Frequently Asked Questions by EMBA Students | Wharton EMBA

Get answers to the most frequently asked questions about our Executive MBA program below. If you have additional questions, please feel free to contact us at any time in the application process. You can also schedule a phone chat to ask the Admissions Team questions about the application, interview process, test prep strategy, and the program itself.


Can an applicant take the GRE instead of the GMAT?

Applicants have the option of taking the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) or the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). If you have more than 10 years of full-time work experience by the start of the program, you also have the option of taking the Executive Assessment (EA). Learn more about the differences between the GMAT, GRE and EA here.

Which academic transcripts are required?

We will need all of your transcripts from all of your undergraduate and graduate school programs. These will help us evaluate your academic potential in the program. Unofficial versions may be uploaded into your application, but we must receive official versions sent from the school, directly to us, by the deadline.

How much work experience is required for the Executive MBA program?

Work experience requirements for Executive MBA applicants vary among business schools, but most programs look for more seasoned students who are well established in their careers. The minimum amount of years of work experience required to be eligible for the Executive MBA program at Wharton is eight years, unless an applicant is applying as a Fellows candidate.

The Fellows designation is for applicants who have demonstrated outstanding leadership potential, but have fewer than eight years of work experience. There are slightly different application and sponsorship requirements for Fellows applicants. Schedule a phone chat if you’re not sure if you’re a Fellows candidate.

Can EMBA students continue working full-time during the EMBA program?

Yes, EMBA students continue to work full-time. It is a requirement of the program to be fully employed. This allows students to continue learning without disrupting their career and to apply their new knowledge immediately to their jobs.

What is the average GMAT score of Wharton students? How much do scores matter in the application process?

Our class average is typically around 700–710. More importantly, we like to see a minimum quantitative score in the 70th-80th percentile range, as there is a direct correlation between how well someone does on their quantitative section and how well they perform in the program.

Is there a distance learning option for the EMBA program?

We value the immersive experience and do not offer distance learning for the Wharton MBA degree. However, you can check out the classes taught by our professors on While these courses do not count toward a degree, they do offer access to our outstanding professors and classes.

What is the average GPA required?

There is no average GPA requirement. If you were not an outstanding undergraduate student, test results become an important way of demonstrating your academic skills. You also might address this point in the optional essay.

Tuition & Financial Aid

What type of financial aid is available for students?

Accepted students are given access to financial aid counseling prior to deciding to enroll in our program. We do not provide financial aid via the program. Instead, any sponsorship you receive will be negotiated by you and your company. Some companies provide 100% sponsorship to their employees, while others do not sponsor at all. In that instance, you would be self-funding the program and making use of either federal student loans or private loans, depending on your particular circumstances.

Please see the Tuition and Financing section of our website for information on this matter. We also encourage applicants to check out private scholarships as well as the Common Bond, an organization started by Wharton students that offers competitive school loans.

What is the average cost of the program for self-sponsored students?

The total cost of the two-year Wharton EMBA program for the class that began in May 2019 is $210,900. This is billed on a semester-by-semester basis in six installments of $35,150 each. This includes tuition, student fees, course materials, housing and meals on class weekends, a case study room, and housing and ground transportation for Global Business Week. As this program is designed for working professionals, the program handles most of the logistics, such as hotel reservations and the provision of meals and course materials. Room and board for all required class days is provided at the Steinberg Conference Center or the Inn at Penn in Philadelphia, or the Le Meridien Hotel in San Francisco. The EMBA is a residential program where students are required to stay at the hotel and fully immerse themselves in the experience, regardless of where they live.

Visiting Campus

Should applicants schedule their interview before they submit their application?

Yes, we recommend scheduling your interview before you complete your application, and you must have your interview scheduled by the application deadline. An early interview is strongly encouraged, so you can come to your interview with questions and learn more about the program. You will attend classes and join current students for lunch when you are on campus for the interview.


What career resources are available to EMBA students?

Both of our campuses in Philadelphia and San Francisco have a dedicated Career Management director. Wharton’s EMBA Career team addresses the needs of our students from across industries and roles, with the understanding that flexibility is critical as your career evolves. They take a holistic approach, focusing on long-term career trajectories. Some of the services the team provides include individualized career coaching and specialized career programming. Wharton’s commitment to you continues after you leave campus. As an alum, you will have access to career resources during career transitions and to support your career goals.


Is the residency requirement mandatory for all students, even for those who live close to campus?

The residency requirement is mandatory for all students, regardless of where you live. It is a cornerstone of the program and helps students get the most out of their class weekends by staying immersed in the academic environment. It also facilitates strong bonds among students. Room and board for all required class days is provided at the Steinberg Conference Center or the Inn at Penn in Philadelphia, or the Le Meridien Hotel in San Francisco.


Are there benefits to applying in Round 1 versus Round 2? Is there rolling admissions?

We do not have rolling admissions. Applicants apply in two rounds. Learn more about application deadlines here. Applicants should apply in the round in which they can build the strongest application possible. There are no benefits to applying in Round 1 versus Round 2. Our applicant pool is historically very competitive, so while requesting an Early Decision is possible, applicants should only do so with a compelling professional reason or timeline conflict. Traditionally, a candidate would have to stand out as exceptional to warrant an Early Decision acceptance by the committee, so requesting an Early Decision simply to know application results more quickly is not advised.

If you apply in Round 1 and are not admitted, can you apply in Round 2?

No, you cannot reapply in Round 2. If you are still interested in the program, you would need to wait to re-apply the following year. Information on the reapplication process can be found here. And you can only apply to one campus, either San Francisco or Philadelphia, each year.

Does a candidate need to be at an executive level? Can individual contributors apply?

We have students in their 30s and students in their 60s — in other words, a wide range of experience. But all of them tend to have management experience of some sort. If you do not have significant management responsibility and/or direct reports at work, you should continue growing your career to include these responsibilities prior to applying to the program. Learn more about our EMBA application requirements.

General Program Questions

Where does Wharton offer its EMBA program?

We are based in Philadelphia and San Francisco. We also have opportunities for international learning, such as Global Business Week and Global Modular Courses.

When does the Executive MBA program begin?

The program starts in May of each year and lasts for six consecutive semesters, finishing in May as well. View our academic calendar for the EMBA program.

What percentage of students are typically designated as “Fellows” students?

In our Philadelphia Class of 2018, 18% of students were Fellows. In that same year in San Francisco, 12% of students were Fellows.

Can you apply to both the EMBA and full-time MBA program?

Yes, you can apply to both programs. However, the EMBA program is designed for students who are further along in their careers and want to continue working full-time while in school. Both programs require the same high admissions standards, follow the same rigorous curriculum, and confer the same Wharton MBA degree. The delivery and structure of the programs differ to meet the needs of different student types. You must submit a separate application to each program. Learn more about the programs here.

What is the format of the EMBA program?

The EMBA program is considered full-time due to the time commitment, but is run on a part-time, weekend schedule. There is one cohort intake in May every year. The program occurs all day Friday and Saturday every two weeks over six consecutive semesters in addition to several special one-week sessions. This results in the same number of contact hours with Wharton faculty as the full-time MBA program.

What kind of workload can students expect?

This is a rigorous program. Students can expect 15–20 hours of homework and class preparation a week beyond the times when they are on campus. If fitting this into your schedule doesn’t seem logistically feasible, this may not be an ideal program to consider.

Looking for more information?

Contact us at any time or schedule a phone chat. We are happy to help at any point in the admissions process.