Pre-baccalaureate Program FAQs
Find the answers to your Frequently Asked Questions.
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The Wharton Pre-baccalaureate Program is an academically intensive opportunity for exceptional high school juniors and seniors to enroll in credit-bearing courses that span the breadth of Wharton’s business curriculum. Through a mix of live and independent coursework, engaging real-world activities, and robust university resources, students will experience a world-class education recognized globally for intellectual leadership and innovation.
WHAT DOES COURSEWORK INCLUDE?
Each course varies in specifics, though all courses include live, weekly class meetings offered on a synchronous basis. During live classes students will participate in instructor-led lectures and course discussions. Additionally, live meetings may include business simulations, case studies, group projects or individual assignments. Courses also incorporate some level of asynchronous content, which may include pre-recorded faculty lectures, readings, or assignments.
Students will be graded upon attendance and course participation, quality of assignments, and formal assessments, such as quizzes, midterms, and final papers or exams. Students should allocate 3-5 hours weekly for assignments and asynchronous work.
WHO ARE MY FELLOW STUDENTS IN THESE COURSES?
Wharton has created separate sections of these courses made up entirely of driven and ambitious high school students. The Pre-baccalaureate Program is a chance to meet intellectual peers from around the world and connect with them in the virtual classroom.
HOW MANY CREDITS WILL I RECEIVE?
Each Wharton Pre-baccalaureate course awards 0.5 University of Pennsylvania course units, which is equivalent to 2 college credits at most post-secondary institutions. Students may enroll in a maximum of two courses per session. If students maintain good academic standing, they may continue in the program until they graduate from high school, thereby continuing to accrue college credits with each course completed.
WHAT IS THE ROLE OF AN ACADEMIC ADVISOR?
Every Pre-bacc student is assigned an academic advisor upon admission. This individual will serve as the student’s primary program contact, and will assist students in navigating university resources, adhering to academic policies and deadlines, and identifying suitable courses. The students’ acceptance letter will outline steps for scheduling an introductory advising session with their advisor via video conference. Advisors are here to support students throughout their Pre-baccalaureate journey, so feel free to meet with them as often as needed.
HOW IS THE PRE-BACC PROGRAM DIFFERENT FROM OTHER WGYP OFFERINGS?
Wharton’s Pre-baccalaureate Program is designed as a true undergraduate experience, and provides a glimpse into the Wharton undergraduate curriculum. The program is built upon expectations and standards required of undergraduates and encourages students to take ownership of their educational journey. Within the program students will learn to navigate university resources, manage time and commitments, interact with faculty and instructional staff, build connections with a globally diverse peer group, and challenge themselves through rigorous and rewarding college-credit coursework.
Within the virtual classroom students are graded and assessed as traditional undergraduate students, are subject to the same university policies, and have access to the same learning resources, including the Penn Libraries system, Learning Resources Center, academic advising, and instructor office hours.
Upon course completion, students are awarded final grades and have access to a University of Pennsylvania/Wharton School undergraduate transcript. The transcript is a record of the student’s academic performance, and outlines enrollment verification, course grades, and college credits accrued.
HOW CAN I ENSURE SUCCESS IN MY COURSEWORK?
Course attendance and active participation are key to success. We also recommend students take advantage of all resources available to them, in particular academic advising and instructor office hours. Beyond traditional resources, students also have access to Wharton Global Youth Program content, including articles, videos, podcasts, and glossary terms, which provide additional insight and context for students not familiar with certain topics, terms, or concepts. Finally, students should allocate the necessary time to complete all required coursework, and be proactive in reaching out for assistance or guidance.
WHEN DO CLASSES MEET?
Pre-bacc courses meet once or twice weekly for live lectures, discussions, and exercises, though the specific meetings times and days vary from course to course. Visit our Courses by Session page for meeting schedules and details. Please note that all meeting times are listed in Philadelphia (Eastern Standard/Daylight Time.)
WHAT FEES ARE ASSOCIATED WITH ATTENDING?
Tuition is charged per course, an online services fee is charged per course, and a materials fee is assessed for certain courses requiring the use of exclusive content or materials. Courses requiring a materials fee are clearly labeled as such.
|Pre-baccalaureate Course Tuition||$4,230/course|
|Online Service Fee||$75/course|
|Materials Fee||$76 per applicable course*|
*Only for applicable courses. Covers exclusive content, simulations, or case studies utilized within the course.
In addition to tuition and fees, all students are financially responsible for any other fees associated with attending courses, which may include textbooks or readings, technology requirements, additional course materials, etc.
Some courses may require the purchase of textbooks or additional course materials. These are typically available in digital format and may be acquired from the Penn Bookstore or other online retailers. Your course instructor will outline requisite course materials in the syllabus.
HOW MUCH OF A TIME COMMITMENT IS EACH COURSE?
Beyond live class meetings, additional coursework will be required. Students may be assigned readings, video lectures, group projects, or independent assignments designed to meet course learning objectives. Class attendance is mandatory and each course requires a total of 3-5 hours of work per week outside of live class sessions.
