I've received a few inquiries about the International MBA and International Studies at Booth.  Here are some thoughts and experiences from the program.

Very few Booth students complete the International MBA.  I recommend interested students enroll in the program after they have been admitted to be able to enjoy some of the additional programming, meet other international-minded students, and get priority on where to do an exchange.  From there you can "drop back" to the regular MBA later on if need be.  Most people who sign up for the International MBA end up doing this anyway.  In my graduating class, only 3 out of 550+ students in the Full-Time program completed the International MBA, although the program began with many more who had intentions of completing it.

Why so few?  Many fail to prove advanced oral proficiency in a non-native language, which is tested with a 30 minute phone conversation examination.  Additionally, you must complete an exchange program, which certain students opt-out of at the last minute.  Lastly, you have to complete 5 international business classes, which is a quite a few.  Most Chicago Booth concentrations are only 3 or 4 classes, and you may have trouble getting Booth to count the courses you are doing while on exchange towards the "International Business" component.

I took International Financial Policy with Broda, Managing the Firm in the Global Economy with Romalis, Finance and Entrepreneurship in Emerging Markets with Mian, International Corporate Finance with Rajan, and Negotiations while I was on exchange in Mexico City.  The Romalis course covers global corporate strategy, expansion, and intellectual property, while Mian's course dealt specifically with business in developing countries and included fascinating cases on topics like microfinance and even a Basix microinsurance pilot program.  International Corporate Finance is case-based and deals with issues such as currency risk, cross-border mergers, and international discount rates and valuation methods.  While several teachers offer International Corporate Finance, Rajan's section tends to be very difficult to get into given his stature as former head of the International Monetary Fund and recent accolades for the Financial Times Business Book of the Year award.

Feel free to reach out with questions or give me a shout on Twitter.



12/19/2010 7:52am

Hello Adam,
I came across your blog while researching the international MBA at Booth. It has been very helpful. Thanks a lot. i am thinking about focusing on Turkey and the middle east, I wonder what is the difference between the area/mba and the international relations/mba...any thoughts?

12/21/2010 1:41pm

Hi Ezra,

I think you're asking about the difference between
1. A combined MBA with a Master's in Middle Eastern studies, and
2. The International MBA

The combined M.A. in Middle Eastern Studies and MBA takes an extra year of study--3 in total--and focuses a lot more intensively on international relations. The International MBA leaves room for electives that study the Middle East but does not naturally have the regional focus that it sounds you might be looking for.

Take a look at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies webpage, which also describes the standalone M.A. in Middle Eastern Studies if your focus is more on Middle Eastern studies than business:

I hope this helps, contact me directly if you're still looking for more information.


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    Adam Stober

    Chicago Booth International MBA on applying to business school.  Expect this page to stay short.


    November 2010
    August 2010


    International Business

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