WHU | Logo

Study International Business

The Master in International Business at WHU opens the door to an exciting professional career. What are the requirements to get one of the coveted places for international business studies? How does the international business course work, how can it be financed and what can be achieved personally and professionally with a master's degree in international business? In this article we have summarized all the important information for you.
Three young students talk about the International Business program at WHU.

What is International Business?

The term international business includes all areas of activity that are part of the global economic sector: international trade in goods as well as the necessary supply chains and sales markets, services and money transfer, the financial sector or research and development of technologies.

Globally active companies and networks pave the way for international business. Ideally, their executives prepare for this with internationally oriented courses in order to be able to cope with current and future challenges and to be able to define and create new standards on the market.

Because in order to be able to manage an internationally successful company or build it up yourself, extensive knowledge in various sectors is required. This includes first and foremost excellent knowledge of economics and business administration as well as fluent language skills in business English (and other languages as well). However, observing markets, opening up new sales markets, addressing target groups or leading and motivating employees are activities that define management in international contexts.

What is International Business Administration?

While international business is essentially defined by the circumstances and requirements of global markets and transport chains, the term "International Business Administration" includes the specific activities that are to be carried out at the management level of such a company.

What this is specifically depends on the nature of the company and its line of business. Basically, however, it can be said that international administration describes a demanding and exciting field of activity, the focus of which is planning, organization, analysis, quality assurance and, of course, economic thinking and acting.

Entrepreneurial administration in smart start-ups must be just as solid and knowledgeable as in the management floors of global players. Administration can concern procurement or sales, financing or accounting, human resources, marketing or project management and all other areas. Business administrators take over the overall supervision or the management of sub-areas, are consultants or decision-makers, work as permanent employees who control and monitor the output or come into the company as external people who provide new input and inspiration.

Accordingly, preparing for a career in international business management must take both into account: the comprehensive knowledge required to assert oneself in global markets, and the specific and precise knowledge and skills required to take on a responsible position in international business administration. In contrast to conventional business administration studies, master's courses such as Management of International Business, International Business Management or International Administration are therefore generally oriented.

Why should I study a Master in International Business?

During the Master in International Business at WHU, you will have numerous opportunities to develop both personally and professionally. An important prerequisite is that you really have the intention and the talent to successfully compete in the international market. Everything else you need - the knowledge and skills of lecturers with practical experience, but also the contacts and networks that many of our students make and maintain for life, you will find in the Master program in International Business at WHU.

The Master in International Business is just right for you if you

• have already completed a bachelor's degree in a relevant subject and want to successfully complete a master's degree in international business.

 • want to study at a management school that is internationally recognized and oriented - both with regard to the students and with regard to course content, certifications, quality standards and networking.

What is the difference between International Management and International Business?

What was once a classic business administration degree must today be positioned internationally so that specialists trained in Germany can compete worldwide.

Basically, courses such as International Management or International Business (Administration) prepare you for managerial tasks in middle to upper management, for which you need excellent knowledge of business administration, business English (and other languages) as well as specialist knowledge for the desired position. You can find out which focal points a university then sets in the degree programs from the respective curriculum.

At WHU we offer the six-semester Bachelor's degree in International Business Administration/ Management, which can be completed as a full-time degree or as a dual degree and culminates in a Bachelor of Science, and the 21-month Master in International Business degree, in which you deepen existing knowledge and further core competencies acquire and determine your individual focus.

Alternatively, you have the opportunity to earn a Bachelor in Business Psychology at WHU.

What course content does the International Business course contain?

The Master in International Business program at WHU includes seminars on international strategy, accounting, economics, marketing, trade and investment, data science, global supply chain, business negotiations, and the psychology of leadership. You will develop your individual focus in your selected seminars, for example in Risk Management or Investment Banking, Household Finance or Strategy Execution, Leadership or Luxury Brand Management, Web Mining or New Product Development.

The seminars are conducted in English and since we have many international students, English is mostly spoken on campus or in video conferences. An internship and an obligatory semester abroad round off your studies, which you will eventually successfully complete with your master's thesis. At this point, many students are already working with a company of their choice, so that the master's thesis can open the door to a permanent position or a cooperation.

