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International Business Minor

The International Business Minor is a credential for Smeal College of Business students to demonstrate their education in international business at Penn State and globally, by studying abroad.

The International Business Minor is an academic credential for Smeal College of Business students to demonstrate their education in international business at Penn State and globally. 
Effective Fall 2022, there are two-tracks offered.

The Smeal College International Business Minor (IB_UMNR) provides students with the knowledge, skills, and experiences that prepare them for a business career that might include international responsibilities. Mastery of fundamental business concepts, coursework in international business, business related topics, culture, foreign language skills, and approved study abroad experiences each contribute to build perspectives about the challenges and opportunities of cultural and commercial activity in a global business environment.

The minor is designed to complement studies in business where students seek a deeper understanding of commerce and culture beyond their home country. For those interested in studying abroad, the global immersion track offers the chance to experience and study business, language, and culture for six or more weeks through an approved education abroad program. Others may choose the global business track and focus on a deeper understanding of international business.  Either way, students develop a life-long appreciation for global business and culture that prepares them for a career beyond traditional boundaries.

What is International Business?

In an increasingly globalized economy, students are strongly encouraged to internationalize their undergraduate education. International business increases one’s awareness in the global marketplace while broadening perspectives of different business cultures, practices, and challenges. Companies value candidates who have strong business skills and possess intercultural communication skills.

IB Minor Academic Plan Form

An *IB Minor Academic Plan form is required and should be prepared early in consultation with an International Programs Adviser in the Smeal College of Business in order for students to understand the track options and to plan and schedule course requirements accordingly. The Academic Plan should be submitted to an International Programs Adviser once a student is permanently enrolled in their major (FIN, MKTG etc), usually 5th semester. Submit to your International Programs Adviser in person or via email or send to .

Students are encouraged to schedule an appointment with the Strickler Office of International Programs prior to completing this form.

*Students who were admitted to Penn State prior to Aug 22, 2022 and are planning to study abroad should complete the previous version of the International Business Minor Academic Plan. 


  • Complete the following core courses with grades of “C” or better. ACCTG 211, MGMT 301, MKTG 301.
  • Complete 27 credits of IB Minor requirements outlined below. A grade of "C" or higher is required in all courses for the IB minor.
  • Courses cannot double count in multiple areas of the minor.
  • Students must select either the Global Immersion or Global Business track.
  • Submit an IB Minor Academic Plan.

1. Prescribed Courses (9 credits).

Must be taken at PSU. Take all 3 courses:
FIN 301, SCM 301, BA 411

2. Additional Courses (6 credits).

Must be taken at PSU. Select 6 credits from the following:
IB 303, IB 403, IB 404, IB 450, IB 460, IB 470, IB 497 (Special Topics: Sustainability and IB)

3. Supporting Courses and Related Areas (12 credits). In consultation with Strickler Office of International Programs (SOIP). May be taken abroad or at PSU.

Choose one of two tracks:

Global Immersion Track - Study Abroad Program (6 credits)


 Global Business Track (6 credits)

Select 6 credits from an approved Education Abroad Program.

  • See the Choosing a Program page for a full list of approved summer or semester programs.
  • Courses may be in business or non-business disciplines offered by the program. Smeal business major courses cannot be taken abroad.


Select 3 credits of PSU courses in each category

  • Additional IB 400 level course (3 credits): IB 403, IB 404, IB 450, IB 460, IB 470, IB 497 Sustainability and IB
  • Global Business-Related Course at 300 or 400 level at PSU (3 credits):
    See Approved Course List

Notes for courses taken abroad:

  • Students must complete the number of units required by Penn State for the program they attend in order to satisfy the minor requirements.
  • All courses taken abroad receive a letter grade and count towards overall GPA.
  • Internship credit is permitted abroad but does not count towards IB minor requirements.
  • Take care not to repeat courses taken at Penn State. Duplicate courses or language courses at or below the level already achieved at Penn State will not count towards the IB minor.

In addition to one of the Tracks above, all students must complete 6 credits of Global Business, Culture or Language Courses

Students must select 2 distinct categories from the following list:

    a. Additional IB 400 level course at PSU (IB 403, IB 404, IB 450, IB 460, IB 470, IB 497)
Reminder that courses cannot double count within the minor. For the Global Immersion track, this option would be a 3rd IB course at PSU. For the Global Business track, it would be a 4th IB course at PSU.

    b. 300 or 400 level Culture Course at PSU: Fall 2024 | Spring 2024Summer 2024
Approved culture course lists will be posted for the upcoming semester prior to scheduling dates. Past semester lists may be used as a reference for courses historically offered but are not guaranteed to be offered in future semesters.

    c. Foreign Language at the 15th unit level at PSU or abroad
Next level of language offered after the completion of level 3. For example, SPAN 100 after completion of SPAN 003. Academic credit must be posted in Lion Path. Transfer or AP credits are accepted. Language proficiency test certifying 15th credit or above is accepted for this category and requires documentation.

    d. Second Foreign Language
A language course at any level in any language other than the language used to complete the Smeal major requirement for 12th credit foreign language. Academic credit must be posted in Lion Path. Transfer or AP credits are accepted. Language proficiency test is accepted for this category and requires documentation.

    e. Special Destination Course Abroad (prior approval required)
Not offered on all programs. Schedule a meeting with the Smeal Office of International Programs.

     f. International Course Abroad (prior approval required)
Pre-approved course options vary by program. Schedule a meeting with the Smeal Office of International Programs.


Other Education Abroad Program Petition

The International Business (IB) Minor was created to give business students an opportunity to complement their academic experience with an education abroad program and courses focused on increasing one's global awareness. The IB Minor Choosing a Program page provides a list of Penn State education abroad programs approved for satisfying IB Minor Global Immersion or Supporting Course requirements.

There may be circumstances in which an exception will be made to this list of pre-approved programs. If you feel that another Education Abroad program can provide the academic quality required for the education abroad component of the IB Minor, please submit a petition to our office. The petition must be submitted before your departure on the study abroad program.

Education Abroad Petition

Independent Study (IB 496) Petition

Students interested in pursuing an independent study in the field of international business may choose to do so with the permission of an International Business professor in the Risk Management Department of the Smeal College of Business. Independent study is an opportunity for students to explore topics not otherwise covered by the standard course offering or to pursue topics covered in greater depth. If a professor agrees to supervise an independent study project, then s/he and the student will normally work out a specific plan of readings, papers, meetings for discussions, and/or other course work and a general standard for evaluating that work.

Students may petition for independent study credits to count towards IB Minor requirements, in consultation with our office. Please meet with an International Programs adviser and submit this form to our office.

Independent Study (IB 496) Petition