Purposeful Pursuit of Integrated Knowledge

In our increasingly complex world, the most challenging problems cannot be addressed effectively by only one discipline or profession. For instance, America’s recent initiatives in health care reform required those with expertise not just in health care delivery, but also in business, risk management, medical ethics, public policy and technology. Battling homelessness requires knowledge in housing, social services, job training and health care.

The purposeful pursuit of multidisciplinary study enables our researchers and students to propose practical, innovative solutions to the world’s complex problems. Indeed, integrated knowledge is a priority for the University, and I am proud to report that Wharton contributes in several meaningful ways.


Our dual-degree undergraduate programs listed below train the next generation of leaders in industries that require a broad range of skills. Students pursue academic interests such as technology, math, science, health care and international development, along with their business degrees at Wharton.

• Jerome Fisher Program in Management and Technology teaches engineering and business concepts and how the integration of the two disciplines shapes our world.

• Roy and Diana Vagelos Program in Life Sciences and Management combines bioscience and business.

• Huntsman Program in International Studies and Business integrates advanced language training, business and liberal arts education.

Students also can customize their own dual-degree programs, combining a degree from Wharton with one from Penn’s three other undergraduate schools.


Interdisciplinary-study opportunities for graduate students include the following:

• MBA/MA Lauder joint-degree program offers a deeper understanding of global leadership, advanced language and cross-cultural studies.

• MBA/JD joint-degree, offered with Penn Law, is an accelerated program whereby students earn JD and MBA degrees in just three years.

• MBA in Health Care Management is an ideal choice for students pursuing roles in science, technology and the medical fields.

We also offer dual-degree MBA programs with Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and Johns Hopkins’ School of Advanced International Studies. We work cooperatively with three universities in China: Tsinghua University, Shanghai Jiao Tong University and Guanghua School of Management at Peking University. And we celebrate our broad strategic alliance with INSEAD. Moreover, MBA students can customize their study and earn degrees from Wharton and from Penn’s other graduate and professional schools.

For more on our coordinated programs, visit http://www.wharton.upenn.edu and click on “Academics.”

Beyond Programs

Students and faculty have other opportunities to develop and engage in interdisciplinary research. The Wharton Behavioral Laboratory is an efficient, shared asset for the School’s faculty and doctoral students engaged in behavioral research. Those who currently use the lab’s resources gain valuable data used in their collaborations that span the School and the University, including those in the Psychology Department of the School of Arts and Sciences, Perelman School of Medicine, Annenberg School for Communication, Graduate School of Education and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, as well as with other universities. For more on the lab, visit http://technology.wharton.upenn.edu/behaviorallab.

The Penn Wharton Public Policy Initiative, launched in 2012, delivers practical, timely and nonpartisan policy briefs authored by the University’s prominent faculty to government decision-makers working on key policy issues. Beyond drawing on Wharton’s faculty, it brings together experts from across Penn’s schools to provide briefs that are comprehensive in coverage and analysis. The Washington, D.C., office helps to ensure that research finds its intended audience within the public policy realm. For more, visit http://publicpolicy.wharton.upenn.edu.

Integrated knowledge enables thoughtful leaders and decision-makers, and that remains the business of Wharton.


Thomas S. Robertson
Dean and Reliance Professor of Management and Private Enterprise

Editor’s note: Read more from Dean Robertson at www.wharton.upenn.edu/about/from-the-dean.cfm.