MD/Master of Business Administration (MBA)
The MD/Master of Business Administration (MD/MBA) program is designed for Perelman medical students interested in integrating the study of medicine with training in managerial, financial, and technical expertise in the health care field. The majority of students who matriculate in the MD/MBA program enroll in the Health Care Management major at Wharton, but other majors are also available. Matriculation into the MD/MBA program obligates the student to follow all regulations and policies of the Medical School and of the Wharton School. For a look into current trends, check out the article: Dual MD/MBA Programs on the Rise. Also, take a look at the 2014 News Release: Penn Study Shows Changing Roles of Physicians with MBAs.
The first step of the process is to gather information regarding the MD/MBA dual degree. Interested students have several resources:
- Wharton MBA — the Master of Business Administration program website provides detailed information on the program and application process.
- Wharton Health Care Management — this website provides more specific information on the Health Care Management major within the MBA Program at Wharton.
- "Visit Wharton" — this webpage provides information on MBA information sessions, visiting classes, etc. These are good resources if you have questions about the MBA program in general, financial aid, admissions process, etc.
- Wharton Health Care Management - Student profiles — here you will find current/recent student profiles, Resume Books with info on graduates, summer internship placement lists, and permanent placement lists. All of these resources indicate different ways you can use the MBA.
- MD/MBA Directory — here you will find current/recent MD/MBA student profiles, and student advice. Prospective students are encouraged to speak directly with current students for more complete and nuanced insights. As always, it is also a good idea to seek out advice from multiple resources (e.g. including faculty mentors, Advisory Deans, etc.) to help inform your decisions.
- MD/MBA Information Session — every fall the Combined Degree office holds an MD/MBA Information Session for medical students. Email announcements are sent out to students prior to the event. Check out the full recording of the October 21, 2021 Zoom info session here.
- Assoc Director of CD Office — students are encouraged to contact the Associate Director of Combined Degree Office, to discuss their interest in a Master's program.
- Perelman School of Medicine (PSOM) Financial Aid Office — As soon as a student is considering the pursuit of an integrated dual degree program, financial aid counseling and planning is strongly advised.
Additional business-oriented resources on Penn's campus:
- PennHealthX events — PennHealthX offers a range of events on topics related to healthcare management, entrepreneurship, and technology. From our lunch seminar series, to our Tech and Tacos nights, to the weekend-long PennApps Health hackathon - there's something for every interest.
Perelman medical students interested in the MBA program may opt to take a MBA course in the Fall or Spring of their first year or Fall of their second year of Medical School, before applying to Wharton, so they have a better understanding of what the program entails.
Once a student has applied for the MD/MBA program , the student must notify the Registrar of the PSOM with his/her intention to pursue the MD/MBA.
Students are strongly encouraged to meet with a staff member in the PSOM Financial Aid Office to discuss financial issues.
The MBA degree is composed of 19 credit units:
- 15 credits at Wharton*
- 4 transfer credits from the Perelman School of Medicine
Required Course Units: 19
* Note: Wharton tuition includes up to 16.5 credits. 15 credits are required for the degree.
For information on the curriculum of the MBA program, visit the Wharton MBA. Here you will find information on the curriculum structure, majors, electives, and other program information.
Perelman medical students interested in the MBA program may opt to take a MBA course in the Fall or Spring of their first year or Fall of their second year of Medical School, before applying to Wharton, so they have a better understanding of what the program entails. The course:
- can’t be one of the core requirements;
- won’t count toward the 15 credits required for the MBA (should the student be accepted at a later date); and
- can be taken as pass/fail.
Students are enrolled in the MD program full time for the first three years and in MBA course work full time during year 4. During the summer between year 4 and 5, typically students participate in a business internship. However, some students have elected to do research or additional clinical rotations during the summer. Then in year 5, students will do a semester at Wharton and a semester at the Medical School – students can choose to do either one in Fall and the other in Spring.
