Degree Requirements

Explore the resources and requirements for your dissertation and awarding of degree.
  • Students must have the approval of the Ph.D. Coordinator and their dissertation supervisor before applying for a degree.
  • Students who want to apply for a Masters Degree as an “alternate” degree and continue on for the PhD should check the Information on AM or MS Degrees above and must have approval from the Ph.D. Coordinator before applying for a Masters degree.
  • Students may not apply for a Masters degree if they have not taken a Qualifying or Prelim exam; completed a minimum of 8 CU’s of Coursework and a major research paper requirement.
  • The Ph.D. degree and the AM/MS Masters’ Degrees are NOT Professional MBA degrees. The Ph.D., AM or MS are academic research degrees.
  • The Ph.D. degree that All Wharton Ph.D. students are awarded is in Managerial Science and Applied Economics.
  • You cannot get an MBA degree while you are enrolled in a Ph.D. degree program.
  • The requirements for obtaining a Masters Degree vary by department. *Check with your Department PhD Coordinator.
  • A substantial research paper approved by the Graduate Group is a Mandatory requirement for the Research Masters Degree and cannot be waived. The University of Pennsylvania awards all Research Ph.D. and Masters degrees. There is an eight-year Time-Limit for Completing the Ph.D.
  • No degrees are awarded automatically; you must apply for each degree.
  • All final required degree forms (Ph.D. and AM and MS) are processed through the Wharton Doctoral Programs Office and the University of Pennsylvania School of Arts and Sciences Graduate Division.
  • The University of Pennsylvania has three degree granting cycles–December, May and August–but only ONE Graduation Ceremony held in May. Students who receive their degree the previous December or August are also invited to participate in the Graduation Ceremony in May.