The avalanche of new technologies over the last couple of decades has brought about an unprecedented expansion in the reach of businesses all over the globe. Training in international business can give you the knowledge and skills you need to help today's companies make the best of life and commerce in the global neighborhood.
Depending on the institution, international business degree programs may have certain specific goals in mind or may take a more broad-based approach. Most programs aim to teach students how to approach business solutions from a global perspective, draw economic information from a nation's legal and social politics and navigate the complexities of cross-cultural communication.
If you're already working and don't have time to attend school in the traditional sense, look into online international business degrees. Online degrees for international business students typically give you extra scheduling leeway and may even charge lower tuition rates than on-campus programs.
Best Colleges for International Business Degree Programs
We used National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) data to score hundreds of institutions in eight major categories. Check out our methodology by clicking the button, and find out which four-year schools in the U.S. were the best colleges for international business degree programs by reading on below.
This small, specialized school in Buzzards Bay took the top spot on our rankings thanks in part to the prevalence of international business programs among its 2015 graduating class. Massachusetts Maritime Academy placed second among schools on our list and took the No. 3 spot among all schools in the country for its approximately one-in-eight ratio of international business graduates to those who completed other degrees.
The international business degree programs at MMA include dedicated study of the seafaring aspects of commerce, such as the business of shipping, maritime law, vessel chartering and marine insurance. Graduates typically leave school prepared to embark on careers in oil brokerage, marine management and shipping logistics.
Our No. 2 school can trace its history back to a time before the United States was officially a nation. Founded in 1770, the College of Charleston is a public liberal arts and sciences university with more than 10,000 undergraduate students enrolled as of 2016.
The international business curriculum at the College of Charleston aims to give students a multi-dimensional perspective on the business world, including important cultural contexts and cross-border communication skills. Students in the College's international business program are required to minor in study of a particular global region, such as Latin America or East Asia, or in one of 11 modern languages, including Hindi, Russian, Arabic and Japanese.
The University of the Potomac is a regional for-profit college system with two campuses in the Northern Virginia area. The Washington D.C. Campus featured a 2015 graduating class that was composed of more than 10 percent international business graduates -- a higher prevalence rate than all but two other schools among our top ten.
Students seeking online international business degrees can find the flexibility they're looking for at Potomac, where they may choose to take courses via distance education or on campus at either the Washington or Virginia locations. Students can choose from a number of program concentrations, including finance, marketing, healthcare management and government contract management.
The Bachelor of Business Administration (B.B.A.) program in international business at Florida's St. Thomas University includes training in international market analysis, international corporate finance, international economics and more. The on-campus program features a student-faculty ratio of 12:1, which is about 25 percent better than the national university average of 16:1 calculated in 2016.
STU also offers a range of degrees for international business students who choose to take their education to the next level. Graduate programs at the Miami Gardens school include a Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) in international business, a Master of Science (M.S.) in management and international business, and a Master of International Business degree that can be earned entirely online.
This private institution situated high in the Rocky Mountains reported the second-highest graduation rate among our ten best colleges for international business. Degree programs at the University of Denver require international business majors to participate in some form of study abroad program, for which they may travel to countries such as Australia, Germany, Ireland, Spain, England and Thailand.
The global perspective provided by an international business degree at DU is often paired with a second major in a specific discipline from either the social sciences or the general business spectrum. Accounting, anthropology, marketing, sociology, business analytics and hospitality management are common examples of this supplementary major subject.
The smallest school on our list comes in at No. 6. Schiller International University awarded just 32 total degrees in 2015, according to NCES data, of which more than 15 percent were earned by international business students. Along with its U.S. outpost in Florida, Schiller International University has campuses all over the world.
Online programs for international business students are also a part of the educational model at SIU, if you live at a distance from the Florida campus or need some schedule flexibility as you progress toward your degree. As well as the B.S. in international business, SIU offers bachelor's degrees in international economics and international hospitality and tourism management.
This Miami institution reported the second-most affordable cost of tuition and fees among our top schools for international business degree programs, charging students an average of $6,556 for a year's worth of courses. Florida International University also took the No. 2 spot on our list for its percentage of students that took at least some of their courses via distance education.
