How Good is the Thunderbird School of Global Management?

Thunderbird School of Global Management is your go-to community if you’re looking to build strong business connections and gain in-depth knowledge and exposure to international business. 

One of the world’s leading business schools, Thunderbird School of Global Management, has earned a reputation for preparing students to thrive in today’s complex and interconnected business landscape. 

The institution ranks the #1 management school in the Q.S. 2023 International Trade Ranking and the #1 most innovative school by the U.S. News and World Report. Thus, an ideal location for aspiring business leaders looking for a global authority to provide cutting-edge education in international business, leadership and management. 

Follow through as we take you through a review of Thunderbird School of Global Management.

About Thunderbird School of Global Management 

The Thunderbird School of Global Management, also known as Thunderbird School or simply Thunderbird, is a renowned business school – a pioneer in global business education for over 75 years.

In Glendale, Arizona, Thunderbird is known for its distinct focus on international business, cross-cultural management, and global leadership. Students who are passionate about navigating the complexities of the global marketplace consider Thunderbird as a top choice for their academic needs.

Thunderbird came about in 1946 by Lieutenant General Barton Kyle Yount. The institution initially started as a training centre for U.S. Army officers in international trade during World War II. 

Gradually, it has grown into a leading business school offering several graduate and executive education programs. Some of its prestigious programs include a Master of Global Management (MGM), Master of Business Administration (MBA), and various specialized master’s degrees and executive education programs.

Thunderbird School of Global Management Tuition

The tuition fee at Thunderbird School of Global Management is $70,000, and the programs run for a 16 months duration. 

The primary focus of the Global Management program cuts across global business, data science, legal studies, public policy, international affairs, entrepreneurship, and leadership and management. You can adjust the duration program according to need and complete it in at least 12 months.

Nevertheless, pursuing an MBA program can be financially draining. To assist well-deserving students stand a chance at the Thunderbird School of Global Management, the institution offers many different funding options based on merit, needs, Test score, awards, and international experience. 

Also, find out: Global Online MBA Scholarships at the University of London 2023 

Thunderbird School of Global Management Ranking

The Thunderbird School of Global Management consistently ranks as one of the leading business schools in the world by various reputable rankings and publications.

Some of Thunderbird’s rankings include:

Financial Times Global MBA Ranking: Thunderbird’s Full-Time Master of Business Administration (MBA) program has consistently ranked among the top MBA programs globally by the Financial Times. In the Financial Times Global MBA Ranking of 2021, Thunderbird’s MBA program ranked #1 worldwide for “International Mobility,” reflecting its strong emphasis on preparing students for global careers.

U.S. News & World Report Best Business Schools: The U.S. News and World Report ranks Thunderbird’s Full-Time MBA program as one of the leading business schools in the United States.

In the 2021 U.S. News & World Report Best Business Schools ranking, Thunderbird’s Full-Time MBA program ranked #16 for International Business and #24 for Best Business Schools (MBA).

In a recent analysis of management programs, Times Higher Education and WSJ ranked the Thunderbird Master of Global Management program #1 globally. Likewise the 2022 report, they ranked #1 most innovative school for the seventh time. 

Q.S. World University Rankings: Thunderbird has been consistently ranked as one of the top business schools globally by the Q.S. World University Rankings. In the 2021 Q.S. World University Rankings by Subject, Thunderbird was ranked #2 for “Business and Management Studies” and #4 for “International Business.”

The Economist Which MBA?: Thunderbird’s Full-Time MBA program was also recognized by The Economist Which MBA? ranking. In the 2021 ranking, Thunderbird’s MBA program was ranked #25 in the world.

Thunderbird School of Management Alumni

Thunderbird is not just like any other business school: it is one of the pioneer institutions with solid roots in training international business experts as far back as 1946. 

The Thunderbird School of Global Management boasts a diverse and accomplished alumni network, with graduates who have significantly contributed to various industries, sectors, and regions worldwide. Thunderbird’s alumni are known for their global mindset, cross-cultural competency, and leadership skills, which they have honed during their time at the school.

For a fact, one of the unique strengths of Thunderbird’s alumni network is its global reach. Thunderbird graduates spread worldwide, creating an international community of business leaders and professionals. 

This diverse alumni network provides opportunities for networking, collaboration, lifelong learning, and access to a global pool of expertise and resources.  

Some notable alumni of the Thunderbird School of Global Management include:

  • Kim Williams – Executive Vice President and CFO of Warner Bros.
  • Adel Labib – Co-Founder and CEO of Télésonique
  • Bob Dudley – CEO of British Petroleum 
  • Joaquin Duato – Vice Chairman of Johnson & Johnson
  • Halla Tómasdóttir – CEO of The B Team
  • Philip T Reeker – American DIplomat
  • Luis Moreno Alberto – President of the Inter-American Development Bank
  • Revathi Advaithi – CEO of Flextronics
  • Ramon Laguarta – CEO of PepsiCo.
  • Olga Zoutendijk – Chairperson Fnality and Senior Staff at Julius Baer
  • Hakuziyaremye Soraya – Minister of Trade and Industry of Rwanda

Some notable Thunderbird School of Global Management alumni recruiters include Amazon, Walmart, Exxon, Microsoft, Petsmart, Nationwide, Liberty Mutual, and Kohler.

