Wharton is the first Ivy League business school to launch a hybrid executive MBA program

FOR Lake SydneyAugust 18, 2022, 7:59 p.m

Signage for the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School stands outside the campus in San Francisco, California, as seen in February 2012. (Photo: David Paul Morris—Bloomberg/Getty Images)

Business education at Ivy League institutions has largely been defined by face-to-face courses and a strong network, two elements that do not necessarily translate into an online experience. However, the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School is breaking rank, becoming the first Ivy League school to launch a hybrid executive MBA program (25% face-to-face and 75% online), as it announce this week the fortune ranks Wharton as the #3 full-time MBA program and #4 executive MBA program in the US

“For us, the timing is right,” says Peggy Bishop Lane, vice dean of Wharton’s executive MBA program. the fortune “Many of our teachers are involved and energized by online teaching. They see the promise of this for the future.”

Launching in May 2023, the Executive MBA program aims to have a global cohort with business professionals from Asia, North America, Latin America and Europe. Wharton started its executive MBA program in 1975 at its flagship location in Philadelphia and began its San Francisco cohort in 2002. But over the past two years, the school has heard from prospective students who were interested in a Wharton executive MBA program that doesn’t require biweekly travel, Lane says.

“Our experience offering online courses to our students during the pandemic gave us the confidence that we can deliver a top-notch education in this format,” he says. “We believe this will give students the flexibility they want, while also creating the tight-knit community we’re known for.”

How the program works and how to apply

The Wharton for Executives hybrid program takes 22 months to complete. Like the Philadelphia and San Francisco programs, students in the global cohort will also participate in a one-week residential orientation in Philadelphia. There will also be an additional five-week residency for online students, who will be staying in Philadelphia, San Francisco or other locations around the world.

“We also know from our current students the importance of their close bonds and how essential in-person interactions are to forming and strengthening those bonds,” says Lane. “That’s why we’ve included a number of residential weeks in the new global cohort.”

The program’s target student demographic is busy executives with outside commitments and interests, he adds, so the online courses will be synchronous (live) and run every other week on Thursday evenings, as well as Friday and Saturday mornings .

“The evolution of the Wharton Executive MBA is a reflection of our entrepreneurial spirit and our dedication to innovation in educational pedagogy,” Wharton Dean Erika James said in a statement announcing the program. “The past two and a half years have shown that high-quality academic programs can successfully extend beyond the traditional face-to-face classroom experience.”

Strong candidates for the program are mid-career executives and professionals with an average of 15 years of experience, and applicants must have at least eight years of work experience to apply. Wharton is particularly interested in attracting candidates from outside the United States for this cohort, Lane says. In the program’s first year, Wharton aims to have a cohort of about 60 to 70 students.

Application requirements include two letters of recommendation, answers to essay questions, GMAT, GRE or Executive Assessment scores, unofficial transcripts, and TOEFL scores for non-native English speaking candidates. Wharton also requires a letter of sponsorship from an “individual who has the authority to sign the time commitment involved in the program.” If you receive financial support for the program, that information should also be included in the letter, according to Wharton.

See how the schools you’re considering have fared fortune’s rankings of the best master’s programs in data science (face-to-face and online), nursing, computer science, cybersecurity, psychology, public healthi business analyticsas well as the best doctorate in educational programs, i partial time, executive, full timei on line MBA programs.

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