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Best International Business Schools in the United States

The United States is famous for its B-schools—especially the elite M7 MBA programs. However, it’s less-known that the country is also home to some of the world’s best international business programs. Though there is overlap with the M7 institutions, some of the top ten international B-schools may be surprising. Let’s take a look:

10. Ross School of Business, University of Michigan

Housed at one of the nation’s top public universities, Michigan Ross offers a variety of MBA programs, including a Global MBA. This is a 15-month, accelerated program that combines a study abroad semester with a Multidisciplinary Action Project, pairing students with domestic or international partner organizations to explore contemporary problems in global business. Standout students also have the opportunity to develop a post-graduation research project with institutional support.

9. Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley

Located in the diverse and tech savvy Bay Area, the full time MBA program at Haas ranks in at number nine. This two-year program allows students a great deal of freedom to custom-tailor their coursework, featuring a 40/60 split between core courses and electives, respectively. For those looking for an international experience, the Haas student body is composed of over 40% international students from more than 40 different countries. Students have the opportunity to take a number of globally-oriented courses, such as International Business Development, in which they develop consultant projects with both for-profit and nonprofit organizations the world over. Berkeley Haas also offers exchange programs in Hong Kong, Spain, France, or England and participates in the Global Network for Advanced Management as one of only two representatives from the United States. Finally, students who have concentrated in International Business have the opportunity to pursue a one-year MA in Global Studies upon completion of their MBA degrees.

8. Richard A. Chaifetz School of Business, Saint Louis University

This 21-month Executive Master of International Business program, housed in Saint Louis University’s Boeing Institute of International Business, takes an innovative approach to the EMBA model through a mixture of online and in-person classes, all centering a global outlook. The curriculum focuses on internationally relevant courses like International Economics; Operations in International and Emerging Markets; Generating Sustainable, Profitable Growth and other courses on globalized business strategy. Students also complete two-week programs in Asia or Latin America in which they immerse themselves in international markets and learn from local cultures.

7. The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania

The Wharton School is one of three M7 schools on this list that stand out from the others because of their internationally focused curriculum and their partnership with the Lauder Institute of Management & International Studies. One of the most innovative programs on this list, Lauder students embark on a two-year program through which they’ll earn both an MBA from the Wharton School and a Master’s in International Studies from the University of Pennsylvania. In addition to the rigorous curriculum of a traditional MBA, students are expected to select a program of concentration from among Africa, East and Southeast Asia, Europe, Latin America, SAMENA (South Asia, the Middle East, and North Africa), or Global, through which they participate in a two-month immersion program in their region and gain fluency in a related language. This is a perfect program for students seeking a hybrid educational model that forefronts culture and experience as an integral part of business praxis.

6. Columbia Business School, EMBA-Global

The second of three M7 B-schools on this list, Columbia is perhaps best known for its traditional MBA program. However, they also offer a state-of-the-art, global EMBA program for mid-career professionals with 12 years of work experience who, with their company’s support, want to take their global business acumen to the next level. The EMBA-Global program is the result of a partnership between Columbia University, the London Business School, and the Hong Kong University Business School. Once accepted, students choose between two different tracks, the Europe and the Americas track in New York and London, or the Asia track, with classes in Hong Kong, London, New York, and Shanghai. As an Executive MBA program, coursework is designed to be completed while maintaining a full-time work schedule. Classes are structured in a variety of formats, such as week-long intensives and weekend courses, in order to accommodate professional work commitments. Through two tracks and three universities, students have the option to take a diverse range of electives in order to customize their degrees to meet their professional needs. Graduates receive MBA degrees from both the Columbia Business School and the London Business School, a sure way to make an impression in the world of international business.

5. Florida International University College of Business

Florida International University is one of the country’s largest public research universities. Located in the business and cultural hotspot of Miami, and hosting students from over 130 different countries, FIU’s Full Time International MBA Program is perfect for those on the market for a cutting-edge B-school experience. This 12-month residential program supplements core courses such as International Business, Global Financial Strategy, and Organizational Behavior with study abroad options at partner institutions in over two dozen countries, such as Argentina, Jamaica, France, South Korea, and Norway. In addition, the FIU MBA emphasizes soft skill development through over 25 workshops and seminars, conference participation, and internship opportunities. Last but not least, students have the option to undertake a joint degree program through the graduate school as a way to further refine their specializations. Dual-degree options include an MBA/MA in Latin American and Caribbean Studies, an MBA/MS in International Real Estate, and an MBA/Jurisprudence Doctorate.

