Earning a top online MBA in international business can position students for exciting and lucrative business careers. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in 2018, business and financial occupations had a median annual wage of $68,350 — almost $30,000 more than the annual median for all U.S. occupations.
The top online MBA programs in international business build familiarity with global markets, cultural awareness, and communication. These skills serve graduates well during international business deals and negotiations.
The following guide can help you choose an online international business MBA program. The page describes common curricula, timeline, careers in international business, and resources for this degree path.
What Is an MBA in International Business?
Usually geared toward professionals with 2-5 years of relevant work experience, MBA programs in international business prepare graduates for advancement to upper-level international business management careers. The BLS projects 7% growth in business and financial occupations from 2018-2028, and prospects for careers in international business can prove even more favorable due to rapidly globalizing international economies.
Grow your career, leadership, and business acumen with an accredited online MBA program.
Why Should You Get an Online MBA in International Business?
Like most MBA degrees, an international business MBA can distinguish job candidates from their competitors with only a bachelor’s degree. An MBA can advance students’ skills, salary, and career potential. Online versions of this degree typically boast equivalent program rigor, but with the advantages of more flexible attendance options and lower price tags than on-campus degrees.
The international business MBA curriculum integrates relevant economics, law, politics, and business knowledge. The program prepares students to manage business operations and trade across national boundaries. MBA programs concentrated on international business provide the specialized knowledge base needed for stimulating careers involving cross-cultural communication and travel.
Qualified MBA in international business graduates earn an average of $93,000 annually, according to PayScale. Median salaries for the leadership positions described below indicate potential annual earnings of $70,000-100,000.
What Can You Do With an MBA in International Business?
Global Marketing Manager
These managers design, budget, and supervise implementation of international marketing strategies. They work in diverse industries, including pharmaceuticals, healthcare, and technology. Sometimes supervised by global marketing directors, these managers may help to build business and marketing partnerships, as well as report on marketing plans and results.
Marketing managers need design, communication, and collaboration skills, as they work with design departments to produce marketing campaigns. Global marketing managers take home a hefty $99,000 average annual income, according to PayScale.
International Sales Manager
These professionals oversee international sales operations, including negotiating sales contracts, arranging delivery, and resolving customer issues. International sales managers analyze market trends and collaborate with marketing managers and staff to increase sales.
International sales managers need skills in communication, leadership, analysis, and project management. These professionals earn an average income of $78,000 annually, according to PayScale salary data.
International Trade Compliance Manager
These managers lead trade teams and projects, ensuring compliance with governmental and organizational international trade laws and regulations. Frequently tasked with reviewing international trade agreements and regulatory documents, these professionals must pay attention to detail and draw on knowledge of international trade compliance law and practices.
International trade compliance managers also need strong leadership skills as they spearhead export and import initiatives, make business decisions, and supervise marketing. PayScale reports the average annual salary for international trade compliance managers is $86,000.
Business Development Manager
Business development managers typically work on business planning and devise solutions to increase company profits and customer satisfaction.
Development managers require advanced creative and problem-solving skills, and their endeavors may require market, competitor, and product research. These professionals also need leadership, project management, and collaboration skills as they oversee other business staff in meeting sales objectives. According to PayScale, business development managers earn an average salary of $72,000 annually.
Senior Business Analyst
Senior business analysts require general business project management, analytics, and communication skills, but they differ from other business analysts in the complexity of the projects they address. These analysts must synthesize diverse areas of organizational information, exercising advanced business acumen and data analysis skills as they assess company strengths and weaknesses and make corresponding solution recommendations.
PayScale data indicates that senior business analysts earn an $85,000 annual average salary.
Online MBA in International Business Curriculum
Top online MBA programs in international business combine business management courses, such as managerial economics, with courses on international trade law and practices. See below for brief summaries of common international business program courses.
This course covers international trade laws and regulations. Students cultivate skills for trade compliance management.
A common core course in MBA programs, managerial economics teaches students how to use economic analysis in making business decisions. The course covers topics such as market structures, strategic pricing, and firm theory.
International logistics courses familiarize students with global supply chains, distribution practices, and documentation. Topics covered include transportation, warehousing, and freight forwarding practices in other countries.
How to Choose the Right Online MBA in International Business Program
The best MBA programs in international business differ considerably in curriculum focus and structure, learning format, cost, and quality, so take the time to research and compare programs.
Students interested in global business may consider a few different degree options. The top MBA programs in international business focus on cultivating business management skills and knowledge of global markets. Master’s degrees in public affairs examine the intersections between public policy and business. Master’s degrees in international business or management typically resemble international business MBAs, emphasizing international business and investment strategy and planning.
