Just to answer questions I've received (I can't respond because I don't have 15 posts yet):
Q: I'm currently a freshman in CAS at UPenn and wanting to transfer into Wharton. I'm taking Math 103 this semester and Math 104 and Econ001 in the Spring and Econ002 in the summer so I can transfer at the end of my sophomore first semester. Do you have any suggestions or pointers?
A: I would say that you need to make sense as an applicant. What is your true motivation for wanting to transfer into Wharton? Is there a reason you didn't apply there in the first place (ie, an experience you have have since last winter that has inspired you to want to study business)? If you can answer the prior two questions, you'll be able to write the internal transfer essay easily and you'll have a better shot at getting in. I think that my essay made up for my GPA because I was able to specifically explain how and why my interests had changed since my senior year.
Q: Hi, what is the lowest GPA under the new application that anyone has gotten in with? what is the acceptance rate for internal transfers and how many kids get in every year? can you take 4 classes per semester and still have a chance at the transfer? Thanks so much
A: I honestly have no idea about the lowest GPA - probably a 3.4 (that's the cutoff). I don't know about the acceptance rate or how many kids get in. I took 8 credits freshman year and was accepted.
Location: University of Pennsylvania (Wharton) 2015
Here's some good news: It's ridiculously easy. I know a lot of people who applied last year, and I don't know a single person that was rejected (although I have heard of a few). The info session for internal transfer students completely filled one of the F-level classrooms, so at least a solid 60-80 people were there.
Here's the bad news: People are starting to figure out the above^. So far this semester, practically every freshmen in the College I've met is already talking about transferring. Some of them even seemed set on that before they came here. I don't have any data of course, but I think it might become a lot more competitive just because of the apparent number of people who want to transfer.
Honestly, this attitude of "the College is useless so I'm going to transfer to Wharton" is STUPID. You can't say that until you spend a good semester or two trying out your classes in the College - if you come here with your mind set on transferring, you're preventing yourself from having a lot of awesome experiences. Take your time, enjoy what you can, explore your opportunities. Forget about Wharton transfer until May of 2013 and revisit the issue when you've actually finished your 8 courses.
Here's the other thing - noone at Penn wants internal transfer to be a "back-door" into Wharton. One of the essay questions, if I recall correctly, asks about how your academic goals changed since you came to Penn: the internal transfer process is designed specifically for people who changed their mind SINCE COMING TO PENN. If your essay in any way hints that you applied to the College in the hopes of using the higher admission rate to transfer to Wharton later, I really hope that they reject you. If you're a high school student, you really shouldn't care about the internal transfer application process. Just apply to what you actually want to do as of this moment. If it doesn't work out, know that Penn is very accommodating of academic changes. That should be all you need to know.
I completely agree with asdf, and I want to point out that if you use the college as a "back door" you will spend about $60,000 AND a year of your life wishing you were in Wharton and not the college. This means spending time and money on classes you don't want to take, feeling "inferior" (even though you shouldn't...) etc etc etc. Save yourself the agony and anxiety and apply to the school you want to be in first.
I still can't respond to personal messages so I'll just post here.
Powerfuldog - None of us has information on acceptance rates, etc. There aren't any admissions statistics released with regards to internal transfers. It's not like it's easy to be accepted to CAS - I think people on this forum completely forget about that. If you think about it, shouldn't an internal transfer be somewhat doable for most Penn students..? Regardless of what school you started in and what school you want to transfer into. Some people genuinely change interests over the course of their freshman year, and that's why internal transfers are possible in the first place.
Now, in terms of easiness - well, it wasn't easy to be admitted to Penn (regardless of school) in the first place. And on paper my freshman GPA wasn't the highest, but I still worked very hard to get the grades that I did. It wasn't like I was slacking off. The difference between a 4.0 and a 3.4 can easily be determined by what classes you are taking, how many you are taking, and whether or not what you studied ended up being on the final.
Powerfuldog - trust me, it's doable. Just don't overthink it. My best advice is to NOT get Wharton envy, or you're just going to be plain unhappy. In terms of extracurriculars, find a few clubs you like and strive for leadership positions in each of them. Try taking an intro Wharton class like Stat101 or Marketing and see how you feel about it. Fall in love with the college, and apply to dual degree or internal transfer. If it works out, great. If not, that's great too, because Penn is an amazing school and your opportunities are in no means limited by what undergraduate school you're in.
Thank you, Smores, for your detailed answer. I'll be o the lookout, and hopefully do well down the road. I know you don't have admit rates, but I'm guessing most of your accepted friends have GPAs in the 3.7 plus range, right?
And yes, I have been very involved in campus so far-Hope to continue that.
I know quite a few dual-degreers, however only know the GPAs of a few others who applied (GPA is just not something I get in conversations about..). One of them had a 3.7x and was accepted, one of them had under a 3.7 and was denied, another had under a 3.7 but was accepted. Last year I asked someone the grade above me what GPA to shoot for and she told me a 3.8+. The truth is that nobody really knows how much grades matter (except the people making admissions decisions).
I got into Dual Degree over the summer.
I was originally SEAS but joined Wharton.
GPA is NOT that big of a factor. I got in with around a 3.7 GPA and did not expect to.
Many people I know also got in, and no one I know got rejected.
So if you're considering doing a Dual Degree, don't worry about it now, just take the classes you need to, and come Spring get more information.
Even if you're unsure of what you want to do in the future, the Dual Degree program is a great fit that only Penn has. So do consider it even if you're not dead set on Business. It'll open up a lot of pathways, and it'll make you irresistible at Career fairs.