4. Stern School of Business, New York University

It should come as no surprise that NYU’s Stern School ranks highly for its focus on Global Business. Located in what is both the world's most linguistically diverse city and one of the world’s financial capitals, NYU Stern is an excellent place for students to jumpstart their careers in international business and management. During their two years in this residential MBA program, students are given the option to customize their degrees with as many as three different specializations, including Global Business, Supply Chain Management, Global Sourcing, and many more. Students also have various opportunities to study abroad—first as a summer internship, and once again through second year semester exchanges with one of 47 partner institutions in 30 different countries. NYU Stern also boasts a unique “Doing Business In…” program, during which students take 1-2 week immersive courses, visit local businesses, and learn from international guest speakers in countries all over the world. The Stern School of Business is a great option for students who have already developed strong connections with other business cultures, as well as those who want to establish careers in specific countries.

3. McDonough School of Business, Georgetown University

As one of the world’s top institutions for international relations, it’s little wonder that the McDonough School at Georgetown University also hosts one of the leading global management MBA programs in the United States. This flexible, two-year residential program combines rigorous core courses, such as Business and Policy in a Global Economy and Structure of Global Industries, with over 70 innovative elective course options, including Game Theory; Antitrust and Business Strategy; Effective Crisis Management; and Women and Leadership. Students must also participate in the Global Business Experience Program, through which they virtually consult with multinational organizations like Fortune 500 companies, nonprofits, or NGOs for several months before heading to their host country to present their findings. Residential students will also have the option to study abroad for a semester through partner programs at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, the London Business School, Esade in Barcelona, HEC in Paris, IAE in Buenos Aires, the Beijing International MBA at Peking University, and the Copenhagen Business School in Denmark. Additionally, the McDonough School offers opportunities for further specialization through dual-degree programs in tandem with the Walsh School of Foreign Service, the Georgetown University Law Center, the Georgetown University School of Medicine, or the McCourt School of Public Policy.

2. Harvard Business School

Coming in second is Harvard Business School—the first MBA program and one of the most renowned. The HBS is known the world over for pioneering the case study method in which students analyze real-world scenarios in order to learn from the triumphs and failures of well-known businesses. This B-school differs from others on the list in that a global perspective is woven into its very structure. With a student body composed of nearly 40% international students, 42% of faculty hailing from overseas, and 55% of all case studies dealing with global contexts, this is a top school for cultivating international business know-how. Furthermore, HBS students have multiple opportunities to study abroad. The first is through the FIELD Global Immersion program in which MBA candidates develop new ideas related to products or the service industry with the support of Harvard’s business partners. In their second year, students will again have the opportunity to go overseas through HBS’s elective Immersive Field Courses to fine-tune specializations by supporting faculty research projects in various locations around the world. A solid 20% of Harvard Business School alumni end up living and working overseas within five years of graduation, making this an excellent program to begin a career in global business.

1. Darla Moore School of Business, University of South Carolina

For some, the top international MBA program in the United States may come as a surprise, but for the past nine years, US News has named the Moore School of Business the best in the country for an international education. After completing a globally-oriented core curriculum—including classes like Managing the Multinational Experience, Global Strategic Management, and language courses— this 22-month residential program offers students two distinct tracks. In the Global Track, students complete an immersion program in a country where English is spoken. Past host cities include Hong Kong, Johannesburg, Singapore, and Taipei. For the language track, students can choose to study in business and cultural capitals like Paris, Guadalajara, and Mannheim where they complete a cultural immersion program in order to master their language of study for both business and social contexts. As one of only five Centers for International Business and Education Research in the United States, students have the chance to work with nine different research centers, including the Folks Center for International Business and the Center for Global Supply Chain and Process Management. To fine-tune their degrees, Moore also offers a number of specializations, graduate certificates, and industry certifications to carve out a niche in the international business world. For students seeking a cutting-edge education at the intersection of business, language, research, and culture, the Darla Moore School is an excellent option.

We know that finding the perfect International MBA can be a daunting process, but Crimson is here to help. Don’t hesitate to reach out to one of our expert advisors to help you calibrate your application and find the right school for you.
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