In a world of globalization and multinational entrepreneurship, and international MBA is quickly becoming a commodity, and many aspiring leaders in commerce are excited about relocating to attend school. Many of the best international business schools offer exciting, engaging, and flexible opportunities for degree completion. We at College Choice want you to understand your options, so we’ve made easy-to-digest data pages concerning the best international MBA programs so that you can make an informed decision quickly.
With a variety of options in diverse countries, students looking to go abroad for business school have the world as their classroom. Like stateside MBA programs, international business schools are looking for creative, critical thinkers interested in developing leadership skills to direct companies—large and small—with a global vision for growth and commerce. The best international business schools offer a variety of specializations with transnational appeal in areas like global finance, international trade, international project development, global leadership, global management, and sustainable international development. As well, International business degrees don’t just mean international schools. For example, INSEAD has campuses in Europe and Asia, and Wharton has an immersive, global travel program. State-side schools with global reach are on the cutting edge of international business, and their job placement success data with international brands speak loudly.[footnote]Information retrieved from: http://www.forbes.com/sites/kurtbadenhausen/2013/10/09/the-best-international-mba-programs/#542464083423[/footnote]
After examining information concerning accreditation, graduation rates, student debt numbers, job placement records, and other metrics that indicate quality education, consider the following when choosing from the best international business programs:
- Know that the degree you’re planning to pursue is internationally accredited. Online and learning support centers, convenient access to faculty and staff, and access to business networks associated with the university are all good measures of quality, but with an international business degree, accreditation is the crucial measure of degree equity. If your school is internationally accredited, your degree experience will translate to jobs across international borders. Organizations like The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) not only validate degree-granting institutions, but also curate profiles of colleges to help students comprehend program specifics.
- Understand the level of interaction you’ll receive with your peers and professors. The best international business programs offer hybrid degrees, internship opportunities, immersion experiences, and professional interactions that help students develop as they advance their careers through education. Related to this, be certain that you understand, at least superficially, the nuances of culture and language that come along with learning in another society.
- Understand the return on your investment. Pursuing a degree in another country offers a wide range of experiences, both personal and professional, that will shape you as a student and qualified worker. On a personal level, be sure you know why you want to get a degree from another country. On a professional level, be sure you’re paying attention to the currency exchange rates and the costs of living internationally.
Our Best Master’s in International Business Degrees ranking is based on reputation and affordability (rather than location), presenting students with a handful of international business college programs that are at least accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs or the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education. In addition, many of the listed schools are accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.
University of California—Berkeley
College Choice Score: 100
Program Tuition: $55,968
Haas does not have a Global concentration for their MBA, and this is because the traditional MBA here requires an international focus for all students. The International Business Development program, housed under the MBA degree, is widely acclaimed and integral to the way the faculty and staff choose to teach business at the graduate level.
Like many schools, Haas requires at least one foray into study abroad along with a language course for all students. For international students, this is further complemented by experiential global learning opportunities and electives that focus on a global perspective of issues such as geopolitics, policy, strategy and more. This structure is perfect for working professionals who are available full-time to complete this degree.
College Choice Score: 96
Program Tuition: $61,225
The Harvard MBA program is highly competitive, with less than one-tenth of one percent of students admitted every year. Graduating with a Harvard degree does make employment easier, however, as over 80 percent of students have a job offer before they graduate. The median starting salary for a Harvard MBA graduate is $118,000 per year.
Harvard focuses its MBA students on interactive teaching methods. Students are exposed to case method courses, field projects, study and work abroad opportunities as well international joint immersion projects with students from partner institutions. Each teaching method serves to simulate real-world scenarios, giving students experience as to how the business world works before they enter into a senior management position at a multinational company.
College Choice Score: 94
Program Tuition: $64,050
Stanford University is the only business school on this list to provide international business program students with the ability to personalize their education to best suit their needs. The school is also renown for their world-class faculty, many who have served in senior positions at multinational companies and teach full-time.
While Stanford does not currently have an international MBA, global experience is a requirement for their traditional MBA degree. Students must participate in the Global Management Immersion Experience, which sees candidates working and studying for at least a month during the summer in a company located overseas. Candidates also have the option to design their individualized immersion experience under the supervision of Stanford faculty and staff.
University of Pennsylvania
College Choice Score: 93
Program Tuition: $64,920
The Wharton School of Business, which is housed at the University of Pennsylvania, is home to a nationally ranked MBA program that now offers an international business careers concentration. The school boasts an 80 percent employment rate for their graduates by the time they complete their degree as well as an average starting salary of around $120,000 for entry-level positions.
