group of SDSU IB students at graduation

Current Students

International business is an interdisciplinary major that culminates in a Bachelor of Arts degree offered jointly by the College of Arts and Letters and the Fowler College of Business.

This program integrates coursework in business administration, foreign language, and regional/cultural studies. It offers students an opportunity to combine two emphases, one in a language and one in regional/cultural studies, and to create a focused program of study suited to their individual interests and career goals. All students are required to spend a semester abroad and to complete an internship.

Schedule an Advising Appointment using the direct scheduling links provided in the International Business Homeroom.

Appointments must be made 24 hours in advance; system will not allow same day appointments. If you have an urgent issue, please email or call our office.

Contact Your Advisor: International Business Majors have three advisors ready to assist you. Contact information can be found on your International Business Homeroom. We recommend students...

  • Meet with the Academic Advisor at least once a semester, preferably prior to registering for the following term.
  • Meet with Study Abroad Advisor one year prior to intended term abroad & after attending study abroad workshop.
  • Meet with Internship/Career Advisor one semester prior to intended internship (two for internships abroad).

General Questions: email to [email protected] or call office at (619) 594-4505

Students should meet with the IB Academic Advisor during their first semester on campus to create a study plan. Creating a study plan will assist students with course planning, staying on track to declare upper division and preparing for your semester abroad. 

It is recommended students take a language course every semester. Students are also encouraged to maintain a balance of business, language, regional and GE courses every semester. 

For information on the required courses for the major please refer to the following resources.  

  • IB Academic Advising Guides can be found on the IB Homeroom on Canvas or in the IB Office (be sure to select the guide for your region/language of emphasis and catalog year).
  • The International Business section of the General Catalog (refer to the catalog year for which you were admitted).
  • Visit MyMap for the recommended courses sequence to fulfill your major requirements.

Declare Upper Division

Students declare upper division upon completion of their lower division courses in the language, business and regional cultural areas of your major and have achieved a 2.9 cumulative GPA. Declaring upper division moves students from “Pre-IB” to “International Business” major status.

Use the advising guide appropriate to your catalog year AND region/language of emphasis as a guide for required courses. Advising guides are found on the IB Homeroom Canvas page. 

*Please note students may take upper division language and regional courses prior to declaring upper division. You will be unable to register for ANY upper division business courses until you have officially declared upper division in the major.

Retention Policy

2016 and prior catalog years: The international business program expects all students to make reasonable academic progress towards the degree. Pre-majors who have earned 75 units but have less than a 2.9 cumulative GPA will be removed from the international business pre-major and placed in undeclared.

2017 and future catalog years: The international business program expects all students to make reasonable academic progress towards the degree. Pre-majors who have earned 60 units but have less than a 2.9 cumulative GPA will be removed from the international business pre-major and placed in undeclared.

What you need to know:

  • We highly recommend students take ALL prep for the major courses at SDSU in order to prevent delays in registration.
  • Cannot double major in any department in the Fowler College of Business (i.e. Finance) Minor is OK.
  • Cannot double major or minor in the language or Regional/Cultural studies of choice (i.e. European Studies).
  • Cannot double count core business courses for a minor.
  • Can minor in same area as business focus, but the same course cannot be used to fulfill both the focus and the minor.
  • International business students whose high school language of instruction was taught in a language other than English may not take that language as their emphasis in the major (contact the international business office for further explanation).
  • English is not open to native speakers of English nor to students who graduated from a secondary school where English was the principal language of instruction nor to students with near-native fluency.
  • Japanese is not open to speakers of Japanese who have completed compulsory education through junior high school in Japan.
  • Complete lower division courses in the major with C or higher (if you receive a C- you will have to repeat the course).
  • No courses may be taken for CR/NC, unless indicated as such.
  • For graduation a minimum 2.0 in all areas of the major (Business/Language/Regional) is required.

As part of degree requirements students in the International Business major must complete a semester abroad requirement in their region and language of emphasis. In order to clear the semester abroad requirement, students must choose an IB approved program. We offer two different types of program options;

OPTION ONE: Study Abroad Program

Students must attend a study abroad information session at least one year prior to their intended semester abroad, see orientation tab for dates. Applications to study abroad are due one year prior to studying abroad.

