Brandeis University International Business School

Mailstop 032
P.O. Box 549110
Waltham, MA, 02454-9110
Admissions: 781.736.2252

The International Business School at Brandeis University is unique among business schools: its most popular degree is not the MBA, but rather a Master of Arts in International Economics and Finance. Named after early Brandeis benefactor and real estate executive Samuel Lemberg, the program was launched in 1987—11 years before Brandeis offered an MBA degree in 1998. The two-year program is distinctive largely for its internationally focused curriculum and the merging of economics and finance topics. For the past two years, The Financial Times has ranked it first in the U.S. among programs that do not require work experience. Currently, 167 students are enrolled in it.

Four years ago, the school launched what it calls a “Global Green MBA,” a program for aspiring leaders in the field of corporate sustainability: the MBA in Socially Responsible Business. The concentration, part of the school’s Green Global Initiative, integrates issues such as economic development, social development and corporate governance, into the core MBA program.

In August of 2012, Brandeis debuted four new MBA specializations in asset management, corporate finance, risk management, and marketing. Those new specializations add to its existing real estate concentration. Magid says he is about a year away from launching a new life sciences MBA to leverage Brandeis’ reputation in science. A Master of Finance degree program has 78 enrolled students.

Dean Bruce Magid believes the specializations give students the opportunity to develop specific skill sets that will make them immediately marketable. Most of Brandeis’ specializations are a direct result of feedback from the companies that hire MBAs. “A couple of years ago, I went to recruiters and asked them what they needed to make sure our students were ready to bring the right skills to the market.”

Of course, he’s building these programs under the name of a relatively small liberal arts university but one with a world-class brand. U.S. News ranked Brandeis University 33rdamong national universities in the U.S. Like ‘Ted’ Snyder at Yale, Magid believes strongly that the business school should take greater advantage of the intellectual resources of the rest of the university.

“The business model for most business schools has been a standalone model,” he says. “I believe in a more integrated approach where students get the ability to leverage the university. They can take courses in other departments and speakers from all over the university come into the school.”

Several courses in the school’s green MBA program, for example, have been jointly developed with Brandeis’ Heller School for Social Policy and Management. In March of 2013, the business school is co-sponsoring a symposium on Brazil with its International Center for Ethics, Justice, and Public Life.

In the fall of 2010, moreover, the business school started an undergraduate business major, which has since tripled in enrollment to 400 students. Between the business major, a business minor and a five-year BA/MA program, Brandeis IBS touches nearly one out of every ten undergrads at Brandeis University.

From Brandeis University International Business School:

If you plan to compete in the emerging global economy, you will need to understand international product and capital markets, multicultural organizations, and the competitive structure of global industries. And you will benefit from experience in the international arena.

The MBA at the International Business School is one of a handful of business degrees that directly targets this skill set. It is a two-year program that provides grounding in the international dimension of every business function, incorporates international experience through study or an internship abroad, and exposes students to the best practices of the world’s leading companies.

Our MBA doesn’t merely teach functional skills, it also develops a framework for understanding international competition through the study of globalization and economic interdependence. Students leave with a fresh perspective on the global economy, excellent technical skills, international experience, and contacts needed to launch an exciting career.

The Brandeis IBS Master in Business Administration (MBA) provides the expertise required in today’s global business environment. The program is designed for students with work experience who are seeking to pursue careers in firms operating across borders or competing in international markets, in global consulting firms, in other international organizations. Its main elements are:

  • A conceptual framework for understanding business strategy in global markets.
  • A comprehensive skill set in finance, accounting, strategy, economics, marketing, organizational behavior and quantitative methods.
  • Advanced expertise in one or more specialized areas; most students choose finance or strategy as background for positions in financial institutions or consulting, or related positions inside companies. A special finance concentration is offered.
  • An ability to apply judgment and expertise to “real world” business problems.

The Brandeis Advantage

Brandeis University, the youngest major private research university in the United States, is recognized for its academic excellence and commitment to social justice. Brandeis has especially strong programs in the life sciences, history, economics, business and other fields.

A Remarkable History
Founded in 1948, the University is named for Louis Dembitz Brandeis, a distinguished United States Supreme Court justice. With early faculty members such as Eleanor Roosevelt and Leonard Bernstein, Brandeis quickly established an international reputation. Thirteen years after its founding it was accredited by Phi Beta Kappa, and in 1985 it was elected to the Association of American universities, the exclusive “club” of the 61 leading research universities of the US and Canada.

Prominent Alumni
The University’s 30,000 alumni include chief executives Leonard Asper (Canwest), Christie Hefner (Playboy) and Suk Won Kim (Ssangyong Group), bankers Barry Kaplan (Goldman Sachs) and Louis Perlmutter (Lazard Freres), journalists Thomas Friedman (New York Times), Walt Mossberg (Wall Street Journal) and Bill Schneider (CNN), and government leaders Nikolai Vassiliev (Deputy Prime Minister, Bulgaria) and Dimitrij Rupel (Minister of Foreign Affairs, Slovenia).

