If you want to find a job that lets you go global, an International Business MBA might be for you. This master’s degree can lead to many in-demand international business careers, such as being an international economist or global finance manager.
But despite the attractive allure of a growing world economy, earning your MBA can sound like a hard-to-achieve goal, especially if you work full time. Those looking for flexible options with greater work-life balance should consider an online International Business MBA. This degree can serve as the runway from which you’ll launch your career, both figuratively and literally as you travel the world tackling business challenges.
Before you start applying to programs, it’s important to understand how to identify the right online MBA in International Business for you. This guide will provide clarity on important factors to consider, such as cost, curriculum, and accreditation.
Spotlight on Top Online MBAs in International Business for 2023
Searching for the right International Business online MBA program can be tricky, especially if you don’t know where to start or what to look for in a good program. To jumpstart your search, we researched some of the best degree options in the United States. The three spotlighted programs below stood out in terms of affordability, flexibility, and quality curriculum — plus, they are all accredited by the AACSB, one of the gold-standard accrediting bodies for business schools.
Students interested in gaining a comprehensive overview of the global economy should consider the online MBA with an International Business Concentration from Louisiana State University. In this program, students take courses in operations, marketing, and strategic decision-making through online, synchronous course sessions. To round out the curriculum, students also study resource management and leadership across cultures. The program is one of the most affordable ($12,464 total) and fastest (less than 10 months to complete). While quick and cost-effective, the program still offers opportunities for students to grow their skillset. In many of their classes, you’ll complete virtual projects, either alone or in groups, to put your coursework into practice. With this degree, you’ll be well prepared to take on a career in a large multinational company or a small- to medium-sized enterprise as an international executive with a diverse perspective.
The online MBA in International Business from Nova Southeastern University lets students complete a high-quality degree from the comfort of their own home. The program was designed for those working full-time, so classes are provided in an asynchronous format — meaning you’ll watch pre-recorded lectures whenever you have time. Most students complete coursework in 16 to 23 months, and you’ll work in team cohorts, where you’ll collaborate with your peers virtually. You’ll begin by taking a business core of 22 to 31 credits (depending on your undergraduate curriculum), then you’ll dive into 12 credits of international major topics and three elective credits. This program also includes an international business internship, which will provide networking opportunities and unparalleled real-world exposure to your future profession. Total cost of your tuition from Nova Southeastern is $28,539.
The online MBA in International Business from Washington State University was designed to cultivate global leadership skills in students and can be completed in less than 22 months. The curriculum covers foundational knowledge in many subfields, such as global marketing and multinational accounting, combined with in-depth courses on international leadership and cross-cultural management. Unlike our other spotlight MBA programs, the online International Business MBA at Washington State features a research methods class. Students can also complete an optional capstone project or research thesis, though this isn’t a requirement to graduate. If students want to dive deeper into a certain area of international business, they can combine their degree with an extra certificate. The program and all certificates can be completed 100% online, and many of the live, virtual sessions are held in the evenings for those who work full time in a business field. The total cost of tuition for this program is $31,536.
Cost of an Online MBA Program in International Business
It’s no secret that getting your MBA can be pricey. But luckily, there are many affordable, high-quality online International Business MBAs out there — and making the decision to pursue an online degree will typically save you money compared to a degree earned in a traditional setting. For a better idea about the wide range of tuition prices, check out the chart below.
Keep in mind that if you decide to pursue an online MBA in International Business, you’ll have access to multiple financial aid options. The most popular include:
To be eligible for federal and state-funded aid (and many private opportunities), students need to fill out the FAFSA, a free application to assess your current financial situation and how much assistance you qualify to receive from the federal government.
How Much Your Online MBA in International Business Could Cost
What to Expect in Your International Business MBA Online Program
An online International Business MBA gives you a good understanding of how businesses operate on a global scale. Classes cover topics such as international marketing, international supply chain management, and global finance. However, the exact schedule of classes you will take depends on your program, as each offers its own electives and areas of specialization. In programs like the one from Washington State University, students can choose to earn certificates in other business areas as well. Most programs also have a final capstone project, though they don’t often require a formal thesis.
In online International Business MBA programs, courses consist of the same content you’d receive in traditional college classes, but the format looks different. Instead of heading to campus, students login to an online course manager, such as Blackboard. Outside of classes, there’s usually a virtual way to communicate with professors and other students. Classes often take place in the evenings to accommodate working professionals, though some happen synchronously in real time. Louisiana State University does a good job outlining what a specific program might look like.
