What Are the Different Types of MBA Programs?

Getting an MBA can open up a world of opportunity for professionals across various industries.

With an extensive selection of MBA programs available, doing your due diligence in researching which MBA type is right for you is key when it comes to accelerating your career. This page will help you to explore and understand your options at Wharton:

Full-Time MBA

Wharton’s full-time MBA program takes two years to complete, and it all happens on campus in Philadelphia. With Wharton’s rigorous yet flexible curriculum, you’ll gain a strong foundation of business knowledge with the freedom to explore new areas of study. Discover new interests and follow your passions through majors, electives, and interdisciplinary programs. Along the way, join a community of ~800 classmates who will both inspire and push you forward. To learn more about the students in the full-time MBA program, take a look at the Class Profile.

Executive MBA

An executive MBA program, also known as an EMBA program, is designed for students who are further along in their careers. Most EMBA students simultaneously work full-time and, in turn, classes are typically held on Fridays or weekends to accommodate their busy schedules. At Wharton, EMBA students earn the same MBA degree as full-time MBA students. Joining the EMBA program will bolster your business skills by teaching you a curriculum taught by faculty who represent today’s best minds in business, connect you with a supportive student cohort of accomplished professionals from a variety of industries, and provide you with key career insights from personalized professional coaching sessions. To learn more about the students in the Executive MBA program, take a look at the Class Profile.

Executive Online MBA

Wharton’s Executive MBA offers an online cohort called EMBA Global. Taught live by Wharton’s esteemed faculty, you attend synchronous and virtual classes at eastern standard time (EST) every other week. Because they occur every other week on Thursday evenings, as well as Friday and Saturday mornings, students can operate around their work schedules and family life to participate from various time zones.

Types of MBA Specializations

Hone in on Your Interests

When evaluating what type of MBA program you may want to pursue, you’ll notice that many programs offer specializations that allow you to hone in on your career interests. Unlike other MBA programs, Wharton offers students the option to declare a major. You can select from 21 MBA concentrations to pursue your goals. Most majors consist of five CUs—usually four CUs in addition to the core curriculum. Courses may count toward more than one major, giving you the option to pursue your MBA with a double major. You may customize your learning further by taking electives in other MBA specialties to round out the curriculum.

  • Accounting
  • Business Analytics
  • Business Economics and Public Policy
  • Business, Energy, Environment and Sustainability
  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
  • Environmental, Social and Governance Factors For Business
  • Entrepreneurship & Innovation
  • Finance
  • Healthcare Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • Marketing & Operations (Joint Major)
  • Multinational Management
  • Operations, Information, and Decisions
  • Organizational Effectiveness
  • Quantitative Finance
  • Real Estate
  • Social and Governance Factors for Business
  • Statistics
  • Strategic Management

Integrated Programs

If you are passionate about other disciplines, pursuing a dual-degree can broaden your horizons even further. You can obtain joint degrees with Wharton’s dual-degree programs, which enable you to receive a Master of Arts (MA) or Juris Doctorate (JD) alongside your MBA. These programs are fully integrated, so you can earn two degrees in just three years. There are several integrated joint degrees offered at Wharton and the University of Pennsylvania, including the MBA/MA Lauder Joint Degree in International Studies, which combines advanced language studies alongside a strong base in global business practices. Students focus their studies on a particular region of the world, becoming well-versed in the cultural, political, and economic areas of those regions.

Another dual-degree program Wharton offers is the MBA/JD Francis J. & WM. Polk Carey program, which is the nation’s first fully-integrated three-year JD/MBA. This program melds legal and business knowledge, allowing students to simultaneously pursue their Juris Doctorate law degree alongside an MBA, giving them a unique skill set that sets them apart from others in various industry spheres. Unlike other joint JD/MBA programs, the Carey JD/MBA program in located on one campus, with the Wharton School and Penn Law located just blocks away from each other.

In addition to dual-degree programs, Wharton is proud to cultivate tomorrow’s healthcare management leaders with our leading MBA in Healthcare Management program. The healthcare sector is a thriving field and interest in our acclaimed program has only grown more over time, making it one of the more competitive MBA avenues at Wharton. In this program, you’ll become well-acquainted with internationally recognized faculty dedicated to expanding your knowledge about health services delivery, finance and management, health economics, law and policy, and decision analysis.  You’ll also gain full access to academic resources available at the University of Pennsylvania and have the opportunity to collaborate with the Perelman School of Medicine or find opportunities within the UPenn Health system.

Learn more about the 13+ dual degree and interdisciplinary programs that we offer between the Wharton School and the University of Pennsylvania. Additionally, Wharton offers  dual MBA programs with partnership schools including John Hopkins University (School of Advanced International Studies) and the Harvard Kennedy School.

How Do I Choose an MBA?

Now that you have an idea of what to expect with an MBA program, you may be wondering where to even begin with choosing one. When considering what type of MBA program is right for you, it’s important to define your priorities and think about the following:

  • How flexible are you with balancing an MBA on top of other commitments? 
  • How soon do you want to achieve your degree? 
  • What are your future aspirations? 

Reflect on your goals and what you hope to achieve by pursuing an MBA. Network with colleagues or peers that have completed an MBA program themselves to gain insight into navigating your own journey. Research schools that have specializations that you are interested in and explore their course curriculum to determine how you can translate your learnings to being in the field.

Earning an MBA is not an easy endeavor, and contemplating how it will empower you to grow personally and professionally will only bring you closer to taking that next step and applying.

Start the Application Process Today!