Master of Applied Leadership & Management (Online)

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January, March, May,
August & October


50% for students
from emerging economies




January, March,
May, August & October


50% for students
from emerging economies


The world is innovating. Technology is changing lives and workplaces at an accelerating pace and the global economy is becoming increasingly interconnected. To succeed in this new paradigm, where breakthroughs such as blockchain, genetic engineering and artificial intelligence are forcing all industries' practices to evolve, a whole new brand of global leadership is essential. In a world of rapid technological transformation, Thunderbird is educating nimble, ethical leaders who are equipped to build sustainable businesses, economies, cultures and environments.

Lead and Manage in High-growth Markets

More than ever, today's global organizations need versatile leaders and managers with creative problem-solving skills who can elevate diverse teams across cultures in multiple markets around the world. Students expand their repertoire and sharpen their skills in Thunderbird's MALM program, a unique graduate degree program with classes taught by Thunderbird's world-class professors. The program is designed to explore new leadership and management practices for global organizations from a global perspective in order to deliver the highest quality graduate education in a flexible online format.

The Master of Applied Leadership and Management program is designed specifically for students from around the world and allows them to become a part of the globally connected Thunderbird alumni network that opens doors and opportunities all over the world.

Now Available Online in Mandarin and English

Thunderbird now offers its newly designed online master’s in management degree for the Chinese market. The Online Master of Applied Leadership & Management (MALM) is expertly designed to take Chinese students through a Mandarin and English based curriculum. Through Mandarin speaking faculty and cutting-edge technology, students in China can now have a high-touch, interactive experience earning a master’s degree from Thunderbird at ASU, with the option to attend commencement in person at our new global headquarters facility, under construction now in downtown Phoenix, Arizona.

For more information on Thunderbird’s new online master’s in management degree for the Chinese market visit:

Watch the informational video here:

Thunderbird School of Global Management has produced unique leaders for more than 70 years, leaders in every sector capable of tackling the world's greatest challenges. The alumni network comprises 45,000 graduates and 170 chapters around the globe.

Thunderbird Difference:

Global Mindset

Global Mindset

Transdisciplinary Skillset

Transdisciplinary Skill Set

Cross-sectoral Approach

Cross-sectoral Approach

4th Industrial Revolution Leadership

4th Industrial Revolution Leadership

At a Glance


Credit hours


12-24 Months in duration


Scholarships available for qualified students in emerging markets

Degree earned

Degree awarded
Master of Applied Leadership & Management

Online delivery

Online delivery, Flexible, Affordable


Full tuition cost (USD)
Other fees may apply

Alumni Chapters

Alumni chapters
in 143 countries


Option to graduate at Thunderbird Global Headquarters in Phoenix

Who should attend

Leaders who want to drive growth and proactively respond to social, political, regulatory, and natural forces that impact their business and workplace
Mid-level managers who support and lead teams who are looking to gain advanced skills in leadership in order to achieve a promotion
Thunderbird group
Functional managers in HR, finance, marketing, supply chain, and operations who want to be more involved in their global business strategy
Professionals from the public and nonprofit sectors who want greater knowledge of global business and leadership development

Student Testimonies

Master of Applied Leadership and Management

“Thunderbird appealed to me because of their global approach to leadership and global management in an increasingly interconnected world. The courses are based in established theory and designed to impart the skills necessary for professional advancement. I was able to take what I learned in class and apply it to real-world situations for tangible, meaningful results.”

Keegan Crosby ‘19

Master of Applied Leadership and Management

“The Thunderbird school's global approach was an outstanding choice for me. The faculty’s real-world experience of working in successful cross-cultural business environments, combined with the flexibility of the MALM program format, enabled me to get an education that was accessible and relevant for my own global career.”

Nic Bennett ‘20

Career Opportunities

Our graduates are leaders across a wide range of organizations in the private, public, and not-for-profit sectors around the world. Whether you are an upper-level business executive or an entrepreneur, this leading-edge master's degree will prepare you to assume your next position. The MALM prepares leaders to take on additional managerial responsibilities in global organizations or to make a career change across industries or sectors. This management program focuses heavily on cross-cultural communication and working in diverse teams. T-birds work in multinational companies and transnational enterprises in all sectors, frequently engaging within the international market.

By focusing on cross-cultural communication and immersing yourself in a diverse cohort of students from around the globe, we develop your global perspective, strategic decision-making, and management skills. Through state-of-the-art online instruction, hands-on experience in the field, and by connecting you with like-minded mentors and friends across our global network of 45,000 alumni, the MALM expands horizons and possibilities on a worldwide scale.

Thunderbird’s Career Coaches provide assistance with self-assessment, resume and cover letter development, building an outstanding LinkedIn profile, finding and applying for career and internship opportunities, interview preparation, and negotiating a job offer. Individualized career support and professional development are offered throughout the academic program to further prepare graduates to compete and excel in the global job market.

Recent graduates have been hired by top organizations in the following roles:

  • Chief of Global Sales
  • Senior Financial Analyst
  • Global Marketing Manager
  • Global Project Manager
  • Global Product Manager
  • Cross-Cultural Communication Officer
  • Technology Integration Manager
  • Innovation Manager

Top Global Companies Recruiting Thunderbirds include:

  • Adidas
  • American Express
  • Amazon
  • The Boeing Company
  • US Department of Defense
  • US Air Force
  • Starbucks
  • Peace Corps
  • UBER
  • Ford Motor Company
  • Google Inc.
  • IBM
  • Intel
  • Microsoft
  • Northrup Grumman
  • Verizon Wireless

Online Learning

Our custom-designed degree programs and courses are delivered online by the same award-winning faculty who teach on campus. These eminent professors design the courses using state-of-the-art technology and instructional tools, providing you with a direct connection to the knowledge and expertise of our renowned faculty.

Application Requirements

  • Resume/CV documenting work experience
  • Proof of English proficiency if you did not graduate from an English-speaking university in a native English-speaking country (TOEFL of 80, IELTS of 6.5, Pearson Test of English of 60, Duolingo 105)
  • Official transcripts from all previously attended undergraduate and graduate institutions, validating the completion of a four-year bachelor's degree. Sent directly to the Graduate Admission Services department at ASU.

Preferred/average work experience

Our preferred work experience duration is at least 2 years.

Application fee Domestic application fee: $70
International application fee: $70
Enrollment deposit Domestic & international enrollment deposit: $0
This program does not have an enrollment deposit
Transcripts Please send Bachelor transcripts to Arizona State University.

Application Deadlines

Completed applications are due three weeks prior to the start date.


Spring A (January) – December 15

Spring B (March) – February 20

Summer A (May) – April 30

Fall A (August) – July 31

Fall B (October) – September 20

*Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Recommended application processing time is 6 weeks.

Program Costs

Program is financial aid eligible

Tuition & Fees* for 2021 $33,300*
Thunderbird Global Excellence Emerging Markets Scholarship Up to 50% bringing approximate degree cost to $16,650 for qualified students in emerging markets.

*NOTE: All amounts shown in the Tuition and Fees Schedules or in other university publications or Web pages represent tuition and fees as currently approved. However, Arizona State University reserves the right to increase or modify tuition and fees without prior notice, upon approval by the Arizona Board of Regents or as otherwise consistent with board policy, and to make such modifications applicable to students enrolled at ASU at that time as well as to incoming students. In addition, all tuition amounts and fees are subject to change at any time for correction of errors. Finally, please note that fee amounts billed for any period may be adjusted at a future date.

**Additional tuition/fees may apply based on your specific program. Check with an advisor for more details. Please note that tuition and fees are subject to change without prior notice, upon approval by the Arizona Board of Regents.

Contact your admissions representative to learn more about estimated costs for books and materials, optional travel and global experiences.

Program Curriculum

Required Credits: 30

TAM 505 Managing the Global & Regional Business Environment (3)
Globalization has dramatically expanded opportunities for international trade, investment, and economic development, but potential trade disputes, international financial crises, political risks, international environmental regulations, and ethical dilemmas in global business have also emerged. In the first part of the course, we will develop analytical tools for understanding the rapidly changing and dynamic global business environment, especially in the era of 4th Industrial Revolution. With these tools, managers will be better prepared to manage risks and take advantage of opportunities in the global economy. The second part of this course deals with the Regional Business Environment. The course begins with a brief geographical, demographic, and cultural overview of the region, and develops tools for analysis useful to assessing the Latin American business environment. While the emphasis is Latin America, the same tools could be applied to any region of the world.

TAM 511 Global Accounting: Managing with Numbers. (3)
This course is designed to introduce the fundamentals of financial accounting and managerial accounting in a global environment. Financial accounting focuses on providing useful information to users for external decision making. By understanding the structure and process of preparing a balance sheet, income statement and statement of cash flows, students learn how interpret, analyze and evaluate domestic and international companies. Managerial accounting focuses on providing useful information for internal decision making. By identifying and understanding different types of cost information, students learn how to utilize and prepare cost-volume profit analysis, relevant cost analysis, activity-based costing and performance evaluation within global organizations.

TAM 521 Financial Value Creation for Leaders (3)
Covers fundamental theories and practices of modern financial management within a market-oriented framework. Develops analytical skills for sound decision making and management. Emphasizes practical applications and equips learners with tools necessary for making investment and financing decisions and corporate valuation. Learning is achieved via problem solving, lectures, case analysis and discussions.

TAM 530 Leading Digital & Data Decision Making (3)
The course includes global examples across industries and how leaders make managerially relevant decisions based on data. We explore how companies benefit from a digital ecosystem including sensors (IoT), Blockchain, artificial intelligence (AI), and augmented reality (AR) that move data-driven insights from the data scientist to the boardroom. We examine implications for customer relationship management, privacy, security, and global government regulation that are shaping and are shaped by the democratization of data. The course examines the importance of data visualizations and dashboarding for decision making that transform mere data into information and insight. We identify how to be a more effective diagnostic leader in a data-rich world, identifying opportunities to improve business performance.

TAM 541 Strategy in a Competitive World (3)
Focuses on choices that have an impact on the performance of the entire organization or business start up. Includes the problems faced by, and the decisions made by, executive leaders who have to balance the needs and expectations of stakeholders including customers, shareholders and employees with the requirements of local country practices and government regulations. Analyzes problems and decisions from the point of view of the founder, general manager or chief executive who has responsibility for the welfare of the entire organization. By focusing on policy decisions, concerns the choice of goals as well as the organization; management and deployment of scarce resources to pursue these goals within the context of an imperfect, changing and competitive world.

TAM 557 Global Marketing Strategy & Management (3)
In the first part of the course, we focus on macro issues such as market orientation, segmentation, targeting, and positioning and their strategic implications within the context of customer, competitor and context analysis. Emphasis is placed on analytical and managerial decision tools for creating competitive advantage, and the similarities and differences in domestic and global marketing. We will also examine how digital transformation has influenced the role of analytics in today’s hyper competitive organization. In the second part, we focus on the micro topics used to execute and implement strategies learned in the first part of the course. We will cover the marketing mix (4Ps), namely pricing, product, promotion, and place, and examine how these tools could be used to add value to firms in an international setting, and how they could be effectively applied to create, price, communicate, and deliver value to customers and important stakeholders using quantitative and qualitative analyses.

TAM 582 Communicating & Negotiating in a Dynamic World (3)
The objective of this course is to help improve your global mindset and your negotiation skills. We will achieve this goal by focusing on cross-cultural issues communication issues and negotiation in cross-cultural environments. The course will provide an in-depth examination of culture, its managerial implications and negotiation. We will explore various methodologies to understand and measure national cultures. We will then embark on a rigorous and practical journey to examine the impact of national culture, no matter how it is measured, on communication dynamics in a cross cultural environment and will focus on specific skill sets to help you succeed in such situations.

TAM 542 Global Leadership & Personal Development (3)
Personal leadership development is optimized by grounded reflection, self-knowledge and continuous learning as we interact with others. Therefore, the personal development part of this course cultivates introspective and skill-building competencies that include conceptual grounding that is based in an experiential learning focus. Discusses self- and other-awareness and engages in group/team interaction, as well as conducts individual self-assessments and individual feedback. In addition to developing ourselves at the personal level, developing ourselves as leaders at the organizational level is imperative to sustainability of the company.

Thunderbird Applied Learning I and II (a minimum of 6 credits)
Candidates for the MALM program are required to successfully complete a minimum of six credit hours of course work selected from the list of courses below. These competitive courses are designed to offer candidates an opportunity to apply the full range of professional skills acquired during their MGM studies, and serve all sectors: governmental, private and NGO/nonprofit.

1. TAM 589: Global Field Seminar (3)
This course provides a framework and an analytical approach to study the dynamics of the business environment in a particular region. Conducted on the ground in-country, it focuses on on-site visits to companies and/or government entities, and interactive discussions with speakers. It emphasizes contemporary issues relevant to understanding the business environment such as economic, political, societal, and cultural forces, especially in the new era of Industry 4.0.

2. TAM 596: Thunderbird Challenge Laboratory (3)
This is a capstone course offering students an opportunity to apply the full range of professional skills they have acquired during graduate business and global management studies. Consists of participation in a consulting project for a client system in an emerging market country across all sectors: public/governmental, private, and NGO/nonprofit.

3. TGM 507: Global Organizational Consulting (3), (online)
This is an online consulting course that provides an overview of the field of consulting and the role of the management consultant. It familiarizes students with the tools and techniques used during a consulting engagement, including project entry, problem definition, strategic intervention planning, data collection, problem-solving, alternative generation, feedback, project exit, client relations skills, and project management.

4. TAM 534: Global Venture Creation (3), (online)
This online course covers the most essential topics for first-time startup founders. It teaches how to quickly identify and test new business ideas, and how to launch a new venture when an idea worth pursuing is found. This course provides a good understanding of the entrepreneurial journey and what is involved when launching a new business. Students develop a new business idea, build and test a business model and deliver a professional business pitch at the end of the course. It is highly experiential and involves plenty of customer interactions.

Candidates may use a combination of courses to meet the requirement.

Note: All Applied Learning courses listed above will not be offered every term.


Program Description

Societies around the world are still reeling from the economic and social shockwaves that COVID-19 has created. In the coming decades, experts combining skills in leadership, management, global and public affairs among others, will play a key role in managing the increasingly complex and pressing economic and social challenges at the forefront of national and international conversations. Organizations need global leaders that can create positive change in a context where the frontiers between the public and private sectors, national and international affairs, are blurred. Their role will include facilitating strategic growth using a global and local lens that can sustain operational activities while scaling across regions and navigating social, economic, and political issues. Increasingly, organizations source personnel globally, and public and private leaders have to work with culturally diverse teams of global affairs specialists. These leaders will rely upon a combination of tools that require an in-depth understanding of the relationship between the Fourth Industrial Revolution in the global economy, cross-cultural communication issues and global negotiation, while also harnessing the power of agile governance for multi stakeholder dynamics. Sharpen your skills in Thunderbird’s Master of Applied Leadership & Management (Online) program (MALM) with a specialization in Global and Public Affairs, a unique online degree taught by Thunderbird's world-class professors.

This program is designed to explore leadership and management in public and global affairs and delivers the highest quality graduate education in an affordable format to prepare students for successful careers as global leaders. MALM combines Thunderbird’s prestigious tradition of graduate education with cutting-edge technology to deliver a transformative graduate degree fit for a true global leader.

Market Demand

The need for public and private global affairs leaders is growing. As reported by the World Economic Forum’s “Jobs of the Future” 2020 report complex problem-solving, leadership and social influence as top emerging skills in high demand across sectors globally in the lead up to 2025. These skills are paramount for leadership positions in the private and public sectors. Per the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the average job outlook growth rate is promising for position such as market analysts (18%), economists (14%), management analysts (11%), political scientists (6%) from 2019 to 2029. In addition, according to Mckinsey’s “Future of Work in Europe” report, Europe employed 977,800,000 business and administration professionals in 2018 with demand expected to grow by 31.5% by 2030. According to the “Jobs of the Future” report, professional, scientific and technical services, and the government and public sector were among the top 3 most retained positions during COVID-19. This is a true testament to the importance these roles have within organizations during times of uncertainty and their resilience to external factors. As our world becomes increasingly complex these global leaders will continue to be called upon to stabilize a rapidly fluctuating social, political, and economic global landscape. Thunderbird’s Master of Applied Leadership & Management in Global and Public Affairs will prepare and position leaders for success as organizations attempt to address a variety of public, global, structural, financial, and market-oriented changes.

G&PA Specialization courses:

TGM 575 Complexity, and the Art of Problem Solving/the Craft of Global Network in Global Affairs
PAF 589 Agile Governance and Multi-Stakeholder Collaboration during the Fourth Industrial Revolution
TGM 537 Trade and Regional Economic Agreements
TGM 588 Global Public Policy - Public Policy Economics and Analysis in a Global Perspective