Atlanta International Business Graduate Programs & Grad Schools

If you’re interested in studying international business, graduate school may be a great place to do so. International business graduate programs—at the certificate, master’s degree, and doctorate degree levels— may help professionals pursue advanced education in an ever-evolving and increasingly expansive field. Once you've completed your bachelors degree in international business, read on to explore international business graduate programs and what you might learn in a graduate program.

What is International Business and Why Study It?

International business basically comprises the commercial and economic transactions made by businesses, governments, nonprofits, and other organizations across borders and between countries. Commercial transactions might include goods, services, or resources, and economic transactions might include capital, skills, people, and more.[i]

So why study international business? To participate in international business, professionals may need to know about different countries’ legal systems, political systems, economic policies, accounting standards, labor standards, living standards, environmental standards and cultures. They may also need to be familiar with different foreign exchange markets, tariffs, imports and exports regulations, trade agreements, climates, education systems, and languages.[ii] As you can see, international business is an incredibly broad and expansive field. National and regional economies throughout the world are increasingly globalized; multinational enterprises and organizations continue to emerge and expand; and more and more governments, nonprofits, and other entities transact resources such as goods, services, and human capital across borders. The result is a more globalized business world dependent on the skills and knowledge of highly trained international business professionals.

Graduate programs in international business may help professionals develop the kinds of skills and knowledge they need to succeed in this increasingly globalized world.

What Graduate-Level International Business Degree Programs Are Available?

International business graduate programs offer certificates as well as master’s and doctorate degrees. Certificate programs may be perfect for professionals who simply want to gain some knowledge or skills in international business, while master’s and doctorate degree programs help professionals develop in-depth knowledge of the field and establish or enhance their international business and academic careers.

Because international business graduate programs typically appeal to business professionals, many programs offer evening and weekend programming and online, hybrid, or on-campus options. Through their programs, students might engage in submersion programs, intensive language programs, study abroad programs, or mentorship programs. They may also find options to pursue a hybrid program that combines a Master of Business Administration with a Master of International Business or a Doctorate of Business Administration with a Doctorate of International Business. To learn more about your International Business Graduate Programsoptions of certificate, master’s degree, and doctorate degree programs, read on.

International Business Graduate Certificate Programs

International business certificate programs help professionals develop or extend their knowledge in international business. Through core and elective curricula, students typically study a variety of areas across international business or dive into one particular component. Depending on the program, students may pursue a graduate certificate in international business over the course of three months to one year of fulltime study. 

International Business Master’s Programs

There are four kinds of master’s degrees in international business that students might pursue: the Master of Science in International Business (M.S.), the Master of Art in International Business (M.A.), the Master of International Business (M.I.B.), and the Master of Business Administration in International Business (M.B.A).

The M.S., M.A., and M.I.B. degrees are similar in that they focus primarily on international business. Through core coursework, students typically study the foundations of international business. Through elective coursework, students may specialize their knowledge in a particular area of international business or perhaps study international business as it relates to a particular region of the world.  

In many cases, students pursue a master’s in international business over the course of one to two years of part time, fulltime, or intensive study. To graduate, students might need to write and defend a thesis, take a comprehensive exam, or complete another type of capstone project. They might also need to do an internship or work with a mentor in the field.

The M.B.A. in international business usually emphasizes foundational business principles, theories, and applications through its core curriculum. Then, its elective coursework, students might pursue general or specific knowledge in international business. Basically, students in M.B.A. programs make business their general area of study while taking elective courses in international business.  

Students typically pursue an M.B.A. in international business over the course of one to two years of part time, fulltime, or intensive study. They might participate in internships in the field of business (at their college or in a study-abroad opportunity) and conclude their programs by writing a thesis, taking a comprehensive exam, or completing another type of capstone project. In some cases, students need to have proven business experience to apply for M.B.A. programs. 

As we mentioned above, some international business graduate programs offer a dual master’s degree in business administration and international business. Programs like these typically require students to complete both M.B.A. and M.I.B. core and elective curricula.

International Business Doctorate Programs

There are two common types of doctorate programs in international business: the Doctor of Philosophy in International Business (Ph.D.) and the Doctor of Business Administration in International Business (D.B.A.).

Ph.D. programs in international business typically emphasize the subject through core and elective curricula. D.B.A. in international business programs, in contrast, typically emphasize non-international business subjects in their core curricula and international business through their elective curricula. In either type of program, students might plan their course of study and research project with an advisor. Note that Ph.D. programs in international business tend to be research-intensive; D.B.A. programs less so.

In many cases, students pursue a doctorate degree in international business over the course of four to six years. They might conclude their programs by taking a qualitative or comprehensive exam, writing and defending a dissertation, or participating in an internship. In some Ph.D. programs, students might have the option (or requirement) to train and work as student teachers or research assistants.

What Courses Might an International Business Curriculum Include?

Not too surprisingly, every international business graduate program offers a distinct curriculum based on the goals of the program. However, we can give you a sense of what subjects you might study in a certificate, master’s, or doctorate degree program.

No matter the level at which you study international business, you’ll likely take a set of core classes to learn key theories, practices, and applications in international business. Additionally, you’ll likely select a set of elective classes based on your interests and passions to help you study components of international business in depth.

In international business certificate programs, students commonly take one to two core classes about a subject’s key theories and principles and three to four elective classes to enhance the core work and allow students to gain the knowledge they want. However, some programs require students to take a larger percentage of core classes. It just depends. Some examples of core and elective subjects include international business strategy; international trade and policy; international marketing, finance, accounting, or management; international economics, and international business in regions of the world such as East Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and Latin America, to name a few.  

In M.A., M.S., M.I.B., and non-D.B.A. doctorate programs, students might study core subjects such as international accounting, marketing, operations, negotiations, entrepreneurship, and business policy; global economics, microeconomics, and macroeconomics; global business strategy; international business ethics and law; globalization; business mathematics; financial management; cross-cultural management and leadership; and research methodologies. In international business Ph.D. programs, students might study research methodologies in greater depth and also study statistics, research surveys, econometrics, and other related subjects. Ph.D. students may also be expected to read widely in their field, including classic studies as well as the latest research, as they develop a strong understanding of the field.

Through elective coursework, students might specialize their knowledge in areas such as international marketing, finance, project management, entrepreneurship, sustainability, or general management. Depending on the program, they might also study a language or international business as it relates to specific regions of the world.

In M.B.A. and D.B.A. programs, students might study core subjects such as (non-international) marketing, finance, operations, management, economics, entrepreneurships, business ethics and law, and research methodologies (though potentially not to the extent they would in non-business administration programs). Through elective coursework, students might study a variety of the international business courses mentioned above or study a particular components of international business in depth.   

How Can I Find International Business Graduate Programs?

If you’re interested in studying international business through a graduate degree program, we encourage you to jump right in! Just below you’ll find a list of certificate, master’s degree, and doctorate degree programs in international business. There you can read descriptions of programs, find details, and connect with programs directly. If you want to refine your search, you can do so using our search tool on the left. You can search by program level (Masters, Certificate, or Doctorate), format (Hybrid, Online, or Campus), or location (city, state, and country). Once you find the international business graduate programs of your choice, get started! Your future in graduate school awaits! Good luck!

Sources: [i] | [ii]

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