The Global Learning concentration for the Wharton MBA is one of the most immersive on this list. Not only does the school offer dual-degree programs with other partnering institutions but it also offers global programs and courses that see students work with international institutions both on campus and during study abroad trips.
Students have the ability to choose which region they undergo their study and work abroad programs, including the MENA region, Asia, Europe and Latin America. The degree requires some form of international immersion participation, so students spend some time in the region of their choice will still studying for their degree.
Top global programs at Wharton include the Global Modular Courses, which are short courses that are delivered at partner institutions internationally; the Global Immersion Program, where students spend a prolonged period of time studying under international business leaders; and the Global Consulting Practicum, a program that partners students with other international business candidates from around the globe to solve multinational problems.
University of California—Los Angeles
College Choice Score: 92
Program Tuition: $54,644
The University of California — Los Angeles’ business school, Anderson School of Management, is home to one of the most sought-after MBA programs in the country. This international business program is a specialization within the traditional MBA curriculum that is supported by internship opportunities with business giants such as Google and TED.
The degree program works on three tiers — academics, career transition, and extracurricular activities. Because most MBA candidates are full-time working professionals, this tiered program staggers requirements to best fit the student’s needs, allowing them to schedule for immersion trips overseas as well as internships.
The academic coursework is staggered over the year-long program in small, intensive chunks so that students can better prepare themselves for graduation. Courses tend to be between two and six weeks long and give students the ability to choose from a variety of subjects that interest them and help them advance their career goals.
University of Southern California
College Choice Score: 91
Program Tuition: $53,865
Established in 1978, the Marshall School of Business is home to the International Business Education and Research MBA, known as the IBEAR MBA. It is a one-year full-time accelerated international MBA program for working professionals who are looking to advance into senior leadership roles within international businesses.
Students can expect a global focus in this program culminating in capstone project called the International Business Consulting Project. This project is facilitated by a real client who requires a consulting engagement by Marshall MBA candidates and pulls together the core curriculum and international courses the students have learned during their time at the school.
The IBCP is a unique opportunity that gives students the ability to work with real clients prior to graduating and often results in full-time employment offers even before the student has graduated. Since the program premiered, over 350 projects have been successfully completed for Fortune 500 companies, making it desirable for candidates who are looking for real work experience during their education.
College Choice Score: 90
Program Tuition: $65,988
Columbia University’s EMBA-Global MBA is a program that is done in partnership with London Business School and the University of Hong Kong. Students who enroll in this international business program will find themselves in good company as 85 percent of students are already employed by graduation with a starting salary of around $100,000.
The EMBA-Global MBA is divided into two regions — Europe and Asia. Students are rotated between business city hubs in both regions on a monthly basis and graduate with two MBA degrees and alumni privileges from each school, making it an attractive offer for candidates who are looking to move abroad for work.
The school has pioneered this program as a way to help students learn and understand international business from two perspectives. This makes it easier for MBA graduates to enter the international market as qualified candidates with a strong understanding of the differences in culture, policy, and business in each culture.
College Choice Score: 89
Program Tuition: $60,600
The Fuqua School of Business at Duke University is a strong contender for the best school for students who are seeking international business jobs. The school, which has an 86 percent employment record by graduation and the highest starting salary of this list at $131,000, is renown for its senior faculty and staff.
Fuqua is dedicated to providing students with an excellent education as well as a strong background in real-world experience in international business. The Global Executive MBA is designed for executives who can travel for school. For this reason, only students with 10 years of work experience and who hold a valid passport and visas are considered for MBA candidacy.
The Global Executive MBA degree is an international program that takes place over 15 months in seven cities across the globe. Students are required to travel for their core curriculum as well as learn a second language and have the option to further specialize if they so choose. This is a degree that is best for working professionals who are looking for a school that teaches them international business through immersion.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
College Choice Score: 89
Program Tuition: $65,446
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is home to Sloan, the School of Management. It is a top-rated business school that offers a variety of MBA programs for graduate students and working professionals looking to move into international business jobs in order to advance their careers.
While the MBA programs are not specifically curated for international business subjects, Sloan students will find a variety of international programs and opportunities. These programs are particularly helpful for furthering a student’s understanding of business on an international scale.
International programs that are found in Sloan are supported by the Office of International Programs. This office has partnered with institutions all over the world, creating offices in Asia, Latin America, and Europe. MBA candidates can freely move between these international schools to gain an understanding of business from the perspective of various cultures.
Sloan also offers MBA students the chance to work and study abroad at partner institutions, expanding the previous education opportunities the school offered. Now students can partner with international faculty to create independent case studies or intern with multinational companies to bulk up their resume for graduation.
