By: Nava Katz  | 

SSSB to Rename and Redefine Majors and Course Offerings

Sy Syms School of Business (SSSB) will rename and redefine several majors and concentrations as well as “fine-tune” course offerings beginning next semester, SSSB Dean Noam Wasserman announced in an email to SSSB students on Nov. 17. According to the email, these changes will make student qualifications clearer to potential employers and enable students to better focus on their field of interest. 

The newly announced majors are in strategy and entrepreneurship, business analytics, finance and marketing. Previously, the only two majors SSSB offered were in accounting, and business and management. Students could major in one of these two and concentrate in a specific area of interest, such as finance or marketing. Now, however, students will be able to declare majors in these specific subfields, and they will count as a B.S. in a separate area of study rather than just a concentration. “The changes in the titles of the majors help Syms students articulate their expertise to employers and graduate schools,” Wasserman told The Commentator.  

SSSB is also renaming the management major to strategy and entrepreneurship and business intelligence and marketing analytics — previously a finance concentration — will now be a major called business analytics. According to the email, “Students graduating with a degree in business analytics and a second area of expertise are prepared for exciting careers with business analytics roles within media and marketing firms, banks, hedge funds, accounting and consulting firms as well as sports teams.”

Students graduating in January or May 2022 who are not accounting majors can decide whether to opt into the new major designations or receive their bachelor’s in business & management with a concentration.

There will also be two new marketing majors — a general marketing track and a digital marketing track. The digital marketing track will focus on online marketing, featuring topics such as digital media, content marketing and search engine optimization.

Additionally, the school is changing the sequence of general education requirements to build a stronger quantitative base for SSSB students. This involves replacing two courses: business algebra and quantitative methods. According to the email, the replacement courses — mathematics for business and regression and visualization — incorporate skills applicable for today's job market, including mathematics in real-world business and economics and how to give visual presentations to business audiences.

SSSB has been working to update the school’s majors for the past several years to better accommodate the changing needs of their students. “With the growth in the number of students majoring in business & management and the breadth of specializations in that area, we wanted the students to be able to be clearer to employers and graduate schools about the material that they had mastered, and also to fit into the categories used by employers and schools,” said Wasserman. “So we applied to the New York State Education Department (NYSED) to bring clarity to resumes, applications, and transcripts”.

The SSSB administration worked with Tim Stevens, special assistant to the provost and YU’s NYSED liaison, who appealed to the state to allow the changes to be implemented. It took several years to configure the new majors to comply with the NYSED’s review process, but permission was granted in the spring of 2021.

Students expressed excitement about the changes. “My major takes up much less room on a resume and it is much clearer, which is really helpful on a practical level,” said finance and marketing major Fruma Silver (SSSB ‘23). These changes came shortly after SSSB announced the redesign of three of its graduate programs on Nov. 9.

Photo Caption: Belfer Hall

Photo Credit: The Commentator