Bachelor of Science in Business Administration

The Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA) provides a holistic approach to exploring business by leveraging business courses as well as those from across the University through the BU Hub. Students are exposed to business and functional disciplines, the increased interdependence of these disciplines, the larger role of business in society, and essential skills such as teaming, career management, and critical thinking. From the moment they enter the program, BSBA students begin a rigorous set 18 core courses across business disciplines. This includes the innovative cross-functional core—an integrated semester comprised of four coordinated courses that challenge student teams to research, develop, and present a business plan and solve cross-disciplinary issues.

All BSBA students complete at least one functional concentration, which presents a deep exploration of a specific functional area in the study and practice of management. Students may also explore additional academic options, including the Questrom Honors Program, minors, independent studies, study abroad opportunities, and the option of pursuing a dual degree. Graduates of the BSBA program achieve strong placement outcomes across business and nonprofit settings and are guided by a set of required career management courses across their program.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the BSBA program, students will be able to demonstrate:

  • An ethical perspective
    • Identify ethical issues in their personal, local, and global business environments.
    • Demonstrate that they understand the impact of business on society through their ability to use common frameworks and decision-making analysis to develop ethical decision-making skills as an engaged contributor, manager, and leader.
    • Recognize conditions and strategies for acting effectively on values.
  • Core business knowledge
    • Demonstrate basic knowledge of accounting, marketing, operations and technology management, finance, organizational behavior, information systems, law, quantitative analysis, and strategy.
    • Apply critical and analytical thinking to management situations/challenges.
  • Core business skills
    • Discuss with or present to diverse audiences the results of analysis in cogent and concise oral presentations.
    • Use basic business application software.
    • Write to diverse audiences a clear, concise, and complete summary or analysis.
    • Use self-assessment and professional exploration frameworks to develop a specific, personal career development strategy.
  • Leadership and collaboration
    • Understand and assume leadership responsibility.
    • Give and receive constructive feedback to enhance performance.
    • Participate effectively and efficiently in collaborative activities with diverse team composition.
  • A systems perspective
    • Demonstrate that they have considered cross-functional issues when developing solutions to business problems or challenges.
    • Identify and manage risk when developing solutions to business problems or challenges.
  • A global perspective
    • Demonstrate that they have considered global cultural, regulatory, managerial, and ethical issues when developing solutions to business problems or challenges.
  • An innovative approach
    • Recognize the role of innovation in value creation and its impact on firm and industry.

Requirements

All students entering as freshmen in Fall 2018 and after will pursue coursework in the BU Hub, a general education program that is integrated into the entire undergraduate experience. BU Hub requirements are flexible and can be satisfied in many different ways, through coursework in and beyond the major and, in some cases, through co-curricular activities. Students majoring in Business Administration will ordinarily, through coursework in the major, satisfy BU Hub requirements in Quantitative Reasoning and the Intellectual Toolkit as well as some of the requirements in Scientific and Social Inquiry; Diversity, Civic Engagement, and Global Citizenship; and Communication. Remaining BU Hub requirements will be satisfied by selecting from a wide range of available courses outside the major or, in some cases, co-curricular experiences.

The following requirements apply to students who enter Questrom School of Business as freshmen beginning in the Fall 2018 academic year. Students who entered the school prior to Fall 2018 should see the Bulletin archive for the specific policies and curriculum requirements pertaining to them.

The Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA) requires that students complete coursework in business and the liberal arts, as well as seminars in career development, and that they complete no fewer than 133 credits while also meeting all requirements of the BU Hub. Students normally take four academic courses each semester. Though there are many ways to progress through the Questrom Undergraduate curriculum, ultimately every student must complete the same graduation requirements. These courses are distributed as follows:

  • 15 required courses in the Questrom School of Business
  • Three required executive skills (ES) courses in career development
  • Four business concentration electives
  • Five electives or 20 credits from the College of Arts & Sciences (CAS)
  • Three electives or 12 credits from outside of Questrom
  • Two electives or 8 credits from any school/college within Boston University
  • In some cases, additional electives to ensure the minimum 133 credits necessary to graduate or to meet remaining BU Hub requirements
  • Students take the following career development seminars: QST ES 110 (1 credit) in their freshman year, followed by QST ES 210 in their sophomore year (1 credit), and concluding with QST ES 310 (1 credit) in their junior year. Students who transfer into Questrom replace ES 110 and ES 210 with ES 215 (2 credits), which combines the content of ES 110 and ES 210. Career development seminars are included in the 133 credits necessary to graduate.

Freshman Year

Students who begin Questrom in their freshman year take two required business courses: Business, Society & Ethics and Introduction to Finance. The intent of the two courses is to provide a philosophical, economic, and applied foundation for ethical decision-making in finance and business. Collectively, the courses are designed to launch the development of the student’s writing, presentation, and team skills.

