3 years ago
Admissions Advice

What does UPenn Wharton School of Business value most in undergraduate applicants?

Hi friends! I was wondering if anyone could provide some insight into what Wharton specifically looks for in an undergrad applicant. What is the general profile of students accepted to this program? Are the majority of their extracurriculars centered around business, or do some students focus on other things? Any feedback would be much appreciated.


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2 answers

Accepted Answer
3 years ago[edited]

@maplecreamcookies a CV expert summarized this best 6 months ago.

The Wharton website says this:

"While there is no magic formula, we are looking for students who have:

- An interest in business to fuel positive change to advance the world’s economic and social well-being

- Demonstrated leadership

- Strong preparation in mathematics, particularly calculus"

You don't necessarily need direct business experience, but you should have enough exposure that you can write about your intended major meaningfully in the application essays: https://blog.collegevine.com/how-to-write-the-upenn-supplemental-essays-2020-2021/

This blog post has some EC options, but most of them are more formal: https://blog.collegevine.com/extracurriculars-for-high-schoolers-interested-in-studying-business/

If you can't do anything business-related, try to be involved in social organizations, leadership positions (maybe student council), and STEM-related activities.

Hope this helps!

(I would personally add that if the Wharton School is your top choice, I would apply to ED because about 55% of the total incoming class is filled through ED. Also, the Wharton school is much more competitive than say Arts and Sciences, so if the UPENN ED rate is like 15% then the Wharton school is probably like 10-11%. The same goes for RD, if the RD overall rate was 5.7% the overall Wharton rate was 4% or less).

3 years ago

Hi! I feel like I might be able to answer this question because I was seriously considering applying to UPenn as a business major, but then decided against it.

First off, I would say that you should supply them as many of your ECs as possible, even if they aren't all business. UPenn wants to see students who are involved and, even more importantly, natural leaders. That is was business and entrepreneurship is all about! If you still have time to work on your ECs, I would say to start focusing on some business aspects. Future Business Leaders of America, Student Government, Economics clubs, and many more are all great examples. I would also recommend either starting a small business (nothing major, just maybe a little Etsy shop or something to show you enjoy business), and/or starting a job or internship in the area of business you're interested in (for example, hospitality).

I hope that this helps somewhat, good luck!! :)

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