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.
Missed the information session? Download the slides HERE.
Dates and locations for Spring 2021 will be announced during the Fall 2020 semester.

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 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 - Scotland is one of the four constituent countries of the United Kingdom with its on devolved parliament. The capital of Edinburgh has a long and rich history connected with England and the UK parliament. Today, it is a center of education, literature and engineering. It is also the second largest financial center in the UK after London. On the other hand, London is one of the most influential, innovative and investment friendly cities in the world. It is also the most populous city in the European Union with a population of just over 8.7 million.

Asia - Shenzhen was the first city opened up to the west in modern China and is now referred to as China’s Silicon Valley. It is currently the fourth largest city in China and it along with the neighboring city of Guangzhou form one of the most-populous metropolitan areas in the country. On the other hand, Shanghai is China’s most-populous city. It is one of the world’s largest seaports and a major industrial and commercial center of China.

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.

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 2020 GRP Program, you are able to select from ONE of the below destinations. Course Information can be found through the Global Research Practicum course button below.
For Fall 2019 Program information (closed to new applicants), please select the Fall 2019 Global Research Practicum_India course button below for complete information.
1) Latin America - Buenos Aires, ArgentinaDoing Business in an Unstable Macroeconomic Environment
Argentina has had a long history of macro-economic mismanagement, with years of inflation, fiscal and current account deficits, IMF interventions and defaults. In fact, the sovereign debt default of 2001 made it impossible for Argentina to borrow in international markets for more than 15 years. 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 - Edinburgh, Scotland and London, EnglandThe U.S. and the UK: The Border, Brexit, Trade and Tariffs
This course will examine the continuing business disruption caused by the June 2016 decision by the United Kingdom to leave the European Union. The course will take a particular interest in how the border and custom process works by looking at the Scotland and England border. Students will also travel to Washington, DC for the first day of travel to understand the U.S. border and trade process.

  • Top three learning outcomes
    • Borders and how the customs process works
    • Trade policy and its effect on the U.S. economy
    • Impact of trade policy on specific industries in the U.S., Scotland and England
  • Career track(s) most appropriate for: All MBA functional areas, MS Supply Chain and MS Accounting

3) Asia - Shenzhen and Shanghai, ChinaTechnology and Innovation: The View from China
This course will examine the economies of both Shenzhen and Shanghai. Shenzhen and Shanghai are lenses through which one can look through to examine broader economic challenges and opportunities in the Asia and Pacific region. The political situtation as it relates to U.S.-China relations will also be considered.

  • Top three learning outcomes:
    • The Chinese business environment
    • China's technology and service sectors
    • Recent U.S. and Chinese policy decisions and their impact
  • Career track(s) most appropriate for: All MBA functional tracks and eligible MS programs
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 team research project and a professional portfolio designed to capture the international experience. The course includes a trip over Spring Break 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 for two, 3-hour class sessions on Friday evenings prior to the trip. Portions of these 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 two additional Friday evening sessions where final projects are presented in both written and oral forms. 

This course counts toward the Global Management Certificate. More information on this and other Katz certificates can be found in the Academic and Career Advising Section of StudentNet OR by contacting your academic advisor.

Applications will open Monday, September 30.

Classes are currently scheduled for the following dates and times:

  • Class 1: January 17, 2020 6:00PM - 9:00PM
  • Class 2: February 21, 2020 6:00PM - 9:00PM
  • Class 3: March 27, 2020 6:00PM - 9:00PM
  • Class 4: April 3, 2020 6:00 - 9:00PM

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

Fall 2019 Global Research Practicum_India (BUS27xx)

For Fall 2019, the following program was offered: (Applications currently closed)


South Asia – Mumbai and Cochin, India


Virtual Teams and Frugal Innovation in Global Markets


Overview: This courses introduces modern engineering and business principles, methods and tools within the context of the Indian economic environment. The three focal areas for students includes: 1) virtual teams in global service engineering & management, 2) frugal engineering and innovation, and 3) commodities and spice trade supply chains. Students will be exposed to challenges and opportunities available at the corporate level and at the individual level in this rapidly growing economy, learn about societal impacts of new technologies, and the rapid expansion of engineering industries and economies in India. The field study in India will showcase challenges and opportunities available at the corporate level and at the individual level in this global economy. It will emphasize the societal impacts of new technologies and rapid expansion of engineering industries in India within a business framework.


Career track most appropriate for: MBA, MS - Finance, Supply Chain Management, MSIE


Top three learning outcomes of this course:


  • Learn how modern engineering and business principles, methods, and tools, associated with service and manufacturing systems are applied in India.
  • Developed the ability to visualize service and manufacturing engineering challenges and opportunities (including logistics) within a global context.
  • Understand and appreciate the need for engineering infrastructure in a rapidly growing economy.


