Curriculum

An MBA with a global focus

With Thunderbird’s unique program delivery model, you don’t just learn global business. You live it. Through top-tier curriculum taught by the world’s foremost authorities on international business and cross-cultural interaction, you will be immersed in the world of global management. Thunderbird’s Full-time MBA features integrated, aligned curriculum delivered via six, themed modules over three trimesters. This approach allows for in-depth study while taking fewer classes at one time.

Larry Penley talking about the new MBA program

President and Chief Academic Officer
Larry E. Penley, Ph.D. discusses Thunderbird's newly enhanced full-time MBA.

The core program is made up of 46.5 credit hours delivered through 12 months of academic study (with extended options available for those wishing to add an internship and/or concentration area). 

Module 0 (Orientation) – Build Business Fundamentals

TRIMESTER 1
Module 1a – Manage Strategically – Create Opportunity
Module 1b – Lead Change within Context and with Analytics

TRIMESTER 2
Module 2a
– Deliver Value across Borders
Module 2b – Navigate Complex Initiatives

TRIMESTER 3
Module 3a – Innovate for Growth
Module 3b – Create Opportunity – Manage in a Volatile & Uncertain World

TRIMESTER 4
Optional concentration term, internship or Exchange Program (if eligible)
Concentration areas: global finance, global management and global marketing 

Applied learning project courses

In the MBA program, you’ll tackle real-world business problems through participation in applied learning projects led by Thunderbird faculty. These hands-on experiences let you apply the skills you’ve learned in both client-facing projects with Thunderbird’s corporate partners and in simulations which deliver rapid feedback. Sample applied learning project courses include:

  • Multinational Corporate Finance (FORAD)
  • Corporate Partners
  • Analysis for Strategic Marketing
  • Global Brand Management
  • Business Intelligence

Curriculum that will drive your career
Designed to build skills based on employer expectations, the entire MBA in Global Management program is concentrated on helping you refine your management acumen and develop a comprehensive portfolio of work that will validate your professional capabilities and elevate your career opportunities. The learning outcomes in every course can be applied to your career and your career search - and every project you complete can be linked to your individual profile and electronic portfolio to showcase your work to potential employers. 


Sample courses

Analysis for Strategic Marketing
This course is designed to provide students with an understanding of the key marketing issues through an examination of various marketing decisions. This course complements other marketing courses by adopting a more hands-on and practical approach to strategic market planning. Specifically the course objectives are to: help students develop an understanding of the role that analytical techniques and computer models can play in enhancing marketing decision-making in modern enterprises; improve students’ skill in viewing marketing processes and relationships systematically and analytically; and provide students with the operational skills required to apply the methods and models to solve real marketing decision problems.

Asia-Pacific Rim Management
This course examines select cases of managerial challenges in the Asia/Pacific region. Each case will combine a specific national/territorial setting with a specific management topic: staffing, incorporation, ethics, joint venture management, technology transfer, distribution analysis, and other related topics. Additionally, emerging thematic issues will be explored, such as the new political economy of Northeast Asia (Siberia, Manchuria, Korea), post-industrial globalism in Japan, the Indian investment environment change, and Vietnam's economic reform.

Global & Financial Markets
Students will learn contemporary practices in global financial service industry and get jobs or internships. The course is intended to provide a broad and insightful overview of the myriad of contemporary issues and practices facing financial executives (corporate, commercial, and investment banking) in today's global marketplace. The program will include guest speakers, panel presentations, on-site visits, and many informal discussions.

Global Leadership
This course provides practical insights into those factors, both external and internal, which impact leadership effectiveness. Topics covered include the achievements of leaders, characteristics of leaders, leading across cultures, leading change and relationship between leaders and followers.

Global Negotiations
This course will focus on the introduction of negotiating in the global context. Students will participate in a variety of hands on activities, such as scenario-driven discussions, case study and student-to-student negotiation.


Depending on your TOEFL, IELTS or PTE score (if applicable), you may be required to take “Business English Communications” course(s) prior to beginning the program.