Katz Global Research Practicum


The Katz Global Research Practicum (GRP) is a three-credit course with a study abroad component. The GRP exposes you to international business and current issues affecting the global marketplace. During your time abroad, you will visit companies, engage with executives and Pitt alumni, conduct field research, and experience international culture. 

The program is open to all Katz MBA students, most Specialized Masters students and other Pitt graduate students.
Please note, program subject to minimum number of accepted/enrolled students to run.

What You'll Accomplish: 

As an engaged and active participant on the program, you will have the opportunity to:

  • Explore business ideas and themes from a new perspective
  • Interact with international companies on current issues relevant to your GRP
  • Build key transferable skills for your future career

Latin America (Argentina) - Argentina is a land of contrasts. Once one of the richest countries in the world, it still ranks third in terms of income per capita on a Purchasing Power Parity basis in South America. The country is also famous for its rich literary and cultural history and a capital city, Buenos Aires, that is known as the “Paris of South America.”

Europe (Germany) - The third largest city in Germany, the Munich area is home to nearly 6 million people Known for its annual “Oktoberfest,” the city boasts a diverse and high tech economy centered around the automotive, IT, creative and biotechnology industries. BMW, Siemans and MunichRE are some of the more well-known companies based out of Munich. Augsburg is one of the oldest cities in Germany, dating back to the Roman era. The city also played a pivotal role during the Reformation in Germany and is home to the oldest public housing community in the world, the Fuggerei. It is also home to the University of Augsburg, which has a long-standing connection to the University of Pittsburgh.

Europe (United Kingdom) - The largest city in the United Kingdom, London is a major global influence on arts, commerce, finance and tourism and transportation. Though only 13% of the UK population, it is responsible for nearly 23% of GDP. During the 2016 referendum, the Greater London area voted overwhelming to remain in the European Union.

Where You'll Live: 

You will be housed in comfortable and centrally located hotels throughout the program. Students are typically housed in rooms with two double-beds and wifi and internet access. Breakfast is included.
Single room upgrades may be available for additional cost.
We do our best to provide the most accurate information about housing and amenities but due to the nature of the locations in which we offer programs and limited availability, these items are subject to change.

Contact your program manager with any questions.

What You'll Study: 

For the Spring 2023 GRP Program, you are able to select from ONE of the below destinations.
After selecting "Apply Now," select "Spring Break" for applications to Argentina OR Germany. Select "Spring" for United Kingdom.
Course Information can be found through the Global Research Practicum course button below.
1) Latin America - Buenos Aires, ArgentinaDoing Business in an Unstable Macroeconomic Environment
This course focuses on the challenging economic environment that is Argentina. The country has a long history of macro-economic mismanagement, with years of inflation, fiscal and current account deficits, IMF interventions and defaults. (In 2019, the inflation rate was 54%, and in 2020 it was 36%). In fact, the sovereign debt default of 2001 made it impossible for Argentina to borrow in international markets for more than 15 years. Despite this, Argentina has a thriving culture of innovation, a number of fintech companies, and a strong IT sector. How these companies succeed and how one conducts business in such a challenging environment will be the focus of this class.  

  • Top three learning outcomes
    • How companies deal with high inflation
    • Managing a Multinational Company in a country with volatile exchange rates
    • Conducting business in an unstable regulatory environment
  • Career track(s) most appropriate for:​ Finance, Accounting, International Business, Professional MBA students and anyone interested in Latin America

2) Europe - Munich and Augsburg, GermanyCurrent State of Environmental, Social, and Governance Reporting in the European Union (specifically Germany) and in the United States
This course focuses on Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) reporting, which attempts to measure and communicate how a company makes a profit, rather than just measuring how much of a profit a company makes. Germany, in particular, has been a leader in developing these standards, making the country an ideal location to study this emerging issue. In this course, students will explore the history and current status of ESG reporting in both the EU and the US, and the role of the accounting profession in ensuring that ESG reporting in an Integrated Annual Report provides relevant and reliable data and metrics to users of financial statements. 

  • Top three learning outcomes:
    • Understand the history and culture of Germany (especially post-WWII Germany) and the importance of the German economy in the EU  
    • Understand the history and future of ESG accounting standards in the EU and the US and how these reporting standards impact the business community
    • Understand the components of an Integrated Annual Report 
  • Career track(s) most appropriate for: MBA, MS Accounting, MS Finance, MS Supply Chain, MS Marketing, MS Management

3) Europe - London, EnglandCity of London: Understanding its Post-Brexit Place as a World Financial Hub
This course will examine the continuing business disruption caused by the June 2016 decision by the United Kingdom to leave the European Union. This program will ask “What happened and where do we go from here?”

