Compare Executive MBA & Traditional MBA Education Programs from Wharton

Wharton offers one MBA in two formats: the traditional, full-time MBA and the executive MBA. Both programs require prospective students to meet the same high admissions standards, both programs follow the same rigorous curriculum, and both programs confer the same renowned Wharton degree. Of course, the delivery and structure of the programs differ. The comparison table below outlines some of the key similarities and differences between the programs.

Programs Comparison Table

Wharton MBA, Full-time

Wharton MBA for Executives


20 months
3.5-month summer internship period
Year 1:
Aug., (pre-term)
Sept. – May
Year 2:
Sep – May graduation
24 months
Classes run throughout the summer
Year 1:
May – May
Year 2:
June – May graduation

Class Schedule

Classes meet Monday-Thursday throughout the academic year.
Classes meet year-round on alternate Friday/Saturday weekends, with several extended sessions and a 1-week international study trip.


Total Credit Units
Core Curriculum
available but not required (see below)

Majors vs. General Management Focus

Full-time MBA students select among 18 majors, including the option for an individualized major. Approximately 30% of MBA students complete their degree with a dual major and 10% design an individualized major. Students choose electives from among Wharton’s wide selection of course offerings.
Executive MBA students may pursue a formal major but are not required to do so. Electives and independent study options provide opportunities to deepen areas of expertise or broaden a range of studies. Electives are chosen by each cohort from among Wharton’s wide selection of course offerings.


Classes taught by Wharton standing and associated faculty, who use a mix of case study, lecture/discussion, simulations and field study.
Classes taught by Wharton standing and associated faculty, who use a mix of case study, lecture/discussion, simulations and field study.

Special Features

Learning Teams
Yes (assigned first-year learning teams)
Yes (assigned first-year learning teams)
Leadership Course
Yes (required)
Yes (required)
Global Experience
Dual-degree programs, Study abroad options, Global Consulting Practicum, Global Modular Courses, and Global Immersion program (optional)
A global experience is required with the option to also take the Global Consulting Practicum and/or Global Modular Courses
Independent Study
Option available
Option available


Waivers available, by credentials or examination.
Some waivers available (esp. accounting), by credentials or examination.

Class Profile

Entering class size
226 (Philadelphia and San Francisco total)
Average GMAT
725 (mid-80% range: 690-760)
700 (mid-80% range: 640-760)
Average work exp.
4 years
11 years

Tuition and Fees

(2013-2014, one-year cost summary)
$64,828 – 1st year tuition only
$97,080 – est’d total 1st year budget
Estimated annual budget includes tuition and fees, room and board in Philadelphia area, books and supplies.
(2014 tuition for two-year program)
Includes tuition and fees, books, and program-related housing and meals. Transportation, airfare for required international trip, and parking not included.

Housing and Meals

Housing and meals are not included in the tuition. The campus and greater Philadelphia area offer excellent opportunities for student and family housing.
Program-related housing and meals are included in the tuition and fees. The residential component is an integral aspect of the total program experience and required on program nights.

Student Lifestyle

High level of extracurricular activities and involvement, including clubs, conferences, sports and other student-run initiatives and events. Frequent opportunities for partners and families to network and participate.
Intensive immersion in classes, learning teams, and informal networking with other students during program weekends fosters strong community. Several special event opportunities for partners and families.

Networking Opportunities

With classmates and faculty inside and outside class on campus.
With business leaders through executive speaker series, in-class guest speakers, conferences, and on-campus recruiting events.
Full access to Wharton alumni network, online community, and club activities.
With classmates and faculty in-class and during program weekends, plus continued connections between sessions.
With business leaders through executive speaker series, in-class guest speakers, and international seminar trip.
Full access to Wharton alumni network, online community, and club activities.

Career Services

Access to on-campus recruiting services for summer internships and permanent positions.
Access to MBA Career Management.
Lifelong access to MBA alumni career services.
Career counseling, workshops, and access to career resources through dedicated MBA Exec Career Services. Internships not available.
Job search services for self-sponsored students and others who meet the eligibility requirements.
Lifelong access to MBA alumni career services.

Company Support / Sponsorship

No requirement or formal program for sponsorship, although some companies sponsor students.
Access to MBA Career Management.
Lifelong access to MBA alumni career services.
Company endorsement required for time away from work. Company financial support required for Fellows applicants and encouraged for others.
For self-sponsored students, access to MBA Career Management after first year.
Lifelong access to MBA alumni career services.

Campus Location(s)

Philadelphia and Semester in San Francisco
Philadelphia and San Francisco

Career Strategy

Often looking to make an immediate career change or seeking broader expertise for career advancement.
Value opportunity to focus on MBA coursework and extended MBA experience, both on- and off-campus.
Majors and summer internship experience highly valued as chance to gain specific skills and new company or industry exposure.
May want to build on non-business academic background to create stronger credential combination (including dual-degree options).
Typically further along in career, often on track for advancement to senior management. Some younger but highly qualified “fast-track” candidates also sponsored by companies.
Value “real-time” application – bringing MBA knowledge to current work issues.
Seeking new skills and exposure for long-term career goals, but specific major and internship experience not needed or as highly valued.
May be independent professional seeking to add management skills while continuing current professional activities.

Lifestyle Choice

Prefer to devote time to study and related program activities.
Seek exposure to large, diverse, and international class of students.
Value opportunity to experience wide range of extracurricular activities.
If applicable, family or partner can locate in the Philadelphia area for the two-year period involved.
Prefer schedule that allows for continuing career. Can balance heavy course load in addition to work and family.
Value intense ‘immersion’ with small but diverse cohort of experienced classmates.
Do not want or need high level of non-academic extracurricular options.
Can travel to Philadelphia or San Francisco on alternate weekends.

Transfer Policy

While academically the executive MBA and full-time MBA programs are the same, the delivery of the curriculum, the experience profile and near-term career aspirations of students, and the nature of the student experience are substantially different. Therefore, transferring post enrollment is permitted only for extenuating circumstances unrelated to the student’s career aspirations or employment situation.

Stay Updated

We'll send you application tips and let you know when we'll be hosting an event in your area.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

How can we improve this page?