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2016-2017 Undergraduate & Graduate Catalog

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Seidman College of Business


Dean: Lawson



Seidman challenges each member of its community to be intellectually curious, think critically, act ethically, and take initiative through the creation, transfer, and application of knowledge within a global environment.

Our distinctiveness is grounded in

  • civic well-being and responsibility;
  • mutually beneficial community partnerships;
  • ongoing and active professional and intellectual development;
  • relevant and transformational curriculum; and
  • a supportive and caring environment.

The Legacy of Seidman

The Seidman College of Business was named in honor of the late Frank Edward Seidman, who for more than 50 years was a distinguished member of the Grand Rapids business community and a partner in the national accounting firm of BDO/Seidman. He was nationally recognized as a business and civic leader, an economist, and a philanthropist. For many years he wrote a newspaper column on business and economics and contributed to numerous professional journals. He was also the co-author of three technical books, "Legislative History of the Federal Income Tax Law," "Financing the War," and "Accounting Handbook."

Seidman worked for both his bachelor's and master's degrees in commercial science by attending night classes at New York University. He placed a high value on education and was devoted to improving educational opportunities for all persons from all backgrounds. He was especially dedicated to improving the level of competence in the business and public sectors, not only in his own firm, but also in all of the organizations it audited.

He was, in every sense, a creative businessman. His own competence and remarkable qualities of leadership were reected in the many honors bestowed upon him. He was chairman of the Citizens' Advisory Committee on the Michigan Tax Study and of the Michigan State Board of Accountancy. He was a director of the Grand Rapids Community Chest and the Community Services of Kent County for 25 years and was a long-time director of the Grand Rapids Foundation, the largest philanthropic organization of its kind in the area. As a trustee of the Thomas Erler Seidman Foundation, named for a deceased son, he was instrumental in providing youth-building and educational opportunities for thousands of young persons in the Grand Rapids area as well as funds for the Seidman House at Grand Valley.

In establishing the Seidman College, Grand Valley intended to embody the philosophy, ideas, and spirit of Mr. Seidman and to provide a place to gain an education in business and administration in West Michigan.

Just as quality was the hallmark of Seidman's efforts, so, too, is quality in education the touchstone of Seidman College. Grand Valley's purpose has been to honor the man not merely by affixing his name to the college, but by perpetuating the high ideals to which he personally dedicated himself.

Program Information

The Seidman College of Business offers programs in business and economics leading to a Bachelor of Business Administration (B.B.A.), a Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.), a Master of Science in Accounting (M.S.A.), and a Master of Science in Taxation (M.S.T.). The Seidman College also offers dual M.B.A./J.D., M.S.A./J.D., and M.S.T./J.D. degrees in cooperation with Michigan State University College of Law. The Seidman College in partnership with Michigan State University College of Law also offers the opportunity to participate in a "3+3" Legal Education Admission Program leading to a B.B.A. and J.D. in approximately six years. For a description of the B.S. and B.A. economics program, see Economics. Please contact the Seidman Student Academic Services Office for additional information.

Through these programs, the college helps students learn to gather the information upon which effective management is based, make rational decisions on the basis of that information, plan for the effective implementation of those decisions and monitor their consequences. Students develop an understanding of the functional areas of business, the dynamics of competitive and cooperative group process, formal and informal organizational behavior, and the culture of business.

Students also gain knowledge of the external environment of business, developing a perspective on contemporary global business through historical and international comparisons. Students understand the ways in which business and management are responding to current social, economic, political, international, and technological challenges.

Undergraduate students may major in accounting, business economics, finance, general business, general management, human resources management, international business, entrepreneurship, supply chain management, operations management,, and marketing. An emphasis in management information systems is available in the management program. Emphases in general marketing, distribution and logistics, and sales are available in the marketing program. There are also opportunities for students who do not wish to enter a degree program to take courses that apply to their professional interests.

The college makes every effort to accommodate the varying needs of its students. Persons employed full-time, for example, can enroll in many evening classes. Those who are not employed can gain valuable experience through internships with area businesses and government agencies.

