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Major Requirements

The Major

The opportunity of a lifetime—that’s what a major in Business Management can mean for you.


You’ll learn to read balance sheets and income statements. You’ll calculate the net present value of investments, and use enterprise software like SAP to diagnose a company’s operations. You’ll conduct a marketing campaign, learn how to motivate team members, and analyze corporate strategy.

If you choose to study abroad, you’ll have a world of choices, with business-school partners from China to England to Argentina to help you complete the global-business component. When you come back, we’ll be eager to help you research and write a senior capstone to help show employers what you’ve learned, and what you can contribute.

The Process

The Business Management major consists of four components:

  1. Required Courses
  2. Global Business Requirement
  3. BUS Elective
  4. Senior Capstone Experience

1. Required Courses

Economics Foundation (two courses)

Plan ahead: These courses can help you fulfill the college’s social-science distribution requirement.

ECN 111 Introduction to Macroeconomics
ECN 112 Introduction to Microeconomics

Quantitative Foundation (two courses)

The BUS major requires two quantitative courses—a statistics course, and a finance course.

This quantitative sequence counts toward the college’s distribution requirements, meaning that a BUS major can complete the Natural Science and Quantitative distribution requirement with BUS 109, BUS 209, and a science course.

First course: Statistics

One of these courses:

  • BUS 109 Managerial Statistics*
  • MAT 109 Statistics
  • ECN 215 Data Analysis (for ECN-BUS double majors)
  • PSY 209 Statistics and Experimental Design (for PSY-BUS double majors)

* Course counts as “liberal studies” for Phi Beta Kappa.

Note: these four statistics courses are so similar that credit is not normally given if more than one of them is taken.

Second course: Financial Analysis

  • BUS 209 Financial Analysis

Core BUS Courses (six courses)

BUS 111 Principles of Marketing
BUS 112 Introduction to Financial Accounting
BUS 210 Management Information Systems
BUS 302 Organizational Behavior*
Legal/Ethics Component Choose from BUS 303 Legal Environment of Business*BUS 360 Corporate Social Responsibility*, or a PHL ethics course
BUS 401 Strategic Management

*Course counts as “liberal studies” for Phi Beta Kappa.

2. Global Business Requirement

Since business is global, the Business Management major includes a global business requirement. (International students are exempt.)

There are several ways to fulfill the requirement:


Study abroad for a semester, or participate in any study-abroad experience that earns Washington College credit.


Studying a foreign language through the 202-level.


Taking two global-focus courses, one in Business Management and one outside the Department.

Learn more about global business opportunities here.

3. BUS elective

As part of the major, one BUS elective is required. It must be at the 200-level or above, and may consist of any BUS course that is not one of the core BUS courses listed above (202, 210, 302, 303, 401). The course you choose to satisfy this elective requirement may not also be used to satisfy the global business requirement.

4. Senior Capstone Experience (SCE)

At Washington College, every senior undertakes an intensive independent research project, in close consultation with a faculty advisor. There’s no better way to bring together what you’ve learned about critical thinking, systematic research, sharp analysis, and clear writing.

You’ll work hard on your Business Management capstone—so it can work for you.


The SCE Process

During the spring semester of your junior year, you’ll attend a SCE info session to find out more about the process. Capstones are most useful when they are aligned with your career goals, so you are encouraged to reflect on what career or business area you are most interested in preparing yourself for, and to consult with your professors and your advisor about your ideas.

For instance, your capstone research might include interviews with professionals in a particular industry or business area. Why not view those interviews as networking opportunities, stepping-stones to a job offer?


There are three SCE tracks available.

Strategy Capstone

The most popular track. You’ll do an intensive strategic analysis of a publicly traded firm, drawing on recent information about the firm’s operations, decisions, and bottom line. You’ll study the firm and its competitive environment. You’ll analyze a lot of data, come up with a solid understanding of the firm’s strategic situation, and write this up in clear, effective prose.

Business Plan Capstone

A great choice for students who wish to start a business. You’ll work closely with a faculty advisor on developing your own business plan, doing all the research necessary on market opportunities, financing options, operations, and more.

Special Topic Capstone

If you’ve got a special interest in a particular area like leadership, information systems, or marketing, a special-topic capstone lets you do independent research, closely supervised by a faculty advisor, in that area.


Students pursuing double majors are encouraged to write integrated Capstones for both majors. This requires planning beginning in the junior year. When faced with timelines from two departments, students should expect earlier ones to take precedence. Double majors can only earn four total SCE credits, even if they write two Capstones.


While completing their capstone projects, seniors are enrolled in the 4-credit Senior Capstone Experience (BUS SCE) course, usually during the spring semester. The Capstone receives a mark of Pass, Fail, or Honors.