Business Administration

  • Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration
    • Major
    • Minor
    • Accelerated Master's Degree

    Get Involved

    A college education is more than just taking courses. Meet new people, apply your skills and stretch beyond your comfort zone. Make your education an experience.

    • Career Fairs: Connect with future employers during the various career fairs in the School of Business and around Colorado.
    • ICELab: The Innovation + Creativity + Entrepreneurship (ICE) Lab on upper campus is a space that provides startups and expanding businesses with the materials and support needed to succeed.
    • Office of Career Success: Business students have a department-specific career services professional.
    • Study Abroad: Experience Harlaxton College in the English Midlands.


    Skyeler Smith


    Skyeler Smith headshot
    Skyeler Smith headshot

    Skyeler Smith

    “The professors here are really encouraging when it comes to making your time at Western unique. It has been so easy for me to take opportunities and it’s easy for anyone to start their own club.”

    Skyeler Smith is studying Business Administration with an emphasis in Marketing and a minor in Psychology at Western Colorado University. Skyeler is from Greeley, and she is expecting to graduate Fall 2019. 

    Skyeler did not find Western; Western found her. Though she did see advertisements online and heard about it from a few friends, she was not interested until Western reached out to her about the Borick Scholarship Program. 

    “They reached out and thought I would be interested [in the Borick Scholarship Program],” said Skyeler. “I came out, visited for the weekend and did that program. That is what did it for me.” 

    On campus, Skyeler is involved with quite a few things. 

    “I am pretty involved in the Business Department,” said Skyeler. “Within that I am in Pi Sigma Epsilon, which is a new business marketing club that is a year old now. I am the Vice President of Administration for that.” 

    Skyeler also started Women at Western about a year ago. Women at Western is a women’s community on campus that has personal and professional growth opportunities. The big focusses are networking and growing their personal and professional strengths as well. Women at Western is housed under the Women’s Student Lounge, which is a separate program. 

    As well as being involved with Women at Western, Skyeler is also involved with Amigos within the Multicultural Center, started the figure skating club her freshman year, is in the Geiman Fellowship Program and is the Marketing Director for Club Sports Council. 

    Through Club Sports Council, Skyeler has been able to attend leadership conferences and plan events that involve all the club sports teams. The most recent leadership conference that Club Sports was able to attend was in Boston.  

    “We were able to bring back a lot of workshops,” said Skyeler. “That not only applies to Club Sports, but I am also able to apply what I learned to the other clubs I am involved with on campus.” 

    Needless to say, Skyeler is busy when she is on campus. When she finds free time, Skyeler enjoys art, as well as skiing and ice skating "a lot."  

    Not only is Skyeler involved on campus, but also off campus she teaches ice skating classes—both group and private lessons. 

    When Skyeler talks about her experience at Western with her professors, she said, “The professors here are really encouraging when it comes to making your time at Western unique. It has been so easy for me to take opportunities and it’s easy for anyone to start their own club.” 

    Profile by Western junior Taya Olson.

    Ryan Ivis


    Ryan Ivis, Computer Science alumnus
    Ryan Ivis, Computer Science alumnus

    Ryan Ivis

    “Western did a fantastic job of preparing me for my career."

    Ryan Ivis knew he wanted to attend college in the mountains, but arrived at Western unsure of what he wanted to study. Soon, he found Computer Science and Business Administration—and has spent the last 11 years focused on Information Technology.

    “The biggest influence [in choosing Western] was the location, followed closely by the community and welcoming events that [Western] put on at the time to get me there,” Ivis said.

    He particularly noted the friendliness of Western’s resident assistants during his visit prior to enrolling at the college. So much so, that he became one himself, in addition to working with Western’s own Information Technology department as a student.

    “[Western] enabled me to grow as an individual in ways high school didn't,” Ivis said. I personally had a ton of really great times with friends, as well as learning to balance school work with the rest of life. My time spent at Western went way too quickly.”