  • Top three learning outcomes
    • Understand the history and culture of the important role that the City of London has held as a world financial hub
    • Understand the events leading up to the Brexit vote as well as the events that have passed since the UK left the EU
    • Research an area of business that has importance and operates in a complex environment impacted by the Brexit
  • Career track(s) most appropriate for: All MBA functional areas, MS Supply Chain MS Finance and MS Accounting

Click the below course tab to learn more about the general course requirements and tentative class meeting times.


Global Research Practicum (27XX)

This course is tied closely to field study abroad, providing a hands-on experience in a foreign culture. Deliverables from the practicum include a research project and a professional portfolio designed to capture the international experience. The course includes a trip to various businesses in the host country.  


Students develop a research question in areas of managerial specialization and draw evidence from the field study to support their project report. While abroad, students visit a number of selected organizations and/or companies, and explore current business practices/issues.  


During the spring semester, the group meets prior to the trip as well as after. Portions of these pre-trip classes will focus on developing the research project. Selected outside speakers may also join the class to share their experiences and perspectives on business and culture. Following the trip, the group meets for additional where final projects are presented in both written and oral forms and a capstone assessment will be given.


More information will be provided to accepted students. 

Course Meeting Dates:


  • Class 1: Friday, January 27 – 6PM – 9PM (in-person)

  • Class 2: Friday, February 17 – 6PM – 9PM (in-person)

  • Class 3: Friday, February 24 – 6PM – 9PM (Zoom/online); Student Presentations

  • Class 4: Friday, March 31 – 6PM – 9PM (Zoom/online); Student Presentations

  • Class 5: Friday, April 14 – 6PM – 9PM (in-person); Final/Capstone Assessment

United Kingdom

  • Class 1: Friday, April 14 – 6PM – 9PM (in-person) 

  • Class 2: Friday, April 21 – 6PM – 9PM (in-person) 

  • Class 3: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday May 9 -11 – 5PM – 6:15PM (Zoom/online); Student Presentations 

  • Class 4: Friday, May 12 – 6PM – 9PM (in-person); Final/Capstone Assessment 

*Classes subject to slight adjustment. Final class start times will be communicated prior to the start of the semester.


Experiential Learning Description: 

Deliverables from the practicum include a research paper and a professional portfolio designed to capture the international experience.

Students who have not had the opportunity to take the Global Competence Aptitude Assessment (GCAA) will be asked to do so prior to the start of the Spring semester.
Hear from Past Participants

2-Year MBA Student, GRP; Japan


“The University of Pittsburgh Katz Graduate School of Business’s Global Research Practicum (GRP) was an indispensable part of my MBA experience. The real-world applications and the experience-based learning of the GRP was essential in my academic coursework. The trip to Japan strengthened my ability to think globally, and helped me enhance my communications and interpersonal skills, while the research project challenged my ability to solve problems creatively and present detailed arguments and strategies.”


Master of Accounting Student, GRP; Ireland and United Kingdom


“This Global Research Practicum in Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland was unforgettable experience. I was not only able to learn so much more about the topic of Brexit, and all of the economic and political aspects that it has affected, but also on this trip I was able to focus in on working to better myself, and further develop transferrable skills. Specifically, this trip allowed for me to further develop my effective communication skills and my ability to adapt to changing circumstances, and deal with the uncertainty that comes with those changes.”  


Professional MBA Student, GRP; Asia


“Prior to participating in the GRP, as a part-time student, I had not built relationships with my Katz peers. After spending a week in a foreign country with classmates, I feel as though I built lifelong personal and professional relationships. Further, upon returning to work, I was eager to share my experiences from Japan with my co-workers and utilize the transferable skills that I gained abroad in my current workplace. I believe that this program has set me up for a successful future at both Katz and in the workplace.”  


2-Year MBA Student, GRP; Ireland and United Kingdom


“Altogether, the instructors prepared me with the right historical context, the staff provided us with opportunities to meet the right people, and ultimately, I challenged myself to ask questions that were meaningful, enlightening and fundamental to understanding the financial, political, and cultural landscape of Ireland.” 


Your Pitt Study Abroad Contacts: 

Bill McShane

I am the Experience Based Learning Program Manager at the Katz Graduate School of Business. Part of my responsibilities includes expanding and enhancing global programing for graduate business students. Originally from South Central Pennsylvania, I studied abroad in Berlin, Germany during my undergrad in Philadelphia and taught English on a Fulbright grant to Hanover, Germany for a year following graduation. During my time as a grad student at Pitt, I interned in Brussels, Belgium at the US Mission to NATO. After working for four years in international education in Washington, DC, I returned to Pittsburgh am thrilled to be back working on study abroad programming. Outside of the office, you can probably find me somewhere outdoors in the region running, biking, hiking or camping.

Contact me at wmcshane@katz.pitt.edu.


Schedule an appointment

I am reachable via email during normal business hours (M-F, 8:30am - 5:00pm).

