College of Business

Academic Units

School of Accounting
Dr. Paul A. Copley, Director

Department of Computer Information Systems and Business Analytics
Dr. Richard G. Mathieu, Head

Department of Economics
Dr. Ehsan Ahmed, Head

Department of Finance and Business Law
Dr. Pamela Peterson Drake, Head

Program of International Business
Dr. Marion M. White, Director

Department of Management
Dr. Scott R. Gallagher, Head

Department of Marketing
Dr. W. Val Larsen, Head

Mission Statement
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 five 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 are 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 leading to a Bachelor of Business Administration (B.B.A.), a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) and a Bachelor of Science (B.S.). All degree programs offered by the College of Business are accredited by AACSB International – The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. The following academic majors are offered as a B.B.A.: accounting, computer information systems, economics, finance, international business, management and marketing. Students may also earn a B.A. or B.S. in economics. Quantitative Finance is offered as a B.S. degree. The B.B.A. degrees essentially require the same general structure consisting of the four components shown below:

General Education Component
General Education is required of all students regardless of their major or professional program. While much of the general education component of a student's baccalaureate program is completed during the first two years of study, a student has four years to complete this component. Typically, students complete their General Education course requirements during their last two years of study.

B.B.A. Core Component
B.B.A. majors must complete all of the B.B.A. core components as part of their degree program. The following courses comprise the B.B.A. Lower-Level Core Component:

The following courses comprise the B.B.A. Upper-Level Core Component:

1 MATH 220 may be substituted for COB 191 if MATH 220 was taken prior to declaring a B.B.A. major at JMU.
2 COB 241 must be completed before COB 242 is taken.
3 COB 191 and MATH 205 or MATH 235 must be completed before COB 291 is taken.
4 Calculus is required but not used in calculating the B.B.A. core GPA.
5 All four COB 300 courses must be taken during the same semester.
6 COB 487 must be taken during the senior year.

Major Component
The eight academic majors offered by the College of Business consist of 24-33 credit hours. Students pursuing a B.B.A. degree may take major courses after being formally accepted into the college and after they have enrolled/completed COB 300. The major program component of the B.B.A. degree is designed to be completed in three traditional semesters after COB 300. Students should plan their course work with that timetable.

Acceptance into the College of Business permits a student to enroll in COB 300 and to be formally accepted as a business B.B.A. major. However, some majors in the college 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/she seeks to enroll. Refer to the appropriate sections of the catalog for specific degree requirements for the individual majors in the College of Business.

Non-business Elective Component
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 nine hours of economics courses (including GECON and ECON) and three hours of COB 191. The remaining hours, to bring the total to 60, must be taken from any academic unit 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.

Recommended Course Sequence
In order to remain on a four-year graduation track, students should follow the recommended course sequence below:

Courses to be Completed During the First Year:

COB 191. Business Statistics (3 credits) 1
COB 204. Computer Information Systems (3 credits)
ECON 201. Principles of Economics (Micro) (3 credits)
GECON 200. Introduction to Macroeconomics (3 credits)
MATH 205 or MATH 235. Introductory Calculus or Calculus with Functions (3-4 credits)

1 MATH 220 may be substituted for COB 191 if MATH 220 was taken prior to declaring a B.B.A. major at JMU.

Courses to be Completed During the Sophomore Year:

COB 202. Interpersonal Skills (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)


Progression Standards for the College of Business

Admission to the College of Business and COB 300 1
Any student admitted to JMU can declare any major offered by the College of Business. However, students are not formally accepted into the College of Business until certain requirements are met.
Requirements to continue pursuing a B.B.A. degree are described here.

Students are formally admitted into the College of Business as a B.B.A. major and permitted to register for COB 300 when the following requirements are met:

1 Requirements for admission into the College of Business are effective based on when a student intends to enroll in COB 300. Students are advised to consult the College of Business Academic Services Center for current requirements.


Declaration of a Business Major or Minor
JMU students pursuing a major outside the College of Business who wish to change their current major to a B.B.A. major in the College of Business must be in good academic standing at the university 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, international business, management and marketing.

Likewise, JMU students pursuing a major outside the College of Business who wish to declare a minor within the College of Business must also be in good academic standing at the university at the time they declare the minor. The following business minors are open to all JMU students: Chinese business studies, economics and business analytics. A minor in computer information systems is open to select majors.

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, international business, management, or marketing) as a second major must complete the following courses:

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 department head of the relevant academic program in the JMU College of Business.
  2. The department head 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 academic unit director will report that result to the College of Business Academic Services Center, which will prepare a course substitution form.

Additionally, each academic 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 later sections of the catalog.

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 GECON 200.

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


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:

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 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 to obtain the latest specifications on recommended minimum hardware configuration.


College of Business Academic Programs

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 IBUS 498 – I (Business Environment in China and Southeast Asia), IBUS 298 or IBUS 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:

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 Antwerp 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 such countries as France, England, Germany, Luxembourg, Norway, the Netherlands, Austria and others, depending on which semester the student goes abroad.
Students in this concentration will:

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

General Business Minor
The general business minor is only available to students who declare one of the following majors: chemistry, engineering, health services administration, hospitality management, physics, and sport and recreation management. Students should submit a declaration of minor form to the College of Business Academic Services Center (Zane Showker Hall 205) to officially declare the general business minor.

The following courses must be successfully completed with a minimum 2.00 grade point average in order to graduate with the General Business minor:

Required Courses Credit Hours
ACTG 244. Accounting for the Non-Business Major 3
COB 204. Computer Information System 3
ECON 201. Principles of Economics (Micro) 3
FIN 345. Finance for the Non-Financial Manager 3
MGT 305. Management and Organization Behavior 1 3
MKTG 380. Principles of Marketing 3


1 Engineering majors may substitute ENGR 221 and ENGR 322 for MGT 305.

Matriculated JMU students may only take one minor course for transfer credit. Students who plan to take a course for transfer credit should complete the Permission to Take Courses for Transfer Credit form, including all signatures, prior to registering for the course elsewhere.





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