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Pursuing an MBA in international business can be an exciting first step in a lifelong career spent navigating the global business landscape. Upon graduation, students are prepared to seek high-paying careers in a wide range of fields, such as:

  • International Marketing Manager (Median annual salary: $135,030)
  • Global Operations Director (Median annual salary: $97,970)
  • International Trade Economist (Median annual salary: $105,630)
  • Business Development Manager (Median annual salary: $120,130)

On average, these degree programs take two to three years to complete. With online programs, you can reach your career aspirations at your own pace, allowing some students to take more or less time depending on their individual situations.

While costs can vary depending on your institution, the average tuition is approximately $12,000 for public schools and $27,000 for private schools.

How To Choose an Online MBA in International Business Degree Program

Choose your area of study

Specializations within international business include global marketing, international finance, cross-cultural management, global supply chain management, and international trade. To choose the best field, consider your strengths, previous experience, and long-term objectives.

For instance, those with a background in marketing may thrive in global marketing, while someone with a finance background may excel in international finance. Additionally, students interested in managing diverse teams and navigating cultural differences may find cross-cultural management appealing.

Research schools and programs

While some students may come into this process with a short list of desired schools, it’s not uncommon, to begin with a blank slate.

Start by identifying reputable institutions known for global business focus. Look for each program’s accreditation and rankings to ensure quality education. Then, explore the curriculum and course offerings to determine if the program aligns with your intended specialization.

You should place considerable weight on factors that directly influence the quality of education you’ll receive. These elements may include faculty expertise, industry connections, and international opportunities like study abroad or global consulting projects.

Don’t hesitate to contact admissions offices, attend virtual information sessions, or connect with alums to gather more information and clarify any doubts.

Prepare for tests and applications

Now that you know the schools you plan on applying to, it’s time to prepare for any necessary tests and applications. While some schools have pivoted to test-optional policies, others still require standardized test scores from the GMAT or GRE. Before taking either of these tests, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with the test’s format, content, and question types. Many students benefit from official practice tests, while others take their preparation further by enrolling in a test preparation course.

Regarding applications, starting early and taking a proactive approach can help you prepare thoroughly and easily meet deadlines. Gather all necessary documents, including transcripts, letters of recommendation, and a personal statement highlighting your experiences, goals, and fit for the program. Proofread your application thoroughly, and consider seeking feedback from trusted mentors.

Select your program

Once you have received offers of admission, the next step is to decide on the program you will ultimately enroll in. While you likely did some of this research before applying, now is an excellent time to revisit each program’s curriculum and course offerings to ensure they align with your career goals and intended specialization. In addition, assess the faculty’s expertise and industry connections, as they can provide valuable insights into your career trajectory and offer networking opportunities. Also, consider contacting current students or alums and asking for their perspectives.

Determine how you’ll pay for your degree

Now that you have selected your program, developing a plan on how you’ll pay for your degree is crucial. Some students choose to utilize their savings, and others may have access to employer tuition reimbursement programs, which can cover a percentage of your tuition costs.

Many scholarships and grants are available for MBA students. Some may be available directly from your institution. Contact your school’s financial aid office to learn more, and consider researching additional scholarships from private organizations or industry associations.

Lastly, submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to determine your eligibility for federal loans, grants, and work-study programs. By considering these avenues and submitting your FAFSA, you can identify all the potential funding sources available to support your pursuit of higher education.

The Top 57 Online MBA in International Business Programs

Best Online MBA in International Business Degree Programs

Texas A&M International University

FAU College of Business

University of North Carolina Wilmington

University of Delaware

Liberty University

University of Nebraska at Lincoln

Webster University

The University of Scranton

Campbellsville University

SUNY Empire State College

Southern New Hampshire University

Washington State University

Tiffin University

John Brown University

Gardner-Webb University

Lynn University

NSU Florida College of Business

Lehigh University

Azusa Pacific University

Discover More Options

How We Rank Schools

We reviewed Master of Business Administration (MBA) programs with a concentration in international business for this list.

