Wharton Summer High School Programs

Leadership in the Business World

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 juniors and 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.

Program Dates: May 31-June 27, 2020; June 28-July 25, 2020
Application Opens:  November 2019
Priority Application Deadline: January 22, 2020
International Application Close: April 1, 2020
Domestic Application Close: May 1, 2020
Applications will be accepted until program is full.

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

Eligibility: Students with demonstrated leadership ability who will enter 11th and 12th grade in Fall 2020.

About LBW

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.
  • Have the opportunity to engage with and learn from current Wharton students who serve as Teaching Assistants (TAs) throughout the program.
  • 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.

Application Policies and Procedures

Wharton will select approximately 160 students to attend LBW. LBW will run two sessions in Summer 2020. The program fee 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:

  • Unofficial high school transcript
  • Letter of recommendation
  • Short essay
  • Standardized test scores (if applicable)
  • TOEFL/IELTS results (if applicable)
  • Financial aid application (if applicable)
  • $100 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.


For more information, please contact Wharton@summerdiscovery.com or call 516-621-3939.

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