Broadening Your Learning Through Electives

Elective classes are a great opportunity for you to broaden your learning by allowing you to balance your business classes with liberal arts classes. You can explore a passion or interest of yours or opt to learn about a brand new topic.

For myself, I have used my electives to explore language and fine arts classes. I completed a minor in Spanish and took multiple French classes. In addition to this, I took a photography class because I wanted to challenge myself with a new form of creative expression and because it just seemed fun.

Elective classes allow you to bring the fun back into your studies, taking a class not because you are required to but for the advancement of your own knowledge and interests. Beyond that, elective classes are also a great way to connect with faculty from other schools. Faculty are an under utilized resource on campus and can be a great ally and resource in the future for recommendations and assistance with grants or research.

The great part is, here at Wharton, you see many students taking business lessons they’ve learned in their core curriculum and applying it to passions or ideas they’ve discovered through electives, creating an exciting, entrepreneurial atmosphere on campus.

So, follow your heart whether it leads you to a passion you’ve always had or an unfamiliar subject that seems interesting. Take advantage of this opportunity to find a class that might just shape the rest of your Penn experience.

If you are unsure about what class to choose as an elective, I think there are two good approaches to making a decision. The first is to ask upperclassmen. Whether it’s a mentor, an RA, or a friend, upperclassmen have a lot of advice and insight to share. They have probably compiled a list of their favorite electives or electives that someone recommended to them. The second approach is to utilize the course catalogs that Penn provides. Both Penn InTouch and the General Education Distribution lists (undergrad-inside.wharton.upenn.edu/course-search/) are invaluable resources in discovering the numerous classes that exist at Penn.

Enjoy your classes and happy picking!


Christina Ingraldi, W’17, is concentrating in Marketing and Management with a concentration in Organizational Effectiveness  and pursuing a minor in Hispanic Studies.