International Business

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Program Overview

The globalization of markets, trade and production is growing at unprecedented speed and changing the foundation of modern business. The international business program is designed to lead students to an understanding of the important issues and strategies utilized by global organizations to manage in a cross-cultural environment.

The program examines the global business environment as a whole, with an emphasis on multinational organizations, economic and political systems, socio-cultural structures, and diversities with operational significance for international business.

Drawing from a diverse and interdisciplinary faculty, you are pushed to think critically, work to solve global problems, and promote social justice and service. This perspective aims to provide you with an awareness of global interdependence and the socio-political and economic environments of different countries. To broaden the scope of study, the program includes first-hand learning opportunities through studying abroad, internships with international businesses, and advanced language training courses.

As a graduate of the program, you are equipped with a broad knowledge of the social, cultural, political and economic influences of the international business world. These skills prepare you well for furthering your studies in a graduate program or becoming a professional in a variety of business fields.

Fairfield Dolan Rankings

Best Colleges for Business in Connecticut
- Niche
Best Colleges for Business Majors
- 2019 Money Magazine
Best Schools for Business Majors
- 2020 PayScale


Students majoring in International Business begin with foundational coursework in international relations, economics, geography, and sociology/anthropology, and complete their degree requirements with a senior capstone research project. To prepare for this, they develop their own specialization by taking two courses from the thematic areas of Global Development; Conflict, Diplomacy, and Peace building; and Social Justice and Humanitarianism; and by choosing a complementary major or minor in the Dolan School of Business. Students take courses on multinational organizations and regional trade pacts, economic and political systems, socio-cultural structures, microfinance, and other diversities that have operational significance for community and economic development and international business. 

Graduation with Honors in International Studies

Fairfield University has a campus chapter of Sigma Iota Rho, the national honor society for international studies. Students must have attained a junior standing and completed at least twenty-one hours of course work toward the International Studies/Business major or the International Studies minor. Students with an overall GPA of 3.3 or greater and a GPA of 3.4 or higher in their International Studies/Business major, International Studies minor are nominated for membership.

Complementary Studies and International Opportunities

The International Studies Program reinforces multidimensional learning with real-world experience through foreign language studies, service learning, Model United Nations, the Undergraduate Journal of Global Citizenship, the International Business/International Studies Club, internships and study abroad opportunities, and through work with our faculty in research projects and as student teaching assistants.

Requirements include:

For a major in International Business, students complete:

  • INST 1050 People, Places and Global Issues
  • INST 1051 International Relations: Theories and Challenges
  • INST 1052 Culture and Political Economy
  • ECON 1011 Introduction to Microeconomics (required for all business students)
  • ECON 1012 Introduction to Macroeconomics (required for all business students)
  • INST 4999 Senior Capstone Seminar
  • Choose 2 electives from any of the 3 thematic areas
  • Choose a co-curricular major or minor in the Dolan School of Business.

International Business courses completed abroad must be pre-approved by the assistant dean of the Dolan School of Business and the Director of International Studies.

Course Offerings

See International Studies/International Business course descriptions from our catalog‌ for more information

Foundational Courses

INST 1050 People, Places and Global Issues 
INST 1051 International Relations: Theories and Challenges
INST 1052 Culture and Political Economy
ECON 1011 Introduction to Microeconomics (required for all business students)
ECON 1012 Introduction to Macroeconomics (required for all business students)
INST 4999 Capstone


