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Business Management

NOTE: This page contains information from the 2012-2013 Catalog. It remains available for archival purposes only. For the most current WC Catalog content, please visit http://catalog.washcoll.edu and download this year’s edition.
Division of Social Sciences


A brand-new Accounting and Finance minor … internships in town and around the world … study abroad in London, Paris, or other business capitals … hands-on work with SAP, the world’s leading enterprise software package… a student-managed investment fund: at Washington College business management is an active liberal art.

Our quantitative orientation teaches you how to think with numbers. Our small course size sharpens your discusion skills and lets you work closely with faculty. Our team projects let you experience the challenges—and rewards—of collaborative work. Our senior capstone—a rigorous, senior-year individual project—polishes your research, analytic, and writing skills. All in all, our program challenges you to become a “liberal-arts entrepreneur,” linking the College’s enduring liberal-arts values of critical thinking, effective communication, and moral courage with cutting-edge business leadership skills.

the Major

The major consists of seven core business management (BUS) courses, plus (1) two foundation Economics courses, (2) a two-course quantitative requirement, (3) a global learning requirement, and (4) a senior capstone. All core BUS courses except BUS 401 are offered every semester.

Foundation Economics Courses (usually taken the first year)

  • ECN 111. Introduction to Macroeconomics
  • ECN 112. Introduction to Microeconomics

Quantitative Requirement (usually taken in the first two years; any one of the following pairs)

  • BUS 203. Quantitative Methods I and BUS 204. Quantitative Methods II, or
  • MAT 109. Statistics and MAT 135. Finite Math, or
  • MAT 109. Statistics and MAT 201. Calculus (recommended for students interested in graduate study in Business)

Core BUS Courses (200-level courses usually taken the second year; 300-level courses usually taken the third year)

BUS 201. Introduction to Financial Accounting

  • BUS 202. Marketing
  • BUS 301. Financial Analysis
  • BUS 302. Organizational Behavior
  • BUS 303. Legal Environment of Business
  • BUS 304. Management Information Systems
  • BUS 401. Strategic Management

Senior Capstone (typically completed in the student’s final semester)

  • BUS SCE. Senior Capstone Experience

All of these courses, as well as electives, may be taken at our study-abroad partners.


A Business Management minor adds value to your résumé. The five-course minor consists of three required courses (BUS 201, 202, and 302) and two BUS electives, which may be drawn from any upper-level (300- or 400-level) BUS course. Any of the five courses may be taken in a study-abroad program. Since the scope of business is limited only by imagination, the department encourages creative pairings of majors and minors: a Business Management minor is an excellent addition to a major in the humanities or sciences, for instance.


New for 2012-13, the Accounting and Finance minor prepares students from all majors for future employment or further study in these in-demand fields. The minor consists of four core courses, and four electives. (Economics majors can complete the Accounting and Finance minor by taking five courses beyond those required for their major. Business Management majors cannot declare the minor, but can earn a specialization in Accounting and Finance by completing the same curricular requirements.)

Four Core Courses

  • MAT 109. Statistics or BUS 203. Quantitative Methods I
  • ECN 111. Introduction to Macroeconomics or ECN 112. Introduction to Microeconomics

BUS 201. Introduction to Financial Accounting

  • BUS 301. Financial Analysis

Four Elective Courses (at least one from each area)

  • BUS 212. Introduction to Managerial Accounting
  • BUS 340. Intermediate Accounting
  • BUS 341. Income Tax Accounting
  • BUS 342. Auditing
  • BUS 355. Corporate Finance
  • BUS 440. Investments
  • BUS 455. Financial Derivatives
  • ECN 411. International Finance

Global learning Program

Since business is global, the Business Management major includes a global learning requirement. (International students are exempt.) It may be fulfilled in three ways: (1) participating in any study-abroad experience that earns Washington College credit; (2) studying a foreign language through the 202-level; or (3) taking two global-focus courses. One of these must be a Business Management course, either BUS 310 International Business or BUS 311 Global Business Strategy. The other may be chosen from any course in any Department (excluding BUS 310 and BUS 311) listed as part of the International Studies Program.

