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Spotlight on Wharton Business School

Prodigy Finance - September 13, 2019

Ready to learn everything you need to know about business masters degrees at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business? You're in the right place!

Prodigy Finance spotlight on Wharton School of Business

Wharton holds the title as the world’s oldest collegiate business school (founded in 1881). It’s also an Ivy League school - and the business school that can count the most US billionaires among its ranks and alumni.

If you’re looking for an MPP, MPA or MA dual degree, Wharton will slide easily into your shortlist of schools. And, if you’re angling for a finance specialisation, it’s probably at the top of the pile. No matter where you plan to focus, though, Wharton and its home of Philadelphia are set to open all the right doors. 

University of Pennsylvania fast facts

Private university - Ivy League

University enrollment: 25,367

Countries represented: 111

Living alumni: 99K

Full-time MBA students: 1742

International grad students: 3425

Where is the University of Pennsylvania?

City: Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania (PA)

City population: 1.568 million with a metropolitan population over 6 million

Region: Eastern seaboard

Climate: Temperate maritime. Winters are moderately cold (Jan avg: .6°C/33°F) and snowfall varies from light to heavy, dependent on the year. Summers are hot and muggy (Jul avg: 25.6°C/78.1°F)

Nearest airport: Philadelphia International Airport (PHL)

Time zone: EST from November-March (GMT -4); EDT from March to November (GMT-5)

A quick look at the latest MBA class 

MBA students: 856

International MBA students: 32.8%

MBA countries represented: 64

Most represented countries: India, China, Canada, South Korea, Brazil

Average work experience: 5 years

Average GMAT score: 732

Female MBAs: 47%

Average age: 28

What can you study at the Wharton School of Business?

At Wharton, you’ll find a lot of demand for the entrepreneurship, finance and health care administration specialisations. But, having revised the curriculum in 2012 with a view towards more flexibility, MBA candidates have plenty of options - and more than 200 electives - to plot their own path.

And, of course, you’ll continually find Wharton placed incredibly high on just about every ranking list out there - national or international. 




The Wharton MBA

U.S. News & World Report: 1

Financial Times: 4

20 months, including a 3.5-month summer internship


U.S. News & World Report: 3

Financial Times: 10

24 months, part-time

MBA/MA Lauder Joint-Degree


24 months

MBA/MPA Wharton HKS Dual Degree


3 years

MBA/MPP Wharton HKS Dual Degree


3 years

Want to learn more about pursuing a dual degree at Wharton? Learn more from Vitor, a Prodigy Finance-funded student, pursuing his dual MBA/MA degree at UPenn.

Wharton business job placement

Wharton MBAs tend to earn fantastically high salaries. A lot of that boils down to the strong commitment this business school (and UPenn as a whole) has towards ensuring their grads secure the best possible jobs for their skills and desires.

In addition to US recruiters, Wharton attracts interest from a substantial number of international companies - as shown by the 15.5% of 2018 MBAs accepting a position outside of the country. Of course, international students hoping to make the most of the F-1 OPT or apply for an H-1B working visa won’t find themselves disappointed either. Wharton provides resources to companies looking to hire the best candidates regardless of their citizenship and visa status.

At Wharton, as with most MBA programmes, many international students go on to accept positions with the company they interned for during the 3.5 months between their first and second years. Not only does Wharton suggest pursuing one of these opportunities, but the statistics presented by the school are spectacular. 100% of MBA candidates seeking internships received offers - and they earned a median of $8000 in compensation per month during this time. 

Wharton alumni by the numbers:

Prodigy finance blue
Highest reported international MBA salary
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Average signing bonus for 2018 MBAs
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Full-time grads employed within 3 months
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Average starting salary for Wharton grads

Learn more about the Wharton post-graduation career experience by watching Ruhi discuss her journey here.

What's it like to live at the University of Pennsylvania?

The University of Pennsylvania offers affordable housing for MBAs wishing to live on campus. Options include studio apartments and two-bedroom apartments; both options are furnished, making it easy for internationals to simply move in. This option allows for academic-year contracts (9 months), with extensions into summer available when necessary.

However, the majority of MBAs opt to find their own apartments within walking distance to campus. The average monthly rental cost of an apartment near campus falls around $1200, which is significantly less than you’ll find in other major college cities, including New York and Boston.