Global Development 

ANTH 1115 Cultures of Africa
ANTH 1015 Refugees and Culture in the Modern World
ANTH 1120 Islamic Societies and Cultures
ANTH 3710 Anthropology Research Methods
COMM 2241 Communication & Culture: East & West
ECON 3230 Comparative Economic Systems
ECON 3231 International Trade
ECON 3233 International Economic Policy and Finance
ECON 3235 Economic Development
ECON 3237 Fair Trade and Microfinance
FNCE 3200 Global Capital Markets
FNCE 4240 International Finance Management
HIST 2284 20th Century Russia
HIST 2285 Modern China: 1800 to Present
HIST 2289 Modern Latin America, 1800 to Present
HIST 3366 Women in China and Japan
INST 1054 Contemporary Issues Affecting the Global Business Environment
INST 3980 Internship in International Studies
INST 3990 Independent Study
ISOM 4310 E-Business Applications
MGMT 4350 International Law
MGMT 4390 Cross Cultural Management
MKTG 3312 Global Marketing
POLI 2253 Latin American Politics
POLI 2255 Middle Eastern Politics
POLI 2259 The Development Gap
POLI 2274 International Environmental Policies
POLI 2477 Globalization: Who Rules the World?
SOCI 1160 Contemporary Latin American and Caribbean Society
SOCI 1145 Globalization
SOCI 1165 Social Change in Developing Nations

Conflict, Diplomacy, and Peace Building 

AETH 2293 Ethics of War and Peace
ANTH 3710 Research Methods
COMM 2240 Intercultural Communication
HIST 2251 The American Century? U.S. Foreign Relations since 1900
HIST 2265 The History of the Indian Subcontinent
HIST 2273 Cultural and Historical Aspects of Post-Communist Transition
HIST 2274 Historical Perspectives on Contemporary Global Crises
INST 2471 UN Security Council Simulation
INST 3980 Internship in International Studies
INST 3990 Independent Study
MGMT 4360 Negotiation and Dispute Resolution
PHIL 2263 The Concept of Human Rights
POLI 2251 Islam and Muslim Politics
POLI 2252 African Politics
POLI 2257 Northern Ireland: The Politics of War and Peace
POLI 2258 Political Violence
POLI 2476 U.S. Foreign Policy
POLI 2478 International Law
POLI 2479 Threats to Global Security in the 21st Century
POLI 4303 Gender, War, and Peace
SOCI 1155 Sociology of Europe

Humanitarianism and Social Justice 

ANTH 2100 Culture and Inequality
ANTH 1125 Sex, Gender, Sexual Orientation
ANTH 3700 Grant Writing in the Social Sciences
ANTH 3710 Anthropology Research Methods
ECON 2120 Intro to Environmental Economics
HIST 2270 History of Global and Humanitarian Action
INST 2150 International Operations of Non-Profits
INST 2481 International Human Rights
INST 3980 Internship in International Studies
INST 3990 Independent Study
LCST 3301 Justice and the Developing World
MGMT 4370 Managing Nonprofit Organizations
MGMT 4385 Managing People for Global Business
PHIL 2263 The Concept of Human Rights
POLI 1102 Introduction to Comparative Politics
POLI 2331 Introduction to Peace and Justice
POLI 2472 Politics of Humanitarian Action
POLI 2480 Border Politics
RLST 2335 Liberation Theology
SOCI 1150 Introduction to International Migration


The College of Arts and Sciences at Fairfield University is home to a vibrant community of engaged faculty, dedicated staff and budding scholars devoted to the process of invention and discovery and excited by the prospect of producing knowledge in the service of others. Meet the passionate members of our International Studies Department.


Global Fairfield

Internships provide students with practical skills and the beginning of a professional network, both of which are essential for a successful transition to employment. We encourage all of our majors to have at least one internship that complements their interests in international business.

For help finding an internship, or to register, please contact Associate Director Anita Deeg-Carlin.

Life After Fairfield

International Studies/Business graduates pursue careers in a myriad of international-related career options. Recent graduates have taken positions in the private sector with companies such as:

  • Goldman Sachs
  • GE Capital
  • Bridgewater
  • Synchrony
  • UBS
  • OMD Worldwide
  • Regan Communications

The International Studies/Business program has an outstanding record of Fulbright awards for students to conduct research abroad after they graduate from Fairfield. Students also pursue graduate degrees at leading institutions, including recently at:

  • Fairfield University
  • Rutgers University
  • Hofstra University
  • Pace University
  • University of Connecticut

Learn more about how Fairfield's Career Center can support your post-graduate goals, and how Fairfield's tight-knit alumni network can build career and mentoring opportunities that last a lifetime.

