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MBA Career Insights: Applications Decrease Again, Yet Positive Outlook for Penn – Poets&Quants



Last Updated on August 16, 2023 by Robert C. Hoopes

Applications to the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School’s full-time MBA program have experienced a decline for the second consecutive year, according to recent data. The class of 2022-2023 witnessed a 15.6% decrease in applications compared to the previous two years.

Despite the decline in applications, the MBA Class of 2025 at Wharton has achieved an important milestone in terms of gender parity. For the third year in a row, the class boasts 50% or more women. This accomplishment highlights Wharton’s commitment to fostering a diverse and inclusive learning environment.

Additionally, the new class at Wharton showcases an impressive increase in LGBTQ+ representation, reaching an all-time high of 11%. This demonstrates Wharton’s efforts to create a welcoming and accepting space for students from all backgrounds.

Another noteworthy aspect of the new MBA class is the inclusion of first-generation students, who comprise 11% of the cohort. Wharton recognizes the value that these students bring to the program and seeks to support and empower them throughout their MBA journey.

The Class of 2025 at Wharton also displays greater racial diversity. With Black students making up 9% and Hispanic students comprising 7% of the class, Wharton is taking steps to promote a more inclusive and equitable learning environment for all students.

However, the percentage of international students in the program has decreased to 31%. This decline may be attributed to various factors, such as travel restrictions and uncertainties surrounding international education during the ongoing pandemic.

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Another notable change is the slight drop in the average GMAT score for the new class, which is down 5 points from the previous year. This adjustment suggests that Wharton is considering a broader range of criteria beyond standardized test scores when evaluating applicants.

Prospective students have several pathways to join the Wharton MBA program, including dual-degree programs and the Moelis Advance Access Program. These opportunities provide students with unique avenues to tailor their MBA experience to their individual goals and interests.

Furthermore, the average work experience for the Class of 2025 is reported to be around 5 years. Many students in this cohort come from backgrounds in consulting and industries such as private equity and venture capital, bringing valuable real-world expertise to their MBA studies.

Lastly, a majority of the new class at Wharton pursued majors in business, humanities, or STEM fields during their undergraduate studies. This diversity of academic backgrounds contributes to a rich and dynamic classroom experience, where students can learn from each other’s unique perspectives.

As Wharton’s full-time MBA program continues to adapt and evolve, these recent trends shed light on the school’s commitment to cultivating a diverse, inclusive, and multidimensional learning community. With a focus on gender parity, LGBTQ+ representation, racial diversity, and supporting first-generation students, Wharton’s Class of 2025 embodies the school’s ongoing mission to shape future leaders in the business world.

Dina J. Miller is an accomplished writer and editor with a passion for business and education. With over a decade of experience in the industry, she has established herself as a leading voice in the MBA community. Her work can be found in a variety of MBA magazines and college publications, where she provides insightful commentary on current trends and issues in the field. Dina's expertise in business and education stems from her extensive academic background. She holds a Master's degree in Business Administration from a top-tier business school, where she excelled in her studies and developed a deep understanding of the complexities of the business world. Her academic achievements have been recognized with numerous awards and honors, including induction into several prestigious academic societies.

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