I. Why Lauder?
The Lauder Institute at the University of Pennsylvania offers a pioneering joint degree MA program in International Studies with the Wharton MBA or Penn Carey Law School’s JD. Our mission is to prepare global business leaders. Our graduates receive two degrees in two years and go on to impact their organizations, communities, and countries as CEOs, presidents, partners, business owners, community leaders, philanthropists, and entrepreneurs.
International and Interdisciplinary. The Lauder curriculum combines language studies, international politics, economics, history, and culture and adds immeasurable value to a standalone MBA or JD. The Lauder Institute offers international studies courses through a common Lauder core curriculum and specialized Program of Concentration courses. We offer six Programs of Concentration. Five of these programs involve studying a particular region in the world (Africa-French, East and Southeast Asia, Europe, Latin America, and South Asia Middle-East-North Africa), while our Global program and Africa General emphasize understanding the drivers of economic, political, and social order-making across the globe and African continent respectively.
Inclusive and Intimate. This close and incredibly engaged community of students and alumni enhances the student experience and provides a strong global network, opening up career opportunities and lifelong professional connections and friends. The Program begins with an intensive on-campus component followed by immersions that take place around the world. The Institute values diversity of backgrounds, perspectives, and interests.
Immersive and Innovative. Immersive education is built into the Lauder curriculum. This includes a summer immersion during the first summer of the program, two short-term intercultural immersions known as ‘Lauder Intercultural Ventures’ (LIVs), and optional fieldwork for the required master’s thesis project known as the Global Knowledge Lab (GKL). These unique educational experiences allow students to travel to different locations around the world and become fully engaged with local culture, politics, economy, and history through the lens of local experts and a faculty guide. Our students not only learn about the complexity of the world in the classroom, they experience it first-hand in locations around the world.
Impactful. Lauder changes lives. Students benefit from highly customized career advising along with numerous opportunities to meet alumni and experts. Opportunities such as participating in the Jacobson Global Venture Award competition as well as exclusive summer leadership internship funding allow students to pursue their interests and explore new career possibilities.
II. What you need to know about applying to Lauder.
The MBA/MA Lauder Application is embedded into the Wharton MBA application. This allows you to indicate your interest in applying as a joint-degree candidate to Lauder. You will be asked to select your proposed Program of Concentration. JD/MA Candidates may contact Lauder Admissions directly.
The application to Lauder includes two key components:
- You will need to submit an essay to for admission to the Lauder Program.
- You will need to complete an Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI, see below).
Once applications have been reviewed in full, selected applicants will be invited for an interview.
III. Expected Language Level for Admission and OPIs
Every applicant to the Lauder Institute – whether to the MBA/MA or the JD/MA program – is required to complete a 20-30 minute Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) in the language related to their Program of Concentration. The minimum OPI for admission to Lauder is Advanced Low. By the time they graduate, students are required to demonstrate a Superior-level.
Within the ‘Admission’ Section of our website, you can learn more about OPI testing and Language Requirements. Note that you should apply to a regional Program of Concentration related to a language in which you want to improve. Our regional programs include intensive language instruction and are intended for language learners, rather than native speakers who already read, speak and write at a superior level. Our Language Requirements website provides samples of OPI interviews to help you get a sense of this part of the admissions process.
IV. What makes for a compelling candidate?
Admissions staff want to hear about your personal and professional experiences, accomplishments, goals, and why your selected Program of Concentration is the right one for you. Think about how you can contribute to the program and where you can add value, along with what the program can do for you in terms of your education and career objectives. Most of our admitted students have had experience interning, studying, living, or working outside their home country, so include your international experiences and interests. The Program is interested in students who have a deep interest in international and immersive education. More admission tips can be found here.
V. Fellowship Support at Lauder
You may be surprised to learn that all Lauder students receive a fellowship from the Institute in addition to the financing options and resources for financial aid, loans, and loan forgiveness programs provided through Wharton and Penn Law. Our students also receive merit and need-based awards. Full details on all of the funding support available can be found on our financial aid webpage.
The Round 2 deadline for the Lauder Institute MBA/MA in International Studies is January 4, 2023. If you have questions, we are available to assist! Attend an upcoming admissions event or contact our friendly admissions team. Note that applying in Round 2, instead of round 1, puts you at no disadvantage whatsoever.
We encourage you to keep an eye on this blog for our upcoming posts that will take a deep dive into our career advising and travel programs that make the Lauder degree one that will truly give you the edge in your career, as well as a lifelong network of friends and mentors!