International Business M.A.

You have always wanted to study in a real international environment?

You wish to study abroad? You are proficient in English and two further languages?  You would like to work in a group of students from different continents? You appreciate their different cultures, beliefs and religions? You are prepared to adapt to new challenges?   

Then we have the top programme for you! Our MA.IB programme provides you with an exciting and challenging environment in one of Germany’s most bustling regions. Visit our website to learn more about the programme contents, contact us and find out about the professional careers of our alumni. We look forward to hearing from you.

At a glance

Abschluss: Master of Arts (M.A.)
4 semesters

Winter term only
Application deadline:
15th June
Language of instruction: English


Like marketing, financial reporting, business law and others, but also pick up current challenges, like leadership & organisation. It will allow you to specialise in your field of interest, e.g. marketing, accounting, service management or human resources, and will make you familiar with the methods of academic research in business and management. At the same time it will broaden your knowledge: Most modules take an international perspective on the topics they discuss. Learning will take place in small international groups and cover group works as well as small projects. The programme is completely taught in English.

Programme Brochure



The programme aims at preparing students for challenging positions in multinational companies or in internationally active public organisations. In particular, graduates are familiar with state-of-the-art techniques of International Business and have acquired leadership skills for a cross-cultural business environment.

  • Professional competence
    Students increase their professional competence by deepening their already existing knowledge of business issues and by adding the international dimension to skills and tools acquired in their undergraduate business or management studies.
  • Methodological expertise
    They further develop their ability to apply quantitative and qualitative analytical methods to business related studies.
  • Social competences
    Students maturate their competencies in self management and team work, in particular in a multi-cultural environment.
  • Leadership skills
    Skills such as communication, motivation, and building trust in personal relations and organisations are developed further.
  • Language and cross-cultural management skills
    A culturally diverse student group, one or two semesters spent abroad, and the obligation to use foreign languages prepare the students for the working environment in multinational companies and institutions.

International Focus

The MA.IB programme is truly international.  Around 50% of the students come from outside of Germany, all modules are taught and assessed in English and take an international perspective. MA.IB students spend at least one semester abroad. The teaching approach includes projects and group works, so that students will soon get accustomed to working in international teams. Exchange of professors and lecturers from partner universities further contribute to the students’ internationalisation. Many of the graduates keep in touch years after their studies - without knowing they have created a worldwide network.

Programme Structure

The MA.IB programme takes 4 semesters in total. MA.IB students spend their first academic year at the University of Applied Sciences in Mainz where they get familiar with the core subjects of international business. The third semester takes place abroad at one of our partner universities and is dedicated to the specialisation. During their final fourth semester students will work on their Master thesis either at the partner university or in Mainz. The program also includes an eight-week applied project which is an internship practical training period.

During their studies in Mainz or within the summer break between year 1 & year 2, participants apply the analytical tools learned in the first two semesters to a real-life case. Ideally, students do the applied project work in an international company in the summer break between the first and second year of studies. As students usually move from Mainz to a partner university, or vice versa, the applied project may be supervised by the partner university abroad. In exceptional cases, in particular when a student does not manage to find a company for his/her practical project, the partner university or Hochschule Mainz will assign a larger case study to the student as a practical project. After completion of the project, the learning success has to be reported back to the supervisor and  presented for a group of international students.

During the 3rd semester of the MA.IB programme, students are obliged to take at least 25 ECTS credits (5 options) abroad. This mandatory semester abroad should be used to specialize in either a certain field of management or in a specific industry.

Generally students spend their mandatory stay abroad at one of our partner universities, who have been carefully selected. Nearly all of them offer a study programme in English language – in addition to the national language. The modules taken at the partner universities are transferred to Hochschule Mainz – University of Applied Sciences as options.

At many partner universities, MA.IB students can also spend the fourth semester (writing their Master thesis) at the partner university. In many cases, the student does not only transfer the credits back to Mainz but may also be awarded the Master degree of the partner university (double degree). In order to fulfil the double degree requirements, the student may need to earn more than 120 ECTS credits.

Hochschule Mainz – University of Applied Sciences has a wide range of partner universities (see list) to choose from. However, students enrolled in the MA.IB programme can only select a partner university from the “School of Business” (orange, “Wirtschaft). At all partner universities marked with “DD” a double degree programme is offered. Applicants should indicate their preferred (partner) universities abroad (1-3) with their application and write the motivation for this choice in their motivation letter.

Important: International Office & Programme Management MA.IB facilitate study places at the partner universities.  All students are responsible for all other organizational actions concerning their exchange period. This means e.g. that accommodation, visa, programme content, should be taken care of by the Master student him/herself.

A student can also decide to collect the 25 ECTS credits at a University which is no partner of our University, but then s/he needs to arrange acceptance to this University him-/herself too.

During their entire study period (including the semesters at the partner university), students are obliged to pay the social fee of around EUR 300.00 per semester.

Usually in their last semester (Summer/Spring or Winter/Fall), students work on their final thesis which consists of a research project on an international business issue. The Master thesis may be combined with an internship in a multinational company or be based on an independent research project. Within the Master Thesis, students are required to apply theories and tools they have learned in their studies to real-life business situations. Usually, the student’s research and analysis is based on the student’s own empirical study. Depending on the nature of the study, the length of the paper is around 20.000 words. The master thesis doesn’t need to be defended, unless the student is aiming for a double degree programme and the partner university requires a defense.

Overview of tuition

  • Students with a German or international Bachelor degree: tuition free! However all students must pay a social semester  fee of approx. EUR 300,- for each semester of enrolment in the programme (also during the semester abroad). The fee is set by the student union AStA and contains a travelling ticket for a large part of the Rhine-Main area.
  • Students with a German "Diplom" degree or who already hold a Master degree: tuition fee of EUR 650.00 per semester.

Tuition for the second year stay at the partner university follows the host university’s tuition rules. Therefore, tuition has to be paid at the partner university. At many European partner universities a limited number of MA.IB students are accepted tuition free based on Erasmus exchange. In some (other) countries, a limited number of MA.IB students are accepted tuition free. For further details, please check the list of partner universities.

Induction Week

Leadership and Organisation
Applied Project
Master Thesis
(incl. Master-Seminar) at Hochschule Mainz or at partner university

Quantitative Analytical Methods
Strategic Management
Option I (abroad)
Business Research
International Finance
Option II (abroad)
Financial Reporting
International Marketing & Export Management
Option III (abroad)
International Business Environment
International Business Law

Option IV (abroad)
Foreign Language
Foreign Language
Option V (abroad)

Professional Career

The MA.IB programme allows you to acquire skills needed in international business. It broadens your knowledge adding a truly international perspective to your business education and prepares you for middle management positions. As a graduate of the MA.IB programme, future employers will appreciate your ability to cooperate in and to lead culturally diverse working groups, and your willingness to be internationally mobile.

Programme Information

Study Programme at Partner Universities
PDF, 87 KB
PDF, 188 KB

Examination regulations

Examination regulations (German)
PDF, 432 KB
Master Thesis Registration Form
PDF, 90 KB

Contact Persons

Prof. Dr. Daniel Porath
Programme Director MA.IB
Tel. +49 6131 628-3245
daniel.porath (at)
Judith Busch
Programme Manager MA.IB
Tel. +49 6131 628-3414
judith.busch (at)