MD/MBA Degree Completion Time: 5 years
MD/MBA Study Plan:
The 5 year curriculum for the combined MD/MBA below is meant to provide details about the timing of MBA course work for those who are already familiar with the PSOM curriculum.
|Year||Fall||Spring||Summer||Tuition and Billing||Maximum Direct Loan Eligibility
|1||MD curriculum (Modules 1,3,6)||MD curriculum
|MD Tuition Fall and Spring||$42,722|
|2||MD curriculum (Modules 2,3,6)||MD curriculum
|MD Tuition Fall and Spring||$47,167|
|3||MD curriculum (Modules 4,6)||Boards 1
MD curriculum (Module 5)
|MD Tuition Fall and Spring||$47,167|
|4||Wharton MBA||Wharton MBA||Wharton internship**||Wharton Tuition Fall and Spring||$33,000|
MD curriculum (Module 5)***
|MD Tuition Fall; Wharton Tuition Spring||$20,250 fall;
* Check when Wharton’s pre-term and the Health Care Management major’s pre-term sessions are in July/August.
** Typically students participate in a business internship in Summer of year 4. However, some students have elected to do research or additional clinical rotations during the summer.
*** These semesters are interchangeable. Students need to notify each School in the Spring of year 4, so they are billed correctly. They also need to apply to both schools if financial aid is needed.
Medical School Planning:
There are several things to keep in mind when making your Medical School plans:
As soon as a Perelman medical student is considering the pursuit of an integrated dual degree program, financial aid counseling and planning is strongly advised. Students should contact Michael Sabara, Director of Financial Services. He is available to help explain program costs, the financial aid process, funding options and how to apply for financial aid. Here are some things to consider:
- When paying Medical School tuition and registered as a medical student, an individual can retain his/her MD Scholarship (for tuition/living expenses) and has a Direct loan eligibility of $40,500. When a student is registered as a full-time MBA student, he/she is not eligible for MD Scholarship (for tuition/living expenses) and has a Direct loan eligibility of $33,000. In accordance with federal regulations, all sources of aid (loan, scholarships, fellowships,) cannot exceed the student budget.
- Direct loans have aggregate limits, which are cumulative and include any undergraduate, graduate, and medical school loans borrowed in the Direct loan program. For any semester when a student is a full-time MBA student or a full-time MD student, the program aggregate limit is $224,000.
- Students who require funds in excess of their Direct loan may apply for a Direct PLUS loan. Details on this loan and instructions for applying can be found at the PSOM Financial Aid Office.
- Tuition will be billed each semester based on course registration and program requirements. Financial aid is available only from the school charging tuition. It is the student’s responsibility to file all of the financial aid applications and documents required to the school in which he or she is enrolled. Students may not receive financial aid from both schools during the same semester. The student is limited to the policies and federal regulations surrounding each school’s educational program. Specific costs are determined annually and are available from the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid.
All applicants, including Penn Med applicants, are automatically considered for Wharton Fellowships. There is no special application required.
Admission to the program is competitive and not all Perelman medical students who apply are accepted. Candidates seeking admission are evaluated based on academic and personal accomplishments, emphasizing demonstrated leadership, managerial potential, motivation and capacity to pursue a rigorous management graduate program. Professional development, diversity of background and outside interests, depth of self-appraisal and commitment are especially valued.
There are two steps to applying:
- Apply to the Master of Business Administration Program
Perelman medical students who wish to enroll in the MD/MBA program must take the GMAT or GRE exam and must submit an application directly to the Wharton School for the MBA program. Please see the Wharton Admissions for further information.
- Submit Master's Program Registration Form to the Combined Degree Office
In addition to submitting an MBA application to Wharton, Perelman medical students must also submit a Master's Program Registration Form to the Associate Director of the Combined Degree and Physician Scholar Programs Office (6th Floor JMEC).
All Perelman medical students must apply in Round 1 of their 3rd year of Medical School. The MD/MBA application will not be accepted at any other time. An MD/MBA Information Session is scheduled each fall for current medical students who are interested in the MD/MBA program as well as other opportunities at Wharton. Advising is also available through the Combined Degree Office and Wharton to assist students in considering their career interests and plans.
