- Annual Enrollment:
- Average GPA:
- Average Age:
- 30 Master of Global Management (MGM), 24 MA in Global Affairs & Management (MAGAM)
- Work experience (in yrs):
- 5 years MGM, 1 year MAGAM
- % International:
- Employment sectors:
- Nonprofit, Government, NGO, Diplomatic Affairs, Foreign Service, Corporate
- Degrees offered:
- FT MGM, Online Master of Applied Mgmt and Leadership; Exec Master of Global Leadership and Strategy; Bachelor or Global Mgmt; BS in International Trade
- $70,000 total tuition (FT MGM); $31,000 total (Online MALM); $87,500 total (Exec MGM)
Global management requires a different brand of leadership. Thunderbird School of Global Management at Arizona State University prepares you to enter this complex and exciting market with specialized, hands-on training in international business, cross-cultural relations, global political economy and regional business environments. With your global outlook—and your Thunderbird education—you will stand out from the competition. Since its inception in 1946, Thunderbird has focused exclusively on educating global leaders in the intricacies of international management
Not just everyone is a fit for Thunderbird. It’s for people who are driven, focused, and who are comfortable with uncertainty and ambiguity. It is for adventurers who enjoy the thrill of discovery and new places. Thunderbird is for people who want a career with an international flavor.
The school offers intriguing degree alternatives to the traditional MBA: the Master of Arts in Global Affairs and Management and the Master of Global Management (available full-time, online or in an executive format). Our MA explores how global relations issues like international conflict resolution, sustainable economic development and humanitarian relief can be blended with business to drive economic and social reform. Our MGM educates students in the core competencies of international management and business leadership with an additional emphasis in cultural skills necessary for success in a volatile global marketplace.
Thunderbird also offers as a series of certification options in executive education, including online programs, multi-day in person workshops and custom programs. At the other end of the spectrum, in conjunction with ASU, Thunderbird also offers two undergraduate degrees: The Bachelor of Global Management and the Bachelor of Science in International Trade.
Regardless of where you may be in your professional journey, Thunderbird can help you reach your destination.
To receive information directly from the Admissions Department, click here.
With shifts in political dynamics around the world, how can global leadership students prepare for a world in conflict?
Many of the sources of conflict today arise from a lack of understanding of different cultures and the importance of global business. Thunderbird was founded based on the concept that if people of different nations do business together, they will be less likely to fight. “Borders frequented by trade seldom need soldiers” is how Dr. William Schurz, Thunderbird’s second president, eloquently expressed this. In an interconnected world, I believe a more altruistic attitude, open-mindedness, and ability to see through others’ lens can lead to a reduction in global conflict. Global leadership students need to learn effective ways to manage people with different cultural backgrounds and ways of thinking. They need to possess a global mindset, be aware of political and business environments in different regions of the world, and be prepared for the technological disruption in artificial intelligence, machine learning, and internet, which will change the world in every imaginable way.
How can “business done right”—ethical management and leadership—help bring countries and economies together?
Currently, many nations are experiencing an upsurge of nativism that blames others for the economic problems at home. This has resulted in unnecessary tensions and conflicts and is very inefficient and costly from an international economics standpoint. To bring countries and economies together, nations need to recognize that the biggest issue facing the world today is advances in technology and the associated disruption, not globalism. The technological disruption requires joint solutions that span across the globe. So, businesses and governments need to understand the importance of cross-border collaboration. It’s only through cooperation and mutual understanding that sustainable solutions could be created to address the challenges ahead.
How does Thunderbird’s curriculum prepare students to enter a world where global connections are critical to “getting the job done,” but political pressures could make that challenging?
Thunderbird’s curriculum is created based on the mission of educating global leaders who create sustainable prosperity worldwide. We not only educate our students on global leadership skills but also instill them with the sense of responsibilities to act ethically on every decision. Our curriculum exposes our students to global political economy and regional business environments and prepares them to face the challenges of doing business across borders. Students learn the intricacies of foreign relations and how to be sensitive to political tensions among the countries where they do business. Our curriculum also equips students with cross-cultural communication and global negotiation skills so they can effectively carry out successful global businesses.
Thunderbird prides itself on the development of our students’ global mindset. Students develop cultural sensitivity, embrace diversity and differences, and learn to be ambassadors of the world. That helps them navigate through political pressures and get the job done. With our experiential learning courses, students gain practical consulting experience and learn how businesses are run globally. We also have one of the most connected alumni networks, which plays a vital role for our graduates in an increasingly uncertain world business environment.
