Joseph Wharton Scholars

Founded in 1988, the Joseph Wharton Scholars program is designed to emphasize the importance of scholarly research and the liberal arts and sciences within the framework of a business education. Students in the program are required to take scholars courses both in Wharton and outside of Wharton (in the College of Arts & Sciences, Nursing, and/or Engineering), engage in a significant research project, and participate in a variety of academic, career-oriented, and social activities.

The JWS program is the Wharton component of the Penn-wide Benjamin Franklin Scholars (BFS) program, through which students gain access to BFS Seminars. In addition to the course requirements, students must maintain a minimum 3.4 GPA.

Program Requirements

Single-Degree Students

Single-degree students must complete at least seven course units (CUs):

  • WH 150: Evaluating Evidence
  • At least two CUs from the following:
    • ACCT 270: Forensic Analytics
    • ACCT 297: Taxes and Business Strategy
    • BEPP 250: Managerial Economics (honors section) or ECON 101: Intermediate Microeconomics
    • BEPP 265: Economics of Diversity
    • BEPP 280: Applied Data Analysis
    • FNCE 383: Central Banks, Macroeconomic Policy and Financial Markets
    • HCMG 357: Health Care Data and Analytics
    • LGST 215: Environmental Management, Law and Policy
    • LGST 218: Diversity and the Law
    • LGST 226: Markets, Morality, and Capitalism
    • STAT 430: Probability (or ESE 301), requires MATH 114
    • STAT 431: Mathematical Statistics (or ESE 302), requires MATH 114
    • LGST 100-301: Corporate Responsibility and Ethics
    • LGST 101-301: Introduction to Law and Legal Process
    • LGST 215: Environmental Management Law and Policy
    • MGMT 224: Leading Diversity in Organizations (0.5 CUs)
    • MKTG 101-220: Introduction to Marketing
    • FNCE 100: Corporate Finance (section 401 or 402, by application)
    • FNCE 101: Monetary Economics (section 301 or 302, by application)
    • MKTG/STAT 476: Applied Probability Models in Marketing
    • STAT 432: Mathematical Statistics
    • STAT 433: Stochastic Processes
    • STAT 442: Introduction to Bayesian Data Analysis
    • STAT 471: Modern Data Mining
    • STAT 475: Sample Survey Design
    • STAT 490: Causal Inference
    • WH 297: Wharton Industry Exploration Program (0.5 CU, by application)
  • At least three Benjamin Franklin Seminars outside of Wharton
  • WH 399: Honors Thesis

Dual-Degree Students

Dual-degree students must complete at least seven course units (CUs):

  • WH 150: Evaluating Evidence
  • At least three CUs from the following:*
    • ACCT 270: Forensic Analytics
    • ACCT 297: Taxes and Business Strategy
    • BEPP 250: Managerial Economics (honors section) or ECON 101: Intermediate Microeconomics
    • BEPP 265: Economics of Diversity
    • BEPP 280: Applied Data Analysis
    • FNCE 383: Central Banks, Macroeconomic Policy and Financial Markets
    • HCMG 357: Health Care Data and Analytics
    • LGST 215: Environmental Management, Law and Policy
    • LGST 218: Diversity and the Law
    • LGST 226: Markets, Morality, and Capitalism
    • STAT 430: Probability (or ESE 301), requires MATH 114
    • STAT 431: Mathematical Statistics (or ESE 302), requires MATH 114
    • LGST 100-301: Corporate Responsibility and Ethics
    • LGST 101-301: Introduction to Law and Legal Process
    • LGST 215: Environmental Management Law and Policy
    • MGMT 224: Leading Diversity in Organizations (0.5 CUs)
    • MKTG 101-220: Introduction to Marketing
    • FNCE 100: Corporate Finance (section 401 or 402, by application)
    • FNCE 101: Monetary Economics (section 301 or 302, by application)
    • MKTG/STAT 476: Applied Probability Models in Marketing
    • STAT 432: Mathematical Statistics
    • STAT 433: Stochastic Processes
    • STAT 442: Introduction to Bayesian Data Analysis
    • STAT 471: Modern Data Mining
    • STAT 475: Sample Survey Design
    • STAT 490: Causal Inference
    • WH 297: Wharton Industry Exploration Program (0.5 CU, by application)
  • At least two Benjamin Franklin Seminars outside of Wharton
  • WH 399: Honors Thesis or thesis course outside of Wharton*

* Note: students who elect to take a non-Wharton thesis course must complete at least four CUs from the list of Wharton courses above.

On-Campus Admissions

Wharton students who were not admitted to JWS during the first-year admission process may apply to the program through on-campus admission at the end of their first year in May. Applications can be found on the CURF website. The application deadline is May 15 at 5:00 pm.

JWS Thesis Course (WH 399)

The WH 399 seminar takes place over two semesters. Students can take the course in a fall/spring section or a spring/fall section. To enroll in WH 399, all JWS students are required to submit a thesis proposal and a formal faculty advisor agreement the semester before the start of the course.

Applications for fall 2021/spring 2022 will be accepted on a rolling basis until April 16, 2021. After the initial deadline and provided space is still available, students will be able to apply and applications may be accepted on a rolling basis until May 17, 2021.

Additional JWS Activities

Joseph Wharton Scholars have access to a variety of social and professional development opportunities:

  • Student-alumni dinners in NYC (fall) and DC (spring)
  • Alumni presentations and chats on campus
  • Mentoring (seniors and juniors with sophomores and freshmen)
  • Social events (e.g., study breaks, bowling, dancing, Phillies games, whitewater rafting)
  • Professional development (coaching for internship and job interviews or alternative career paths)
  • Business site visits