MBA Program Academic Awards

The Graduate Division recognizes outstanding academic performance in the MBA Program in several different ways. Academic honors are determined on the basis of the Grade Point Average (GPA) during the fall and spring semesters (summer courses are excluded from consideration for honors, with the exception of courses taken by three-year JD/MBA students in the summer preceding Pre-Term). The GPA is determined by assigning the following numerical weights to the letter grades received in Wharton MBA courses: A=4 points, B=3 points, C=2 points, D=1 point, and F=0 points, with + (plus) increasing the full grade value by .33 and – (minus) decreasing the full grade value by .33. A+’s carry a 4.0 point value, a University of Pennsylvania policy. Courses taken outside the Wharton MBA program are not included in the GPA computation. Courses taken on a Pass/Fail basis are not included in the GPA calculations unless a Fail grade is earned. Thus, the GPA reflected on the transcript may not be the one used to compute academic honors as the transcript GPA reflects all coursework taken at the University of Pennsylvania.

*Courses outside the Wharton MBA program are not included in the GPA computation. Courses taken on a Pass/ Fail basis are not included in the GPA calculations unless a Fail grade is earned. Thus, the GPA reflected on the transcript may not be the one used to compute academic honors as the transcript GPA reflects all coursework taken at the University of Pennsylvania. To be eligible for academic honors, the student may not have any grades of Fail (For the Director’s List, this applies only to the semester under consideration.) All academic honors are noted on the student’s academic transcript.

Academic Excellence Fellowship

The student (or students, in the case of tie) who achieves the highest academic performance during their second and third semester of the MBA program is awarded the Academic Excellence Fellowship, a grant of $10,000. Academic performance for the Academic Excellence Fellowship is measured by the cumulative GPA during those two terms, not counting summer courses. It requires that the student take at least 9 credit units during their second and third semester, not counting summer courses. The recipient of the Ford Fellowship at the end of the first-year of the program is not eligible.

Director's List

The Director’s List is compiled and published each semester to recognize superior academic performance in that semester and is awarded to students who rank in the top 10% of their class based on their GPA for the semester. Eligibility for Director’s List requires that the student take at least 4.5 credit units in the first semester and at least 4 credit units in each subsequent semester, 3 cu of which must be from Wharton courses taken for credit on a graded basis.

Director's List Fellowship

To be eligible for the Director’s List Fellowship, a grant of $5,000, a student must rank in the top 10% of their class based on their GPA for the semester. In addition, the Director’s List Fellowship recipient must exemplify the academic spirit of Wharton as determined by the Vice Dean of the MBA Program with inputs from the faculty and Graduate Division directors.

The application requires an essay outlining the student’s contribution to learning, both inside and outside of the classroom in pursuit of academic excellence. Eligible students will be invited to apply for the Director’s List Fellowship each semester after the Director’s list is published. A recipient is selected for the first, second, and third semester of each class.

First Year Honors

Students ranking in the top 20% of their class at the conclusion of the first-year will be awarded First- Year Honors. The ranking for First-Year Honors is based on the cumulative GPA during the first year and requires that students take at least 9 credit units during the fall and spring semesters.

Ford Fellowship

The student (or students, in the case of a tie) who achieves the highest academic performance during the first-year of the MBA program is awarded the Ford Fellowship, a grant of $10,000. Academic performance for the Ford Fellowship is measured by the GPA during the first year and requires that the student take at least nine 9 credit units during the first year.

Graduation with Honors

Students who rank in the top 20% of their class at graduation are awarded Graduation with Honors. The ranking for Graduation with Honors is based on the cumulative GPA earned during the program.

Isik Inselbag Scholarship

To be eligible for the Isik Inselbag Scholarship, a grant of $7,500, a student must have a firstyear GPA that places him or her among the top students in the class. In addition, the Inselbag Scholar must exemplify the spirit of Wharton through leadership, teamwork, scholarship, and service, as determined by the Vice Dean of the Graduate Division with inputs from the faculty and Graduate Division directors. Professor Inselbag, for whom the scholarship is named, served as Vice Dean and Director of the Graduate Division during 1992-95 and taught in the Finance Department for over twenty years.

Palmer Scholars

Students graduating in the top 5% percent of the class are designated Palmer Scholars. Class rank is based on the student’s cumulative GPA earned during their two years at Wharton.

William G. McGowan Fellow

Wharton selects one rising second-year student as a McGowan Fellow each year. This student must have achieved an academic standing in the top five percent of his or her first-year class and exemplified leadership in current or former activities. Students must apply and complete an essay provided by the McGowan Fund. Financial need is a factor. The nominee receives one full year’s tuition, attends the annual conference for McGowan Fellows and Alumni, and is assigned a respected business leader as a mentor.

Class of 2018

Director’s List

Fall 2016

Spring 2017

Fall 2017

Spring 2018

Director’s List Fellowship

Fall 2016 – Madeleine Macks

Spring 2017 – Brent Muller

Fall 2017 – Piyush Khandekar, Quingan Zhou

First Year Honors

Isik Inselbag Fellowship

Karthika Periyathambi

William G. McGowan Fellowship

Nipun Jasuja

Ford Fellowship

Anupama Suryanarayanan

Academic Excellence Fellowship

Jake Routhier

Ishan Irani

Graduation with Honors

Palmer Scholars

Class of 2019

Director’s List

Fall 2017

Spring 2018

Director’s List Fellowship

Fall 2017 – Alexandra Piltch, Sharmila Railkar

Spring 2018 – Alexa Fishman, Pedro Ortez

First Year Honors

Isik Inselbag Fellowship

Soumyadeep Bakshi

William G. McGowan Fellowship

Lindsay Rosenstein

Ford Fellowship

Pooja Shah

WHG’05 WHG’06 WHG’07 WHG’08 WHG’09 WHG’10 WHG’11 WHG’12 WHG’13 WHG’14 WHG’15 WHG’16 WHG’17 WHG’18
First Year Honors (top 20%) 3.08 3.024 3.139 3.615 3.61 3.62 3.62 3.59 3.625 3.634 3.64 3.64 3.64 3.65
Graduation with Honors (top 20%) 3.05 3.012 3.141 3.59 3.61 3.61 3.61 3.593 3.605 3.6 3.62  3.63 3.61 3.63
Palmer Scholars (top 5% at graduation) 3.55 3.556 3.569 3.82 3.83 3.82 3.85 3.847 3.84 3.82 3.88  3.85 3.83 3.85

Note: The Class of 2008 onwards were graded on an A-F scale; previous classes were graded on a DS, HP, P scale.