Among the most popular online degrees in recent years has been the MBA — a widely applicable, ROI-conscious degree made more affordable and flexible through online delivery. Universities have also begun to expand their MBA concentration options to give students an added layer of control and customization, whether their interests lie in Project Management, Leadership, or Entrepreneurship.
But in an increasingly connected, global business environment, the International Business MBA is perhaps the most forward-thinking of all. In addition to traditional business core classes, students focus on business theory and practice across territorial, cultural, political, and socioeconomic lines — that is, business as it’s often seen today. As such, International Business curricula often incorporate communication and foreign language components, and many include study abroad opportunities. Each program, of course, is different, but quality online options are relatively hard to find. For your convenience, we’ve compiled our top 10.
- Affordability (1/3): the estimated out-of-state (if applicable) tuition per credit hour for the program.
- Flexibility-Enhancing Components (1/3): the number and quality of flexibility-enhancing componenents, including specializations, concentrations, emphases, the ability to accelerate or decelerate degrees, lenient transfer policies, life experience credits, among others.
- Academic Prestige (1/3): the relative academic prestige of the parent institution, as derived from measures including the average class size, the number of faculty members with terminal degrees, and the competitiveness of admissions.
1. University of North Dakota
Founded in 1883, The University of North Dakota has a total enrollment of 14,900, representing 50 states and 85 countries. US News ranks NDU among the top 100 public universities in the country, and Forbes, Princeton Review, and Washington Monthly have each highlighted the university. Classes are capped at 22, and the 21:1 student-to-faculty ratio supports a vibrant, collaborative learning environment while maintaining individualized instruction. Over 40% of classes consist of fewer than 20 students, and less than 10% have 50 or more. Alumni include 8 governors of North Dakota, a former Deputy National Security Advisor at the White House, CEO Sally Smith, Phil Jackson, Carl Ben Eielson, and Chuck Klosterman.
UND’s online MBA in International Business consists of 36 credits, which include 9 credits from an approved foreign college/university and a workshop or course of study in cultural language studies. Core requirements include classes in Strategic Management, Managerial Theory, Market Planning, and Macroeconomic Decision Making, followed by a thesis or non-thesis track. All courses deliver 100% online for maximum flexibility, including asynchronous material and a weekly live webinar, and three entry dates are available per year to accommodate students’ schedules. In addition to in-state tuition regardless of official residency, UND online students have access to online tutoring and library, tech, and advising services. Applicants should have earned a 3.0 undergraduate GPA and a GMAT score of 500. The program is accredited by the AACSB International.
- Tuition Per Credit: $410
2. Bellevue University
Bellevue University, founded in 1966, has a total enrollment of about 10,000 students and specializes in flexible, affordable online education for adults and working professionals. All course work is complete according to students’ individual schedules, and a variety of delivery methods – including accelerated cohorts, flex paths, MOOCs, certificates of completion, and course clusters — support a tailored and personalized educational setting. Further, Bellevue’s generous transfer policy may accelerate course work, and through the university’s learning platform, students have 24/7 access to course material, live chat with peers and instructors, collaborate via group discussion boards, and utilize other multimedia. As a Christian university, religious concepts may be integrated into curricula.
Bellevue’s online MBA includes concentrations in International Management and Global Economic Threat Environment, each 36 credits. Specialized courses for IM include International and Global Business, International Finance, International Consumer Behavior, and Regulation and Ethics for International Business; for the Global Economic Threat specialization — more politically oriented — students take Green Security, Hard and Soft Power, Transnational Crime and Corruption, and political surveys of Africa and Asia. Upon graduation, students will be prepared to: assess business performance in an international context; manage and enhance work force productivity, collaboration, and innovation; leverage new technologies, and more. The program is accredited by the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE).
- Tuition Per Credit: $545
3. Gardner-Webb University
Gardner-Webb University, founded in 1905, has a total enrollment of about 4,300, split between undergraduate and graduate students. Ranked among the best national universities by US News, Gardner-Webb’s low student-to-faculty ratio — just 13:1 — supports an intimate, tight-knit learning community that promotes collaborative, personalized education. Nearly 70% of courses consist of fewer than 20 students, and none have 50 or more. The university also has excellent financial aid opportunities: 80% of undergrads receive some form of aid, and the average need met is over 75%. Gardner-Webb’s online education programs have significantly expanded in recent years and include 100% online, hybrid, and blended delivery to accommodate students’ individual schedules and learning styles.
