You’re that person — the one who sees business opportunities everywhere, and who knows that an internet connection gives any business a multinational presence; the one who’s driven to break down cultural barriers and form connections; the one who wants to be at the forefront of the global business economy.
If reading this either describes you or intrigues you, then a bachelor’s degree in international business online may be the key to your fulfilling future. And businesses are increasingly seeking graduates of these programs to help them stay competitive in emerging, profitable global markets.
We’ve designed this guide to introduce you to online international business bachelor’s degree programs— specifically, how they can give you that all-important leg up in the global job market. We begin by spotlighting three of the best online degrees in international business, based on considerations like affordability, convenience, and access to academic and career support services. This guide offers a preview of our full ranking of online international business programs coming later this year, so be sure to check back.
University of Minnesota
A great example of a quality, affordable online international business degree is the Bachelor of Science in International Business from the University of Minnesota. The program is designed to provide students with a solid foundation in global business through coursework in subjects such as business law, business management and strategy, financial management, and cultures and etiquette. The degree is offered through UM’s Crookston Campus. However, all program components are presented 100% online with no required campus visits. Classes and coursework are delivered in an asynchronous format, meaning that students can log on and complete their studies at their convenience, as long as deadlines for tests and homework are met. Like most bachelor’s degree programs, UM’s BS in International Business typically requires four years of full-time study. The curriculum follows a semester format consisting of 16-week semesters in fall and spring and eight-week summer semesters. Program starts are available in each of the three semesters.
- BS in International Business
- Credits: 120
- Length: Four years (full-time)
- Cost (tuition only, not including additional fees): $437 per credit
- Mode: Fully online
- Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission (HLC) (Institutional); Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) (Programmatic)
Florida International University
If affordability is a primary factor in your degree choice, you’ll definitely want to consider the Online Bachelor of Business Administration in International Business from Florida International University (FIU). The program’s 120-credit curriculum consists of 60 credits of lower division coursework (primarily general education and business pre-core courses) and 60 credits of upper division coursework (combination of business core courses, major-specific courses, and electives). Coursework in this fully online program is delivered asynchronously. Program starts are available each year in the fall, spring, and summer.
Like all bachelor of international business online programs, admission into FIU’s BBA in International Business program requires a high school diploma or equivalent (such as a GED). First-year students and applicants with fewer than 60 transferrable college credits must submit both their official high school transcript and either SAT or ACT test scores. All transfer students must submit an official copy of all college transcripts and complete the Math Placement Assessment for Incoming Students.
- BBA in International Business
- Credits: 120
- Length: Four years (full-time)
- Cost (tuition plus fees): $228.81 per credit in-state | $345.87 per credit out-of-state
- Mode: Fully online
- Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) (Institutional); Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) (Programmatic)
University of Michigan – Flint
The course of study of the Bachelor of Business Administration in International Business degree at the University of Michigan – Flint emphasizes an understanding of global trade and international investment and the many cultural and ethical challenges that arise in global business practice. The 120-credit curriculum includes general education and lower division business courses followed by upper division international business major core and elective courses. Students have the option of taking two courses in one of three specialization tracks (finance, marketing, or management). The program is offered 100% online with many (and for some students, possibly all) classes delivered asynchronously. However, UM-Flint does not guarantee that the entire program can be completed with asynchronous classes.
As with many students in online degree in international business programs, students in UM-Flint’s BBA in International Business program have the opportunity to study abroad as part of their curriculum. Additionally, online students have access to a full range of support services, including admissions, academic, and career guidance counseling. Students may also become members of the International Business Student Organization, which provides career assistance and networking opportunities.
What You’ll Learn in Your Online International Business Degree Program
The purpose of the international business bachelor’s degree is to prepare students to work effectively in a global business environment — meeting the many financial, logistical, strategic, and cultural challenges that they will inevitably face in the global marketplace. As is common with bachelor’s programs, international business bachelor’s students will receive a well-rounded education through the completion of general education coursework in mathematics, communications, the humanities, and the natural and social sciences.
For a more detailed picture of what you’ll learn in your bachelor of international business online program, we’ve listed below some of the major-related topics you’ll cover in your course of study. We’ve also included a look at some of the courses you’ll take during the four years of your bachelor’s degree program.
