Wharton MBA Curriculum

For Wharton MBA students entering the program in Fall 2017, the graduation requirements for the Master of Business Administration degree are as follows:

Content AreaCredit Units (CU)
Core9.5
Major5.0
Elective4.5
Total19.0

Sample First-Year Schedule

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MBA Program Breakdown

The Wharton MBA degree requires 19 credit units (cu) of graduate level courses, up to four of which may be taken with an approved academic program outside of Wharton. All 19 cu must be taken while registered in Wharton MBA program coursework, with the exception of coursework taken in approved dual degree programs after submitting the matriculation deposit for the Wharton MBA Program. Students may take up to 21 cu without incurring additional tuition charges. The only classes requiring additional fees are the Global Immersion Program and Global Modular Courses due to the international travel component.

There are waiver opportunities for most, but not all, of the required core courses (see information about waiver requirements later in this section or in the Waiver Information Guide). If you do waive courses, you must replace the waived credits with electives. The minimum requirement for graduation remains 19 cu at the graduate level regardless of waivers.

The MBA program is designed for a full time residency consisting of four academic terms; fall and spring over two years. It is possible to graduate in less time by overloading on coursework and/or taking courses during the summer term, however summer course offerings are quite limited. Summer study may also preclude an internship opportunity which, for many students, is a valuable part of the MBA experience. It is also possible, with prior approval from the MBA Program Office of Academic Affairs, to delay graduation — continuing coursework required for graduation through a fifth semester.

Core Curriculum

Wharton’s academic departments have designed a rigorous, Core Curriculum that will teach you the essential skills and concepts that alumni of the Wharton MBA program are expected to have mastered. These core concepts serve as the foundation for upper level study and will resonate throughout your career.

While the theories taught in the core are indispensable to your academic development, we recognize that you are an individual with a well-developed sense of what it is that you want from your experience. For you, the core curriculum allows for flexibility to accommodate your background, interests, and goals.

The core curriculum consists of:

The Fixed Core – taken with your cohort throughout the fall semester of the first year

The Flexible Core – courses taken in the term (subject to availability) that best fit your individual needs, backgrounds, and goals.

We will register you for the Fixed Core based upon your cohort assignment. You will then use the Course Match optimization process to register for the flexible core and for most electives. You will be introduced to Course Match during Pre-Term. Due to availability constraints, students who decide to wait to complete the flexible core in their final semester may find their choices less preferential.

The table above displays a typical format. The Fixed Core forms the backbone of the fall semester. However, there is still room to take either Flexible Core courses or electives. In spring of your first year you have the option to complete additional elements of the core while beginning to explore your specific interests and/or major requirements. A team of academic advisors are at your disposal, ready to help you chart the best course for you.

Major

All MBA students are required to fulfill the course requirements of at least one major. The program offers 19 MBA majors. Five credit units, specified by the academic department, are required for most majors. (See individual department listings for the requirements of various majors.) To have a course outside the approved list of requirements count toward your major, you need the approval of the faculty member designated as the major advisor in the relevant department. Your major(s) will be indicated on your official transcript. Upon entry to the MBA program, your major is what you have specified on your admissions application. Subsequent changes in a major should be submitted to the MBA Program Office in 300 Jon M. Huntsman Hall. Since your interests may change, you should not be overly concerned with major requirements until the second year. Academic advisors in the MBA Program Office are available to help you plan your academic program.

Students whose interests do not conform to existing majors may petition for the approval of an individualized major. This option is available to students with specific, well-defined, interdisciplinary interests. Individualized majors require forethought and planning to complete. If you are interested in learning more about individualized majors, contact your academic advisor.

Multiple Majors – If you pursue more than one major, you must complete the requirements for each major. With permission of faculty from each department, you may count a single Advanced Study Project toward more than one major. In such cases, the ASP must contain sufficient material to satisfy the separate requirements of the respective departments. Generally, a course that is eligible for two majors may count for both majors. Additionally, only two credit units may be counted from one major to another.

Joint Majors – These majors are designed to provide integration across multiple functional areas. These majors are supervised jointly by participating departments. The school currently offers one joint major in Marketing and Operations Management that requires 7 credit units.

Electives

Wharton’s academic departments have designed a rigorous, Core Curriculum that will teach you the essential skills and concepts that alumni of the Wharton MBA program are expected to have mastered. These core concepts serve as the foundation for upper level study and will resonate throughout your career.

While the theories taught in the core are indispensable to your academic development, we recognize that you are an individual with a well-developed sense of what it is that you want from your experience. For you, the core curriculum allows for flexibility to accommodate your background, interests, and goals.

The core curriculum consists of:

The Fixed Core – taken with your cohort throughout the fall semester of the first year

The Flexible Core – courses taken in the term (subject to availability) that best fit your individual needs, backgrounds, and goals.

We will register you for the Fixed Core based upon your cohort assignment. You will then use the Course Match optimization process to register for the flexible core and for most electives. You will be introduced to Course Match during Pre-Term. Due to availability constraints, students who decide to wait to complete the flexible core in their final semester may find their choices less preferential.

The table above displays a typical format. The Fixed Core forms the backbone of the fall semester. However, there is still room to take either Flexible Core courses or electives. In spring of your first year you have the option to complete additional elements of the core while beginning to explore your specific interests and/or major requirements. A team of academic advisors are at your disposal, ready to help you chart the best course for you.