On April 8, 1946, Thunderbird School of Global Management (originally known as the American Institute for Foreign Trade [AIFT]) was chartered on the Glendale, Arizona, World War II airbase, Thunderbird Field, where pilots from around the world came for training during wartime. The airfield was obtained with the express purpose of developing a school focused exclusively on international trade and global relations. In 2014, Thunderbird became an independent unit of the Arizona State University Knowledge Enterprise, combining Thunderbird’s multi-decade heritage of developing global business leaders with ASU’s expansive resources. Thunderbird’s mission has been to “educate global leaders who create sustainable prosperity worldwide” since the beginning.
Thunderbird offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees, as well as graduate-level certificates, using both tradition campus models and flexible executive education models, which include online degree programs.