MBA/MA Lauder Joint Degree in International Studies Program
The first of its kind in the U.S., the Lauder Institute’s MBA/MA joint degree integrates two degrees in two years: a Wharton MBA and an International Studies MA from Penn’s School of Arts & Sciences. Lauder’s mission is to develop outstanding business leaders who look globally, engage locally, and act responsibly to have powerful impact in the world.
Lauder combines a top-ranked business degree with intercultural leadership skills, interdisciplinary coursework, language studies, and research — providing a foundation for graduates to excel in their careers around the world.
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.
Programs of Concentration
Students choose one of six programs of concentration to specialize in at Lauder.
- East and Southeast Asia
- Latin America
- South Asia, the Middle East and North Africa
No matter what concentration students choose, they will learn how to build connections between different cultures, communities, and countries, and form close bonds with their peers within Lauder’s intimate and tight-knit community.
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.
Throughout their 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 international summer immersion during their first semester.
As an MBA/MA program with a global focus, Lauder emphasizes practical, international experience. The program runs for 24 months and begins in May. After an initial period of orientation and on-campus coursework, 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.