Gardner-Webb’s online International MBA consists of 36 credits. In addition to core courses, students choose two of the following: International Economics, International Accounting, International Trade Law, International Finance, International Marketing, International Trade, and International Business. Designed for maximum flexibility, the curriculum trains students in managerial/leadership skills at the departmental, divisional, and organizational levels, and typical degree completion time is 2 years. For those interested, online master’s also available in Accountancy, General Business Administration, and Wealth and Trust Management. The program is accredited by the Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs.
- Tuition Per Credit: $525
4. Washington State University
Washington State University, founded in 1890, has a total enrollment of just under 30,000, most of which is undergraduate. Ranked among the top national universities, especially for military veterans, WSU emphasizes a hands-on educational approach and prepares students to become socially conscious global citizens, with a commitment to addressing economic, healthcare, sustainability, social opportunity, and security problems worldwide. (WSU students dedicate 10,000 hours to volunteer work each year.) With a 15:1 student-to-faculty ratio, courses are intimate and collaborative. Over 35% of classes consist of fewer than 20 students, and only one in five has 50 or more. Washington State also makes an effort to cover costs: 60% of undergrads receive some form of aid, and the average need met is 65%.
WSU’s online MBA in International Business consists of 36 credits and can be completed in less than two years on an accelerated track. In addition to foundational and core courses, International Business students will take take classes in international marketing management, business management, and complete a special project abroad. (All courses are 100% online for maximum flexibility.) Graduates will be prepared to: conduct business analysis and develop actionable strategy; apply leadership theory to analyze business situations; and identify and evaluate the ethical, global, and societal implications of individual business transactions. US News and Princeton review rank WSU’s among the top 30 in the country, and it’s been listed among the top 15% for five consecutive years. It is accredited by the AACSB International. No GMAT is required.
- Tuition Per Credit: $750
5. Texas A&M International University
Texas A&M International University, founded in 1970, has a total enrollment of 7,200, most of which is undergraduate. Ranked among the top 20 public schools in the region, the school has a 20:1 student-to-faculty ratio, which supports a vibrant, collaborative learning community while also allowing for individualized instruction. A third of classes have less than 20 students, and just 15% have 50 or more. Financial aid opportunities are widely available: 90% of undergrads receive some form of aid, and the average need met is nearly 70%. The school’s growing online presence includes degrees across a wide variety of fields — business, public administration, nursing, and education — and is designed to accommodate schedules of full-time professionals and adult learners.
TAIMU’s online MBA in International Business consists of 30 credits and can be completed in 2 years. Accredited by AACSB International, Princeton Review has listed the university’s business school in its “Best Business School” for several editions, and it’s been ranked second in the country for “Greatest Opportunity for Minority Students.” All course work is 100% online for maximum flexibility, and students have the option to take classes on a part-time basis. For students without any background in business, a six-hour boot-camp is available to fulfill prerequisites. Graduates of the program currently hold a range of leadership positions, including: Vice President of Operations, Director of Programs, Custom Broker, Trade Analyst, Risk Management Consultant, Branch Manager, and Research Consultant. Applicants should submit undergraduate transcripts and GRE/GMAT scores.
- Tuition Per Credit: $753
6. Warner University
Founded in 1968, Warner University is a small Christian liberal arts school in Lake Wales, FL, with an enrollment of just under 1,200 from 31 states and 27 foreign countries. US News ranks the school among the top 50 regional colleges in the South, and Warner ranks second in employment rates compared to the other 30 private colleges that make up the Independent Colleges & Universities of Florida. Warner’s 15:1 school-to-faculty ratio supports an intimate, tight-knit learning community, and courses focus on a hands-on, collaborative approach with tailored instruction. Over half of classes have less than 20 students, and none have more than 49 students. Of its expanding online and adult programs — which includes 500 students — the average student age is 37.
Warner’s online MBA in International Business consists of 39 credits – 21 core, 18 specialization. Beyond the core curriculum, classes include Global Business Management, Global Business Strategy, International Marketing, International Finance, Cross Cultural Management, and an International Business Travel/Project course. The program is designed for maximum flexibility, and students complete course work on their own time. Further, degree completion time is up to individual students: the traditional track can be completed in 2 years, but some students have completed course work in as little as 12 months on an accelerated track. (Warner’s generous transfer policy may also accelerate course work.) Applicants with a 3.0 in their last 60 undergraduate hours will receive regular admission; those with a 2.5-2.9 will need approval. No GMAT/GRE is required. There are three entry dates per year.
