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College of Business

Dr. Robert D. Reid, Dean
Dr. Philip B. DuBose, Associate Dean, Academic Affairs
Ms. Kimberley A. Foreman, Associate Dean, Human Resources and Administration
Ms. Joyce Guthrie, Associate Dean, Student Services

Mission Business as a Second Major
Overview Transfer Credit Policy
Admission to the College of Business Internships for Business Majors
Lower-level B.B.A. Requirements Computer Competency Requirements
B.B.A. Core Personal Computers
Upper-level B.B.A. Requirements European Business Concentration
Non-business Electives Chinese Business Studies Minor
Declaration of a Business Major or Minor



The College of Business is committed to preparing students to be active and engaged citizens who are exceptionally well qualified leaders for success in a global competitive marketplace.


Shared Values and Goals

  • The JMU CoB aspires to be among the top ten percent of undergraduate business programs in the nation, striving for excellence and continuous improvement in undergraduate learning. Its student body comes primarily from the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States and, to a growing extent, from the Northeast.
  • Directed toward a full-time student population, the CoB’s undergraduate programs are based on solid foundations in general education and an integrated business core curriculum. Beyond these foundations, the CoB offers students a wide variety of programs that emphasize theory, application, and experiential learning in a business discipline.
  • CoB faculty members are committed to providing an exceptional educational experience for students, with an emphasis on developing leadership, technology, communication and integrative skills.
  • The CoB will be a preferred source of student talent for employers in the Mid-Atlantic region.
  • The CoB takes an entrepreneurial approach to graduate programs, developing niche programs for which there is a need and for which the faculty has competence.
  • Student learning is assessed frequently. Assurance of learning programs is designed to assess learning in the business core, each of the undergraduate majors, and each of the degree programs within the CoB. Consistent with academic freedom, faculty members are encouraged to take an active role in innovative curriculum development and assessment processes designed to improve the educational experience.
  • The CoB recognizes that students and faculty face ethical choices. As such, it maintains the highest expectations for students regarding JMU’s Honor Code. Furthermore the CoB strives to prepare students for the ethical tensions and dilemmas they will face in the course of their professional lives. Additionally, the CoB demands the utmost in professional and ethical conduct by its faculty towards students, the community of scholars, and society at large.
  • CoB faculty members believe that a balance between teaching and research is the most effective way to educate their students. Scholarly contributions complement classroom teaching by helping faculty members maintain currency in their discipline. Furthermore, students gain a deeper understanding of subject matter, a greater appreciation of a discipline’s body of knowledge, and added enthusiasm for learning when they are taught by active scholars.
  • Faculty members are committed to a broad array of intellectual pursuits and scholarly output in discipline-based scholarship, contributions to practice, and learning and pedagogical research. The relative emphasis on these three areas will vary from one faculty member to another depending upon education, experience, and interests, but the pursuit of knowledge in each area will be used to enhance students’ learning experiences.



The College of Business offers baccalaureate degree programs with the following nine academic majors: accounting, computer information systems, economics, finance, hospitality and tourism management, international business, management, marketing, and quantitative finance. Each of the baccalaureate degree programs leading to the B.B.A. degree has essentially the same general structure:
  • General Education component
  • B.B.A. core requirement
  • Major component
  • Non-business electives component

Graduate level programs offered by the college lead to the M.B.A. degree or the M.S.A. degree. All academic degree programs offered by the College of Business are accredited by AACSB International – The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.


Admission to the College of Business

A student desiring to major in any B.B.A. program in the College of Business must formally apply for admission to the college. The application may be submitted upon completion of 45 credit hours and must meet the official calendar deadline announced by the CoB Academic Services Center each year for fall, spring, or summer admission. Applications received after the deadline for each application period (i.e., fall, spring or summer) will not be considered. Late applicants will be required to resubmit their application prior to the next deadline.

Admission to the College of Business is competitive. At a minimum, a student must have completed 56 credit hours, earned a cumulative grade point average of 2.800 (rounding is not used) in all courses taken at JMU. In addition, a student must have completed all 100 and 200 level B.B.A. core courses (described below), and must have earned a 2.800 (rounding is not used) in all 100 and 200 level B.B.A core courses. Meeting these minimum requirements, however, does not guarantee admission.

Final admission decisions are based upon resources. The total number of students admitted will be no greater than can be effectively supported with available instructional resources.

Admission permits a student to enroll in COB 300 and to be formally admitted to a major. However, some majors in the College of Business may impose standards that exceed those of the college as a whole. A student must meet both the College of Business requirements and the requirements of the major in which he or she seeks to enroll.

The above requirements do not pertain to students who are enrolled in the B.A. or B.S. in economics program or to those enrolled in the B.S. in quantitative finance program.


