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Top Ranked School for International Business - Chicago, IL

The Chicago area has about ten schools with programs in international business. Find the best program for you by reading about schools' rankings, program offerings, and tuition info.

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School and Ranking Information

There are eleven private, mostly not-for-profit, schools with international business programs within a 25-mile radius of downtown Chicago. Based on program rankings, graduation rates, and program depth, the following Chicago schools are considered the top three for international business programs:

  • Winner: The University of Chicago (UChicago), just south of downtown Chicago, is the top pick because U.S. News & World Report has ranked the school as one of the best in the nation, and has also ranked its graduate international business program as one of the top 20 in the nation.
  • Runner Up #1: Northwestern University (NU), located in Evanston, came in a close second. The graduate business school is ranked higher by U.S. News & World Report than UChicago's, but the graduate international business program is ranked a little lower.
  • Runner Up #2: Loyola University Chicago (LUC), located on the north side of Chicago, came in third. It is the only school of the three with both undergraduate and graduate business degree programs in international business, and its students have broad internship and study abroad options through LUC.

School Comparison Chart

Category University of Chicago Northwestern University Loyola University Chicago
Ranking(s) 16th among graduate international business programs (2013)*, 4th among national universities (2013)* 18th among graduate international business programs (2013)*, 12th among national universities (2013)* 87th among undergraduate business programs (2012)*, 106th for national universities (2013)*
Location Chicago, IL Evanston, IL (12 miles from downtown Chicago) Chicago, IL
School Type 4-year, private not-for-profit 4-year, private not-for-profit 4-year, private not-for-profit
Tuition & Fees (2012-2013) $45,609 (undergraduate), $46,692 (graduate)** $43,779 (undergraduate), $43,692 (graduate)** $34,578 (undergraduate), $17,010 (graduate)**
International Business Program Levels Offered Master's degree** Master's degree** Bachelor's degree; postgraduate certificate**
International Business Degrees and Certificates (all levels) Awarded in 2011-2012 5** 36** 48**
Most Popular International Business Program in 2011-2012 Master's degree (5 awarded)** Master's degree (36 awarded)** Bachelor's degree (37 awarded)**
Undergraduate Graduation Rate (in 150% of normal degree time) for 2006 Entering Class 92%** 93%** 70%**
Noteworthy Booth School of Business ranked #6 among the nation's business schools (2013)* Kellogg Corps volunteers act as consultants in developing countries*** International business courses offered at Loyola's centers in Beijing and Rome****

Sources: *U.S. News & World Report, **National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), ***Northwestern University, ****Loyola University Chicago.

Winner: University of Chicago

  • 'Lab' courses provide hands-on experience solving real business problems
  • Joint degrees available in area studies or international relations
  • Booth School of Business offers international studies opportunities through its campuses in Europe and Asia
  • The overall student-faculty ratio is 6:1, according to NCES

Located in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago, UChicago and its Booth School of Business are nationally and internationally recognized. The Booth School of Business has two locations in Chicago as well as campuses in London, Hong Kong, and Singapore. The business school's faculty includes six Nobel Prize winners.

The MBA is offered in full-time day, evening, weekend and executive formats. The executive MBA program is for seasoned administrators. Though this 21-month program doesn't have an international business track, it's offered on the Chicago, London, and Hong Kong campuses and designed to increase global business exposure. The other MBA programs have the same faculty and curriculum and have 14 concentration options, including one in international business.

The international business concentration includes a curriculum that covers exchange rates, trade barriers, and business creation in a foreign country. Students can also take courses focused on individual pursuits, with coursework sampling topics like international financial policy, the Chinese economy, and the wealth of nations. Furthermore, students can choose to study at one of 33 campuses in 21 countries through the school's International Business Exchange Program.

Runner-Up #1: Northwestern University

  • U.S. News & World Report ranked the Kellogg School of Management #4 in the nation among business schools in 2013
  • MBA Exchange Program allows students to study on six continents
  • Opportunities to do intensive country and industry studies across the globe through the Global Initiatives in Management (GIM) program
  • The International Business & Markets Research Center at Kellogg conducts research in areas such as international marketing, finance, healthcare, and trade microeconomics

Though UChicago's Booth School of Business has a higher-ranking graduate international business program, Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management is ranked higher overall as a business school. Both universities offer business schools ranked among U.S. News & World Report's top 10 and international business programs in the top 20. Kellogg's MBA programs require all students to take a global elective requirement. Though the MBA program doesn't offer concentrations, strictly speaking, students can further internationalize their MBA by taking international business electives.

Kellogg doesn't have a separate international business department but offers international business educational programs and resources through its international business and markets program. This includes a graduate program in international business. According to the NCES, Kellogg awarded 36 master's degrees in international business and 335 general MBAs during the 2011-2012 school year.

The international business graduate program includes required foundation courses in international finance, business strategy, global marketing, and cross-cultural negotiation. The rest of the program consists of electives, which may include foreign study, an experiential global 'lab' course, classes in international real estate and international healthcare systems, or the global initiatives in management (GIM) course. The GIM program is an eight-week global course combining study in Chicago on the culture, economy, and business environment of a global area with a 12-day visit to chosen locations.

Runner-Up #2: Loyola University Chicago

  • Quinlan School of Business is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)
  • 93% of faculty members, based on 2011 data, hold the highest academic degrees in their respective fields, according to U.S. News & World Report
  • Per U.S. News & World Report, LUC offered study-abroad options in 55 countries in 2011
  • The Center for International Business conducts research on sustainable development and provides mentorship opportunities for international business students
  • LUC offers extensive career services and resources, which provide help with locating internships and jobs

One key advantage of LUC's Quinlan School of Business is that it offers an undergraduate degree and minor in international business, as well as an MBA with an international business concentration. Students pursuing a Bachelor of Business Administration complete Quinlan's 13-course business core curriculum and LUC's 16-course liberal studies curriculum, which covers ten knowledge areas.

Specific international business courses include emerging markets, globalization, international marketing, and international management. Several electives are offered at LUC centers in Beijing and Rome. Students can study China's economy on the Beijing campus, for example, and business strategies and marketing in Rome. All international business students study abroad and learn a foreign language.

Completing a concentration in international business as part of one of Loyola's MBA programs requires completing three international business electives. Options include global logistics, international marketing, environment ethics, and international sports management. All MBA students take a 'global perspectives' course, which may include international finance, financial reporting, and human resource management. In addition, Quinlan offers a 1-year intercontinental MBA program, in which students take classes online as well as complete residencies in Beijing, Chicago, Johannesburg, Santiago, and New York City. The emphasis in this program is on emerging markets.

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