Curriculum Overview 

A maximum of eighty-five (85) students from any class may declare a major in Business, Organizations, and Society.

A major in Business, Organizations, and Society is appropriate for students who are interested in studying business and organizational phenomena whether or not they intend to have careers in business. The program emphasizes critical thinking and analysis rather than memorizing techniques. It helps students learn “how to think” about alternative approaches to resolving issues, not simply “how to do” problems, although there are skill components within the program. Multidisciplinary approaches to problem solving are stressed by examining organizational issues from a variety of perspectives.

The courses are designed to help students develop a broad understanding of organizations and their roles in society. Students are exposed to many management philosophies, processes and styles, as well as the dynamic interface between theory and practice. They are required to complete four curricular components: an entry course; a breadth requirement composed of eight courses; a three-course, individually designed interdisciplinary cluster that provides the opportunity to develop depth of understanding in one area of organizational activity, such as management, finance, marketing, human resources, organizational ethics or international business; and a senior seminar.

A major in the Department of Business, Organizations and Society consists of the following courses: BOS 200, 224, 250 or the equivalent, 315, 324, 332, 341, 360 and 480; ECO 100; and MAT 109 or the equivalent. In addition, students, in consultation with their advisers, select three courses that provide depth of analysis in an area of organizational study. At least one of the three courses must be from outside the Department and all must be at or above the 200 level.

A joint major in Business, Organizations and Society and Environmental Studies must include BOS 200, 224, 250, 335 and 360; ECO 100; MAT 109 or the equivalent; and one course from BOS 315, 324, 332, 341 and 350.

A joint major in Business, Organizations and Society and a foreign language or International Studies must include BOS 200, 224, 250, 350 and 360; ECO 100; MAT 109 or the equivalent; and one course from BOS 315, 324, 332, 335 and 341.

A joint major in Business, Organizations and Society and Public Policy must include BOS 200, 224 and 360; MAT 109 or the equivalent; and four courses from BOS 315, 324, 332, 335, 341 and 350.

A joint major in Business, Organizations and Society and other subjects not listed above must include BOS 200, 224, 250 and 360; ECO 100; MAT 109 or the equivalent; and two courses from BOS 315, 324, 332, 335, 341 and 350.

Students interested in business are encouraged to consider a study abroad or off-campus study experience to enhance their knowledge of the field. Majors in the Department of Business, Organizations and Society have recently attended universities such as the London School of Economics and Political Science or Macquarie University through the Institute for Study Abroad, Butler University; the Danish Institute for Study Abroad and IES Abroad programs in locations around the world; and internship programs through Boston University.

The writing requirement in the Business, Organizations, and Society major is met by completion of the normal courses required to complete the major.

Courses Offered


A list of regularly offered courses follows. Please note the key for the following abbreviations: (A) Arts; (H) Humanities; (S) Social Sciences; (N) Natural Sciences with Laboratory; (LS) Language Studies requirement; (NW) Non-Western Cultures requirement.

200. Strategies for Organizing. (S)
Introduces students to the changing roles and relationships of business, organizations and society. Coupling theories of business strategy with a variety of critical perspectives, this course aims to provide students with a rich multidisciplinary framework for understanding deeply, thinking creatively, and acting effectively in our dynamic, competitive environment. Emphasizing the interplay between theory and practice, each section of BOS 200 may offer students a distinctive field experience or special project. 
Kasperson, Kim, Rebekah, Schneper

224. Accounting for Decision Making. (S)
Accounting concepts, standards and procedures involved in income determination and asset, liability and owners’ equity measurement and reporting. Emphasis on the role of accounting information in investment decisions. Pre- or coorequisite: BOS 200.  
Glazer, Krom

250. Quantitative Methods. (S)
Gives students the tools necessary to engage in research as well as the ability to read and understand the research done by others. Includes an exploration of the scientific method, theory construction, hypothesis development and statistical tests used to evaluate them. Focus is on issues in the social sciences, particularly business organizations. Not open to students who have taken ECO 210.
Forsyth, Kopchak

286. Social Entrepreneurship. (S)
Social impact investing and business growth will drive human survival in the next 100 years. Resource scarcity is reaching critical levels. The businessperson of the future will have to think in new and different ways, balance multiple interests and lead an increasingly diverse and multinational team. Understanding cultural motivations, legal and regulatory challenges and organizational theory are critical components for success in start-ups and mature companies. Throughout the semester, students will (1) analyze theories underlying today’s business culture (including the cycles of entrepreneurship through time), (2) explore how law, anthropology and finance intersect to create new thought leadership and (3) deconstruct a social impact investment and business plan to learn how modern entrepreneurship functions. The course will culminate with a research paper in which students will analyze a current start-up using theories discussed throughout the semester and predict future success and challenges for it and its industry. 

