International Business

International Business

Courses & Curriculum

The forces of globalization have had a dramatic impact on the business world. There have been so many global changes in the business world that people now often say that “doing business” is really doing “international business.” The sheer volume of business that is being addressed is massive in scale. As an example, over $1 billion worth of goods and services are traded each day between the United States and Canada! It is easy to see why companies today are in great need of people who know how to move money around the world, how to find new customers or where in the world to find the best suppliers. These are the skills that you will acquire by studying within the International Business major.

International Business Major

The International Business major at Canisius is unique in the Western New York area because it combines the study of international business topics with those in the realms of modern language studies and international experience. The goals of the program are to help students to understand: (1) what happens in business when an international border is crossed; (2) how business changes when a language other than English is being used; and (3) how to cross an international border when doing business.

International Business Learning Goals: 

The program consists of three parts. The international business component is composed of four core courses and three electives. The core courses cover the fundamentals of international business and the international dimensions of management, marketing and finance. This concentration will provide students with a solid background in a broad number of international business topics. The electives are chosen from a long list of choices. Students have the option to cluster these electives to concentrate on a topic, such as “Global Supply Chain Management,” or a region, such as “ European Studies.”

The language requirement within the major recognizes the fact that much of what happens in international business takes place outside of the English-speaking world and that it is always an advantage to speak the language of your customer. The program requires that students complete a modern language through the 215-216 level. Most students entering Canisius are placed directly into the 215 level if they follow through on the language that they studied in high school, meaning students can easily fulfill this component when they fulfill the School of Business two semester culture requirement. However, students are encouraged to continue their language courses beyond this level in order to take advantage of our study abroad opportunities or to accomplish a dual major.

The third component of the program is the requirement to participate in an “international experience.” We know that students who go on to work in international business will quite likely need to travel. We also know that crossing international borders can sometimes be a daunting task, both logistically and emotionally. Therefore, all of our students will have to cross an international border during their field experience. Students have the option to participate in short study tours sponsored by the college, including three week international business seminars, two week European Union simulations and four week immersion programs in Mexico. The most intensive experience, of course, comes from living and studying abroad for more than just a few weeks. We therefore encourage students to participate in one of our study abroad programs during the summer or for one or two semesters during the undergraduate careers.

Career Opportunities

Virtually any company doing business today would benefit from having an employee who understands how business is conducted globally, has some experience with a foreign language and is a seasoned international traveler. Graduates of the program will find careers in such fields as international banking, importing and exporting, and international sales and marketing. Students can also find jobs with companies that support international transactions, such as global logistics firms and freight forwarders. In addition to private firms, many economic development agencies need people who understand international business. The program will also be a good foundation for students who want to go on to graduate school to study international business, international relations or law.


Students in the program are encouraged to participate in an internship. These may take place at one of the many international agencies in the area, such as the World Trade Center of Buffalo-Niagara, or various public and private firms with an international clientele, such as Rich Products. Students can also participate in one of our international projects combined with a study abroad program in England or Australia. Students with sufficient language proficiency can also participate in an internship in Mexico, France, Germany or Spain.

Study Abroad

All students in the major must complete an international experience. Although this can be fulfilled with a short program, students are encouraged to participate in one of the study abroad programs that the college facilitates. The programs take place at the Catholic University of Lille (France), The University of Dortmund (Germany), The University of Oviedo (Spain), London Metropolitan University (England), The University of the Sunshine Coast (Australia), The University of Galway (Ireland), The University of Antwerp (Belgium), Sophia University (Japan), The Beijing Center (China), The Berlin School of Economics (Germany), Lorenzo De’Medici (Italy), and the University of Strasbourg (France). In all of these programs, Canisius faculty and staff are closely involved so that the credits accumulated by the student transfer back as Canisius credits. Students who participate in one of these programs through the college generally do not increase the length of their undergraduate programs.

Atlantis Scholar Program Double Degree

The College has entered into a unique arrangement with the University of Strasbourg (France) and the University of Antwerp (Belgium) that provides our students the opportunity to earn a European Bachelor’s degree in International Business from one of these two European partners.  Canisius International Business majors spend one full academic year in Europe at either partner university.  The course work fulfills the requirements for an International Business degree from both Canisius and the European university.  Students do not increase the length of their undergraduate programs.  This option is available only to International Business majors. 

Dual Majors

Because the International Business program is already interdisciplinary, it is very easy for students to fulfill a dual major. Students are encouraged to consider this option. The International Business major can easily be combined with one of several other business majors. Students can also form a dual major with French, German, Spanish or International Relations, especially when combined with a study abroad semester.

International Business Curriculum

Core Curriculum:  View the Core Curriculum requirements. All students complete these requirements as part of their overall Canisius education

Major course requirements: (23 or 22 courses)

Common body of business knowledge:
MAT 105 Linear Algebra
MAT 106 Calculus for the Non-Sciences
MAT 115 Calculus for Business I
ACC 201 Financial Accounting
ACC 202 Managerial Accounting
ECO 101 Principles of Macroeconomics
ECO 102 Principles of Microeconomics
ECO 255 Business Statistics I
ECO 256 Business Statistics II
FIN 201 Introduction to Finance
ISB 101 Management Technology
MGT 101 Introduction to Management
MGT 325 Operations Analysis
MGT 370 Managerial Environment
MGT 446 Managerial Policy Strategy
MKT 201 Principles of Marketing
International Busines majors:
IBS 301 Fundamentals of International Business
MGT 472 Comparative Management Systems
MKT 475 International Marketing
FIN 460 International Finance
International Business Electives (3 courses)
Electives (2 or3 courses)
Restricted Electives (must be liberal arts) 4 courses