Lower-level B.B.A. Requirements

During their first and second years, business majors concentrate on building an academic foundation upon which they will base more in-depth third year studies. This foundation includes both lower-division B.B.A. core requirements and the major part of the university general education program.


B.B.A. Core

B.B.A. majors must complete all 100- and 200-level core requirements and meet all of the criteria under “Admission to the College of Business” to be eligible for junior-level business course work. Consequently, class schedules for the four-semester sequence covering the first and second years must be planned accordingly.

The following lower-division courses must be completed prior to enrolling in 300 level courses:

COB 191. Business Statistics (3 credits)
COB 202. Interpersonal Skills (3 credits)
COB 204. Computer Information Systems (3 credits)
COB 218. Legal Environment of Business (3 credits)
COB 241. Financial Accounting (3 credits)
COB 242. Managerial Accounting (3 credits)
COB 291. Introduction to Management Science (3 credits)
ECON 201. Principles of Economics (Micro) (3 credits)
GECON 200. Introduction to Macroeconomics (3 credits; available in General Education Cluster 4)
MATH 205, 205E or 235. (3 or 4 credits; available in General Education Cluster 3)


Upper-level B.B.A. Requirements

Upper-division core courses required of all B.B.A. majors may not be taken until all lower-division B.B.A. core courses have been completed and the student has been admitted to the College of Business. The upper-division courses are the following:

COB 300A. Integrated Functional Systems: Management (3 credits)1
COB 300B. Integrated Functional Systems: Finance (3 credits)1
COB 300C. Integrated Functional Systems: Operations (3 credits)1
COB 300D. Integrated Functional Systems: Marketing (3 credits)1
COB 487. Strategic Management (3 credits)2

1Students must take all four COB 300 courses during the same semester.
2COB 487 must be taken during the senior year. Refer to the appropriate sections of this catalog for specific degree requirements for the individual majors in the College of Business.


Non-business Electives

The B.B.A. degree requires a minimum of 120 credit hours of undergraduate course work. Fifty percent of this work, 60 credit hours, must be taken outside of the College of Business. In counting the 60 credit hours of non-business courses, B.B.A. students may include all hours taken in general education (usually 41), up to a total of nine hours in Economics (note that G ECON courses must be counted as Economics) and three hours of COB 191. The remaining hours, to bring the total to 60, must be taken from any department outside the College of Business. Students should carefully select these non-business electives to help them gain additional knowledge and expertise for their careers and personal lives.


Declaration of a Business Major or Minor

JMU students seeking to change their current major to one in the College of Business must be in “good standing,” meaning they must have a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 or higher on the date they submit a “Change or Declaration of Major” form. This policy affects students desiring to change their major to one of the following: accounting, computer information systems, economics (B.B.A. degree only), finance, hospitality and tourism management, international business, management, and marketing. This policy also applies to non-College of Business students desiring to declare one of the following minors: chinese business studies, computer information systems, economics and management science. The policy does not apply to first year students or transfer students during their first semester at JMU.

This policy does not supersede the 2.800 cumulative grade point average, or the 2.800 grade point average for all of the 100 and 200 level B.B.A. core courses stipulated for enrollment in COB 300 or junior level courses in College of Business major programs, nor does it supersede admission requirements for specific academic programs in the College of Business.


Business as a Second Major

A student enrolled in any JMU degree program other than the B.B.A. program who wishes to select a B.B.A. major field (i.e., accounting, computer information systems, economics, finance, hospitality and tourism management, international business, management, or marketing) as a second major must complete the following courses:

  1. All B.B.A. core courses, as shown above; and
  2. All requirements specific to the major selected.


Transfer Credit Policy

AACSB International-accredited colleges of business generally allow only a limited amount of business course work prior to the junior year. Because of that restriction, accredited colleges are required to detail a process for accepting transfer courses. To meet that requirement, the JMU College of Business has established the following transfer credit policy: The College of Business normally does not award transfer credit for courses that were taken at the 100 or 200 level if those courses are offered at the 300 or 400 level at JMU. If a transfer student wishes to receive credit for such a course, the following steps must be taken:

  1. The student must present the course syllabus and appropriate course materials to the director of the relevant academic program in the JMU College of Business.
  2. The program director must determine that the course covers material similar to that covered at JMU. If the material is not deemed sufficiently similar, then the student must take the course at JMU. This decision is final and may not be appealed.
  3. If the material is considered sufficiently similar, the student may take a comprehensive examination covering the JMU course material and must pass it with at least a grade of 70 percent, or the student may choose to complete the course itself.
  4. If the student passes the comprehensive examination, the program director will report that result to the College of Business Academic Services Center, which will prepare a course substitution form.

Additionally, each program in the College of Business will accept no more than two courses for transfer credit toward the major. The major is defined as the course work required by a major field of study in addition to the lower- and upper-level B.B.A. core courses. For a course to be considered for acceptance in the student’s major, it must have been completed in an AACSB International-accredited business program at a four-year university. Certain majors within the College of Business may have more restrictive policies on transfer credit. Those policies are explained in the following sections devoted to the individual majors.

