Experimental and model results for 15-stage broad area quantum cascade lasers (QCLs) are presented. Continuous wave (CW) power scaling from 1.62 to 2.34 W has been experimentally demonstrated for 3.15-mm long, high reflection-coated QCLs for an active region width increased from 10 to 20 μm. A semiempirical model for broad area devices operating in CW mode is presented. The model uses measured pulsed transparency current, injection efficiency, waveguide losses, and differential gain as input parameters. It also takes into account active region self-heating and sublinearity of pulsed power versus current laser characteristic. The model predicts that an 11% improvement in maximum CW power and increased wall-plug efficiency can be achieved from 3.15 mm×25 μm devices with 21 stages of the same design, but half doping in the active region. For a 16-stage design with a reduced stage thickness of 300 Å, pulsed rollover current density of 6 kA/cm2, and InGaAs waveguide layers, an optical power increase of 41% is projected. Finally, the model projects that power level can be increased to ∼4.5 W from 3.15 mm×31 μm devices with the baseline configuration with T0 increased from 140 K for the present design to 250 K.