Following three years of crafting, Vanderbilt University approved a new business minor for undergraduate students on Jan. 19. Starting in Fall 2017, current sophomores and first-years will be able to declare a business (BUS) minor.
“The decision to create the BUS minor was based on the steady growth in demand from students to study business theories and practices,” said Gary Kimball, the acting Coordinator of Business-related Minors and Director of Managerial Studies.
Drawing on the Academic Strategic Plan, the Business Design Committee — composed of 12 faculty members from administrative offices, A&S, Peabody, Blair, Engineering and Owen — structured the new minor to study the societal context of business.
“The result is a trans-institutional design that includes courses from all four undergraduate schools and the Owen Graduate School of Management,” Kimball said.
Students in the minor will be required to take five half-semester courses, taught by Owen faculty and focused on operations, organizational behavior, accounting, finance and marketing. These five courses will be offered exclusively to undergraduate students.
In addition to the five required, students will have to complete 3 elective courses from 70 offered from departments across the 4 undergraduate schools. These 70 courses are further categorized into seven “pathways” and another grouping, “Business in Society,” which serve as a grouping system for students to choose classes that interest them when registering.
“The pathways are of an informal course selection tool for students who may have a particular area of interest,” Kimball said.
The pathways include entrepreneurship, ethics, finance and accounting, marketing and advertising, operations, organizational effectiveness and strategy. In keeping with the liberal arts tradition, courses within the “Business in Society” group will serve to connect the BUS minor to the students’ majors or other areas of interest.
The minor will also utilize coursework to push students to engage with the real world, employing the theories and practices they have learned.
“Coursework will be designed to actively engage students, whether they work directly with a start-up business, nonprofit organization, or solve tangible problems on campus,” Kimball said.
The introduction of the BUS minor will be accompanied by the phasing out of two current, business-related minors: Corporate Strategy (MSCS) and Financial Economics (FNEC). Current juniors and seniors will have to finish their current minors, while sophomores have the opportunity to pick the BUS minor or their current one, if they have already declared it by next fall. Current first-year students will not be able to pursue a MSCS or FNEC minor, due to the two-year phase out. Moreover, the Business minor will be exclusive, meaning no other business-related minor (HOD and ENGM) may be paired with it.
“I view the BUS minor as offering undergraduate students a robust course of study that fits well with the liberal arts tradition and enhances our current business-related curriculum,” said Kimball.
There will be town hall for the BUS minor on March 13 at 7-9 p.m. in Commons MPR (235/7).