Online MBA in International Business

Online MBA in International Business

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Developing Leaders for the New Global Economy

As the world’s economies become more intertwined, companies need individuals who understand the intricacies of international business. This MBA specialization can arm graduates with diverse skills in business management, international policies, finance and cultural studies – all necessary to negotiate in a global environment. Online study further gives students flexibility in managing their schedules and completing a degree on their own timetable. Use this guide to find out how to obtain an online MBA in international business – and where it can take you.

Milestone Map for International Business MBAs

What does an MBA student specializing in international business look like? What are their personal, academic and professional backgrounds? While there’s no single answer, the following map provides a glimpse into one grad’s life, including key moments before and after earning their online MBA in international business.

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Featured Online MBA Programs

Find a program that meets your affordability, flexibility, and education needs through an accredited, online school.

Expectations for Online MBA Study

The full requirements for an online MBA in international business differ by school. Many allow students to take classes where and when they choose, and do not have on-campus residency requirements. That said, some short-term residencies at various global locations are generally required; students may also be expected to study abroad in order to gain international perspective and experience.

Most online programs give students greater control over their schedules, allowing them to pace their learning as long as certain deadlines are met. Students can use the flexibility of an online format to maintain a full-time job, take care of a family, or be engaged in other commitments, all while working toward a degree. While a traditional campus-based MBA in international business typically takes 2-3 years, in an online setting students can expand or contract that time frame to best suit their individual schedules.

Online programs may also offer more affordable tuition, especially when paired with financial aid, and students can generally expect full access to advisers and academic resources, as well as one-on-one, personalized attention.

International Business MBA: Online Program Options

Online MBA programs usually require about 60 credits, which take anywhere from one to five years to complete. Some universities have established core classes required of all students, whereas others are more flexible and offer a selection of courses for students to choose from. To find a program that best suits their life and time commitments, students may choose from several options:

Executive (1 - 2 years) Designed for mid-career managers and experienced executives, this program allows students to continue working while pursuing their degrees. Generally, students are required to have about 10 years of work experience that they can integrate into their studies; they build on this background with core classes such as management and marketing. Some offline components may be included in these programs, such as studying abroad or competing in business competitions.
Full time (1 - 2 years) Enrolling full-time is the fastest way to get a degree. Students are immersed in courses and concepts that provide a solid foundation of knowledge and applicable skills, and get the advantage of fully concentrating on their studies.
Part Time (2-5 years) A part-time enrollment allows flexibility and convenience for students who do not wish to undertake the rigors of a full-time schedule. While some time may have to be taken offline to complete residency requirements, this option generally is flexible and tailored to the working student.

How Much Does an International Business MBA Cost?

Type of MBANumber of MBA StudentsAverage MBA CostMBA Cost vs Total Average
International Business10$23,400.00-$10,296.79
Fully on-campus5$29,000.00-$4,696.79
Fully online3$17,333.33-$16,363.46
Hybrid1$36,000.00+$2,303.21
Online with a few on-campus visits required1$1,000.00-$32,696.79

*Average cost of an MBA used from survey: $33,696.79

Core International Business Classes in MBA Programs

The courses students take during this program are designed to impart knowledge of the global economy, as well as provide cultural insights that are crucial to enhancing managerial, leadership and strategy-making skills. Courses students can expect to find in this program include:

Cross-Cultural Management

This course examines the challenges of maintaining relationships in a culturally diverse workforce, and emphasizes skills managers can use to motivate employees and lead their organizations.

International Economics

Students analyze global market systems, as well as international trade and monetary policies.

International Marketing

This course teaches students how to interpret and manage fluctuating market strategies in order to stay competitive in global business.

International Finance

Different financial environments and management techniques are studied in this course.

International Internship

Students will generally be required to work a semester in an international business or foreign market for job experience.

Deciding on the Right Online MBA School

Choosing the right school to enroll in is probably the most important decision when deciding to pursue an online MBA in international business. Many accredited business schools offer this degree, so in order to find the best fit, make sure to consider factors such as the school’s reputation, the extent of its community network, and the overall character of its learning environment. Begin by visiting university websites or campus offices to learn the scope of the program and how it is structured, to determine if suits your needs. Also consider the following:

Accreditation of MBA Programs

Accreditation is the process schools go through to ensure they are providing the highest quality education to their students. It indicates the school is committed to offering the best curriculum, professors and resources to students.

In most cases, online international business programs are accredited by the same organizations as other MBA programs. Make sure to check if your prospective school is properly accredited before you apply. Please read our comprehensive guide to accreditation and the accreditation section on our MBA hubpage for more information.