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Brandeis Today
Brandeis has 3200 undergraduate and 1100 graduate students. Its 499-member faculty includes former labor secretary Robert Reich, historian David Hackett Fischer, three MacArthur “genius” award winners, and 30 members of leading scientific academies. Brandeis is ranked 31st among US universities in US News and World Report, and 9th in a study by Graham and Diamond (The Rise of American Research Universities) based on quantitative measures of the impact of faculty research.

University Resources
We occupy 96 buildings on an attractive 235-acre campus. Landmarks include a one-million-volume library (Goldfarb), an outstanding sports complex (Ford), a new campus center (Shapiro), a celebrated museum of modern art (Rose) and a theater (Spingold). Brandeis is located in suburban Boston and is connected to Boston and Cambridge by a 20-minute train ride.

Career Development

IBS’s MBA graduates are distinguished by their solid analytical and quantitative skills, and by their international perspective and experience. MBA graduates have gone on to diverse positions and companies, most often in financial institutions, consulting firms and multinational companies.

Positions after Graduation

The first position after graduation depends, in part, on the experience of a student before IBS. With three or more years of related work experience and a good academic record at IBS, our graduates are attractive candidates for “associate” positions in consulting companies and investment banks, particularly when international experience is of special value (say, in international firms or positions abroad). MBAs typically receive starting salaries in the $65,000 – $100,000 range, depending on experience.

Career Advancement

IBS alumni generally rise rapidly in their companies. While data on MBA graduates are limited (the program started in 1998), our MA graduates who entered business careers over the past decade now occupy positions such as managing director of municipal finance in a major investment bank, partner for emerging markets in an investment bank, and partner in a management consulting firm.


Graduates have accepted positions in companies and organizations such as Smith Barney, BNP Paribas, Standard & Poors, United Airlines, UBS Warburg, A.T. Kearney, Lycos, and The World Bank. One-half work outside the United States, in countries as diverse as Germany, Kazakhstan, Japan, and the UK.

International Experience

IBS is international to the core. It offers its students a global experience that prepares them to operate with ease across borders and cultures – in an environment that prizes diversity and the ability to bring a worldwide perspective to the study of business.

IBS’s MA and MBA programs are among the very few in the world to require students to have international experience by the time they graduate. Some of our students already have such experience when they enter Brandeis (if they have lived outside the US for at least three years, or worked abroad in a professional position for at least three months). Those who do not have such experience can take advantage of the exchange programs offered at one of our 19 partner universities, which can be seen on our Current Students Webpages.

Although study abroad is only one of the ways to meet the international experience requirement, many students see it as a uniquely valuable part of their IBS degree. Even students who already have international experience often take advantage of this option.

Boston Community

When you choose to study at Brandeis, your home base will be our 235-acre campus in Waltham, Massachusetts. But you’ll also find yourself in a special metropolitan area with other world-class cities at your fingertips.

The center of Boston is just ten miles from Waltham. Known to locals as the “Hub of the Universe,” Boston offers some of the most sophisticated cultural, educational, social, and business opportunities available anywhere in the United States. Across the Charles River from Boston is Cambridge. Best known for its academics, this is also a top choice among IBS students as the place to live and visit.


Boston has been called one of the most livable cities in America. This reputation is enjoyed by 600,000 residents in Boston’s twenty diverse neighborhoods – and another 3.5 million in the wider metropolitan area – as well as 250,000 students in its nearly three dozen colleges and universities. So, what exactly is this reputation based on?

Is it that, despite its rich history, Boston remains a youthful city, and a center of contemporary culture? Is it the combination of skyscrapers in the financial district with brick row houses in the Back Bay? Or is it trendy shopping on Newbury Street, or bustling ethnic neighborhoods such as the Italian North End and Chinatown?

Boston has countless historic sites (many connected by the “Freedom Trail” in the center of the city) and world-class cultural institutions such as the Museum of Fine Arts, the John F. Kennedy Library, and the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Those in search of nightlife can visit the many clubs scattered throughout the city. And for sports fans, Boston has the baseball, football, basketball, soccer and hockey.

Public transportation allows IBS students to reach most parts of the city. Boston is also the gateway to the many vacation opportunities of New England, from sandy beaches on the Atlantic coast to nearby mountains for hiking and skiing. The bottom line: No matter what IBS students are looking for in Boston, this city has it all.

Information about Boston:

  • – Get detailed information about Boston and take care of business online.
  • – Find out about everything from Boston English to the best public restrooms.
  • – Link to an online directory of what Boston has to offer.
  • – Take a look at public transport maps and timetables.
  • – Read The Boston Globe online.
  • – Everything you need to know about Logan Airport.


