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ENGLAND - London School of Economics General Course

Study abroad in the heart of London at the world’s leading social science institution.

The General Course at LSE is a fully integrated year of undergraduate study in one of the most vibrant, diverse and historical cities in the world. General Course students may study any combination of the 250+ undergraduate courses taught at the School, in disciplines as varied as Anthropology, Geography and Social Policy.

This program is best for a student that is independent.  A student must be comfortable with advocating for themselves on campus to thrive in this location.  Student services and especially class registration may not be at all similar to what is done at the College and may be difficult for some students to adjust.  

There is a cap of one Lake Forest student per year to attend the LSE General Course.

Experiences of Former Students


To be eligible to participate in this program, students must meet the following requirements:

  • Good academic and judicial standing during time of application AND time of participation in program
  • Undergraduates must have completed at least two semesters of study at Lake Forest College AND have junior status or higher before participation. Sophomores are not accepted to this program, even if they hold that status on campus due to advanced credit standing.
  • At least 18 years of age by the program’s departure date. 
  • Be able to stay at the host program for the duration of the academic year program, including through the exam periods
  • Applicants who wish to study only qualitative subjects, such as Geography, Government or Sociology, should have a minimum cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.3/4.0, or equivalent.
  • Applicants who wish to study predominantly quantitative courses, i.e. those offered by the Departments of Economics, Mathematics, and Statistics, should have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.5/4.0, or equivalent, including higher level calculus and linear algebra.

London is an exciting, vibrant and colorful city. Whatever your interests or appetite you will always find something to suit your palate and your pocket in this truly international center. Whether you are into art, architecture or artifacts, dance, film, music or theatre, London really does have it all!

Our London Life pages list just some of the innumerable ways to spend your free time in one of the most dynamic and exciting cities in the world.


LSE offers a unique opportunity to study the social sciences in a university with a worldwide academic reputation while enjoying the cultural, social and recreational facilities of one of the world’s great capital cities. The focus of our teaching is on helping you learn some of the different ways to test your - and other people’s - ideas and, in the words of our motto, rerum cognoscere causas, “to understand the causes of things”.

The School offers courses not only in economics and political science but also in the full spectrum of social science subjects, taught a range of academic departments and interdisciplinary institutes.

Students joining the General Course are assigned to one of the 15 academic departments that offer undergraduate degrees, and which together teach more than 250 courses.

However, General Course students may study any combination of undergraduate courses across our academic departments, and their host department need not reflect their major interest.  It is preferred that students accepted by Economics, however, choose two courses.

Use the links below to find out more information about our teaching departments. Please also view the undergraduate course guides, which provide information about all the courses currently available as well as recommended and/or required pre-requisites.

General Course students cannot be hosted in the departments below, but may choose to study courses from any of them.

Academic Environment and Teaching Style

For the four direct-enroll courses at LSE, please understand that the academic system is quite different. Classes are usually lecture-based, instead of discussion or group work. Classes are often much larger than those found at Lake Forest College. Grades are based heavily, at times almost entirely, on one end-of-term exam, though some courses will also offer a midterm.  Professors are often more formal than those in the United States.

All courses/modules may have prerequisites.  Some departments may have limitations on numbers of courses that can be taken within or outside it.  Be aware of these limitations.

Student Life

The LSE Students’ Union, of which you will automatically become a member, supports over 200 social, political and cultural clubs and societies. These range from the career-oriented, such as the Hedge Fund and Sustainable Investment societies, through to those of a more light-hearted nature, such as Beekeeping and Salsa Dancing. Our study abroad students are encouraged to get involved in anything that takes their interest!

The LSE Athletics Union operates a wide range of sports teams, with activities taking place both on the main campus and at our Berrylands Sportground in South London.

In addition to the activities of the Students’ Union, we run a dedicated calendar of social events exclusively for our General Course students. This includes a Welcome boat party, a visit to Cumberland Lodge (a country house in Windsor Great Park), and subsidized day trips and short breaks to a wide range of the UK and European destinations.

Experiential Opportunities

The Tier 4 student visa you will obtain to study on the General Course will enable you to undertake paid work for up to a total of 20 hours per week in term time, and full-time during vacations. Many General Course students take advantage of this opportunity in order to increase their living/social/travel funds.

The LSE Careers Service works with General Course students to offer advice about internship opportunities in London. Seminars are frequently held specifically for General Course students on this topic.

LSE itself employs many students on a part-time basis, for example as event stewards, office assistants and in the Students’ Union bars.

There are also many opportunities for voluntary work at organizations such as Barnardo’s, a leading UK children’s charity, and FoodCycle, who run volunteer-powered community projects.

Housing and Meals

All of our study abroad students are guaranteed a place in one of our central London Halls of Residence, provided they apply before the Accommodation deadline (usually 30 June each year).

LSE offers a variety of styles of accommodation, all of which is within walking distance of the School. There will be a diverse mix of students in your Hall: undergraduates and postgraduates, home and overseas, men and women. All rooms feature high-speed internet access, and the vast majority of rooms are single, although there are a limited number of twin rooms available for those who prefer to share.

Should you wish to live with students from other institutions, the University of London also provides intercollegiate accommodation in seven mixed halls.

If you live in campus housing, up to 6 dinners are included per week, though there are plenty of grocery stores and restaurants in the vicinity.

Financial Information

For all approved programs for guaranteed financial aid transferability, students pay their Lake Forest College tuition plus a program fee. The program fee for the General Course at London School of Economics and Political Science includes housing. Certain housing arrangements may include several dinners per week.

Here is an estimated budget for the Fall 2018/Spring 2019 programs:

Budget Item


Lake Forest College Tuition


Program fee (estimated)

Note: Spring may have added cost


Total Expected Billed by Lake Forest College


Additional Meals


Estimated Airfare


Estimated Personal Expenses (passport, visas, immunizations, textbooks, supplies, personal expenses, additional national insurance if required, travel insurance, additional travel etc.)


Total Out-of-Pocket Expenses




Tuition rates and program fees are subject to change each year, but this information was up-to-date as of February 2018. We will notify applicants, and update this page if the program fee or other estimates change.

You can discuss with Financial Aid your specific aid package and your expected family contribution.

Keep in mind that you may spend more or less in certain areas like personal expenses, travel, meals, or airfare, depending on exchange rates and your own spending habits. Classroom or lab fees are not included in this estimate and will depend on your course registration choices.  

Don’t forget to apply for scholarships! A great listing can be found here.  

  • Contact:

    For Questions About the Initial Application Process:

    Alexandra Olson
    Coordinator of the Global Engagement Office