This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Lila Weatherly.
The School of Business is adding more concentration options for students this fall, building on a series of recent curriculum changes at the school.
Concentrations in accountancy, entrepreneurship and business analytics will become available for students in the business school in the fall semester, a university official confirmed last week. The school now offers a total of nine outlined concentrations, including international business and marketing, for students majoring in business administration.
Isabelle Bajeux-Besnainou, the associate dean of undergraduate programs at the school who’s leaving GW in September to lead McGill University’s business school, said in an email that the concentration in accountancy gives students in the school an option to receive a general business education without losing out on learning more about accountancy. The school also offers a bachelors degree in accountancy, which requires more accounting classes and fewer business core courses, like marketing.
“The concentration in accountancy was created to provide students with the opportunity to study more accountancy while providing them with the breadth in business associated with the B.B.A. curriculum,” she said.
She also said that the entrepreneurship concentration will be a more distinctive opportunity for business students at GW.
Students have the opportunity to apply to create their own concentration within their business administration major if the nine options offered don’t suit them. A popular one of those create-your-own concentrations turned out to be entrepreneurship, Bajeux-Besnainou said.
“The concentration in entrepreneurship was the single most selected individualized field of concentration in our B.B.A. program,” she said. “It will provide our students with a unique perspective and knowledge about innovation and entrepreneurship.”
GW has amped up its focus on entrepreneurship in recent years, with faculty working to create a minor in entrepreneurship and participation in programs like the GW Business Plan increasing.
Bill Holder, the dean of the Leventhal School of Accounting at the University of Southern California, said accounting skills are an important foundation for a business student to have, especially one considering starting their own businesses.
“[Investors] are going to want to know, what are the financial prospects here?” he said.
Holder said that, for this reason, entrepreneurship and accounting are extremely valuable — not only separately, but together.
“The primary focus is the vision for the business you’re going to launch and try to nurture to success, but understanding those metrics, understanding those cash flows and performance, are all important to the entrepreneur in order to be successful,” Holder said.
The concentration in business analytics, which focuses on interpreting massive amounts of data, has the potential to bring in more students to the business school, said Murat Tarimcilar, a decision sciences professor who took part in putting the concentration together, in April.
Graduate schools enrollment across the University have declined in the past few years, placing a larger emphasis on increasing undergraduate enrollment.
Officials say that the new concentrations will have the same field requirements as all previous ones, including five courses in the field of each concentration and one international field course. This formula differs from the ten field courses and one international field course required for a major, potentially allowing students to double-concentrate.
The concentration addition comes along a string of improvements at the business school. The school announced in January 2013 a new bachelor of science in finance, the requirements of which were streamlined in April.