Open Access Articles- Top Results for Huntsman Program in International Studies and Business

Huntsman Program in International Studies and Business

The Huntsman Program in International Studies & Business, formerly known as the IS&B Program, is a four-year undergraduate course of study, which integrates business education, international studies, advanced language training and a liberal arts education at the University of Pennsylvania. It is one of four joint-degree programs at Penn. Huntsman graduates earn 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 .


The Program's goal is to enable students to take advantage of a professional education and an understanding of the political, economic and cultural complexities in the global economy of the 21st century, thereby earning the ability to seize global opportunities and work effectively anywhere in the world. Students are required to learn the cultural, political, and social institutions of an area of the world in which their target language is spoken.

Student Life

The Huntsman Student Advisory Board serves as an instrument for greater student participation in shaping the program and as a forum for students to voice their opinions and raise issues. The Board works to build a sense of community with events such as pizza parties, coffee hours, trivia nights, karaoke and trips to Phillies games. It also holds regular panel discussions on subjects such as study abroad, how to fulfill requirements, internships and recruiting.

The Board consists of twelve members, four of whom are selected by the existing Board members and eight of whom are elected by their peers.


All Huntsman freshmen live in a residential program on campus in the third floor of King's Court College House at 3465 Sansom Street in the University of Pennsylvania. After freshman year, Huntsman students may compete for any form of accommodation they wish with the rest of the college population.

The Huntsman Program has its own building located in the heart of Penn's campus at 3732 Locust Walk, Philadelphia PA 19104-6231 (contact info). In addition to the administrative offices, the office houses a student lounge, computer lab, classroom, and conference room. Students enjoy meeting with friends, studying, and reading international newspapers and magazines in the student lounge. The computer lab - which is networked to the Wharton computer labs - is equipped with language software. Students can frequently be found working together on group projects in the lab. Both the classroom and conference room can be reserved for meetings. The conference room is the venue for the Huntsman-only Comparative Capitalist Systems class.

The Office is also the site of the Program’s many special events and luncheons.

Special Events

Throughout the academic year, the Huntsman Program invites special speakers from the world of academia, industry and government to address program participants and the University community at large. Past speakers have included the governors of Utah and Hawaii, the Consul General of France and the Deputy Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction. The CEOs of major corporations, renowned professors and Program alumni have also been invited to speak. As the inaugural Reinsberg lecture speaker, the Huntsman Program hosted a talk by Mr. Robert Zoellick, President of the World Bank Group. Recently, former President of Panama Dr. Nicolás Ardito Barletta spoke on Panama and the importance of its international banking center for Latin America.

Program Advisors, Directors, and Staff

External Advisory Board

The Huntsman Advisory Board currently consists of 24 senior level professionals (CEO's, MD's, and Presidents), primarily from the business community, who provide advice and assistance to the Program. Board members have global perspectives, with current members coming from Asia, Canada, Europe, Latin America and the United States. They are committed to the success of the Program and value the unique education that it provides. Board members include Padraic Fallon, Chairman, Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC, Paul Huntsman, Senior Vice President, Huntsman Gay Global Capital, John Colas, Partner, Mercer Oliver Wyman, and John Reinsberg, Deputy Chairman, Lazard Asset Management LLC.

Faculty Directors and Administrative Staff

Presently, two faculty directors are charged with the responsibility for the Program and serve as the primary advisors for students: Janice R. Bellace, Wharton faculty director, and Rudra Sil, College faculty director. Noted Arabic scholar Roger Allen, who had been College faculty director of the Program since its inception, serves as a part-time advisor.

A small administrative staff coordinates all of the activities of the Huntsman Program and advises students about options they have in the Program: Inge Herman, Executive Director, Marco Alves, Associate Director, and Monica Montiel, Program Coordinator.[1]

Program Curriculum

The flexible design of the Huntsman curriculum allows students to graduate in four years with a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies (from the College of Arts & Sciences) and a Bachelor of Science in Economics (from Wharton). While receiving two degrees in four years involves many requirements, students often find that they have a surprising amount of flexibility within those requirements, the freedom to take electives outside of them and enough spare time to become highly involved in extracurricular and social activities.

A total of 40 course units are required for graduation. General requirements in the College and in Wharton provide students with an introduction to the many different fields offered by each school. The International Studies major and the Wharton concentration allow students to specialize in the areas that most interest them. The interdisciplinary nature of the International Studies major means that each Huntsman student is able to personalize his or her curriculum, and no two Huntsman students will have exactly the same educational experience.

