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Minor in Business and Society

The Business and Society Minor is for students who want to explore fundamental questions about the role of business in society and the relationship of business to other elements of society, including the government, the individual, and the community.  It encourages the examination of these questions from a variety of business, social science and humanistic perspectives.  Coursework in the minor draws from the range of offerings in the social sciences, humanities and business at the College that examine the larger societal context of business.  The minor in Business and Society is particularly well suited for students who are majoring in areas such as political science, history, and sociology.

The Business and Society Minor is flexible, and there are numerous avenues that a particular student may want to explore.  Because of the flexibility of the minor, we encourage students to meet with their minor advisor shortly after entering the minor to identify a general theme to explore in the program.  Examples of broad themes that students might explore in the minor include:

  • The impact of business on the environment and whether and how business should address questions of environmental sustainability
  • The relationship between business and government, such as government lobbying by business or the influence of business on the electoral process
  • Ethical questions relating to business – such as whether business has an obligation beyond profit making, how the values of individuals and the community influence and are influenced by business, why or how businesses behave ethically and unethically, and the consequences of ethical and unethical business behavior
  • The societal contribution of an industry or company, such as the effect of the financial industry on the economic system or the role of the pharmaceutical industry in advancing healthcare
  • The role of technology in transforming business and society – for example, how the economics of journalism have been affected by the Internet
  • The role of nongovernmental organizations in shaping business
  • How business affects international relations, or
  • How businesses affect the community

These are only a few ideas for themes that students might explore through the minor.  Students should think creatively in fashioning their own questions and themes to consider.  While the courses offered will not necessarily address the exact theme the student wishes to explore, they will provide the context and background to ground the student’s thinking, research and approach to a theme.

As students progress with their coursework in the minor, they should reflect on how their question or theme can be developed into a focused thesis that will culminate in the capstone paper for the minor.  This paper will pull together the various courses a student has taken in the minor into a coherent treatment of an issue.


Requirements for the Minor in Business & Society

Either MGT 201 (.5 units) or MKT 201 (.5 units)

Two of the following courses (2.0 units):

  • ECO 101 Microeconomics or ECO 102 Macroeconomics
  • ECO 210 History of Economic Thought
  • BUS 200 Legal Environment of Business
  • HIS 321 History of the World Economy
  • HIS 377 The US in the 20th Century
  • HIS 388 Environmental History
  • Other approved history course consistent with theme of minor
  • POL 305 American Public Policy
  • POL 323 Law and Society
  • SOC 301 Development of Socio-Cultural Theory
  • SOC 317 Organizations in Modern Society
  • SOC 336 Social and Cultural Change


 Two of the following courses (2.0 units):

  • BUS 300 Law for Business
  • BUS 325 Employment Law
  • BUS 360 Issues in International Business Law
  • ECO 320 Health Economics
  • ECO 350 Economics of Environmental Quality
  • MGT 385 Business Ethics & Corporate Responsibility
  • MKT 370 Topics in Marketing: Marketing and Public Policy
  • Other topical seminar approved by minor advisor


BUS 393 – Independent Research – Capstone experience (.5 units)
Independent research paper that will pull together a particular student’s focus in the minor into a coherent culminating experience.