Preparing for an MBA in International Business

Creating a schedule can be a great organizational tool for planning the steps necessary to achieve the ultimate goal: getting an MBA in international business. Many business schools have multiple rounds of admission deadlines, so familiarize yourself with the dates to be prepared.

Here’s an example of a schedule for prospective students with several years of work experience after earning their bachelor’s degree.

Time Before Program Start Date
Step 1 Earn bachelor’s degree2 years, 3 months
Step 2 Get entry-level finance job2 years
Step 3 Take GMAT, if necessary13 months
Step 4 Apply to preferred online international business MBA program(s)11 months for Round One admissions 8 months for Round Two admissions
Step 5 Apply for and secure financial aid, grants and loans9 months

In order to optimize your chances of being accepted into a program, there are some preparatory steps specific to this MBA specialization that can give applicants an extra edge. Prep work can include:

Career Outcomes for International Business Grads

Obtaining an online MBA in international business can make graduates among the top picks for global companies such as Google, Apple and Coca-Cola. The skills learned in this specialization often prove essential to landing key managerial jobs. Future careers may include:

Business Development Manager

Responsible for managing the progress of business development within an organization by creating and maintaining effective business plans that generate revenue, promote brand loyalty, and increase customer satisfaction. Strong leadership capabilities, motivational skills, and an innovative mind are essential to this position. A bachelor’s degree in business management, administration or another related field is required, and an MBA will likely mark standout candidates. Previous experience in business development or management is also necessary, and business or leadership certificates are a plus.

Marketing Manager

Marketing managers create and oversee advertising or merchandising sales campaigns that businesses use to sell their overall brand as well as individual products. Successful individuals will engage in market research studies and analysis as well as have strong organizational skills and creative ideas. A bachelor’s degree in marketing is a minimum requirement, and postgraduate work is favored.

Operations Manager

An operations manager oversees an organization’s daily production of goods and services, and evaluates products to make sure they meet, and possibly exceed, expectations. They are responsible for maintaining and adhering to an organization’s policies, procedures and safety regulations, and must stay apprised of changing government rules and regulations that affect labor issues, safety requirements and environmental issues. Strong leadership and communication skills are necessary for this position. A bachelor’s degree in management, business, finance or another related field is required. A master’s or MBA, as well as solid work experience, are ideal.

Chief Financial Officer

All finance and accounting operations are supervised by the CFO. They have advanced knowledge of accounting, budgeting and finances, and may be required to communicate complex concepts to management and stockholders. A bachelor’s degree in finance or accounting is typically required; previous work experience and an MBA likely will be necessary for individuals who hold the job at larger firms.

Marketing Director

Creates, plans and implements projects and budgets used in a company’s marketing strategies and campaigns. These individuals have a keen awareness of fluctuating markets and are able to adjust accordingly. They maintain communication with clients and stay abreast of marketing issues so they can improve company performance. A bachelor’s degree in marketing or a similar field is usually required along with previous marketing or managing experience; senior directors or those with major companies will likely hold an MBA.

CareerNational Job Growth(2014-2024)National Median Annual Salary (September 2015)
Business Development ManagerNot specified$115,320
Marketing Manager9%$72,070
Operations Manager7%$78,260
Chief Financial Officer (CFO)7%$81,060
Marketing Director-1%$173,320

Sources: Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Salary Info: PayScale

Note: CFO job growth represents all financial managers; marketing director job growth represents all top executives.

Obtaining Certifications in International Business

Gaining certifications while pursuing an online MBA in international business can complement coursework and allow individuals to develop and demonstrate a high standard of knowledge and skill. Some examples of available certifications are:

Similar Online Programs

An MBA degree encompasses a wide range of specializations that can fast-track graduates to careers with high earning levels. MBA programs similar to those in international business include:

Online MBA in Project Management

Trains students to manage projects within an organization, ensuring they adhere to the budget, are completed on time, and meet quality standards. Future employers could include construction or oil and gas companies.

Online MBA in Marketing

Students learn to identify changing markets and research consumer behavior in order to create effective marketing strategies. The degree emphasizes communication and decision-making skills.

Online MBA in Entrepreneurship

Aimed at creative, ambitious individuals who want to start and run their own businesses. Students hone their knowledge of business techniques, often by engaging in business plan competitions, mentoring programs and professional networking opportunities.

