The types of classes you take as a business major will vary depending on what your specific business major is. However, most business majors will take the same core classes before they get into their major specific courses. Check out some of the most common business major class requirements below.
Core Business Major Class Requirements
Colleges and universities around the country that offer various business majors like their students to build a base of general business knowledge. Regardless of what your specific business major is, schools will usually have a list of core business major class requirements that must be completed before moving on to major specific courses.
Students will benefit greatly from taking courses in broad based business subjects. Students will be able to learn about different aspects of business and may find that they are really interested in a specific business major that they weren’t originally interested in. Some of the most common business major class requirements are listed and explained below.
Microeconomics looks at how individuals and companies make decisions and what they base their decisions off. It is a specific study within the economics branch. Students will learn how prices are established, how resources are allocated, and about efficient and inefficient markets.
Microeconomics involves a lot of basic economic and business principals and is a great way for students to become more familiar with specific economic theories and learn more about business in general.
Macroeconomics is another specific branch of economics. Macroeconomics looks at the economy as a whole – think big picture. Students who take a macroeconomics course will go over topics like growth, inflation, and unemployment.
Macroeconomics is very similar to microeconomics except that students will be looking at the big picture. Students will be graphing a lot to help explain concepts and will use some basic algebra to solve questions. Students will find that a lot of ideas and terminology is transferable between macroeconomics and microeconomics.
Students working towards a business major will most likely be required to take an entry level calculus course. While there may not be a ton of practicality to taking a calculus course and being a business major, completing this course shows that you have the ability to think and solve problems.
Students working towards a finance, business analytics, economics, and MIS degree may go on to use some calculus in their major specific courses. If you are not ready for calculus right away, students can take math courses like college algebra before they take calculus to brush up on their math skills.
Introduction to Business
Tons of colleges and universities will have an introduction to business course that is a business major class requirement. Students will learn about the different aspects of business including marketing, finance, human relations, management, and accounting.
All concepts and learning material will be very broad so that students can learn about the various aspects of business. Introduction to business is a great course for students who may not be sure about which business major to get a degree in.
A business communications course is a great course for students because it is very practical, and students can apply many skills they learn in the course to their internships and jobs. Some schools might even count this course as an English requirement – meaning students won’t have to take an English course and write tons of essays.
This course will involve a lot of writing. On top of learning how to write in the business world, students will also learn different methods of communication and which situations it is best to use those methods.
Foundations of Accounting
Accounting is the language of business. It is important for students to understand basic accounting principles. Students will learn about the different financial statements and what to look for on each statement. Students will also learn how to calculate key ratios and what each ratio means.
Students often worry about taking an accounting course because they are afraid of the math involved. Basic accounting does not really involve much math besides simple addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. If you have attention to detail and work hard, you will do fine in an entry level accounting course.
Intro to Finance
Depending on your school, you may have to take an intro to finance class, even if you are not a finance major. Schools like their students to be comfortable dealing with the financial side of things and business.
Your school will decide the curriculum for the course, but it will most likely be a broad overview type of finance course. Students may learn about personal finance, corporate finance, investments, or financial planning.
Entry Level Analytics/Excel Course
Companies love students who are familiar with excel and working with data. Tons of colleges and universities have added business analytics as a major. With the increased popularity of analytics, colleges want to make sure their business students are familiar with Microsoft excel – making this course a business major class requirement.
The layout of the course will vary depending on your school, but most courses will teach students the basics of Microsoft excel. Students will learn how to run different formulas in excel and how to graph and visualize data. If you school does not require you to take a course like this, you should see if you can take it as an elective – it will be really useful to you when working in the real-world.
The above courses are some common business major class requirements for all students looking to complete a business degree. Schools like to have a broad curriculum for all business students to complete so that they are well versed in all areas of business before they begin taking their major specific courses.
The list above may be slightly different from the business curriculum at your college or university. You may take an entry level management or marketing course in place of one of the above courses. It is best to check with your counselor or talk with someone at your business school to make sure you complete all business major class requirements.
Students who know they want to major in something business related have the opportunity to work ahead and earn college credit while still in high school. Plenty of high schools offer students the opportunity to take the following AP courses:
- AP calculus
- AP microeconomics
- AP macroeconomics
- AP English
If students can complete these courses, and earn the college credit, they can be a couple of credit hours ahead of their peers. Usually these courses are worth 3 credit hours, with calculus sometimes being a 4-credit hour course.
To put it in perspective, most college students take 15 credit hours a semester – if they plan on graduating in 4 years. Earning college credit in at least 2 of those classes will mean that you will have earned 6 college credits while in high school. This will allow you to not have to take a full course load in a couple of your semesters in college.