Admissions

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is distinctive about the Huntsman Program in International Studies & Business?
2. How is it possible to do everything in only four years?
3. Does the Huntsman Program provide special facilities for its students?
4. Do Huntsman students have access to resources not available to other students?
5. Where do Huntsman students live?
6. Will I be able to make friends outside the Program?
7. What careers do Huntsman students pursue upon graduation?
8. What will my major be? Can I select any major?
9. Do I take all my classes with other Huntsman students?
10. Will I be able to take courses that interest me?
11. Will I be too busy to be involved in sports or other activities?
12. Will I have an opportunity to do research?
13. Should I take Advanced Placement courses? What effect do they have?
14. How do I apply to the Huntsman Program?
15. Can I apply Early Decision?
16. What are the criteria for consideration?
17. Do I need an interview?
18. Does the Huntsman Program accept transfer students?
19. Would not being selected to the Huntsman Program hurt my chances of being admitted to my single degree option at Penn?
20. What are the Huntsman-approved (target) languages?
21. Can I apply to the Huntsman Program with a different language other than the 11 “target languages”?
22. Can I change my target language?
23. Can I study more than one language?
24. When and for how long do Huntsman students study abroad?
25. What is meant by an immersion experience for study abroad?
26. Do I need to take the TOEFL exam?
27. Can I target English as my language in the Program?
28. Can I target my native language provided it is one of the 11 Huntsman languages?
29. Can I receive credit for National Examinations?

1. What is distinctive about the Huntsman Program in International Studies & Business?

The Huntsman Program in International Studies & Business is Penn's jointly administered dual degree undergraduate program in business, liberal arts and language study. Huntsman students graduate in four years with two degrees, a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies from the School of Arts and Sciences and a Bachelor of Science in Economics from the Wharton School. Students receive a well-rounded education with emphasis on both theory and practice, enabling them to successfully pursue virtually any career path.

2. How is it possible to do everything in only four years?

The curriculum is fully integrated. Requirements of one school serve as electives for the other. Multiple counting and some advanced placement credits enable students to fulfill all of the requirements within four years, while providing flexibility for students to take other courses which interest them.

In addition to fulfilling all of the requirements for the two Huntsman degrees, many students find time to complete an additional major or minor. Others simply take electives for fun.

3. Does the Huntsman Program provide special facilities for its students?

Yes. We are located at 3732 Locust Walk, in the heart of Penn’s campus. In addition to the administrative offices, there is a student lounge with international periodicals, a computer lab for the use of our students, a classroom (where the freshman seminar is taught) and a conference room.

4. Do Huntsman students have access to resources not available to other students?

Yes. The Huntsman Program has a limited number of summer study grants for students who feel that they need extra language training. The Program has also arranged a number of internship programs with select organizations which are open only to Huntsman students. Students have access to an advisor who is dedicated solely to the Huntsman Program.

The Program also arranges for prominent business and political leaders to come speak on campus, and there are often social and cultural events that are open only to Huntsman students.

5. Where do Huntsman students live?

All Huntsman freshmen live on the third floor of Kings Court College House during their first year. Kings Court is located at 3465 Sansom Street, across from the Penn Bookstore and cafes and only two blocks from the library. After the first year, Huntsman students may live wherever they choose. Some live in fraternities and sororities; some live in the College Houses; some live in off-campus housing.

6. Will I be able to make friends outside the Program?

Yes. While the Huntsman residential program fosters a sense of community among Huntsman students, they also have ample opportunity to meet other students. In fact, because they take classes in both the Wharton School and the School of Arts & Sciences, they are able to meet a wider variety of students than might be the case for a single-degree student. In addition to their classmates, students often make friends through extracurricular activities: clubs, performing arts groups, fraternities and sororities, and student government, to name a few.

7. What careers do Huntsman students pursue upon graduation?

Huntsman’s blend of practical business skills with a broader liberal arts perspective prepares graduates to be successful in almost any career. Investment banking, consulting, management and marketing are popular career choices among Huntsman graduates but many have followed other paths, working in the nonprofit and public sectors and event starting their own businesses and organizations. Politics, law, community development, medicine and public health are also relatively common career paths for Huntsman alumni. Many also go on to earn graduate degrees, whether immediately following completion of the Program or after working for a few years first.

To learn more about the diverse careers that Huntsman alumni pursue, please visit our Alumni section and read some of our Alumni Profiles.

8. What will my major be? Can I select any major?

All Huntsman students major in International Studies in the School of Arts & Sciences. (The International Studies major is designed specifically for Huntsman students and is not available to other students.) However, it is possible to minor, or even major, in additional subjects. Students in the past have minored in math, linguistics, urban studies, music, political science, and psychology, among others.