No stranger to innovation, Waltham gave birth to the Industrial Revolution with the invention of America’s first power loom. This reputation thrives today: Waltham is part of the “Route 128″ complex, one of the nation’s major centers of innovation in investment management, computers, telecommunications, and biotechnology.

Nostalgically known as the “The Watch City” for the Waltham Watch Company of the 1800′s, Waltham offers students several affordable residential neighborhoods within walking distance of Brandeis. Like Cambridge and Boston, Waltham is situated on the banks of the Charles River, where students can also enjoy walks and canoe trips. A train line connects Brandeis and Waltham directly to Boston and Cambridge.

Waltham’s central business district has undergone a wave of renewal. Its heart today is an area locals call “Restaurant Row,” one of the Boston area’s best collections of small, inventive restaurants that offer foods from every corner of the world, a brewpub, and more.

Information about Waltham:

  • – Take advantage of Waltham’s online resource center.


Cambridge is the home of Harvard University, MIT, and many high tech and biotech companies. No other city in the nation can claim to have cultivated more U.S. presidents and Nobel laureates. Due to its stimulating academic environment, Cambridge has become a magnet for young people seeking opportunity and fun. The city has:

  • Largest concentration of biotechnology companies on the East Coast
  • Over 200 software companies
  • 448 restaurants representing thirty cultures
  • 30% of the workforce has a professional or graduate degree.
  • More bookstores per capita than any other city in America
  • The birthplace of the first analog computer, the Internet, and the first instant photograph

Most IBS students visit Cambridge often, and some choose to live there. There are many eclectic neighborhoods, ranging from those with modest rents to very expensive ones. North Cambridge and neighboring Somerville are especially popular with Brandeis students because they are connected by a short train ride to the campus. Cambridge is also a “walker’s city,” with easily accessible shopping and cultural attractions.

Information about Cambridge:

  • – Get helpful visitor information.
  • – Go here for information about living, and doing business in Cambridge.


The School’s curriculum is wholly oriented towards the study of global business, finance and economics. It is updated annually to take account of developments in the fast-moving world economy: about one in six courses are new each year. And all students begin their studies with a unique course on globalization, which introduces the main themes of the School and underlines its commitment to the study of world business in its broadest context.

Program of Study

The first year of the program is exciting and intensive: it offers students a comprehensive immersion in global markets and business decisions in finance, marketing, strategy and organization management. You explore these functions individually, and in their interrelations in the integrated business enterprise. You also develop important practical skills in accounting and information systems.

The second year offers more advanced applications and allows you to acquire specialized expertise in finance or another field. Many students spend the fall abroad at one of the world’s best business schools-we have exchange relationships with 20 schools around the globe.

Electives include hands-on courses in important areas of practice, often taught by a senior professional in the field. We pride ourselves in the dynamism of our offerings: one of six courses is new every year, keeping the curriculum fresh, and making it possible to use major current issues to motivate learning and analysis.

An illustrative course sequence is below – but remember that your program will almost certainly differ from this depending on your preparation and career objectives. Even the sequence of required courses may be adjusted depending on your background. To explore our offerings, see our course list.


The IBS faculty consists of twenty research-oriented scholars specializing in international finance, economics and business, and a similar number of adjunct professors with extensive practical experience as senior executives of Boston-area companies. All faculty share an interest in international issues and often have substantial international research or work experience.

We thrive on the excitement that leading-edge research brings to the day-to-day life of the School in discussions, classrooms, and conferences. The faculty includes some 20 scholars specializing in international finance, economics and business. Nearly all hold PhDs from leading US institutions and many are widely known and edit journals in their fields. Faculty members focus on several disciplines, but share a fundamental interest in international issues and typically have studied or conducted research abroad.

The IBS faculty is also diverse. Many are from outside the United States, and all have academic teaching and research interests that transcend national borders. The School’s two research institutes are also dedicated to global issues: the Rosenberg Institute addresses global finance, while the Asia-Pacific Center for Economics and Business conducts research, teaching and outreach on the Asia Pacific region.

Teaching is valued highly. The curriculum includes case-method and instructor-directed courses, and emphasizes classroom interaction. Classes are relatively small (40s for core courses and 20s for electives). Student evaluations average above 4 on a 1-5 scale. Our professors are not easy, but succeed by bringing difficult topics to life through skillful discussions and concrete examples.

We are not just scholars. Our faculty also includes some 20 adjunct professors with extensive practical experience, such as Chief Credit Officer of a large bank, Chief Fixed Income Strategist of a major investment firm, and Chief Budget Officer. Their popular courses connect theory to the business decisions of real firms. Entrepreneurship is one area of active involvement for several adjunct faculty members, who contribute their expertise to courses and to extra-curricular activities such as the annual Business Plan Competition

Student Testimonials

“The innovative approach at IBS engages you with real-world issues, offering opportunities to apply your knowledge in practical and meaningful ways.” Esin Ozemir, Turkey, MAief, 2011

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