Your In-Country Contacts: 

Dr. Ahmed Elshahat

Dr. Elshahat joined the faculty of the Katz School in 2018. Previous academic positions include Associate Professor of Finance, Endowed Chair of Banking, and Director of the MBA Programs at the American University in Cairo and Assistant Professor of Finance at Bradley University. Dr. Elshahat is a Harvard Alumni, and he served in the field in different capacities. Most recently he served as a committee member of the Enterprise Risk Management Committee reporting to the BOD of the largest insurance firm in Egypt. He served as a consultant for a number of firms across the globe as well as provide managerial development programs for firms like Caterpillar, Afni, Clinmedex, and the Illinois port authority.


Dr. Elshahat's research is published in multiple international journals including Journal of Economics and Business, and he is serving on the editorial board of a number of international journals, including the Econometrics Review and Austin Journal of Accounting, Audit and Finance, as well as serving as reviewer for journals including Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, the International Journal of Banking & Finance,and the Quarterly Journal of Finance & Accounting. He has taught various accounting and finance courses at the undergraduate, graduate, and executive level. Dr. Elshahat has received a number of awards, including "Most Dedicated Professor" by Beta Alpha Psi.


Dr. Elise Boyas

Elise Boyas began her professional career with Price Waterhouse (currently PricewaterhouseCoopers) where she progressed to the position of senior auditor before moving on to several industry positions. Elise joined the Katz faculty in 2009. Prior to joining Katz, she was on the faculty at Robert Morris University in Pittsburgh, Walsh University in Ohio, and Rutgers University in New Jersey. She is a certified public accountant (inactive) and a certified management accountant (inactive).
Elise’s role at Katz is centered on teaching and service and she has taught a wide variety of courses in financial and management accounting at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. Elise has received multiple teaching awards at Katz including receipt of the CBA Student Impact Award and the Part-Time MBA and MAcc Outstanding Instructor Award. Elise’s research interests center on pedagogical issues.

Prof. Heidi Bartholomew

Heidi Bartholomew joined the faculty of the Katz School in 2010. Previously, Heidi held various executive and financial management positions with large, multi-national corporations. Most recently, Heidi served as the Vice President and Controller for FedEx Ground, a division of Fortune 100 Company FedEx Corporation. During her tenure in financial management, Heidi was responsible for leading corporate functions such as SEC reporting, SOX compliance, merger and acquisition accounting, technical accounting research and corporate consolidations.
Heidi’s primary teaching focus is Advanced Financial Accounting where she draws heavily on relating her own work experiences in industry to students.

Items Billed by Pitt

  Latin America/Europe
Program Price   $3,650*
Tuition 3 credits
Total Billed by Pitt $3,650 + 3 credits tuition

Estimated Additional Out-of-Pocket Costs

Meals and Personal Expenses $100-$500
Travel to/from PIT to Country Destination Varies

*Subject to final slight adjustment*

Price above does not include the 3 credit tuition. Students enrolled at the full-time status typically pay a set amount per semester. Professional students are typically charged on a per-credit basis.

Scholarship opportunities to go towards the cost available for Katz graduate students through the program application. Scholarships typically do not cover the full cost of the program experience.

Program price billed through spring semester account and is paid through PittPay.

Final information to be communicated to selected students.

What's Included: 

As part of the program fee, the following are included:

  • All academic-related trips and excursions
  • Ground Transportation - including bus and transfers in-country
  • Some meals - breakfasts, welcome and farewell dinners

Please note, programs subject to minimum number of enrolled students to run. 

When You'll Go: 

Travel will occur during according to the following timeline:

  • Argentina and Germany
    • March 3 - March 11/12
  • United Kingdom
    • April 29 - May 7

Final travel and booking information will be communicated to selected students following the close of applications.

What Else You Need to Know: 
  • Week of October 2 - Applications Open
    • Download the application questions HERE.
  • Information Sessions 
    • ​October 12 - 11:30 AM-12:15 PM (Day Session)
      • Mervis 104
    • October 13 - 5:30 PM-6:15 PM (Evening Session)
      • Mervis 209
    • Missed the Information Session? Watch the recording HERE.
  • October 24 - Applications Close
  • By November 5 -Students notified of selection status
  • November 10 and November 11 - Panther Program Agreement Meetings (Must Attend ONE)
    • November 10 - 5:15 PM - 6:20 PM (Evening Session)
      • Mervis 209
    • November 11 - 1:10 PM - 2:15 PM (Day Session)
      • Mervis 117
  • Following Panther Program Agreement Meeting signed agreement is due as well as $500 deposit toward program price. This appears as a credit towards your spring semester PittPay balance.

Special registration procedures apply. Selected students will be enrolled in the course by their academic advisor. Students are unable to enroll themselves in this program.

Some providers may require proof of vaccination to travel on program. Additional information regarding this will be communicated to accepted students.

Please be advised that Professional MBA students who exceed 9 credits will be charged the full-time MBA tuition rate.
Please note, program subject to minimum number of accepted/enrolled students to run.