Special Topics Courses
The Department of Business Management offers the following Special Topics Courses in spring 2022.
The following courses are listed in the College Catalog as permanent offerings of the Business Management department. Note: Not all courses are taught in every academic year. See course schedule to determine which courses are being offered during the current semester.
Managerial statistics focuses on the use of statistical analysis to make fact-based decisions for business firms and other organizations. Topics taught include descriptive statistics, normal distributions, probabilities, sampling distributions, hypothesis testing, ANOVA, and simple and multiple linear regression analysis. Data analysis techniques using Microsoft Excel are included.
A critical approach to the study of the marketing concept including policies and principles. Emphasis is placed on the identification of variables involved in marketing decision-making (including ethical considerations), and the process by which marketing decisions are made. Prerequisite: ECN 112
An introduction to the accounting principles and procedures used for collecting, recording, summarizing, and interpreting financial information. Students will learn to read and interpret financial statements. Special emphasis is placed upon the concepts of internal control over resources and transactions. Computerized spreadsheets are integrated into the course.
This course introduces students to the fundamental concepts of finance and equips students with the ability to make meaningful financial decisions. This course addresses topics including the analysis of financial statements, the operation of financial markets, and the valuation of financial instruments, such as stocks and bonds. After taking this course, students should be able to (1) conduct financial ratio analysis, (2) understand the time value of money and apply the discounted cash flow (DCF) method to value assets, (3) understand the concept of risk and return, and (4) understand the importance of business ethics to the operation of financial markets. Prerequisite: BUS 109 (or other statistics course) and BUS 112.
Management Information Systems (MIS) is the ethical use of information systems to achieve corporate goals and objectives. Students learn how to use MIS in solving business problems, finding new opportunities for organizational improvement, and supporting enterprise strategic, operational, and analytical objectives as well as how to apply ethical models to the process of design and deployment of information systems. Microsoft Access, SAP S/4HANA ERP software, and Tableau visualization software are used to illustrate database, transactional and analytical concepts. Prerequisite: BUS 112 or permission of instructor.
Study of the use of accounting information to plan for, evaluate, and control activities. The course will explore various product and service costing procedures. Other topics include responsibility accounting, budgets, financial analysis, costs control, and the time value of money. Emphasis will be placed upon the use of information for management decisions. Prerequisite: BUS 112.
This course examines the role of marketing research in the formulation and solution of marketing problems, and the development of the student’s basic skills in conducting and evaluating marketing research projects. Special emphasis is placed on problem formulation, research design, alternative methods of data collection (including data collection instruments, sampling, and field operations), and data analysis techniques using IBM SPSS. Applications of modern marketing research procedures to a variety of marketing problems are explored. Prerequisite: BUS 111 and BUS 109 (or equivalent).
This course introduces the practice of using social media and other digital communication channels, including Internet and mobile-based tools and platforms, to reach consumers and advance marketing strategies. Digital media can be used to build brands, create, and maintain relationships, launch promotions, advertise products and services and more. While this course will aim to offer theoretical underpinnings needed to launch, manage, and measure digital marketing efforts, it will also attempt to teach students to creatively engage with digital marketing tools and to stay abreast of the latest developments in the fast- growing world of digital marketing. Prerequisite: BUS 111
In this course we explore the foundations of nonprofit management in our society. We focus on how nonprofits contribute to the health and wellbeing of our communities. We will investigate the unique challenges of nonprofits and how to manage them to promote success and longevity. We will also discuss and debate how to maximize their social impact. The course will focus on case studies of high impact nonprofits and nonprofit failures from a thematic standpoint in order to critically examine the future of the sector.
This course offers a unique opportunity for students to develop and utilize their investment skills by providing real-life investing experience. In applying their research, student participants actively manage the Brown Advisory Student-Managed Investment Fund valued at over $1.3 million with an investment objective to achieve positive performance results that compare favorably to major market indices. Students learn how financial concepts and current global news information influence investment decisions. To further enhance investment skills through experiential learning, student participants may have meetings and/or conference calls with professionals from investment banks, commercial banks, public company forums, or institutes that focus on ESG (environmental, social, and governmental) investing. Admission subject to application process. 1-credit.
A research-based exploration of how organizations function. Topics include the division of labor, career management, culture, bureaucracy, teams, motivation, emotional intelligence, power, communication, gender, diversity, leadership, and ethics. Students read and discuss key scholarship, conduct primary research, and collaboratively lead a class. Not open to first-year students.
This course looks at how American law has evolved from English common law to today’s statutory and regulatory legal environment. The course explores recent statutes such as Sarbanes-Oxley and Dodd-Frank and how they have impacted the way businesses operate. The course also investigates legal and ethical issues facing businesses today, different types of business associations, and liability issues faced by businesses under current tort law, contract law, and property law. Not open to first-year students.
