Top Feeder Schools To Wharton’s MBA Program

Top 25 Feeder Colleges For Wharton’s Class of 2013

If you have your heart set on getting into Wharton’s MBA program, it will help if you went to an elite undergraduate school. In fact, it would really help if you did your undergraduate work at the University of Pennsylvania. The largest single group of students in Wharton’s Class of 2013 had their undergraduate diplomas stamped at the business school’s parent university. UPenn undergrads make up an estimated 7.6% of the class with roughly 64 of the 845 students enrolled.

Harvard (6.8% of the class), Princeton (5.6%, and Yale (3.9%) follow U Penn, making the top four schools all Ivy League. In fact, one of every three members (33.1%) of Wharton’s incoming class this fall hail from one of the original eight Ivy League schools. Subtract out the international schools in the sample and those eight institutions account for roughly 44% of the entire class.

Students who earned their undergraduate degrees from state schools are decidedly underrepresented. The only public schools in the top 25 are all prestige institutions: Berkeley, the University of Virginia, Michigan, UCLA, and the University of Texas at Austin. Those five universities account for an estimated 7.7% of the class. All the other students from state schools in the U.S. make up less than 9% of the class.

Of the 592 students in the sample (out of an enrolled class of 845), there’s not a single student from Arizona State, Ohio State, Michigan State, or Penn State–three of the country’s largest public universities. Outside of Berkeley and UCLA, there’s just one student in the sample–with a U.C. San Diego degree–from California’s massive and highly regarded public education system.

The only four non-U.S. universities to make the top 25 feeder schools? The London School of Economics. the Indian Institute of Technology, the University of Western Ontario, and the National University of Singapore.

Wharton’s Top Feeder SchoolsEstimated % ofClass of 2013Estimated Number inClass of 2013Foundin Facebook

1. University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia, PA7.3%6245
2. Harvard University Boston, MA6.5%5540
3. Princeton University Princeton, NJ5.4%4533
4. Yale University New Haven, CT3.8%3223
5. Georgetown University Washington, D.C.3.3%2820
6. Stanford University Stanford, CA3.1%2619
7. Brown University Providence, RI2.4%2115
7. MIT Cambridge, MA2.4%2115
7. UC-Berkeley Berkeley, CA2.4%2115
10. Cornell University Ithaca, NY2.3%1914
10. Columbia University New York, NY2.3%1914
10. Dartmouth College Hanover, NH2.3%1914
13. Northwestern University Evanston, IL2.1%1813
13. Univ. of Southern California Los Angeles, CA2.1%1813
15. Duke University Durham, NC2.0%1712
16. University of Virginia Charlottesville, VA1.6%1410
16. University of Michigan Ann Arbor, MI1.6%1410
18. London School of Economics London, U.K.1.4%118
18. Indian Institute of Technology India1.3%118
18. New York University New York, NY1.3%118
18. UCLA Los Angeles, CA1.3%118
22. Georgia Institute of Tech Atlanta, GA1.1%107
23. Williams College Williamstown, MA1.0%86
24. University of Texas Austin, TX1.0%86
24. Univ. of Western Ontario London, Canada1.0%86
24. National Univ. of Singapore Singapore1.0%86

Source: These numbers are calculated from Wharton’s Class of 2013 Facebook page. The educational backgrounds of 613 of those students were confirmed via Facebook, LinkedIn, or other social networks. The actual number of students enrolled in the class is 845. The estimate of students with undergraduate degrees from a specific institution is based on the percentage of the confirmed sample with degrees from that university. Data compiled by Liza Rodler.


  • midwestern

    I think that’s a good idea. however it still has error.
    keeping in mind that MBA programs take applicants with variable years of experience. that means people can be out of school for 1-15 years, often 3-7 years.

    If you think of your numbers in your way; let’s say MBA programs only pick people with 3-7 years of work. that’s 5 classes. If Wharton has 2000 undergrad, that’s 10,000 people to pick from. (not even counting who are applying and who are not). So if a small liberal arts college.. has 400 undergrad/year, then they only have 2000 graduates in 4 years.

    There’re just too many variables. I think the inference can be also be totally misleading–you probably worry more about other things than wharton MBA, if you’re not an ivy undergrad…………………..

  • Wharton Grad

    Wharton makes sense if you want to go to Wall Street/NYC and do finance. There are more interesting and lucrative things to do. The more interesting stat would be how many competitive places (factoring out alumn, donors, influencers) who affect entry into the programs.

  • benectar

    Ha, there is an app for this. Only tracks high school

  • Can you made the full data sets available so that we can see past the top 25 to see if any from particular schools get in?

    If possible, it would be nice to actually have all the feeder schools listed on a excel spreadsheet with the number from each that got into a particular business schools with the b-schools listed across the top. That way the alumni of each school can see how many from their school get into each b-school.

    But if you can just make available the full data, then I can probably put together the “show results by undergrad school list.”

    Thanks John!

  • renee

    When you do a piece like “Top Feeder Schools To Wharton’s MBA Program” it would make MUCH more sense to know which schools truly have a “better feeder” record if you take into account their UNDERgraduate institution’s size (not the number they represent within Wharton’s class size)!  For example, while 62 of Wharton’s students are coming from UPenn undergrad (7.3% of that wharton’s class in your article)  compared to Harvard (55 students, or 6.5% of that wharton class)….it would make more sense to compare those numbers to their respective undergraduate institution’s size.  For example,  UPenn: 62@ wharton/2300(one undergrad class size @ UPenn)= 2.7% of a given undergraduate class “feed in” to Wharton from Upenn undergrad.  Harvard: 55/1700=3.2% of a given Harvard undergrad class “feeds” into Wharton. Stanford: 26/1950=1.3%.   Williams College:8/520=1.5%  Your Top Feeder schools article/chart will look VERY different (for this one and all your others feeder school articles) and be much more accurate regarding which schools feed in more students.
    (Sorry this is a repeat post–I had originally posted it in the wrong place)

  • Jim

    I recently came across this series of articles and I absolutely love them. I wish I had seen these earlier, as I would have completely avoided applying to Harvard and Wharton and focused my efforts elsewhere. It’s interesting that as these articles continue and more comparison points are available, the bias at Wharton and Harvard becomes increasingly shocking.

    Personally, it’s offensive when others imply that pedigree education demonstrates superior potential & accomplishments. 14 years ago I chose to go to a small, liberal arts college on a full ride instead of a top 25 school with massive debt. Since graduating, I worked 10 years at well known companies fighting my way up the chain to compile an impressive enough body of work for Harvard and Wharton. Now, knowing that I’m statistically punished for a decision from 14 years ago is sickening.

    I don’t believe my story – someone from average beginnings who works his/her way up the corporate latter to take on very meaningful work is unique. It’s a pretty sad state of affairs when our experienced workforce is being discriminated against our domestic institutions and encouraged to leave the country for better odds.

  • Thomas Paine

    Could it also show how little risk Wharton’s MBA admissions office is willing to take? Same thing for U. Penn undergrads. It’d be interesting to see what the class looked like in diversity metrics, too.

  • Guy Fawkes

    It’s interesting to see how well Penn and Duke do on these feeder lists, even above slightly more renowned schools like Princeton and Yale. I’m curious to see if the trend will continue with Chicago Booth and Northwestern Kellogg as well as Berkeley Haas and Stanford GSB out west.

    When will those results be up John?