What You Need to Apply

Application Requirements

We’ve created this page to help you while applying, but the most detailed instructions are included in the application itself. You must complete and submit the online application to be considered for the MBA Program for Executives, and a complete application includes the following components:

Application Checklist

1. Start Online Application
2. Schedule an Interview and Phone Chat*
3. Submit Two Online Recommendations
4. Answer Three Essay Questions
5. Submit Standardized Test Scores
6. Send Official Transcripts
7. Mail Sponsorship Letter
8. Submit the Online Application

Starting your online application form registers you as an applicant within our system and ensures that you are notified of any changes to the application process. You do not need to complete your online application form before proceeding with other parts of your application.

*A phone chat prior to your interview is strongly encouraged. The phone chat is another opportunity for you to ask the Admissions Committee questions around the application and/or interview process. You can request a phone chat here.

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Application Details

1. Online Application

Admission to the Wharton MBA Program for Executives requires the completion of our online application, which includes the provision of background information: contact information (e.g., mailing address and phone number), biographical information, academic degrees earned, professional experience, and optional family information.

2. Interview & Phone Chat

An interview with a member of the Admissions Committee is required for all applicants to the Wharton MBA Program for Executives. You are strongly encouraged to schedule an interview before you complete your application, and you must have your interview scheduled by the application deadline. An early interview is strongly encouraged. All that is required to interview is your resume. In fact, we encourage you to start your application and come to your interview with questions.

Prior to your interview, the Admissions Committee is available to answer questions around your application and/or interview process through a phone chat. We strongly encourage you to take advantage of this additional opportunity. You can request a phone chat here.

Your phone chat, interview and visit will help you formulate what you want to include in your application.

a3. Letters of Recommendation

The Admissions Committee requires two online recommendations from colleagues who are familiar with your work. Optimal sources for recommendations are your direct managers, who can give insight to the Committee on you as an employee. Other useful sources are clients or former employers.

4. Essay Questions

You are required to prepare answers to the first three essay questions listed below. The fourth essay question is optional.
Essay Question 1
Required; 750 word limit
What are your career objectives and how will the Wharton MBA Program for Executives contribute to your attainment of this objective?

Essay Question 2
Required; 750 word limit
In his groundbreaking TedTalk “Are You a Giver or a Taker?” Adam Grant describes three primary personality types in the workplace: givers, takers, and matchers. Based on your understanding of yourself and our program, how do you intend to give and take as a student at Wharton?

Essay Question 3
Required; 500 word limit
Given your already demanding job and the desire to remain committed to important family and personal obligations, how do you plan to handle the additional demands on your time once you enroll?

Essay Question 4
Optional; 500 word limit
Please explain any extenuating circumstances of which the Admissions Committee should be aware (e.g., unexplained gaps in your work experience, choice of recommenders, inconsistent academic performance). You may also take this opportunity to share other defining aspects of your life that the Admissions Committee would not otherwise have learned from your application or resume.

5. Test Information

All applicants must submit standardized test results by the application deadline to be considered for admission.  Applicants have the option of taking the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT), the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or, if you have at least 10 years of work experience, the Executive Assessment (EA). There is no minimum score requirement for each test; however, test scores have proven to be a useful predictor of success in the quantitative courses that are an important foundation for the MBA for Executives program.  All scores are valid for five years from the test date.

If you are uncertain or indifferent about which test to take, our preference would be the GMAT, but should you still have questions, please contact us to schedule a chat with an admissions advisor.

The GMAT code for the Wharton MBA Program for Executives is G56-97-36 for Philadelphia and G56-97-14 for San Francisco. For GMAT information and registration, visit:  http://www.mba.com

The GRE code for the Wharton MBA Program for Executives is 6802.  For GRE information and registration, visit:  http://www.ets.org/gre/

The EA code for the Wharton MBA Program for Executives is G56-97-36 for Philadelphia and G56-97-14 for San Francisco. For EA information and registration, visit:  http://www.gmac.com/ea

6. Official Transcripts

Applicants to the Wharton MBA Program for Executives must arrange to have official transcripts sent from their prior academic institutions in time to be received by the deadlineThe Admissions Committee must receive an official transcript before a decision can be made. You may upload an unofficial copy of your transcripts with your online application. If receiving an original transcript will take an extended period (for example, if you studied outside of the U.S.), we will accept certified copies of original transcripts until the originals have arrived. Have your transcripts sent to the campus of the program to which you are applying:

MBA Program for Executives, Philadelphia
The Wharton School
University of Pennsylvania
255 South 38th Street
Suite 108
Steinberg Conference Center
Philadelphia, PA 19104.6359

MBA Program for Executives, San Francisco
Wharton | San Francisco
The Wharton School
University of Pennsylvania
2 Harrison St., Sixth Floor
San Francisco, CA 94105

7. Sponsorship Letter

A letter of endorsement from your organization is a required part of your application. A decision on your application cannot be made until we receive this letter. The letter should be on the official letterhead of your organization and be signed by your sponsoring management, and it must indicate that the necessary time will be provided for you to attend. If financial support will be provided, this should also be specified in the letter. For independent consultants and professionals, a letter of self-sponsorship is required.

For Fellows candidates, the amount of financial support must be included.

8. Application Fee

A non-refundable application fee of $180 must accompany your application. This fee, which must be paid by credit card, is processed through the application portal. You will not see the payment option until you submit your application online.

U.S. Military service members (active duty and veterans) and employees of some not-for-profit organizations may be eligible to waive this fee. Please contact the office to which you’re applying before submitting the application to confirm whether you are eligible and, if so, to make the necessary arrangements.


All decisions are released via Online Application System.

Application Deadlines and Decisions

Class Entering in 2019

Round 1
December 5, 2018 (11:59 p.m. PST)
Decisions released on Wednesday, January 23, 2019*
Round 2
February 6, 2019 (11:59 p.m. PST)
Decisions released on Wednesday, March 27, 2019*
Decision dates are guaranteed only if all application materials are received by the deadline. To discuss the possibility of a deadline extension, please contact us.

Reapplication Process

The MBA Program for Executives retains all applications for one year. Reapplicants may request feedback from the Admissions Committee by contacting the office to arrange an appointment. We understand the time and effort that was put into each application and believe that it is important to offer additional insight into the decision-making process.

To Reapply

Email the office of the program to which you are applying to inform us of your intention to reapply.

Philadelphia: mbaexec-myapp@wharton.upenn.edu

San Francisco: mbaexecwest-admissions@wharton.upenn.edu

Please use the same account and email address as the previous year.


You do not need to respond to Essays #1, 2, 3, or 4. Instead, please answer the following “Reapplicant Essay”.

500 word limit
What have you been doing since you previously applied for admission and what impact have your activities had on the clarification of your goals? Include any steps you have taken to enhance your preparation for admission to Wharton.


You will need to include one additional recommendation other than the two recommendations submitted in your previous application. In Recommender 1 box, you will provide your additional recommender information.

To move your application forward in this section, you will input Wharton School as the first name and MBAExec as the second name in the Recommender 2 box and input

mbaexec-myapp@wharton.upenn.edu for Philadelphia


mbaexecwest-myapp@wharton.upenn.edu for San Francisco.


If you have completed any new coursework since you applied last year, please have an official transcript sent to us from the appropriate college or university.

Employer’s Letter of Sponsorship

You will need a new sponsorship letter to complete your reapplication. It should be signed by your employer on company letterhead and sent directly to the Admissions Committee. This letter should state specifically that the necessary time will be made available for full participation in all coursework. Financial commitment should also be addressed, if applicable. If you are applying as a Fellows candidate, financial sponsorship is required.


If you have retaken the GMAT, GRE or EA exam since your previous application, please have an official score report sent to our office.


Reapplicants are required to interview a second time. You do NOT need to have a completed application submitted before interviewing. In fact, we encourage you to contact the office to which you are applying to set up an interview appointment well before the deadline.

Admissions Process FAQs

What if something has changed after submitting my application?

If there has been a significant change in your profile after submitting your application, please call the office to discuss how best to reflect the change. Examples of a significant change would be a move to a new company or a promotion.

How do I know if I am a Fellows Candidate?

For a complete explanation of the difference between applying as a Fellow or traditional applicant, see Candidate Qualifications. Please call the office if you are unsure about the level of financial support you are required to have from your employer.

When are your information sessions?

For information on current schedules, go to Admissions Events. Please check back from time to time, as we add events regularly. We also invite you to contact us to schedule a personal visit to the campus.

How do I schedule an interview and attend a class?

Email mbaexec-myapp@wharton.upenn.edu or call 1-215-898-5887 for Philadelphia, or mbaexecsf-myapp@wharton.upenn.edu  or call 1-415-777-1000 for San Francisco, and the staff will make an appointment with an Admissions Officer for you. Interviews are generally held on Fridays and Saturdays when classes are in session, so you may come beforehand and/or stay afterwards to observe classes, have lunch with students, and get a good picture of what the program entails.