The department encourages students to fulfill their global learning requirement by studying abroad. Study abroad gives you first-hand experience with other ways of life; you’ll get a deeper understanding of how culture affects markets, firms, and strategy. And study abroad, by offering you a new perspective on your native culture, will challenge you and stimulate your creativity and critical thinking. To facilitate study abroad, our Working Capital Program includes nine outstanding partner business programs, (all taught in English except the Argentina program):

  • Royal Holloway, University of London (England)
  • American Business School Paris (France)
  • Leiden University (The Netherlands)
  • Bogazici University (Istanbul, Turkey)
  • Al Akhawayn University (Ifrane, Morocco)
  • Meiji Gakuin University (Yokohama, Japan)
  • Lingnan University (Hong Kong, China)
  • Bond University (Gold Coast, Australia)
  • Pontificia Universidad Católica Argentina (Buenos Aires, Argentina: Spanish-language program)

Many students planning to study abroad and interested in further study of international business, choose to pursue a concentration in Global Business Studies, administered through the International Studies Program (students are not required to major in International Studies). In addition, students interested in a particular region may wish to pursue a regional concentration in African Studies, Asian Studies, Latin American Studies, Near Eastern Studies, or European Studies. More information about the requirements for these concentrations can be found in the International Studies Program section in this catalog. Interested students are advised to review this section before making study-abroad course selections.

Alex. Brown Student Investment Program

Students from any major can participate in the Alex. Brown Student Investment Program and help manage an equity fund valued at hundreds of thousands of dollars. In the program, you’ll learn to analyze and report on stocks, and then execute actual trades worth tens of thousands of dollars. The program includes field trips to finance markets and conferences, talks by visiting industry leaders, and intensive work over the semester that will help prepare you for a career in the investment field.


The Washington College chapter of Sigma Beta Delta, the national business honor society, recognizes outstanding majors and minors pursuing business studies. In addition, business management students may aspire to membership in other honor societies, including Omicron Delta Kappa, the national leadership honor society, and Phi Beta Kappa, the nation’s oldest academic honor society. Membership in Phi Beta Kappa is by invitation only, and eligibility is based on the totality of a student’s academic achievement and character. Students interested in Phi Beta Kappa are advised to take a broad range of courses and should plan a program that includes at least 96 credits in “liberal studies” courses. (Quantitative Methods I and II and Organizational Behavior count toward the “liberal studies” requirement, but other BUS courses do not.)

Washington College Students in Free Entreprise

Many Business Management majors and minor participate in WC SIFE, the campus chapter of a global student organization dedicated to fostering student leadership and improving the world “through the positive power of business.” WC SIFE team members practice skills learned in the classroom by designing, implementing and assessing projects that serve communities here and abroad. SIFE teams wrap up the academic year by presenting their accomplishments at regional, national and world competitions judged by industry leaders. WC SIFE has been instrumental in launching two major campus annual events, the Washington College Career Fair and Neighbors for Good: Connecting Campus and Community, as well as helping local organizations such as the Community Food Pantry and Junior Achievement enhance their programs. Washington College SIFE has earned regional championships the last two years, earning the team the right to compete at the national level. A link to more information about WC SIFE can be found on the Business Management Department’s Web page.


Most majors and many minors in Business Management complete for-credit internships during the fall, spring, or summer (see the course descriptions below for BUS 390 and BUS 490). These are some of the local, regional, and national internship placements students have had in recent years:

  • AFLAC (Columbus, GA)
  • Anne Arundel Medical Center (Annapolis)
  • Benchworks (Chestertown)
  • Black Entertainment Television (Washington, DC)
  • Booz Allen Hamilton
  • Chester Bridge Foundation (Chestertown)
  • Chester River Hospital Center (Chestertown)
  • Crossroads (Chestertown)
  • Dixon Valve (Chestertown)
  • Enterprise Rent-A-Car (Neptune, NJ)
  • ILSbio (Chestertown)
  • LaMotte (Chestertown)
  • Merrill Lynch (Chicago)
  • MHS Enterprise (Falls Church, VA)
  • Morgan Stanley (Fairfield, CT)
  • MTV Networks (New York)
  • Orapharma Inc. (Warminster, PA)
  • RBC Capital Markets (New York)
  • The Goldstein Group (Glen Rock, NJ)
  • Under Armour (Baltimore)
  • US Foodservice (Columbia, MD)
  • WC Dining Services (Chestertown)
  • Weber Shandwick Worldwide (Baltimore)

Course Descriptions

201. Introduction to Financial Accounting

An introduction to the accounting principles and procedures used for collecting, recording, summarizing, and interpreting financial information. Students will learn to read and interpret financial statements. Special emphasis is placed upon the concepts of internal control over resources and transactions. Computerized spreadsheets are integrated into the course.

202. Marketing

A critical approach to the study of the marketing concept including policies and principles. Emphasis is placed on the identification of variables involved in marketing decision-making and the process by which marketing decisions are made.

203. Quantitative Methods I

First course in a two-semester sequence in data analysis, modeling, and decision-making. Includes data management, descriptive statistics, correlation, probabilities, discrete and continuous distributions, and sampling methods and distributions. Computer applications are integrated throughout the course.

204. Quantitative Methods II

Second course in a two-semester sequence in data analysis, modeling, and decision-making. Includes estimation, hypothesis testing, ANOVA, simple and multiple regression, optimization using linear programming, and statistical methods for quality control. Computer applications are integrated throughout the course. Prerequisite: BUS 203.