Our main criterion was that programs be offered online to ensure accessibility for the greatest number of students. Several programs can also be completed on-campus or through a combination of online and on-campus classes.

As a quality measure, we only reviewed programs offered at regionally accredited institutions. Many programs also have programmatic accreditation through specialized accrediting bodies like the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP), or the International Accreditation Council for Business Education (IACBE).

Once we narrowed our list of programs, we evaluated them based on cost, outcomes, faculty, flexibility, and reputation. Then we calculated their Intelligent Scores on a scale of 0 to 100. For a more extensive explanation, check out Our Ranking Methodology.

What Can You Expect From an Online MBA in International Business

Online MBA programs in international business are designed to provide an all-encompassing education that combines business principles with a global perspective. Students learn about international trade, global marketing, cross-cultural management, international finance, and global supply chain management. Upon graduation, students can navigate the complexities of conducting business in diverse cultural and global contexts.

While some full-time students can complete their MBA in a year to 18 months, students who need to study part-time can take two to three years to complete the degree requirements. Some programs may require in-person components like hands-on workshops or residencies, and others may allow students to complete their coursework entirely online.

Potential courses you’ll take in an online MBA in International Business program

  • International Marketing: A critical component of global business, courses in international marketing focus on the strategies and challenges of marketing products and services worldwide. Students learn about market entry strategies, international consumer behavior, global branding, and the development of effective marketing campaigns tailored to diverse cultural environments.
  • Cross-Cultural Management: A common course requirement for MBA students majoring in international business, this class explores the complexities of managing people and organizations across different cultures. Students gain expertise in cultural dimensions, communication styles, negotiation techniques, and leadership approaches in a global business setting.
  • Global Supply Chain Management: Tailored to students interested in international logistics, courses in this field cover sourcing, inventory management, and supplier relationships. Students learn how to optimize global operations, mitigate risks, and enhance efficiency in moving goods and services across borders.
  • International Finance: Although this course is often offered as an elective, many students take international finance to understand better the financial aspects of conducting business in the global marketplace. Students learn about foreign exchange markets, international investment, risk management, and financial decision-making in a global context.
  • Global Business Strategy: A cornerstone of international business, this popular course focuses on developing strategic thinking and decision-making skills in global business. Students will become proficient in competitive analysis, mergers and acquisitions, and global business expansion. They will develop the ability to analyze complex international business scenarios and formulate effective strategies for sustainable competitive advantage in the global market.

What Can You Do With an Online MBA in International Business?

Career outlook

Earning an MBA in international business opens the door to work opportunities across the globe. Combining basic business skills such as accounting or marketing with our increased reliance on goods and services from countries other than the U.S. make this a growing field with an excellent outlook for graduating students. For example, a management analyst focusing on improving an organization’s efficiency globally makes a median salary of $93,000 annually. This field is expected to grow by 11% over the next decade, which is much faster than average, and will require an additional 108,400 individuals to enter the field by 2031.

Career paths

The prevalence of global business activities means that multiple career paths are open to a person with an MBA in international business.

You can, for example, choose a business sector that is of particular interest to you, such as international banking, and begin your job search there. Or, if you have particular business skills that you wish to use, such as well-developed communication skills, you might look for a position in any industry that requires writing or marketing knowledge.

Here are a few common career paths you may choose from with an MBA in international business:

  • Purchasing agent — assess and purchase products and services for your organization.
  • Customs broker — performs tasks needed to clear goods through customs.
  • Management analyst — works to improve the efficiency and profitability of an organization.
  • Marketing manager — plan, direct, and coordinate an organization’s marketing programs.
  • Compliance officer — maintain conformity to laws, licenses, permits, and regulations in this country and abroad.