In Wharton, Huntsman students are free to choose from among any of the 19 concentrations (majors) offered by Wharton departments (except for Global Analysis). Often students decide to earn a second concentration within Wharton.

9. Do I take all my classes with other Huntsman students?

No. Students in the Huntsman Program choose their classes from the wealth of courses offered throughout the University. History 107 – Comparative Capitalist Systems – is the one exception. The course has been specifically designed for Huntsman students. It is taken during the first semester of the freshman year and is open only to Huntsman freshmen.

Students take the rest of their courses alongside other Penn students in the School of Arts and Sciences and Wharton. Since their requirements are similar, students do sometimes see their Huntsman friends in other classes and often choose to work together on class projects. However, History 107 is the only course that is both required for and limited to Huntsman students.

10. Will I be able to take courses that interest me?

Students have considerable flexibility to choose courses that interest them. Although Huntsman students need to fulfill a number of requirements, they can select from extensive lists of courses which fulfill these requirements.

The College General Requirements, Wharton Business Concentration, Area Studies, International Business and International Studies requirements are all fulfilled with courses chosen by the student from a large selection of relevant classes.

In addition, there is space in the curriculum for electives. Many Huntsman students minor, or even major, in a variety of subjects unrelated to business or international studies. In the past, students have taken on extra majors in mathematics, political science or urban studies, and a few students have even been pre-med in addition to fulfilling their Huntsman requirements!

11. Will I be too busy to be involved in sports or other activities?

Students in the Huntsman Program are able, and encouraged, to participate in Penn activities and student organizations. Current students are actively involved and have leadership positions in a variety of organizations such as SCUE (Student Committee on Undergraduate Education), the Wharton Dean’s Council, the Undergraduate Assembly, the International Affairs Association (Model UN), the Small Business Development Center, the Daily Pennsylvanian, Penn Orchestra, Varsity Track & Field, Varsity Football, various performing arts groups, fraternities and sororities.

12. Will I have an opportunity to do research?

Yes. The Huntsman Program requires a Senior Research Project for graduation (the senior thesis) and many courses offer opportunities to carry out research papers and projects. In addition, it is also possible to do independent research with a professor through mentorships facilitated by the Huntsman Program.

13. Should I take Advanced Placement courses? What effect do they have?

Whenever possible, we recommend that applicants take advanced placement courses (or the equivalent if in a different educational system) in both mathematics and their intended target language. In particular, advanced placement credit in BC Calculus is recommended, but not required. Each year students arrive to the Program having completed AP Calculus AB or the equivalent. However, it is not mandatory that students complete the advanced placement courses prior to applying.

Advanced placement credits in BC Calculus and Micro and Macro Economics may fulfill Wharton requirements such as MATH104 and ECON 010. This provides students with added flexibility in the curriculum. AP credit is no longer used to fulfill general requirements in the College of Arts and Sciences, but any course that has the AP equivalent credit as a pre-requisite can count to fulfill the sector requirement.

14. How do I apply to the Huntsman Program?

Students apply to the Huntsman Program as part of their application to Penn for the freshman year. There is a separate section of the Penn supplement (Form 1C) that must be completed by students who want to be considered for the program. In addition to the regular questions, applicants are required to:

  • Write a separate essay discussing a current international issue;
  • Indicate the target language in which they will demonstrate proficiency;
  • Indicate whether they will have completed the equivalent of one semester of college calculus by matriculation (not necessarily by application time);
  • Indicate the single degree school (Wharton or the College of Arts and Sciences) for which they would like to be considered if they are not admitted to the Huntsman Program.

Admission to the Huntsman Program is competitive, with a target of approximately 45 students per class. Applicants who are not admitted to the Program are considered for admission to either the College or Wharton. Not being admitted to the Huntsman Program does not have a negative impact on the single-school selection process.

15. Can I apply Early Decision?

Students can apply early decision and are encouraged to do so, if they know that the Huntsman Program is their first choice and provided they can complete all required testing.

Applicants who are planning to take additional testing in November can still apply Early Decision provided they rush their scores and submit the rest of their application materials to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions before the November 1st deadline.

16. What are the criteria for consideration?

The ideal candidate for the Huntsman Program would have excellent verbal and mathematical academic credentials (see Undergraduate Admissions information for SAT I and ACT information), intermediate-level proficiency in the target foreign language, and academic and extracurricular activities demonstrating leadership potential, an international awareness and an ability to work independently.