Take a look at the following for a few of the course descriptions you might encounter when you pursue your MBA in International Business online.
Common Online MBA Courses
This course will cover the basics of international accounting, with the curriculum delving into international tax law and financial regulations U.S. businesses must consider when doing business abroad. This course is often designed for a range of students — from those with a background in accounting to those new to the field.
International marketing is a foundational course exploring the creation, implementation, and analysis of global marketing campaigns. Students often study marketing campaigns launched by international companies and brainstorm their own campaigns, sometimes creating materials for those campaigns.
International Business Operations
This course covers how to manage different operations in a global business. Students will study the problems, processes, and activities of current businesses. Often, they will also brainstorm and propose solutions to these problems in their course assignments.
Finance across country borders can be complicated, from varying regulations around financial funding to working with fluctuating exchange rates. This course looks at these topics and provides solutions for how to navigate finances across borders.
International business managers must work with employees from many cultural backgrounds. To prepare students for this task, many schools have a cross-cultural management course. Through the curriculum, students learn to be culture-sensitive, empathetic leaders.
FAQs About Online MBA Programs
What’s the difference between an online MBA and traditional MBA program?
Online programs provide the same quality of education as in-person International Business MBAs. But online MBAs offer students more flexibility because classes are attended online, either in virtual live sessions or by watching pre-recorded videos. Students also save time because they don’t have to commute to campus. Depending on the specific degree program cost, students could also save money on credits — as well as on gas, considering they don’t have to commute to and from campus. Basically, online MBAs are perfect for students strapped for time or money.
Can I work full-time while pursuing an online MBA?
Many students juggle an online International Business MBA while working full-time — and they do so successfully. However, that doesn’t mean it’s not without its challenges. To tackle both, make sure you have good time management skills. Many students find it helpful to calendar block or have a planner where they can list assignments, meetings, and more. For more insight into juggling an online MBA while working full time, check out the University of Maryland’s guide for online MBA candidates.
What are the admissions requirements for an online MBA?
Many online international MBA programs usually take into account an applicant’s educational background, work experience, and test scores. Typically, MBA programs have similar requirements, which will include some or all of the following:
- GMAT scores
- A resume with work experience
- Transcript form a completed undergraduate degree
- Recommendations from teachers, mentors, or managers
- Essays and short-answer questions to better understand why a candidate is applying
However, each school’s requirements can vary slightly. Make sure you explore the admission’s page for your specific online international MBA program.
How long does it take to earn an MBA in International Business?
Usually, it takes one to two years to complete an online MBA in International Business. Some programs, like the one offered at Louisiana State University, feature a more intense workload and therefore take less than a year, while others take two years or more. If you are working full time while completing an online International Business MBA, speed isn’t always the best choice. Make sure the course load can be managed alongside work and life obligations.
Can I earn my MBA 100% online, or do I need to visit campus?
There are many high-quality programs that are fully online, such as the program at Texas A&M International University. However, some online International Business MBAs require students to come in once a semester or once during the program for orientation. Other programs only offer some classes in-person, making their online international MBA a hybrid program. Make sure to check how much of the coursework is online before you apply.
What You Can Do with an Online MBA in International Business
As we’ve mentioned, getting your MBA in International Business online can boost your career. Graduates have the education needed to take on exciting opportunities in many fields, from coordinating an international supply chain to launching a global marketing campaign.
Often, these careers pay well above the $61,900 average annual wage for all workers in all careers in the United States. In fact, for the three opportunities we listed below, salaries ranged from $50,000 to $208,000. The bottom line is that for most of the highest paying business careers, an MBA is a requirement or will give you a leg up in a competitive application process.
For a better idea on how much you could make and what types of jobs you might apply for after graduating, explore the three spotlighted careers below.
Accountants work with businesses or individuals to prepare financial documentation, such as tax records. While most accountants only need a bachelor’s degree, an MBA is preferred to work in international accounting based on minimum requirements in other countries.
|Median Annual Pay
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2022
Management analysts, or consultants, help businesses improve their efficiency. They work in an advisory role to help business leaders increase profit. While some positions are available with just a bachelor’s degree, an MBA makes you a more competitive candidate — especially in international consulting roles, as having an MBA is the norm for consultants in many countries.
|Median Annual Pay
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2022
Global Marketing Manager
Global companies often look for marketing managers with a background in international business, which an online MBA in International Business would provide. As a marketing manager, you ideate, implement, and analyze the success of marketing campaigns.
|Median Annual Pay
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2022