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Stage 1:  Foundations

(four courses and a half-credit overload)

Ideally, students will begin their studies with foundational courses in Business Fundamentals, Accounting, Economics, Capitalism, and Ethics.

Students can fulfill the first four requirements with successful completion of

  • CISS 113 – Business Fundamentals Lab (half-credit overload)
  • ACCT 181 – Financial Accounting
  • ECON 110 – Principles of Economics 
  • CISS 230 – Capitalism in Context

Prospective ESIB students will also take one class addressing ethical or political theory.  (See the ESIB experience themes for preliminary suggestions about which to take. You might also find it helpful to review the sample curricula page.)  Students can fulfill this requirement with successful completion of one of the courses listed below.

  • PHIL 204 – Ethics
  • PHIL 207 -- Foundations of Ethics
  • PHIL 265 – Political Philosophy
  • PHIL 249 – Environmental Ethics
  • PHIL 250 – Medical Ethics
  • PHIL 247 – Environmental Political Philosophy
  • POLS 101 – Introduction to Political Philosophy
  • RELS 143 – Social Ethics
  • RELS 141 – Contemporary Christian Morality

Stage 2:  Your Issue, your experience

(two courses and a qualifying work experience)

As part of designing your own curriculum you will choose a particular ethical or social issue to which the institution of business contributes, for better or worse.  Subject to certain constraints, students may choose almost any two courses offered at the College that will support their exploration of this issue as their electives.  

The electives must meet several criteria. Absent advisor approval of an exception:

  • Electives must be 200-level or above.
  • One must be outside of the social sciences and one must have an ethics or social justice emphasis; these two conditions may be fulfilled by the same course.

NOTE: Students may not count more than a total of two courses from their major toward the six courses required for the minor; thus, economics and accounting majors may not use economics or accounting courses as electives at all. Students are responsible for identifying and fulfilling any prerequisites required by their chosen electives. See some sample curricula, and a list of some of the more popular electives.  

ESIB students will also need to secure a qualifying work experience and complete three memos requiring minimal research and a series of conversations with their co-workers.  A qualifying work experience

  • involves working at least 150 hours over 8-13 weeks
  • provides some kind of formal orientation/on-boarding and a supervisor
  • Requires ESIB advisor approval prior to start via this form

The work experience may be completed during the school year or over the summer, but all three memos must be completed during the work experience.  We strongly recommend that students secure acceptance to ESIB before completing the work experience requirement, but students may choose to complete the work experience prior to acceptance.  We cannot guarantee that students who complete an ESIB work experience ahead of acceptance to the program will ultimately be admitted.

Stage 3:  Capstone Seminar (CISS 399)

ESIB students conclude their course of study with the Capstone Seminar.  In the Capstone, students will draw on all of the preceding work to propose that a specific entity (a person, organization, or political entity) take a specific ethical action with respect to the student’s chosen issue.  In addition to working on these individual projects, students will 

  • read and discuss recent scholarship on the ethical and political obligations of business
  • build a set of personal practices around ethical action in the workplace
  • develop public speaking and presentation skills

The Capstone concludes with the students preparing and delivering “pitches”:  20-minute presentations of an ethical, financial, and legal argument in favor of a specific action by which their chosen target can address their chosen issue.  

  • pitch to the Massachusetts Bar Association re: balancing employer (firm) and employee (lawyer) interests around private social media use
  • pitch to the NFL re: its obligation to address player violence towards women
  • pitch to the Women's Sports Foundation re: training its corporate donors in WSF's advocacy mission to avoid pushback in response to WSF controversial advocacy stances
  • pitch to the Texas State Board of Education re: assessing the ethics and effectiveness of for-profit firms in K-12 schools
  • Pitch to Bank of New York Chief Diversity Officer to implement onboarding packages for all new hires to help with the transition to financial services and retain diverse employees.
  • pitch to HC Sustainability office and Board of Trustees and the City of Worcester Mayor, city manager, and sustainability officers to address environmental racism in Worcester by increasing PILOT payments from colleges and universities to fund health services in the city for residents impacted by poor air quality.
  • pitch to Calm CEO, content managers, and client managers to develop new "mindfulness" content focusing on manufacturing employees.
  • pitch to US Department of Educationto implement a required financial literacy course for all high school students to increase savings, better credit decisions, and disclose risks of market participation.

We strongly encourage our ESIB students to consider taking their cases to compete at the International Business Ethics Case Competition.