Wharton School Follows Yale, Stanford With Overhaul of Business Curriculum

The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, the oldest business school in the U.S., will introduce a new curriculum and offer some graduates free executive education.

The curriculum, which will be fully implemented in 2012, will include a focus on ethics and on oral and written communication, according to a statement today from Wharton, based in Philadelphia. Graduates with a master’s degree in business administration will be eligible for tuition-free executive education every seven years, the school said.

Wharton, ranked third among U.S. business schools by Bloomberg Businessweek magazine, follows the Yale School of Management, in New Haven, Connecticut, and the Stanford Graduate School of Business, near Palo Alto, California, in overhauling its curriculum. The new plan offers students more choice in what they study and a greater emphasis on global business education as well as statistics and microeconomics, according to the statement.

“Wharton’s new curriculum design offers our students a framework for success in a rapidly changing world,” Thomas Robertson, Wharton’s dean, said in the statement. “Business schools must equip the next generation of leaders with the knowledge, skills and perspective they need to meet the global economic, environmental, humanitarian and policy challenges of the future.”

Wharton, founded in 1881, enrolls 800 MBA students yearly and has 2,446 undergraduates. Graduates include Donald Trump, the real estate developer; Steve Cohen, the chairman of SAC Capital Advisors LP; and Michael Milken, the former junk- bond pioneer and philanthropist who served two years in prison for securities fraud.

The Bloomberg Businessweek rankings listed the Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago as the top U.S. business school, followed by Harvard Business School, in Boston.

To contact the reporter on this story: Oliver Staley in New York at ostaley@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jonathan Kaufman at jkaufman17@bloomberg.net

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