- How It Works
- The Degree
- The People
The OPI is a live 20-30 minute conversation that takes place over the phone between a trained, certified ACTFL tester and the candidate. The ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines for the OPI range from Novice to Distinguished.
Every applicant to the Lauder Institute – whether to the MBA/MA or the JD/MA program – is required to submit one OPI, with the option to submit more than one. The minimum OPI for admission to Lauder is Advanced Low. If applicants score lower than an Advanced Low, they are welcome and encouraged to retake the OPI to achieve the minimum rating. Applicants who test in their native language (when that language is not English) are expected to score at the Superior-level or higher. Students are required to demonstrate a Superior-level prior to graduation. Global Program applicants must test superior in one language other than English at the time of application
To schedule an OPI, complete and submit LTI’s online application. When scheduling with LTI, please be sure to register as a Lauder applicant. Click through to the Important Dates & Deadlines page of this website for OPI start dates and deadlines.
Note: Applicants must wait 90 days in between tests should they wish to retake the OPI.
Sample OPI clips at the Advanced level:
Sample OPI clips at the Superior level:
Lauder supports instruction in the languages listed in the first column. Applicants applying to a regional Program of Concentration must indicate a target language at the time of application and must reach Superior-level proficiency in that language to graduate. The languages of instruction column below indicates the in-language focus of the summer immersion, though we may select candidates with other language backgrounds if it aligns with the regional or global Program of Concentration.
|Region||Languages of Instruction||Also related|
|Global||All languages welcome.|
|South Asia, the Middle East,
and North Africa
Applicants should choose to test in a language in which they have high proficiency. Their choice of language should also be related to their chosen Program of Concentration.
For applicants to one of Lauder’s five regional Programs of Concentration:
Upon admission or by graduation, students who choose one of Lauder’s five (5) regional Programs of Concentration (Africa; Latin America; East and Southeast Asia; Europe; South Asia, the Middle East, and North Africa) must show Superior-level proficiency in a language spoken in or highly relevant to their region. If a candidate tests at the Superior level in a regional language as part of the application process, he or she will not be required to study a language at Lauder. During the summer immersion program and in Philadelphia, students in this category will focus on international studies topics; instruction will be in English. These students are also welcome to continue their study of a language supported at Lauder as credit toward the degree. Applicants who score at or above Advanced Low, but lower than Superior, on a regional language will be required to study a Lauder language appropriate to their region of focus. Applicants may test in their native language provided it is appropriate to the region. Please note: there is no admission advantage given to a student who tests Superior in a preferred language versus a language that is not taught at Lauder.
For applicants to Lauder’s Global Program of Concentration:
Candidates applying to the Global Program must demonstrate Superior-level proficiency in any language, whether it is taught at Lauder or it is simply accepted for admission. Applicants may test in their native language provided it is not English. There is no admission advantage given to a student who tests in a preferred language versus a language that is not taught at Lauder.
The Lauder admission team will decide the required number of semesters of language instruction each student should take at the time of admission to the Program. For instance, we would require four semesters to students scoring Advanced Low on the OPI at the time of admission, but we would require only one semester, or possibly two semesters, in the case of students scoring Advanced High on the OPI. That recommendation is tailored to each student at the time of admission.
The Lauder Institute treats the study of language as an essential basis for acquiring knowledge and understanding the world. The Lauder Institute’s language instructors are experts in teaching students who wish to use their intercultural knowledge and communication skills in a business context. Language courses are rich in relevant content, making language instruction not a supplement to the Lauder program but an integral part of it.