The Wharton MBA Program for Executives: FAQs

From admissions and financial aid to academics and student experience, find answers to your questions about Wharton’s MBA Program for Executives below.

Executive MBA Admission Process & Qualifications

When do I need my official transcript(s) sent?

Official transcripts are required upon matriculation to the Wharton MBA Program for Executives. When requesting official transcripts from your previous institutions, you can choose electronic or standard mail delivery.

For Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Global cohorts:

Electronic transcripts can be sent from the institutions to

Hard-copy transcripts can be sent from the institutions to:

MBA Program for Executives
The Wharton School
University of Pennsylvania
111 Vance Hall
3733 Spruce Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104

What if something has changed after submitting my application?

If there has been a significant change in your profile after submitting your application, please e-mail the Wharton EMBA Admission office at 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?

Fellows candidates are those who have fewer than 8 years of work experience by the start of the program. Organizations support Fellows candidates because of their outstanding promise for advancement in a managerial career. Learn more about the Fellows application process here

When are your information sessions?

For information on current in-person and virtual events, go to Admissions Events. Please check back from time to time, as we add events regularly. 

How do I reapply if I am denied admission?

Applicants can reapply to the Wharton EMBA program, but not during the same academic year. If you applied and were not admitted and would like to reapply to the program, please follow these procedures. The most important thing is that you demonstrate through essays, subsequent career growth, and/or academic preparation that you are a stronger candidate. We recommend you review the EMBA application requirements before submitting your new application to ensure they have not changed since you last applied.

1) Complete entire application

2) Include with your essays the following:

Reapplicant Essay

Required; 300 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.

May I apply to both Wharton MBA Programs?

Wharton does not accept dual applications to its Executive and traditional MBA programs. We encourage prospective students to contact the Admission team if they are unsure which program may be a better fit.

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 Global (or vice versa)?

Applicants may apply to one MBA Program for Executives cohort per academic year. The Wharton MBA Program for Executives has a single Admissions Committee which reviews all applications for PhiladelphiaSan Francisco, and Global cohorts. As such, the Admissions Committee would not change its decision if an applicant reapplied to a different cohort or the existing cohort within the same academic year.

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 Hyatt Regency

Do you require interviews for admission?

Interviews are by invitation only. If selected for an interview, we will contact you to arrange the interview as part of the application process.

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.

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/EA to apply to Wharton?

Wharton’s EMBA program requires one test score from the GMAT, GRE or Executive Assessment (EA). We do not waive the test requirement, but do allow students to choose which test they prefer.

We require these test scores because the executive MBA curriculum is the same curriculum required in the traditional MBA program, and it’s very rigorous. As applicants attend universities and colleges from around the world with different grading systems, the GMAT, GRE, and EA 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 these tests, we recommend you study one of the review guides available or enroll in a formal preparation course.

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.

Does the Wharton EMBA program provide student visas?

Executive MBA students are required to maintain full-time employment throughout the duration of the program. Students who are not U.S. Citizens or Permanent Residents must secure their visas through their employers.  Penn Global’s International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) can offer more specific information.

Student Experience

I live within a short commuting distance. Can I go home on Friday nights?

Your tuition fee includes the cost of staying over on Friday night during program weekends. The program is designed to be fully immersive — this time commitment allows students to form personal and professional bonds that last long after graduation. In fact, students say they learn nearly as much from each other as they do during formal class hours. Much of this interaction takes place on Friday evenings when the study groups get together to master course material. In addition, many course review sessions and special events for families and partners also happen on Friday evenings.

Where can I stay if I have to fly in on Thursday nights to be on time for Friday morning classes?

You may make arrangements directly with local hotels to reserve rooms as needed for Thursday or Saturday nights. Whenever possible, they will try to accommodate your requests at the special rate reserved for students in the Wharton MBA Program for Executives. Contact us in Philadelphia or San Francisco to find out more.

Are there opportunities to network outside of class and with Wharton alumni?