Application deadline: 3rd year, Round 1 - ONLY
For more information regarding the MD/MBA program, contact:
For Health Care Management only
MBA Admissions & Financial Aid Office
Perelman School of Medicine:
Francia G. Portacio, MPH
1. Are there opportunities to participate in healthcare business-oriented activities?
Yes. There are many opportunities at the Perelman School of Medicine and throughout Penn. Here are several, which Penn MD/MBA students have suggested:
- PennMed student groups — visit Medical Student Government (for example, leadership position at a Free Clinic)
- PennHealthX — a med student group, may be of particular interest as it is focused on entrepreneurship and creating your own solution to health care problems in concert with MBA/engineering students. Check out the PennHealthX events, too.
- Penn Biotech Group — is open to all graduate students and offers semester-long consulting projects.
- Penn Center for Innovation (formerly Penn Center for Technology Transfer) — offers research fellowships
- Penn Med Center for Health Care Innovation — offers internships and research opportunities.
- Geisinger Medical Student Business Fellowship — a summer fellowship designed for medical students who want to learn about the business of medicine at one of the nation’s largest health service organizations.
1. When should I take the GMAT or GRE?
There is no recommended time to take the GMAT or GRE. Some students study and take the GMAT or GRE during the summer after their 1st year of Medical School. Other students study and take it over a winter break. It is up to the student to determine when the best time is.
2. Does Wharton have a preference between the GMAT or GRE?
No. Wharton accepts either.
3. How many Perelman medical students apply each year? How many of those students are accepted?
Each year roughly 8-12 Perelman medical students apply for the MD/MBA program. Acceptance rates vary each year.
1. Any planning considerations when choosing Medical School electives?
As you plan your Medical School electives, please keep in mind that Wharton has a month-long Pre-term session that is required of all students. It is typically the month of August. In addition, the Health Care Management program has a two-day Pre-term session (just prior to the Wharton Pre-term), which is typically at the end of July. You are strongly encouraged to check on the exact dates, so there is not a conflict with a July elective (if you choose to do one). For more information on Pre-term, visit the Wharton MBA.
2. Any advice on choosing to finish the program in the Fall versus the Spring semester of the last year?
Perelman medical students may take their final semester of Business School courses either in the Fall or Spring of their 5th year. Most students elect to take the final Business School semester in the Spring, so they have time in the Fall to submit their residency applications and go on interviews. However, residency interviews usually continue through January and sometimes early February, so you will need to contact your Wharton instructors, if you know you will miss class due to an interview.
1. What is the course workload like at Wharton?
The course workload is comparable to other graduate programs. MD/MBA students have found the workload to be manageable overall.
2. Does Wharton offer scholarships to MD/MBA students?
Wharton does not have scholarships specifically for Perelman medical students. However, medical students are eligible to apply for Wharton’s grants and scholarships. All medical students who are HCM Majors will be considered for Kaiser Fellowships available only to HCM Majors. Please note that Wharton has a different financial aid process than the Perelman School of Medicine, so you will want to contact Wharton’s Financial Aid office to learn more about their process.
3. Are Perelman medical students only able to apply to the Health Care Management major?
No, students are welcome to apply to whichever Wharton major they are interested in, but all (or nearly all) MD/MBA students have enrolled in the Health Care Management Major because of its obvious relevance to a career in medicine and business.
1. What can MD/MBAs do with their degree after residency?
MD/MBAs have gone into a broad range of career paths such as an academic physician, owner of a clinical practice, director in a hospital, consultant in the business world, healthcare policy researcher, etc. The business skills you learn at Wharton are transferable in many fields and positions. For information on recent graduates, check out the Resume Books on Wharton's website.
Please note that policies concerning admissions, curriculum, funding, and financial aid are subject to change. Additionally, though variations in the curriculum may be possible, any change will need prior approval and may have financial implications. This website is meant to provide preliminary general overview information only. Students interested in or enrolled in the program should seek personal advising from relevant faculty and staff.