How to Get Into UPenn Wharton

The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania is among the most prestigious institutions in the world, with one of the highest ranking MBA programs of the M7 business schools.

The school’s alumni network includes some of the most influential leaders in the corporate world and it is undeniable that the resources, the network, and the prestige that a Wharton MBA program offers will have a tremendous impact on your chances at achieving your career goals.

In short, a Wharton MBA is an incredibly attractive choice if you are interested in an MBA. However, the Wharton MBA acceptance rate is low, the admissions process is competitive, and if you landed on this page, you are likely wondering what it takes to stand out in this process.

So how do you get into the Wharton full-time MBA program? In what follows, prospective applicants will find some tips on how to gain admission to one of the world’s top business schools.

Becoming a Qualified Candidate for a Wharton MBA Program

The first question to ask yourself is whether you currently qualify for the Wharton School’s MBA program.

You will need to have a high GPA and ideally have a combination of five years of post-college work experience, and the Wharton MBA class profile is typically made up of students with some leadership experience and a stellar history of academic performance.

Wharton is also interested in the honors and recognitions you have been awarded along the way.

These are generally the requirements you will be expected to meet to be accepted into the Wharton MBA program.

Acing the GMAT

To get into most top MBA programs, you’ll need to make sure you earn a high score on the GMAT. In order to prove that you’re up to the fast pace and rigorous workload of the Wharton MBA classroom, and you should aim for a placement in the high 700s—the average GMAT score needed to get into Wharton is especially high.

This is one of the many reasons that starting early is crucial, as it gives you time to prepare for the GMAT. Moreover, in case your GMAT score is too low, you will have time to retake the GMAT to increase your test scores in time for application deadlines.

If you do not tick all of the boxes mentioned so far, this is an opportunity to figure out how you can fill your resume and build your profile to have a greater chance in the future.

A unique personal history, inspiring extracurricular activities, or an outstanding achievement can help make up for other gaps in your profile.

Building the Right Profile for Wharton’s MBA Program

In addition to the general qualifications that you will likely need to win admission, such as professional experience, academic performance, and an impeccable GMAT score, the admissions committee is looking for MBA students who will fit naturally within the rest of the student body and will increase the reputation of the school.

Wharton students come from diverse backgrounds and it is important that you complement these differences with your own story.

This is another reason why you need to start early in the Wharton MBA application process, leaving you time to draw out what makes you unique in your essays. Moreover, you need to demonstrate that you are a cultural fit and that you have reflected on why Wharton is right for you compared to other top ranking MBA programs.

Networking with Wharton MBAs

Another great way to build the right profile for the Wharton program would be to demonstrate that you already have a network at Wharton.

As an added bonus, talking to current students and Wharton alumni will help you to understand their profiles, and in turn, help you to gauge what Wharton is looking for.

The best way to do this would be to attend MBA events and organize campus visits. You can also conduct LinkedIn research and take notes about the profiles of Wharton graduates and use it to reach out and build your network in that way.

Writing a great application

The next step is to get started on the Wharton MBA application.

Wharton has an online application system, where you will fill out your resume, add your references, and upload your essays.

Filling out an application might come across as a rudimentary step, but make no mistake, the process of putting all the pieces together on the application form can be deceptively time-consuming. It is crucial that you allocate enough time to get it just right.

The Essays

The Wharton essays are a big part of the application puzzle. As mentioned before, this is where you get to highlight your profile and demonstrate what makes you unique.

Here, you have an opportunity to engage the admissions committee with great storytelling, communicating how you fit into the Wharton community.

Recommendation Letters

You will need two letters of recommendation. To ensure that you stand out and impress the admissions committee, you should let your recommenders know early so that they have plenty of time to prepare and write a great reference.

The earlier you start, the more time you’ll have to start cultivating your relationship with potential references.

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Prepare for your Wharton Interview

The final step of the admissions process takes place when you have been invited to an interview.

The interview process can be a daunting prospect, but making use of practice questions can be a great way to prepare. The better prepared you are to answer any questions the Wharton interviewers might throw at you, the higher your chances of making a good impression are.

Moreover, if you feel prepared and have had time to practice your interviewing skills, you will likely feel less nervous.

Demonstrate that you are a cultural fit and that you have reflected on why Wharton is right for you.

Best Tips for How to get into Wharton’s MBA Program

Impressive candidates from all over the world wish to attend this prestigious business school, and the hard truth is that most applicants will be disappointed in the outcome.

To increase your chances of winning admission then, you have to make sure to grab the attention of the MBA admissions committee.

Here is a summary of the main steps to consider when embarking on your Wharton journey:

  1. Become a qualified candidate
    • Ace you GMAT! Your GMAT score will need to be as high as possible to compete with other applicants.
    • Build your work experience. Ideally you’d already have five years of professional experience when you start at Wharton.
  2. Build the right profile
    • Organize campus visits and network with students and alumni to ensure that you know what Wharton is looking for. Demonstrate that you understand the Wharton community (and how you fit into that community).
  3. Write a great Wharton MBA application
    • … starting with a great essay! Your essays will be an opportunity for you to to go beyond the stats and communicate what makes you unique. Good storytelling is important and it indicates to the admissions committee that you can meaningfully reflect on your personal and professional experiences.
    • Have a well-developed set of career goals. When you describe your goals, be specific and be realistic. Show that you have a clear grasp of the trajectory that you are on and the role Wharton plays in this journey.
    • Reach out to your references. You will be asked for two letters of recommendation, so make sure you are cultivating professional relationships and giving your references plenty of time to write their recommendations.
  4. Practice for your interview
    • Once you have been invited to a Wharton interview, it is time to start preparing. The interviews can be overwhelming, so be diligent in your preparations. One great way of doing this is to work with practice questions.
  5. Start early!
    • Make sure you have all your general qualifications in order and that you have a long runway to work on any gaps in your profile. This includes time to gain more experience at work, participate in extracurriculars, and to earn a competitive GMAT score.

All of the steps outlined above will help you understand that burning question: how to get into Wharton MBA.

Becoming an Wharton MBA student will surely open many exciting doors and prepare you for a successful professional life.

Hopefully, our guide has not only helped to explain how to win admission but has also posed the question of whether Wharton is the right school for you. If so, then we wish you all the best on the application!

If you feel like you need some guidance on your Wharton application, contact our expert MBA consultants for personalized strategies for maximizing your chances of admission.