MBA/MA Lauder Joint-Degree in International Studies Program

The first joint-degree program in international management, the MBA/MA Lauder Joint-Degree in International Studies prepares future business leaders by integrating the Wharton MBA with an MA in International Studies from Penn’s School of Arts & Sciences. Students become part of a small, tight-knit community that is passionate about international management issues and global studies. The program offers a truly unique take on an international MBA.

MBA/MA Curriculum

The MBA/MA in International Studies includes advanced language study and an international course sequence in the humanities and social sciences. This degree is comparable to an MBA in International Business, Global MBA or MBA programs which focus on global business.

Programs of Concentration

There are six programs of concentration in which students may opt to specialize including: Africa; Latin America; East and Southeast Asia; Europe; or South Asia, the Middle East and North Africa. Alternatively, applicants may opt to apply to the Global program which emphasizes political and economic themes across national borders. No matter which program you choose, similar to an MBA in International Business, Wharton will help you to become adept at navigating various international markets.

Global Knowledge Lab

As part of the curriculum, Lauder students work in teams on a research paper/master’s thesis known as the Global Knowledge Lab (GKL). The GKL provides students with the opportunity to develop and integrate their language, managerial, and cultural skills in the context of a practical, yet analytical, research undertaking. Global program projects often are sponsored and/or directed by outside organizations, including foundations, investment banks, consulting firms, or business associations.

Global Immersions

In addition, students take three required Lauder core courses, along with two shorter global immersions called Intercultural Ventures. Finally, each year some students opt to participate Culture Quest, which is a ten-day optional trek created and organized by students.

How This Lauder Vet Is Working to Create Life-Saving Devices for the Military


The Lauder Joint MBA/MA Program runs for 24 months and begins in May. In June and July, students travel to the region(s) that corresponds to their program of concentration and are immersed in the language, economics, history, politics, business, and culture of the region(s). As an MBA with a global focus, there is an emphasis on practical international experience. The summer also includes corporate visits, cultural excursions, activities with Lauder alumni, and 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.

Discover all of Wharton’s dual degree offerings on our Interdisciplinary page — or if you’re ready to apply, get started on the application process now.

Learn More

To learn more about the Lauder Program, visit the Lauder website, and gain insight into the program by viewing the recent Admissions webinar.