Business Fundamentals

For students entering Wharton in fall 2017 or later

11 required courses

The business-fundamental courses provide the foundation for understanding how organizations function and serve as gateways to upper-level business electives. Your pathway through these courses should be based on your academic strengths and interests.

Accounting (ACCT) 101: Accounting and Financial Reporting

This course is an introduction to the basic concepts and standards underlying financial accounting systems. Several important concepts will be studied in detail, including: revenue recognition, inventory, long-lived assets, present value, and long term liabilities. The course emphasizes the construction of the basic financial accounting statements – the income statement, balance sheet, and cash flow statement – as well as their interpretation.

Accounting courses are open to students beginning in the sophomore year.

Accounting (ACCT) 102: Strategic Cost Analysis

The first part of the course presents alternative methods of preparing managerial accounting information, and the remainder of the course examines how these methods are used by companies. Managerial accounting is a company’s internal language, and is used for decision-making, production management, product design and pricing and for motivating and evaluating employees. Unless you understand managerial accounting, you cannot have a thorough understanding of a company’s internal operations. What you learn in this course will help you understand the operations of your future employer (and enable you to be more successful at your job), and help you understand other companies you encounter in your role as competitor, consultant, or investor.

Accounting courses are open to students beginning in the sophomore year.

Business Economics and Public Policy (BEPP) 250: Managerial Economics

BEPP 250 introduces students to “managerial economics,” the application of microeconomic theory to management problems.

Please note the following:

  • Students cannot obtain credit for both BEPP 250 and ECON 101.
  • Freshmen may not take BEPP 250 or ECON 101 in their first semester.

Finance (FNCE) 100: Corporate Finance

FNCE 100 introduces the theory and methods that are relevant for financial decisions made by firms. This course has prerequisites and is only open to students beginning in the sophomore year.

Finance (FNCE) 101: Monetary Economics & the Global Economy

FNCE 101 is an intermediate-level course about macroeconomics and the global economy. This course has prerequisites and is only open to students beginning in the sophomore year.

Students cannot obtain credit for both FNCE 101 and ECON 102. Students who have already taken ECON 102 must take a higher-level finance elective to count toward the FNCE 101 requirement. For students concentrating in finance, this higher-level elective may not count towards the finance concentration.

Legal Studies and Business Ethics (LGST) 100 or 101

Any 1 of these 2 courses will fulfill the requirement.

Legal Studies (LGST) 100: Ethics and Social Responsibility*
This course explores business responsibility from rival theoretical and managerial perspectives. Its focus includes theories of ethics and their application to case studies in business.

Legal Studies (LGST) 101: Law and Social Values
This course considers basic concepts of law and legal process in the U.S. and other legal systems. It introduces the fundamentals of rigorous legal analysis.


* Formerly LGST 210: Corporate Responsibility and Ethics

Management (MGMT) 101: Introduction to Management

This course addresses contemporary management challenges stemming from changing organizational structures, complex environmental conditions, new technological developments, and increasingly diverse workforces. The course examines the issues involved in managing and being managed.

Please note that freshmen may not take MGMT 101 in their first semester. Additional information about MGMT 101 enrollment policies can be found here.

Marketing (MKTG) 101: Introduction to Marketing

MKTG 101 introduces students to the concepts, analysis, and activities that comprise marketing management and provides practice in assessing and solving marketing problems.

Please note that freshmen may not take MKTG 101 in their first semester.

Operations, Information & Decisions (OIDD) 101: Introduction to Operations, Information and Decisions

OIDD 101 explores a variety of common quantitative modeling problems that arise frequently in business settings, and discusses how they can be formally modeled and solved with a combination of business insight and computer-based tools. The key topics covered include capacity management, service operations, inventory control, structured decision making, constrained optimization, and simulation. This course teaches how to model complex business situations and how to master tools to improve business performance. The goal is to provide a set of foundational skills useful for future coursework at Wharton as well as providing an overview of problems and techniques that characterize disciplines that comprise operations and information management.

Please note that freshmen may not take OIDD 101 in their first semester.

Statistics (STAT) 101 & 102: Introductory Business Statistics

Two semesters of statistics are required after completion of MATH 104. First-year students who have completed MATH 104 may enroll in STAT 101. Students who have AP credit or a waiver for STAT 111/101 may enroll in STAT 102 upon completion of MATH 104.

STAT 430 and 431 or ESE 301 and 302 (offered through the School of Engineering and Applied Science) may also be used to fulfill the statistics requirement and are usually taken by students who:

  • Have completed MATH 114,
  • Have a strong interest in mathematics,
  • Are concentrating in actuarial science or statistics, and/or
  • Are enrolled in a dual-degree program with the School of Engineering and Applied Science.

Students cannot obtain credit for both STAT 101 and STAT 111. Transfer students who have already taken STAT 111 must take a higher-level statistics elective to count toward the STAT 101 requirement.

Please note that dual-degree students majoring in SSE (Systems Science Engineering) and EE (Electrical Engineering) must take ESE 301 and ESE 302. Beginning with the Class of 2018, the SSE and EE Departments no longer accept STAT 430 and 431.

Note: All Business Fundamental courses must be taken for a grade, not pass/fail.