In an effort to satiate students looking to garner a solid knowledge base in business, the Ross School of Business has been working on developing a minor program. Although Ross faculty has approved the program, it still remains to be approved by other schools within the university. As of now, the Engineering school has accepted the program, and once the other colleges/schools follow suit, the first application process will begin in the spring of 2013.
In a cross-collaborative academic culture like Michigan’s, this program makes sense. Dual-degrees are a great tool that students can leverage to their advantage in the increasingly competitive job market. A minor in business would expose non-Ross students to opportunities that they otherwise may not have had access to, and a solid footing in business acumen can augment nearly any area of study.
In deliberating about whether or not to approve the program, Ross faculty “benchmarked similar programs at peer universities, interviewed recruiters, and hosted a BBA town hall meeting,” according to an official statement. After all aspects of the potential program were developed, reviewed, and adjusted, the program was voted on and approved by Ross faculty in September.
In an interview with the Michigan Review, Associate Dean Lynn Wooten noted that business minor is not an entirely new idea. “Currently, 25% of Ross’s undergraduate student body is composed of non-business students taking business courses,” said Wooten. “The minor in business program looks to expand the opportunities offered to non-Ross students by allowing them to take a greater array of business courses.”
Similar to the the current BBA program, a minor in business will require students to apply. The application will mandate that prospective students (with a junior level standing or higher) write essays, which in addition to their transcript, will help the admissions board decide whether or not to admit them. Students will also have to apply with a solid academic standing, and having completed two prerequisite courses with a B or better. The program will be most selective, as only 100 students will be granted admission. When asked about the application process, Wooten said, that the school expects many applicants, and that the program will be constantly revised to ensure an ideal amount of acceptances.
The minor will consist of 15 credits, and similar to the BBA program, accounting is a requirement. Unlike the BBA program though, students will be able to choose between finance and operations management, marketing and management, and strategy and an action-based learning course. The grading curve for these courses will be the same as the BBA grading curve, but the courses will be entirely separate from their BBA counterparts (business minors will only have class with other business minors and non-Ross students). Electives, however, will consist of BBA students, minors in business, and non-Ross students. Dean Wooten looks forward to students in the minor program as an addition to Ross’ growing diversity.
“Our students in the minor program will bring richer diversity to the classroom,” said Wooten. “With various, non-business backgrounds, they may be able to look at a problem through a different lens.”
Business minors will deal with career services within their home UM department, which means they will not have access to Ross advisors and will not be exposed to Ross-specific recruiting. Access to Ross’s iMpact system and room reservations will not be available for students minoring in business either, but they will still have access to select Ross’ extracurricular clubs and fraternities. For those interested in the program, questions and concerns will be addressed at the BBA Forum with Dean Wooten on December 4th at 5PM in R1240.
It’s expected that the Ross minor will draw plenty of student interest, especially from students who were hesitant to apply to the BBA program. In creating the minor in business program, Ross aims to contribute to Michigan’s interdisciplinary nature, or as Wooten puts it, “more competitive students.”