TBD), during which all interviewees must participate. The TBD portion of the interview is 35 minutes long and requires collaboration with four to five other prospective MBAs.

You’ll be presented with a prompt and “work together to achieve a tangible outcome.” Following this exercise, you will attend a ten-minute, one-on-one interview with an admissions representative to share what drew you to Wharton.

two men shaking hands

How to Prepare For The Wharton MBA Interview

If you need help preparing for the interview, Wharton’s website encourages you to focus on your strengths, relax, and prepare to adapt. Your Wharton interview will require preparation that focuses on maintaining a confident mindset.

If you feel a bit underprepared for an interview of this nature, a mock MBA interview can help you get a sense of what to expect, improve your performance, and, ideally, calm your nerves.


Check out these frequently asked questions if you're still confused about anything we discussed. 

1. How and When Can I Expect to Receive My Decision?‍

Wharton’s website indicates that the expected date of an interview invitation is around a month after the application deadline for round one and a shorter wait for the subsequent rounds.

2. Can I Get the Application Fee Waived, and How?‍

Waiving the application fee is a consideration that Wharton only allows for applicants who would experience significant financial hardship from the fee, as well as for active military or veteran applicants.

If you wish to apply for the waiver, begin your application and email with your need-based financial aid request. Requests must be sent 15 days prior to application submission or sooner.

3. Can I Substitute the International English Language Test (IELTS) for the TOEFL/PTE?‍

No, Wharton requires either a TOEFL or PTE score submission for applicants who are not native English speakers. Other exams are not accepted. This is to ensure consistency and equity on the part of the Admissions Committee. It’s worth noting that GMAT verbal scores and writing ability are also used to gauge an applicant’s English abilities.

4. Should I Pursue an MBA or an EMBA (Executive MBA)?‍

One factor in this choice is location. The MBA program is only offered at Wharton’s campus in Philadelphia, while the EMBA can be taken in Philadelphia or San Francisco. Another significant difference between the two options is the credit requirements.

If you’re vacillating between the Wharton MBA or EMBA, you should consider where you want to study, how much variety you’d like in the classes you take, and how important the title of Executive MBA versus a standard MBA is to you.

5. Will Wharton Sponsor a Visa for a Campus Visit?‍

Unfortunately, Wharton’s Office of International Programs can only offer support to students who have already been admitted into Wharton. They are unable to sponsor applicants for a campus visit and cannot write a letter of support to help with a visa application.

Final Thoughts

The undertaking of applying to the Wharton School’s MBA program is a multifaceted process. It is important to maintain an organized and motivated mindset throughout the application process. As one of the top business schools in America, Wharton is quite competitive, and it’s in your best interest to present yourself as well as you can!

About Inspira Futures

At Inspira Futures, our sole focus is to get you accepted at your dream business school. Our team of experts consists of former admission committee members and alums from Harvard Business School, Stanford GSB, and other M7 schools. Our goal is to help you write great essays, ace interviews, and win scholarships. Without any stress or hassle. Our clients have gone on to secure admits at the world's top business schools while also being winners of some of the most prestigious scholarships like Stanford Knight Hennessy, HBS Baker Scholars, and many others.
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