Best Online MBA in International Business Programs of 2021
An online MBA in international business prepares graduates to work in business administration on a global level. Taking two years on average for full-time students, these programs turn learners into business leaders with an understanding of different cultures, global markets, and world economies.
www.bestcolleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.
Ready to start your journey?
By pairing traditional MBA topics like accounting and finance with courses rich in multicultural perspectives, this degree can give students the skills needed to work at home or abroad in leadership positions. According to PayScale, as of August 2021, graduates with an MBA in international business programs made an average annual salary of about $97,000.
If being a globetrotting business professional sounds up your alley, read on to learn more about online MBA in international business programs.
Still unsure about your MBA college choice? Check out our overall Best Online MBA Programs.
Related International Business Programs That Might Interest You
Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.
How We Rank Schools
At BestColleges, we believe a college education is one of the most important investments you can make. We want to help you navigate the college selection process by offering transparent, inclusive, and relevant school rankings.
Our rankings are grounded in a few guiding principles and use the latest statistical data available from trusted sources. Read our ranking methodology. We hope our approach helps you find the school that is best for you.
What Is an MBA in International Business?
Perfect for those with an interest in working abroad, an MBA in international business offers students insight into how markets interact on a global scale. Students take a deep dive into subjects like currency exchange, international marketing, export-import management, and foreign languages.
Programs generally consist of around 30 credits. Full-time students usually graduate in two years. Most schools also offer part-time tracks for students who must balance their studies with their professional lives.
Program graduates often find work in international sales, international trade, and global marketing. To prepare for such positions, students of MBA in international business programs often participate in study abroad programs or short-term international internships.
What Can I Expect From an Online MBA in an International Business Program?
An online MBA in international business is perfect for those who want to develop the skills needed to do business with people from all around the world.
Students take foundational MBA courses before narrowing their focus on international-related courses. These courses help students build the understanding they need to navigate an often complex world of international negotiating and strategy with people from different cultures.
Students who opt for the virtual classroom can expect different things out of their program depending on their preferences. For instance, students enrolled in an asynchronous program do not need to attend live courses, while those in a synchronous program do.
While every program offers unique courses, here are five courses that you may encounter when pursuing an online MBA in international business.
Example MBA in International Business Courses
Global Supply Chain Logistics
International Financial Policy
Environment of International Business
Developing Global Markets
What are Admission Requirements for an MBA in International Business Program?
An MBA in international business may require applicants to submit GMAT scores. Most programs consider applicants with a score of at least 650. Some programs may accept GRE scores as well.
Letters of Recommendation
Most graduate programs require that applicants submit letters of recommendation. Letters of recommendation can come from former and current teachers and professors, internship supervisors, employers, and even certain coworkers.
Recommenders should introduce how they know you and why they believe you'd be a good candidate for an MBA program based on their knowledge of your characteristics, qualities, and work ethic. It can be a good idea to include a personal anecdote that illustrates the characteristics that would be beneficial as a graduate student.
Including a professional resume along with your MBA in international business application is often required or at least encouraged. Admissions departments for graduate programs, especially MBA programs, want to see relevant experience. This experience can include any prior business administration work and work that relates to international markets.
Having a solid professional history can also demonstrate that a student is responsible and committed to their career. It's a good spot to showcase any other relevant achievements that aren't present in your official transcripts, such as internship experiences or work-study.
The personal essay component of your application can be a crucial piece of the puzzle. This is where students show the admissions department their personality and make a case for why they should receive a spot in the program.
The best essays tell a story and create a narrative around an applicant's studies, professional experience, and aspirations. Students should explain why they think they'd be a good fit for a specific program and why the program will benefit their future goals.
Official transcripts are printed on watermarked paper and sealed in a specific way, ensuring their authenticity. These are the transcripts colleges and universities require to grant admission. Unofficial transcripts are typically printed on plain paper and may be viewable and printable online. This type of transcript is intended for student use only.
What Can I Do With an MBA in International Business Degree?
When you earn an MBA in international business, you open the door to many interesting careers. Graduates can land positions in consulting firms, logistics companies, global organizations, and international nonprofits.
Risk Management Director
Risk management directors gauge the overall business risk and financial impact of certain decisions for an organization. By evaluating and analyzing current and future risk potential and conducting audits, these professionals play a crucial role in keeping organizations out of the red.
Median Annual Salary: $119,580
By analyzing financial data, financial analysts forecast business trends and risks. They develop complex reports based on company budgets and income so business leaders can create strategies to reach specific goals. Financial analysts also conduct business studies and advise leadership with sound recommendations based on data.
Median Annual Salary: $61,790
Business Development Manager
Business development managers pursue new business opportunities, develop growth strategies, prepare business presentations, negotiate with stakeholders, and provide feedback to junior management. They may also evaluate where a business can make improvements and provide insight into customer needs.