Introduction to the study of international business, including the dynamics of conducting business across national boundaries. Focuses on the critical roles that environment, culture, technology, politics, economics, communication, and ethics play in successfully conducting business on an international level. Not open to first- or second-year students.
An interactive course designed for future leaders to understand and experience the challenges associated with business at the global level. The course focuses on long term strategy, short term tactical options, the active management of functional areas within global operations, corporate structure, and supply chain management from raw material procurement to sales, marketing, and distribution of finished products. The course includes lectures, cases, guest speakers, and actively operating a competitive global business simulation. Not open to first- or second-year students.
This course introduces students to software essential to the functioning of the firm —Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software. Using SAP S/4HANA ERP software, students learn the information flows for distribution and manufacturing business processes and learn how ERP systems support these business processes in an integrated fashion. The course includes an introduction to system configuration, in which organizational structure, policy rules and other corporate information are analyzed and then mapped to the ERP system. Ethical consideration of impacted stakeholders is integrated throughout. Guest speakers and field trips provide real-world context. Prerequisite: BUS 210 or permission of the instructor.
Introduction to theory and practice encompassing tools used to perform descriptive, predictive, and prescriptive analytics in business and other social science settings. Topics include visualization, big data, and methods to approach both structured and unstructured data. Students develop actionable information from databases and spreadsheets using SAP, Tableau, and other software products. Prerequisite: BUS 210 or permission of the instructor.
A study of entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship, the process of identifying opportunities, the marshaling and management of resources, and strategic planning and development of a business plan. An examination of the management process through growth and change, including reasons for the successes and failures of specific companies. Prerequisite: BUS 111 or permission of the instructor.
This course is concerned with how and why people behave as consumers. Its goals are to: (1) provide conceptual understanding of consumer behavior; (2) provide experience in the application of buyer behavior concepts to marketing management decisions and social policy decision-making; and (3) to develop analytical capability in using behavioral research. Prerequisite: BUS 111 or permission of the instructor.
A full-time, semester-long internship in Washington, DC, with a federal agency, non-profit organization, or private firm. Depending upon interest and internship placement, students may attend hearings, conduct policy research, draft correspondence, monitor legislation, lobby members of Congress, or write analytical reports. Students will create an in-depth portfolio of their internship experience. 12 credits. Prerequisite: BUS 111, 2.8 cumulative GPA, permission of an instructor, and successful application to The Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars. This course is normally open only to juniors and seniors.
Washington Center Interns participate in lectures, site visits, small group discussions, briefings, and other required events designed to help them understand the connection between their academic and professional goals and the special educational opportunities available through living and working in Washington, DC. Evaluations of these experiences are included in the student portfolio. Required of and limited to students enrolled in BUS 327. One credit.
This summer course, taught by a Washington College Business Management faculty member, takes students abroad for up to two weeks of intensive study and experiential learning in international business. The itinerary is intense. Students visit two businesses each weekday for facilities tours and/or presentations by managers on their firms’ international strategy. Cultural activities are scheduled in the evenings and on weekends. On-campus sessions prior to travel round out the academic component of the course and ensure that students get the most out of their experiences abroad.
What do leaders do? Are they born or made? Why are some leaders effective, and others ineffective? What role do followers play? This seminar explores these and other questions by focusing on leadership in organizations. Topics include vision, power, trust, ethics, communication, gender, and change. Not open to first- or second-year students.
The study of current and emerging financial accounting theory and techniques. Emphasizes financial statement presentation and the underlying treatment of cash, investments, receivables, inventory, long-lived assets, and intangible assets. Prerequisite: BUS 112.
Federal taxation of individuals focusing on income, exclusions, deductions, depreciation, credits, and capital transactions. Property coverage includes the tax consequences of sales and dispositions of investment and business assets. Both tax planning and tax compliance issues are covered. Prerequisite: BUS 112.
Auditing consists of a set of practical conceptual tools that help a person to find, organize, and evaluate evidence about the assertions of another party. This course will focus on those analytical and logical skills necessary to evaluate the relevance and reliability of systems and processes. Critical thinking and communications skills are developed through a variety of means including case analyses, presentations, discussion, preparation of group and individual case papers, and research of professional and scholarly literature. Recognizing that ethics is an integral part of the entire accounting-related profession and a significant topic in all the College’s accounting courses, this course will contain a section reviewing audit ethics, and will cover lapses of ethical behavior by both auditors and audited firms. Prerequisite: BUS 112.
Continuation of Intermediate Accounting I. Continued emphasis on generation and presentation of financial statements. Special attention to inventory valuation, analysis of long-term debt instruments, asset impairment, share-based compensation, and the importance of ethical behavior in the business and reporting environment. Emphasis on comprehension, critical thinking, and problem solving. Prerequisite: BUS 340.