College Choice Score: 89
Program Tuition: $61,500
Yale University’s School of Management, known as Yale SOM, offers a unique perspective on the traditional MBA. Each MBA candidate is required through the curriculum to develop an international perspective on business. As this is the case, there is no specialized International Business degree available at Yale.
But students who are interested in international business jobs need not worry — the MBA experience at Yale is strong. Courses are taught in a variety of formats, including team teaching and the raw case format, all with a broad international perspective as the foundation.
The MBA core curriculum at Yale is based on the foundations of not only business but the way that organizations work in modern times. After a student completes the core curriculum, courses can move into more specialized areas like geopolitics or international business management. No matter what course a student takes, the Yale faculty will ensure that they understand how even the most specialized topics relate to business.
University of Michigan—Ann Arbor
College Choice Score: 89
Program Tuition: $61,590
The University of Michigan at Ann Arbor’s Ross School of Business continues to be rated in the top ten business schools by Businessweek, an honor they’ve held since 1988. It’s also known for having a high rate of employment at graduation, with 86 percent of students being gainfully employed before receiving their diploma, as well as a high starting salary of $100,000 for entry-level positions.
Students who attend Ross are given access to not just a faculty with terminal degrees and an average of 10 years of work experience — they are also given access to current global leaders and the opportunity to connect through study and work abroad programs. Also available to Ross students is the large alumni network which helps students find internships and jobs that fit their skills and ambitions perfectly.
Ross has a strong international business degree that is buoyed by the school’s extracurricular activities. International business groups and clubs exist on campus to further enhance a student’s understanding of other cultures and how politics and business affect the international business stage.
New York University
College Choice Score: 87
Program Tuition: $63,720
New York University’s Stern School of Business is home to one of the first specialized Global Business MBA degree programs in the country. Students who graduate from Stern with an international business degree often go on to serve in various capacities at multinational firms, NGO’s and government agencies and over 70 percent of students are already employed by graduation.
Stern MBA students are given a variety of courses that will fulfill the requirements for degree completion, and most candidates will choose the courses and study abroad programs that directly involve the region in which they most like to work in. Language courses are also required for completion, giving the student a well-rounded education in both the culture they would like to work with and the international business market.
As Global Business is a specialization at Stern, students will find that they are educated to both understand policy and business in the United States as well as abroad, making them prime candidates for positions anywhere in the world. Some of the international business jobs Stern students can choose from include international finance and business development, entrepreneurship and even working for the government and diplomatic agencies.
College Choice Score: 87
Program Tuition: $53,850
Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business is internationally recognized as a top business school for students interested in a job in the international sector. With a 72 percent employment rate at graduation, McDonough has a reputation for creating students who have a strong understanding of business, politics, public policy and culture, leading it to be one of the most highly competitive programs in the country.
McDonough offers two Master’s programs in international business, each with its own particular advantages. The Corporate International Master’s in Business is a one-year hybrid program that sees its students taking courses in Washington D.C., Brazil, Spain, and Shanghai as well as online. The program is designed to give working professionals a better understanding of how business works in other regions while giving them the ability to continue in their current careers.
The Georgetown-ESADE Global Executive MBA program is a partnership between McDonough, the Walsh School of Foreign Service and the ESADE Business School in Spain. It was created for executives with a vested interested in geopolitics and policy who are looking to advance their international business careers through short courses in cities all over the world.
University of Chicago
College Choice Score: 87
Program Tuition: $63,980
The University of Chicago houses the Booth School of Business, also known as Chicago Booth, and it is home to a top-rated international business degree that sees over 86 percent of graduates employed by the time they receive their diploma. This AACSB accredited school is also known for its graduates making the highest median pay after graduation, topping off at just over $122,000 a year as a starting salary.
Students who choose to begin an international business career often attend Chicago Booth because of its rigorous standards and academic excellence. Those who obtain a degree from this world-class faculty are often the most qualified and ambitious of business graduate students and lend themselves well to specialization within the international business field.
The International MBA at this school has a foundation in intercultural management skills, proficiency in a non-native language and international work and study experience. Students are required to study abroad as well as take courses in a variety of business disciplines to help them develop a foundation of strong critical thinking and interpersonal communication skills.
College Choice Score: 85
Program Tuition: $64,059
At the Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, students will find a business school that offers a world-renown international business degree. This degree, known as the Global MBA, is a multi-disciplinary approach to business and international relations and has a foundation in cooperation between Northwestern students and students at other international universities.