What is unique about Thunderbird, and how does it prepare you for a career in this age of uncertainty?
I am pursuing my Master of Arts in Global Affairs and Management; I just finished my first year. Essentially, the MAGAM is a specialized MBA. This summer, I took part in a Global Consulting Lab (GCL) in Ecuador with 3M Corporation; and now, I am doing an internship in Philadelphia with GE.
The applied learning projects give students a unique perspective on what it is like to work on an international platform, and the GCL was my first time working abroad. Currently, at my ten-week internship at GE, I meet people from Thunderbird all the time, and I work with people from all over the world. In fact, when I interviewed for the position, we had studied the GE-Electrolux acquisition—I was able to bring that knowledge to the conversation, and I think that was part of the reason why I got the job. The study was another Thunderbird experience that gave me an advantage.
Thunderbird has exceeded all my expectations. I tell people that it is the best decision I could have made—the doors it has opened have been incredible. At the school, we have the best professors and the best subject matters that really take students to the next level, both personally and professionally.
With all the changes going on in the world, how does your program give you a foundation for success in a dynamic job market?
The professors have in-depth background in what they are teaching—they have worked on a global stage with different people and different companies from around the world, and they bring that passion to the classroom and to the students. Everything about Thunderbird prepares students to be comfortable in uncertain situations. What I am learning at Thunderbird helps me to be more certain of the future and to make sure I have an impact going forward.
The merits of learning from and understanding diverse perspectives is more important than ever; how does Thunderbird prepare you for this?
The diversity at Thunderbird prepares students every day—classmates from around the world with different backgrounds, cultures, and experiences. I am in Washington, DC, right now with four other students, and we’re all from different countries—Bolivia, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, and the United States. That’s Thunderbird. At GE, I go into this experience knowing how to work with people from all over the world because it is what we do in school every day, and that makes for an easy transition.
What specific skills are you receiving from Thunderbird that enables you to be flexible and to adapt to change on your career path
We learn the hard skills, but the soft skills have been most important—relationship building and adapting to different working environments with different people. At Thunderbird, students are always in different situations with different people, and that’s where I feel I have grown the most. With this background, a Thunderbird graduate can always handle whatever is thrown at him or her.
What do students need to prepare for careers in today’s rapidly changing world?
We embrace volatility and uncertainty at Thunderbird and our promise since coming into being in the years following World War II has always been to prepare our students to be leaders in environments of ambiguity. Dealing with change, uncertainty, and the unexpected is at the core of what we teach at Thunderbird.
One of the challenges for students today, for anyone who wants to boost his or her opportunities in an international career, is finding a way to stand out. How can you differentiate yourself, find your niche, and achieve your ambitions?
In looking at a career in global management, by definition you are looking for something different. That’s what Thunderbird provides - starting with two degrees that are specialized, the Master of Global Management and the Master of Arts in Global Affairs & Management, and that also includes our top-ranked programs for executive education.
From the people with whom you study, to the faculty from whom you learn, to the global settings in which experiential learning happens, a Thunderbird experience is different from what you can get anywhere else. We invite you to ask our alumni and judge for yourself.
What has the school done to adjust to the new challenges in the global marketplace?
Thunderbird has always been an innovator driven by the people it attracts—a diverse group of students, faculty and staff who operate in a collaborative environment shaped by a shared mission. T-birds swear to an oath when they graduate, one that was created by Thunderbird students and focuses on being ethical agents of change.
We focus on attracting people who give the school its signature diversity. At every level of the school, it gives us the tools to take on new challenges that emerge in business, government, and cultures around the world.
Our degree offerings also reflect Thunderbird’s response to an evolving world economy.
Are Thunderbird’s new specialized master’s degrees a response to changes in business?
In many ways, yes—but it also is a return to what Thunderbird did for decades and the degree that built the school’s reputation. What Thunderbird offers today is a degree that reflects the needs of an uncertain and volatile global marketplace that is changing faster than ever.
When Thunderbird merged with Arizona State University in 2014, the decision was made to return to offering the degree that established Thunderbird’s global reputation, the Master of Global Management. A joint MBA-MGM degree is available in partnership with ASU.
In a marketplace for talent that is now well-stocked with MBA graduates, multinational corporations, export/import businesses, government and NGOs are all eager to explore opportunities with graduate students who offer something different—this is what a Thunderbird experience and degree have always offered.
Today, more than ever, we believe that it is much more than a piece of paper demonstrating academic achievement. Our students and alumni will tell you that the cross-cultural, hands-on, practical global experience that happens at Thunderbird is life changing-—and it is something that will only happen here.