How to Get In: The University of Pennsylvania Wharton School

What can you do to set yourself apart in your application? Admissions officials have the answers.

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7. Can you give a brief description of the life cycle of an application? What's the timeline applicants should expect?

Wharton is known for having a transparent admissions process. Each year, we communicate timelines to applicants both on our website and through E-mail once they apply. We have three rounds of admission, each with its own deadlines and set of important dates. The first important date, obviously, is the application deadline when all materials need to be submitted to our office. The second important date is the "mid-release" date. On the mid-release date, we will either invite candidates to participate in an in-person session with a member of the Wharton community, or we will let them know that they have been denied admission. For the remaining candidates, the final important date is the decision release date when we inform them that they have been admitted, waitlisted, or denied. .

8. Which firms recruit heavily from your school? Which firms hire the highest percentage of your graduates?

Please find below an alphabetical list of top hirers from the Class of 2009 full time and the Class of 2010 interns.

A.T. Kearney, Inc.

American Express Company

Bain & Company

Barclays Bank PLC

Booz & Company

Boston Consulting Group, Inc.

Citigroup, Inc.

Comcast Corporation

Credit Suisse Group

Deloitte Consulting, LLP

Deutsche Bank

Goldman Sachs & Company

International Business Machines Corporation

Johnson & Johnson

JP Morgan Chase & Co.

McKinsey & Company


Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc.

Microsoft Corporation

Morgan Stanley

Novartis AG

Pacific Investment Management Company, LLC


9. What are some of the most common mistakes that applicants make that hurt their chances of being accepted?

Applicants make a mistake when they don't take ownership of the process: they don't do their research and find their own reasons to connect with Wharton. They also sometimes make a mistake when they don't use their own, good judgment when navigating the application process. The Wharton M.B.A. Admissions Officers are happy to help applicants as they apply, but when we have people asking us, "Should I double space my essays?" or, "I've worked here for x months and here for y months. How many years of work experience do you think I have?", those are the moments when we wish they would realize that they can trust themselves—their good judgment has gotten them this far in their lives and careers; it can certainly be relied on to successfully direct them through our application process.

10. Can you describe the archetypal student for your school?

Wharton students enjoy solving complex problems. They like to take what they learn in the classroom, and use it outside of the classroom, real-time and live. They are collaborative, engaged, and deeply committed to having an impact. For a Wharton student, every moment is an opportunity to learn. Whether that happens in a lecture hall or on one of our Leadership Ventures in Patagonia, they are constantly thinking, reflecting, analyzing, and pushing themselves to become better.