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Lauder Institute of Management & International Studies

Image for Lauder Institute of Management & International Studies
Class Size 75
% Women 43%
% International or Dual Citizens 64%

The Lauder Institute of Management & International Studies at the University of Pennsylvania along with The Wharton School offer a joint degree MBA/MA program with a global focus. The Lauder Institute allows students to earn an MBA from The Wharton School, 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 late May/early June each year. Students spend the month of June in Philadelphia at the Lauder Institute taking classes and in late June depart for their summer immersions.  They spend the month of July traveling 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, and activities with Lauder alumni, in addition to classwork. 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 a summer immersion during late June and July in the first semester, either in-region or globally.


The Class Profile

The Lauder Institute MBA/MA joint degree program Class of 2024 consisted of 75 students with the average age being 28 years old.  43% of the Class of 2024 was female while 57% were male.  36% of the students were U.S. citizens, while 27% were dual citizens and 37% were international citizens.  There were 38 countries represented in the Class of 2024.  The Class of 2024’s enrolled students had an average of five years of work experience.

Application Procedures

The Lauder program now accepts applications for the MBA/MA program in all three rounds with Wharton.  The application deadlines for the Lauder MBA/MA joint-degree program are: September 7, 2022 for Round 1, January 4, 2023 for Round 2 and March 29, 2023 for Round 3.  International students are encouraged to apply in Rounds 1 or 2 due to Lauder’s late May/early June start date.  Decision dates are announced on: December 15, 2022, March 23, 2023 and May 10, 2023 respectively.  Applicants should apply through Wharton’s online application system and complete the joint degree application for the Lauder program which includes: submitting the results of their OPI language exam, a Lauder essay, and information on their international experiences.  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.  Applications to Wharton/Lauder are considered joint applications to both programs, not individual applications to each.

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.



The Graduate Group in International Studies oversees the academic program for the MA in International Studies and awards the MA degree.  It is a multidisciplinary group of standing faculty whose fundamental responsibility is for the academic quality and effectiveness of the program. Members of the Graduate Group oversee all changes in the Lauder curriculum, teach the core Area History courses and a variety of International Studies electives, evaluate all new Lauder courses, and frequently serve as supervisors of Global Knowledge Lab research projects for students.


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 June with Lauder’s four-week Pre-Term for first-year students, then spend time in late 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 application 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 summer immersion, the 7 day Lauder Intercultural Ventures, the 1-2 days Language Immersion Programs, and the optional Lauder Culture Quest over winter break.

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

The Lauder Institute also offers a joint degree JD/MA in International Studies with Penn’s Law School.

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 $33,900 on top of The Wharton School or Law School tuition, including tuition for the initial summer term. First-year Lauder students incur summer expenses which vary depending on their program of concentration and what part of the world their respective summer immersion takes place.  The program guarantees a minimum fellowship of $10,000 for the first two years, and the average fellowship award for the Class of 2024 was $40,000.

In addition to the Wharton’s financing opportunities, the Lauder Institute has other 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 as well as summer internship funding to support students working in the summer between the first and second year of the program.


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]



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