Master's Degree in International Business: Degree Overview

Aug 11, 2018

Students who are interested in enrolling in a master's degree program in international business have a number of options available to them. This article focuses on exploring these programs in greater detail so that prospective students can choose the right program for them.

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Overview of Master's Degrees in International Business

Master's degrees in international business are often interdisciplinary in nature, as they combine core business courses with a variety of political science, economics, and other internationally-focused classes. Students who are interested in working in the field of international business may choose to pursue a master's degree in this area. Below, we will learn about different types of master's degrees in this field in greater detail by highlighting the differences between these degrees, admission requirements, commonly required courses, and possible career paths.

Admission Requirements for Master's Degrees in International Business

Students who are interested in enrolling in master's degree programs in international business will need to fulfill a number of admission requirements. All applicants must possess a four-year bachelor's degree. Some programs may specify that applicants hold a degree in a specific field like business administration or finance, while others may accept candidates from a wider range of backgrounds, though these programs may also require that students have already taken quantitative courses in areas like econometrics and finance.

Many programs also require that applicants have taken the GMAT, though some programs may waive this requirement for applicants who have significant work experience. Many of these programs even require applicants to have some work experience, as well as international experience, either working or studying abroad. It is also very common for these programs to require that applicants be fluent in English in addition to having strong language skills in a second language. LLM (Master of Laws) programs usually require that applicants have a law degree in order to enroll.

International Business Master's Degrees

Students who decide to enroll in a master's degree program focused on international business have a number of different degree programs to choose from. Below, we will look at four different master's degree programs in this field and focus on some of their defining characteristics.

Master of International Business

One possibility for students who are interested in international business is to enroll in a Master of International Business program. These programs are perhaps the most interdisciplinary in nature, as their curriculum typically is a mix of courses from economics, political science, business, and international relations. These degrees often take two years to complete and students who enroll in them are typically required to have competency in a second language and significant working and international experience. Some courses that are commonly found in these programs include:

  • International Business Negotiations
  • Introduction to International Relations
  • Global Financial Strategies/Management

MBA in International Business

Students can also choose to enroll in an MBA program that offers a specialization in international business. These programs may be a good choice for students who want to study the field of business at an advanced level through the MBA's core curriculum courses, while still being able to gain more specialized knowledge through internationally-focused elective courses. These degree programs could prepare students for a wide variety of international business careers. Some courses that may be offered in these programs include:

  • International Marketing
  • International Business Finance
  • International Law

LLM in International Business

Students who are intrigued in the field of international business law may be interested in enrolling in an LLM program. These programs are often designed for students who have already achieved either an American or foreign law degree. Depending on the program, students may study the field of international law on a general level or they may focus on more specific aspects of the field, like international arbitration and litigation. Some courses that are commonly found in these programs include:

  • International Business Transactions
  • International Arbitration
  • International Business Negotiation

Master in Management and International Business

Although a little harder to find, another degree option for students interested in studying international business is a master's degree program in management and international business. In such a program, students will focus more specifically on the management aspect of international business and will learn how to manage the various logistical issues in running an international business. At this writing, some courses that were offered in one school's program included:

  • International Finance
  • International Contract Law
  • International Commercial Operations

How to Choose a Master's Degree in International Business

Choosing among master's programs in international business may be challenging for prospective students, as there are many programs to choose from and many have their own unique characteristics. Students may want to consider the length of the program when they are in the decision-making process, as some programs may be completed in only one year while other programs take two years to complete. It is also important that students carefully research the admission requirements of each program, as some programs require more working and international experience, which not all students may have. Students who are interested in gaining more international experience while enrolled in a master's degree programs also may want to check out each school's international exchange programs.

If students are interested in a more specific area of international business, they also may want to check whether a program offers core or elective courses in that area. In addition, it is important for students to consider what type of job they wish to acquire following graduation. Students interested in working in law may gravitate towards an LLM program, while students who are interested in more general international business careers may be more attracted to an MBA or other master's program.

Career Options with a Master's Degree in International Business

Students who complete a master's degree in international business have many potential jobs available to them. One option is becoming a financial analyst for an international business or corporation. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that financial analysts, in general, made a median salary of $84,300 as of 2017, and the field is projected to grow by 11% between 2016 and 2026. Other options for these graduates to consider include:

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