Main Topics You’ll Cover
- Developed markets business strategy
- Emerging markets
- International finance
- International law and trade policy
- Multinational business management
- Offshoring and outsourcing
- Regional and national differences in culture, politics, and economics
Lower Division Curriculum (Years 1 and 2)
During years one and two of your four-year international business bachelor’s program, you’ll be focused on foundational business coursework in subjects that include accounting, business mathematics, economic theory, and business law and ethics. You’ll also complete most, if not all, of your general education requirements. Below are descriptions of five business-related courses similar to those you’ll encounter during the first two years of your international business degree program:
- Business Statistics: This is an introductory course in statistics for business. Students learn to apply statistical techniques in a range of business situations. Topics include probability and probability distribution functions, sampling distributions, estimation and confidence intervals, hypothesis testing, and linear regression.
- Macroeconomics: In this class, students will be introduced to the principles of economic analysis and policy as they apply to the overall economy. They’ll explore a range of topics, including the integration of markets to determine national income and gross domestic product, as well as the relationship between the U.S. and world economies.
- Managerial Finance: This course offers an introduction to the theoretical fundamentals and practical applications of financial decision making with a particular focus on the sources and methods of financing for corporations. Topics include financial planning, growth management, and the valuation of real and financial assets.
- Managerial Accounting: Classwork will include accounting concepts, analysis, and financial data in the managerial decision-making process in business enterprises. Course subjects include management and accounting decision making, basic costing and processes, and cost classifications.
- Principles of Marketing: This class is a survey of the theories and practices involved in the marketing of goods and services with an emphasis on strategic, tactical, and ethical marketing decision making. Topics include digital marketing, distribution channels, product planning, pricing policies, and promotional activities.
Upper Division Curriculum (Years 3 and 4)
It’s during the third and fourth years of your online international business degree program that you’ll become fully immersed in major-specific required and elective coursework. Business subjects introduced in lower division courses are now placed into the international context. It’s also during years three and four that you’ll complete coursework in a chosen specialization track, if your program offers specializations. Some students will additionally complete a culminating specialized capstone project.
Here are descriptions of five commonly required upper division international business courses:
- Business and Culture in the Global Marketplace: This course focuses on the development of the skills needed to interact in various national and regional multicultural settings. Key cultural differences are explored as they relate to customs, etiquette, cross-cultural communications, and multinational interaction and cooperation.
- International Business Law: You’ll examine the fundamental legal principles underlying international trade as they relate to the legal and political systems found around the globe in this class. Topics include agreements, contracts and their administration, import and export practices, technology transfers, and intellectual property.
- International Management: Students will explore the management practices and decision-making processes employed by leadership in multinational business organizations. Topics include policy formulation and planning, strategies for international markets, and managing global business interests in an ever-changing international economic, political, and social environment.
- Multinational Marketing: This class exposes students to the differences and similarities in the economic, political, social, and cultural factors impacting the sale of goods and services in the global marketplace. Topics include global trade theory and marketing mix variables in cross-cultural environments.
- Principles of Finance for Global Organizations: This is an introduction to the tools and strategies employed in financial and investment decision making in the international market environment. Students explore topics like financial analysis and projections, and investment and working capital management.
Admissions: Getting into a Top Online International Business Degree Program
Most online bachelor’s in international business programs follow their school’s general requirements for admission into undergraduate degree programs. Here are some of the most common of those admissions requirements:
- High school diploma: A high school diploma or equivalent (like a GED) is a foundational requirement for all international business bachelor’s programs. International students are commonly considered on a case-by-case basis.
- Grade Point Average: Most programs require applicants to meet a given minimum GPA for previous high school (first-time college students) or college (transfer students) coursework. GPA minimums vary by program. For example, the minimum high school GPA requirement for first-time students applying to the University of Michigan – Flint program, spotlighted above, is 2.7, while first-time student applicants to the online BBA program with International Business concentration program at Louisiana State University must have a high school GPA of 2.0 or higher.
- SAT/ACT scores: First-time college students and transfer students with less than a stated minimum of transferable college credits will likely be required to submit either SAT or ACT test scores with their admissions applications. Minimum test scores may or may not be stated. There are a few programs (like the online and the University of Minnesota program spotlighted above) with no SAT/ACT requirements whatsoever.
Bear in mind, though, that admissions requirements do vary somewhat from program to program, so it’s a good idea to carefully review the specific requirements for any program you consider before starting the enrollment process.
