By Dean Martijn Cremers | Spring 2022

The New Business Core




Our central imperative at Mendoza College of Business to “Grow the Good in Business” is supported by three pillars drawn from Catholic social thought. I refer to them as the “Three Cs”: to contribute to integral human development; cooperate with all stakeholders within society in solidarity; and compete toward excellence, both internally toward the best version of ourselves and externally in the marketplace, with the help of God and others.

For the College, fulfilling this imperative involves constantly examining the educational experience we offer our students to determine how we can better serve them. 

Over the last year, we have been working on a revision of the undergraduate Business Core curriculum. A key objective was to expand students’ academic opportunities and make it easier for them to specialize in a second major or minors by significantly increasing the flexibility of their plans of study, while still giving them a comprehensive grounding in all business disciplines. 

The Business Core includes the business courses that all Bachelor of Business Administration (B.B.A.) students must take regardless of their major. The key change is that the new Core will reduce the number of required courses — and credit hours — by nearly half: from 18 courses (49.5 credit hours) to 10 courses (26.5 credit-hours). Next to the required courses, students will also take nine credit hours of “broadening” business electives outside of their major, in order to expand their business education beyond their major through taking business electives in different disciplines.

The new Business Core provides students with greater choice in their individual curricula, enabling them to better design a curriculum suited to their particular academic interests and career aspirations. It will give students more opportunities to specialize in a secondary discipline, both in other colleges at Notre Dame and within Mendoza, while maintaining the overall balance between liberal arts and business coursework. 

Importantly, the reduced requirements and enhanced flexibility also will enable further course innovation in the future, allowing for our faculty to offer new courses aligned with their academic and social interests.

The revised Business Core will apply to the new First-Year business students starting in Fall 2022 (i.e., the Class of 2026). This is just the first step in our broader curriculum revision. For example, we envision the development of minors in each department that are open to all business majors, including cross-disciplinary minors with courses across multiple departments as well as cross-college minors. We also hope to allow B.B.A. students to double-major within business for the first time in the College’s history. 

Greater flexibility and opportunities to innovate speak to the heart of our mission at Mendoza and ultimately answer why we are changing the Business Core: to allow our faculty to better serve our students by preparing them to contribute, cooperate and compete in ways that best fit our students’ interests, so that they become the kind of servant leaders who indeed will Grow the Good in Business. 

In Notre Dame,

Martijn Cremers, Martin J. Gillen Dean