The International Management specialization prepares you for global management careers by developing your understanding of how the international context affects businesses and their employees. Due to the increasing globalization of the last decades, the international context now affects all aspects of the business. The International Management specialization combines the latest theory of international management with practical applications.

Under the supervision of world-class researchers and teachers, you will complete advanced international management courses designed to provide a comprehensive understanding of how to manage different parts of a business and how to compete in different contexts. In addition to core courses, you can select from several interdisciplinary electives that will provide the knowledge in areas of personal interest. The program also has a strong practical component. You need to apply the theoretical tools to a practical situation by developing an international expansion strategy for a real company or advise a company on an international management problem. Furthermore, you will work in different group projects to develop soft skills for working in multinational teams.

Some key questions of the program include: How can companies compete in a global environment? How can companies take advantage of opportunities outside their borders and overcome potential threats? How can firms do business in emerging markets? What challenges do multinational teams face? How to make global teams work more effectively? How to improve the performance of individuals who work in global teams?

Who should join us?

Students who are interested in understanding how to use the global environment to make businesses succeed. You can have very diverse educational backgrounds with bachelor's degrees in business administration, economics, psychology, engineering, social sciences or natural sciences.

Program Overview

The specialization has the following learning goals:

Have the advanced and original academic and research skills to contribute to the body of knowledge

You will contribute to the body of knowledge on international management by writing a master thesis. By critically assessing the latest research on international management throughout the program and by receiving workshops on research methodology, you will be in a strong position to develop theoretically forward and practically relevant research.

Have a thorough knowledge of relevant theory and methods

Advanced courses on International Management, Culture, or Doing Business in Emerging Markets will expose you to the latest theory and methods used in international management research. To deepen your knowledge, you can additionally choose from several electives that each are strongly based on fostering your ability to act in response to strategic and organizational challenges. To broaden your horizon beyond the core of strategy and organization, you can also choose electives from other programs such as Strategy & Organization, Leadership and Change Management, Management Consulting, and Human Resource Management. Several interdisciplinary electives offer an additional opportunity to deepen your knowledge of a topical issue in business and management beyond the boundaries of the International Management program.

Have an academic approach to solving complex business problems

You will participate in team projects for a real-life company in which they act as management consultants who need to solve an international business problem such as developing an international expansion strategy. In addition, you will develop their ability to solve complex business problems by working on business cases during workshops.

Have the professional social skills to interact with other professionals

First, you will present the outcome of your team project to the company for which they acted as management consultants. Second, you will develop presentation skills by preparing presentations for companies and fellow students. Third, you develop professional social skills by working on group projects with colleagues from different cultural backgrounds.

Have a horizon beyond the professional area

Through courses on Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility, you develop the understanding of how your decisions influence communities and the environment. In addition, for the team consultancy project, you will have to discuss the social and environmental implications of your proposed solutions.

Are self-reflective professionals

Courses on Cross-cultural management and Ethics will allow you to reflect on your own personality and individual goals in order to understand opportunities for change and growth. In addition, you will have access to SBE'S Career Services’ workshops to prepare you for the job market.

Career Prospect

  • Aspirational job (far future)

As tomorrows’ business leaders need to be able to manage in a global environment, the International Management specialization starts students on a career leading them to become global leaders. In the long term, this means our students will become the CEOs and COOs of the future.

  • Actual placement (near future)

With the International Management specialization, you are well-positioned to start your leadership career in multinational enterprises with positions such as business analyst, management consultant, product manager, global brand manager, international sales manager, or business development manager.

Why VU Amsterdam?

  • Academic

Business happens in a global environment. The International Management specialization prepares you to work in multinational organizations by developing your understanding of how the international context affects different aspects of a business. The program achieves this by combining the latest academic research on international business, with practical experience, and personal skills development.

  • Professional

The program places great emphasis on practical relevance as it employs case discussion in workshops and team projects for real companies engaged in international business or who wish to internationalize.

  • Citizen

Our program develops global leaders with strong sustainability principles by providing you with courses on Ethics that allow you to understand the ethical and environmental consequences of managerial decisions.

Why You?

The unifying characteristic of students pursuing the International Management specialization is an interest in understanding how to use the global environment to make businesses succeed. As such, students can have very diverse educational backgrounds with bachelor degrees in business administration, economics, psychology, engineering, social sciences, or natural sciences.

Challenge to distinguish

The program provides several opportunities for you to distinguish yourself. Top students can join the honors programs, which provides additional learning opportunities. In addition, you can distinguish yourself through the practical project in which you advise a real company on an international management problem as you need to present your advice and provide the report to the company analyzed. Furthermore, you can distinguish yourself by tailoring the master program to your interests when selecting specialized and generalized electives.


Being part of a strong community is a key elements of students’ learning experience. In addition to the numerous events organized by the vibrant community of students at the Vrije Universiteit, the International Management specializations aim to stimulate strong relations between the members of the program. There will be several student and student-teacher social events. In addition, you will be supported in your job-search by the Career Services.

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Last updated November 8, 2018
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Sep 1, 2019
1 year
2,083 EUR
for EEA-EU students.
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