In addition, Thunderbird also has a strong tradition of alumni engagement, with active alumni chapters and associations in various countries and regions. These alumni groups facilitate networking events, professional development opportunities, and social gatherings, fostering a strong sense of community among Thunderbird alumni.

The Thunderbird School of Global Management boasts a diverse and accomplished alumni network, who have significantly contributed to various industries, sectors, and regions worldwide.

Thunderbird School of Global Management Review

The Thunderbird School is a school with an excellent history. It is the foremost institution in the Pheonix area to focus on international trade and commerce education. In order words, Thunderbird has always had a niche from the get-go and still sticks by it.

Moreso, Thunderbird offers a unique setting that immerses you in the practical experience while studying. The school has a robust and diverse community, with most of the student body from around the world.

Thunderbird attracts students from all over the world and talented and highly-recognized faculty worldwide.

Some of the excellent reviews of the Thunderbird School of Global Management include:

Global Focus

One of the critical strengths of Thunderbird is its global focus, which emphasizes preparing students for international business and management roles. 

Thunderbird’s curriculum, faculty, and resources are designed to provide a truly global perspective, and many students and alumni appreciate the school’s emphasis on cross-cultural competency and international business acumen.

The faculty at Thunderbird School are industry experts with extensive experience in global business, bringing real-world examples and practical insights into the classroom.

Thunderbird’s global partnerships and connections with international organizations and companies also provide students with global exposure and networking opportunities.


Regarding academic reputation, only a few schools come close to Thunderbird. Thunderbird has a long-standing reputation as one of the leading business schools in the world for international business education. 

The institution has prestigious rankings, a global network, and strong connections with international organizations and companies often mentioned positively in reviews.

Thunderbird consistently ranked in various global MBA and business program rankings, including U.S. News & World Report, Financial Times, and Q.S. World University Rankings. 

Its strong connections with international organizations and companies bolster its reputation by providing students with valuable networking and career opportunities.

Faculty Expertise

Thunderbird’s faculty are renowned for their expertise in international business and management, with many having extensive experience in the field. Students and alumni often mention the quality of faculty and their ability to provide practical insights and real-world examples in the classroom.

At Thunderbird School, the faculty are very experienced with deep industry knowledge. You’ll typically find faculty worldwide specializing in international business and management. 

Many have extensive industry experience, including working for multinational corporations, international organizations, or as consultants in the field. This real-world experience allows faculty to bring practical insights and relevant examples into the classroom, enhancing the learning experience for students.

Experiential Learning Opportunities

Thunderbird offers a variety of experiential learning opportunities, such as case studies, simulations, consulting projects, and global field studies, allowing students to apply their knowledge in real-world settings. 

Many students find these hands-on learning experiences valuable in preparing them for global business challenges.

For example, Thunderbird’s Global Consulting Lab allows students to work on real consulting projects for global clients. At the same time, the Thunderbird Emerging Markets Lab offers students the chance to study and work on business challenges in emerging markets. 

These experiential learning opportunities enable students to develop practical skills and gain hands-on experience, preparing them for the complexities of global business.

Strong Alumni Network

Thunderbird has a global alumni network that spans various industries and regions, providing opportunities for networking, mentorship, and career advancement. Many alumni appreciate the strong sense of community among Thunderbird graduates and the support they receive from fellow alumni.

Diversity and Inclusivity

Thunderbird strongly emphasizes diversity and inclusivity, with a diverse student body representing over 80 countries. Students and alumni often highlight the rich cultural exchange and learning opportunities of studying in such a diverse environment.

The institution offers remarkable cross-cultural classes and top-notch international business education. They are exposing students to different perspectives and enhancing their cross-cultural competency. 

You’ll appreciate the opportunity to learn from peers from diverse backgrounds, which helps prepare you for working in global and multicultural business environments.

How Hard Is It to Get Into Thunderbird?

Thunderbird School of Global Management is a prestigious graduate school offering international business, global management, and global affairs programs.

As with prestigious schools, Thunderbird has a rigorous curriculum and global focus, so the admissions process is competitive. The school typically seeks candidates with a solid academic background, relevant work experience, leadership potential, and a passion for global business or affairs.

To apply to Thunderbird School of Global Management, you must submit an application form and official transcripts from all previous academic institutions you have attended. Other documents you require are a resume, letters of recommendation and a statement of purpose.

Some programs also request test scores, such as the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) or the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). You will need these tests to obtain funding from the Arizona State University Fundings and financial aid board. 

Additionally, non-native English speakers must demonstrate English language proficiency through tests such as the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) and the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) to be considered for any Thunderbird programs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is the CEO of Thunderbird School of Global Management?

The Director General of the Thunderbird School is Dr Sanjeev Khagram, who also doubles as the Dean of studies of the Thunderbird School of Global Management Program at Arizona State University. Dr Sanjeev is the primary Professor of Global Leadership and Global Political Economy.

Which Country is Thunderbird School of Global Management?

Thunderbird School of Global Management is a graduate business school at Arizona State University established in 1946. ASU, on the other hand, is a public research university in Arizona, Phoenix. 
Thunderbird was initially established as an independent, private business school, but in 2014, Arizona State University took over its control.

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