“We made some important resolutions during the school’s first year. One was that this school would always keep itself free to experiment (both in subject matter and in educational techniques.) Another was that the school would always keep itself wide awake to new developments and to new information. Third, we decided to make the institution as practical and realistic as we possibly could . . . “

- General Barton Kyle Yount


While the words of Dr. William Lytle Schurz, “Borders frequented by trade seldom need soldiers” are perhaps better known and explain the why of Thunderbird, this quote from General Yount explains how Thunderbird will deliver on its promise.

Today, in following the mindset established when Thunderbird was founded, the school is pleased to announce the creation of a new degree, developed in the spirit of innovation that has always guided what we do – the Online Master of Applied Leadership and Management (MALM).

The MALM is a scalable, digitally powered degree to be offered at an affordable cost ($15K USD) in emerging and frontier countries. The program will develop the next generation of local leaders within their respective countries and serve those who want to build entrepreneurial skills or run their own businesses. By bringing the hallmarks of a Thunderbird education to underserved populations, the MALM program will positively impact economic development and social welfare in high-growth regions of the world.

This degree, which will launch in January of 2018, is a 30 credit, accredited master's degree, that can be completed in approximately one year. The program is forward-thinking in both its curriculum and delivery format. MALM curriculum is based on examining leadership and management through the lens of high-growth and emerging markets. This focus allows students in emerging markets to learn practical skills in a relevant context, while also providing a global view of business for non-emerging market students. In addition, the curriculum is stackable in nature.

Students are introduced to the program by completing four online courses offered by Thunderbird through the edX MicroMasters. The MicroMasters courses account for eight credit hours of study (27% of the total credit requirements for the MALM degree) and when completed result in a stand-alone Certificate in International Business Management. After completing the certificate, students can roll their MicroMasters credits into the rest of the program on Thunderbird’s online learning platform (8 more online courses, 22 credits). The culmination of the program is a capstone course focused on the creation of either a business or strategic plan. This capstone course can be completed via an in-person experience at select global locations or online.

In short, the Master of Applied Leadership & Management seeks to advance Thunderbird’s mission of educating global leaders who in turn create sustainable prosperity worldwide. The program is now accepting applications. Please contact Dr. Ted Cross, the academic director of the MALM program, at ted.cross@thunderbird.asu.edu