The Wharton MBA Curriculum

Redesigned in 2012, Wharton’s curriculum has a unique structure, offering rigor and flexibility. The intensive, cross-functional core curriculum provides business fundamentals and the leadership, communication and analytical skills that are critical to your success. You develop one or more areas of expertise by selecting a major and complementary electives.

The Core

You will ground your MBA with six required fixed core classes, along with choices in the flexible core. The flexible structure of the core course allows you to take more electives in the first year to prepare for an internship, global experience, business venture, or other interests, and defer some core requirements to their second year. Offered as quarter or semester-long courses, the Core covers the following traditional management disciplines:

  • Accounting
  • Ethics
  • Finance
  • Macroeconomics
  • Marketing
  • Management
  • Microeconomics
  • Operations
  • Statistics

The Core includes 9.5 credit units, distributed in two parts:

  • Fixed Core: 3.25 credit units fixed in the first semester
  • Flexible Core: 6.25 credit units in the first semester or anytime thereafter

Prof. Arthur van Benthem on Energy and Environmental Markets

Fixed Core Courses

Leadership: Foundations of Teamwork and Leadership

Develop your future personal leadership style and capabilities. You will begin with the Teamwork and Leadership Simulation—a team-based, highly interactive simulation that is custom-designed for this course.

Marketing: Marketing Management

Develop skills to apply analytical concepts and marketing tools to decisions like segmentation and targeting, branding, pricing, distribution, and promotion.

Microeconomics: Microeconomic Foundation

Master the basic theory of microeconomics: supply, demand, consumer behavior, market price and output, production, cost, simple competitive market equilibrium, simple monopoly pricing and output determination, price discrimination, and bundling.

Economics: Advanced Topics in Managerial Economics

Apply microeconomic theory to firm management and learn how to use microeconomics to enhance decision making. Topics include: sophisticated pricing policies, transfer pricing, strategies for dealing with competitor firms, cooperation strategies, managing under uncertainty, and more.

Statistics: Regression Analysis for Managers

Become familiar with two key statistical methodologies for working with data: regression analysis and experimentation. Learn techniques such as least-squares estimation, tests and confidence intervals, correlation and autocorrelation, collinearity, and randomization.

Management Communication: Speaking and Writing

Speaking: Strengthen your skills in  persuasion, impromptu speaking, speaking confidently, handling Q&A, and speaking on camera during the Fall speaking course. You’ll have a choice of advanced topics during the Spring speaking courses.

Writing: Learn to craft clear, concise, and persuasive writing in the Fall writing course. This is a pass/fail, non-credit course required for graduation.

Flexible Core Courses

More than half of the core courses are flexible in order to match your learning style, interests, and goals. Within each core area, the course choices offer additional flexibility in content, timing, and format. Subjects include:

Operations, Information, and Decisions

Options:  Quality and Productivity, Business Analytics, Information Technology and Business Transformation, Innovation, Operations Strategy


Options: Dynamic Marketing Strategy, Strategic Marketing Simulations


Options: Advanced Persuasive Speaking, Communications Challenges for Entrepreneurs


Options: Financial Accounting, Accelerated Financial Accounting, Financial and Managerial Accounting

Corporate Finance

Options: Corporate Finance, Accelerated Corporate Finance, Introduction to Corporate Finance


Options: Macroeconomics, Introduction to Macroeconomics


Options: Managing the Established Enterprise, Managing the Emerging Enterprise

Legal Studies & Business Ethics

Options: Responsibility in Global Management, Responsibility in Business

A Chronological View of Your MBA Experience


Your immersion begins the first day of Pre-Term. Pre-Term is the beginning of an educational journey that will transform you in ways you cannot yet predict, preparing you for the many challenges you will face at Wharton — returning to school, transitioning to Philadelphia or adjusting to the U.S., and balancing the demands of academics, career preparation, and co-curricular pursuits.

Pre-Term is designed to allow you time to get settled into the community while providing an essential academic foundation for your Wharton education, including the core course, MGMT 610: Foundations of Leadership and Teamwork.  When our students and alumni reflect on their Wharton experience, Pre-Term is among their fondest memories.

Year One

The first year is intense. You will begin by moving through key courses with your learning team — a group of five or six classmates with whom you will work closely on projects. Then, you’ll select from many options as you branch out in the second half of First Year and beyond. You’ll have a choice of content areas for some core courses and will start to pick your electives. In addition, you will become involved in co-curricular and extracurricular activities that tie into the courses you choose.


Internships are not required, but most students choose one or more internships, often in combination with other summer experiences. Some of your options are listed here.

Build Experience

Do an internship, work at a new company or industry, or try a new function for 6 to 12 weeks to gain exposure and build networks for a full-time position.

Go on a Career Trek

Career Treks are student-managed visits to companies in various U.S. and international cities for education and networking across all industries. Career Treks provide access to companies or divisions that may not recruit on campus, build industry knowledge, and foster a stronger job search network.

Join Wharton Global Impact Consultants

Go overseas for two to four weeks to develop a project for an  NGO or small business.

Work at a Nonprofit

Work with a nonprofit organization with support from the Summer Public Interest Fund. The fund is financed by your fellow students who pledge one percent of their summer salaries to encourage careers that serve the public good.

 Year Two

You will take any remaining core requirements, drill deeper within the wide range of electives, and develop one or more areas of expertise. For customized interests, students often partner with faculty and businesses on individual advanced student projects.

Lead a Student Conference

Each year, Wharton students plan conferences that attract influential international executives from the public and private sectors. These conferences help to make Wharton a vibrant international hub for the exchange of business knowledge.

Attend a networking expo

Second-Year Networking Expos are open forums that offer employers early exposure to second-year students. Because second-year students often are more targeted in their job searches, the format of the Networking Expos focuses on direct student-employer interaction rather than broad informational presentations.

Attend employer information sessions

Wharton typically hosts more than 150 employer information sessions each year. These sessions allow students to learn more about the cultures and opportunities of potential employers and specific industries through presentations by senior managers and recently hired associates.


Receive your degree and be welcomed into Wharton’s 96,000-strong alumni network.