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Vagelos Program in Life Sciences and Management

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File:Roy and Diana Vagelos with LSM Class of 2018.jpg
Roy and Diana Vagelos with the LSM Class of 2018

The Roy and Diana Vagelos Program in Life Sciences and Management (also known as LSM) is a 4-year coordinated dual-degree undergraduate program between the College of Arts and Sciences and the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. Students of the program graduate with both a Bachelor of Science in Economics from the Wharton School and a Bachelor of Arts in a life sciences major from the College of Arts and Sciences. The goal of combining life sciences and management is to prepare students to become decision makers who are able to understand and advance scientific innovations as well as manage and promote them.[1] LSM students take two courses specific to the program: the Proseminar which introduces the connections between the disciplines and the year-long Capstone in which teams of students work with the inventors to develop a plan to commercialize a medical innovation. Because of the program’s emphasis not only on science but on its implementation, students are required to do two paid summer internships: one in scientific research, the other in business or policy.

LSM is a highly selective program. Each year, it admits approximately 24 freshmen and offers them an opportunity to combine coursework in business, liberal arts, and life sciences in preparation for careers in for-profit and non-profit organizations where they can make use of their knowledge both of science and of its management. Many graduates go on to advanced degrees such as MDs or PhDs (or both), either immediately after graduation or after working in the business and/or research sectors. Graduates work in life sciences banking and consulting, in life sciences investing, or in the life sciences industry itself, for example in pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, health tech, or with health care providers.[2]


The LSM program was founded in 2005 by Dr. Philip A. Rea and Dr. Mark V. Pauly (Bendheim Professor, Professor of Health Care Systems, of Insurance and Risk Management, and of Business and Public Policy, The Wharton School),[3] with an endowment provided by Roy and Diana Vagelos. The responsibility of administering the program and advising students was carried out by the initial Director of Administration and Advising, Andrew Coopersmith.[4] Dr. Mark V. Pauly is now the Emeritus Faculty Co-Director. The former Director of Administration and Advising, Andrew Coopersmith, is now the Managing Director of The Wharton Public Policy Initiative at the University of Pennsylvania.[4]

LSM enrolled its inaugural class in the fall of 2006. Before July 2008, LSM was a joint program that allowed students to pursue either the B.A. or B.S. in Economics in the life sciences track and management track, respectively. Students of the program admitted while this system was in use (the classes of 2010, 2011, and 2012) still had the option to pursue one of the tracks or the new dual degree option. The class of 2013 and beyond, however, are required to pursue the dual degree option.

Program Leadership[edit]

Advisory Board[edit]

The LSM Advisory Board is composed of over 20 industry leaders ranging from medical experts to corporate executives.[5] Dr. P. Roy Vagelos sits as an honorary member of the Advisory Board.

Faculty and Staff[edit]

The program is led by two faculty co-directors, Philip A. Rea[3] (Rebecka and Arie Belldegrun Distinguished Director, Professor of Biology, School of Arts and Sciences) and Dr. Lawton R. Burns[6] (James Joo-Jin Kim Professor of Health Care Management, The Wharton School) as well as by a Director of Administration and Advising, Dr. Peter Stokes,[7] and supported by the LSM Program Coordinator, Jeremy Wheatley.[8]


The LSM curriculum is composed of business, life science, and liberal arts coursework along with two LSM specific courses.[9]

LSM students are required to undertake internships in the summers before junior and senior year. One is a business or policy-oriented internship, while the other is a scientific research-oriented internship.[10]


  1. "About the Program | Penn Life Sciences & Management Program". lsm.upenn.edu.
  2. "Are you a robot?". Bloomberg. Retrieved 2019-11-30.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Dr. Philip A. Rea | Penn LSM". lsm.upenn.edu. Retrieved 2017-12-14.
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Andrew Coopersmith". Penn Wharton Public Policy Initiative. Retrieved 2017-12-14.
  5. "Advisory Board | Penn Life Sciences & Management Program". lsm.upenn.edu.
  6. "Dr. Lawton R. Burns | Penn LSM". lsm.upenn.edu. Retrieved 2017-12-14.
  7. [1]
  8. "Jeremy Wheatley | Penn LSM". lsm.upenn.edu. Retrieved 2019-07-18.
  9. "College Courses | Penn Life Sciences & Management Program". lsm.upenn.edu.
  10. "Learning Through Experience | Penn Life Sciences & Management Program". lsm.upenn.edu.

External links[edit]

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