212. Introduction to Managerial Accounting

Study of the use of accounting information to plan for, evaluate, and control activities. The course will explore various product and service costing procedures. Other topics include responsibility accounting, budgets, financial analysis, costs control, and the time value of money. Emphasis will be placed upon the use of information for management decisions. Prerequisite: BUS 201.

301. Financial Analysis

Students will learn to analyze accounting statements from a financial manager’s perspective. The major objectives are to apply analytical tools like financial ratios, NPV and IRR; to understand and interpret financial data; and to evaluate the financial condition of the enterprise. The course will also place the use of financial analysis in an industry perspective so that companies are evaluated against competitors. Prerequisite: BUS 201 and statistics (either BUS 203 or MAT 109).

302. Organizational Behavior

A research-based exploration of how organizations function. Topics include the contemporary workplace, career management, culture, bureaucracy, teams, motivation, emotional intelligence, power, communication, gender, diversity, and leadership. Students prepare and make collaborative presentations and conduct workplace and leadership interviews. A writing-intensive option is available for interested students.

303. Legal Environment of Business

This course looks at how the law has evolved from English common law to today’s statutory and regulatory legal environment. The course explores recent statutes such as Sarbanes-Oxley and Dodd-Frank and how they have impacted the way businesses operate. The course also investigates legal and ethical issues facing businesses today, different types of business associations, and liability issues faced by businesses under current tort law, contract law, and property law.

304. Management Information Systems

This course introduces Management Information Systems (MIS) and its use in solving business problems, finding new opportunities for organizational improvement, and supporting enterprise strategic and operational objectives.  Students learn transactional and analytical database concepts, document and analyze business processes as related to integrated software systems, and use various models to develop ethical approaches to the design and use of information systems. Microsoft Access and SAP enterprise software are used to illustrate concepts. Prerequisite:  BUS 201.

310. International Business

Introduction to the study of global business, including the dynamics of conducting business across national boundaries and the critical roles that culture, technology, politics, and economics play in shaping the global competitive environment.

311. Global Business Strategy

Acquaints future managers with the tools necessary to understand challenges facing multinational firms. Focuses on the management, strategy, corporate structuring, and functional operations necessary for firms to succeed globally. Includes lectures, cases, guest speakers, and a computer simulation game.

315. Enterprise Resource Planning Systems

This course provides the student with comprehensive knowledge of an important information technology tool—Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software. Using SAP ERP software, students learn the information flow for three fundamental business processes—order fulfillment, procurement, and production—and learn how ERP systems support these business processes in an integrated fashion. The course emphasizes the concept of system configuration, in which organizational structure, policy rules and other corporate information are analyzed and then mapped to the ERP system.. This intensive, hands-on class is taught in a conference-room pilot environment that demands active participation from each student. Prerequisite: BUS 304.

320. Entrepreneurship

A study of entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship, the process of identifying opportunities, the marshalling and management of resources, and strategic planning and development of a business plan. An examination of the management process through growth and change, including reasons for the successes and failures of specific companies. Prerequisite: BUS 202 or permission of the instructor.

327, 328, 329.

An integrated three-course unit for students spending a semester at the Washington Center. Students receive 16 elective credits in Business Management. (Details below.)

327. Washington Center Internship

A full-time, semester-long internship in Washington, DC, with a federal agency, non-profit organization, or private firm. Depending upon interest and internship placement, students may attend hearings, conduct policy research, draft correspondence, monitor legislation, lobby members of Congress, or write analytical reports. Students will create an in-depth portfolio of their internship experience. 12 credits. Prerequisite: BUS 202, 2.8 cumulative GPA, permission of an instructor, and successful application to The Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars. This course is normally open only to juniors and seniors.

328. Washington Center Seminar

Washington Center Interns participate in an evening seminar selected from a variety of topics offered during the semester. Students engage in class discussion and may also research seminar topics, prepare written assignments, and take examinations. Required of and limited to students enrolled in BUS 327. Three credits.

329. Washington Center Forum

Washington Center Interns participate in lectures, site visits, small group discussions, briefings, and other required events designed to help them understand the connection between their academic and professional goals and the special educational opportunities available through living and working in Washington, DC. Evaluations of these experiences are included in the student portfolio. Required of and limited to students enrolled in BUS 327. One credit.

330. International Business Experience

This summer course, taught by a Washington College Business Management faculty member, takes students abroad for two weeks of intensive study and experiential learning in international business. To maximize learning about international business, the itinerary is intense. Students spend four hours listening to lectures from host university faculty, twenty hours visiting local businesses, ten hours visiting political/economic institutions, and four hours in a seminar experience with the accompanying WC faculty member. The course includes two three-hour sessions at Washington College, one before the course to prepare students academically, and one afterwards to help students reflect on their learning experiences.