Online MBAs also offer different formats and structures. Most MBAs entail about 38 credits, which translates to about two years of traditional full-time attendance. However, accelerated MBA programs feature shorter courses and multiple terms each year, enabling students to drastically cut down their time to completion. Meanwhile, part-time programs allow students to extend their studies over several years, pursuing continuing education while still fulfilling time-consuming external obligations such as work or caretaking responsibilities.
The top online MBA programs usually include a capstone project and/or internship component. These requirements may involve on-site work during business hours, so consider program residency, internship, and extracurricular components carefully before applying. Attending schools located in your area or state can facilitate access to networking, internship, and employment opportunities in the area.
Program costs can differ greatly, so make sure to compare tuition price tags. Keep in mind that MBA programs at Ivy League schools tend to cost more than other programs, but they carry greater prestige and improve your chances for higher-paying leadership positions. However, less expensive programs may also boast high-quality academics.
Scholarships for International Business MBA Programs
High-quality online MBA programs can prove costly, but you can offset tuition expenses by applying to scholarships based on academic merit, financial need, area of study, or other identity categories. Granted by professional and governmental organizations, private funders, companies, and schools, scholarships come in varying amounts. See below for examples of scholarships available to students pursuing international business MBAs.
Celia M. Howard Fellowship
Who Can Apply: The Illinois Federation of Business Women’s Clubs awards this scholarship to female residents of Illinois who hold a bachelor’s degree; a “B” average in all courses; and 12+ undergraduate credits in economics, political science, or history. Competitive applicants demonstrate academic merit, leadership experience, and government-related business experience.
Who Can Apply: The Adelante! U.S. Education Leadership Fund awards this $3,000 scholarship to Hispanic or Latin American citizens enrolled full time in accredited business-related degree programs at partnering universities in Colorado, Arizona, California, New Mexico, Florida, Illinois, Nevada, New York, Washington, and Texas. Applicants must demonstrate a 3.0 minimum GPA and leadership potential.
Who Can Apply: Awarded by the American Radio Relay League, this scholarship goes to qualifying students in accredited international studies degree programs. Application requirements include ARRL membership, technician class licensure, demonstrated academic merit and financial need, and interest in amateur radio.
National Council on International Trade Development Scholarship
Who Can Apply: NCITD awards go to qualified applicants enrolled in international business degree programs at U.S. universities. Application requirements include a letter of recommendation from a professor or NCITD member, transcripts demonstrating a minimum 3.0 GPA, and an interest in international trade.
Who Can Apply: WIIT awards merit-based scholarships to women enrolled in international trade and global development programs at accredited U.S. higher education institutions. Candidates must submit an essay and demonstrate interest in international trade.
Professional Organizations for International Business
International business professionals and students often benefit from joining professional organizations which provide networking, continuing education, and leadership opportunities. Many professional organizations produce annual conferences and publications that facilitate knowledge exchange among international business scholars and specialists. Some organizations offer special chapters and discounted memberships for international business students.
Founded in 1955, BCIU encourages interaction between political and business leaders by offering roundtables, training for diplomats, and international trade mission tours. BCIU also runs a student internship program.
This nonprofit provider of international business education publishes a newsletter, runs an annual conference, offers a certified global business professional certification program, and provides trade tools. NASBITE collaborates with schools, trade assistance centers, and government agencies.
Since 1959, AIB has cultivated a community of international business specialists and scholars. This nonprofit holds an annual meeting and generates several publications. AIB’s website features a career center, an electronic discussion list, and resources powered by globalEDGE Academy.
SJU is a private school in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with regional accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).The school offers one of the best online master's in international business. Remote students can finish this program entirely online in as few as 12 months.
This online MBA features 10 concentration areas, including international business, finance, and marketing. With no in-person obligations, this program allows students to develop widely useful business skills, including business communication, accounting, and finance.
Distance learners complete 33-53 credits for graduation, depending on their academic background. Online students follow eight-week accelerated sessions and complete classes such as international strategic alliance management, international business law, and international finance.
Located in Villanova, Pennsylvania, Villanova is a private school offering one of the top online MBA in international business programs. The nonprofit institution holds regional accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) and serves approximately 11,000 students.
Remote students complete 48 credits for graduation and have the option to participate in a seven-day residency on campus. Required courses include corporate finance, strategic marketing management, global political economy, ethical business practices, and global strategic management. Most students complete this 21-course degree in six semesters or approximately two years.