Overview of the advertising industry from client and agency sides. Advertising is placed within the marketing context of consumer behavior and market segmentation. Included is media strategy and selection, creative strategy, print and broadcast advertising from concept through production, advertising research, and international advertising strategy. Prerequisite: BUS 111.
International marketing is crucial in today’s environment due to factors such as globalization of markets, emerging economics, development of innovation, and creation of regional cooperation as well as unique economic, political, and social situations within each country. We will analyze those factors along with their impact on marketing strategies and the development of opportunities in and outside the home
country. Emphasis is placed on ethical concerns marketers must consider when developing a marketing strategy abroad. Prerequisites: ECN 112 Principles of Microeconomics and BUS 111 Principles of Marketing.
This course provides an in-depth analysis on the financial policies of corporations. Students learn how to use and analyze financial data to make sound managerial decisions. Topics covered include capital budgeting, capital structure, dividends, and payout policies, working capital management, real options, and mergers and acquisitions. In addition, to help students develop an ethical sensitivity in business, topic about ethics in corporate finance will be included. Prerequisite: BUS 209.
Today's firms are directly or indirectly exposed to an increasingly competitive global environment which presents significant implications for their financial strategies. This course provides students with a conceptual framework within which the key financial decisions of the multinational firms can be analyzed. It focuses on decision-making in an international context and on the use of financial analysis in solving international financial challenges, risks, and threats as well as opportunities faced by international firms. Topics addressed include exchange rate determination and global risk management as well as financing and investment options for corporations in an international context. Prerequisite: BUS 209.
This course provides an introduction to the application of mathematical models to the solution of financial problems. This course covers important topics in quantitative finance such as modeling risk-return relationships, risk management, optimal consumption decisions, portfolio analysis, correlation structure between securities and/or markets and the pricing of financial securities. This is a data-applied course, in which the student will work on real-world data. For the computational aspects of the course, the student will work with Microsoft Excel. After taking this course, students should be able to (1) model different types of financial data, (2) analyze financial models, (3) confidently use Microsoft Excel for calculations, optimization, and modeling, and (4) be aware of the limitations of the data and models in the financial world. Prerequisite: BUS 209.
This course offers an introduction to corporate social responsibility and a discussion of business ethics. Students will examine and debate the minimal social expectations for organizations embodied in ethical theories, legal doctrines, and community principles. We then explore and critique broader corporate social responsibilities by drawing upon theories that discuss an organization’s role in maintaining a vibrant civil society. Finally, we will analyze how corporate responsibilities can promote strategic and competitive advantages for the firm. Prerequisite: BUS 302.
For-credit internships combine work experience (at least 70 hours for two credits; at least 140 hours for four credits) and faculty supervision. Internships (paid or unpaid) may be taken for credit during the fall, spring, or summer. Grading is pass-fail. Prerequisite: BUS 111 and 112 and minimum 2.5 GPA, or approval by the department. Cannot be used to fulfill the Business Management elective.
Culmination of the study of business management, covering strategic analysis and implementation. The case study method is used, requiring oral and written presentations. All separate functional areas are integrated in the strategy process in relation to the firm’s social responsibilities with regard to society, employees, and the larger environment. Prerequisites: BUS 111, 209, and 302. Fulfills W3 writing requirement. Must be taken at Washington College; cannot be transferred from study abroad or other institutions.
This course provides students with the essential concepts in investment and enables them to make meaningful investment decisions. To reach this goal, it will talk about current investment theories and the associated empirical evidence found in academic research. Topics addressed include the operation of financial markets, financial assets and their valuation, and the construction of optimal investment portfolios. After taking this course, students should be able to (1) understand the operation of financial market, (2) be familiar with various financial instruments and investment strategies, (3) apply the discounted cash flow method to determine the value of financial assets, (4) conduct financial analysis to make investment decisions, and (5) understand the importance of business ethics to investment professionals. Prerequisite: BUS 209.
This course introduces financial derivatives and the operation of the derivatives market. Coverage includes options, forward contracts, commodity and financial futures, and swaps. Students also learn how to use analytical models to determine the proper value of these financial products. Since the existence of a well- functioning financial market depends on the integrity of its participants, especially the investment professionals, cases regarding financial crisis and business ethics will be provided and discussed. These case studies also allow students to strengthen their oral as well as written communication skills. Prerequisite: BUS 209.
Students taking a second for-credit internship are enrolled in BUS 490. For-credit internships combine work experience (at least 70 hours for two credits; at least 140 hours for four credits) and faculty supervision. Internships (paid or unpaid) may be taken for credit during the fall, spring, or summer. Grading is pass-fail. Prerequisite: Completion of BUS 390 and approval by the department. Cannot be used to fulfill the Business Management elective.