London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)
The study abroad program at LSE, called the General Course, is a year-long experience that integrates students into the university and culture of London. Students are able to take any combination of more than 300 available courses covering the full range of social science subjects. LSE has a remarkable global reputation, offers guaranteed accommodation, and even offers scholarships for study abroad students!
For additional information, visit the London School of Economics website, and the LSE General Course website.
The City of London
London is one of the most exciting and dynamic places in the world to be a student - a city at the cutting-edge of developments in every field. With more than 8.5 million inhabitants and an incredible concentration of history and creativity throughout the city, you can find yourself among a sea of both British and worldwide cultures. For study purposes, London offers special advantages, including major libraries, museums and art galleries, the headquarters of learned societies, and research institutes in medicine, law and the humanities.
The program at the London School of Economics and Political Science is for College credit only.
Minimum GPA Requirement: For students studying qualitative courses, the required minimum cumulative GPA is 3.3. For students studying quantitative courses, the required minimum cumulative GPA is 3.5.
Language Prerequisite: No previous study required.
Additional Course Pre-requisite(s): Successful completion of at least 3 college-level courses in major completed by the end of the academic semester (fall or spring) prior to departure.
Other Requirements: Strong background in relevant coursework.
Language of Instruction
A full course load in the General Course at the London School of Economics and Political Science consists of four classes per year (or four half-year-courses each semester). Penn students must maintain a full course load while abroad and may only enroll in courses at the undergraduate level.
Students in the General Course may take any of the 300+ courses offered at LSE (so long as pre-requisites are met). At least two of the courses must be taught by the admitting department. Most LSE activities and courses are organized on a yearlong basis (from late September to early June), over three terms. Teaching consists of lectures, classes, and tutorials. Most courses consist of at least one lecture and one class per week. Tutorials are private meetings between student and tutor or, occasionally, small group meetings. In addition to the four courses taken for credit students may attend any number of lectures; no registration is necessary for such attendance. All of the courses are regular courses - there is nothing "separate" or distinctive in the way the visiting student is treated. More information about studying at LSE is available on its website.
As on all Penn Abroad programs, grades are recorded on the Penn transcript and are calculated in the cumulative grade point average. The pass/fail option can be exercised according to the Penn on-campus policy of your home school. For more information on Penn Abroad’s academic policies, click here.
Class grades summarize each student's work over the year and are based on the "overall contribution" to the class group's work - attendance, participation in the group, preparation and, typically, a minimum of two major papers for each course per term during the first two terms. Some courses, e.g. in more quantitative subjects, will rely on weekly class worksheets and ongoing tests, but more typically you will be asked to make presentations - introducing discussion in your class group - and write papers for your class teacher. Each class teacher will advise you of these participatory and written work requirements at the outset. Examinations take place during the third term; they review the full year's work and normally consist of three-hour unseen papers, offering a choice of questions. Papers are marked internally by two examiners and the whole process is moderated by an External Examiner from another British university. Papers are awarded percentage marks, which are then translated into letter grades.
General Course students receive two sets of grades on their final transcript - one for each of the examinations taken at the end of the year and the other a "class grade" for each course. At Penn, the class grade and the examination grade are averaged together to obtain the final grade for the course. Students must take the final examination in all four yearlong courses.
Grades are reported to Penn on the LSE scale and then converted to Penn grades according to the following grade equivalencies:
All Penn students are required to attend the orientation activities organized by the London School of Economics and Political Science prior to the start of each semester. More information on LSE’s orientation activities can be found here.
As a General Course student with a Tier 4 visa you have automatic entitlement to work on or off campus up to 20 hours each week of the academic term, and more in vacation times. General Course students interested in adding an internship to their study abroad experience should apply directly to The Intern Group before they arrive in London. More information can be found here.
The Social Calendar is subsidized by LSE with events offered to General Course students at a significant discount or for free.
Penn students studying at the London School of Economics and Political Science have access to more than 250 student activities and associations. More information can be found here.
Participants must be willing to live under local conditions for students.
General Course students are guaranteed a spot in university accommodation. The residences offer a variety of styles, facilities, and costs. LSE accommodation is offered on a random basis within quotas set out for each hall. In each residence, there will be a mixture of students; home and overseas, men and women. Most LSE residences are self-catered but some offer a meal plan.
Information regarding accommodation can be found here.
Cost and Finance
Penn Abroad Financial Policies
Students are charged Penn tuition and academic fees for all Penn Abroad programs. Additional expenses will typically include items such as housing, visas, and airfare. Please see the program budget sheets below for more information. For more on Penn Abroad’s financial policies, click here.
Financial Aid and Study Abroad
In most cases, financial aid applies to Penn-approved programs. Student Financial Services reviews program budget sheets each semester to determine how to appropriately adjust your aid package. For more information on how Financial Aid will work during your semester abroad, click here.
AASAP/UK Lord Acton Memorial Scholarship: Merit-based scholarship awarded to the applicant who demonstrates an understanding and appreciation of the value of an international educational experience and who agrees to share how the scholarship helped to fulfil their academic and personal ambitions. The award is £500 for a semester abroad or £1,000 for a full year.
BUTEX offers eight scholarships to North American students studying at a university in the United Kingdom. The value of each scholarship is £500 and will be paid to the winners once they have arrived and registered at their host university. Interested students should contact the appropriate Global Programs Manager in the Penn Abroad office.
For information on the Penn Abroad application process, click here.
To open an application or learn more about the program, please click here to schedule an appointment with a Penn Abroad Global Programs Manager.