Median Annual Salary: $74,310
Supply Chain Director
These ultra-organized professionals coordinate and supervise all supply chain activities from acquisition and production to quality control and distribution. Supply chain directors hire and train management teams, develop supply chain strategy, and track logistics. Additionally, they may work directly with vendors.
Median Annual Salary: $126,790
Analytics managers develop the key strategies businesses need to be effective and profitable. They gather, organize, and analyze client data to provide insight to business leaders on where they can implement changes and make improvements. They also locate trends within datasets to inform crucial business decisions.
Median Annual Salary: $97,480
International Business Not for You? Check Out These Related Careers.
Is an MBA in International Business Worth It?
Students often find an MBA in international business very worthwhile. These programs prepare graduates for diverse employment opportunities and can provide a huge return on investment. With analytics managers earning an average salary of $97,480 per year and risk management directors making $119,580 per year, some graduates can quickly make up what they spent on tuition.
While traditional MBA programs can also offer a solid ROI, the more specialized nature of an MBA in international business gives graduates an edge when finding leadership roles within multinational or global organizations. This degree can also be more useful for securing specific international roles.
There are scenarios, however, where a different educational path could make more sense. For example, students who are struggling financially may find that working for a few years before considering an advanced degree may be more advantageous. Students with career ambitions that don't align with those mentioned above may be better off pursuing a different MBA or a graduate certificate.
Why Get an MBA in International Business Instead of a Master's in International Business?
Students interested in a graduate degree in international business often wonder if they are better suited for an MBA in international business or a master's in international business. While the two programs share many similarities, they also have distinct attributes that set them apart.
Students who earned their bachelor's degree in business or a business-related field are probably better off with a master's in international business. Learners who earned an undergraduate degree in a subject unrelated to business may benefit from the foundational business knowledge of an MBA program.
Students should also take into account the level of professional experience they have under their belt. Generally, MBA programs tend to attract students in their 30s with more than five years of work experience. Conversely, master's in international business programs attract students in their mid-20s with about one year of experience.
For others, a dual MBA/master's degree in international business may be the best route. These students graduate with two distinct degrees but must spend longer enrolled.
Still Looking for the Right Fit? Discover Similar Programs.
How Do I Choose an MBA in International Business Program?
Program cost is often the most important factor for prospective students. Online students can expect to pay less than individuals who choose an on-campus program. Learners who enroll at public institutions typically pay less than those enrolled at private schools. Additionally, in-state students often save on tuition compared to their out-of-state counterparts.
Some online MBA in international business programs either require or offer on-campus elements. It's also important to keep location in mind in terms of in-state and out-of-state tuition.
Online MBA in international business programs offer students many networking opportunities and career resources. Some schools may give students the chance to meet with corporate recruiters or international employers. Students should research employment rates for graduates of prospective programs.
Programmatic accreditation is particularly valuable for MBA programs. Look out for MBA programs with accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs, or the International Accreditation Council for Business Education.
Related Programs That Might Interest You
Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.
2021 Best Accredited Online MBA in International Business Programs
Rankings compiled by the BestColleges Ranking Team
Is your school on this list? Get the BestColleges ranking seal.
Frequently Asked Questions About MBA in International Business Programs
Is an MBA in international business program hard to get into?
It depends on the school. On-campus programs generally maintain stricter admission requirements than their online counterparts. Still, prospective online MBA students may need to submit GMAT scores or meet a GPA cutoff.
Are international business professionals in demand?
Is international business a good career?
A career in international business can mean great pay, solid benefits, and exciting opportunities. Professionals in this field often get the chance to travel abroad and can look forward to plenty of room for career advancement. Students should, however, expect a high level of responsibility.
How long does it take to get an MBA in international business?
Most MBA in international business programs take around two years of full-time study to complete. However, this timeframe can vary for part-time students.
What are the highest-paying jobs I can get with an MBA in international business?
According to PayScale, supply chain management directors earn an average annual salary of $126,790.
Find the Tools You Need to Get Started on Your Degree
Krystal Covington, MBA
Krystal Covington, MBA, is a business growth strategist with 15 years of experience in marketing and public relations. Her company, Go Lead Consulting, provides clients foundational tools to build new client and customer relationships.
Covington founded Women of Denver, one of the largest privately held membership organizations in Denver, Colorado. Her program helps women increase their business acumen, sharpen leadership skills and connect with other high-achieving women. Covington received her MBA from Western Governors University in 2012.
Best Online MBA Programs
Best Online MBA in Information Systems Management Programs of 2021
BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.
Compare your school options.
View the most relevant school for your interests and compare them by tuition, programs, acceptance rate, and other factors important to find your college home.