334. Leadership

What do leaders do? Are they born or made? Why are some leaders effective, and others ineffective? What role do followers play? This seminar explores these and other questions by focusing on leadership in organizations. Topics include vision, power, trust, ethics, communication, gender, and change. Not open to first- or second-year students.

340. Intermediate Accounting

The study of current and emerging financial accounting theory and techniques. Emphasizes financial statement presentation and the underlying treatment of cash, investments, receivables, inventory, long-lived assets, and intangible assets. Prerequisite: BUS 201.

341. Income Tax Accounting

Federal taxation of individuals focusing on income, exclusions, deductions, depreciation, credits, and capital transactions. Property coverage includes the tax consequences of sales and dispositions of investment and business assets. Both tax planning and tax compliance issues are covered. Prerequisite: BUS 201.

342. Auditing

Auditing consists of a set of practical conceptual tools that help a person to find, organize, and evaluate evidence about the assertions of another party. This course will focus on those analytical and logical skills necessary to evaluate the relevance and reliability of systems and processes. Critical thinking and communications skills are developed through a variety of means including case analyses, presentations, discussion, preparation of group and individual case papers, and research of professional and scholarly literature. Recognizing that ethics is an integral part of the entire accounting-related profession and a significant topic in all the College’s accounting courses, this course will contain a section reviewing audit ethics, and will cover lapses of ethical behavior by both auditors and audited firms. Prerequisite: BUS 201.

355. Corporate Finance

This course provides an in-depth analysis on the financial policies of corporations. Students learn how to use and analyze financial data to make sound managerial decisions. Since successful financial management also depends on effective communication, case studies will be provided throughout the semester to strengthen students’ ability to express clearly in presentation as well as writing. Topics covered include capital budgeting, capital structure, dividends and payout policies, working capital management, mergers and acquisitions, and leasing. In addition, to help students develop an ethical sensitivity in business, topic about ethics in corporate finance will also be included. Prerequisite: BUS 301 or permission of the instructor.

390. Internship

In Chestertown or around the world, Business Management majors and minors can earn credit for internships during the school year or the summer. Grading is pass-fail only. Prerequisite: BUS 201 and 202 and minimum 2.5 GPA, or approval by the department.

401. Strategic Management

Strategic analysis and implementation. The case study method is used, requiring oral and written presentations. All separate functional areas are integrated in the strategy process in relation to the firms social responsibilities with regard to society, employees, and the larger environment. Prerequisite: BUS 202, 301, and 302.

440. Investments

A study of financial investments and capital markets. Topics include investment valuation/risk analysis, portfolio policies, financial institutions, and securities markets. Students will also study the theories of efficient markets. Cases demonstrating various concepts will be integrated into the course. Prerequisite: BUS 440 or permission of the instructor.

451. Advertising

Overview of the advertising industry from client and agency sides. Advertising is placed within the marketing context of consumer behavior and market segmentation. Included is media strategy and selection, creative strategy, print and broadcast advertising from concept through production, advertising research, and international advertising strategy. Prerequisite: BUS 202.

455. Financial Derivatives

This course introduces financial derivatives and the operation of derivatives market. Coverage includes options, forward contracts, commodity and financial futures, and swaps. Students also learn how to use analytical models to determine the proper value of these financial products. Since the existence of a well-functioning financial market depends a lot on the integrity of its participants, especially the investment professionals, cases regarding financial crisis and business ethics will be provided and discussed. These case studies also allow students to strengthen their oral as well as written communication skills. Prerequisite: BUS 301 or permission of the instructor.

490. Internship

Students taking a second for-credit internship are enrolled in BUS 490. Grading is pass-fail only. Prerequisite: Competion of BUS 390 and approval by the department.

194, 294, 394, 494. Special Topics

Topics not regularly offered in the department’s normal course offerings.

195, 295, 395, 495. On-campus Research

Consists of an individual research project chosen by the student in consultation with a faculty member, involving both design and implementation. Submission of a written report is required. Open only to upper-level business management majors and minors who have acquired a strong foundation in business management, and who have received project approval from a sponsoring faculty member and permission of the department chair.

196, 296, 396, 496. Off-campus Research

197, 297, 397, 497. Independent Study

SCE. Senior Capstone Experience

The Senior Capstone Experience is an intensive research project chosen by the student and guided by a faculty member. It hones research, analytic, and writing skills developed during four years of study. Students complete the Capstone while enrolled in the four-credit Senior Capstone Experience (SCE) course, usually in the spring. The Capstone receives a mark of Pass, Fail, or Honors. Full details on the capstone are available on the department Web site. Prerequisite: BUS 401.