    Since graduation, he has held roles as a Microsoft consultant, systems engineer, systems administrator and security engineer. Currently, he is the manager of Infrastructure Security at Ping Identity Corporation.

    “[Western] did a fantastic job of preparing me for my career. The class that really helped me streamline my thought process was Introductions to C++ Programming. While the language is not something I use, all of the concepts taught relate to my daily work. I am not a developer by role, but nearly every facet of upper-level engineering requires a ton of coding, scripting,” Ivis said.

    Now, Ivis says he lives each day by trying to put his “best foot forward, solve problems, live a happy live and look forward to making trips to Crested Butte annually.”

    “Working in Information Technology while at [Western] taught me the basics, and with some creativity, hard work and dedication, I have managed to stay relevant in the ever more competitive workplace,” Ivis said.

    Allie Huizenga


    Allie Huizenga
    Allie Huizenga

    Allie Huizenga

    Through her successful summer internship and experiences at Western, Allie learned "your future is determined by how much effort you put in." 

    Allie is junior Business Administration major with an emphasis in Energy Management. Originally from Elizabeth, Colo., Allie decided to attend Western after visiting for a campus tour.

    “Western was just a fit from the moment I got here. I remember thinking, 'this is it, this is where I’m going to school.'” 

    She liked the idea of a fresh start in a smaller school that wasn’t too big and overwhelming. Allie describes the students at Western as “really special kinds of people. I haven’t met anyone I don’t like.” 

    During school semesters she's a work-study student for the School of Business, a Student Ambassador in Admissions and is in the Honors Program.

    One of Allie’s favorite classes so far has been her marketing class, because her professor kept it very lively, related it to current real world topics and was passionate about the subject. 

    One of the biggest things she’s learned at Western is, “Your future is determined by how much effort you put in. Because I’ve put so much effort in, I’ve had great results.” She just experienced a very successful summer internship with SM Energy, and was honored to be invited back for a second summer.

    While living in Gunnison, Allie has taken up fly fishing, and often spends her free time hiking, biking around town and enjoying campus events like pool parties. Allie’s advice for incoming freshmen is to “meet one new friend your first day, and take the time to meet with your advisor! My advisor has helped me more than I can say.” 


    Institutional Scholarships

    Common Scholarships

    Western offers approximately 70 common scholarships for which a wide variety of students are eligible (e.g., locals, veterans, transfers). Apply for any number of these common scholarships using Western’s Common Scholarship Application, which is due April 1. For more information, visit

    Early Action Credit

    If a student is accepted to Western by Nov. 1 and qualifies for a merit scholarship, the student will receive an additional $500 for the first year. Use our Net Price Calculator to determine whether you qualify for a merit scholarship.

    Mountaineer Alumni Recommendation Scholarship

    Western Colorado University alumni can nominate prospective students for a $500 scholarship ($250 per semester) for first year only. Application deadline is typically June 1. For more information, visit

    Neighboring States Program

    Students with a permanent address from one of the seven contiguous neighboring states to Colorado who have demonstrated financial need are automatically considered for a special $1,000 per year grant, totaling $4,000 over four years.

    The Western Neighboring States program can be added to WUE, CP or merit scholarships. So, if you are a permanent resident of one of those seven states—and show financial need—you are eligible.

    For more information about the Neighboring States program, visit Western’s Tuition Discount Programs Page.

    Presidential Promise

    The Presidential Promise is guaranteed to students who have received a scholarship through the Denver Scholarship Foundation (DSF) and/or GearUp—and are eligible for a Pell Grant.

    For students who meet these criteria, Western will cover the cost of tuition and fees through the combination of federal, state and institutional aid. For more information on the Presidential promise, visit

    Tuition Discount Programs

    Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE) or Central Plains (CP) tuition represents a substantial savings relative to normal, out-of-state tuition. Students eligible for the WUE or CP program will be charged 150% of Western’s total in-state tuition. For 2018-19, total in-state tuition was $8,934. WUE/CP tuition was $13,401. The WUE/CP discount is valued at $4,695.