The basic components of the Huntsman Curriculum are as follows:

International Studies Major Requirements

International Studies (3 courses)

Area Studies (3 courses)

Advanced Language (4 courses)

International Business (3 courses)

Senior Thesis (1 course)

College General Requirements*

Sector Requirements (7 courses)

Wharton Requirements*

Leadership: Management 100 (1 course)

Economics & Calculus (3 courses)

Wharton Business Fundamentals (9 courses) (Accounting, Finance, Marketing, Management, Operations & Information Management, Statistics)

Business Concentration (4 courses)

  • Some courses will fulfill two requirements. For example, History 107, the Huntsman freshman seminar in Comparative Capitalist Systems, fulfills an International Studies requirement in the International Studies major and also fulfills the sector IV (Humanities and Social Science Interdisciplinary). Economics 010, a combination of micro and macroeconomics, fulfills a Wharton requirement and also sector I (Society) under the College General requirements. Huntsman students are able to earn each degree with fewer requirements than a single-degree student would have to fulfill in each school.

Study Abroad

As an essential part of the Program, while fulfilling the 40 c.u. curriculum, Huntsman students study abroad for a minimum of one semester (typically during the junior year) at another university in the area of the world in which their target language is spoken.

The semester abroad is an immersion experience designed to develop a student's understanding of a country's culture, its political and social institutions. Huntsman students learn how to live, study, and possibly even work in an environment that is different from their prior experience; language skills will automatically be strengthened by such exposure. When they study abroad, Huntsman students take standard courses with regular university students, live with families or in student dormitories, take a course load similar to that at Penn, and do not attend "island" programs designed for foreign students.

All grades earned abroad are converted into Penn grades and are factored into a student's grade point average. Courses taken abroad may also fulfill major requirements. Typically, Arts & Letters, History & Tradition, and Area Studies components of the CGS requirements are the easiest to fulfill while abroad.


Admission to the Huntsman Program is competitive, with a target class size of approximately 40 students (it was 25 for '98 and '99). Recent classes have been around 50 students. Detailed admissions statistics are presently unavailable (Please see Penn's admissions statistics for a rough guide), though the program's admissions rate is lower than the University average. Based on Huntsman alumni figures, approximately half the class are international students. For the Class of 2011, the program yielded 87 percent of admitted students.

Application Procedure

Prospective students apply to the Huntsman Program as part of their application to Penn (Transfer students are not accepted). Embedded in the Common Application are the Penn essays, including the Huntsman Program segment as part of the coordinated dual degree section. (Please note that Form 1c no longer exists). Applicants are required to:

  • write an additional essay about their interest in international issues (for example, "Discuss a current international issue which demonstrates how international affairs and business intersect."),
  • indicate the language (approved languages are: Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin), French, German, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish) in which they will demonstrate proficiency and use as their language of specialization within the program;
  • indicate their level of preparation in mathematics, and
  • indicate the single degree school for which they would like to be considered if they are not admitted to the Huntsman Program. (one may also opt for an all-or-nothing approach - if not admitted to the Huntsman Program, one can choose not to be considered at all for admission to Penn)

No interviews are required, although interviews are offered and can help.

Applicants are also encouraged to apply Early Decision; a binding commitment which has generally been well rewarded in the Admissions Decisions.

Entry Consideration

Students are encouraged to take the SAT II in their particular language of specialization if possible as well as the SAT II: MATH II-C. AP credit in Math and other subjects are also bonuses. The Huntsman Program has developed its own language tests for Arabic, Hindi and Russian. Arrangements are made for qualified applicants to take these tests.

Applicants to the Huntsman Program must have outstanding verbal and mathematical academic credentials and intermediate-level proficiency in their target foreign language. They are expected to have academic and extracurricular activities indicating an international awareness as well as leadership skills and the ability to work independently. Students are encouraged to apply early decision provided all required testing can be completed in time.


1992 - Janice R. Bellace, Wharton's undergraduate dean at the time, conceived of a unique undergraduate joint degree program, and shepherded what became the Huntsman Program through the SAS and Wharton faculty approval process. She stepped down as undergraduate dean in June 1994 to become Wharton's deputy dean and chief academic officer [2], just before the first "International Studies and Business Program" freshmen matriculated in Fall 1994.

1997 - Jon Huntsman, Sr. gave $10 million to endow the Huntsman Program in International Studies & Business (he then followed up with a $40 million gift a year later)[3].

1998 - The first 22 Huntsman Program students graduated.


The number of Huntsman alumni is still relatively small. The first class graduated in May 1998. There are now 261 Huntsman alumni.

Huntsman graduates have taken their education to diverse fields:

  • Investment Management
  • Investment Banking
  • Law
  • International Development (World Bank, IMF, NGO's)
  • Diplomacy (UN, Foreign Service)
  • Management (General)
  • Consulting (Strategic, Financial)
  • Marketing
  • Sales and Trading
  • Sports Management

Huntsman alumni take the global exposure afforded by the Program to careers around the world. Huntsman alumni can be found pursuing opportunities across the globe.

External links