MBA Admissions: Wharton and Health Care, Pharmaceuticals, and Biotechnology

By - Jul 15, 03:02 AM Comments [0]

U of Penn Wharton A quick glance at Wharton: Wharton currently ranks in third place as one of the best business schools, according to US News & World Report (March 2012). In 2011, 5.89% of Wharton graduates accepted job offers with health care/pharmaceuticals/biotechnology functions.

Incoming Wharton Students and Health Care/Pharmaceuticals/Biotech

The class of 2013 has an average of four years of work experience and a median GMAT score of 720.

9% of class of 2013 students entered Wharton with industry experience in consumer products/health care/biotech/retail. 29% have undergraduate degrees in business and 25% have degrees in engineering/math/science.

Wharton Academics Related to Health care/Pharmaceuticals/Biotech

Wharton has a new, updated curriculum as of 2012 that features a core curriculum with fixed and flexible courses. The core focuses on analytical skills such as accounting, finance, marketing, management, operations, statistics, and microeconomics, as well as on "soft skills" like ethics, communication, and leadership skills. Students then specialize in an area of study by choosing courses that satisfy major and elective requirements. Students can major in one or two concentrations.

Students interested in this sector would major in Health Care Management.

Unlike other majors at Wharton, students interested in pursuing the Health Care Management major must declare their decision upon application.

There are two courses required for the Health Care Management major:

  • The Health Services System (HCMG 841)
  • Health Care Field Application Project (HCMG 653)

Elective courses include the following:

  • Managed Care and the Industrial Organization of Health Care (HCMG 845)
  • Financial Management of Health Institutions (HCMG 849)
  • Health Care Services Delivery: A Managerial Economic Approach (HCMG 852)
  • Legal Aspects of Health Care (HCMG 854)
  • Management of Health Care for the Elderly (HCMG 855)
  • Health Care Marketing (HCMG 858)
  • Comparative Health Care Systems (HCMG 859)
  • Management & Economics of Pharmaceutical, Biotechnology, & Medical Device Industries (HCMG 863)
  • E-Health: Business Models and Impact (HCMG 866)
  • Health Care Entrepreneurship (HCMG 867)
  • Private Sector Development in Global Health Development (HCMG 868)
  • Advanced Study Project Seminar: Management of Health Service Businesses (HCMG 890-001)
  • Advanced Study Project Seminar: Medical Devices (HCMG 890-002)

(See course descriptions here.)

Students seeking careers in the health care sector would work closely with the following research centers:

During winter and spring breaks, students may participate in one of Wharton's Global Modular Courses (GMC), courses that expose students to the "challenges and opportunities in regions undergoing rapid change." Some past modular courses of interest to health care students include Innovation in India's Health Care Sector (in Hyderabad), Managing in Emerging Economies: Energy & Infrastructure in Brazil (in Rio de Janeiro), and Necessity and Experimentation: Lessons from Israeli Innovation (in Herzliya, Israel).

Other international opportunities for health care/pharmaceutical/biotech students that complement Wharton's mission of "Knowledge into Action" include the following:

  • Global Career Treks – Organized by students and MBA Career Services, these treks provide students with group interviews with prominent companies in various sectors, including those in biotech and health care.
  • Global Consulting Practicum (GCP) – Health care students may opt to participate in this international program during which they will consult with partner companies around the globe.
  • In addition to these programs, there is also a semester-long foreign exchange program and a global immersion program.

Students who wish to pursue an interdisciplinary approach to biotechnology should consider a joint MBA/MB in Biotechnology.

Health Care/Biotech-Related Clubs and Extracurricular Activities at Wharton

  • Wharton Health Care ClubThis club runs events, conferences, and social and networking events for all Wharton students interested in exploring opportunities in the health care industry.
  • Penn Biotech Group (PBG) – Promotes education and awareness, runs biotech-related conferences and events, and hosts networking opportunities in the science and biotech industries.
  • Community ConsultantsMembers of this club (both MBA and undergraduate Wharton students) provide consulting services to community and nonprofit organizations in Philadelphia.
  • Social Impact ClubThe SI Club is for those who are "passionate about being a force for good across the public, private, and nonprofit sectors," including health care.
  • Wharton Global Health Volunteer Program (WGHV)Students involved in this initiative provide health care consulting services in developing countries with an aim to improve health care worldwide.
  • Wharton International Volunteer Program (WIVP) Students participating in the WIVP program will travel to developing countries to promote economic development through consulting engagements. A recent project involved students traveling to Swaziland to design a long-term business plan for a sexual and reproductive health services organization.
  • Health Care Business ConferenceThis is an annual conference during which students meet with industry leaders in the health care sector.
  • Conferences – Health care students may be interested in Wharton's world-focused conferences that emphasize development and opportunities in different geographical areas of the world. There's the Africa Business Conference, the Asia Business Conference, the India Economic Forum, and the Wharton Latin America Conference.

Top Health Care/Pharmaceutical/Biotech Companies Hiring at UPenn Wharton

5.89% of class of 2011 graduates landed jobs in the health care industry. Of those, 1.7% went into health care services, 0.80% into medical devices, and 2.87% into pharmaceuticals and biotechnology.

Top hirers include Davita, Inc., Eli Lilly and Company, Medtronic, Inc, Novartis AG, Johnson & Johnson, and Unilever.

For internships for the class of 2012, 6.23% of students landed internships in the health care/pharmaceuticals/biotechnology industry.

Are you applying to Wharton? Please see our UPenn Wharton B-School Zone and Wharton Application Packages for more information on how can help you get accepted.


This article originally appeared on the Accepted Admissions Consulting Blog, the official blog of

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