Graduate students may pursue master's degrees in accounting, business administration, or taxation. For the traditional part time Master in Business Administration degree program, it is possible (but not required) for students to pursue an emphasis in finance, international business, health sector management, innovation and technology management, or sustainable enterprise.

Academic Units

School of Accounting

Economics Department

Finance Department

Management Department

Marketing Department

Seidman Business Services

Richard M. and Helen DeVos Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation

Koeze Business Ethics Initiative

Center for Leadership

Family Owned Business Institute

Michigan-Small Business Development Center - West Michigan

Michigan-Small Business Development Center State Headquarters

U.S. Department of Commerce Export Assistance Center

Seidman Financial Planning Certificate Program

Van Andel Global Trade Center

Refer to the Community Resources section of this catalog for descriptions of the services above.

Secondary Admission for Undergraduates

Direct Admission: The Seidman College admits a select few students directly into the Business College as freshmen each year. This honor is reserved for students who have a 26 or higher composite score on the ACT and a 3.5 or higher high school G.P.A. In order to continue early-admitted status, students must maintain an overall G.P.A. of 2.5 and complete the 6 courses: ACC 212, BUS 201, ECO 210, ECO 211, MGT 268, and STA 215 with a combined G.P.A. of 2.5 prior to reaching 55 credits. Students who fail either of these measures must be readmitted using the same admission criteria and procedures as all other students and will need to meet the criteria to be readmitted to the Seidman College as juniors.

Secondary Admission: For students not admitted as freshmen, Seidman's admission criteria require a student to have completed the following three steps:

At least 55 semester hours (junior status)

A 2.5 or higher overall G.P.A.

Complete the following courses with a 2.5 or higher combined G.P.A. Transfer student grades for the comparable classes being transferred into Grand Valley will be used to calculate this combined GPA.

ACC 212

BUS 201

ECO 210

ECO 211

MGT 268

STA 215

ECO 200 can be used to replace the combination of ECO 210 and ECO 211

After completing these three steps, students are admitted to the Seidman College of Business and are eligible to enroll in 300/400 level business classes. MGT 268 can be completed concurrently with the first semester of upper-division programs provided the other 5 other classes have a combined 2.5 GPA. If completion of MGT 268 causes the combined GPA to fall below a 2.5, then the student is not eligible for new 300/400 level business courses until the G.P.A. requirement has been met. Nonbusiness students must have earned 55 credit hours with a minimum 2.5 G.P.A. to be eligible to enroll in upper-division business and economics courses.

Any student with guest student status (a degree-seeking student at another college or university who is taking classes at Grand Valley for one semester) must meet the criteria set for all nonbusiness students at Grand Valley State University. Accordingly, a guest student must be a student in good standing at his or her home institution in order to enroll in any 300- or 400-level courses at the Seidman College of Business. An unofficial transcript from each college/university attended is required to assess registration access to 300/400 level business courses.

General Education

All business students must complete the general education requirements (see section on General Education). This program will develop a base of general education upon which business administration education will rest. Included is a broad spectrum of liberal arts, mathematics, and science courses. During their junior and senior years, students will take a variety of business administration courses in different areas to give them a strong general business and administration background. Additionally, they will complete courses applicable to one of the specific majors offered.

Graduate Admission

The graduate business programs are open to qualified individuals with bachelor's degrees from accredited colleges and universities.

No particular undergraduate major is necessary for students selecting the M.B.A., M.S.A., or M.S.T. programs, although candidates may be required to complete background coursework in business subjects before attempting advanced work. It is recommended that M.S.T. students have a background in accounting or law.

Candidates are admitted to the master's degree programs in business administration, accounting, or taxation based on criteria that have been shown to predict success in graduate business programs, including performance on the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT), of 500 (see below for scholastic index criteria), previous undergraduate and graduate academic performance, and evidence of other competencies related to academic program and workplace success. A TOEFL score of at least 80 (IBT) is also required of applicants whose first language is not English.

