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Lauder Institute of Management & International Studies


The Lauder Institute of Management & International Studies is a part of the Wharton School of Business and provides a dual MBA/MA program with a global focus. The Lauder Institute allows students to earn an MBA from the Wharton School of Business, in addition to a MA in International Studies from the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Arts & Sciences. Lauder coursework is grounded in the social sciences and humanities disciplines. Through in-class and field-based learning, students acquire a foundation in the geographic, historical, social, political, economic, and cultural factors that shape the varying nature of global business today.

The program runs for 24 months and begins in May. In June and July, first-year students travel to the region(s) that corresponds to their program of concentration so they can be immersed in the language, economics, history, politics, business, and culture of the region(s). They also embark on corporate visits, cultural excursions, activities with Lauder alumni, as well as a team-based research project that focuses on a topic of current interest in the country or region. Students return to campus in time to begin Pre-Term at Wharton in August. Throughout your time at Lauder, students get to participate in a variety of immersions and travel opportunities that range from a few days to a few weeks. Some programs run through Winter and Spring Break, like the optional Culture Quest, an Amazing Race-style program for students seeking adventure. All students participate in an 8-week summer immersion during June and July in the first semester, either in-region or globally.

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The Class Profile

The Lauder Institute MBA/MA joint degree program class of 2022 consisted of 80 students with the average age being 28 years old.  46% of the class of 2022 was female while 54% were male.  44% of the students were U.S. citizens, while 27% were dual citizens and 28% were international citizens.  There were 30 countries represented in the class of 2022.  The class of 2022’s average GMAT score was 730 and enrolled students had an average of five years of work experience.

Application Procedures

The application deadlines for the Lauder MBA/MA joint-degree program are September 8, 2021 and January 5, 2022.  Decision dates are announced on December 15, 2021 and March 23, 2022 respectively.  Applicants should apply through Lauder’s online application system and are required to fill out a data form concerning both their personal and professional background.  Wharton also requires applicants to provide transcripts from all academic institutions attended, GRE or GMAT scores, TOEFL results if applicable, essays, a résumé, two letters of recommendation and a $275 application fee.

In addition to completing the Wharton application, Lauder students complete an additional essay, provide information on international exposure and provide the results of their OPI language exam. Any language students wishing to waive out of a language courses will need to reach the Superior rating in their target language before they can petition to waive language classes. They will need to have their new class approved by an advisor and the class will need to highlight international topics.

Lauder interviews are granted by invitation only, based upon a full review of your application. For MBA/MA candidates, applicants must schedule both a Wharton interview, known as the team-based discussion, and a Lauder interview.


Class Size80
Mean GMAT730
% Women46%
% International28%


Address of main campus: The Lauder Institute, Second Floor, University of Pennsylvania, 256 South 37th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6330

Phone: 215.898.1215

Fax: 215.898.2067

Email: [email protected]

Website: https://lauder.wharton.upenn.edu/

Blog: https://lauder.wharton.upenn.edu/category/in-the-news/

Twitter Handle: https://twitter.com/LauderInstitute



Students in the Lauder Institute MBA/MA joint degree program have access to over 18 professors; the school overall has roughly 270 faculty members. Faculty teach across 10 academic departments and also contribute to Wharton’s 20 research centers and initiatives, which have study areas ranging from customer analytics to health economics.


In addition to the Wharton MBA curriculum, Lauder’s 24-month MBA/MA joint degree consists of core international studies courses, region-specific learning, immersive travel opportunities, and a capstone research project. Students begin the program with their first summer immersion, which starts in May with Lauder’s four-week Pre-Term for first-year students, then spend eight weeks in June and July traveling abroad with a small group of classmates who will be studying the same region of the world. Return to Philadelphia just in time for MBA Pre-Term, Wharton’s orientation for first-year MBAs.