The international business degrees at FIU are packaged as Bachelor of Business Administration (B.B.A.) degrees and require 120 credit hours of study to complete. Online degrees for international business students include the B.B.A. in international business and a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in international relations.
The flagship Columbia campus of the University of South Carolina was founded more than 200 years ago and serves as the institution's top-tier research university. International business degree programs at USC Columbia give students the opportunity to embark on a 15-credit intensive study track of business practices in one of a list of global regions that includes China, the Middle East and North Africa, Europe, South America and more.
Rather than earning a standalone degree in international business at USC Columbia, students take international business as a concentration within the Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in business administration program. Students who wish to continue their studies past the undergraduate level can move into one of three graduate plans, including the International Master of Business Administration (I.M.B.A.) degree.
First established in 1789, Georgetown University is the oldest Catholic and Jesuit university in the U.S. and the institution with the highest graduation rate of any of our top ten schools for international business. In fact, just one other school in the hundreds we analyzed graduated a larger percentage of eligible students in 2015 than the nearly 94 percent reported by Georgetown.
Students can choose between two study tracks within the international business program at Georgetown. The international political economy and business track focuses more on the big picture of global business, while the international business regional studies track encourages students to focus on a particular area of the world. Both options require at least four semesters of practical modern language study.
The tuition and fees expenses at the University of Houston - Downtown were the lowest of any school in our top ten, costing students $5,826 on average in 2015-16. Flexibility was also a high point here, with campus-based classes available in evenings and on weekends and more than 45 percent of students taking some or all of their coursework online.
The international business degree programs at UHD combine basic business knowledge with a study of the theories, practices and policies of international business and an eye toward cross-cultural understanding. A minor in international business is also available, for business students who want to add an international edge to a degree in accounting, finance, management information systems or another business discipline.
International Business Degree Programs and Common Career Paths
A bachelor's degree in international business can open up a broad range of career paths both domestically and abroad. Here are a few professional roles in which you might be able to make use of your transnational business perspective and training in global organizational theory.
Career outlook for International Business Majors
Certain positions that may be available to graduates of international business degree programs are growing faster than others, and knowing which ones are on the rise can help you in your career search. Here's some brief info on employment projections for the international business job market.
PROJECTED JOB GROWTH(%)
|Operations Research Analysts||$88,350||104,200||27.4%|
|General and Operations Managers||$123,880||2,289,770||9.1%|
Financial aid and scholarships in international business
Some of the grants and scholarships available to international business students are offered at the regional or institutional level. Some aid programs for business students are restricted by professional outcome, such as the Asparagus Club Scholarship Program, intended for business students planning to enter the retail grocery industry. Here's a short list of financial aid options that might work for you.
Renewable if recipient maintains a minimum 2.75 GPA.
Renewable in some specific cases on the basis of outstanding achievements.
To be included in these rankings, all schools must meet the following initial criteria for the specific subject being ranked.
- Offer an undergraduate degree (either associate or bachelor’s) in that subject.
- Have awarded at least one degree or certificate in that subject in the most recent year of IPEDS data available.
Based on those criteria, we ranked all 2-year and 4-year schools in IPEDS that reported data for all of the following points. Ratings are calculated on a 10-point scale, using the weights specified.