The residential component of the program ensures that there are ample opportunities for you to network with your fellow classmates, as well as with the faculty, during program weekends. Eating meals together, meeting with study groups, and getting together for informal sports and recreation outside of class are all ways that students bond beyond the classroom. You will meet alumni as class guests and through occasional program-sponsored events. And as Wharton students, you can also begin to take part in the activities of Wharton alumni clubs located in or near your own city.

Can my partner (or family) stay with me during a program weekend?

Yes. Please contact your hotel or conference center to alert them to any special needs. A surcharge may apply for meals or special arrangements.

Curriculum and Academics

How does the Wharton MBA Program for Executives differ from Wharton’s full-time MBA program?

There is no difference in the degree earned by executive and full-time MBA students. The primary difference is the every-other-weekend residential format of the program for Philadelphia and San Francisco cohort members, which allows for a different on-campus experience, as well as the kind of career services we provide, which are more suited to a working professional. Members of the Global cohort have the same access to these resources, and meet remotely for synchronous classes every other week.

In the executive program, students have about six years more experience, on average, than traditional full-time MBAs. Therefore, they are usually farther along in their careers. While the required courses are essentially identical to those in the traditional program, coursework has been adapted by the faculty to take advantage of the additional experience brought to the classroom. For more information comparing the two programs, see Compare the Wharton MBA/EMBA Programs.

Can I do a semester on a different campus, or with the Global cohort?

Yes, in the second year of the program, WEMBA students have the option to take courses or terms in other WEMBA cohorts, pending the availability of space and advanced faculty approval.

I am a member of the Philadelphia or San Francisco cohort and live in the area. Can I spend my Friday nights at home rather than at the hotel?

When you join the Wharton MBA Program for Executives, you agree to immerse yourself in the school environment for two days every other week, including spending Friday nights at the hotel with classmates. Students confirm our view that they learn nearly as much from each other as they learn during formal class hours. Much of this interaction takes place on Friday evenings when the study groups get together to master course material. This time commitment also allows students to form personal and professional bonds which last long after graduation.

Can I pursue a major?

This program is designed for people who have already made significant progress in their careers. Specific majors are not typically necessary as these are generally viewed as a way for business students to prepare themselves for entry-level positions. Instead, the program’s mission is to offer those already in management positions the coursework and shared experience to enter upper-level management and leadership ranks. The training is therefore geared more toward understanding broad management skills, though students may use second-year electives to build depth in particular fields. That said, some of the more general majors, such as entrepreneurship, finance, management, and marketing, can be earned by executive students as a result of pursuing their area of interest. Concentrations in Healthcare Management and Business Analytics are also available.

How do students complete the program in just two years while working full time?

Wharton MBA for Executives students generally carry 3.5 course units per semester, as opposed to the 5 course units per semester taken by traditional MBAs, and they attend class during both summer terms. Executive students must attend classes for six terms in order to complete all the required courses while carrying a reduced load each semester. This pace allows students to complete the same requirements while working full time.

Financial Aid and Sponsorship

What happens if my employment situation changes during the program (for example, if I get transferred or there’s a merger or corporate layoffs)?

Wharton makes every effort to work with students to determine a way for them to complete their degree programs at Wharton. Some students who have been transferred by their employer have either continued commuting to the program or switched cohorts. This option is available only after the first-year core courses are completed. For others, an unexpected job development may require a deferral or leave of absence for a semester or a year. All of these options for our three cohorts are approved on a case-by-case basis and offered on a space-available basis.

I work for a not-for-profit organization, and the possibilities for financial sponsorship are limited. Will that jeopardize my application, and are there any other sources of financial aid?

Wharton welcomes applications from employees of public and not-for-profit organizations. The ability of your organization to support you financially will not have a negative impact on your application. You may want to explore grants and scholarships from independent foundations and organizations.