Once on campus, take a mix of interdisciplinary core courses, electives, and language study tailored around a region of focus.  Lauder Institute coursework is grounded in the social sciences and humanities disciplines. Through in-class and field-based learning, students acquire a foundation in the geographic, historical, social, political, economic, and cultural factors that shape the varying nature of global business today. Opportunities for field-based learning occur through an eight-week summer immersion, the Lauder Intercultural Ventures, and the Global Knowledge Lab (MA thesis research).  Upon admission to the Lauder Institute, students choose a Program of Concentration. The Institute offers five region-focused Programs of Concentration, plus the Global Program. Intensive, advanced language study is offered in all regional programs, with the exception of the General track Africa Program and the Global Program, which are targeted towards students with interests in these areas who have met the minimum language requirements for admission.

There are 6 programs of concentration that include 10 languages:


  • General
  • Francophone

East and Southeast Asia

  • Mandarin Chinese
  • Korean
  • Japanese


  • French
  • German
  • Russian
  • Spanish

Latin America

  • Portuguese
  • Spanish

South Asia, The Middle East, and North Africa

    • Arabic
    • Hindi


Additional opportunities include Global Immersions and Venture Programs during the Lauder curriculum.  Immersions are academic opportunities not only to see places but to become part of them, engaging with people in an authentic, meaningful way, recognizing cultural differences, and learning to navigate across and through them.  Unlike standard study abroad opportunities offered by international MBA programs, the summer immersion and short-term immersions organized by the Lauder Institute are essential to earning the joint MBA/MA or JD/MA degree. Required for graduation, these immersions are a key component of students’ developing into global business leaders.  All Lauder immersions, whether required or optional, are integrated into the Lauder curriculum, comprehensive in terms of the regions and themes covered, and inclusive of Lauder alumni.  The four types of immersions include, the 8-week summer immersion, the 7-10 day Lauder Intercultural Ventures, the 1-2 days Language Immersion Programs, and the optional 10 day Lauder Culture Quest.

The program finishes with a capstone project where students select a topic and complete a Global Knowledge Lab (GKL), Lauder’s master’s thesis requirement. Travel the world individually and as a team to conduct original research and write up a thesis under the guidance of two faculty members from Wharton and the School of Arts and Sciences.

Other MBA Degree Options

Beyond the full-time MBA, Wharton offers the MBA/MA Lauder Program—the first joint degree in international management—as well as a three-year MBA/JD from Wharton and Penn Law, and 13 other dual-degree options at University of Pennsylvania schools.  Students may also choose from three dual degrees in conjunction with Johns Hopkins University and the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.  In addition, Wharton offers an Executive MBA program at its campuses in Philadelphia and San Francisco.

Degree Offerings at Wharton

Full-time MBA Program

Wharton/School of Advanced International Studies, Wharton/Harvard Kennedy School

Executive MBA Programs
Philadelphia, San Francisco

Campus Life

Clubs, Conferences & Competitions

The Lauder Institute hosts the Jacobson Venture Awards annually. This program seeks to provide Lauder students with the opportunity to focus their energies on their entrepreneurial venture during the summer. Each venture receives a $10,000 cash award. This financial support, coupled with the many other co-curricular opportunities at Wharton, provides a strong foundation for students’ professional development as entrepreneurs.

Campus Spaces

The Lauder Institute is situated on the University of Pennsylvania campus in the University City neighborhood of West Philadelphia.  The Lauder Institute has a dedicated building on Penn’s campus and utilize space throughout the building for classrooms, meetings, and at the dedicated Lauder student lounge.  The Lauder Institute has 4 dedicated classrooms, 3 conference rooms, and 1 auditorium. Most Lauder students live off-campus and sublet from previous Lauder students.

MBA Careers

Within six months of graduation, 100% of Lauder graduates have secured a job or started a venture.


After minimum guaranteed fellowships, the net cost of attendance at Lauder for two years is $39,900 on top of The Wharton School or Law School tuition. First-year Lauder students incur summer expenses, which add $17,500 to the $8,100 per semester for four total semesters of study. The program guarantees a minimum fellowship of $5,000 for the first year.

In addition to the Wharton’s financing opportunities, the Lauder Institute has many fellowships available to admitted students. One to note is the Leonard Lauder Fellowship that covers Lauder fees for the two years of the program for select students.

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