How Covid-19 Is Affecting Wharton MBA Applications |

How Covid-19 Is Affecting Wharton MBA Applications

By Linda Mohamed

Updated May 21, 2020 Updated May 21, 2020

The coronavirus pandemic has taken postgraduate education by storm, from classes and exams moving online to student petitions asking for tuition fee relief.

The Wharton School is one of the schools that had to quickly adapt when the outbreak began to take shape in the US. Since April 29 2020, as the state of Pennsylvania prepares to reopen slowly, and with caution, the school has been operating in an “unprecedented environment”. 

In a video message published on the school’s website, President Amy Gutman said: “I am so proud [of the Penn community]. It takes grit and courage to run toward challenges rather than away, to set aside how we’ve always done things in order to do the most good for others.

“Penn people are resilient, teaching and learning online, while physically apart, finding new ways of being more connected, and conducting life-saving research under the strictest protocols and the greatest time pressure.”

First-year MBA student Caitlin Lohrenz added: “For the faculty it [moving to online] means drastically changing lesson plans. For students it means postponing many events that took months of coordination and preparation. However, during a time of complete uncertainty, fear, and disappointment, everyone adapted quickly and willingly.”

But faculty and students aren’t the only ones who have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic. In fact, for many b-school candidates trying to complete the application process to start their MBA in the upcoming year, there seems to be a big question mark for what lies ahead. 

Here’s an up-to-date overview of Wharton’s response to Covid-19 and everything you need to know about admissions.

Welcome Weekends

Wharton has made the executive decision of cancelling its Spring Welcome Weekend, where admitted students get to meet and connect with school faculty and staff. The school’s team is currently working on a virtual alternative.

Advance Access Program

The deadline for Advance Access, a deferred admission program that allows candidates fresh out of undergrad and grad school to get into the Wharton MBA before undertaking the necessary work experience, has been moved to May 27 2020.

It’s unclear whether interviews will still be conducted in-person. Wharton is awaiting more instructions from the state-wide Covid-19 response and has said it might replace in-person interviews with virtual ones and team-based discussions. The school said it is “confident” that faculty and staff will be able to offer Wharton’s “trademark energy and commitment” to all candidates.

Campus visits and specialty visit days

As for Welcome Weekends, Wharton has decided to cancel all campus visits for the foreseeable future. As an alternative, they’re offering virtual campus tours where applicants can connect with admissions fellows. 

Information sessions 

All information sessions have been suspended until further notice. In the meantime, applicants can participate in webinars covering a wide range of topics, from Advance Access application tips to discussions on the different degrees available at the school.

Applications for a 2022 start

The Wharton MBA has three application deadlines per year, usually in fall, winter and spring. While applications for the upcoming academic year have now closed, the school will provide aspiring Wharton students with the dates for the 2022 cohort soon.

Blair Mannix, Director of Admissions at The Wharton School, said: “Eliminating large gatherings and social distancing are important steps to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. We know that these updates may be disappointing for many of you and we share your disappointment.

“Our goal, as always, is to connect you with members of our community and offer you experiences to meet us either on campus or off. We will continue to communicate with you as updates emerge. We look forward to communicating with you soon.”

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This article was originally published in May 2020 .

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