The area of Center City, near Rittenhouse Square, is exceptionally popular despite the 25-minute walk to campus. That’s due, in part, to the concentration of restaurants and bars in the area, not to mention the range of housing options.

University City is even closer to campus. And, although it’s not as trendy, you will find plenty of options for eating out and meeting your classmates for drinks in the evening. Of course, you’ll find plenty of other neighbourhoods throughout Philadelphia - and UPenn offers an off-campus housing department to help you find the right one.

As a Wharton MBA, you’ll spend a lot of time in and around Huntsman Hall. There you’ll find the “MBA Café” and loads of diverse food trucks. Students on a tight budget may want to make use of a school dining service plan, but are more likely to cook for themselves in their apartments.

Philadelphia is the 5th largest city in the US, filled with history and beauty around every corner. There are plenty of diversions, from sports to museums that’ll feed just about every American experience you want to have. And then it’s just a short train ride to either New York or Washington DC to make the most of those cities. 

How to get into Wharton Business

Wharton is a little less competitive than schools of the same calibre. That said, it still has an acceptance rate of roughly 20%. Of the 6245 applications received for the 2019-entering class, only 1294 were accepted. The majority of accepted candidates took up their seats with an entering class of 856.

As with every MBA programme, there isn’t one metric or aspect of your application that counts more than all the others. You’ll need a balanced application - and the very best you can submit. However, the school has a reputation for focusing on high GMAT (or GRE) scores, substantial work experience, diversity and leadership potential (and experience). Your test scores and CV should highlight these aspects, freeing up essay space to demonstrate your personality and what you’ll bring to the extensive (and well-regarded) Wharton alumni network.

While working on those essays, you’ll want to consider these numbers:

  • Average undergrad GPA: 3.6
  • Average GMAT scores: 732
  • Mean GRE scores: 162 verbal, 162 quant, 4.8 writing
  • Average TOEFL scores: 110
  • Average years of work experience: 5

Application deadlines for the 2022 MBA class

Application deadline

Interview invitations

Application decision

Round 1

17 September 2019

29 October 2019

18 December 2019

Round 2

7 January 2020

13 February 2020

26 March 2020

Round 3

1 April 2020

16 April 2020

8 May 2020

Wharton MBA admissions details

Application fee: $265

Required essays: 2

Recommendations: 2, submitted online

GMAT or GRE test: one or the other is required

GPA: no min specified

Language test: required for non-native English speakers; waivers available for prior study in English. TOEFL and PTE scores are accepted. No minimum scores required.

Wharton MBA 2019-2020 CoA

Tuition and fees: $81,378

Room and board: $22,670

Books and supplies: $1494

Personal, health, and other expenses: $9354

Total CoA for 1 year: $114,896

Concerned about the cost of an international MBA and how you’ll pay for it? Learn how Venkat overcame these same concerns with a loan from Prodigy Finance.


Does the University of Pennsylvania offer scholarships to international students?

All admitted students are considered for Wharton fellowships. Awards are split over the 2 years of the programme and awarded according to an applicant’s ability to demonstrate “unique personal qualities and background, academic achievement, exceptional professional development, and community involvement” within their application.

In addition to these fellowships, you should investigate private scholarships and, of course, the compensation you may earn during your summer internship.

However, most Wharton MBAs need to apply for loans to finance their studies.

Funding your master’s degree at Wharton business

Prodigy Finance offers loans for international masters students at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.

Students from supported countries pursuing masters programmes that can be completed in less than 2 years are eligible to apply. That includes MBA, EMBA and dual MBA/MPP or MBA/MPA degrees, among others.

  • Maximum loan amount for full-time students: up to 90% of the school-provided cost of attendance (tuition plus living expenses), less scholarships and sponsorships
  • Maximum loan amount for part-time students: up to 1000% of tuition
  • Minimum loan amount: $ 35,001
  • The repayment period is either 7,10 years or 15 years, depending on your program and application.
  • All loans disbursed directly to the university according to due dates

Want to know more about working with Prodigy Finance to secure the funds you need for your MBA? This video of Davit might answer your questions.

Prodigy Finance also supports loans for the University of Pennsylvania students pursuing masters degrees in these schools:

Ready to transform your future with a MBA from Wharton?

Prodigy Finance provides loans to international masters students pursuing their masters degrees at the Wharton School of Business.

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