- Tuition Per Credit: $425
7. Oklahoma Baptist University
Founded in 1910, Oklahoma Baptist University is a private Christian university about 30 minutes from Oklahoma City, with an enrollment of about 2,100 from 40 states and 35 foreign countries. One of the top-ranked schools in the region, OBU has been ranked in the top 10 for 25 straight years by US News, and Princeton Review ranked it among the best for 12 consecutive years. The university’s 15:1 student-to-faculty allows for a highly intimate, tailored educational experience; nearly 70% of classes consist of fewer than 20 students, and just 3% have 50 or more. Oklahoma Baptist also makes an effort for students in need of financial aid: over 70% of undergrads receive some form of aid, and the average need met stands at an impressive 90%.
Oklahoma Baptist’s online MBA in International Business consists of 36 credits – 21 core, 15 concentration — and can be completed in as little as 24 months. In addition to general business classes, students take International Business, Organizational Dynamics, Organizational Strategy, an MBA capstone, and an International Business Practicum, during which students travel abroad (included in the tuition); previous trips have been to Europe, Brazil, Dubai, China, and Costa Rica. For students’ convenience, classes deliver in a cohort model, and students may choose 100% online or hybrid delivery methods. Additional resources include academic advising, library services, tech support, and more. The program is accredited by the Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs.
- Tuition Per Credit: $550
8. Amberton University
Founded in 1971, Amberton is a private Christian university in Garland, Texas, with an additional campus in Frisco. Designed exclusively for adult learners and working professionals, Amberton emphasizes an extremely flexible, affordable education model that accommodates students’ individual schedule demands. All class sizes are limited to create a highly intimate, tight-knit educational community, and the school’s extensive online learning opportunities are even more freedom and academic independence with very little tech requirements. (For those that need help, tech support is available.) All students have access to academic advisors, library services, research assistance, and more. Amberton is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission.
Amberton’s online MBA in International Business consists of 36 credits, including a general business core and classes like: Cultural Communication, Global Economic Issues, International Finance, Managing the Global Workforce, International Marketing, and Strategic Management. From there, students have the opportunity to customize the curriculum through 12 credits of free electives in Business, Economics, Finance, Marketing, and Management. In particular, the program’s main goal is to prepare students for leadership and interaction with international trade and commerce. For those interested, concentrations are also available in Management, Project Management, and Strategic Leadership. Applicants should have earned at least a 3.0 undergraduate GPA.
- Tuition Per Credit: $425
9. Benedictine University
Founded in 1887, Benedictine University is a private Roman Catholic university outside of Chicago, with a total enrollment of just under 6,000. Both Forbes and U.S. News have ranked Benedictine among the best colleges in the country, including special recognition for business, and The Chronicle of Higher Education reported the university as the second-fastest growing campus in the country among private nonprofit doctoral universities from 2003-2013. The school’s 12:1 student-to-faculty ratio is among the lowest on our list, supporting an intimate, vibrant educational experience with individualized and collaborative learning opportunities. Over 70% of classes have less than 20 students, and less than 1% of have 50 or more. Financial aid is also available; nearly 80% of undergrads received some form of aid.
Benedictine’s online MBA in International Business 52 quarter credits (16 courses). In addition to the general business core — Organizational Behavior, Operations Management, Strategic Management, etc. – students will take International Economics and Finance, International Marketing, and Multi-Cultural Management. Benedictine gives students maximum flexibility to accommodate individual schedules and learning styles: take one class at a time, or complete an accelerated track with two-classes per block. Motivated students may also opt to complete a dual concentration MBA for an additional 12 credits. All online students have access to career services, academic advising, tutoring, and a student success center. Admissions are rolling; No GMAT/GRE scores are required.
- Tuition Per Credit: $650
10. Fort Hays State University
Fort Hays State University, founded in 1902, is the third-largest public university in Kansas with 14,658 students enrolled during the Fall 2016 semester. The demand for flexible and affordable education continues to increase and the Virtual College has responded. FHSU now offers more than 50, fully online associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees. With a 16:1 student-to-faculty ratio, courses are highly collaborative while also maintaining an individualized approach. Fort Hays State also prides itself on affordability – tuition is among the lowest in the country. FHSU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Fort Hays’s online MBA in International Management consists of 34 credits (12 courses), which can be completed in as little as 18 months. Working professionals, taking classes on a part-time basis, typically take three years to complete the degree. Core requirements include Advanced Managerial Accounting, Marketing Management, Information Systems for Management, Advanced Corporate Finance, Strategic Management, and Organizational Behavior in a Global Context, among others. From there, students take International Marketing, International Economics, and International Finance. All courses are offered 100% online for students’ convenience, and FHSU’s learning platform includes live chat rooms, group discussion boards, and other multimedia. Other services include academic advising, tech support, online orientation, career services, and much more. Applicants should submit undergraduate transcripts and GRE/GMAT scores.
- Tuition Per Credit: $400