    For more information about the WUE and CP geography-based programs, visit Western’s Tuition Discount Programs Page.

    Western Merit Scholarship

    Immediately upon acceptance at Western, every student is considered for a merit scholarship worth between $2,500-$4,500 per year for in-state students and $8,000-$10,000 for out-of-state students. The amount is based on the student's GPA and ACT/SAT scores. Visit our Net Price Calculator at to determine whether you qualify for a merit scholarship. 

    For more information about merit scholarships at Western, visit

    Faculty & Staff


    Jeffrey Dykes, Ph.D. headshot
    Associate Professor of Business Administration
    Phone: 970.943.3189
    Office Location: Borick Business Building 226
    Christopher Greene, J.D. headshot
    Associate Professor of Business Administration; Innovation + Creativity + Entrepreneurship (ICE) Project Director
    Phone: 970.943.2300
    Office Location: Borick Business Building 222
    Ralph Hanke, Ph.D. headshot
    Assistant Professor of Business Administration, Graduate Faculty in Outdoor Industry MBA
    Phone: 970.943.3020
    Office Location: Borick Business Building 242
    James Harriss, Ph.D. headshot
    Professor of Banking & Finance
    Phone: 970.943.3005
    Office Location: Borick Business Building 215
    Jessica Laramie, J.D. headshot
    Lecturer in Business Administration
    Phone: 970.943.2538
    Office Location: Borick Business Building 229
    Louise Meret-Hanke, Ph.D. headshot
    Lecturer in Business Administration
    Phone: 970.943.3001
    Office Location: Borick Business Building 221
    Kevin A. Nelson, Ph.D. headshot
    Associate Dean of Business School
    Phone: 970.943.2610
    Office Location: Borick Business Building 243
    Michael Vieregge, Ph.D. headshot
    Professor of Business Administration
    Phone: 970.943.2566
    Office Location: Borick Business Building 241
    Joel Watson, Ph.D. headshot
    Assistant Professor of Marketing, Graduate Faculty for Outdoor Industry MBA
    Phone: 970.943.3008
    Office Location: Borick Business Building 246


    FOR REQUIRED COURSES AND DEGREE PLANS, VISIT THE OFFICIAL UNIVERSITY CATALOG. This is a sample of courses offered by Western Colorado University. To ensure the courses you need are offered during the current semester, please visit the university course search.

     ACC 201 - Introduction to Financial Accounting (3 credits)

    An introduction to the field of accounting with emphasis on corporate financial statements. Financial statements are viewed as a communication device conveying the financial health of a business to interested parties. The objective of this first course is to teach students to read, analyze, and interpret these financial statements. The emphasis is on developing critical thinking and problem-solving skills using accounting concepts. Students are exposed to the steps used by accountants to record, measure, and process financial information. Cash flow analysis is contrasted with the accrual basis of accounting; the concepts of asset valuation and income measurement are discussed. Accounting majors must pass this class with a minimum grade of "C." Prerequisites: completion of the College Mathematics Course Requirement with minimum grade of "C-", or instructor permission.

     ACC 202 - Introduction to Managerial Accounting (3 credits)

    An introduction to the preparation, uses, and analysis of common management accounting information. Topics include cost-volume-profit analysis, capital budgeting and present value applications, cash budgets, financial statement analysis, taxes, and management decisions, plus a brief introduction to modern cost accounting, with emphasis on activity-based costing systems. The development of problem-solving and analytical abilities is given primary importance throughout the course. Accounting majors must pass this class with a minimum grade of "C". Prerequisites: MATH 140, MATH 141, or MATH 151 with a minimum grade of "C-"; and ACC 201 with a minimum grade of "C".

