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International Management degree program -
Think globally, act successfully

What makes a degree in international management different to other business degrees?

In the course of ever-advancing globalization, more and more companies are opening branches in other countries on different continents. And all of them are connected. The internationalization of business connections brings new challenges into managers’ daily life, increasingly demanding more specific knowledge. A degree in international management gives you the opportunity to acquire the necessary knowledge and skills. Why is a “normal” degree in business administration no longer sufficient? Why is the international focus so important? How is the program structured?
Eight students talk about the difference between International Management vs. other business and economics degree programs

Short Facts

Course length: 6 semesters
Format: usually full-time or as an integrated program; occasionally part-time
Degree: B.Sc.
Concentrations: business administration, economics, English, marketing, international contexts,intercultural competence
Feature: semester abroad or overseas internship required

International management is right for you if...

...you are already able to communicate fluently in English. Due to the program’s focus on internationality, most lectures and courses are held either bilingually in German and English or entirely in English, so you should have a passion for languages or a command of English as a language of conversation. You should also have a strong understanding of math, since much of the course content involves analyzing and evaluating figures, data, records, and statistics. And, of course, since it’s a business degree, you should also come with an interest in business and political issues and contexts.

What can I expect in an international management degree program?

A degree in international management incorporates elements of both business administration and economics: the program content includes a blend of both areas, with a distinct international focus. Depending on whether you study at a public or a private university, the connection to either business or economics will be more pronounced. However, the following areas are always included in the program, either directly or in a similar form:

  • Management basics
  • Business development/project management
  • Human resources management
  • International economics
  • Economic policy
  • Accounting
  • Business law
  • International finance
  • Controlling
  • Marketing
  • Statistics

Beyond this, each university has its own areas of emphasis. That’s why it’s always worth taking a closer look at the course of studies in order to determine which topics or modules in the program are handled more extensively or in depth. At WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management the selection of core modules is complemented by an extensive range of elective courses and advanced modules. The courses are not limited to economic topics in the strict sense. The spectrum of courses ranges from supplementary courses in European business tax law, business ethics, and sustainability to the development of leaderships skills and how emotions influence decisions, covering a number of academic fields.

In addition to commonly taught languages such as Spanish and French, some universities also offer Chinese as an optional foreign language. This is typically chosen by students with a focus on the Asian market. At WHU, for example, you also have the opportunity to learn Russian, Japanese, and Italian. The focus of the language classes is not only on learning vocabulary, but also on learning about the country and its people and culture. In this way, the language courses are a particularly effective way of developing intercultural competence, which is emphasized strongly in internationally oriented degree courses.

The international focus of the teaching and this development of intercultural competence clearly distinguishes an international management degree program from others. Those wishing to find their place in the global business world must be able to communicate effectively with people from other cultures and understand them. That’s why it’s important to get to know different cultures and continents. After all, you wouldn’t want to make a cultural blunder such as launching a marketing campaign for beef burgers in India, would you?

International management: overseas internship or semester abroad?

Given the studies’ international focus and special emphasis on intercultural competence, a stay abroad is an indispensable part of the program. That’s why one of the required modules is a semester or internship abroad. Which of the two is part of the program, or if it’s a combination of both, varies from program to program and largely depends on the international network of the particular school or university.

When you study bachelor in business administration or bachelor in business psychology at WHU, not only do you commit to taking two internships, at least one of which must be completed abroad, you can also take a semester abroad in the fourth or fifth semester. For the semester abroad you can choose from 200 universities around the world. WHU also has excellent connections in the world of business. Well-known and prestigious companies regularly advertise their internship positions in the WHU job pool. For students, this often represents the first foundation stone for their later career. 

What are the admission requirements for an international management degree program?

Every school requires applicants to submit certain documents, such as an applicable entrance qualification and the certificate of a language proficiency test (e.g. TOEFL or IELTS).

Additionally, the more prominent universities normally require applicants to have done a six- to twelve-week internship prior to their studies or to have completed a corresponding apprenticeship. It’s often permissible to make up the pre-study internship requirement during the first two semesters. Universities also try to take a selection of applicants on the basis of the numerus clausus (NC), the statement of purpose, or an aptitude test.

At WHU, the letter of motivation carries particular weight in the selection process. Applicants with lower grade point averages are given the chance to make up for that with enthusiasm, commitment, and esprit. As a result, the whole selection process represents a far more level playing field than at universities, where the NC is seen as the holy grail of applications.

How much will I earn after studying international management?

The specific field of activity and position, the choice of company, the choice of industry, and the choice of market (geographically) all have a big impact on the starting salary you can expect to earn. As a result, it is impossible to state a specific starting salary. 

A much more interesting question to ask is, what will you make of your time at university and what can you achieve as a result. With a Bachelor degree under your belt, you are ready to climb a long and promising career ladder. With a degree from WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management, you are ideally prepared for your future. Many graduates already receive their first job offer within a few months of graduating if they hadn’t already been recruited during their degree course or an internship. The Bachelor of International Business Administration at WHU is therefore also known as a springboard for young talents (degree: Bachelor of Science).

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