Prospective students must submit a resume, two writing samples, official transcripts, two letters of recommendation, and test scores from the GMAT or GRE. Learners may begin the flexible program during any fall, spring, or summer semester.
Scranton is a public university with an online master's in international business. Located in Scranton, Pennsylvania, the university holds regional accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE). Founded in 1888, the school today boasts approximately 51,000 alumni worldwide and holds a religious affiliation with the Catholic church.
The online MBA helps remote students develop essential skills in leadership, supply chain management, and micro- and macro-economics. Additionally, students receive training to understand cultural differences and their effect on organizational behavior. Courses in the international business specialization include international finance, global health management, and macroeconomic analysis in global perspective.
Interested learners must submit an online application, statement of intent, letters of reference, a resume, and official transcripts. Many students complete this 36-credit hour program in two years.
Located in Gwynedd Valley, Pennsylvania, GMercyU is a private institution with regional accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE). The nonprofit school offers several online business degrees, including one of the best master's in international business programs. This accelerated program positions degree-seekers for competitive careers in international business and prepares them to sit for the Certified Global Business Professional exam.
Required courses for the international business concentration include global marketing and planning, supply chain management, and trade finance and risk. Remote students take one course at a time in seven-week blocks. Most online MBA learners finish the program in 22 months.
Prospective online MBA students need a 3.0 or higher GPA for consideration. Applications must include official transcripts, two letters of recommendation, a resume, and an application fee.
Established in 1939, Endicott is a private institution with regional accreditation from the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE). The nonprofit school administers one of the best international business MBA programs. Upon completion of the program, degree-holders can demonstrate professional-level knowledge of cross-cultural management, global awareness, accounting processes, and market research.
Online degree-seekers in international business need 42 credits to graduate. Concentration areas consist of four three-credit classes, including international marketing, international business negotiation, international business law, and business and management in BRIC countries.
Prospective students must submit an application fee, two letters of recommendation, official transcripts, and a personal statement outlining their career goals. Accepted students enjoy access to 24/7 technical support, remote tutoring and writing services, and personal academic advising.
As a private Christian university located in Azusa, California, APU holds regional accreditation from the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC) and offers one of the best international business MBA programs. APU's program focuses on preparing students for the global marketplace with studies in economics, cross-cultural studies, international marketing, and ethical decision-making.
Remote students complete 39-40 credits for graduation. Full-time students typically take one or two classes per eight-week session and complete the program in 15-24 months.
Potential students must possess a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited school and a 2.5 or higher GPA. Additionally, applicants should possess an academic record that forecasts their success in a graduate program. Enrolled learners must maintain a 3.0 or higher GPA to remain in good standing for graduation.
UD is a public university with regional accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE). Distance students take advantage of its online MBA in international business. Many full-time learners complete the program in as few as 15 months.
Students who focus on international business take 44 credits of classes that cover marketplace globalization, international networking, financial modeling, and cross-cultural studies. Learners who opt for a second or third concentration area, in addition to international business, complete 47 or 53 credits respectively. Students complete seven-week classes entirely online with no on-campus obligations.
International business students at UD need a bachelor's degree with a 2.8 or higher GPA. Additionally, prospective students should possess at least two years of work experience and need to submit GRE or GMAT scores.
Located in Romeoville, Illinois, Lewis holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). The private nonprofit institution serves approximately 6,400 students and offers one of the top international business MBA online programs.
Students who pursue an MBA in international business at Lewis complete 12 credits of specialized eight-week classes, including international economics common marketing, finance, and accounting.
In total, students complete 36-54 credits for graduation depending on their academic background. Students without an undergraduate course history in several introductory business topics such as accounting, statistics, and marketing must take remedial classes before beginning their master's coursework.
Applicants must possess a bachelor's degree and submit a professional resume, two letters of recommendation, and official transcripts for consideration. Lewis holds a rolling admissions policy.
UMass Lowell is a public university serving approximately 18,000 students and holding regional accreditation from the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE). Graduate students enjoy remote access to its MBA in international business program.
MBA students need 42 credits for graduation. Required asynchronous, fully online courses for students in the international business concentration include international financial management, international marketing, and global supply chain management. In most cases, full-time degree-seekers can complete the program in as few as 18 months.
Required application materials for prospective UMass Lowell MBA students include an application fee, personal statement, three letters of recommendation, official transcripts, GMAT scores, and a resume. Learners must maintain a 3.0 or higher GPA to remain in good standing with the department.
Located in Boston, Massachusetts, Northeastern is a private school featuring an online master's in international business. Serving approximately 14,000 students as a nonprofit institution, Northeastern holds regional accreditation from the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE).
