As companies come to terms with the demands of a globally competitive business environment, the required knowledge and skills of the workforce are changing. Even firms not directly involved internationally are increasingly confronted with competition from non-American firms in the domestic U.S. business environment. Small to mid-sized companies are in need of personnel capable of management and supervisory functions, especially in the fields of customs compliance, international market research, international transportation, international documentation, and international sales and marketing. Larger companies building markets and/or sourcing products abroad also need personnel with the knowledge, skills and abilities essential for success in an increasingly competitive international business environment. The international business major and minor programs aim to provide exactly the education necessary for you to pursue a successful career in companies or organizations operating internationally.

Students are strongly encouraged to study at least one foreign language to complement their international business education, though this is not required.

International Business BS Major

The bachelor of science degree with this major prepares you to work in the international environment of a manufacturing or service organization. The degree program is designed as an integrative experience to combine social studies and professional education within a framework of global business theory and practice. As with all international business degree programs, this major is especially suited for those who are self-reliant, imaginative, adaptable and who possess an interest in working with people from other cultures.

International Business Minor

This minor is highly suitable for students with majors in languages, liberal arts, business and management fields who are interested in broadening their career opportunities. It delivers a solid background in the ways in which firms operate in the global economy. Required courses provide basic theoretical and practical knowledge that will enhance your employment prospects with companies operating internationally. This program is suited for those who are self-reliant, imaginative, adaptable and have a genuine interest in working in cross-cultural environments.

International Commerce BAS

This degree is appropriate for students interested in a wide variety of careers in international commerce. Saint Paul College provides an AAS degree in international trade and also Customs Broker professional training for students interested in entry and intermediate level positions in companies exporting and/or importing. Metropolitan State University builds on this training by adding the higher level knowledge and skills necessary for management positions in companies doing business internationally. Students will be prepared to work in the international commerce environment of manufacturing or service companies, including firms involved in importing and/or exporting and firms providing services for the international business community.

Overlap Tips

IBus 311: International Business Environment and Operations also meets Goal 8 of Gen Ed requirements (does not satisfy Liberal Studies requirement).

Econ 314: International and Comparative Economics also meets Goals 5 and 8 of Gen Ed requirements, and may also overlap with Liberal Studies.

Mktg 480: International Marketing also meets Goal 8 of Gen Ed requirements (does not satisfy Liberal Studies requirement).

Note: A single course may be used to meet a maximum of two goal areas; this rule does not apply to the Liberal Studies requirement where courses may overlap with one or two goal areas. For example, Econ 314 will overlap with Goal 5, Goal 8, Liberal Studies, and IBus major and minor elective courses.

Prerequisite Tips

Check course descriptions for prerequisites: 

All major and minor courses require a grade of C- or better.

Prerequisites for IBus 311: International Business Environment and Operations, IBus 312: International Political Economy, and IBus 350: Legal Aspects of International Business:

MATH 115 College Algebra (prerequisite for ECON 201 and 202)

ECON 201 Macroeconomics (take after MATH 115)

ECON 202 Microeconomics (take after MATH 115)

Intermediate writing skills (e.g., WRIT 231 or equivalent)

IBus 311: International Business Environment and Operations (or its equivalent) is the prerequisite for all other IBus courses and is strongly recommended for courses taught in other curriculum units and listed as required or elective courses for the IBus major and minor.

Course Sequencing Tips

Upon completion of the College of Management’s (COM) foundation courses (including all prerequisites noted above) and at least several of COM’s core courses, you are strongly advised to successfully complete IBus 311: International Business Environment and Operations followed by IBus 312: International Political Economy (offered Spring semester only) and IBus 350: Legal Aspects of International Business (offered Fall semester only).

The following IBus Electives (2 required; 8 credits) should be taken next, depending on the major or minor requirements (refer to your major or minor checklist/course sequence):

  • ECON 314: International and Comparative Economics
  • FIN 550: International Financial Management
  • HRM 585: International Human Resource Management
  • MKTG 480: International Marketing

Finally, the IBus Capstone course (4 credits) is required:

  • IBUS 490 Doing Business Internationally

More Information

Graduates of the IBus major and minor programs and the international commerce BAS program major should achieve the following outcomes

  • Understand the theoretical principles and day-to-day practices of international business and their implications for a firm’s various domestic functions;
  • Describe and analyze the political, technological, market, cost and competitive drivers that are pushing international firms to globalize their operations;
  • Recognize the different management issues associated with a company’s stage of development in its international market entry planning, evaluate international business management practices, and design effective global business strategies;
  • Understand the U.S. position in world trade and the impact international business has on the country;
  • Know the principles and procedures of international business well enough to apply concepts of gender, ethnicity, ethics and religion to intercultural business transactions;
  • Develop skills to critically analyze and use data with an international perspective to make better management decisions and utilize resources effectively.

International Business Career Tips

The most frequently mentioned skills needed in new hires by companies doing business internationally are writing, teamwork, computer software, presentation skills and project leadership skills.

Visit the following websites for international employment information:

Or use a search engine typing in "International Jobs"—you’ll be amazed at what you find.

Key Minnesota-based organizations that provide practically focused education and professional growth opportunities:

For related international business information, visit these websites:

All College of Management BS majors must complete the following:

  • Required writing courses
  • General education and liberal studies (GELS)
  • College algebra
  • Business foundation and core courses
  • Upper division required major courses
  • Major electives
  • MGMT 499: Case Studies in Strategic Management