The Graduate Admissions Committee considers a scholastic index for traditional and full-time M.B.A., M.S.A., and M.S.T. program applicants, computed as follows: (GPA for last 60 semester hours of undergraduate coursework x 200) + GMAT score. For example, an applicant with a 3.0 GPA and 500 GMAT has a scholastic index of 1100. Further consideration is given to the quantitative, qualitative, and writing scores of the GMAT and grades earned in courses determined to be relevant to the graduate curriculum. Using the scholastic index and other information, the committee implements the policies and practices described below.

EMBA applicants are evaluated on prior academic performance, leadership potential, professional experience, and employer recommendation. The cohort of the calendar year of this catalog is limited to Spectrum Health employees.

An applicant for the traditional M.B.A., M.S.A. or M.S.T. program with a scholastic index of 1100, including a GMAT score of at least 500, is generally admitted without further committee review. Applications with scholastic indexes of 1100, including GMAT scores between 450 and 490 are examined by the committee for evidence predictive of success. The committee's analysis may result in the applicant being required to score higher on the GMAT or to upgrade his or her undergraduate record by completing background coursework with acceptable performance prior to the admission decision. While work experience is not required, it is preferred and may be a deciding factor for the M.B.A.

Applicants for the M.S.T., are not required to submit a GMAT score if they have an M.B.A. or M.S.A. from an AACSB-accredited school or a J.D. with at least a 3.0 GPA, or if they are certified public accountants in the state of Michigan. Applicants for the M.S.A. may request a GMAT waiver if they have earned a B.B.A. in accounting from an AACSB-accredited school with superior grades in select accounting courses. Inquiries should be made of the Assistant Dean for Seidman Student Services.

Applicants will be given an admission decision for any academic semester for which they apply, provided their applications are completed at least one month before the semester begins.

Individuals not yet admitted to the traditional M.B.A., M.S.A., or M.S.T. programs may enroll in graduate foundation courses with permission of the Assistant Dean for Seidman Student Services. Enrollment in 600-level courses is generally restricted to students admitted to the respective program who have also completed the appropriate prerequisite courses. The exception to this policy is Seidman College accounting students with senior standing who meet all other admissions criteria. With permission of the Assistant Dean for Seidman Academic Student Services, such students may enroll for as many as three 600-level Seidman courses that will be applied toward the graduate degree once they are admitted.

Graduate Independent Study

Individualized study may be available for candidates interested in pursuing relevant special interests in areas in which regular courses are not offered. These may consist of research projects, theses, problem-solving projects, or other appropriate endeavors related to the candidate's current job and intellectual or career interests.

No independent study or individualized courses will be allowed in areas in which courses exist and are taught at least once per year.

Only graduate degree-seeking candidates who have completed the core requirements or have special permission from the program director may take individualized graduate courses or do graduate-level independent projects.

All independent study topics and the amount of credit to be earned must be approved by the faculty member who agrees to supervise the project. A maximum of three hours of credit can be granted for independent study. The conditions, meeting times, workload, and subject matter concerned with the project are mutually agreed to by the initiating candidate and the assenting faculty member, consistent with standards of quality education. Request forms can be obtained from the Assistant Dean for Seidman Student Services.

Graduate Study Abroad

Seidman College of Business offers special topic business courses that generally include a two-week summer study abroad session.

Washington Campus Program

Fifteen universities have recognized the importance of training private sector managers and leaders in the art of working with the federal government and have established the Washington Campus Program. These colleges and universities are Grand Valley State University, Arizona State University, University of California at Berkley, Colorado State University, Emory University, Georgetown University, Howard University, Indiana University, The University of Michigan, The University of New Mexico, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Northeastern University, The Ohio State University, Purdue University, Rice University, The University of Texas at Austin, and Texas A&M University.

The Washington Campus Program offers a unique opportunity for current and future leaders in business and government to gain a basic understanding of how to deal with the problems inherent in business/government relationships by working with policy makers, politicians, regulatory agency personnel, and others who make up the teaching staff and resource persons for the programs.

Participating graduate students spend a week in Washington, D.C., where they hear from Washington insiders, visit government and public policy institutions, and engage in real-world case studies on the interaction among business, politics, and public policy. Participants earn three credit hours and a Certificate of Completion from The Washington Campus Program. For additional information, graduate students can contact the assistant dean for Seidman Student Services.

