Lanthanum (La) occurs in nature with other rare earth elements in numerous minerals such as bastnäsite ((Ce,La,Y)CO3F) and monazite ((Ce,La,Nd,Th)PO4) and has a wide range of applications including nickel-metal hybrid rechargeable batteries used in hybrid vehicles and also lanthanum plays an important role as a catalyst in oil refining in petroleum cracking. In this investigation, the solvent extraction of La from aqueous media has been investigated. The effects of aqueous equilibrium pH, various acid media (H2SO4, HCl, and HNO3), extractant (PC-88A) concentration, initial lanthanum concentration and temperature on solvent extraction of La were systematically investigated. Based on the experimental results, HNO3 and HCl were found to be the preferred aqueous media for solvent extraction of La. The most promising experimental conditions (pH, concentration of PC-88A and concentration of La, temperature) were identified. A molecular modeling approach was also used to understand the metal ion-organic extractant interaction.