Alumni Spotlight

International Studies and International Business graduates pursue careers in a myriad of international-related career options with private and non-profit/public sector employers. Our program also has an outstanding record of Fulbright awards for students to conduct research abroad after they graduate from Fairfield. Students have also pursued graduate degrees at leading institutions.

Career Placements: Americorps, Bridgewater, General Electric, Indeed, Octagon, Synchrony, Travelers, and UBS.

Graduate School/scholarships: Brooklyn Law School, Quinnipiac University School of Law, St. John's Law School, Suffolk University Law School, University of Connecticut MPA.

Alumni Profiles

Debra Chevalier headshot

Debra Chevalier

Class of '18

Get to Know Debra

Undergrad Degree: Finance and International Business
Hometown: Southbridge, MA
Name of employer: Synchrony
Job title & brief description of duties: I am in the Business Leadership Program in the Risk Management track. This program includes three rotations to different areas within Risk Management. My first rotation was in Stamford, CT, where I worked to identify and mitigate liquidity and market risk. I am now in my second rotation in Chicago, IL, where I am working to assess the company's Fair Lending risk.


How did you select your major, and how has that contributed to your professional/personal life?

Majoring in international business and finance fit perfectly with my personal and professional goals and is the reason I stood out to employers. The international business major gave me the opportunity to learn more about my Chinese culture while gaining a macro perspective of global matters. I was able to leverage the program's flexible structure to study abroad in Beijing and take Finance courses that counted towards both of my majors. I majored in finance because I enjoyed the challenging course material and faculty support that I received when looking for internship/job opportunities.


How did you come to work in your current career field?

I think of risk management as a two-for-one learning experience. Since my job is to identify and analyze risks taken by other areas of the business (e.g. credit, finance, marketing) I am developing a deep understanding of the risk management process as well as a general understanding of how other departments in a company operate. Risk management provides me with a well-rounded skill set that is transferable to many different areas of a business.


What advice would you give to incoming students?

Study abroad, and when I say study abroad, I mean jumping out of your comfort zone and experiencing something that most people will never believe. Sure it's scary being half a world away from your close-knit family and friends, taking classes with foreign teachers, and eating whatever food is put in front of you because you probably didn't order what you thought you ordered… but don't shy away from the challenge. Be adventurous and see what the world has to offer, and I promise you, you won't regret it.

Diana Olivo headshot

Diana Olivo

Class of '18

Get to Know Diana

Name: Diana Olivo
Undergrad Degree: International Business and Management
Hometown: Bridgeport, CT
Extracurricular Activities: Project Excel, WEPA Club and Employees at the Stag Bar

Why did you choose to attend Fairfield University?

While I was a senior at Warren Harding High School in Bridgeport CT, my counselor asked me what college I wanted to attend. At that moment I didn't have a specific college in mind. I told him that I wanted to go to a college that was close to home and that I could afford. One of the reasons why I chose Fairfield University was because it offered me a full scholarship. In addition, Fairfield has a strong faculty and a good reputation that could open doors for my career development. As a Latina, I also found how well Fairfield University promotes the importance of diversity within its community very attractive.

How/why did you select your major/minor?

I entered Fairfield University as an undecided student. It wasn't until my sophomore year that I decided to double major in international business and management. I chose International because it allows me to have a sense of how to conduct business globally. It gives me an understanding of how the economic, political and social worlds work in a broader sense and provides me the opportunity to learn about how people behave in different environments. After taking the course “Introduction to Management,” I also decided to do a second major in management because I wanted to have a better understanding of how I should manage a business, in addition to learning how to treat people in way that makes them feel comfortable.

Describe a project or an activity that you have been involved with through the program that you are particularly proud of.

