Academics

Fitting it All In

Although the curriculum of the Huntsman Program at first glance appears to be tightly structured, there is considerable flexibility within the curriculum. Each Huntsman student’s four-year schedule is different. While receiving two degrees in four years involves many requirements, students often find that they have a surprising amount of flexibility within those requirements and the freedom to take electives. Many students are able to declare minors in addition to the Huntsman curriculum, and some even declare additional majors outside of business and international studies.

Perhaps the best evidence that Huntsman students have time outside of their studies is their involvement outside of the classroom. Students invariably become involved in performing arts groups (from Chinese and Hindi a capella to the Penn Orchestra), athletic teams, student government, community service groups, advocacy groups, professional associations and fraternities and sororities. Most Huntsman students declare minors in addition to the Huntsman curriculum and some declare additional majors. Some sub-matriculate in their senior year into the MBA Program and earn an MBA in addition to the B.S. and B.A. in five years. One Huntsman alumna sub-matriculated in the Lauder Institute and earned four degrees in five years, while engaged in many co-curricular activities and social activities. Several students currently aim to complete the Huntsman curriculum and a Masters in Mathematics, all in four years, as did an alumnus in the Class of 2007.


Much of the Program’s manageability comes from students’ ability to “double-count” a single course for more than one requirement. For example, international business courses count towards both the major in International Studies and the Bachelor of Science from Wharton. History 107, the Huntsman Freshman Seminar, fulfills both one of the college general requirements and one of the International Studies courses. If students decide to declare a minor, many other courses may double-count as well. Huntsman students are able to earn each degree with fewer requirements than a single-degree student would have to fulfill in each school.

Beyond course-counting, the Program’s formal advising system, as well as the informal advice passed down from older Huntsman students to younger ones, also helps students spread out more work-intensive courses over their four years at Penn. As a result, most students never find any one single semester where the workload is overwhelming.

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Matt Asada

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Class: 2002

Foreign Service Officer, India

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Penn offered a comprehensive selection of extra-curricular activities to get involved with at the university and beyond. I performed in a hip-hop/funk dance company, volunteered with Habitat for Humanity and taught adult evening computer literacy classes - all the while maintaining the requisite course load.

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