MBA students in the international management concentration focus on developing an understanding of cultural and legal issues in multinational business endeavors. Learners in this specialization complete classes such as international finance management, cultural aspects of international business, and global supply chain management.
To apply, MBA degree-seekers at Northeastern must submit official transcripts reflecting a 3.0 or higher undergraduate GPA. Additionally, applications must include a resume, two letters of recommendation, and a personal statement. Northeastern recommends that applicants possess five years of leadership experience in a professional work setting before applying.
Located in River Forest, Illinois, Dominican is a private institution with regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). The nonprofit university offers a master's in international business for remote learners.
This entirely online program requires distance students to complete 46 credits for graduation. Full-time learners may finish the program in as few as 18 months. International business administration courses include cross-cultural negotiation, multinational financial management, and international business. Students in this concentration complete an international practicum course and may participate in an optional in-person internship.
Prospective learners must hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution. Additionally, applications must include GMAT or GRE scores, two letters of recommendation, a personal statement, and a resume. Incoming students can transfer up to six graduate-level credits toward their MBA in international business.
With regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), JBU is a private school in Siloam Springs, Arkansas. The nonprofit institution offers an online MBA in international business.
Remote students pursuing an MBA at JBU complete 36-45 credits for graduation, depending on their undergraduate course history. Required classes for the international business concentration include global leadership and ethics, global supply chain management, strategies for emerging markets, and an international business practicum. Online full-time students usually complete the program in two years.
Distance students interested in the MBA at JBU should possess a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university with a 3.0 or higher GPA. Applicants with a 2.75 or lower GPA must submit GRE scores to supplement their application.
SMC is a private nonprofit institution in Moraga, California. Established in 1863, the school today boasts approximately 3,700 students. Remote pupils take advantage of its online MBA in international business.
This curriculum helps students focus on global interconnectedness with respect to social, environmental, and economic values. Students pursuing the concentration in international management take courses in international finance, international marketing, and social entrepreneurship from a global perspective.
Applicants need a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university. Learners with a 3.0 or higher GPA do not need to submit GMAT or GRE scores. SMC prefers that applicants possess at least two years of full-time professional experience before applying. Enrolled students can take advantage of SMC's graduate student study abroad programs, career services, and professional development services.
ACU is a private nonprofit university with regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). Founded in 1906, the Christian college boasts approximately 4,600 students. ACU offers an MBA in international business for distance learners.
Remote students complete 36 credits for graduation. In most cases, full-time learners complete this degree in 24 months. The concentration in international business requires lenders to complete classes in international business, global supply chain management, and international finance.
ACU expects applicants to possess at least two years of professional work experience or a satisfactory GMAT score. Applicants may use their GRE score instead with the permission of the program director. Prospective students also submit a resume, letter of intent, and optional letters of recommendation.
Located in Webster Groves, Missouri, Webster is a private nonprofit school with regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). Founded in 1915, the school today serves approximately 14,500 students. Webster offers more than 50 online degrees and certificates, including a master's in international business.
Students complete 54 credits to graduate. The international relations concentration includes a course in research methods and a capstone. Additionally, MBA students complete two classes in comparative politics and four classes in international politics.
Interested learners need at least a 2.5 GPA for consideration. Application materials include an application fee, official transcripts, a resume, and one letter of recommendation from a previous teacher or employer.
Cal Lutheran is a private school in Thousand Oaks, California. With regional accreditation from the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC), the nonprofit school offers an online MBA in international business program.
Remote students complete 45 units for graduation entirely online or in a hybrid format. In most cases, distance learners take 12-24 months to finish. Students pursuing the international business concentration choose from professional concentration courses such as international marketing, global strategy, international business law, and international finance.
Prospective students must submit their official transcripts, two professional letters of recommendation, a personal statement, and GMAT scores. Cal Lutheran seniors or alumni with business degrees receive assured admission to the program provided they possess a 3.0 or higher GPA in upper-division coursework.
Located in Greenville, North Carolina, ECU is a public institution with one of the top online MBA in international business programs. The university holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) and boasts approximately 28,700 students.
ECU students follow an asynchronous course schedule and complete the fully online or hybrid curriculum at their own pace. Learners choose from several available concentrations such as international management, project management, or sport management.
Incoming students take an entrance exam to determine their level of business knowledge before enrolling in classes. Learners complete between 33-54 semester credits for graduation, depending on their previous course history. MBA applicants need to submit GRE or GMAT scores and possess a 2.7 or higher GPA for consideration.
NSU is a private nonprofit institution based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The university holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) and offers one of the top MBA in international business programs.
