Career Guide to JMU Majors:
Learn more about this major by watching the JMU International Business promotional video.
General International Business
Admission and Progression Standards:
Visit the Major Snapshots site to learn more about the admission and progression standards of this major.
Description of Major
The International Business Major is an interdisciplinary major offered through the College of Business. The International Business Program is designed to equip the student with the broadest possible exposure to alternative perspectives and with significant intensive study of the vital academic disciplines. Hence, students receive the optimal degree of breadth for flexibility and substantial depth for success in specific performance areas. The goal of the International Business Program is to prepare students for professional and leadership roles in the increasingly international, technological and competitive business environment by offering a high quality, nationally recognized program that focuses on student development and success throughout their life time. Students gain a thorough foundation in business and are required to be proficient in at least one additional modern language. International Business majors must select a world region in which to concentrate that coincides with their selected language. For example, a student who selects French as his/her second language could choose Europe, Africa, or Asia as a world region. A student who selects Spanish as a second language could select either Europe or the Americas. The four world regions are Africa/Middle East, Americas, Asia and Europe. Exposure to foreign cultures is required through study abroad or an international internship, for a minimum of seven weeks in a world region that coincides with the selected language. To pursue a major in the College of Business it is necessary to first complete lower-level business requirements. Thus students are encouraged to begin taking lower-level business courses as early as possible. In addition to the general International Business major, students may choose to concentrate in either marketing or finance.
Tell me more about this field of study
International business surrounds us. It’s the goods we buy, products made in the United States by foreign owned companies and parts of products manufactured abroad that are assembled in this country. It’s the locations where we work, shop, bank, and vacation that are owned by foreign investors. It’s Americans traveling abroad, and foreigners traveling to the United States. It impacts the availability, variety, quality, and prices of most products and services offered domestically and internationally. And either directly or indirectly affects the jobs, personal incomes, and standards of living of most people in the United States and globally throughout the world. In the broadest sense International Business is any business activity that occurs between people or organizations from different countries. Since modern enterprises – government, nonprofit, business – operate in a global environment, success is difficult for those who are unaware of events and cultures outside their own. The International Business Program, by requiring cultural studies and language proficiency as well as the fundamental business curriculum prepares the student to excel in an ever-changing environment which will typify the business world over the next years. This increased flexibility and adaptability has been one of the most cited characteristics of our majors, and it is this type of student who excels in our program and in the workplace after graduation.
Tell me more about specialization
International Business is significantly different from other business disciplines because it emphasizes a different perspective, stressing the importance of a broad diversity of approaches to understand people and their cultures. Majors in International Business may develop a deeper understanding of specific business fields by declaring a concentration in Marketing or Finance. Some individuals may be interested in international marketing dealing with the marketing and exporting of U.S. products overseas. Others may be interested in international finance, dealing with international investments or working for an international bank.
Common majors or minors that complement this major
A Modern Foreign Language is required for this curriculum. Many of our students choose to minor in the Modern Foreign Language. Given the multidisciplinary nature of our program, students also often minor in Asian Studies, Chinese Business Studies, Economics, Latin American Studies, Political Communication, Political Science and Russian Studies.
Students must have an appreciation for the strengths and contributions of other cultures; they must be able to see themselves as members of a global community. Ability to function in a wide variety of environments, communicate effectively in a second language, maintain a high degree of adaptability, as well as cultivating exceptional interpersonal skills are characteristics that are required of the student and are developed in the program.
Many graduates choose typical career paths associated with this major. However, some graduates choose unrelated careers that utilize skills and experiences developed during their years in college. Keep in mind, that some fields will require graduate study or further training. The listing below offers examples of possible career paths and is not meant to be comprehensive.
Who employs graduates?
Banking Institutions, Colleges/Universities, Consulting Firms, Companies conducting International Trade, Educational Organizations, Federal Government Agencies, Foreign News Agencies, International Development Programs, International Investment Firms, Lobbying Organizations, Manufacturing Companies, Research Institutes, and the World Bank.
A variety of opportunities exist. Students may wish to spend a semester abroad by becoming involved in one of the various programs sponsored by JMU to experience immersion in a foreign culture. JMU also collaborates with programs offered through other schools. IBUS Internship (IBUS 494) is offered with approval from the Director of the International Business Program. This course provides credit for an internship.
A broad range of resources on career fields, internships, and job search information is also available in the Career & Academic Planning Resource Center.
Make an appointment with a CAP career counselor to learn more about this major and your career options.
A few titles from our Resource Center related to this field include:
© Career & Academic Planning, James Madison University, 2013