Wharton 2020 Fall Semester FAQs – MBA 

Last Updated: September 1, 2020

Academics and Virtual Learning

What are the grading policies for the Fall?

First, we will not be enforcing an upper limit for the MBA grade point average. When faculty assign grades in MBA courses that are typically bound by a B+ average (3.33), this upper limit will not apply.

Second, faculty will not assign LT indicators in MBA courses. Academic performance standards, however, will be enforced. In other words, you cannot get LTs, but accruing F grades can risk your academic standing.

These decisions are a continuation of policies we put in place last semester in response to the transition to remote learning. We feel it is important to provide the same support as both students and faculty adjust to the synchronous and blended delivery models.

That being said, we will be returning to our standard Pass/Fail policy in the fall semester. Each student may take up to one elective course unit on a Pass/Fail basis, not counting classes that can only be taken on a Pass/Fail basis. Standard deadlines apply, as well.  While we understand this may provide students with less flexibility, we believe this is in the best interest of the MBA community.

The above policies apply to Fall 2020, as no decisions have been made yet regarding Spring 2021.

Are there any changes to the fall academic calendar for MBA students?

The academic calendar has not been changed, there will be classes and exams post the Thanksgiving break. 2021 Wharton MBA Academic Calendar can be found here.

I am an incoming MBA student. Can I still request a deferral?

No. The deadline for deferral requests was August 1, 2020. 

I am a returning MBA student (2nd year). Can I still take a leave of absence for this semester?

Yes, If you decide you would like to pursue a leave of absence (LOA), please email mbaprogram@wharton.upenn.edu by Tuesday, September 8, regarding the reason for your leave and how long you anticipate being away. All LOA requests are reviewed by the MBA Program Office. Further details on how LOA requests are reviewed, approved, and administered can be found here.

Will I continue to have disability accommodations as a remote student?

The MBA Program staff works closely with the University Student Disabilities Services (SDS). We encourage the use of the MyWLRC Portal, a suite of new online tools to interact with disability services. The new tools allow students to register with SDS, upload disability documentation, renew accommodations each semester, schedule accommodated tests, and upload texts for conversion to alternate formats.

Tuition and Fees

Will the general fee be reduced for Wharton MBA students? If so, by how much?

The 10 percent reduction in the University’s Fall General Fee applies to any graduate, professional, and undergraduate students who pay the General Fee. 

Is the Wharton MBA Financial Relief Fund still available for students to apply?

No. Applications for the Wharton MBA Financial Relief Fund are now closed.

How was the relief fund dispersed?

The fund had 1342 total applications – 1272 of them were from the MBA program. There were four awarding levels: $7500, $5000, $2500, and $500, and the average award was $3,695.

Is MBA tuition going to be held constant for the 2020-2021 academic year?

Fortunately, earlier this spring, the MBA program already made the decision to freeze tuition for the 2020-2021 academic year.

I have already paid for the fall semester. How and when will I receive a refund?

We will begin making adjustments to student accounts within the next two weeks. If you have already paid tuition and fees, the adjustment will likely create a credit on your account. The first refunds will be generated the week of August 24 and will occur weekly after that. If you have provided your bank account information through Penn Pay, your refund will be directly deposited into your account. This is the fastest method of refund delivery.

Who can I contact with questions?

Questions about tuition and financial aid should be directed to financialaid@wharton.upenn.edu.

Housing and Campus Services

Will MBA students be able to access Wharton buildings on campus for non-academic purposes?

Currently, Wharton buildings are closed to students and visitors for the summer session. Starting in the fall, we expect Wharton buildings will be reserved as teaching facilities, and therefore students will not be able to use any areas of the buildings as study space or meeting space. Students will not be able to access 2401 Walnut during the fall semester.

Is the Student Campus Compact still in effect for MBA students?

Yes, all students are still expected to follow the Student Campus Compact and abide by the included guidelines.

I am an MBA who plans to live in Philadelphia this semester. Do I still need to be tested for COVID-19?

COVID testing will still be required for any student who is coming to campus during the fall semester. Students will be contacted by Penn Wellness with information about when and where free testing will be offered. These communications are being sent to small groups of graduate and professional students at a time, so please be understanding if you hear of students who are invited to testing before you.