The Global MBA experience at Northwestern is in addition to the traditional MBA courses that students will take. In this respect, it differs from most other international business programs as it allows students to combine their knowledge of business with collaborative efforts in programs and experiences that take place on the international stage.
A good example of putting international business theory into practice on a global scale include the International Growth Lab, a program that sees Kellogg students paired with students from Barcelona and Hong Kong to develop growth strategies for international corporations. This program is designed to help students collaborate with people from other countries by videoconferencing with international clients, as well as traveling to their home country to work on the project.
St. Louis University
College Choice Score: 85
Program Tuition: $55,440
Students who are looking to develop a global portfolio to help them in their international business careers will find that the St. Louis University John Cook School of business is one of the best schools to meet their needs. With nearly half of students gaining employment by the time they graduate and its graduate programs being ranked in the top 20 by U.S. News and World Report, this AACSB-accredited business school has a reputation for building strong leaders.
The Master of International Business degree at Cook was established in 1990 and offers students with a background in management or business the opportunity to become experts in international business affairs, something the industry is sorely lacking. Students with a background in economics, public policy, management or accounting will benefit from this degree program.
The international business MBA was designed with an interdisciplinary approach. Students take courses relating to economics and management alongside courses in international cultures and languages. The coursework is further enhanced by study abroad programs in the summer and networking opportunities with multinational companies.
Arizona State University
College Choice Score: 84
Program Tuition: $70,000
The Thunderbird School of Global Management at Arizona State University has been supplying the business world with the best students in the country for over 70 years. With a focus on preparing students for the globalization of the business world, Thunderbird excels at graduating students who are prepared to take their place in a variety of international business jobs.
Thunderbird offers two Master’s programs — a Master’s in Global Management and a Master’s in Global Affairs and Management. Both programs are highly sought after by national and international students for its intense study of the relationship between culture and business. These programs are considered some of the best in the country for students who wish to take on public policy and non-governmental agency roles after graduation.
The Master of Arts in Global Affairs & Management focuses on interdisciplinary training between international affairs and business management. It bridges the two by using language and culture courses as well as internships to international companies to give students real-world experience they can use after they graduate. Other opportunities include study and work abroad programs as well as the ability to partake in independent study to further enhance a student’s global perspective.
College Choice Score: 83
Program Tuition: $64,200
The Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College is known for only one thing — the MBA program. With the ability to specialize in their degree, students who are looking for international business jobs will find that an international business specialization from Tuck will go a long way in helping them find employment. In fact, Tuck is probably best known for its ability to match their graduates with employers, with over 83 percent of graduates leaving the program with a job offer.
While Tuck does not offer an international business degree, it offers the opportunity for students to specialize in global economic affairs. This specialization feature allows students the opportunity to get an MBA from a world-class school as well as take part in events, such as the Killingstad Global Insight Series, that will help broaden their minds to how the international market affects business in the United States and vice versa.
Students who come to Dartmouth to get their degree in international business will be offered a variety of programs to help them achieve their goals. One such program is the MBA Fellows Project, a program designed to give the student the ability to independently complete research on a specific study, such as global business and policy. Through this program, students work closely with government officials, public and private business experts and CBGB Senior Fellows in order to complete their independent study.
University of South Carolina
College Choice Score: 83
Program Tuition: $71,580
Students interested in any number of international business careers will find the Darla Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina to be a great choice. With over half of this program’s graduates already finding employment by graduation, the school has gained a reputation for being the top-rated international business school in the country.
This international MBA degree program differs from many others in that it has a set core curriculum for all students. These include management, accounting, and economic courses, all of which are taught in a variety of teaching methods. Introductory language training is also required, giving students the ability to learn a second language that will only strengthen them in the business world.
A unique opportunity that can be found at the University of South Carolina is the International Marketplace Immersion program. Within this program, students live and work in a different country, learning the skills needed to master not only that country’s language but also that region’s business culture. Students often taken on internships and work opportunities during this program that leads to job offers once they’ve graduated, making it an effective and worthwhile prospect for any international business student.
Loyola University New Orleans
College Choice Score: 73
Program Tuition: $60,300
Loyola University New Orleans is home to the Joseph A. Butt College of Business, an AACSB accredited school that aims to prepare students for the challenges and opportunities that await them in the business world. For students who are interested in pursuing an international business degree, Loyola provides an excellent program that will provide them a strong foundation that will serve them in their careers.
Because business changes at the same rate as technology, as the two go hand-in-hand, it’s important for students to understand this complex dynamic. Throughout a student’s entire time at Loyola, students will be introduced to just how changing political and technical landscapes inform international business relations and how they can better utilize the business market for their professional needs.