Language and mathematics recommendations:

  • SAT II Subject Test: Math Level 2
  • SAT II Subject Test in the intended target language

In addition to the SAT II Subject Test: Math Level 2, many successful Huntsman candidates have taken advanced placement credit in calculus.

For target languages in which there is no SAT Subject Test (such as Arabic, Hindi, Portuguese and Russian), the Huntsman Program has developed its own language test. Applicants will be informed about taking this test after they apply. There are no practice questions or sample tests available. The best way to prepare for this exam is by regularly practicing your target language.

17. Do I need an interview?

An interview is not required. However, we encourage applicants to contact us to set up a conversation with a Huntsman alumnus or to schedule a campus visit to speak with a Huntsman director. If you are visiting campus, we encourage you to stop into the office to meet us and ask your questions in person. Do not hesitate to contact us directly at huntsman.isb@wharton.upenn.edu.

18. Does the Huntsman Program accept transfer students?

No. The program does not accept transfer students.

19. Would not being selected to the Huntsman Program hurt my chances of being admitted to my single degree option at Penn?

Absolutely not. Your admissions chances will not be adversely affected. If you are not selected for admission to the Huntsman Program, you will be considered for admission to the single degree school of your choice and you will be given the same consideration as all other single degree candidates.

20. What are the Huntsman-approved (target) languages?

Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin), French, German, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.

21. Can I apply to the Huntsman Program with a different language other than the 11 “target languages”?

In order to apply to the Huntsman Program, you need to demonstrate proficiency in one of our 11 target languages.

The only exception to this is Portuguese. Native or highly advanced Spanish speakers may apply to the Program as Portuguese targets, even if they have not previously studied the language. Penn offers a “Portuguese for Spanish Speakers” course, which allows students to pick up the language more quickly than they would otherwise be able to.

22. Can I change my target language?

Students in the Huntsman Program are required to study abroad in their target language for at least one semester, normally in the junior year. This requires a high degree of proficiency and at least four advanced language courses in each of the four semesters prior to the study abroad term. Changing a target language is possible, but only with consultation and approval from the designated Huntsman Program academic advisors.

23. Can I study more than one language?

Although you normally only specialize in one language in the Huntsman Program (your target language), students often pursue the study of other languages. Prior to arrival of freshman year and each semester thereafter, all Huntsman students meet with the designated Huntsman Program academic advisor and discuss the study of additional languages. The occasional student has even pursued two target languages, but that represents an exceptional situation, not the norm.

24. When and for how long do Huntsman students study abroad?

Most Huntsman students complete their required study abroad during their junior year. However, it is possible and in some cases recommended to study abroad earlier, for example, in the spring of sophomore year, provided the language skills are deemed to be at the appropriate level.

Some students, particularly those enrolled in less commonly taught languages, will be encouraged and receive Huntsman Program funding to enroll in an immersion language course in the summer following freshman year.

Huntsman students are required to study abroad for at least one semester. Students may also choose to study abroad for an entire academic year depending on the program of their interest.

25. What is meant by an immersion experience for study abroad?

When Huntsman students study abroad in the area of the world in which they are specializing, they are immersed in the culture and the society of the country. They always take university courses alongside regular students in the native language of the region. Frequently, they live with host families and, thereby, deepen their understanding of the culture. Huntsman students do not take courses designed specifically for foreign students through “island programs”.

26. Do I need to take the TOEFL exam?

Penn requires all international students, who are not enrolled in English speaking schools and who are not currently studying in the United States, to take the TOEFL exam in addition to the customary SAT examinations.

27. Can I target English as my language in the Program?

No. English proficiency is expected, but it is not one of the acceptable target languages for the Huntsman Program, even for non-native speakers of English.

28. Can I target my native language provided it is one of the 11 Huntsman languages?

It is possible to use your native language for admissions purposes. However, we encourage students to use this opportunity to develop professional competency in another language instead. A number of Huntsman students have chosen this path successfully.

29. Can I receive credit for National Examinations?

Yes. You will need to contact the Office of International Admissions and Transfer Credit upon arrival at Penn. You may wish to read the Transfer Credit section of the Admissions website.

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Corey Metzman

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Class: 2012

Hometown: Nashville, TN

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When looking at different schools, I often became torn between studying liberal arts and business. In the Program, I can easily fuse these interests without sacrificing one for the other. For instance, this semester I’m taking intermediate microeconomics, Business Spanish, beginning Arabic, a course in Islamic Finance, and a class about online social networking theory. I’ve also had the opportunity to speak with the Cairo Bureau Chief of the LA Times and the President of the World Bank; events like these definitely round out my education both inside and outside of the classroom.

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