UNH's Whittemore School of Business and Economics

UNH Offers New Undergraduate Business Options

By Janet Lathrop
UNH News Bureau

September 24, 2001

DURHAM, N.H. -- New undergraduate curriculum options for business administration majors were adopted recently at the University of New Hampshire's Whittemore School of Business and Economics. They allow students more flexibility to specialize in one of eight interest areas, according to Roger Grinde, associate professor of management science and academic director of undergraduate business programs.

The Whittemore School reduced its undergraduate business administration curriculum from 13 core courses to 10, and doubled the number of elective courses from three to six to add flexibility and let students tailor their course work, Grinde says. The new areas of concentration are marketing, accounting, information systems, entrepreneurial venture creation, finance, international business and economics, management and a student-designed option.

All options -- satisfactory completion of which will appear on the student's official UNH transcript -- combine traditional classroom instruction with case studies and experiential learning.

To complement the new opportunities for specialization, Whittemore School faculty have designed a new "Introduction to Business" course providing a well rounded overview of primary business topics; regional business leaders will serve as guest speakers, and prominent New Hampshire businesses will partner with the Whittemore School as resources for students and to provide future learning, internship and employment opportunities.

Content of most core business courses at UNH will remain fairly traditional, Grinde says, "but our faculty continually improve the delivery of those courses with effective use of the latest technology and an increasing emphasis on active learning."

The new options are a blend of traditional areas -- such as finance and marketing -- with cutting-edge new interdisciplinary areas such as entrepreneurial venture creation and information systems. "We are creating exciting opportunities for students to gain professional expertise in some very specialized areas of study," says Grinde.

Steve Bolander, dean of the Whittemore School, says that the change represents a shift in the delivery of business education at UNH. "In the past, the philosophy had been to serve students by focusing more on a general education. But while we and other business schools still greatly value a strong liberal arts foundation, with this change, we're recognizing that the world is becoming more specialized. Technical knowledge is simply a necessary part of business now, and we want our students to be as well prepared as possible."

Considering that students are coming to the university more prepared to delve into the technical aspects of economics and business, Bolander added, "it's time to reflect that in the curriculum."

Also, for the first time all Whittemore School students will be required to pass a "Computing Essentials for Business" course, insuring that students moving forward in the business program have basic computer literacy and skills, Grinde says. The business school's last major curriculum redesign was in 1992-1993.

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