Leadership in the Business World

Program Dates:  July 3 – July 30, 2016
Application Opens:  November 20, 2015
Application Deadline:  February 5, 2016
Application Status Notification: April 1, 2016

Location: University of Pennsylvania, The Wharton School, Philadelphia, PA

Eligibility: Students with demonstrated leadership ability who will enter 12th grade in fall 2016.

Click here for a list of frequently asked questions (FAQ).

About LBW

Sponsored by Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, Leadership in the Business World (LBW) is an intensive summer program for a select group of rising high school seniors who want an introduction to a top-notch undergraduate business education and the opportunity to hone their leadership, teamwork, and communication skills. Since 1999, LBW has brought students from six continents and nearly every state to the Wharton School.

LBW offers opportunities to learn about leadership in 21st century organizations through a dynamic and rigorous mix of classes with Wharton professors and business leaders, company site visits, and team-building activities.

Each summer, LBW students:

  • Attend lectures and presentations from outstanding Wharton faculty and guest speakers.
  • Engage in classroom discussions about core business subjects, entrepreneurship, and leadership.
  • Receive coaching on communication and team-building skills from six upper-level Wharton undergraduates who serve as Resident Team Advisors (RTAs).
  • Develop and enhance leadership skills through collaborative teamwork.
  • Visit business enterprises and speak with successful leaders across the industries of finance, entrepreneurship, entertainment, real estate, retail, and more.
  • Work in teams to design and present an original business plan, evaluated by a panel of venture capitalists and business professionals.
  • Participate in weekend and evening cultural and social activities.
  • Test their potential as future business leaders.
LBW students head to a company site visit in New York City.
LBW students head to a company site visit in New York City.

Application Policies and Procedures

Wharton will select 160 students to attend LBW. LBW will run from July 3 to July 30. The program fee is $7,295 and covers tuition, housing, most meals, activities, and weekend trips.

Admission to LBW is highly selective. Each year the LBW admissions committee receives many more applications than there are available places. Selections are based on a record of academic excellence, demonstrated leadership, and a genuine interest in developing leadership skills. Admission to LBW is need-blind.

Application for the program requires:

  • High school transcript (unofficial transcript is acceptable)
  • School profile (obtained from school office or guidance counselor)
  • Two letters of recommendation from teachers
  • Short essay
  • $75 application fee

It is optional, but we recommend that applicants send in standardized test scores for the LBW application.

If English is not an applicant’s first language and the applicant’s school does not provide instruction in English, the admissions committee requires TOEFL scores. Competitive applicants tend to have a composite score of 100 and above. SAT or ACT tests may be submitted in lieu of the TOEFL.

Financial Aid

Need-based financial aid is available. If an applicant is unable to pay the fee to apply to LBW, an application fee waiver is available by request to LBW-inquiries@wharton.upenn.edu.

The application to LBW is only available online, and transcripts, recommendations, and score reports may be sent to LBW-inquiries@wharton.upenn.edu, or to the following address:

Leadership in the Business World
610 S. Henderson Road
King of Prussia, PA 19406


All applications must be received by February 5, 2016. All supplementary materials must be received no later than February 5, 2016. Decisions will be released beginning April 1, 2016.

For more information about LBW, call 610.265.9401 or contact us at LBW-inquiries@wharton.upenn.edu.

Please note that participation in LBW does not guarantee admission into Penn.