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2018-2019 Undergraduate & Graduate Catalog

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Seidman College of Business


Dean: Lawson



The Seidman College of Business develops business talent that contributes to the economic growth of West Michigan and the Great Lakes region. Through the exchange and application of knowledge with a global perspective, our students learn to make informed decisions, act ethically, and take initiative. Our distinctiveness is grounded in strong community collaborations, applied scholarly contributions, innovative approaches to learning, and a supportive 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, including Legislative History of the Federal Income Tax Law, Financing the War, and Accounting Handbook.

F.E. 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 people from all backgrounds. F.E. Seidman 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.

F.E. Seidman was, in every sense, a creative businessman. His own competence and remarkable qualities of leadership were reected in the many honors bestowed upon him. F.E. Seidman 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 people in the Grand Rapids area, as well as providing funds for the Seidman House at Grand Valley.

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

Just as quality was the hallmark of F.E. Seidman's efforts, so, too, is quality in education the touchstone of Seidman College of Business. 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 of Business 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 section. Please contact the Seidman College of Business 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, economics, entrepreneurship, finance, general business, general management, human resources management, international business, marketing, operations management, and supply chain management. 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. People 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, it is possible (but not required) for students to pursue an emphasis in finance, health sector management, or innovation and technology management.

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

Family Owned Business Institute

Koeze Business Ethics Initiative

Michigan-Small Business Development Center - West Michigan Region

Michigan-Small Business Development Center Michigan Lead Center

Seidman Financial Planning Certificate Program

U.S. Department of Commerce Export Assistance Center

Van Andel Global Trade Center

Refer to the Community Resources section of this catalog for descriptions of the previously listed centers, institutes, and initiatives.

Admission for Undergraduates

Direct Admission

Each year, the Seidman College of Business admits a select few students directly into the business college as first year students. 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 GPA. In order to continue early-admitted status, students must maintain an overall GPA of 2.5 and complete the six courses: ACC 212, BUS 201, ECO 210, ECO 211, MGT 268, and STA 215 with a combined GPA 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 Seidman College as juniors.

Secondary Admission

For students not admitted as freshmen, Seidman College of Business's admission criteria require students to have

  1. completed at least 55 semester hours (junior status);
  2. achieved a 2.5 or higher overall GPA; and
  3. completed the following courses with a 2.5 or higher combined GPA. Transfer student grades for 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 five 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 GPA requirement has been met. Nonbusiness students must have earned 55 credit hours with a minimum 2.5 GPA 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 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 a bachelor's degree 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 the following 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.

M.B.A. Admission

The Seidman College of Business seeks individuals who want to build a meaningful career. Admission to the Seidman M.B.A. program is competitive because the M.B.A. Admissions Committee carefully considers each applicant. The M.B.A. Admissions Committee takes a holistic approach to candidate evaluation with consideration of relevant professional experience, potential for career growth, academic ability, leadership qualities, communication and interpersonal skills, and motivation for success. Applicants with managerial, operational, or decision-making experience receive preference for admission. Seidman purposefully maintains a relatively small class size and values candidates with diverse backgrounds, skill sets, cultures, and talents. No particular undergraduate major is necessary for students applying to the M.B.A. program. Instead, candidates must demonstrate competency in background business subjects.

To apply, students should

  1. complete the M.B.A. application (including essay/personal statement);
  2. submit official transcripts;
  3. submit a recent resume;
  4. provide two letters of recommendation; and
  5. provide official GMAT scores (if applicable).

International students may be required to submit additional documents as part of their admission materials.

Individuals who submit all required documents may be selected for an interview as part of the admission process.

Waiver of the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) Requirement

Most prospective graduate business students take the GMAT. The GMAT is strongly recommended and may be used to strengthen the applicant's profile. A GMAT waiver is an option for highly qualified individuals.