The group will meet three (3) times prior to course travel immediately after the semester ends. Final class dates/times will be communicated to selected students.


Accepted Undergraduate Engineering Students will be enrolled in ENGR 1625: Engineering and Business Collaborations in India. This is a three (3) credit course and would be part of your 12-18 credit hours. To find out how the course will be counted toward requirements, please see the faculty director of your department.


Pricing Information


$3199 - Full-time Katz MBA students and registered Engineering students (above semester tuition)

$6199 - Professional MBA/Part-time students (includes 3 credits of tuition)

A $500 deposit will be due upon acceptance into the program. More information on the deposit will be communicated to accepted students.


Key Dates for Fall Program


  • April 19 - Applications Open
  • June 1 - Application Deadline
    • Please note, students from the School of Engineering may be asked to meet with Katz program staff following the application deadline.​​
  • End of June - Students Notified of Selection Status
    • Panther Program Agreement Meeting Schedule:
      • Tuesday, August 27 - 5:00PM - 6:20PM 
      • ​Mervis Hall 114​
  • November, 2019 - GRP course begins

If you do not have a valid passport or need to renew yours, get started right away. Passports must be valid at least six months past the program end date.


Valid Passport MUST be in hand/uploaded to your application by August 1, 2019 for Fall 2019. 

Experiential Learning Description: 

Deliverables from the practicum include a team research project 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) may be asked to do so prior to the start of the Spring semester.

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 am excited to be back in Pittsburgh 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. Josephine Olson

Josephine (Jo) Olson teaches courses in managerial economics and international economics, and she has conducted graduate and undergraduate study tours to Europe and Latin America. She has led previous programs to Argentina, including the GRP and the College of Business Administration’s Global Business Institute. 


She is an associate of the Center for Latin American Studies, the European Union Center, the Center for Russian and East European Studies, the Asian Studies Center, and the Global Studies Center. From 2006 to 2014, she was Director of the International Business Center, and she now serves on its Advisory Board. She previously served as Director of MBA Programs and later as Associate Dean of Katz. Prior to coming to the University of Pittsburgh, she was on the faculty of Bernard M. Baruch College, City University of New York. 


Her first international experience was working for a joint venture in Mexico between her junior and senior year in college. In 1991, she was a Fulbright Fellow at the International Management Center in Budapest, Hungary. She was visiting professor of economics at the Czechoslovak Management Center in 1992. In 1993-94, she was a visiting professor at Nyenrode University in the Netherlands and in 1994-95, she was Academic Dean and Interim CEO of the Czech Management Center. She has also taught short courses in Brazil, the Czech Republic and Ecuador. Jo's research interests include topics in international economics and a study of career paths and income determinants of MBAs. She has done educational consulting in Australia and Peru. She currently serves on the District Export Council of Western Pennsylvania.

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.


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.

Dr. Jennifer Shang

Jennifer Shang was a research fellow at The Advanced Manufacturing Program in The IC2 Institute at Austin, Texas, and was a Lilly Endowment Teaching Fellow. In the MBA program, she teaches Statistics, Production Management and Process Improvement, and Simulation. In addition, she teaches the undergraduate Operations Management and Global Supply Chain Management, and courses at the EMBA, IEMBA, and PhD levels as well. She has also led previous GRPs to China, South Korea, Taiwan and Japan.


Dr. Shang's current research emphasizes three areas: (1) The design, planning, scheduling, and control of operational systems in manufacturing and service organizations. She develops theoretical and heuristic approaches to improve the productivity and quality of business process flows. (2) Design and evaluation of integrated information/operational systems. Given the importance of technology, she emphasizes the innovative use of information technology in the value chain management. (3) Multi-criteria decision making. She uses Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) to measure the relative efficiency of operating units. She also applies Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) and Analytic Network Process methods to make decisions in complicated environments.


Dr. G. G. Hegde

Summer 2019: Dr. G.G Hegde - Professor Hedge is an Associate Professor of Business Administration and is teaching Operations Management during Summer 2019. Learn more about Dr. Hegde here



Dr. Bopaya Bidanda

Dr. Bopaya Bidanda joined the faculty at the University of Pittsburgh in 1987 after his doctoral degree from the Department of Industrial & Manufacturing Engineering at Penn State. His research is in the area of manufacturing systems with a special focus on Group Technology, Reverse Engineering, Cellular manufacturing, Lean Manufacturing, Human issues in manufacturing, Product Development, and Manufacturing Modernization. He is currently the Ernest E. Roth Professor and Chairman of the Department of Industrial Engineering at the University of Pittsburgh.


