According to a recent Daily Pennsylvanian article, Wharton will be offering its MBA Foundation Series (four core business classes) on Coursera. The courses begin in the next few weeks and will run from six to ten weeks long.
While UPenn has already launched 18 courses on Coursera, these four foundation classes will be Wharton’s first Coursera courses. One of the courses, Introduction to Accounting, already has over 76,000 people enrolled.
According to Dierdre Wood, Interim Executive Director of Penn’s Open Learning Initiative, the courses “demonstrate Penn’s depth and breadth. We do provide the best business courses and best business education. We are interested in sharing and providing leadership throughout the world.”
For enrollment information from Coursera, please see http://blog.coursera.org/post/60889088289/the-wharton-mba-foundation-series.
What can these courses do for you as an applicant?
• If you are the proverbial poet, taking these free courses can be a great way to prepare yourself for your MBA. Similarly, if your experience was non-traditional (military for example), you can ready yourself for the demands of graduate management education by taking courses like these. You don’t want to be struggling with basics when you arrive on campus.
• If you have a low GPA and enroll in the course on a verified basis, I’m not sure the verification provided by Coursera is adequate to convince the schools that you have learned how to apply yourself in an academic setting. While they will certainly note that you are making an effort to prepare for b-school, they may still be skeptical that you know how to learn. To create an alternative transcript and mitigate the impact of a low GPA, at this point, I still recommend traditional, graded classes.
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