Wharton Summer High School Programs

Wharton Essentials of Entrepreneurship

Wharton Essentials of Entrepreneurship (formerly the Global Young Leaders Academy) is an intensive two-week summer program for a select group of high school students who are currently in 9th to 12th grades. This two-week experience challenges students to engage with international peers, use innovative thinking, and learn the basics of what it takes to be an entrepreneur.

Program Dates:    May 31-June 13, 2020  /  June 14-June 27, 2020  /  June 28-July 11, 2020  /  July 12-July 25, 2020  /  July 26-August 8, 2020

Application Opens: November 2019
Priority Application Deadline: January 22, 2020
International Application Closes: April 1, 2020
Domestic Application Closes: May 1, 2020
Applications will be accepted until all sessions are full.

Location: The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA

International students in grades 9-12 looking to advance their entrepreneurial mindset are encouraged to apply. No business background required.

About Wharton Essentials of Entrepreneurship

Started by Knowledge@Wharton High School in 2014 with only 30 students, Wharton Essentials of Entrepreneurship (formerly the Global Young Leaders Academy) has now grown to be the largest of the Wharton Summer High School Programs with more than 500 students annually. With a two-week schedule filled with lectures, recitations, and activities, students will be able to walk away with a better understanding of what it takes to truly be an entrepreneur.

Each summer, Wharton Essentials students:

  • Attend lectures and presentations from notable Wharton faculty, lecturers and PhD students in Wharton’s Jon M. Huntsman Hall
  • Work in teams to create and present an original final project, which is judged by Wharton faculty and business professionals
  • Advance their understanding of business through lectures, recitations and simulations
  • Explore historic Philadelphia and experience life in a college dormitory on an Ivy League campus

Application Policies and Procedures

Wharton will select 60 students per session for Wharton Essentials of Entrepreneurship. Wharton Essentials of Entrepreneurship will run five sessions from May 31-August 8, 2020. The program fee covers tuition, housing, most meals, activities, and weekend trips.

Admission to Wharton Essentials of Entrepreneurship is selective. Each year the admissions committee receives many more applications than there are available places. Selections are based on a record of academic excellence and a genuine interest in developing entrepreneurship skills.

Application for the program requires:

  • Unofficial high school transcript
  • Letter of recommendation
  • Short essay
  • Standardized test scores (if applicable*)
  • TOEFL/IELTS results (if applicable**)
  • Financial aid application (if applicable)
  • $100 application fee

*If standardized test scores are not available, applicants should submit a letter of recommendation letter (in PDF format) in lieu of score report documentation in the application.

**If English is not an applicant’s first language and the applicant’s school does not provide instruction in English, the admissions committee requires TOEFL scores. Competitive applicants tend to have a composite score of 100 and above. SAT or ACT tests may be submitted in lieu of the TOEFL.


For more information, please contact Wharton@summerdiscovery.com or call 516-621-3939

Please note that participation in Wharton Essentials of Entrepreneurship does not guarantee admission into Penn.