Study Abroad Advisor: Position Vacant

  • Students who choose this option spend one semester (either fall or spring) in their region and language of emphasis on IB approved programs only.
  • Full-time enrollment required abroad (equivalent to SDSU 12 units)
  • Pay SDSU tuition and financial aid awarded as usual, unless otherwise indicated.
  • We partner with top universities/ business schools abroad
  • Not your average study abroad program (academically rigorous abroad experience)
  • Program availability varies by semester, placement is not guaranteed.
  • Housing typically not included but support provided by host universities.
  • Visit Aztecs Abroad for a list of current IB Exchange Programs. For student in Portuguese and Western Europe emphasis please see; Study in Portugal Network.

OPTION TWO: Internship Abroad

Students must meet with the internship advisor at least one year prior to their intended semester abroad.

Internship Advisor: Marisela LaPlante

  • Students that select this option must spend 250 hours at an internship located in their region and language of emphasis.
  • Choosing this option allows students to complete both their semester abroad requirement and internship requirement at once.
  • Programs vary in length from full semesters abroad to 8-10 weeks completed in any semester.
  • Internships abroad can be done in Fall, Spring or Summer
  • Financial aid does not apply to internships abroad.
  • Housing is included in some program costs.
  • Please note we do not have options in all regions.
  • Credit is received through SDSU - IB495 International Business Internships
  • Visit IB Homeroom on Canvas for a list of current programs.

As a requirement for the major the internship is unique opportunity for students to gain valuable experience and apply knowledge and theory learned in the classroom in a professional setting. Students gain hands-on experience, develop practical skills and have the opportunity to network and make connections in the professional field. 

Students complete their internship hours while concurrently enrolled in the course IB495 International Business Internships. The internship consists of 150 hours at the internship site and additional coursework for three units of credit/no credit.

Students complete the internship in their junior or senior year once they have obtained upper division status in the major. We highly recommend students complete the internship in their last semester of senior year.

Internships can be completed locally, anywhere in the U.S., or students can pursue an internship abroad for a complete immersion into their foreign language emphasis. We partner with companies locally and around the world giving students various options when planning their internship experience. Internships abroad can also fulfill the semester abroad requirement in the major.

Non-IB majors are welcome to add the course with approval from the Internship Coordinator.

Internship Coordinator: Marisela LaPlante
Email: [email protected]

The following scholarships are specific to students in the International Business major and offer generous awards to help with study abroad or intern abroad programs. To apply for these scholarships visit the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships website and search by your major.

Alvord Branan Memorial Study Abroad Scholarship

Dr. Alvord G. Branan began his career at SDSU in 1969 as an assistant professor in French. He became the chair of the International Business Program since its inception in 1989 to 1997. He served as a chair in the Department of French and Italian, assistant and associate dean for the College of Arts and Letters, dean of Undergraduate Studies. He also was a co-founder of the Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER) and of the MEXUS program which was the first bi-national dual degree program in the USA.

Created in 1998 in tribute to the memory of Al Branan, the International Business Program established a unique scholarship that will reward bright and talented International Business students who need assistance while studying abroad.

Michael and Christine Pack Endowed Scholarship

Michael and Christine Pack graduated from SDSU in 1970 and are successful San Diego business owners. The scholarship was created in 2000 to provide support to International Business students when aid is critical to successfully complete their education. In 2011 President Hirshman honored Mr. & Mrs. Pack by naming the “Michael and Christine Pack International Business Suite” for their longtime support.

CIBER International Business Endowment Scholarship

SDSU’s CIBER (Center for International Business Education and Research) was one of the first five centers established in 1989 and assists in linking work force and information needs of U.S. business with the international education, language training, and research capacities of universities across the U.S. It is now one of thirty-three centers nationwide. The scholarship is awarded to International Business students based on merit and financial need.

External Scholarships

There are many external scholarships which student can apply for; a good resource is the SDSU study abroad office scholarships page.

We highly encourage students to apply to the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship.

The Gilman Scholarship Program offers awards for undergraduate study abroad and internship abroad. This scholarship provides awards for U.S. undergraduate students who are receiving Federal Pell Grant funding at a two-year or four-year college or university to participate in study and intern abroad programs worldwide. Gilman offers fall, spring and summer scholarships.

Get connected!

International Business Society
The purpose of IB Society is to connect students with businesses worldwide educationally, professionally, and socially. Learn more by visiting the IB Society facebook page, the IB Society Instagram, or their website.

Business Student Organizations
With over 20 business student organizations the Fowler College of Business has something for everyone! Visit their website for a full list of clubs.

College of Arts & Letters Student Organizations
In the College of Arts & Letters you can find language clubs as well as special interest groups. Visit their website for a full list. 

Student Life and Leadership Programs
There are over 300 student organizations at San Diego State University, getting involved is the best way to make the most of your campus experience!