Paying for Your Online International Business Degree: Costs and Financial Aid
There are two steps to making your dream of earning your online bachelor’s degree in international business financially possible. The first is finding a quality program at an affordable price. The second is securing the funding you’ll need to pay for that program. To help you with the first step, we’ve listed below the current tuition costs for five online international business bachelor’s degree programs. You’ll notice that costs vary substantially from program to program. Factors that account for these variances include whether the program is offered by a public vs. private school (private schools are often, but not always, more expensive) and whether you’re an in-state or out-of-state resident (some public schools charge a higher tuition rate to out-of-state residents).
Also keep in mind that these costs do not include program fees or the costs of such items as books and supplies. Once you include these extra expenses, you can expect your total degree price tag to run anywhere from $30,000 to $70,000.
|School Name||School Type||Total Credits||In-State||Out-of-State|
|Bellevue University||Private not-for-profit||127||$440/credit||$440/credit|
|Berkeley College||Private for-profit||120||$26,900/year||$26,900/year|
|Louisiana State University||Public||120||$284/credit||$284/credit|
|Northern State University||Public||120||$354.75/credit||$354.75/credit|
|Southern New Hampshire University||Private not-for-profit||120||$320/credit||$320/credit|
Even before checking out the chart above, you probably knew that college is an expensive proposition. Nevertheless, if the tuition rates leave you with a bit of sticker shock, consider this: Many financial aid resources are available to online international business degree students, including common sources like scholarships, grants, and federal financial aid. You may also find that colleges with online international degree programs offer awards exclusively for their students — like Arizona State University (scholarships exclusively for online students) and Northern State University (in-house and outside scholarships exclusively for NSU business degree students).
Other potential funding sources include employer tuition reimbursement programs, and VA benefits for active-duty military and veterans. The best place to start your funding search is with the financial aid offices of schools you’re considering. And to learn more about paying for your degree, be sure to check out this.
FAQs About Earning Your Bachelor’s Degree in International Business Online
Are online international business degree programs offered 100% online?
Most bachelor of international business online programs are available entirely online. For example, the three programs spotlighted above are all delivered 100% online in an asynchronous format. There are exceptions, however. One example of a hybrid bachelor’s program is the International Business BS program at State University of New York (SUNY) which is delivered 50% online. Additionally, programs that offer both on-campus and online options may allow online students to take some courses in-person if they would like, or to participate in other program-related, on-campus activities.
What can you do with a bachelor’s degree in international business?
We noted earlier that a key advantage to earning a bachelor’s degree in international business is that it can give you a significant advantage in landing a top job in the global business field. Additionally, some specific job titles seem well-suited to international business bachelor’s graduates in the areas of finance, marketing, trade, leadership, and more. We’ve listed five of these just below and five more in the chart under the employment outlook heading further down. See if any of these career titles appeal to you:
- Budget Analyst
- Financial Analyst
- Marketing Executive
- Project Manager
- Trade Specialist
Is earning an international business degree worth it?
If your goal is a career working on the global level in private business, government, or the nonprofit sector, then earning this degree may be well worth your time and effort. An international business bachelor’s degree is also a solid choice if you want to earn an MBA or similar graduate-level degree. But just in terms of pay, consider current estimates from PayScale.com that estimate average annual salaries for international business bachelor’s degree holders ranging from the mid-$70,000s to the upper $80,000s.
What accreditation should I look for in an international business degree program?
There are two forms of accreditation of online international business degree programs. First is institutional accreditation, which concerns the academic quality of a college or university overall. This is overseen by a number of regional and national independent accrediting agencies recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
The second is programmatic accreditation, which oversees individual business degree programs. Programmatic accreditation of international business bachelor’s programs is administered mainly by three accrediting organizations: the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP), and the International Accreditation Council for Business Education (IACBE).
How long does it take to earn a bachelor’s degree in international business?
Online international business bachelor’s programs are like most bachelor’s programs in that they require around 120 credits to earn the degree, which typically takes four years of full-time study. Individual student completion times may vary, however. For example, a student may be able to substantially shorten their bachelor’s program length by transferring in previously earned college credits. Also, some programs may provide part-time or accelerated options, allowing students to complete their degrees in more or less time than the standard four years.
Employment Outlook with an International Business Degree
The employment outlook for international business degree grads is strong — both in terms of salaries and job growth — as highlighted in the chart below. Compare those earnings figures to recent earnings estimates for bachelor’s degree holders in the U.S. generally:
These comparisons are not perfect, but they’ll give you a general idea of the value of your international business degree. Specific to job growth, bear in mind that the BLS estimate for job growth for all U.S occupations from 2021 to 2031 is 5%.
|Career||Median Annual Earnings (2021)||Job Growth (2020-2030)|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics