What is CMS?

For over 30 years, the LMU MBA Program has offered a unique opportunity to participate in an outstanding study of global business through the Comparative Management Systems (CMS) Program.

The CMS Program allows students to gain firsthand exposure to global management concepts and practices. The program is highly recommended for all MBA students interested in conducting business in the modern global economy.

The CMS Program requires a year of study and concludes with travel to 3-5 countries in a specific region of the world. In each country, students meet with business executives, visit local attractions and learn about the business environment, social culture, and customs.

While the actual travel for CMS takes place in summer, two semesters before the overseas visits, students are placed into teams based on their interests in specific business issues and areas. Each group is led by a faculty advisor. After two semesters of research and study, students visit several countries in a predefined region of the world.

Since 1983, CMS students have visited companies in more than 43 countries, including exotic and exciting destinations such as Reykjavik (Iceland), Beijing, Delhi, Hong Kong, Prague, Sydney, Stockholm, Bangkok, Istanbul and Rio de Janeiro.

CMS Overview

  • Student Research Project – At the core of the CMS Program is the research project based on a specific business issue. Students do background research in the year leading up to the trip, interview executives both in the U.S. and overseas, and present their findings after returning to the U.S.
  • Group Dynamics – CMS teaches students how to lead and work in a team setting and prepares them for real-life issues and challenges that arise in the workplace.
  • Cultural/Environmental Understanding – Traveling overseas exposes students to new cultural behaviors and opens their eyes to alternative ways of conducting business in a global economy.

Intercultural Development

The primary goal of the CMS Program is to train future global leaders to be more effective and respectful of other cultures and economic systems. The program offers long-term academic, career, intercultural, personal and social benefits.

Career Benefits

The substantial group experience obtained through CMS helps students develop their leadership skills. The international component benefits those seeking careers in almost any field and identifies students as informed, confident, self-sufficient managers who are able to learn quickly and adapt to changing conditions. Students should cite CMS on their résumé and in job interviews, and should discuss how their overseas experience made them more aware, responsible, organized and innovative professionals.


To participate in or learn more about the CMS Program, please contact:

Kala Seal, Ph.D.
CMS Program Director
(310) 338-2742

Jeff Gale, Ph.D.
CMS Program Associate Director
(310) 338-7406