Concentrations: FAQ

How do you choose a concentration if you don't know which career path you want to follow?

A concentration does not dictate your career. Employers are interested in hiring people with different backgrounds, so it is best to be guided by your interests in making a decision on your concentration.

Are there any tips for choosing a concentration?

Students should follow their interests and skills in choosing a concentration. Ask yourself:

  • What coursework do I enjoy?
  • What are my academic strengths and weaknesses?
  • Am I primarily quantitative or qualitative?
  • Do I like working in teams or on my own?
  • What do I want to do in the future?

In addition to reflection, take action now to explore your interests:

  • Complete the Business Fundamentals to get a broad exposure to many different fields.
  • Use your Business Breadths to “try on” other concentrations in your junior year.
  • Visit Career Services to take an interest inventory and consider your options.
  • Take a class in an area that sounds interesting, but may not be on your radar screen.
  • Study abroad.

When do I need to declare my concentration?

During your freshman and sophomore years, you should be exploring your interests and gathering information so you can make an informed decision about your choice of concentration. Declaring your concentration at the end of your sophomore year may give you priority status for enrolling in some concentration-related courses. Some students may elect to defer their decision until the junior year, after they have completed upper-level courses in different business areas and gained further exposure. You may change your concentration at any time.

Is it common for students to change concentrations?

Students often change their minds about concentrations for various reasons—most often because their interests change. Students who change their minds can use completed courses to fulfill other requirements (e.g., Business Breadth, Global). Advisors help students with their course planning so that they are not behind in their requirements. A concentration is typically only four upper-level courses in an area, so changing concentrations is doable-even in the senior year.

Note: the second concentration in Global Analysis and the dual concentration in Marketing & Communication have slightly different requirements, and it may be more difficult to change to these concentrations without advanced planning.

Does a second concentration require courses beyond the 37 CUs of the Wharton curriculum?

A second concentration can be completed within the undergraduate curriculum without requiring extra courses. In most cases, students may double-count one of the second concentration courses toward a Business Breadth requirement (please review specific concentration requirements for more information). The remaining three courses can be used to fulfill the Unrestricted Elective requirements. Because this reduces the number of arts and sciences courses students can take, students should consider carefully before deciding to complete more than one concentration.

Will having a second concentration help me get a job?

A concentration is a curricular requirement for your degree and does not directly relate to employment. Since, in most cases, students fulfill their second concentration by using one Business Breadth and three Unrestricted Electives, you should only do a second concentration if the area of study interests you enough to use your electives toward it.

Note: the second concentration in Global Analysis and the dual concentration in Marketing & Communication have slightly different requirements. Refer to the concentration pages for more information.

What do I have to do to complete a second concentration?

If you would like to complete two concentrations, the complete requirements of each Wharton concentration must be satisfied. In most cases, students use their Unrestricted Electives to pursue this option. Because this reduces the number of arts and sciences courses students can take, you should consider carefully before deciding to complete more than one concentration. Students may not double-count courses between concentrations.