Wharton offers the Bendheim Loan Forgiveness Fund for alumni who remain with a not-for-profit organization. Learn more about this fund and the application process:  Bendheim Loan Forgiveness Fund

What should be included in the sponsorship form?

The sponsorship form includes questions about your organization’s support of your interest in pursuing the MBA degree at Wharton. The form enables your sponsor to indicate they understand and agrees to the time commitment that will be required to complete the classwork and study demands of the program. It will also indicate whether financial support will be provided.

If you have less than eight years of work experience, you will apply as a Fellows Candidate. Please see the financial commitment that is required and must be acknowledged in the Letter of Sponsorship for Fellows candidates.

If you are an independent professional or consultant, or the head of your own firm, you can write your own sponsorship letter. In this case, the letter should outline your ability to make the time commitments needed to participate fully in the program, including making arrangements with clients and/or others within your organization, and your ability to finance the program.

How can I strengthen my chances for getting sponsored by my organization?

Policies within each organization vary, but in general: start early, understand your organization, and have a clear plan for how the program can benefit both you and your sponsoring organization. Visit our sponsorship page for more tips and resources.

Can I sponsor myself?

Yes. If you are a self-employed professional or consultant, or the head of your own firm, you can write your own letter of endorsement, outlining your ability to make the time commitments needed to participate fully in the program and make arrangements with clients and/or others within your organization so that you will be able to attend all classes and required program activities. If you are employed by an organization that can endorse your candidacy but not support you financially, you may self-sponsor the financial requirements. In this case, your organization must still provide a letter of endorsement stating that you will be able to have the time away from work required to attend all classes and required program activities.

Does the level of financial sponsorship affect the admissions decision?

Full financial support shows a strong commitment on the part of the organization and a strong endorsement of the applicant. To this degree, it is part of the total picture of an individual’s candidacy. Wharton realizes, however, that not every organization has the resources or policies to be able to fully support an applicant. Recommendations and a sponsorship form – that is, the assurance that a sponsoring organization sees the value of participation in the program and will support the time commitments of the program – are more important than the level of financial sponsorship.

What can a sponsor do to get the most value out of the program for both the organization and the applicant?

Each organization is different, but the single most valuable tool we can recommend is to have a clear career plan in place that identifies how this program is expected to prepare a candidate for new or expanded responsibilities within the organization. Such a plan can help reap the benefits of the program on a day-to-day basis, and ensure that new leadership capabilities will have a place to grow within the organization.

Can my sponsor visit or talk to somebody during the admissions process?

Yes. We welcome the opportunity to talk or meet with your sponsor at any time to discuss any aspect of the program or your candidacy. Please feel free to contact us by phone or e-mail.

Is an employer required to provide financial support for me to be considered for the program?

If you are an independent professional or consultant, or the head of your own firm, you can complete your own sponsorship form. In this case, the form should outline your ability to make the time commitments needed to participate fully in the program, including making arrangements with clients and/or others within your organization, and your ability to finance the program.

While financial support by your firm is encouraged, it is not required unless you are nominated as a Fellows candidate. Fellows candidates are somewhat younger and have less work experience than the traditional student profile; therefore, their organizations must nominate them, demonstrate their high management potential, and provide substantial program support. For traditional candidates, some employers sponsor the program in full and others offer partial support. Some students are also self-sponsored. All organizations must provide a letter of endorsement that assures that time away from work will be provided for all program classes and required activities.

I am active duty military or a veteran, may I waive the application fee?

Yes, the application fee can be waived for military and veteran applicants who indicate their military affiliation on the application. 

I qualify as a Fellows candidate. May I take out a loan to sponsor myself?

If you are a Fellows candidate, your company must be substantially financially responsible for the cost of the program. Please contact the program office to which you are applying if you need to discuss whether an exception can be made due to special circumstances. 

Are there scholarships for students in the program?

The Wharton MBA Program for Executives awards several fellowships to incoming students. These funds are based on the individual and the applicant pool as a whole. No application is necessary and awardees will be notified at the time of admission.

