Significant changes to business administration and accounting economics majors

Photo by Kaitland Clawson.

After approximately two years of planning, the Business Department at McDaniel College redesigned its requirements for the Business Administration and Accounting Economics majors. In the spring of 2017, the Curriculum Committee approved these changes and new requirements were implemented in the 2017-2018 school year.

The new requirements for these majors are mandatory for McDaniel’s class of 2021 and the classes to come. However, the requirements are optional for the current sophomores, juniors and seniors who have already begun the process in earning their business and accounting degrees. These students have the option of following the old major requirements or fulfilling the new requirements that were established this fall. It is a “case by case” decision and should be discussed and decided upon between the students and their academic advisors based on the courses they have already taken and the ones they will still need to take to graduate on time.

The business administration major has many new changes to its core requirements, including taking two semesters of Economics, one fewer semester of Statistics and an improved capstone course called Business Strategy. The Accounting Economics major’s changes were not as dramatic.

“The goal is to give the best education to the students” says Department Chair Ethan Seidel. When planning and developing the new major, the business department discussed which courses were necessary to make the students more diverse and how the requirements could give students the opportunity to go deeper into their own interests without trying to increase the number of required courses.

Previously, students in the Business Administration major had to take a certain number of business courses to graduate. Now, students must complete basic courses in different areas of business including entrepreneurship, finance, economics, and marketing as the core requirements for the new major. “This new design then allows students to have time to dive deeper into an area of concentration that interests them” Seidel points out. Students are required to choose a minimum of one concentration and complete three courses within that concentration. The concentrations students can choose from are entrepreneurship, finance, international business, leadership and management, and marketing.

Students have already expressed interest and excitement towards the new changes to these majors.

“In terms of the new accounting major, it seems to have opened the student’s schedules a bit more, allowing more time for the CPA exam requirements” says Sarah McDonald, a senior majoring in Accounting Economics and Business Administration. “I believe it also helps the students gain a better appreciation for the inclusion of economics in the accounting major.”

Another change to the business administration and accounting economics majors is their capstone course. Business Administration majors now must take the Business Strategy capstone. This course is more of a case study approach, where the students work in a group to solve problems that are occurring in firms.

The previously required capstone, Corporate Finance, is now a required course instead of a capstone. The content of this course is not changing, but there is no final project at the end. “This change allows me time to give more focus on teaching tools the students can use for Business Strategy rather than worrying about the final project” says Julie Routzahn, professor for Corporate Finance. “The Business Strategy course brings together all areas of business, which is now what the students are getting through the new requirements for the major.”

Along with the changes in these majors, minors are currently being planned by the Department of Business and being passed by the Curriculum Committee. So far, a Marketing minor was passed for the fall of 2017.

The new requirements and changes to the Business Administration and Accounting Economics majors purport to allow students the opportunity to become more diverse in their knowledge of business and give them more freedom to study the areas of business that they hope to pursue outside of college.