Student Life at Wharton

Student life at Wharton is incredibly rich and goes way beyond the classroom. Wharton is committed to helping students build a cohesive and connected community while maintaining the vast resources of a large, world-class university in the vibrant city of Philadelphia.

Innovative Approach to Student Life

Wharton’s Student Life team starts with getting to know you and your goals. With so many opportunities to follow your personal path available at Wharton, the Student Life team engages with and advises students in their day-to-day Wharton experience, helping to maximize their two years at Wharton.

Cluster System

Each Wharton MBA class is divided into four Clusters, each with its own support system, culture, community, and mascot. The goal is to make each Cluster as diverse as the class itself, connecting students with varied skill sets, leadership styles, and personal and professional backgrounds.

Each cluster is broken down even further into cohorts of ~70 students.  You will get to know members of your cohort through core classes and broaden this community through your assigned cluster.

Wharton’s Student Life team organizes events throughout the year to help build community within each cluster including:

  • Pre-Term Cluster events
  • Cluster Cup
  • Cluster Suppers
  • Wharton Olympics

Events and Traditions

AugustPre-TermA three week-long student orientation to help new students build connections and community before fully immersing themselves in academics.
Wharton OlympicsCelebration of the unique talents of the incoming class through competition and sport.
Learning Team RetreatOff-campus team-building activities that culminate in the introduction of learning teams.
ConvocationFormal introduction to Wharton’s renowned faculty, followed by a cocktail party with entire first-year class.
SeptemberClub PubStudents are exposed to the wide range of extracurricular organizations available during this expo style event hosted by Wharton Pub.
Quarter One SaluteFirst-year students come together to celebrate the completion of their first quarter with food, drinks, and carnival games.
OctoberFall BreakClasses do not meet.
Halloween FestivitiesWharton celebrates Halloween during a Halloween Pub event and a trick-or-treat event hosted by Wharton’s Kids club.
NovemberThanksgiving FestivitiesClusters share a traditional Thanksgiving meal in celebration of this American holiday.
Thanksgiving BreakClasses do not meet.
DecemberHoliday CelebrationsStudents participate in school and club events to celebrate the joys of the season.
Winter BreakClasses do not meet.
JanuaryFocused Recruiting PeriodStart of First Year interviews.
MBA Opportunity WeekValuable time for students to explore unique programming throughout the semester, both credit-bearing and extracurricular.
FebruaryWharton FolliesTheatrical parody of the Wharton MBA experience through the eyes of current students.
MarchDance StudioStudent dance performance group whose efforts culminate in a show presenting various forms of dance.
Penn Charity Fashion ShowOrganized by Wharton’s Fashion Club, students walk the runway to raise money for a local nonprofit organization.
MBA Opportunity WeekValuable time for students to explore unique programming throughout the semester, both credit-bearing and extracurricular.
Spring BreakClasses do not meet.
AprilBattle of the BandsA professional venue hosts pop-up student bands that compete for the title across a variety of musical genres.
First-Year Send-OffFinal class-wide social gathering of the year and an opportunity to highlight first-year students for their contributions to the community.
MBA Opportunity WeekValuable time for students to explore unique programming throughout the semester, both credit-bearing and extracurricular.
MayCommencementGraduation Ceremony and Reception to celebrate the accomplishments of second-year students.

Centers and Initiatives

Wharton’s 20+ research centers and initiatives serve as a hub for exchange and study where faculty, students, and members of the business community address pressing global business challenges. MBA Students can supplement their academics and build community by joining a Wharton center or initiative.

Entrepreneurship & Innovation

Venture Lab at the University of Pennsylvania is one of the most influential hubs of entrepreneurship in the world — an entrepreneurial ecosystem where you can grow your idea into a successful business. Imagine what you could do with mentors, workshops, office space, awards, prize money, and more.

Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Initiative

The Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Initiative brings together Wharton faculty and students to conduct academically rigorous research, develop new curricular materials, and co-curricular experiences that shape the future of investing, consulting, and strategy on ESG factors.

Analytics, AI & Data Science

Analytics at Wharton unites the School’s trail-blazing teaching, research, and industry engagement initiatives that use data to improve decision-making and generate actionable insights. Students can participate in programs like Wharton People Analytics, Wharton Sports Analytics and Business Initiative, and Wharton AI & Analytics for Business.

Learn more about all of Wharton’s research centers and initiatives here.