Global Marketing Manager

Earning Potential: $61,250-$208,000

Education Required: Bachelor’s degree in business/marketing and/or MBA in international business

These professionals work with global corporations to generate interest in their company’s products or services. They may plan promotional campaigns that are attuned to the culture of an individual country, negotiate advertising contracts both in the U.S. and abroad, and manage a marketing budget and staff. They work with a broad group of stakeholders, including art directors, writers, sales agents, and media buyers, to ensure that the comprehensive marketing needs of their organization are effectively met. Top marketing managers may work with senior leadership teams to develop pricing strategies and provide information on customer needs in a certain country or region.

Management Analyst

Earning Potential: $50,190-$163,760

Education Required: Bachelor’s degree in business or management and/or MBA in international business

Management analysts or consultants work with an organization to improve its efficiency. They may do this as an employee of the company or as an independent consultant. Those with an MBA in international education are likely to work with large multinational corporations with a presence in more than one country. Typically, a management analyst will gather and organize information and interview stakeholders to determine where change is needed. They will also analyze financial data and other reports before developing solutions to make the company more efficient and cost-effective.

International Purchasing Manager

Earning Potential: $77,310-$206,540

Education Required: Bachelor’s degree in business and/or MBA in international business

Purchasing managers handle their organization’s procurement policies and procedures. They may oversee a team of purchasing agents, whose job is to evaluate suppliers and their products and services to determine the best options for their organization. Purchasing agents and managers may attend trade shows and conferences across the globe to learn about new trends and network with their suppliers. They may write and review contracts with legal staff and then ensure that the contract is adhered to when purchasing.

Online MBA in International Business Degree Frequently Asked Questions

How do I apply to an online MBA in International Business degree program?

To apply for an online MBA in international business, research the specific requirements for the programs you’re most interested in. Generally, you will need a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution, transcripts, letters of recommendation, a resume, and a well-crafted statement of purpose. Some programs may have minimum GPA requirements or standardized test scores like the GMAT or GRE.

Before applying, it’s crucial to reach out to an admissions counselor. They can help you understand the program’s prerequisites and deadlines and inform you about any additional requirements that apply to your situation. For example, if you have a bachelor’s degree in a field other than business administration or international business, some schools may require the completion of prerequisite courses before you can enroll.

How much does an online MBA in International Business degree cost?

According to U.S. News & World Report, tuition for an online MBA in international business can range from $20,000 to $50,000 or more. Many factors can cause this figure to vary, such as whether you attend a public or private institution or qualify for in-state or out-of-state tuition.

It’s also important to consider the costs beyond your school’s tuition, like textbooks or technology requirements. While many online programs are considered less expensive than their on-campus programs, it’s still possible to incur additional technology or distance learning fees. For these reasons, you’ll want to thoroughly research and consider all associated costs when budgeting for your online MBA.

How long does it take to earn an online MBA in International Business degree?

One of the merits of online education is that these programs cater to individual learning speeds, allowing students to progress at their own pace. Thus, completion times will vary depending on your study habits, prior knowledge, and how much time you can commit to your studies.

Individuals who enroll full-time can complete their online MBA in one to two years. However, many students opt for part-time enrollment as it allows for a more flexible schedule, enabling working professionals to balance their responsibilities more efficiently. Part-time students often take up to three years to complete degree requirements.

Of equal importance is to factor in the total number of required credits. This number can vary depending on the institution, and generally, the more credits required, the more time it will take to graduate.

Is an online MBA in International Business worth it?

Whether an online MBA in international business is worth it depends on your career goals, financial considerations, and personal aspirations. The degree offers specialized knowledge in global markets, cross-cultural management, and international finance. It can open doors to higher-level positions in multinational companies and provide a competitive edge in the global job market. Additionally, networking opportunities and exposure to diverse perspectives can be valuable.

Positions requiring an MBA in international business tend to pay well. For example, the median salary of an international business officer is $136,819, according to Glassdoor, while a foreign service officer working for the State Department earns a median salary of $113,581.

Earning your degree online can be a plus when you are job hunting. It demonstrates mastery of time management and organizational skills and indicates a student motivated to succeed in school and beyond.