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Grad Program: International Management

Basic Information

We live in an increasingly interconnected world.

Okay, that’s a cliché. But clichés are often true. To succeed in nearly any business field, it’s no longer enough to understand the domestic market. Most large businesses, from investment banks to manufacturing firms, operate across borders. Even smaller businesses are affected by what happens in markets halfway around the world.

A graduate concentration in international management will prepare you to succeed in today’s global business environment. You’ll learn the particular set of skills needed to be successful in businesses with global operations, from “soft” skills in cross-cultural communication and negotiation, to “hard” skills in international finance and operations. You’ll understand how to analyze risks and seek out opportunities internationally. And you’ll become familiar with the laws, markets and institutions of countries around the world.

Along with core coursework in accounting, finance, and marketing, the international management curriculum typically includes topics such as international political economy, international supply chain and operations management, trade theory, global strategy, and international development. Many programs also offer courses focused on a particular country or region (emerging markets like China and India are hot topics these days).

Love to travel? The international management curriculum offers you the opportunity to spend part of your graduate school education abroad. Many programs actually require students to spend a semester overseas, working at a company or studying at a partner university. You may also be required to show proficiency in a foreign language before graduation.

Students who plan to work abroad, join a multinational company, or work with international institutions or non-profit organizations are all prime candidates for international management coursework. Some have already lived abroad. Others use their degree program to gain international experience and expertise.

Degree Information

A few business schools are entirely oriented towards training students for global business leadership. Many traditional MBA programs offer a concentration in International Management or International Business. These programs are typically two years long, and you’re likely to spend a semester or summer abroad. Other business and public policy schools offer a Master’s in International Management (MIM) as a stand-alone degree.

Another option is a Master's of Public Administration (MPA) in International Management. This is a public policy degree focused on management of governmental and non-profit institutions, such as those involved with international development. More on the MPA degree.

If you’re looking for a career in academia, consider a PhD in international management or business.

Questions to Ask Yourself When Choosing a Degree Program
  • What opportunities are available to study or work abroad? Are these included in my tuition costs?
  • What kinds of international experience do faculty members have?
  • Does the school have active connections to companies or organizations operating around the world?
  • What is the background of a typical student?
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