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College of A & L creates new minor

Emma Russ | Thursday, November 17, 2011

Next fall semester, the College of Arts and Letters will offer a new minor in Business Economics, providing students with the opportunity to gain basic knowledge of business-related skills.

“We’re very excited to offer the Business Economics minor next fall,” Dean of the College of Arts and Letters John McGreevy said. “It should be a great opportunity for Arts and Letters students to learn about the basic concepts of the business world.”

The minor will consist of five courses: two in economics, one in accounting, one in finance and one in statistics.

“It should be a rigorous, challenging program,” McGreevy said.

McGreevy said the number of students whose primary major falls in the College of Arts and Letters has recently declined, while more students seem to be taking an interest in business.

“At the same time, the number of majors in Arts and Letters has remained stable because so many students are double-majoring from [Mendoza] into [the College of] Arts and Letters,” he said. “We see this as an attractive option for those business students fundamentally attracted to Arts and Letters, but who want some basic business vocabulary.”

Many students believe an Arts and Letters major decreases their chances of finding a job after graduation, so they enroll in Mendoza with their future careers in mind, McGreevy said.

“We think that a lot of students want to be in Arts and Letters, but worry that a degree in the arts won’t serve them well in their future career searches,” he said. “This is not true. Many Arts and Letters students pursue a career in business and are very successful.”

Students in the College of Arts and Letters have a variety of post-graduation options, and they do equally as well in obtaining work as do business students or students from any other college, McGreevy said.

“We love where our Arts and Letters students end up,” he said. “Almost all of them find satisfying work. Indeed, the number of Arts and Letters students looking for work a year after graduation is the same as for students in any college across the university. About a third of them go on to graduate or professional school, 20 percent go into full-time service and about half go right into the paid labor force.”

The Business Economics minor will provide students with business terminology and the fundamentals needed to understand a global economy. However, the minor is not necessary to secure a job in the field of business, McGreevy said.

“Notre Dame students in Arts and Letters already have success in the business world, so you do not need the business minor to find a job. However, we think that for students seriously considering a career in business, it will provide a good feel for business vocabulary,” he said.

One of the main goals of the new minor is to encourage students to study what they want to study, regardless of future career plans, McGreevy said.

“The bottom line is, we want people to study what they love,” he said. “If you love English, you should study English. If you love science, you should study science. If you love accounting, you should study accounting. Students shouldn’t panic in their first year about whether or not they are going to find a job because the evidence tells us that Notre Dame students are going to do well.”