315. Organizational Behavior. (S)
Multidisciplinary study of the formal organization. Topics include concepts and theories related to how individuals, groups and structural attributes influence the performance of organizations. Prerequisite: BOS 200. 

316. Human Resources Management. (S)
Traditional areas and responsibilities of personnel/human resources management. Compliance with federal regulation of the workplace; planning, selection and staffing; training and development; performance appraisal; compensation; labor history; and labor relations. Prerequisite: BOS 315.  

324. Analysis and Control Systems. (S)
Exploration of current costing systems and the role of costs in performance measurement, budgeting and managerial decision-making. Examination of cost behavior and the use of cost analysis tools. Extensive use of cases in discussion of cost management topics including target costing and pricing decisions in decentralized operations, outsourcing, activity-based costing and budgeting, flexible manufacturing and environmental and quality costs. Prerequisite: BOS 224.  

325. Financial Reporting and Analysis. (S)
This course explores the use of generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) in financial reports and how well those principles reflect the underlying economic reality of an organization. Students will also gain experience analyzing actual financial reports and other publicly available information in order to assess an organization’s earnings, financial position and cash flows. Prerequisites: BOS 224 and 360.  

332. Law, Ethics and Society. (S)
Explores the nature of individual obligation and professional accountability in our complex, commercial society. We will begin by examining the minimal social expectations embodied in legal doctrines and principles. We will then turn to explore our broader social responsibilities by drawing upon the norms and values necessary for a vibrant civil society. The aim is to gain a richer understanding of how to lead morally satisfying and civically engaged professional lives.  
Nesteruk, Staff

335. Business and the Natural Environment. (S)
Widespread concern for a cleaner environment and sustainable practices has put new demands on business. Exploration of philosophical, theoretical, strategic and policy issues facing organizations in relation to the natural environment. Same as ENE 335.    

341. Marketing. (S)
Integrated, analytical approach to macro- and micro-marketing and marketing management. Problems and case studies are used to analyze marketing opportunities, strategic planning of profit and not-for-profit organizations in accordance with a societal marketing concept. Open to juniors and seniors only. Prerequisite: BOS 200 and BOS 250.  
Kasperson, Podoshen

345. Consumer Psychology. (S)
This course looks to explore answers to the question of “Why We Buy?”. Students will attempt to identify what makes consumers, emotionally and cognitively, act in the way that they do. This course integrates material, theory and perspectives from the fields of Marketing, Psychology, Sociology, Anthropology and Statistics in an effort to give the student a holistic examination of consumer behavior in the 21st century.  

350. International Business. (S)
Students in this course will learn about the history of international business, investigate the political and economic institutions that structure the global economy, and explore the impact of international environments on firm-level decisions. Same as IST 350.    

360. Finance. (S)
Theoretical concepts and analytical techniques of corporate finance. Topics include management of working capital, capital budgeting and cost of capital and capital structure planning. Open to juniors and seniors only. Prerequisites: BOS 224, BOS 250 and ECO 100.  

361. Securities Analysis. (S)
Formulation of investment policies for individuals, firms and institutions; analysis of securities; operation of the securities markets. Prerequisite: BOS 360.  

363. Portfolio Management. (S)
Students responsible for the Student-Managed Investment Fund, a portfolio of financial assets that is part of the College’s endowment funds. Students use finance and investment theories and practices introduced in the business finance and investment courses and examine how other fields of business contribute to more informed investment decision-making. Prerequisites: BOS 361 and permission of the instructor.  
Kopchak, Papakroni

385. Gender at Work. (S)
What is women’s work? How has it changed over the course of American history? How is it valued? This course explores the world of women’s work by comparing it to “men’s” work. We will focus on wage earning, caregiving, sex work, housework, “double days” and “glass ceilings.” We will especially consider women’s strategies of survival and resistance from various demographic, racial and ethnic groups. Same as AMS/WGS 385.

391. Directed Readings.
Exploration of a specific topic in organization studies through readings chosen and directed by a member of the Department of Business, Organizations, and Society faculty. Permission of the chairperson is required.  

370379, 470 479. Topics in Business, Organizations, and Society. (S)
Study of specific aspects of business and other types of organizations. Topics change from year to year. Permission of instructor usually required.  


480. Issues Facing Organizations in the 21st Century. (S)
This course is a senior seminar for majors. Various course sections use a different multi-disciplinary “theme.” All sections require that students undertake a semester long project as the culmination of their academic program. Projects may be individual or group based. Contemporary issues are used to create discussion and debate. Permission to enroll is determined by the student’s adviser and the instructor.  Kim, Kurland, Nesteruk, Podoshen, Schneper, Young

490. Independent Study. (S)
Independent study directed by the Business, Organizations, and Society staff. Permission of chairperson.