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Thunderbird at ASU ranked No. 1 by QS International Trade Rankings for second consecutive year

Global ranking places Thunderbird ahead of Harvard, Penn (Wharton) and IMD

A line of graduates among different flags

The MGM degree, Thunderbird's flagship graduate program, stands as an industry standard for professionals pursuing careers in the global private, public and nonprofit sectors. Photo courtesy Thunderbird at ASU

May 23, 2024

The Thunderbird School of Global Management at Arizona State University has secured its position as the world leader in international trade for the second consecutive year, as declared by Quacquarelli Symonds (QS), the esteemed global higher education analyst organization.

This prestigious acknowledgment places Thunderbird at No. 1, ahead of Michigan (Ross), Harvard, and Penn (Wharton) domestically, and University of Cambridge (Judge) in the United Kingdom, University of Toronto (Rotman) in Canada, and IMD in Switzerland, internationally.

In collaboration with the Hinrich Foundation, QS has specifically recognized Thunderbird’s Master of Global Management, or MGM, program as the “first in the world” and mentions that the school is one of five American universities to be included in the top 10, as highlighted in the recent QS International Trade Rankings 2024.

Thunderbird is also the only American school ranked in the top four among international institutions.

The MGM degree, Thunderbird's flagship graduate program, stands as an industry standard for professionals pursuing careers in the global private, public and nonprofit sectors. It sets itself apart by incorporating into its curriculum crucial 21st-century skills like global and digital transformation, sustainability, inclusion and more, thereby enriching traditional global management courses.

According to QS, these rankings measure the universities that offer cross-border trade education. The International Trade Rankings focuses on international business and trade course content and innovative teaching, as well as the job prospects of the institutions and programs.

Part of the QS World University Rankings suite, the rankings were designed to help prospective students identify the programs that will best prepare them for a career in global trade, provide universities with effective comparative tools to uplift global trade education and enable companies to hire work-ready graduates.

“Once again, Thunderbird proudly secures the top ranking in international trade by QS. This prestigious recognition amplifies Thunderbird's unwavering commitment to its mission, equipping leaders across sectors to create a future of sustainable shared prosperity,” said Charla Griffy-Brown, acting dean, director general and professor of global digital transformation. “Through pioneering research and cutting-edge teaching, Thunderbird continues to shape the future of global management, driving innovation and excellence worldwide."

QS emphasizes that these rankings serve as invaluable resources for aspiring professionals, employers, universities and business schools, offering insights into the world’s premier international trade master’s programs.

This top global ranking places Thunderbird ahead of Harvard, Penn (Wharton), and IMD
This top global ranking places Thunderbird ahead of Harvard, Penn (Wharton) and IMD. Photo courtesy Thunderbird at ASU

“The consecutive No. 1 ranking of Thunderbird in the QS International Trade Rankings underscores our dedication to cultivating global leadership and excellence in international trade education,” said Lena Booth, deputy dean of Thunderbird Academic Enterprise and associate professor of finance. “This achievement serves as a testament to our innovative curriculum and the commitment of our faculty and staff in equipping students for success in today's interconnected world.”

The 2024 edition assessed 200 courses across 30 countries and territories, evaluating them based on seven key criteria, including course content, graduate outcomes, industry networks, teaching methods and research.

“The Hinrich Foundation congratulates the leadership of all MBA, specialized masters and executive MBA programs on the International Trade Rankings 2024,” said Alex Boome, program director at the Hinrich Foundation. “The top programs are recognized for offering robust trade program content, including courses on cross-border trade, policy, logistics, international trade finance and cross-cultural leadership. The results also reflect programs with professors with rich industry experience, strong industry engagement and innovative teaching approaches.”

Thunderbird's top ranking and score of 100/100 points among the top 73 universities and business schools worldwide (that also offer graduate programs in international trade) underscores its reputation as a leader in global impact and academic excellence. The perfect score is also underpinned by the fact that Thunderbird is the only ranked institution that scored 90 points or above, with the next institution scoring 89.8 points.

Since last year’s No. 1 ranking by QS, Thunderbird has continued to attract students that desire a different graduate experience — one that is focused on both the global and digital aspects of leadership and management.

“This ranking confirms the quality of Thunderbird's globally oriented curriculum and faculty," said Roy Nelson, senior associate dean of undergraduate programs and associate professor at Thunderbird. "Thunderbird degree programs — including our STEM-certified Bachelor of Science in international trade — include not only globally focused courses in strategy, marketing and finance, but also training on how to assess and seize opportunities in the global and regional business environments. This is a component of our program that no other school offers.

"After students graduate, they can also take advantage of an international network of alumni worldwide who love to help their fellow T-birds succeed anywhere they go. All this helps explain why Thunderbird's graduate and undergraduate programs are held in such high regard around the globe.”

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