At Pitt, he has helped found the Manufacturing Assistance Center, the Automated Data Collection Laboratory, and more recently the Swanson Center for New Product Innovation.


He has industrial experience in aerospace manufacturing, precision manufacturing and tooling accrued before graduate study. He has co-published two books with McGraw Hill (Automated Factory Handbook and Shared Manufacturing), in addition to over 100 papers in international journals and conference proceedings.


He has served the Industrial Engineering profession in many roles ranging from the Director of Conferences (1999-2000) to President of the Senior Pittsburgh Chapter, to being the Program Chair for both the IE Research Conference (Phoenix 1997), and the IIE Solutions Conference (Banff, 1998). Dr. Bidanda has participated in accreditation visits to many engineering schools across the United States on behalf of the Accreditation Board for Engineering & Technology (ABET).


He has actively consulted with organizations ranging from regional small and medium sized industries to national heavy engineering industries to precision luxury goods re-manufacturing. Recent examples include FedEx Ground, PPG, Schroeder Industries, Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard, Eaton-Cutler Hammer Inc., and Cartier Inc and the Department of National Defence (Canada).


His research has been funded by the Federal Government (NSF, Department of Commerce), major foundations (including W.M. Keck Foundation, the Pittsburgh Foundation, the Kresge Foundation, etc.), and the State Government (Department of Labor) and private industry (FedEx Ground).


He is a senior member of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers and a Fellow of the Institute of Industrial Engineers.

Terri Gregos

Terri has over twenty years of progressive leadership roles in Human Resources, Marketing and Sales Management. This experience spans across many industries including consumer brands-PepsiCo, pharmaceutical-GlaxoSmithKline, higher education-University of Pittsburgh and financial services-BNY Mellon and consultant to other global and start up organizations.


Terri is a current adjunct faculty member at the University of Pittsburgh Business Schools.She held the role of Assistant Dean and Head of Career Services and Corporate Relations at the Katz Graduate School of Business, University of Pittsburgh.During her tenure at BNY Mellon, Terri developed the Campus Strategies and Early Talent Pipeline Programs, the initial Employer Value Proposition, Employment Brand and Recruitment Marketing Strategies to support all levels of global hiring.


As a current member in the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM), Terri holds a Global Professional Human Resource Professional Certification and is a recognized career management coach with the Academies/ Career Coach Academy. She has taught marketing and human resources at several universities in Pennsylvania and holds a Bachelor of Arts from Penn State University and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Pittsburgh.Terri and her husband John Fitzgerald reside in Sewickley, Pennsylvania.

Items Billed by Pitt

  Full-time students Professional/Part-time students
Latin America and Europe   $2,699 (above semester tuition) $5,999  (includes 3 credits of tuition)
Asia $3,199 (above semester tuition) $6,199 (includes 3 credits of tuition)
Total Billed by Pitt $2,699 / $3,199 (plus semester tuition)   $5,999 / $6,1999

Estimated Additional Out-of-Pocket Costs

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

The amounts above are for the 2019-2020 academic year and should be used as estimates only. Pricing for 2020-2021 will be posted and announced in the fall term.

What's Included: 

Dates and locations for Spring 2021 will be announced during the Fall 2020 semester.
As part of the program fee, the following are included:

  • All academic-related trips and excursions
  • Round-trip airfare (Flight deviations from the group reservation are not permitted)
  • Ground Transportation - including bus and air transfers in-country
  • Some meals - breakfasts, welcome and farewell dinners
When You'll Go: 

Dates for the 2020-2021 academic year will be posted in the fall! 

What Else You Need to Know: 
  • September 30 - Applications Open
  • Information Sessions - Download Slides HERE
    • ​October 2 - 5:00PM-6:15PM (Evening Session)
      • Mervis 104
    • October 3 - 12:30PM-1:30PM (Day Session)
      • Mervis 115
  • October 22 - Applications Close
  • November 5 -Students notified of selection status
  • November 14 and November 15 - Panther Program Agreement Meetings (Must Attend ONE)
    • November 14 - 5:15 - 6:20 (Evening Session)
      • Mervis 117
    • November 15 - 12:00 - 1:15 (Day Session)
      • Mervis 117

Special registration procedures apply. Selected students will be enrolled in the course by their academic advisor.

Please be advised that Professional MBA students who exceed 9 credits will be charged the full-time MBA tuition rate.


If a Full time Katz student registers for the GRP in additional to their 15 or 18 credits, they will be charged the Professional rate for the particular GRP.