I am proud to be an employee at Fairfield University at the Stag Bar. Working at the Stag Bar gave me the opportunity to develop a professional relationship with other Stag employees. I am able to collaborate with managers and kitchen staff to ensure quick service to our customers. In addition, I learned to multitask during peak hours by delivering fast service.

What attributes regarding the faculty do you find particularly helpful/encouraging?

I love the kindness and enthusiasm of most of my faculty. It is very helpful when my schedule is tight that I can go to office hours and the professor makes me feel that things are easier than I think. It is very encouraging when the faculty is passionate with their classes and they pass that passion to the students by teaching in interesting ways.

Describe a favorite course and how it helped your academic growth.

It is hard to pick a particular class as your favorite when you enjoyed most of your classes. However, I can say that I really enjoyed IL52. This class was very challenging and interesting at the same time. One thing that I really liked about this course is that it gave me the opportunity to develop my thinking skills and be able to analyze social behavior based on other people's perspectives. This class helped me understand how one culture influences social behavior. I learned to see beyond my cultural understanding as well appreciates others' cultures.

Julia Schuble headshot

Julia Schuble

Class of '10

Get to Know Julia

Undergrad Degree: B.S.- International Business, Minor- French
Current hometown: Washington, DC
Name of employer: U.S. Department of State
Job title & brief description of duties: Office Management Specialist for U.S. Department of State’s Office of the Haiti Special Coordinator


How did you select your major? And how did that contribute to your professional/personal life?

I knew that I wanted to go to business school and that I enjoyed studying foreign cultures, so I chose to major in International Business. Thanks to my Fairfield education and other experiences, my foreign relations background and core business skills provided me with a solid foundation and the flexibility to transition into different career fields. The IL capstone project was a very good preview of the work I would begin in graduate school classes. I went on to earn a graduate certificate in International Trade, and will be returning to school for a Master’s degree in the fall. In addition to my other skills, my minor in French helped me to secure a position in the Haiti Office, where I have been able to utilize the language to read and write documents, as well as converse with foreign nationals and ambassadors. 


How did you come to work in your current career field and what inspires you about your work?

Working in D.C. provides a plethora of choices when seeking involvement in the international community. I have always strongly believed in helping others and so pursuing a career as a public servant was a natural choice for me. With my international business background, study abroad experience, and language minor, the U.S. Department of State is a wonderful fit. I am inspired every day by the differences my office makes. In particular, January 12, 2015 was the five year anniversary of the earthquake in Haiti. Seeing the differences U.S. government involvement has made, even though there is still much to do, provides me with a sense of meaning and drives me to do more. As well as fueling my daily motivation, my work for the State Department inspires me to volunteer more in my community. I strongly believe in the saying "if you want to change the world, start in your own backyard."


Which extra-curricular activity had the greatest impact on your personal development while at Fairfield?

The Fairfield University Pep Band had the greatest impact on my development. I created friendships, learned and developed a skill, and fostered team spirit. The practices, games, and various experiences, such as lunch at the Jesuit residence and annual MAAC tournaments, helped me to establish a strong sense of community. The team-building exercises have given me the leadership, team and communication skills that I frequently call upon in my professional life.  I was so grateful for the chance to promote my school and form lasting relationships. It is a time I shall always cherish.  

Julia St. Germain headshot

Julia St. Germain

Class of '18

Get to Know Julia

Undergrad Degree: Finance and International Business Double Major, French Minor
Current hometown: Wolfeboro, NH
Name of employer: Synchrony
Job title & brief description of duties: I am in the Business Leadership Program with the Sam’s Club credit card team. I have the responsibilities of managing the portfolio’s marketing fund, coordinating intercompany settlements, reporting our portfolio KPI dashboard, and other adhoc Income statement Initiatives.


How did you select your major, and how has that contributed to your professional/personal life?