- In-state undergraduate tuition & fees, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015
- Graduation rate, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015
- Accessibility, based on admissions rate, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015
- Institutional spending, based on two equally weighted factors, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015
- Instructional and academic support expenses per full-time enrolled student
- Instructional and academic support spending as a percentage of all expenses
- Student-to-faculty ratio, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015
- Flexibility, based on the following factors, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015
- Percent of students enrolled fully or partly in distance education
- Whether the school offers programs that can be completed entirely in the evenings and on weekends
- Whether the school offers academic and career counseling
- Whether the school offers job placement services for students who complete their programs
- Whether the school offers any alternative tuition plans, such as a payment plan or guaranteed rate
- Size of program, based on how many of the degrees and certificates awarded in 2014-15 were in this particular subject, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015
- Related subjects, based on the number of similar topics for programs in relevant CIP codes that are offered at any level, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015
- Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) 2015-16, National Center for Education Statistics, accessed August 2017, http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/
- Most Recent Cohorts (All Data Elements): 2016-17, College Scorecard, U.S. Department of Education, https://collegescorecard.ed.gov/data/
- School pages, accessed September 25, 2017: International Business Learning Outcomes, Marquette University, http://business.marquette.edu/departments/intlbus-learning-outcomes; Learning Outcomes, International Business Major, Champlain College, https://www.champlain.edu/academics/undergraduate-academics/majors-and-specializations/international-business/learning-outcomes-international-business; About MMA, Massachusetts Maritime Academy, https://www.maritime.edu/about-mma; International Maritime Business Undergraduate Degree, Massachusetts Maritime Academy, https://www.maritime.edu/international-maritime-business-undergraduate-degree; about the College, College of Charleston, http://www.cofc.edu/about/index.php; International Business, College of Charleston, http://cofc.edu/academics/majorsandminors/internationalbusiness.php; Learning Options, University of the Potomac, https://potomac.edu/learning/learning-options/; Bachelor Degree in International Business, University of the Potomac, https://potomac.edu/bachelor-degree/international-business/#tab-id-3; About STU, St. Thomas University, https://www.stu.edu/About-STU; International Business Degree, BBA, St. Thomas University, https://www.stu.edu/business/Programs/bba-international-business; Masters of International Business, St. Thomas University, https://www.stu.edu/business/Programs/master-international-business; International Business, University of Denver, https://daniels.du.edu/international-business/; BSBA Requirements - International Business Major, https://daniels-pull-universityofdenv.netdna-ssl.com/assets/INTB-Degree-Plan-2017.pdf; International Business Bachelor Degree, Schiller International University, https://www.schiller.edu/bachelor-degrees/international-business-bachelor-degree/; Bachelor of Business Administration International Business Major, Florida International University, https://business.fiu.edu/undergraduate/bba-international-business/index.cfm; Florida International University Online Undergraduate Degrees, Florida International University, http://fiuonline.fiu.edu/programs/online-undergraduate-degrees/index.php; About, University of South Carolina, http://www.sc.edu/about/index.php; Our Campuses, University of South Carolina, http://sc.edu/about/system/our_campuses/; International Business at south Carolina, University of South Carolina, http://www.sc.edu/study/majors_and_degrees/international_business.php; About, Georgetown University, https://www.georgetown.edu/about; IBUS Major with Undergraduate Curriculum, Georgetown University, https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B1LrPbTABaWbNS1icUNpdGszdzg/view; International Business Program, University of Houston - Downtown, https://www.uhd.edu/academics/business/undergraduate-programs/Pages/facis-int-bus-index.aspx;
- 21 Liberal Arts Colleges With the Lowest Student-Faculty Ratios, U.S. News and World Report, Jordan Friedman, April 19, 2016, accessed September 14, 2017, https://www.usnews.com/education/best-colleges/the-short-list-college/articles/2016-04-19/21-liberal-arts-colleges-with-the-lowest-student-faculty-ratios
- Occupational Outlook Handbook, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, accessed September 20, 2017: Economists, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/economists.htm; Securities, Commodities, and Financial Services Sales Agents, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/Sales/Securities-commodities-and-financial-services-sales-agents.htm;
- Foreign Service Officer FAQ, U.S. Agency for International Development, accessed September 20, 2017, https://www.usaid.gov/work-usaid/careers/foreign-service/foreign-service-officer-faq
- Professional organization pages, accessed September 20, 2017: About AIB, Academy of International Business, https://aib.msu.edu/aboutaib.asp; About AFSA, American Foreign Service Association, http://afsa.org/about-afsa; ICPA Digital Brochure, International Compliance Professionals Association, http://icpaorg.digbro.com/;
- Asparagus Club, National Grocers Association, accessed September 20, 2017, http://www.nationalgrocers.org/special-programs/asparagus-club
- Scholarship directory data is copyrighted material which is reproduced on this website by permission of Wintergreen Orchard House, a division of Carnegie Communications. Copyright © 2017-18 by Wintergreen Orchard House. All rights reserved.