Learn More About Online MBA Programs

International Business Resources

Survey Methodology

All data was collected between 6/14/21 and 7/3/21. Respondents were fielded by Lucid LLC. All 343 respondents in the study were screened by multiple quality checks, including systems like Relevant ID, and responses were manually reviewed to ensure consistency and accuracy. Survey participants include 169 currently enrolled MBA students and 174 graduates from MBA programs within the past 6 years. Respondents are between 21 and 78 years of age and identified as 45% Female, 54% Male, and 1% non-binary.

Student testimonials have generally been obtained with the offer of compensation for completion of a survey (e.g., entrance into a gift card drawing). Such testimonials are the opinions of such students and surveys are designed to avoid influencing such testimonials either positively or negatively. All student respondents were supplied by Lucid LLC.

Online MBA in International Business Programs


  1. Texas A & M International University
    Location

    Laredo, TX

    A public university in Laredo, Texas, TAMIU emphasizes global leadership. The university offers an online MBA in international business program. The degree can benefit working professionals seeking management positions in international corporations. It covers global business from many perspectives.

    MBA students examine international logistics, global management, and regulatory issues. The curriculum introduces students to diverse organizational structures, comparative management styles, and global business ethics.

    TAMIU offers MBA courses on an accelerated, seven-week term. The university provides six start dates each year. Students can also earn an online MBA in international banking and finance or an MBA in international trade & logistics.

    The MBA program automatically admits applicants with a minimum 3.0 GPA in their final 60 credits. Admitted applicants also hold a degree from an accredited business school. Prospective students who do not meet the rules must submit GMAT or GRE scores. TAMIU is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

  2. University of Nebraska-Lincoln
    Location

    Lincoln, NE

    A public university in the state's capital city, Nebraska dates back to 1869. At Nebraska, distance learners can complete an MBA in international business online. The online program strengthens analytical and decision-making skills through a flexible format.

    At Nebraska, international business students take specialized courses in global finance and the impact of globalization on marketing. They also study leadership in a global context and international finance. Coursework on global supply chain management prepares graduates for careers in international logistics.

    Nebraska admits students three times per year. The MBA program considers applicants based on their work experience and undergraduate degree. The program also evaluates their academic strengths and personal statements.

    Nebraska recommends a minimum 3.0 GPA and requires GMAT or GRE scores. Applicants with at least seven years of managerial experience can apply for a GMAT waiver. Nebraska is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

  3. Florida Atlantic University
    Location

    Boca Raton, FL

    A public university in Boca Raton, Florida, FAU enrolls over 30,000 students in its 170 programs. FAU offers an online MBA in international business program for students seeking a flexible route to a graduate degree in business. The program operates with an asynchronous course model that supports working professionals.

    FAU's 40- to 46-credit MBA program takes 16-23 months. Learners study cross-cultural management and global leadership. Enrollees also cover multinational finance and global marketing in the international business concentration. The curriculum includes training in global tech sourcing management.

    International business students participate in a field study tour to travel abroad. The course incorporates briefings from international firms and meetings with government agencies.

    Prospective students must hold a bachelor's degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA in their final two years. The program does not set business prerequisites but requires four years of professional work experience. FAU is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

  4. University of North Carolina at Greensboro
    Location

    Greensboro, NC

    A public university in the Piedmont Triad, UNCG enrolls nearly 20,000 students. UNCG offers an online MBA in international business program. The flexible, 45-credit program lets students complete coursework around their schedule with no set class times. MBA students learn to think globally and sustainably while solving problems and managing organizations.

    During the online MBA program, learners customize their studies based on prior experience. Students with less than five years of work experience complete an orientation. They also complete a mentorship program and summer internship. Experienced professionals can receive a waiver for the internship rule.

    The MBA curriculum includes training in quantitative analysis, strategic management, and economic policies. Students also explore technology and innovation, global business practices, and sustaining competitive advantages.

    Prospective students must hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution. UNCG does not require GMAT scores for admission. Applicants provide three recommendation letters, a personal statement, and a resume. They must also submit a one-minute introductory video. UNCG is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

  5. University of Delaware
    Location

    Newark, DE

    Founded in 1743, UD evolved into a research-intensive university with a global reach. At UD, graduate students can earn their MBA in international business online. The flexible program strengthens analytical skills while building industry knowledge. After completing the fully online MBA degree, graduates move into leadership roles in global organizations.

    UD's international business concentration focuses on the global marketplace. MBA students take courses on financial modeling, international networking, and marketplace globalization. The program offers a dual or triple concentration to complement the international business training.

    The MBA curriculum emphasizes innovative decision-making and creative thinking. Learners work with a personal career coach to launch their post-MBA career. UD admits students with six start dates each year. The program does not require campus visits.