Recommended Schedule:

Fall     Spring
Freshman Year
FYS 101 ENG 101
MAT 105 OR MAT 115 
  OR MAT 111
MAT 106 or free elective if Mat. 111 115/111
RST 101 PHI 101
ECO 101 MACRO (Social Sciences Field) ECO  102 MICRO
Modern Language 215 Modern Language 216
Sophomore Year
MKT 201 FIN 201
ACC 201 ACC 202
Field of Knowledge Field of Knowledge
ECO 255 STATS 1 (Mathematics  Field) ECO 256 STATS 2
ISB 101 MGT 101
Junior Year
ISB 301 MGT 472
MGT 325 MKT 475
Field of Knowledge Field of Knowledge
Field of Knowledge Core Capstone
Senior Year
MGT 370 MGT 446
IBUS  Elective IBUS Elective
Free Elective Free Elective
A&S Elective A&S Elective
A&S Elective A&S Elective

IBUS Core:

IBUS 301 Fundamentals of International Business: Study of the international dimensions of the basic functional areas of business. The course begins with a study of the comparative advantage of nations; progresses through the functional areas of accounting, finance, management and marketing; ending with the design of strategies for success in international markets.

MGT 472 Comparative Management: International business emphasizing differences in systems. Context and traditions in different countries and regions: social, political, governmental, business, labor, ethical, cultural analysis. Different management and business practices. Managing and doing business within and across many countries.

MKT 475 International Marketing: Issues involved in marketing products in global markets. The focus is on identifying opportunities in world markets and adapting strategies to fit specific national market needs

FIN 460 International Finance: Basic understanding, with illustrations, of how to apply elements of international finance to managerial policies and decision-making. Exchange rates and exchange risk.

Approved IBUS Electives include: MGT 473 (SPA 473) Language, Culture and Management, MGT 474 (MKT 474) Doing Business in Canada, MGT 475 Doing Business in Latin America, MGT 440 Global Supply Chain Management, MKT 478 Global Logistics, ENT 312 International Entrepreneurship, MGT 380 International Business Seminar, ECO 360 International Economics.
Double Major in International Business and International Relations 
The director of the International Business Program has worked closely with the International Relations Program to develop a double major in the two disciplines. To complete the major in International Business, a student must take IBUS 301 (Fundamentals of International Business), FIN 460 (International Finance), MGT 472 (Comparative Management) and MKT 475 (International Marketing), plus three international business electives. In order to receive International Business major elective credit, a course must be approved by the director of the International Business Program. Of those courses offered under the auspices of the International Relations Program, the following — HIS 300 (Historical Geography), HIS 331/PSC 355 (European Union) and PSC 442 (Seminar in International Relations) — are among those that have been approved for International Business major credit.

A student pursuing a double major in International Business and International Relations must also complete the core curriculum in the School of Business consisting of: QNT 101 (Quantitative Methods for Business, MAT 106 (Calculus for the Non-Sciences) or MAT 115 (Calculus for Business), ACC 201 (Financial Accounting), ACC 202 (Managerial Accounting), ECO 101 (Macroeconomics), ECO 102(Microeconomics), ECO 255 (Business Statistics I), ECO 256 (Business Statistics II), FIN 201 (Introduction to Finance), MGT 101 (Introduction to Management), ISB 101 (Management Technology), MGT 325 (Management Science), MGT 370 (Managerial Environment), MGT 446 (Managerial Policy) and MKT 201 (Principles of Marketing).

Recommended Schedule for a Double Major in International Business and International Relations

Fall     Spring
Freshman Year
FYS 101 ENG 102
MAT 105 
Field of Knowledge (Math)
MAT 106, MAT 111
OR MAT 115
ECO 101 Field of Knowledge 
(Social Science)
MGT 101
HIS 107 OR HIS 109 OR 
HIS 131 Field of Knowledge
HIS 108 OR 
HIS 110 OR HIS 132
Modern Language 215 Modern Language 216
Sophomore Year
PHI 101 RST 101
ACC 201 ACC 202
MKT 201 ECO 255
ISB 101 ECO 102
PSC 140 PSC 150
FIN 201
Junior Year
IBUS 301  MGT 472
ECO 256 MGT 370
FIN 460 PSC 345 OR HIS 399
MGT 325 Field of Knowledge
Field of Knowledge 
Language 300 level
Field of Knowledge
MKT 475
Senior Year
IR/IB elective HIS 300 MGT 446
IR Major elective IR/IB elective-PSC 442
Field of Knowledge IB/IR Elective
IR Major Elective IR Major elective
IR Major Elective Core Capstone

Students pursuing a double major in International Business and International Relations will most likely have to take two or three additional courses to satisfy core curriculum requirements and the requirements of the two majors. The number of additional courses will depend upon the level of the student’s math and language skills when entering Canisius and upon the award of AP credit.

A double major in International Business and International Relations must also fulfill the International Experience requirement.

Double Major in International Business and Modern Languages

Students interested in a dual major with a Modern Language must complete all the requirements of the International Business Major and 8 language courses beyond 216. The language courses may be fulfilled using Free Electives and Field Knowledge 3 courses. The remainder of the requirements can be fulfilled by taking 6 courses per term and by transferring courses from Study Abroad programs. Students with this dual major are advised to stay in close contact with the director of the International Business program and the chair of Modern Languages.