A phone chat prior to your interview is strongly encouraged. The phone chat is another opportunity for you to ask the Admissions Committee questions around the application and/or interview process. You can request a phone chat here.

How do I reapply if I am denied admission?

It is not necessary to go through the entire process again. Please view reapplication procedures for detailed information. The procedures are also outlined in the online application.

May I apply to both Wharton MBA Programs?

Wharton accepts simultaneous applications to its executive and traditional MBA programs. In order to apply to both programs during the same admissions cycle, applicants must submit separate and complete applications, following the instructions and deadlines required by each program. Dual applicants must also indicate within both applications that they are applying to the other program and whether a decision has been rendered by the other program and, if so, what that decision is. Admitted students may only matriculate in one program.

If I am denied admission to the Wharton MBA Program for Executives in Philadelphia, can I then apply to the program in San Francisco (or vice versa)?

The requirements for admissions to the East and West programs are identical and it is a single Admissions Committee; therefore, the Admissions Committee would not change their decision.

Where should I stay when I visit?

There are many hotels in both Philadelphia and San Francisco that are convenient for visiting Wharton. In Philadelphia, we recommend the Inn at Penn, which is on the University of Pennsylvania campus. In San Francisco, we recommend the hotel at which students stay during the program (please call the campus for more information).

Do you require interviews for admission?

Yes, the interview allows you to spend one-on-one time with a member of the Admissions Committee to get all of your specific questions answered.

Prior to your interview, the Admissions Committee is available to answer questions around your application and/or interview process through a phone chat. We strongly encourage you to take advantage of this additional opportunity. You can request a phone chat here.

Your phone chat, interview and visit will help you formulate what you want to include in your application.

Please note: We encourage all applicants to interview before the deadline because spending a day on campus with students may help you understand what you want to say in your application. You don’t have to have a completed application to schedule an interview; we just need your resume. Please start an online application so that you can get your questions about the process answered during your interview with a member of the Admissions Committee.

When during the year does the program start and when are the admissions deadlines?

The program begins in May each year. Please refer to the Timeline and Deadlines page for exact dates and admissions deadlines.

Qualifications FAQs

How much weight does the interview have in the application process?

There is no set formula that the Admissions Committee uses to weigh the different strengths and weaknesses of applicants. In such a competitive applicant pool, it is often the intangible issues that tend to come up during interviews that will distinguish you from your competition. An interview should be viewed as your opportunity to share more about your background and your interest in the program in a way that adds greater perspective and personality to your application.

I haven't had a math course in 10 years. Would I have difficulty with the Wharton curriculum?

A number of our classes assume basic math literacy. If you took your last math class a while ago, it is probably worthwhile to brush up before coming to the program. You’ll do some of this when you prepare for the GMAT exam. If you have not completed a math course at the basic calculus level, you should try to enroll in a “Math for Business” course at a local college. Please focus on the basics (algebra, graphing functions, very basic calculus).

I have many years of work experience and have taken other standardized tests in the past. Why must I take the GMAT/GRE to apply to Wharton?

When you complete your two years in the Wharton MBA for Executives, you are awarded the same Wharton MBA degree received by those who complete Wharton’s traditional full-time program. The curriculum is the same rigorous curriculum required in the traditional MBA program. Because students attend universities and colleges around the world with different grading systems, the GMAT* and GRE are uniform assessment tools designed to predict academic potential for success in many of the core courses that Wharton requires. We have found that students who don’t do well on these tests generally have difficulty with some of the courses that Wharton feels our graduates should master. If you think you may have trouble preparing for the GMAT* or GRE, we recommend you study one of the review guides available or enroll in a formal preparation course.

*We will now accept the Executive Assessment (EA) test for applicants with more than 10 years of work experience. If you are unsure of what test to take, please reach out so that we can discuss it with you in more detail.

I already have an MBA. Can I apply to Wharton?

Yes, you can apply. We do not exclude candidates who have an MBA or any other graduate degree. You should, however, explain your reasons for desiring a second MBA in your application and during your interview.

I've taken business courses at another university. Can I use this background to shorten my time at Wharton?

You must complete 19 course units at Wharton to earn your degree from our program. If your previous coursework was recently completed, you may be able to waive core courses in the relevant disciplines and thereby increase the number of electives in your curriculum. You will still be required to spend two calendar years at Wharton.