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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.
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, graduates with an MBA in international business programs make an average annual salary of $95,820.
If being a globetrotting business professional sounds up your alley, read on to learn more about online MBA in international business programs.
What Are the Best Online MBA in International Business Programs of 2021? Here Are Our Top 10:
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|Rank||School||Cost per Credit|
|2||Pennsylvania State University||$1,236|
|3||University of Delaware||$950|
|4||Texas A&M International University||$336|
|5||Florida Atlantic University||$800|
|6||University of North Carolina - Wilmington||
|7||University of La Verne||$910|
|9||University of Nebraska - Lincoln||$650|
Still unsure about your MBA college choice? Check out our overall Best Online MBA Programs.
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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 Economics
- International Financial Policy
- Environment of International Business
- Developing Global Markets
What are Admission Requirements for an MBA in International Business Program?
- Test Scores
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
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
- Financial Analyst
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 Manager
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.
- Program Format
Students must choose if a part-time or full-time MBA is right for them. They must also pick between synchronous and asynchronous learning. Work schedule, personal life, and professional goals all play a role in which format fits you best.
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.
- Career Opportunities
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
Programmatic accreditation is particularly valuable for MBA programs. Look out for 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.
2021 Best Accredited Online MBA in International Business Programs
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Villanova's School of Business offers an online MBA with a concentration in international business. This MBA requires students to complete a weekend residency within the first two semesters. Additionally, an optional seven-day international immersion practicum is part of the final capstone experience.
Students can complete this MBA program in two years. Villanova University is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Its MBA program holds specialized accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.
Villanova University is accredited by Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Pennsylvania State University
|University Park, PA||
Penn State World Campus offers a 48-credit MBA program that focuses on the principles and practices of modern business management. MBA students can pursue an international affairs concentration by using their electives to complete nine credits of targeted coursework. Participants take classes like the role of intelligence in international relations, and they also have the option to complete a colloquium.
Penn State World Campus issues GRE/GMAT waivers for highly qualified candidates who have an advanced degree, at least five years of relevant work experience, or significant leadership experience.
Pennsylvania State University is accredited by Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
University of Delaware
The University of Delaware's MBA program features an international business emphasis. This program can be completed entirely online. Students can graduate in 16 months by taking intensive, seven-week courses. This online MBA in international business focuses on marketplace globalization, building a global network, and financial modeling.
Learners can further customize their degree by combining any two or more concentrations. Students completing a dual concentration may include business analytics, finance, healthcare management, and/or strategic leadership classes to their international business coursework.
University of Delaware is accredited by Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Texas A&M International University
Texas A&M International University offers an online MBA in international business that covers global business ethics, organizational structures, strategic controls, and legal and regulatory issues. Participants must complete 30 credits of coursework, and they can graduate in 15 months.
TAMIU is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The university's A.R. Sanchez, Jr. School of Business holds specialized accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.
Texas A&M International University is accredited by Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Florida Atlantic University
|Boca Raton, FL||
The MBA program offered by Florida Atlantic University's College of Business features 10 MBA concentrations, including an online MBA in international business. The four-course, 12-credit international business specialization covers topics like developing a global business operations perspective and working with IT service providers and infrastructures.
This MBA in international business takes 16-23 months to complete. Students can also take advantage of an optional international study abroad course that provides first-hand experience with the conditions and challenges United States organizations must navigate internationally.
Florida Atlantic University is accredited by Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
University of North Carolina - Wilmington
The University of North Carolina Wilmington's Cameron School of Business provides an online MBA with a specialization in international business. The program includes 36 credits of coursework. Accelerated, seven-week courses allow students to graduate in just one year. To be admitted, applicants must possess at least five years of managerial work experience.
UNCW is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, and the Cameron School of Business holds specialized accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.
University of North Carolina - Wilmington is accredited by Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
University of La Verne
|La Verne, CA||
The University of La Verne offers an online MBA for experienced professionals who have at least three years of experience in the workforce. Students must complete 33-42 credits over the course of 1-3 years; exact requirements vary depending on a participant's enrollment status, academic history, and transfer credits.
Students pursuing the international business concentration must fulfill core MBA requirements and complete specialized courses covering topics like national and international competition, host government policies, resource allocations, and cultural diversity, and ethics.
University of La Verne is accredited by Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission.
Liberty University offers an entirely online MBA with over 20 specialization options, including one in international business. Participants must complete a total of 45 credits. Faculty deliver classes through eight-week terms, and students can graduate in two years. Learners can also transfer in up to 50% of their required credits.
Liberty is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. Its online MBA program holds specialized accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.
Liberty University is accredited by Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
University of Nebraska - Lincoln
The University of Nebraska-Lincoln oversees an online MBA program, as well as a flex MBA that combines online and on-campus classes. The school offers six concentration options, including one in international business.
Students pursuing an international business concentration choose three classes from six offerings, selecting from options like leadership in a global context and global supply chain management. The program evaluates applicants based on their work experience, personal statement, undergraduate degree and performance, and GMAT or GRE test scores.
University of Nebraska - Lincoln is accredited by Higher Learning Commission.
|Saint Louis, MO||
The Walker School of Business and Technology at Webster University hosts an MBA program with 10 concentrations and dual degree options. Students who pursue an international business concentration complete 42-45 credits. Concentration-related classes cover topics like issues in international business, global supply chain management, and cross-cultural management.
Webster University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. The Walker School of Business and Technology holds specialized accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.
Webster University is accredited by Higher Learning Commission.
The University of Texas - Rio Grande Valley
The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley offers a 45-credit, online MBA program that features a specialization in international trade. This concentration provides a cross-cultural education for individuals who are already business professionals but want to become global leaders. Courses last seven weeks.
Learners complete three concentration courses focusing on international trade. Classes cover topics like customs, trans-border operations, international shipping, intellectual property protection, and international commerce law. Students also complete a seminar on global topics.
The University of Texas - Rio Grande Valley is accredited by Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Southern New Hampshire University
Southern New Hampshire University offers an online MBA program that students can complete in about a year. There are over 15 career-focused concentrations to choose from, including international business. Studies focus on business in various cultural, economic, political, and legal environments.
International business courses include international market strategy, managing international trade and finance, and multinational corporate environment. Students learn how to cultivate globally aware and culturally responsive teams and organizations. They also delve into ethical and legal standards and sustainable practices.
Southern New Hampshire University is accredited by New England Commission on Higher Education.
John Brown University
|Siloam Springs, AR||
John Brown University's MBA in international business can be completed online. Students can also opt for a hybrid version, taking a combination of online and in-person classes at John Brown University's Rogers Center. The program is 36 credits long, and participants can graduate within two years.
JBU's MBA in international business focuses on the different factors that affect multinational operations management. The program also includes an international trip where students gain practical experience.
John Brown University is accredited by Higher Learning Commission.
Wayne State University
Wayne State University has an online MBA program with 13 concentrations, including international business. Students must take at least three courses from within their concentration, choosing from classes like international marketing strategy, global supply chain management, business and sustainability, and international finance..
This MBA with a concentration in international business focuses on evaluating the challenges and opportunities of carrying out business across national borders. To graduate, students must complete 36 credits with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0.
Wayne State University is accredited by Higher Learning Commission.
|Boiling Springs, NC||
Gardner-Webb University's MBA program offers an emphasis in international business. In addition to learning how to carry out business on a global stage, students can take advantage of internships, service opportunities, projects, and simulations. They also complete a strategic management capstone course.
Gardener-Webb is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. Its MBA program holds specialized accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.
Gardner-Webb University is accredited by Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
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.