I first chose finance because I knew it was broad and I wasn’t sure I knew exactly what I wanted to do at the time. I was able to interview with different companies because of this, and I soon liked the classes I was taking (way more than my accounting major friends)! My major does contribute to my day-to-day professional responsibilities, but it also allowed me to stay connected and up-to-date on the world itself. A lot of geo-politics revolve around money in some way or another, as well as consumer trends, the stock market, etc. Those are the things that interest me, so I was able to remain current through my major. As for my personal life, I think there is a space for strong professional women in finance and I intend to become a leader in the space as I grow and develop.


How do you find most interesting in current career field and what inspires you about your work?

I think it’s really cool when I see a headline in the New York Times, or the Wall Street Journal and wonder how that is going to impact our partners and customers. Anything going on in the world that you can tie back to your current role is pretty cool. How you are making a difference or fitting your puzzle piece in is important.
What also inspires me is that if I don’t know how the headline will impact our partners, I know I can find someone at my company who does. I constantly try to grow and develop my way of thinking. I think the program at Synchrony does that already, but even after the program, I think I will continue to be a sponge for information.


Which extra-curricular activity had the greatest impact on your personal development while at Fairfield?

My volunteer service trips. By participating in these both domestically and internationally, I was able to see the world first hand through a helping hand. A lot of time was spent reflecting, which actually allowed me to pause, think, and step out of my normal bubble and into the world of how I can make a difference in communities everywhere - no matter how big or small.

Morgan Amsrud headshot

Morgan Amsrud

Class of '17

Get to Know Morgan

Name:  Morgan Amsrud
Undergrad Degree: Accounting and International Business, minor in Humanitarian Action  
Hometown: Gettysburg, PA
Extracurricular Activities: Running, tennis, yoga, Netflix


Why did you choose to attend Fairfield University?

I chose to attend Fairfield University after taking a second tour of the campus and learning about the Jesuit values. I loved the campus and small class size, the students seemed friendly, and I enjoyed the values the school stands on. I was drawn to a university that placed such importance on serving others while making sure to serve oneself.

How/why did you select your major/minor?

I chose international business because I wanted a career that would allow me to travel. I was unsure of what international business was when I applied for the major, and once I began taking courses, I realized how much I enjoyed it. My classes have introduced me to many new perspectives, including humanitarian work, which is now what I want to do after graduating.

Describe a project done through the program that you are particularly proud of.

This summer, I attended Dr. Leatherman’s United Nations Security Council Crisis Simulation course, a mock simulation class centered around the inner workings of the UN Security Council. Each student was given a country to represent. We all had to draft opening and closing statements based on our own countries values, and then worked together to draft a resolution statement that each nation would be comfortable drafting. In addition to our coursework, the class toured the United Nations headquarters. The course was incredibly impactful and eye opening. Drafting a resolution that all members would agree upon was a challenge and it shed light onto the intricacies of the United Nations’ work. Furthermore, it was interesting to see how different nations responded to humanitarian crisis and how these perspectives shape the humanitarian field as a whole. I found resolution making oddly enjoyable, and this course has made me consider working for the United Nations after graduation.

What attributes regarding the faculty did you find particularly helpful/encouraging?

The professors in the international business department are spectacular. They are incredibly dedicated and passionate and have been open minded to my work, opinions, and writing. Passionate professors make the best courses because their enjoyment of the subject rubs off on their students. All of my professors are quick to help when I have any questions, whether they’re about my career or how to write in an active voice. Their dedication to their students makes a world of difference.

Describe a favorite course and how it helped your academic growth

International businesses courses are by far my favorite classes every semester. Dr. Jones’ class, “People, Places, and Global Issues,” was an incredibly eye opening experience. She taught her class in a perspective I was unaccustomed to. It took me out of my very one-sided way of thinking - based on my own personal experiences - and showed me situations from the perspectives of those who are on the receiving end. It taught me that it is very easy to overlook injustice when it does not affect you, and it is very easy to pretend it isn’t happening.

