A Program of Emphasis (POE) is a program somewhat similar to a “major” at other institutions. The POE allows students to take courses, work on projects, and pursue internships in two or more areas of study. There are two types of POE: designated or individualized (by the student).  

Designated POEs are the most similar to the traditional major.  

An individualized POE combines areas of study that interest a student. The program of study is designed  by the student in consultation with at least two faculty advisors. Individualized POEs are intended to meet particular student needs with unique combinations of courses. Approval requires students to write a rationale that describes how the courses they have listed help them reach the academic goals of the POE. An individualized POE may also focus on courses from one department. An individualized POE must contain a minimum of 45 and a maximum of 63 credit hours. A minimum of 18 credit hours must be at the 300 or 400 level. Students wishing to pursue this option must:

• Select an adviser in each department named in the title of the POE

• Create, in consultation with the advisers, a collection of courses to constitute the POE. If a course listed in the POE has prerequisites, these prerequisites must also be included in the POE.

• Create, in consultation with the advisers, a goal statement and a rationale, which explains how the courses included in the POE enable the student to fulfill the goals of the POE. Ultimately, the acceptance of an individualized POE will depend on the student’s ability to justify that a particular combination of courses will allow the student to reach the stated academic goals.  

• Solicit from all of the student’s advisers supporting comments attesting to the acceptability of the student’s academic goals, the appropriateness of the course selections and rationale, and the  overall coherence of the POE. The signatures of advisers’ without comments will not be sufficient.

• Submit the completed POE and the advisers’ comments to the Registrar for approval. Any POE that does not satisfy the requirements of a Designated POE is by definition, an Individualized  POE and must therefore be accompanied by a goal statement and rationale.  Advisors should pay particular attention to attempts which effectively weakens a Designated POE without contributing  sufficient complementary breadth or depth.

All Individualized POEs with a business course of study are required to include the following required Business “Core” courses:

·       EB 131, Financial Accounting

·       EB 236, Managerial Accounting

·       EB 201, The Management Process

·       EB 202, Behavioral Analysis of Organizations

·       EB 211, Business Statistics (or an approved substitute statistics course)

·       EB 480, Senior Seminar

And one of the following Economics courses:

·       EB 105, International Economic Issues

·       EB 222, Principles of Macroeconomics

·       EB 223, Principles of Microeconomics

And at least six additional EB credits at the 300 level or above (selected based on the POE title  and description)

Based on the above requirements, individualized POEs will have at least 29 credits of courses related to  the traditional areas of business.  

For the purpose of organizing and assessing the student outcomes related to the individualized POEs, department members use two classifications:

(1) individualized interdepartmental programs and

(2) individualized business programs.

The rationale for this classification is that expected student outcomes are different based on the quantity  of the business coursework completed in the individualized POE. The individualized interdepartmental program represents students who have combined coursework from two departments, one of which is business and one from an additional area of study, (ex. Business Communication). The individualized business program, on the other hand, represents students who have combined coursework from different business fields to create a degree that is a specialized study of business concepts (ex. Financial Management).

Students with an individualized interdepartmental program are expected to have gained an understanding  of business concepts with respect to the business “core” courses. 

Students with an individualized business program have studied the business concepts in more depth and are expected to achieve a  higher level understanding of the business environment. For the above definition purposes, a POE will be considered an individualized business program if the POE contains coursework of at least 45 credits of traditional business fields of study. 

The interdepartmental POE students will be held to the same level of mastery as the designated POEs on the senior capstone project. Although these students complete less coursework in traditional business areas, they are expected to have achieved a broad understanding of the principal concepts, theories, and practices of the other functional areas of business in addition to developing competency in communication, critical thinking, and teamwork. Because the Major Field Test assesses content knowledge, we expect interdepartmental POE students to individually score at the 30th percentile or above. Designated POE students take more coursework in business and are expected to score at the 50th percentile or above.