Student Services

Practice Interviews
To assist students in preparing for career placement the Seidman College of Business collaborates with Career Services and the Seidman Dean's Advisory Board to offer mock interview opportunities for Seidman juniors and seniors who meet Seidman's minimum grade point average requirements. The primary purpose of mock interviews is to give students a chance to practice their interviewing skills and build self-confidence. Students are matched with companies so that they interview with and receive feedback from business professionals in their major areas of study.

Awards and Scholarships

Accounting Awards
The Beene Garter, Institute of Management Accountants, Ernst & Young Accounting Senior Excellence Award, and Clipper Belt Lacer accounting awards are presented at the annual spring accounting awards dinner. These awards honor outstanding academic and leadership excellence.

Delta Sigma Pi Scholarship Key
Each year the International Fraternity of Delta Sigma Pi awards the Delta Sigma Pi Scholarship Key to the graduating student with the highest academic average for the four years of study in business administration. All business students are eligible for this award.


Accounting Alumni Scholarship

American Photo Marketing Entrepreneurship Scholarship

American Production and Inventory Control Society (APICS) Scholarship

BDO Seidman International Accounting Scholarship

Fred A. Bell Business Scholarship

Barry Castro Business Ethics Scholarship

H. James and Carole Lynn Campbell Williams Business Scholarship

Colliers International Scholarship

Crowe Horwath

Marvin G, DeVries Endowed Scholarship

Gregg K. Dimkoff Finance Scholarship

Economics Department Faculty Scholarship

Excel Business Scholarship

Finance Department Advisory Board Scholarship

The Four P's of Marketing Scholarship

Richard H. Giles Memorial Scholarships

Hilda C. Holder Scholarship for Women in Business

J.C. Huizenga Business Scholarship

Hungerford, Aldrin, Nichols and Carter, P.C. Accounting Scholarship

Jad Abou-Maarouf '05, '08 and Selene Lacayo '06 Scholarship

Jurries Family Scholarship

Don Klein Graduate Scholarship in Accounting

Kaufman Family Scholarship Honoring L. William Seidman

The A. Scott and Ruth P. Koeze Graduate Business Scholarship

Jack J. Korff Seidman College of Business Finance Scholarship

L.V. Eberhard Business Scholarship

Marilyn and Budge Sherwood Seidman College of Business Scholarship for Non-Traditional Students

Mithilesch and Jitendra Mishra Foreign Student and Faculty Scholarship

NAI Wisinski of West Michigan Commercial Real Estate Scholarship

Don and Diane Paton Family Entrepreneurship Scholarship

Plante Moran Accounting Scholarship

John W. and Virginia M. Reifel Economics Scholarship

School of Accounting Faculty Endowed Scholarship

Seidman College of Business Study Abroad Scholarship

Seidman Dean's Advisory Board Scholarship

Paul '87 and Sue Spindler Accounting Study Abroad Scholarship

The Steelcase Inc. Seidman College of Business Diversity Scholarship

Supply Chain Management Related Scholarships

TEI Accounting/Tax Scholarship

VanderZwaag Business Scholarship

Richard E. Veazey Graduate Academic Scholarship in Accounting

P. and J, Versluis Endowed Scholarship

The Kathleen B. Vogelsang Seidman College of Business Scholarship for Women

H. James Williams Endowed Scholarship

Vetter Family Marketing Scholarship

Windstream Enterprise Resource Planning Scholarship

Robert H. and Barbara Wood Entrepreneurship Scholarship

Refer to the Seidman College of Business website at for scholarship details.

Graduate Assistantships

Graduate assistants work with Seidman College faculty and staff members. Qualified full-time candidates are selected on the basis of aptitude, interest, and background.

Advisory Boards and Associations

Seidman Dean's Advisory Board

The Seidman Dean's Advisory Board, composed of the dean and three dozen leaders from local, national, and international companies, serves to create and sustain a partnership between the Seidman College and the business community. The Board meets to advise the Seidman College of Business on goals, curriculum, and other matters that are of benefit to the continued enhancement of the student body, the college, and the business and public communities.

