Undergraduate Business Minor

Since the introduction of the undergraduate business minor in the fall of 2007, the Jones School has significantly broadened the university’s curriculum. By offering students the opportunity to complement their major fields of study with an education in the basic functional areas of business, the program is helping to develop leaders with a critical understanding of business concepts and decision-making frameworks as well as fine-tuned, practical skills in communications, teamwork, and organizational effectiveness.


The six courses that comprise the undergraduate business minor provide a strong foundation in the essential disciplines of business. They are: business communications, financial accounting, financial management, leading people in organizations, marketing, and strategic management.

The Jones School faculty maintains an important balance between teaching and research. In every undergraduate business minor course, students have the opportunity to work one-on-one with an accessible, involved, and energetic member of the faculty, who teaches in both the MBA programs and undergraduate business minor.

In addition to an outstanding classroom experience, students in the undergraduate business minor have the opportunity to participate in a broad range of Jones School events, such as:

  • Supporting the Rice Business Plan Competition
  • Assisting professors with research
  • Gumball ChallengeAttending programs—Sports and Business Lecture Series, Dean’s Undergraduate Business Lecture Series, Thought Leadership Series, Jones Partner briefings, and conferences on current business and policy issues
  • Undertaking class competitions, such as the Gumball Challenge in Assistant Professor Anastasiya Zavyalova’s strategic management course. For Dr. Zavyalova, the Gumball Challenge was an alternative to having her students merely writing another paper on what they’d learned in a class. “I wanted them to have a hands-on experience with some aspects of running a company, including scanning the environment and identifying competitive forces — the other teams — and conducting internal analysis to figure out everyone’s skills and capabilities.” To read more about Dr. Zavyalova’s course: business.rice.edu/gumball_challenge



BUSI 296 Business Communications (3) Fall and Spring Semesters

Provides an introduction to business, focusing on the strategy and practice of effective communications in business situations. The course includes individual communication skills assessment and development as well as team-based oral and written communication instruction. No pre-requisites.

BUSI 305 Financial Accounting (3) Fall and Spring Semesters
Covers the preparation, analysis, and use of corporate financial statements; asset and liability valuation and income determination; receivables, inventories, present values, tangible and intangible fixed assets, bonds, leases, shareholder equity, intercorporate investments, consolidations and cash flow accounting. Not open to entering Freshmen. No pre-requisites.

BUSI 310 Leading People in Organizations (3) Fall Semesters
Introduces the sociological and social psychological processes underlying individual and group behavior in organizations and how they can be effectively managed. Topics include leadership effectiveness, team processes, organizational change and innovation, job-related attitudes, work motivation, organizational culture and climate, and cross-cultural issues in management. Not open to Freshmen. Pre-requisite(s): STAT 280 and ECON 301 or ECON 201 (formerly 211, taken at Rice)

BUSI 343 Financial Management (3) Fall and Spring Semesters
Develops the basic concepts of corporate financial management and introduces a set of analytical tools to evaluate financial decisions. Employs concepts of time value of money, risk and return, and market efficiency to examine how capital market investors value risky assets. Develops a framework for evaluating corporate investment and financing decisions. Pre-requisite(s): STAT 280, BUSI 305, and ECON 301 or ECON 201 (formerly 211, taken at Rice)

BUSI 380 Marketing (3) Spring Semesters
Introduces the role of marketing in organizations and the principal marketing decisions facing management. Topics include marketing planning and strategy; buyer behavior; development and management of products and services; branding; channels of distribution; sales, advertising and promotional methods; pricing strategy; and the development of integrated marketing strategies and programs. Not open to Freshmen. Pre-requisite(s): STAT 280 and ECON 301 or ECON 201 (formerly 211, taken at Rice)

BUSI 471 Strategic Management (3) Spring Semesters
Capstone course for the business minor. Examines the strategic management of businesses in market and non-market environments. Key topics include competitive and industry analysis, strategy formulation and implementation, and strategic planning. Case discussions of real companies are combined with readings concerning the key topics. Pre-requisite(s): Students must have completed at least three (3) of the courses required for the business minor to enroll.

Who can enroll in Business Minor courses?
The courses below are open to any Rice undergraduate who meets enrollment requirements, not just to students who have declared an intention to complete the minor. Most of the courses have prerequisites in statistics and microeconomics.

Do students need the prerequisites?
Yes. Microeconomics and statistics are required because these courses provide the foundation for many of the concepts developed in the business courses. The statistics requirement can be fulfilled by receiving AP credit for STAT 280, completing STAT 280 or an approved alternative (see below). The economics requirement can be fulfilled by completing ECON 301 (formerly 370) or ECON 201 (formerly 211) completed at Rice. The Program Director will not approve requests to waive the prerequisites for BUSI 343 or BUSI 471.

Which courses are approved alternatives to STAT 280?
The following courses are approved: STAT 305, STAT 310, STAT 331, STAT 339, ELEC 303, PSYC 339, SOCI 298, plus any courses cross-listed with these STAT courses (e.g. ECON 382, ECON 307, ELEC 331.).

Are the course enrollments capped?
Due to classroom space and the nature of the courses, enrollments in all BUSI sections are capped. All students who have fulfilled the relevant prerequisites can register for courses during the registration period. If a given course is oversubscribed, the Jones School will conduct a weighted lottery to determine which students will be admitted to the course. The lottery will give advantage to students who have successfully completed a greater number of courses in the program and/or are closer to graduation.

Do the BUSI courses count for distribution credit?
BUSI 296, BUSI 305, and BUSI 380 count for distribution credit. It is possible that other courses will count for distribution credit in the future.

Is there a necessary sequence for courses?
No. Students do not have to take BUSI 296 before taking other BUSI courses, as it is not a prerequisite.

For further information, please contact Rick Schell, Director, Undergraduate Business Minor, at (713) 348-3321.

Undergraduate Admissions Button