WILL I RECEIVE A LETTER GRADE OR CAN I TAKE THE COURSE PASS/FAIL?
Each student is initially registered to receive a traditional letter grade (A-F) for coursework. Upon consultation with an academic advisor, and in accordance with academic policies and deadlines, students may change to a Pass/Fail grading status if deemed necessary.
WILL I INTERACT WITH CURRENT WHARTON STUDENTS AND/OR FACULTY?
Pre-bacc courses are created and led by Wharton faculty and instructional staff to explore topics driven by Wharton research and teaching. Courses are limited to Pre-baccalaureate Program students, yet participants may have the opportunity to interact with Wharton undergraduate or graduate student Teaching Assistants within the course.
CAN I MISS A CLASS?
Regular course attendance and participation are required, though some instructors may permit excused absences with advanced notice. Official course attendance policies are set by each instructor, so please refer to the course syllabus for specifics.
Applications & Admissions
WHO IS ELIGIBLE FOR THE PRE-BACCALAUREATE PROGRAM?
Admission to Wharton’s Pre-baccalaureate Program is highly selective. Selections are based on a record of academic excellence, willingness to take on a challenge, and demonstrated intellectual curiosity. Additionally, students must:
- Be currently enrolled in grades 11-12 during the school year; or be rising 11-12 grade students during the summer term
- Not graduate high school in advance of the intended entry term. (Graduated seniors are not eligible.)
- Not be matriculating into the University of Pennsylvania as a freshman.
- Demonstrate strong written communication skills.
- INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS: Be able to verify English language proficiency.
IS THERE AN APPLICATION FEE?
A non-refundable application fee of $100 is required for application. This is payable by credit card directly through the application system.
School District of Philadelphia public and charter high school students may request an application fee waiver by contacting Whartonprebacc@summerdiscovery.com.
I RECEIVED MY ACCEPTANCE LETTER. WHAT ARE MY NEXT STEPS?
Congratulations! We can’t wait to get started. Your official admissions letter breaks out next steps for getting started, including instructions and a link to join the Pre-bacc Onboarding Canvas course, which will introduce you to university policies, resources, and access points. Completion of this onboarding course is a prerequisite before moving on to register for Wharton Pre-bacc courses.
The admit letter also includes instructions for scheduling an optional academic advising session with a Wharton-appointment advisor. Advising is conducted via Zoom and will take 15-20 minutes. In advance of advising we recommend students take time to review the available course offerings, look over the student handbook, and prepare any program or course questions for discussion. Your advisor will be able to address any questions or concerns you may have about the program or courses.
WHAT ARE PAYMENT TIMELINES/OPTIONS?
Payment timelines vary by term, though typically students receive a billing statement within the first two weeks of term and have approximately 30 days to remit payment in full.
The easiest way to pay your bill is online using Penn.Pay If you are a parent or other family member trying to make an online payment on your student’s behalf, note that they will need to add you to their account as an Authorized User before you can access Penn.Pay. Currently ACH payments, Visa, American Express, Discover, and Mastercard are accepted on Penn.Pay, as well as pre-paid debit/gift cards from these companies.
You may also may a payment via paper check by mail, wire transfer, and 529 plans. Please visit the ‘Paying Your Bill’ FAQ page for further information on submitting payment: https://srfs.upenn.edu/billing-payment/paying-your-bill
CAN I PAY MY TUITION IN INSTALLMENTS?
Unfortunately, the Pre-baccalaureate Program is not eligible for the Penn Payment Plan. Payment will be due in full by the bill due date listed on the student’s billing statement.
IS THERE FINANCIAL AID AVAILABLE?
Pre-baccalaureate Program course tuition is waived for one course per term for students attending a School District of Philadelphia public or charter high school. Students attending programming from outside of the Philadelphia area are encouraged to seek out external sources of funding to support attendance.
I PREVIOUSLY COMPLETED A COURSE. CAN I ATTEND FOR ANOTHER TERM? DO I NEED TO APPLY AGAIN?
All students who are age eligible and remain in good academic standing are invited to continue with the Pre-baccalaureate Program for future terms – no additional application necessary. Good academic standing is measured as a cumulative 3.0 GPA (B) or higher in Wharton coursework. Students must also not be graduating high school in advance of the intended entry term. (Graduated seniors are not eligible.)
Shortly before the start of each term, the Wharton Global Youth team will invite eligible students to return, if interested. It is not a requirement to continue with the program; it is simply an opportunity to continue your studies, should you be interested. No additional application is necessary.
Students who do not meet the 3.0 GPA are asked to reapply for the program should they wish to continue.
I AM RETURNING FOR ANOTHER TERM. CAN I MEET WITH MY ADVISOR AGAIN?
Yes! Advisors are available throughout the term for both new and returning students. If you no longer have the advising link for your previous advisor, please email us at email@example.com and we can assist.