Students engage with synchronous classes online. Required classes for the international business major include import/export principles and practices, international finance, globalization and emerging markets, and foundations of global business. Additionally, MBA degree students may take advantage of NSU's internship for-credit elective. Most full-time students complete the program in as few as 21 months.
NSU expects applicants to possess a bachelor's degree with a course history in introductory accounting, business finance, and business statistics. The university maintains a rolling admission policy and allows students to begin coursework during the winter, summer, or fall semesters.
SAU is a private institution in Davenport, Iowa. The nonprofit university holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and offers one of the best international business MBA programs.
SAU's MBA requires learners to complete 36 credits for graduation. Students pursuing a degree in international management take classes such as financial management, strategic management, data analysis for decision-making, and human behavior in organizations.
Full-time MBA degree-seekers can finish the program at SAU in approximately 14 months, while part-time learners need about two years.
Applicants must submit an online application, their official transcripts, a resume, three professional references, and a writing sample. Additionally, SAU requires MBA applicants to participate in an interview. Incoming students can transfer up to nine semester credits toward the MBA.
La Verne is a private school with regional accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). This curriculum helps students gain the necessary leadership, teamwork, and communication skills for strategic, ethical, and globally focused careers in business.
The school's fully online MBA in international business requires 33 semester credits for graduation. Students in this concentration prepare for leadership roles in multinational firms. Coursework covers essential topics such as government policies, resource allocation, international competition, business ethics, and cultural diversity.
Prospective graduate students need a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution with a 2.5 or higher GPA. Applicants should possess a 3.0 or higher GPA in any previous graduate-level coursework. Applications must also include letters of recommendation, a writing sample, and official transcripts.
Located in West Hartford, Connecticut, UHart is a private nonprofit institution with regional accreditation from the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE). The university offers more than 60 online graduate programs, including one of the best MBA in international business programs. Full-time students can complete the program in approximately 24 months.
MBA students complete 36 credits in total for graduation. Required classes for the concentration in international business include global business environment, international finance, and international marketing.
Applications for the MBA program must include an application fee, official transcripts, GMAT scores, a letter of intent, and a resume. Applicants with a 3.0 or higher GPA or three years of work experience in the field may receive a GMAT waiver.
UNT Dallas is a public school boasting approximately 3,800 students and regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). Distance students take advantage of the school's MBA in international business.
Faculty deliver courses online in a cohort learning format. Degree-seekers need at least 53 semester credits to finish the program. The international management concentration at UNT Dallas features courses in strategic management, legal and cross-cultural management, marketing, and finance for international business environments.
Prospective MBA students need a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution. Applications must also include at least one letter of recommendation, a resume, a personal essay, and GMAT scores. Enrolled students need to maintain a 3.0 or higher GPA to remain in good standing with the department.
Located in Pullman, WSU is a public institution with one of the top online MBA in international business programs. The school serves approximately 21,000 students and holds regional accreditation from the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).
Remote students need to complete at least 36 credits to earn the MBA. Incoming students may also take up to 16 credits of foundational coursework to supplement their bachelor's degree if needed. The track in international business features courses in international business management, marketing management, and international finance. Full-time degree-seekers can complete this fully online program in as few as 22-29 months.
Interested learners should submit a resume, one letter of recommendation, a statement of purpose, and GRE or GMAT scores for consideration. Competitive applicants typically possess a 3.0 or higher GPA.
Located in Miami, FIU is a public institution with approximately 54,000 students. The school holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) and offers one of the top international business MBA programs.
Business faculty at FIU deliver eight-week courses entirely online. Remote learners choose from three pacing formats that allow them to finish their degrees in 18, 21, or 33 months. Additionally, MBA students can take advantage of optional hands-on learning experiences, including a two-day residency on campus and professional development seminars.
Prospective students must submit GRE or GMAT scores. Applicants with two years of work experience, an undergraduate degree in business or a related area, a 3.35 or higher undergraduate GPA, or a graduate degree with a 3.0 or higher GPA may receive a test waiver.
Founded in 1887, Benedictine is a Catholic school in Lisle, Illinois. The private nonprofit institution holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). Online learners enjoy remote access to the school's international business MBA program.
Students can complete this 64-quarter-credit degree entirely online or in a blended format. The concentration in international business includes classes that focus on cross-cultural studies, social customs, and business practices, including international economics and finance, marketing, and multicultural management.
Applicants need to submit an online application, an application fee, two letters of recommendation, a resume, a letter of intent, and official transcripts. Incoming MBA students who transfer from another Benedictine program must also complete an interview with a program manager.