The Seidman College of Business Alumni Association Board

The Seidman Alumni Association Board consists of up to 30 graduates of the Seidman College who represent the alumni of the college. The Board's purpose is to promote, assist, and perpetuate the aims and objectives of the college.

Accounting Advisory Board

The Accounting Advisory Board is composed of accountants and meets as needed to advise the college on all matters pertaining to the accounting curriculum and alumni events. Representatives of national, regional, and local accounting firms, presidents of the local accounting associations, and corporate accountants are members of this board.

Accounting Alumni and Friends Advisory Board

The Accounting Alumni and Friends Advisory Board provides a way for alumni to interact with the accounting faculty and students. Upon graduation, accounting students are encouraged to join this advisory board.

Business Ethics Center Advisory Board

The Business Ethics Center Advisory Board consults with the director on matters of expansion, programming, community relations, and budget. Board members also act as advocates for the BEC in the community and nationally.

Economics Department Advisory Board

The Economics Department Advisory Board is made up of local leaders from a broad range of sectors including banking, manufacturing, real estate, non-profits, and government. The Board provides feedback and support for department initiatives.

Finance Department Advisory Board

The Finance Department Advisory Board is comprised of 15 representatives from the areas of investment, corporate finance, banking, and financial planning. The Board's main goals are to facilitate collaboration with the finance industry and to receive input on curriculum and related issues.

Human Resource Management Advisory Board

The purpose of the Seidman Human Resource Management Advisory Board is to develop, maintain, and promote a working relationship between human resources professionals and the stakeholders of the Management Department of the Seidman College of Business, including current students, faculty, and alumni.

International Business Advisory Board

The International Business Advisory Board consists of business leaders of local and international companies who want to support international business education at Seidman.

Marketing Advisory Board

The Marketing Advisory Board was formed to help align the interests of the students, faculty, alumni, and communities Seidman serves. The Board meets routinely with the marketing faculty. Board members are from a diverse assortment of prestigious firms, including Amway, Axios, Inc., Bissell Homecare, Inc., Cynthia Kay & Co. Media Production, Daymon Worldwide, Gordon Food Service, Holton Research, Meijer, SoundOff Signal, Stryker Medical, and TransCorr.

M.S.T. Advisory Board

The M.S.T. Advisory Board is comprised of attorneys and accountants from the professional community who actively support, teach in, and refer students to the M.S.T. program.

Seidman Graduate Student Advisory Board

The Graduate Student Advisory Board consists of at least eight graduate business students. New members are elected by the current board each year. The purpose of the board is to support the mission and vision of the Seidman College. The board also promotes a closer relationship and enhances communications between students and the faculty, staff, and administration. Members serve as ambassadors for the Seidman graduate programs and provide input to the dean and the director of the graduate business programs.

Supply Chain Management Advisory Board

The purpose of the Seidman Supply Chain Management Advisory Board is to develop, maintain, and promote a working relationship between supply chain/logistics professionals and the stakeholders of the Management Department of the Seidman College of Business, including current students, faculty, and alumni.

Endowed Chairs

The L. William Seidman Accounting Chair

The L. William Seidman Chair in Accounting was established to provide financial support to one distinguished accounting faculty member who would advance the accounting profession through teaching, research, and professional outreach activities.

This endowed chair was established to recognize and honor L. William Seidman, who was the former Chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC). Mr. Seidman received his undergraduate degree from Dartmouth, his law degree from Harvard Law School, and his M.B.A. from the University of Michigan. He was also a C.P.A. and a noted author. He served as dean of the College of Business at Arizona State University, as Vice Chairman of Phelps Dodge Corporation, and as an Assistant to the President of the United States for Economic Affairs.

The Esther Seidman Chair

The Esther Seidman Chair was established to provide financial support to one distinguished faculty member who would advance the initiatives and goals of the Seidman College of Business. This endowed chair was established to recognize and honor the late Esther Seidman who, along with her husband Frank Edward Seidman, was a distinguished member of the Grand Rapids business and civic community.

Program Descriptions

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