Excited about your Dual Degree in Business Administration and International Relations? Caio Emanuel Marques, current IE University student, was too! Now he’s excited to share his IE University inside tips with future students!

Why did you decide to study the Dual Degree in Business Administration and International Relations?

When I was trying to choose what I wanted to study, I always saw myself studying either Business Administration or International Relations. I was really struggling trying to decide between the two. So, when I found out that IE University offers the opportunity to study them as a dual program, I knew I had found my place and my degree of choice. The main thing that motivated me was the chance to study business aspects with an international mindset. Our professors point out that mixing the two degrees in the classroom proves that it’s almost impossible to keep the two worlds apart in today’s world.

What are the main topics in class?

The Dual Degree in Business Administration and International Relations is a combination of two degrees, so there is a mix of courses. So far, we have studied economics, politics, opinion formation, finance, accounting, international aid and conflict resolution, and international relations theory. The best part is that it doesn’t feel like two separate programs because we apply what we’ve learned in our International Relations courses to the Business Administration courses.

What was your favorite class and why?

I really loved Public Opinion and Political Communication because we learned about how people think, along with a couple techniques that politicians use to manipulate opinions. I also loved my Economic Environment class. This course helped us tie up everything we had learned about economics in previous courses, look at the bigger picture, and see how economics works around the world.


Tell us about an average class. How long is it? What’s the workload like? Do you do more group or individual work?

This really depends on the professor and their teaching style. As both the faculty and the academic body are very international, I think that the influence of the professor’s culture and background can impact their class. In general, classes last an hour and 20 minutes or two hours and 40 minutes. The professor will lecture for the first part, and then we will have some sort of discussion or another activity such as case studies, exercises, or group work.

How are the grades composed?

This varies with each course and each professor. The Business Administration course grades are normally based on a presentation or a case study, homework, in-class participation, a midterm, and a final. As for the International Relations courses, they normally are based on participation, quizzes, an essay or two, and a final exam. Participation is weighed heavily because class size at IE University is smaller than most universities around the world and professors think it is important to take advantage of it.

Do the professors use a hands-on or academic approach?

Another “depends on the professor” answer. It really depends on their style. Some professors adopt a more traditional approach, where they do the talking and we ask questions, and in the end we have a discussion. While others try to get us to think for ourselves by asking questions to see what we can come up with before giving us an answer. All of the professors are super interesting and by giving us a mix of various approaches, we never get bored!

How many hours will I spend doing homework or studying?

In the first two years there will be a lot of readings and some homework. I spent about two to three hours per day outside of class, and a little extra before exams. I found that preparing a short summary in my own words of each class I had that day incredibly useful, and I suggest trying it to see if it works for you. You should do some pre-class prep. When professors post the slides before class, read over them and then in class you can pay attention to what they are saying and take notes easily. Some courses have mandatory readings that need to be done before class. Read them. They will be the main points of class discussions, and you don’t want to be lost.


What are finals like?

The Business Administration courses have common exams, meaning that every class taking the course will take the same exam at the same time. These common exams were created by all of the professors together, so there is a personal element to each question. I’ve enjoyed this system so far.

The International Relations courses are dependent on the professor and what they prefer. Sometimes they will have a take-home essay exam, and sometimes it will be an in-class exam or in-class written essay.

In both courses, professors will tell you beforehand what material will be covered on the exam and the format they choose, so you will have time to prepare and not stress out.

What is a typical Dual Degree in Business Administration and International Relations student like?

This degree is full of diversity and most of the students have similar interests. The typical student loves discussing world politics and affairs, is interested in seeing how businesses work, is up to date with current events, and can express their own opinions on them respectfully. In order to truly be a typical student in this degree, you have to love what you are studying.

What exchange-student opportunities are available?

IE University offers a lot of opportunities to do an exchange program. There are programs in many countries all over the world. The best part is, we have even more options to choose from because we are dual degree students, so we can apply to schools who excel in either Business Administration or International Relations.

What are the internship opportunities? Are they easy to find?

Once a week, IE University Talent & Careers Center sends out a newsletter filled with opportunities for summer, part-time, and full-time internships. If you visit the career section on the online campus, you’ll find a newsletter with internship offers, tips on how to perfect your CV, and advice on how to land a job. If you keep an eye out, and utilize the resources offered, it’s easy to find an internship.

Tips for succeeding the Dual Degree in Business Administration and International Relations

  • Stay caught up on all your courses. If you feel like you’re falling behind, schedule office hours with your professor.
  • Research for essays in advance. This way the deadline won’t seem so scary.
  • Follow international current events. Ask your professor for some suggested readings in specific topics; they are there to help and love to see that students are showing initiative and interest.
  • Class time is class time. Stay focused. Your WhatsApps can wait, but the class will not.
  • Take notes and keep them neat and clear. Even though the class slides might be available, you’ll also want your own notes to use as a study tool.