How do I learn about my financing options?

You can find ample information regarding financing options here:

Do you accept credit cards for application fee payments?

The Online Application System requires payment by credit card for your application fee.

What is the cost of the program and when are payments due?

Tuition for the class graduating in 2026 is $230,100. This cost includes tuition, fees, some course materials, and program-related housing and meals. Due dates for each semester are listed on  

Evaluating EMBAs

How do you get a sense of the quality of an EMBA class?

The selectivity of the school is one factor in determining the skills, abilities, and experience of the peer group you’ll work with throughout your studies. Also, at Wharton we find that diversity is key to dynamic class discussion. Make sure that there are a lot of viewpoints represented. What industries are the students coming from? What geographical areas are they coming from?

What kinds of things should you be looking at when deciding whether to apply to a particular EMBA program?

I’d advise you to look at several factors. First, what is the equivalence of the program to a full-time MBA? How does the curriculum compare? Do you want a very rigorous program or one that is less demanding?

Second, how selective is the school? Does the program require all applicants to take a standardized tests? Many executive MBA programs waive that requirement; at Wharton, we hold our executive and full-time MBA applicants to the same high standards.

Third, what about the program’s schedule and overall learning environment? How well does it fit with your career needs at this time and your personal learning style?

Also, how big is the alumni network and what do the alumni do? That’s a gauge of the opportunities that your MBA will open for you and a measure of the value of the degree in the marketplace.

What about the class schedule?

Ask yourself whether the program fits your lifestyle and your schedule. Is it offered one day per week, every other weekend, during week-long sessions, or a combination? What kind of support structures are available during residency periods? What kind of group study and individual work are required and supported between class sessions? Are you looking for a local degree, or are you willing to travel farther for a program with a wide geographic reach, broad industry scope, and/or international reputation?

Be sure you consider your learning style as well. Some students find that if classes are too concentrated, it’s difficult for them to absorb the coursework or that they lose momentum if the gaps between sessions are very long. At Wharton, we’ve found that Friday and Saturday classes work best since it is more feasible for students to take the time out to attend. There’s less disruption and they can see the impact of learning on their ongoing work, creating a better value for the student and employer.

What differentiates the curriculum of various EMBA programs?

Many are “lockstep” programs, in which all students take the same classes, at the same time, throughout the duration of the program. That’s fine when the entire class has exactly the same interests, but otherwise be sure that the electives you need are offered and that courses can be tailored to your career advancement goals. At Wharton, 45 percent of the classes are electives, and each class has the opportunity during the first year to select the electives offered to them in the second year.

If you are interested in senior management roles, make sure the program you choose focuses on helping you improve your leadership style. What kinds of leadership courses does it offer, and how effective are they?

And don’t forget the basics – how many hours will be spent in class? Who teaches the courses? What is the core curriculum and how is it structured?

What other qualities add value to an EMBA?

Many executive programs have differentiators, but be sure what is unique about a program is both relevant to your goals and integrated within the program’s philosophy. Make sure that the international aspect of the program you choose is substantive and carried out in the rest of the curriculum. Ask whether the class has an opportunity to choose the location for the overseas project or residency. Team projects and experiential learning opportunities can also add value, giving students a chance to learn organizational dynamics and leadership while putting the lessons they learn into immediate play.

What about funding?

Funding is often a critical part of the decision-making process, and you will have to weigh your goals for your career, the value of the degree in the job market, and the availability of financial resources, including sponsorship and loans. Many employers are willing to sponsor students in executive MBA programs either fully or partially, and many schools offer loan programs to support students who are not fully sponsored.

Check to see whether the school requires sponsorship, whether admission is contingent upon a student’s receiving employer funding, and what loan opportunities are available for EMBA students. The Wharton MBA Program for Executives does not require financial sponsorship, except for Fellows candidates. Loans are available for qualified self-sponsored students.