For the student interested in business, the liberal arts can be an extraordinarily effective vehicle. Pre-Business advising prepares Hobart and William Smith students for a career path to business by enhancing the curriculum with business-specific subjects, like economics, accounting, finance, statistics, and market research. Today's business entrepreneurs and managers need to have the basic skills, but they must also be able to think creatively to solve problems.

Many students who are interested in business opt for a major in economics, which is a good foundation for business school and graduate studies. However, this is not the only path, and the general rule should be to follow your intellectual passions. No matter what courses you take, you will develop the critical reading, writing, and problem solving skills more generally needed for business success.

In support of the curriculum, Hobart and William Smith offer comprehensive professional development seminars that enhance students' ability to compete in the job market, including cover letter and resume writing, interviewing and networking skills and conducting an effective job search. Career Field Visits, typically held over winter break, in NYC, Boston, L.A. and Washington, D.C., are offered each year.

In addition to working with the Pre-Business Adviser, each student is also assigned an HWS parent or alum mentor who will provide support and guidance as students investigate their areas of professional interest. Students will also complete credit-bearing internships with major market and international internship opportunities made available.


First Year
ECON160 Introduction to Economics
SOC100 Introduction to Sociology
ANTH227 Intercultural Communication
PSY100 Introduction to Psychology

WRRH325 Writing in the Professional Workplace
ECON204 Business Law
POL 140 Introduction to Comparative Politics
ECON240 International Trade
PSY243 Organizational Psychology
ECON196 Principles of Accounting
ECON218 Introduction to Investments

SOC242 Sociology of Business and Management
PHIL236 Philosophy of Law
ECON300 Macroeconomics
ECON301 Microeconomics
ECON308 Corporation Finance
ECON309 Portfolio Analysis

SOC246 Sociology of Work
ECON203 Collective Bargaining
POLSCI 248 Politics of Development
ECON344 Economic Development and Planning
ECON315 Managerial Economics
ECON324 Money and Financial Markets

Note that with the selection of courses it is highly likely that you will earn a minor in Economics, so be sure to balance this with an interdisciplinary major or earn an additional interdisciplinary minor. You should also consider taking Qualitative and Quantitative Reasoning courses such as:

SOC211 Research Methods
ECON202 Statistics
SOC212 Data Analysis
BIO212 Biostats
MATH130 Calculus I
PSY210 Statistics and Research Methods



You can also concentrate your business interests into a topic concentration. Consider the following possible concentrations:

Cross-Cultural Perspectives and Skills

  • ANTH 227 Intercultural Communication
  • ASN 101 Foundations of Asian Civilization
  • ECON 135 Latin American Economics

Global Development

  • ANTH 280 Environment and Culture: Cultural Ecology
  • ANTH296 African Cultures
  • ECON 223 Comparative Economics
  • ECON 240 International Trade
  • ECON 344 Economic Development and Planning
  • POL 248 Politics of Development

Environmental Issues

  • ECON 212 Environmental Economics
  • GEO 190 Environmental Geoscience
  • PHIL 154 Environmental Ethics
  • SOC 271 Sociology of Environmental Issues

The Impact of Gender

  • ANTH 220 Sex Roles: A Cross Cultural Perspective
  • BIDIS 280 Women's Narratives of Wealth and Power
  • POL 238 Sex and Power
  • WRRH 221 He Says, She Says
  • SOC 226 Sociology of Sex and Gender

Legal Issues

  • ECON 204 Business Law
  • PHIL 235 Morality and Self Interest
  • PHIL 236 Philosophy of Law
  • POL 296 International Law
  • POL 335 Law and Society

Race, Class, and Ethnicity

  • ALST 225 Afro-American Culture
  • ANTH 205 Race, Class, and Ethnicity
  • ECON 122 Economics of Caring
  • WRRH 252 An Anatomy of American Class: Myths, Realities, & …
  • SOC 221 Sociology of Minorities
  • SOC 223 Social Stratification


  • COMP 120 Principles of Computer Science
  • HIS 256 Technology and Society in Europe
  • MDSC 100 Introduction to Media and Society
  • POL 363 Cyber Politics/Cyber Culture
  • SOC 249 Technology and Society Work
  • ECON 203 Collective Bargaining or Economics 316 Labor Market Analysis
  • HIS 310 The Rise of Industrial America
  • WRRH 220 Breadwinners & Losers: The Rhetoric of Work
  • SOC 246 Sociology of Work


  • ECON200 Principles of Accounting
  • ECON308 Corporation Finance
  • ECON218 Introduction to Investments
  • ECON309 Portfolio Analysis
  • ECON315 Managerial Economics
  • ECON324 Money and Financial Markets

Leadership and Entrepreneurship

  • ECON 124 - Entrepreneurial Leadership

Preparing Students to Lead Lives of Consequence.