Jerome Fisher Program in Management and Technology
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The Jerome Fisher Program in Management and Technology (also known as M&T) is a coordinated dual-degree program offered at the University of Pennsylvania that combines Penn's School of Engineering and Applied Science with The Wharton School. M&T students pursue a Bachelor of Science in Economics from the Wharton School and either a Bachelor of Science in Engineering (BSE) or a Bachelor of Applied Science in Engineering (BAS) from Penn Engineering. The curriculum includes two special M&T “linking courses” that allow for added interdisciplinary learning opportunities. In addition, students within the Program pursue humanities courses through the School of Arts and Sciences, conduct research, and get involved in a wide array of activities across campus.
About the program
M&T is known for its high selectivity and rigorous academic curriculum at the undergraduate level, integrating aspects of both the business and the technical worlds. The majority of program graduates pursue careers within tech, investment banking, hedge funds, private equity, engineering firms, biotech, consulting, and venture capital. A number of graduates also follow career paths in the entrepreneurial, nonprofit, academic, and medical professions.
Applicants are asked to submit an additional essay as part of their application package to the University of Pennsylvania. The current target class size for the program is approximately 50 to 55 students with some slots available annually for Wharton and Engineering single-degree students wishing to transfer into the program at the end of their freshman years. Transfers from other universities into the program are not possible.
All M&T students, upon graduation, receive a Bachelor of Science in Economics (B.S. Econ.) degree from the Wharton School (ranked as the #1 undergraduate business school in the nation by U.S. News & World Report for 17 consecutive years from 1994 to 2010). Students gain fundamental business knowledge over the course of their four years at M&T; in addition, they must specialize in one of several fields: accounting, operations and information management, entrepreneurship, finance, management, marketing, real estate, or other areas.
On the engineering side, students will receive either a Bachelor of Science in Engineering (BSE) or a Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS) from the University of Pennsylvania School of Engineering and Applied Science. A Bachelor of Science degree is a traditional engineering degree accredited by ABET; Penn's program provides intensive study in nine major curricula: Bioengineering, Chemical Engineering, Computer Engineering, Computer Science, Digital Media and Design, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics, Materials Science and Engineering, Systems Science and Engineering, and Networked and Social Systems Engineering. M&T students must choose one in which to major (as of fall 2014, M&T students are not permitted to major in Networked and Social Systems, however they may take these courses as electives). As an alternative, students can pursue a Bachelor of Applied Science. This degree is generally selected by students who have interest in math and science, but do not necessarily want to pursue a career in a field of engineering. BAS candidates select a field of specialization in either Biomedical Science, Computer & Cognitive Science, Computer Science, Computational Biology, or an individualized curriculum.
“If I had it to do over again, I would try to find a college which gives a program in business administration along with a thorough knowledge of engineering.”
The M&T Program grew out of this statement in the late 1970s. At that time, the School of Engineering and Applied Science's Board of Overseers — a distinguished group of corporate executives and academicians — emphasized the growing need for graduates who could bridge the gap between management and technical disciplines. They saw an opportunity to create a much-needed, distinctively unique, and dynamic program: Thus, the M&T Program was born.
Since the formal introduction of the Management & Technology Program in 1977, it has attracted exceptional students from around the world and has grown much more rapidly than was originally anticipated. In January 1995, Jerome Fisher (Wharton ’53), founder and chairman of the Nine West Group, donated $5.5 million to endow and support the M&T Program. “Understanding the relationship between business and technology is increasingly vital to building and maintaining competitive advantage in the global marketplace,” remarked Fisher in announcing his contribution endowing the program.
For 35 years since the M&T Program's inception, today's business leaders are still echoing the thoughts of the Board of Overseers and are continuously recognizing the benefit of a thorough understanding of engineering fundamentals along with an equal understanding of sound management principles.
On January 6, 2009, Internet Capital Group Inc., a venture capital firm founded by Ken Fox and Walter Buckley, announced that it had promoted M&T '83 graduate Doug Alexander to the position of president. Alexander had previously served as ICG's managing director, working with portfolio companies and analyzing potential investment opportunities Alexander joined ICG in 1997 and served on the original advisory board. Before joining ICG, Alexander co-founded Reality Online in 1989, a company developing financial planning tools and online services for investors. In February 1994, Alexander sold Reality Online to Reuters.
In 2009, Alex Mittal was named by BusinessWeek as one of America's Most Promising Social Entrepreneurs for his work with Engineers Without Borders on microbial technology. Mittal started the company Innova Materials in 2007 after graduating from M&T with a dual degree.
Each year, M&T hosts a for-credit summer program (Management and Technology Summer Institute) for about 50 rising high school seniors (and a select few rising juniors) who want to learn about the integration of technological concepts and management principles. Held on Penn's campus and taught by business and engineering faculty, the program also incorporates field trips to companies and R&D facilities. A large component of the program is the group project. Over the course of the three-week program, students (in groups of five) work on conceiving a product idea in consumer electronics, making a working model, writing a comprehensive business plan and executive summary, and giving a presentation of their product idea. M&TSI culminates with a product fair, in which students (in groups of five) display their product ideas on poster boards and give pitches to viewers. Viewers of this public fair have the opportunity to vote for the best product in a number of different categories.
Another key component of the program is lab work. Students are exposed to several types of engineering, listening to lectures and participating in relevant labs. Under the guidance of SEAS professor Sid Deliwala (ESE Lab Director), students gain exposure to mechanical engineering, chemical engineering, bioengineering, materials science, computer science, and electrical engineering. The schedule features lectures by professors from each discipline, as well as corresponding hands-on labs to reinforce the concepts covered in the lectures. On the business side, Jeffrey Babin, Curriculum Director for M&TSI, instructs the group in business and management concepts in daily lectures and activities. After the first week, M&TSI students participate in a business simulation involving the manufacture of cardboard car racers, reinforcing the values of cost structure, early innovation, competitive advantage, and team dynamics.
- Best Colleges Specialty Rankings: Best Undergraduate Business Programs U.S. News and World Reports. 2011.
- Internet Capital Group names president Philadelphia Business Journal. January 26, 2009.
- Internet Capital Group`s Doug Alexander Named President Reuters. January 26, 2009.
- America's Most Promising Social Entrepreneurs: Innova Materials BusinessWeek. May 1, 2009.
- M&TSI Summer - Frequently Asked Questions
- University of Pennsylvania
- Wharton School
- Huntsman Program in International Studies and Business (another joint-degree program with a Wharton component)
- Vagelos Program in Life Sciences and Management (another joint-degree program with a Wharton component)
- Jerome Fisher Program in Management and Technology Homepage
- Wharton Alumni Magazine Article about the program
- Weiss Tech House - UPenn Resource center for Innovation associated with M&T
- Wharton Alumni Magazine article from Fall 2000