  • CAS EC 101 Introductory Microeconomic Analysis
  • CAS EC 102 Introductory Macroeconomic Analysis
  • CAS WR 120 (or equivalent) First-Year Writing Seminar (or other level of writing course as determined by the CAS Writing Program)
  • CAS MA 121 Calculus for the Life and Social Sciences I or CAS MA 123 Calculus I
  • QST ES 110 Explore Your Career (1 cr)
  • QST FE 101 Introduction to Finance (2 cr)
  • QST SM 131 Business, Society & Ethics
    • All Questrom students who enter as freshmen must complete both QST SM 131 and QST FE 101 with a grade of no lower than B– in each to remain in good standing. Non-Questrom students must have completed at least one semester of matriculated college coursework to enroll in QST SM 131 or FE 101. Ultimately, all Questrom students must receive a minimum of B– or better in QST SM 131 and QST FE 101 to continue on in our curriculum, and should they fail to meet this requirement, they will be allowed one opportunity to retake one or both courses. If a student repeats a gateway course, the average of the two grades for the course must be at least 2.70. Only the first two graded attempts of a gateway course, including any attempt that results in a W, will be considered for the purposes of fulfilling this gateway criterion.
  • Three electives (may fulfill BU Hub requirements (12 cr total)

Sophomore Year

Students in their sophomore year develop the analytical tools of financial and managerial accounting, management information systems, and statistics; study organizational behavior; develop their business communication skills; and learn the institutional realities of business law. Informed by their freshman experience, students more readily comprehend the importance of these analytical tools, see the need to extend their team skills, and recognize the practical importance of the institutional perspective of business law.

  • QST AC 221 Financial Accounting
  • QST AC 222 Managerial Accounting
  • QST ES 210 Build Your Career Toolkit (1 cr) [or QST ES 215 (2 cr) if did not enter as a freshman]
  • QST ES 275 Management Communications (4 cr)
  • QST IS 223 Introduction to Information Systems
  • QST LA 245 Introduction to Law
  • QST OB 221 The Dynamics of Leading Organizations
  • QST QM 221 Probabilistic and Statistical Decision Making for Management
  • QST QM 222 Modeling Business Decisions and Market Outcomes

Junior Year

Juniors at Questrom devote an entire semester to SM 323 The Cross-Functional Core. The Core is one of the key elements differentiating Questrom’s undergraduate curriculum. The unit consists of four courses—Marketing, Operations, Finance, and Business Analytics—which are integrated into a unique one-semester sequence through a common semester-long team project focused on new product or service development.

  • QST FE 323 Financial Management
  • QST MK 323 Marketing Management
  • QST OM 323 Operations and Technology Management
  • QST QM 323 Business Analytics
  • Two electives (may fulfill BU Hub requirements) (8 cr total)
  • Two business concentration electives (8 cr total)

Senior Year

During the senior year, students take the final core business requirement—a course in strategy and policy—and business electives. To graduate, students must take their remaining business electives, along with any remaining non-business electives.

  • QST SI 422 Strategy, Innovation, and Global Competition
  • Three electives (may fulfill BU Hub requirements) (12 cr total)
  • Two business concentration electives (8 cr total)
  • Two free electives (8 cr total, or more if needed to reach the 133-credit total or to satisfy BU Hub requirements)

Functional and Cross-Functional Concentrations

The Questrom School of Business offers flexibility in the Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA) program, allowing students to customize the degree by choosing from concentration options from within and across a number of disciplines.

Questrom students must all complete at least one Functional Concentration; Functional Concentrations present a deep exploration of a specific functional area in the study and practice of business. Functional Concentrations include:

  • Accounting
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Finance
  • General Management
  • International Management
  • Law
  • Management Information Systems
  • Marketing
  • Operations & Technology Management
  • Organizational Behavior
  • Strategy & Innovation

Students may also choose to complete a Cross-Functional Concentration, which provides a breadth of exposure regarding a particular industrial sector or an area of business, through a cross-section of related courses from within Questrom and across the University.

  • Health & Life Sciences Sector (Questrom concentration)
  • Real Estate (Questrom concentration)
  • Retailing (Questrom concentration)
  • Sustainable Energy (University minor)

Concentration requirements are in addition to the courses required as part of the basic program of study. Students use their four business electives to fulfill the concentration requirements. Students may also use their free electives to fulfill concentration requirements. Any course taken for a concentration must have the QST prefix. See concentration sections below for those concentrations also having CAS requirements.

Functional Concentrations











Cross-Functional Concentrations




Questrom Honors Program

The Questrom Honors Program curriculum builds upon the standard curriculum at the Questrom School of Business to give students a unique opportunity to explore areas of interest in greater depth.

Sophomore Year

  • Honors Program students participate in colloquia in the fall semester of their sophomore year, in which they research and discuss topics and issues in business, education, and other fields with the faculty director of the Questrom Honors Program.
  • The spring semester sophomores participate in an International Field Seminar, a semester’s worth of country analysis and study of culture, history, and economy, culminating in a weeklong international trip.

Junior/Senior Years

  • Honors Program students complete two 2-credit seminars taught by some of our most esteemed undergraduate and graduate faculty.

Community Service

  • Students in the Honors Program complete 10 community service projects during their four years at the Questrom School of Business.

In addition, students will have the opportunity to explore a variety of fields within the liberal arts or in other disciplines outside of business through the completion of a minor. Many Honors Program students also pursue study abroad and/or dual degree options. Periodic dinner meetings and other events bring together students, faculty, alumni, and administrators for informal discussions, panels, presentations, and social gatherings.

Students may apply to be considered for invitation to the program after the fall of their freshman year. In addition to a successful application and interview, acceptance to the program is contingent on earning a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.45 in at least 32 academic credits. Students successfully completing the requirements of the Honors Program will have the “Honors” designation on their Boston University transcript.

Further information about the program is available from the Questrom School of Business Undergraduate Academic & Career Development Center and at http://questromworld.bu.edu/upo/academics/honors.