The JMU College of Business prescribes that at least 50 percent of the business credit hours required for the B.B.A. degree be earned at JMU. Specifically, this statement means that no fewer than 28 of the required credit hours in the College of Business be completed at JMU. Required credit hours include the B.B.A. Core and the courses required for the major. The following B.B.A. core courses do not count toward meeting this requirement: COB 191, ECON 201 and G ECON 200.

Individual programs in the College of Business may have transfer credit limitations in addition to this overall requirement. Please refer to the specific academic major following this section.


Internships for Business Majors

Students with majors in the College of Business are encouraged to participate in at least one formal business internship prior to graduation. Most commonly, students serve as interns in business organizations during the summer between their junior and senior years, but internships are not restricted to that period of time.

In some cases, students may receive academic credit for internships. In such cases, the maximum amount of credit that may be obtained is three credit hours. The minimum requirements for such academic credit are the following:

  • The student must have at least junior standing.
  • The internship must be approved in advance by the Faculty Internship Coordinator and the Program Director in the student’s major, and the student must be registered for the class credit during the internship experience.
  • The intern must complete a minimum of 200 hours of work experience.
  • The intern’s immediate supervisor must submit at least one performance evaluation to the Faculty Internship Coordinator.
  • The intern must submit a final written paper and participate in an exit interview with the Faculty Internship Coordinator.
  • Internships in more than one program are permitted. However, double counting (i.e., receiving credit for a single internship experience in more than one major) is not permitted.

Some majors in the College of Business may have higher requirements than these minimum standards.


Computer Competency Requirements

All students majoring in the College of Business must be able to use current information technology tools and demonstrate the ability to learn new tools as part of their preparation for the professional world. Many business courses help students develop basic information technology skills in such areas as spreadsheet analysis, database management, presentation software and Web page development. However, course work alone cannot provide students with the level of proficiency needed by employers and graduate schools. Consequently, students must take personal responsibility for developing their skills beyond the basics taught in various classes.


Personal Computers

Many courses in the JMU business curriculum make extensive use of computers and software. Students are given hands-on experience in using computer technology to solve complex business problems.

Computer labs are conveniently located in several academic buildings and residence halls. These labs are intended for quick, short-term use by students as an adjunct to their class time. Relying solely on the labs for lengthy or complex assignments, however, is unrealistic; therefore, students should make arrangements to have their own personal computers outside the university-provided labs.

Since computers are essential in today’s business environment, students with majors in the College of Business are strongly encouraged to purchase their own personal computers. Computers are available at discount prices from the university bookstore; however, computers meeting the recommended configuration may be purchased from many retail and internet sources. Various vendors also provide rental and leasing programs. Because technology is continually advancing, students should consult the College of Business Web site at http://www.jmu.edu/computing/purchase/dept.shtml to obtain the latest specifications on recommended minimum hardware configuration.


European Business Concentration

The European Business Concentration can be completed by taking COB 300A-D (Integrated Functional Systems: Management, Finance, Operations, Marketing–12 credit hours) and COB 301 (European Integration, Culture and History–3 credit hours) in Belgium as part of the Semester in Belgium program. These two courses will be taught in the context of the European Union, and, as a part of the curriculum, students will visit and study European businesses (e.g., European high-tech startup companies, businesses in the Port of Antwerp) and the institutions that comprise the European Union (e.g., the Council of Europe, the European Parliament). In addition, students will visit business, governmental and cultural institutions in five countries: Belgium, France, Holland, Luxembourg and England. 

Students in this concentration will:

  • acquire an in-depth understanding of the European business environment;
  • learn about the institutions of the European Union;
  • gain an understanding of the issues surrounding economic and monetary union;
  • apply the integrated functional systems to the European market; and
  • understand the role of culture in conducting business in Europe.

This concentration is only available to students who complete COB 300 and COB 301 with the Semester in Belgium program.


Chinese Business Studies Minor

The Chinese Business Studies Minor can be completed by taking one Chinese language course, POSC 371 (Topics in Comparative Politics), HIST 341 (Selected Themes in World History), IBUS 298 or 498 – I (Business Environment in China and Southeast Asia), IBUS 298 or 498 – II (Chinese Business Operations), and MKTG 380 (Principles of Marketing). Note that business majors will take COB 300D rather than MKTG 380.

MKTG 380 (or COB 300D) will be taken at JMU. The other five courses will be taken in conjunction with the JMU Study in China Program, and will be taught by professors or instructors from Chinese universities.

Students in this minor will:

  • become aware of China’s history and culture;
  • learn about China’s political, social, and economic systems;
  • become familiar with China’s government, and business operations; and
  • understand China’s economic role in Asia and the world.