U.S. World and News Report announced Monday that the Darla Moore School of Business has once again earned the title of the No. 1 undergraduate international business program in the nation. This announcement marks the 20th consecutive year that the program has received the highest rank.
“Being recognized as the best among peers is impressive, but sustaining that record for 20 years is nothing short of amazing!” said Dean Peter Brews. “To achieve 20 consecutive years ranked No.1 for the undergraduate program and to be ranked No. 1 at the same time for the graduate international business program reflects the high quality, rigor and depth of Moore School international business programs.”
“The school’s academic partnerships with 65 leading international universities provide cross-cultural perspectives and real-time experiences to international business students, preparing them to lead and make effective decisions in today’s global marketplace,” Brews said. “In addition to the top-ranked international business program, the Moore School offers many outstanding degree programs across all the major functions of business, producing graduates well prepared for the challenges facing today’s leading companies, both at home and abroad.”
Michelle Jones, vice president of global banking and markets finance at Bank of America, was one of the earliest graduates of the undergraduate international business program.
“In a typical day I speak with finance partners in the U.S., London, Hong Kong and also in various cities in India,” Jones says. “Having both a broad background in finance and an understanding of cultural differences helps equip me to understand diverse topics and subtexts quickly.”
As an undergrad, she took advantage of the opportunity to study abroad and studied at the University of Urbino in Italy. Five years later, as an International MBA student at the Moore School, Jones studied abroad in Curitiba, Brazil, and Santiago, Chile.
These experiences, combined with the skills she learned as part of her curriculum at the Moore School, are invaluable to Jones’ work today.
“The Moore School provided me with the power to understand the construction of many different types of financial products – knowledge I use every day across the global markets businesses within the bank,” she said.
Today, the undergraduate international business program offers two distinct tracks: the classic international business major and the international business cohort program. Both tracks teach students how to apply the skills they’ve learned in local and foreign markets, with an emphasis on both hard and soft skills.
Justin Walker, a fourth-year international business and economics student, recognized the impact of his Moore School classes while studying abroad at the University of Edinburgh.
“A lot of my classes that I had in Edinburgh were with students from around the world,” he said. “What we’re learning at Darla Moore also applies to what international students are learning in Edinburgh, China, Germany or Paris. It doesn’t matter where you are, you’re learning the same international concepts, and I think, at least for myself and some of the American students from USC that I was within that course, we were able to articulate those points well, and I believe we’re getting an education that’s on par with some of these top universities in the world.”
One key concept incorporated within all Moore School programs is the idea of a transnational mindset. This approach prepares students for real-world scenarios and teaches them to reason critically within the realm of global culture.
“The world’s economy is increasingly global, and demand continues to grow for individuals who understand the global context of business,” said Marc van Essen, faculty director of the undergraduate international business program. "These skills are increasingly valuable to employers faced with the challenge of opening and integrating multiple markets and achieving cohesion in increasingly diverse workforces and contexts," he continues.
Walker said this idea of a transnational mindset is often discussed in his international business classes.
“It’s learning how to think like a global leader – someone who can go out into the business world and use their soft skills in order to engage these larger than life issues that people might rarely even think about,” he said.
Established in 1919, the Darla Moore School of Business and its faculty have guided and prepared students to become global leaders for almost a century. Annual admittance into the undergraduate international business program is capped at 160 students, resulting in a small student body that consists of dedicated, high achieving and diverse individuals. A personalized and rigorous course load, study abroad opportunities and various internships all ensure that these students are well prepared for life post-graduation. It is also important to recognize that all international business majors are required to do a second major in a functional area of business or economics. This requirement provides exceptional preparation for their first jobs and significantly enhances student value in the marketplace.
“Being recognized by business school deans throughout the world as the best program in international business over the past 20 years is incredible … but also humbling,” Senior Associate Dean Kendall Roth said. “As faculty and staff, we will continue our deep commitment in providing our students with a truly exceptional international business education, preparing them to become the global business leaders of the future.”
By Jenna Schiferl