FAQs: Degree Program and Academics

How is the Fletcher MIB different from an MBA?

The Fletcher MIB is a hybrid international business/international relations degree. It was founded on the principle that business professionals today must be well-versed not only in business management and strategy but also the complex reality of external governmental, legal, social, and environmental factors that influence business. The Fletcher curriculum goes beyond the walls of multinational corporations to understand the contexts in which these companies operate -- we cultivate contextual intelligence in our students.

While Fletcher MIB students acquire the concrete skills that an MBA provides through the core curriculum, they also study the full spectrum of issues that are inherent to doing business in an international environment. Topics such as international geopolitics, economics, trade legislation, business law, negotiation, the role of international NGOs, and regional studies allow students to prepare themselves for the reality of working in a dynamic and complex business environment. In addition, variations on traditional business are the norm here at Fletcher, such as political risk analysis, social impact, private sector development, and public-private partnerships.

What courses and topics does the MIB cover?

MIB students receive a strong core education in business subjects including finance, marketing, statistics, accounting and strategic management. The international affairs core includes classes in law, economics, diplomacy, and policy. All students pick two fields of study, one in business and one in international affairs. Additionally, students may take additional electives to add to their areas of expertise.

What types of students choose the MIB?

The MIB is intended for people who are energized by global events and complex interdisciplinary issues and seek an understanding of the role of business in those issues. Our students are, above all, devoted to working in an international environment and grappling with the complex global issues that affect businesses today. Some students seek traditional business careers, while others seek management roles in the public and nonprofit sectors, or work in the social sector of business.

To prepare, most students come from professional backgrounds where they have been exposed to these issues on a day-to-day basis and have lived and/or worked abroad. This is not only limited to corporate professionals but also people who have held management responsibilities within the military, NGOs, government, or entrepreneurial ventures. With over 40% of our students hailing from outside the U.S., Fletcher's diverse international student body is a key part of the MIB learning experience. The result of such a committed and experienced student body, the spirit of international business is a fundamental part of life at Fletcher.

Do you have exchange programs? Are students able to have an international experience while enrolled in the program?

While enrolled in the MIB program, students have several opportunities to experience the international work environment first-hand. It is expected that students will have a professional internship between their first and second years. With a dedicated career services office, there are many international opportunities available. MIB students will also have the opportunity to participate in one of several exchange programs at leading business institutions in Spain, France, Russia, India or China.

Additionally, many MIB students find ad hoc opportunities to travel abroad, through offerings such as our Field Studies in Global Consulting course, the D-Prize competition, our student research fund, and our global research fellowship.

What are the foreign language requirements or components of the program?

Navigating the international business environment with ease necessitates linguistic, cultural and professional fluency. As such, Fletcher MIB students choose a region / language to develop linguistic, cultural and professional fluency. One of the innovations of the MIB curriculum is to offer courses "in the language” that provide insights into the culture, history, and politics of the region while building language skills. Such courses are offered in Spanish, French, Arabic, Chinese and Russian.

The program requires that all Fletcher MIB students demonstrate professional proficiency in a foreign language before they leave Fletcher.

For non-native speakers of English, the native language in combination with fluent English suffices, though these students are still encouraged to participate in the regional courses mentioned above. English proficiency is demonstrated through the TOEFL or IELTS examinations or by having graduated from an undergraduate institution where the primary language of instruction is English.

Native English speakers must demonstrate proficiency in one of the major world business languages. While many students will choose one of the five languages discussed above (Spanish, French, Arabic, Chinese, and Russian), speakers of other major business languages & - German, Hindi, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese & - are eligible for admission to the program. Regardless of language, students demonstrate advanced proficiency by passing an oral and written exam while enrolled at Fletcher and must pass these exams in order to graduate.

Can I pursue a joint degree in conjunction with the MIB

Some students with very specific career goals are interested in combining the MIB with another degree program to develop a particular skill set. Fletcher MIB students can choose to pursue a joint JD degree with either Harvard Law School or Boalt Hall (University of California at Berkeley). Ad hoc law programs will be considered on a case-by-case basis. MIB students cannot pursue a joint degree with either an MBA or Fletcher’s MALD program because of the curricular overlap. Other joint degrees such as journalism, nutrition, or medicine will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

For more information on the joint degree application and approval process, please visit fletcher.tufts.edu/academic/joints.shtml.