     BUAD 210 - Legal Environment of Business (3 credits)

    Provides students an ability to sense the occasions when a lawyer should be consulted for guidance in avoiding legal mistakes. A study is made of the ordinary legal aspects of common business transactions, including the topics of social forces, contracts, personal property, and agency.

     BUAD 220 - Computer Applications in Business (3 credits)

    Designed to teach students to apply a variety of interdisciplinary computer applications in their business professions. Topics include integrating word processing, spreadsheets, databases, communications, and graphics on personal computers. A minimal skill in keyboarding is required.

     BUAD 270 - Principles of Marketing (3 credits)

    An introduction to the fundamental concepts of marketing, including consumer demand and behavior, segmentation, advertising, marketing research, product development, distribution, pricing, the internet as a marketing agent, and global marketing issues. The student is exposed to the most basic tools, factors, and marketing principles administered by management in establishing policy, planning, and complex problem solving. Prerequisites: ENG 102 with a minimum grade of "C-" and completion of at least 24 credits; or instructor permission.

     BUAD 309 - Business Communication (3 credits)

    A study of the fundamentals, principles, and practices of effective written communication, including concepts of appearance, language, and psychology of tone and persuasiveness as applied to the business letter, memorandum, and report. Presentation skills are also discussed. Prerequisites: ENG 102 with a minimum grade of ÒC-Ó; sophomore standing.

     BUAD 333 - Organizational Behavior (3 credits)

    Provides students an understanding of human behavior in organizations today. Students will become familiar with the basic dimensions of organizational behavior covering topics such as leadership, motivation, management of people, and group dynamics. The course stresses an experimental approach as well as the personal nature of the material and how this relates to the complexities of behavior in and of organizations. Prerequisite: BUAD 309 or COM 202; or instructor permission.

     BUAD 350 - Human Resource Management (3 credits)

    Provides students with an understanding of the functions, content and challenges of Human Resource Management (HRM) in organizations today. Insights will be developed on basic dimensions of HRM such as recruitment, selection, performance management, rewards and retention, as well as particular challenges concerning strategic HRM and global environments. Emphasis is placed on how the complexities of HRM relate to students' past and future experiences as members of organizations. Prerequisites: BUAD 309 or COM 202 or instructor permission.

     BUAD 360 - Managerial Finance (3 credits)

    An introductory course to the field of managed finance, covering such topics as financial analysis, time value of money, risk/return analysis, capital budgeting, working capital management, cost of capital, optimal capital structure. Prerequisites: Completion of Business Administration Base Curriculum; or Energy Management Base Curriculum; or instructor permission.

     CS 120 - Professional Computer Skills (3 credits)

    A comprehensive study of the essentials of software used by professionals, emphasizing applications of spreadsheets to fundamental data organization, presentation, analysis and decision making applications.

     ECON 202 - Microeconomics (3 credits)

    The theory of microeconomics makes use of the tools of marginal cost-benefit analysis to provide a framework for the economic analysis of decision-making. The focus is on the choices of individual firms and consumers, and the resultant outcomes in individual markets. The social implications of the functioning of competitive markets are examined, as well as the causes of market failure and the potential roles of government in correcting them. Prerequisite: ACT math score of 19 or above; SAT math score of 500 or above; pass MATH 099; or Accuplacer Elementary Algebra test score of 85 or higher, or college-level math requirement with a minimum grade of "C-."

