University-wide Business Minor to launch spring 2013

Four Cornell colleges have created Business@Cornell to offer students across campus a minor in business beginning in spring 2013. The minor is intended to give students majoring in other subject areas exposure to business concepts and methods applicable to a variety of careers.

The University-wide Business Minor (UBM) is offered by the members of Business@Cornell: the College of Agriculture and Life Science (CALS's Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management), the ILR School, the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management and the School of Hotel Administration. CALS is its administrative home.

"With the launching of the business minor, all undergraduate students at Cornell now have the opportunity to benefit from the world-class management education offered by the professional degree programs that make up Business@Cornell," said Steve Carvell, Hotel School associate dean.

Potential UBM students should complete a declaration of intent to declare the minor between their freshman year and sixth semester; doing so will give them access to advice about the minor and news about courses and extracurricular opportunities. The first accreditation of UBM minors will be in May 2014, so the minor is not open to current seniors.

The UBM requires successful completion of introductory courses in statistics and microeconomics and at least 12 credits in such courses as Introduction to Management, Introduction to Marketing, Financial Accounting and Finance. Courses can be taken in any of the four schools.

"The most important thing for students to do is declare their intent to do this minor," said UBM faculty director Deborah Streeter, professor of applied economics and management. "That will help us plan so that we can serve them better. Regardless of major, almost all Cornell students will have careers that touch on business in some fashion. This minor will expose them to the vocabulary, concepts and analytics used in a business environment and make them more competitive for internships."

Streeter said that many students are looking for a way to get a business credential before they graduate.

"The universitywide minor allows students to explore the interface between business and other areas of knowledge. This exploration may open unanticipated career opportunities for many Cornell students," said CALS Senior Associate Dean Max Pfeffer. "The collaboration also provides an exciting opportunity for the four colleges involved to work together in new and innovative ways."

The UBM will subsume popular Dyson School business minors - previously available only to CALS students - except for the retooled Dyson Business Minor for Engineers and the Business Minor for Life Science Majors.

"It's very exciting that the UBM is making such top-ranked instruction available to students who are studying other things," said Dyson School Director Loren Tauer. "Whether they start their own business or work for a corporation, the government or a nonprofit, they will need to know how to read financial statements, how to manage people and have a familiarity with that world."

Streeter noted that CALS students have been pursuing informal business "minors" for many years. By combining the resources of four colleges, she said, UBM students will have much greater flexibility in course offerings.

"We are excited to be part of the new minor," said Doug Stayman, associate dean for MBA programs at Johnson. "Students in the business minor will enjoy the same approach to education and preparation we use with Johnson MBA students."

ILR School Harry Katz said, "I am delighted that Cornell is making this available to students from around the campus."

Full UBM program details are available online. For more information and to declare intent to minor, contact Nancy Bell at or 607-254-1297.

Media Contact

Joe Schwartz