To be considered for a GMAT waiver, candidates must meet one of the following criteria:

  • Document at least three years of relevant professional experience that shows increased responsibilities over that period.
  • Document having earned an acceptable score on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE); other graduate exams may be considered by request.
  • A transcripted undergraduate GPA of 3.2 or higher from an AACSB-accredited business program.
  • A transcripted undergraduate GPA of 3.4 or higher from a regionally accredited university in any major.
  • Documented having earned a Master's degree or higher from a regionally accredited program.

Meeting the criteria to waive the GMAT does not guarantee admission to the M.B.A. program. Even those who are eligible to waive should consider taking the GMAT because a strong score increases the likelihood of admission.

Executive M.B.A.

EMBA (Executive Master of Business Administration) applicants are evaluated on prior academic performance, leadership potential, professional experience, and employer recommendation.

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 conduct 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

Seventeen 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, University of Michigan, University of New Mexico, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Northeastern University, The Ohio State University, Purdue University, Rice University, 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 of 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 to offer mock interview opportunities for Seidman College juniors and seniors who meet the college'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 and 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 USA International Accounting Scholarship

Becker CPA Course Scholarship

Fred A. Bell Business Scholarship

Barry Castro Business Ethics Scholarship

Johnny C. Burton Memorial Scholarship

Campbell Williams Business Scholarship

Colliers International Scholarship

Crowe Horwath, LLP Outstanding Accounting Student Scholarship

Marvin G. DeVries Endowed Scholarship

Gregg K. Dimkoff Finance Scholarship

Economics Department Faculty Scholarship

Ernst & Young Senior Accounting Excellence Scholarship

Excel Business Scholarship

Finance Department Advisory Board Scholarship

Finance Department Faculty Scholarship

Doug and Christen Fox Scholarship

The Four Ps of Marketing Scholarship

Matt and Kendra Gibson Accounting and Finance Scholarship

Richard H. Giles Memorial Scholarship

Dr. Earl Harper Management Scholarship

Hilda C. Holder Scholarship for Women in Business

J.C. Huizenga Business Scholarship

Hungerford Nichols CPAs+ Advisors Accounting Scholarship

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

Michael and Sue Jandernoa Scholarship

Dr. Donald J. Kline, Sr. 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

Lacks Enterprises Scholarship

May Group Realtors w/ReMax of Grand Rapids Scholarship

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

Dr. William F. Pickard Business Scholarship

Randy and Debbie Price Scholarship

Redfield Financial Group Business and Baseball 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

Marilyn and Budge Sherwood Seidman College of Business Scholarship for Nontraditional Students

Paul '87 and Sue Spindler Accounting Study Abroad Scholarship

Steelcase Inc. Seidman College of Business Diversity Scholarship

Supply Chain Management Related Scholarships

Tax Executives Institute Accounting/Tax Scholarship

The Right Place/MMTC-West Manufacturers Council Scholarship

VanderZwaag Business Scholarship

Richard E. Veazey Graduate Academic Scholarship in Accounting

Philip P. and Joyce Versluis Supply Chain Management Scholarship

Vetter Family Marketing Scholarship

The Kathleen B. Vogelsang Seidman College of Business Scholarship for Non-Traditional Students

Don Williams Sr. Dean Emeritus Multicultural Business Education (MBEC) Scholarship

H. James Williams Endowed 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 of Business 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.

Seidman College of Business Alumni Association Board

The Seidman Alumni Association Board consists of up to 30 graduates of the Seidman College of Business 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 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 accounting faculty members and students. Upon graduation, accounting students are encouraged to join this advisory board.

Business Ethics Center Advisory Board

The Business Ethics Center (BEC) 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 comprised of local leaders from a broad range of sectors, including banking, manufacturing, real estate, and nonprofit and government organizations. 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 members, 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 College.

Marketing Advisory Board

The Marketing Advisory Board was formed to help align the interests of the students, faculty members, alumni, and communities Seidman College serves. The board meets routinely with marketing faculty members. Board members are from diverse, 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 communication between students, faculty and staff members, 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

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). 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.

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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