     ECON 216 - Statistics for Business and Economics (3 credits)

    An introduction to descriptive statistics and statistical inference, with application in business, including hypothesis testing, confidence intervals, and simple regression analysis. Prerequisite: MATH 140, MATH 141, or MATH 151 with a minimum grade of ÒC-.Ó

     MATH 140 - College Algebra (3 credits)

    An integration of the essential algebraic manipulations, solving equations and inequalities, polynomial functions, exponential and logarithmic functions, and techniques of graphing. Prerequisite: ACT math score of 21 or above; SAT math score of 540 or above; MATH 099; or Accuplacer Elementary Algebra test score of 106 or above; or co-requisite MATH 102 (SAI). GT-MA1

     MATH 141 - Precalculus (4 credits)

    This course explores the theory and applications of trigonometry, and includes an introduction to vector and matrix analysis. Topics may include the unit circle, triangle trigonometry, trigonometric functions, polar coordinates, complex numbers, vector geometry, and applied matrix techniques. Prerequisite: ACT math score of 23 or above; SAT math score of 560 or above; MATH 140 with a minimum grade of C-; or Accuplacer university- level mathematics test with a score of 65 or above.

     MATH 151 - Calculus I (4 credits)

    A study of differential calculus, including limits, continuous functions, Intermediate Value Theorem, tangents, linear approximation, inverse functions, implicit differentiation, extreme values and the Mean Value Theorem. This course also introduces Integral calculus including anti-derivatives, definite integrals, and the Fundamental Theorem of Calculus. Prerequisite: ACT math score of 27 or above; SAT math score of 630 or above; MATH 141 with a minimum grade of C-; or Accuplacer university-level mathematics test with a score of 95 or above. GT-MA1

     MATH 213 - Probability and Statistics (3 credits)

    A course in the use of statistical techniques to draw knowledge from data. Topics include exploratory data analysis, descriptive statistics, t-procedures, ANOVA, chi squared procedures, regression, and non-parametric tests. Statistical software is used extensively to analyze real data sets. Prerequisite: MATH 141 with a minimum grade of C-, or Accuplacer university-level mathematics test score of 85 or above; or instructor permission. GT-MA1

  • Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration
    • Major
    • Minor
    • Accelerated Master's Degree

    The Business Administration major encompasses an array of emphases and courses for students to develop the skills necessary to succeed in any aspect of the business world. Many students choose to pursue multiple business emphases, and it is not uncommon for students to declare second majors in Accounting, Economics or any other program on campus. The popularity of the Business Administration major is a testament to the outstanding, personalized education every student receives and the ability for students to tailor their education to whatever their interests may be.

    The Program

    The Business Administration major boasts seven emphases: Energy Management, Finance, Innovation + Creativity + Entrepreneurship (ICE), Latin American Studies, Management, Marketing and Resort Management. All of these emphases are comprehensive, meaning a minor or second major is not required. All students will take a variety of core business courses as well as courses in other departments to fulfill their liberal arts curriculum. After they’ve met certain prerequisites, they can begin to tighten their focus on whatever their emphasis may be.

    The Standard major is for students who want a broad overview of business and requires an accompanying minor or second major. This option is especially popular for students who have already declared a major in another subject but have decided that strong business skills would be helpful in their first chosen subject area. A Coordinated Double major with the Environment & Sustainability program is also offered for students who foresee working on the business side of sustainability projects.

    Careers & Opportunities

    A Business degree is an excellent way to combine personal passion with your future profession. Whether you’re interested in healthcare, performing arts, sports, science or something else, every industry has business aspects.

    Places Mountaineers now work:

    • Antero Resources
    • Charles Schwab
    • Community Banks of Colorado
    • Dalby, Wendland & Co.
    • Insight Global
    • Nada Bottle
    • National Park Service
    • Red Bull
    • Ruffalo Noel Levitz
    • SM Energy
    • SRC Energy
    • Three Rivers Resort
    • Vulcan Materials
    • Wells Fargo

    Learn More

    Reach out to Peter Sherman, Ph.D. for more information. 

    Interested in Graduate School?

    Western’s accelerated 3+2 programs allow you to earn your bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in just five years—saving you time and money.

    Business students discuss coursework / a student examines skis in a shop

    Outdoor Industry MBA 3+2

    Accelerated Master's Degree
    Outdoor Industry MBA, Western Colorado University, 3+2, bachelor's degree, business administration, accelerated degree, MBA colorado