Describe the ways that the University’s Jesuit mission and identity had a positive influence in your academic and personal experience.

The Jesuit values have affected my life more than I thought they would when I first began at this university. The level of compassion and empathy I have learned will serve me all of my life. It is because of this understanding and empathy that I want to join the humanitarian field and serve those in need. These values have shaped who I am as a person, and have instilled in me a need to serve those around me.

Events Calendar

From alumni and internship panels to special guest lecturers and field trips, the International Business program offers a wide variety of exciting and enriching educational events throughout the year. Learn more about the many events being hosting on and off campus this semester. 

Student Spotlight

Abigail Dovan headshot

Abigail Dovan

Class of '20

Get to Know Abigail

Name: Abigail Dovan
Undergrad Degree: International Business and Business Management double major with a minor in Spanish
Hometown: Rochester, NY
Extracurricular Activities: International Business & Studies Club, Women’s Rugby Team, Dolan School of Business Dean’s Student Advisory Board

Why did I choose Fairfield?

Fairfield has a great business program, amazing study abroad opportunities, and a gorgeous campus. I met kind people right off the bat and felt at home despite being six hours away. I was enchanted by the opportunities of being close to NYC and all that the classrooms had to offer.

What interested you about the International Business Program?

My passion for travel has always been apparent and something that I would like to maintain in my future career. International business seemed like the best way to incorporate my passions and grow in the classroom.

Are there any classes you've really enjoyed so far or are looking forward to taking?

I enjoyed taking “Negotiating Skills” while studying abroad in Barcelona and learning how to better handle myself in all different types of relationships. I am looking forward to taking “International Law” this coming fall and learning more about the field. I am also excited to begin working on my capstone!

What is something unique that you bring to the International Business program?

Since my freshman year, I have worked hard to help build and develop the International Business and Studies Club. While there have been many bumps along the way, we have cultivated a fun club that aims to provide useful events and resources for our fellow classmates.

What are your future plans?

I will graduate next May and plan to branch out into the business world with a job that requires traveling and meeting professionals of other cultures.

Anything else you'd like other potential International Business students to know about you?

I love to travel and have done two abroad experiences through Fairfield. The first was the faculty-led Russian history course in St. Petersburg, which was a truly unforgettable experience. The second was a full spring semester in Barcelona, Spain where I made the most amazing memories and learned more than any semester before.

Student Resources

Academic Information

Summer International Internships

Please see our Global Fairfield Program website for more information about this exciting new program.

Scholarships and Fellowships

For useful information on scholarships and fellowships related to global learning, please see this site.

For information regarding grants and fellowships for graduate students, please see: Fellowship Finder

Professional Associations and Organizations

The following international institutions and organizations are relevant to the field of International Studies

Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs (APSIA)

International Monetary Fund (IMF)

International Studies Association (ISA)

United Nations (UN)

United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)

The World Bank Group

Student Learning Outcomes

  1. Accurately summarize in writing the key points of scholarly work.
  2. Identify different "theories", analyses, or perspectives on social behavior.
  3. Accurately juxtapose two different analyses of a situation or event.
  4. Demonstrate an understanding of the linkages between local phenomena and global processes.

International Business/Studies Club

The International Business and International Studies Club supports networking and career building activities among students interested in the global context of International Business. Students of all majors are welcome to join. The club offer mentoring, events, contacts, and advice on internships, study abroad, career preparation, leadership, and life at Fairfield.

Model UN

Fairfield's Model UN is a student club that operates under the United Nations Association of the United States of America (UNA USA) and is open to all undergraduates in any major. An average of two or three conferences per year (national and international) enable selected members to compete with peers from all over the world, while feeding their interest in current events, increasing their public speaking skills, and opening up their minds to the political, social, and economic landscape of other countries.

Peace Corps Prep Program

Fairfield University is pleased to collaborate with the Peace Corps to offer a unique interdisciplinary preparatory program which prepares students for international development fieldwork and potential Peace Corps service.

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