    Applicants should hold a bachelor's degree with a minimum 2.8 GPA plus two years of work experience. Qualified applicants can request a GMAT waiver. UD is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

  6. University of North Carolina Wilmington
    Location

    Wilmington, NC

    A public university established in 1947, UNCW offers flexible and affordable online programs. UNCW's online MBA in international business program helps prepare graduates for careers in global markets. The curriculum expands students' cultural perspective and explores business trends in a global context.

    During the online program, MBA students can build strong strategic and management skills. The program emphasizes adapting managerial styles depending on the global context. Learners also study different management models and examine organizational case studies.

    The international business concentration includes advanced training in international human resource management. Distance learners complete courses on an accelerated, seven-week term. Graduates can earn their MBA in just 12 months.

    Prospective students must hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution. The program also requires at least two years of professional work experience. Applicants submit a resume, a cover letter, and two recommendation letters. Applicants with at least five years of managerial work experience or a minimum 3.2 GPA do not submit GMAT scores. UNCW is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

  7. Arizona State University-Skysong
    Location

    Scottsdale, AZ

    ASU is a public university that awards more than 27,000 degrees every year. ASU's W.P. Carey School of Business ranks among the largest business schools in the country, enrolling over 15,000 students. At the W.P. Carey School, distance learners can earn their MBA in international business online. The program focuses on one course at a time to help concentrate students' efforts.

    The MBA curriculum includes coursework in operations management, managerial economics, and strategic management. Within the international business concentration, students choose between fully online courses or international electives at partner universities.

    ASU emphasizes case-based projects and student interactions. Learners meet with career coaches to reach their professional development goals. Applicants provide a resume, admission essay, and recommender's contact information. ASU also requires GMAT or GRE scores. Incoming MBA students start the program in January or August. ASU is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

  8. Wayne State University
    Location

    Detroit, MI

    Founded in Detroit in 1868, WSU grants degrees from its 200-acre campus. WSU's Mike Ilitch School of Business offers an online MBA in international business. The specialized MBA helps build foundational knowledge in management while providing focused coursework in international business.

    WSU's MBA curriculum includes core courses in organizational behavior, marketing strategy, and strategic management. The international business concentration lets students choose from courses in international finance, global supply chain management, and sustainability in international business. The Ilitch School also offers study-abroad opportunities in Brazil, China, Italy, and Central Europe.

    WSU offers a career planning and placement office to help MBA graduates advance their careers. Applicants should hold a minimum 3.2 GPA or a minimum 3.0 GPA from an accredited business program. WSU also admits applicants with a minimum 2.75 GPA who hold at least three years of professional experience. Highly qualified applicants can apply for a GMAT waiver. WSU is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

  9. Pittsburg State University
    Location

    Pittsburg, KS

    A public university located in Pittsburg, Kansas, Pitt State dates back to 1903. Today, the university offers over 100 programs, including online degrees. Pitt State's online MBA in international business program provides a flexible route to an MBA degree. The 30-credit MBA program emphasizes analytical and management skills. Learners also explore international trade, global finance, and emerging markets.

    At Pitt State, MBA students build core knowledge in quantitative business analysis, consumer analytics, and management-control systems. Specialized international business coursework offers an in-depth look at key issues in global business, including finance and trade.

    Pitt State charges a flat rate of $375 per credit for all distance learners as of Aug. 2021. Students can earn an MBA for only $11,250. Learners can complete the program in just 12 months.

    Applicants must hold a minimum 2.7 GPA and at least three years of managerial experience. The MBA program does not require GMAT scores. Pitt State is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

  10. Villanova University
    Location

    Villanova, PA

    Founded in 1842, Villanova educates students as a private Catholic university. The Villanova School of Business offers undergraduate and graduate degrees. Graduate students can earn their MBA in international business online. The program provides a personalized and interactive online educational experience.

    During the 21-course curriculum, learners study business operations, corporate finance, and strategic marketing management. Villanova's curriculum encourages students to use information technology strategically and to promote innovation through their management. Learners complete a global practicum and a global strategic management capstone that includes an optional international immersion.

    The curriculum encourages learners to apply their knowledge through hands-on projects and practicum experiences. First-year students complete an intensive leadership challenge residency. The program also includes a social enterprise consulting practicum where students work in teams on a client challenge. Villanova is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Portrait of Genevieve Carlton

Genevieve Carlton

Genevieve Carlton holds a Ph.D. in history from Northwestern University and earned tenure as a history professor at the University of Louisville. An award-winning historian and writer, Genevieve has published multiple scholarly articles and a book with the University of Chicago Press. She currently works as a freelance writer and consultant.

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