International Business Concentration

Preparing Students for Global Careers

An international business concentration prepares you to conduct business across borders in a variety of situations. Often combining some training in language and in other business areas, graduates will be able to manage business relationships that are central to the global business environment.

We also offer a minor in international business.

Large group of international business students

Why Study International Business?

  • Like to work with many types of people?
  • Want to use your interest in foreign cultures?
  • Like to get people together across borders for common goals?
  • Enjoy working with complicated problems and situations?

People with the necessary skills to conduct international business are vital to organizations now more than ever before. Globalization is pushing companies to find and hire people trained to conduct business in other countries. The international business concentration will provide you with the skills global companies are seeking.

What will I learn?

  • Liberal Arts education
  • Basic business skills
  • Integrated courses applying business skills to the international environment.
  • Functional area of business with international focus
  • Exposure to other areas in international economics, social sciences, and study aborad
  • Flexibility to match courses to your career plans

What will I experience?

  • Second language study, internship, or study abroad
  • Can combine with another major
  • Optional project course with local companies
  • International Business Network Club (IBN)

What can I do with my International Business training?

  • Import/export management
  • Management of international 
    relationships between firms
  • International marketing
  • Law school or public administration
  • Join internationally active firms such as: financial institutions, retail firms, Peace Corps or NGOs

Still, there are many more careers available to a person with an international business education other than those listed above.

See What Students are Saying

My favorite class in the IBUS program was the one where we worked directly with local companies to help develop a strategy to get into a foreign market because it gave you contacts for the future.

Hayley Kleeman-Jung
Senior Global Compliance Manager, Amazon

The International Business program at Western engages and challenges its students to analyze and resolve real business challenges that are very relevant in today's globalized economy.

Sebastian Kohlmeier
Principal PM Manager, Microsoft

I feel like I received a rounded education. I think the greatest thing is that I am interested in continuing to learn outside the classroom, especially when it comes to international issues.

Kelsea DeCosta
Program Manager, Asia and Eurasia Region, Americares

Plan of Study

By meeting with your faculty advisor and creating a plan of study this will allow you to finish your degree in a more timely manner. The eight foundation courses need to be completed and the college GPA guidelines need to be met to become a full major.

Please note: CBE has implemented priority application deadlines for all majors and minors excluding MSCM and Economics. However, applications are accepted at any time.

For help with planning your courses, please see your faculty advisor or the department office.

General University Requirements (GUR)

You should try to pick GUR’s that have international content when possible. Here you will find suggestions on courses that will satisfy the liberal arts breadth, but still connect to your future major in international business.  Remember that ECON 206, ECON 207 and MGMT 271 count toward your GUR requirements well as for your business degree.

It is important to think of the GUR’s as an integral part of the overall program of study for a College of Business and Economics degree. Western’s commitment to a liberal arts education is an important advantage to you as a business student. But it is also important to think about how to best select from the wide variety of available courses the courses most appropriate for an international business program student. Courses in the liberal arts can be important for their own sake, but careful selection from the menu can provide important support for the business classes you will take as you progress through the program.

Each program in the College of Business and Economics builds on the experience of your liberal arts education in different ways, so it is important to understand how you can build an appropriate foundation for your business degree as you work through the GUR requirements. For international business, there are several important goals to keep in mind that will help you select GUR courses.

GUR goals

For students who want to specialize in international business.

1) Learn as much about other cultures as you can, even if you don’t plan to study that particular culture. Learn to compare different cultures against your own, and with each other.

Rationale: You have already learned a lot about US culture (except for foreign students), so you should take every opportunity to add knowledge of different cultures, history and maybe even art. Comparative courses can be helpful.

2) Begin or further strengthen any language skills that you have.

Rationale: Language takes a long time to do well. Since so many people speak languages well nowadays, you need to take as much language as you can if you want to work in non-English speaking countries. Recruiters like to see a lot of language, because it shows you can work in a disciplined way. When you study abroad, the more language you have ahead of time, the better your experience will be. Don’t wait to study language abroad. Of course, language is not the only way to learn about other cultures, but it helps.

3) Take courses that require to make sense of complicated issues, and come up with your own opinions and express them well.

Rationale: The most challenging and rewarding jobs in international business require you to assess a complex situation and find a solution that is better than others, not a perfect one. Much of your business school training will of necessity be the acquisition of tools, where perfection is the goal. But perfection is seldom possible in international business, and people who can deal with that uncertainty and come up with resourceful alternatives will prosper. Many GUR’s allow for this, so be willing to take courses that are a bit ‘messy’ and require you to critically evaluate information and ideas.

GUR Alternatives

Consistent with these goals for International Business Students

No business school professor can be knowledgeable about all of the GUR alternatives. This list is suggestive, to give you some idea of the kinds of courses that might contribute to the goals stated above. In any given term, there may be many other courses that meet the goals, but some guidance, we feel, is helpful


COMM 101 Fundamentals of Speech

Modern and Classical Languages 103, 104, 201

PHIL 107 Logical thinking

Comparative Gender and Multicultural

Choose anything in Block A Better to take courses in your world area of interest Block B (one course) ANTHRO 104 American Mosaic Choose a course about Americans from the part of the world you are interested in (e.g.: Asian American for Asia; Hispanic for Latin America)


Modern and Classical Languages at second year level (only European, unfortunately) Classes in Global Literature Class in Literature in your geographic area of interest

Natural Sciences

Consider Environmental courses, since these issues are going to be important for international business.


Computer Skills are important, so a basic programming class to develop literacy is a good use of this kind of GUR. PHIL107 Logical thinking Students thinking of combining finance or economics with IB should take conventional math classes.

Social Sciences

You will be able to take MGMT271, ECON 206 and ECON 207 to satisfy this requirement. BUT, you may want to consider adding another course under electives that broadens your social science exposure. The following courses seem logical candidates

ANTH201 Cultural Anthropology ANTH247 Language and Culture PSY341 Psychology and Culture C/AM 201 Introduction to Canadian Studies PLSC 101 Government and Politics in the Modern World PLSC271 Introduction to International Relations EGEO312 Economic Geography (If you don’t plan to study abroad, this EGEO312 course can do double duty as a 300 level social science course in the IB program. Note the EGEO 201 prerequisite is waived for IB students)

Applying for Graduation

When you are ready to apply for graduation email the Department of Management Department Manager to request a Major Evaluation.  Please include your Student W#.

There is no need to first consult your faculty advisor before requesting your Major Evaluation from the department.  The Department Manager, not your advisor, approves your Major Evaluation needed to graduate.  Faculty advisors are available if needed for help planning remaining coursework.

After the department reviews and completes your Major Evaluation in Degree Works they will notify you via email that you can now turn in your Degree Application to the Registrar's office, form link below. Please keep in mind during busy times it may take up to 10 working days for Major evaluations to be completed.  

When you submit the required Degree Application Form to the Registrar's office they will bill your student account for the required application fee.