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.

MBA/MA Curriculum

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.

  • Africa
  • East and Southeast Asia
  • Europe
  • Latin America
  • South Asia, the Middle East and North Africa
  • Global

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.

The Lauder Capstone

All Lauder students complete a capstone course and a solo-authored paper to fulfil the masters research and writing requirement. The Capstone provides students with the opportunity to develop and integrate their language, business, and intercultural skills in the context of a practical, yet analytical, research undertaking. Learn more.

Global Immersions

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.

Lauder Class of 2023 Profiles


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.

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.