Career Guide


The International Business major is a department within the College of BusinessLearn more about this major by watching the JMU International Business promotional video.


General International Business

Admission and Progression Standards

Visit the International Business Major 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.

More About the Field 

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.


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.

Complementary Majors and Minors 

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.

Characteristics of Successful Students

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.

  • Account Analyst
  • Auditor
  • Business Technology Consultant
  • Chief Financial Officer
  • Consultant
  • Consumer Relations Consultant
  • Contract Negotiator
  • Convention Planner
  • Corporate Trainer
  • Corporate Travel Coordinator
  • Credit Analyst
  • Distribution Manager
  • Expatriate Services Coordinator
  • Export Specialist
  • External Affairs Media Agent
  • Financial Accountant
  • Foreign Correspondent
  • Foreign Currency Investment Advisor
  • Foreign Exchange Consultant
  • Foreign Trade Administrator
  • Immigration Specialist
  • Import Specialist
  • Import/ Export Data Coordinator
  • International Attorney
  • International Bank Officer
  • International Marketing Planner
  • International Member Services Agent
  • International Trade Specialist
  • Investment Counselor
  • Investor Relations Consultant
  • Legislative Assistant
  • Management Trainee
  • Marketing Coordinator
  • Trade Specialist
  • Peace Corps Coordinator
  • Pricing Analyst
  • Project Assistant
  • Public Relations Specialist
  • Research Coordinator
  • Sales Executive
  • Social Media Analyst
  • Strategic Planner
  • Tourism Promotion Director

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.

Internships and Experiential Opportunities 

A variety of opportunities exist. Students must spend a minimum of 6-weeks engaged in an “international experience” whereby they are immersed 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.

View our list of internship coordinators for each major.

Career Profiles

Business Intelligence Analysts

Additional Resources to Research Careers
  • Handshake: view new internships and jobs that employers are looking to hire JMU students from your major 
  • Career Outcomes: see where alumni worked or studied right after graduating.
  • GoinGlobal: learn more about employment opportunities overseas as well as H1B visa information for international Dukes pursuing jobs in the U.S.
  • O*NET: browse occupational profiles to learn about thousands of different careers, pulling data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics 
  • CareerOneStop: explore thousands of different careers by looking at career profiles 
  • Utilize the LinkedIn Alumni tool to see what others have done with their majors and what their career paths look like. Reach out to alumni via LinkedIn and conduct an informational interview.

© University Career Center, James Madison University

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form without permission from the JMU University Career Center. Content for each major has been written/reviewed by faculty in the respective department and is revised each year. Requests to update content can be submitted to

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