“Wharton's sheer scale of options allows students to delve more deeply into more areas than at any other school. It's not just that you can focus on a niche area, but you can also immerse yourself in finance, management, or marketing."
You add depth within Wharton's broad general management foundation by majoring in one or two business areas. With 18 majors (including an individualized option), plus opportunities for interdisciplinary degrees, Wharton offers you the business management knowledge to be successful in any role, plus the flexibility to push forward on your individual goals.
Comprising five course units within a department, majors give you the opportunity to gain the knowledge to develop an existing specialty or facilitate a future career change. Courses can count toward more than one major if the topics are interrelated. Approximately 30% of the class pursues a double major. While students select specific majors, they also take courses in other areas to round out their curriculum. Close to 10% of the class designs an individualized major to suit their specific professional interests.
Click below to see a brief description of each major.
The Accounting major is good preparation for those considering careers in corporate finance, treasury, investment banking, or private equity. Accounting may also be useful for those interested in careers in investment management, hedge funds, trading, consumer finance, and the government and military sectors. Many Accounting students pursue a double major in Finance.
Business Economics and Public Policy
Government influence on the conduct of business is pervasive; and understanding government regulation, especially in rapidly evolving areas such as intellectual property rights, is critical. The Business Economics and Public Policy major is a good choice for those considering a career in international development or working with traditional consulting firms that have international development practices. Recent growth in micro-finance has opened up more career opportunities, especially for students who combine this major with Finance. The major is also appropriate for those interested in careers in the nonprofit sector, social impact management, and corporate governance in the for-profit and public sectors.
The Entrepreneurial Management major allows students to make a career change directly into entrepreneurial ventures or return to a corporate setting with the necessary frameworks and skills to contribute entrepreneurial leadership. The major is also an appropriate choice for those considering private equity or management consulting or those entering smaller companies with a strong growth curve. Entrepreneurial Management is commonly coupled with Finance, Marketing, or Strategic Management.
Environmental and Risk Management
This major is a good choice for students pursuing careers that focus on sustainable business initiatives. It centers on the confluence between environmental management and "triple bottom-line" reporting, which has become so important in balanced scorecard approaches to accounting and investor relations. Electives in this area are popular for students in other majors who want to understand the sustainability debate, international environmental issues related to trade and emerging economies, and the intersection of business ethics, social responsibility, and managerial decision making.
Wharton's most popular major, Finance is also a common choice for a double major. It appeals to those interested in the finance sector, including investment banking, investment management, hedge funds, and private equity. The major is also a good choice for those considering careers in corporate treasury, retail banking, and consumer finance. Finance majors often fill management consulting jobs and corporate finance positions in other industries – for example, in mergers and acquisitions in the energy sector. The Finance major combines particularly well with Strategic Management, Marketing, and Operations and Information Management.
Health Care Management
The health care industry is the U.S.'s second largest employer. Health Care Management appeals to those interested in the pharmaceuticals sector, the emerging biotech area, health services, government agencies, insurance organizations, health maintenance organizations (HMOs), and consulting firms that specialize in the health care sector. Health Care Management differs from many other majors at Wharton in blending specific coursework and professional development opportunities. Candidates are required to select this major at the time of application.
Wharton allows students with specific interests not met by the traditional majors to pursue an individualized major. Recent examples include Private Equity, Turnaround Management, and Corporate Development.
Information: Strategy and Economics
This major emphasizes the use of information for strategic advantage. Its interdisciplinary approach speaks to the manner in which information is now valued and used in the marketplace. It is a good choice for those interested in management consulting or business intelligence.
Insurance and Risk Management
This major is designed for those who want careers in the insurance industry, whether on the underwriting or agent side. It is applicable for those in other industries who deal with risk and hedging issues. It is also relevant for personal financial planning, risk management, and employee benefits management. Electives in this field are a popular complement to other majors, particularly Finance, which may lead to positions in insurance company investment and/or pension fund management.
This major allows a student to flexibly choose among the full set of the department’s offerings. As a consequence, students can mold a curriculum that spans issues of managing the internal processes of firms and considerations of strategic advantage — for both young and growing, as well as established organizations. Students will have the opportunity to develop a background that will make them well suited to general management and leadership positions in firms and to serve these firms in advisory roles with leading consulting firms. This major cannot be taken in conjunction with one of the other majors offered by the department.
Wharton has one of the largest set of courses and faculty in the area of Marketing.The Marketing major investigates the fundamental approaches to understanding markets, competitors, and portfolios of product offerings. It's popular for students interested in general management careers, as well as in the media and entertainment field and management consulting. Marketing's flexibility makes it a good choice for a double major with Finance, Strategic Management, Entrepreneurial Management, or Operations Management.
Marketing and Operations Management (Joint Major)
Comprising seven courses, Marketing and Operations Management is the only official joint major at Wharton – although many students pursue double, and sometimes triple, majors. This area is attractive for students interested in marketing in the manufacturing and service sectors and business-to-business marketing in general – e.g., supply chain management, new product development, or general product and brand management.
Commonly coupled with the Finance or Marketing major, this major prepares candidates interested in consulting or corporate work for global organizations or government agencies.
Operations and Information Management
This major is relevant for those involved in the supply chain of a business, whether it be with a physical supply chain or an information-based system at the retail or manufacturing end. The automotive and transportation industries are good examples of increasingly complex business areas that benefit from the skills developed in this major. Individuals studying Operations and Information Management may also find attractive opportunities in management consulting and private equity firms.
This major prepares students for senior leadership and consulting roles in human resource management. The major is also applicable for students interested in organizational change (change management) and those entering Wharton with a very technical skill set, who want to gain a broader understanding of the behavioral side of an organization.
One of two industry-focused majors at Wharton, Real Estate may be applied to areas as diverse as corporate finance and project management, as well as investment banking positions that focus on real estate. Real Estate and Finance work well as a double major. The combination of Real Estate and Business and Public Policy is appropriate for those interested in urban planning and development.
This major teaches students to develop a systematic approach to the vast amounts of data available to an organization. It has a wide application across industries because its quantitative approach offers important insights for decision making in general. The courses provide useful skills that complement students' managerial abilities.
This major is relevant for those pursuing a management consulting career. It is also a popular choice for those going into general management or internal consulting. Strategic Management combines well with the Marketing major for those interested in product and brand management, or with the Finance major for those going into management consulting.