How long does an International Business Management degree last?

The duration of your studies at WHU depends on whether you are studying full-time or part-time. You can achieve the Master in International Business (Master of Science, MSc) in a total of 21 months. In the first year of study, which begins in September and ends in July with a four-week summer break, you will complete the core seminars and seminars of your choice as well as a six-week internship.

The second year of study begins in September with a four-month semester abroad at one of our partner universities. From mid-December to May you will then devote yourself entirely to your Master's thesis. You can then optionally obtain a double degree in cooperation with our partner universities.

How high are the costs for an International Business Degree at WHU?

The regular tuition fees total €37,200 (as of 09/2023). The tuition fees cover participation in the seminars and the use of other services; the tuition fees for a partner university during your semester abroad are also included.

As an aspiring Master in business, you will surely realize that this investment is good value for money when you see the opportunities it brings. And yet of course we know that not all of our students have a family in the background who can help them with this investment.

So if you have the talent and ambition to study successfully at WHU, apply regardless of your financial background. We provide so-called free places for students who are entitled to BAföG and/or are happy to help you if necessary to find a scholarship that suits you or to obtain a loan under particularly favorable conditions.

What requirements do I have to meet in order to study the Master in International Business?

For our Master in International Business Program, we seek Bachelor graduates with a degree in any field of study and who demonstrate an appropriate background in a business-related area, e.g. through electives, thesis, relevant internship or work experience. You also need very good knowledge of English in order to be able to take part in the Master's degree.

You must also submit evidence

• of practical experience (at least 12 weeks or 480 hours) that you were able to gain in a job with a business orientation,

• of a relevant stay abroad (internship, semester abroad, language course) of at least 3 months duration and

• that you have excellent analytical and quantitative skills.

You can prove your English skills with a Cambridge certificate (CPE or CPA), a TOEFL test (at least 100 points) or an IELTS test (at least 7.0). You can prove your analytical and quantitative skills with a GMAT, GRE or TM-BASE result - this can, but does not have to be, available at the time of application.

You do not need a specific NC to study International Business at WHU. You should however have achieved the average values (1.5 to 2.6) of the International Business NC in order to be able to study successfully at WHU. Simply upload your documents and CV online. If you are shortlisted, a video interview will follow via Kira Talent and then a personal interview (online) as a final step.

How much can you earn with International Business?

Your future earning potential depends on which job you choose and which region you are drawn to. Other factors that matter include the size and industry of the company you work for, or the position and difficulty of the job.

In management, it is also common to distinguish between junior and senior positions, which is why the starting salaries are lower than the international business salary of a manager with professional experience. Your negotiation skills and your special knowledge as well as your degree also have an effect on the expected international business starting salary. The information on the average earning potential as a business manager varies accordingly. The average starting salary of WHU Master of Science graduates is currently €65,100 (Source: Career Entry Report Master of Science Programs 2018-2022)

You can find out more about the starting salary of WHU Master's graduates by downloading our Career Entry Report Master of Science Programs 2018-2022.

What jobs can you do after completing the International Business degree?

Jobs in the field of international business management are mostly based on what your activities focus on. As an International Brand Manager, you are responsible, for example, for making a brand fit for international sales. Related to this activity is that of the International Marketing Manager, who takes care of the details of strategic marketing. If you are interested in a position in which you analyze and develop new sales markets, then a job as an International Development Manager is an option. As an International Transfer Manager, you prepare everything so that the employees of a company find suitable framework conditions in the target region. Other job titles include, for example, Change Manager, Account Manager, Sales Manager or Export Manager in International Business. Consulting activities also belong to the broad spectrum in international business, for example as a Business Analyst, Business Consultant or Coach. Finally, the professions are divided according to industry, so that you can find a job as an International Health Manager or as an International Sustainability Manager, for example. If you would like to start a business yourself or help others, your studies at WHU will also prepare you well for a job as an entrepreneur or CEO.