Rethinking Undergraduate Business Education: Liberal Learning for the Profession


Anne Colby


Thomas Ehrlich


William M. Sullivan


Jonathan R. Dolle


Foreword by Lee S. Shulman

Year of Publication: 
The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching

Business is the largest undergraduate major in the U.S. and still growing. This reality, along with the immense power of the business sector and its significance for national and global wellbeing, makes quality education for these students critical not only for them but also for the public good. Business education for undergraduates, however, is too often narrow, fails to challenge students to question assumptions, think creatively, or to understand the place of business in larger institutional contexts. These are the results of a national study of undergraduate business education undertaken by The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, reported in this book. The book describes the efforts of a diverse set of institutions to address these limitations by supporting the best elements of liberal arts learning integrated with students’ learning of business disciplines in order to develop wise, ethically grounded professional judgment.

The book forcefully articulates the nature of liberal learning, the purpose of which is to enable students to make sense of the world and their place in it, preparing them to use knowledge and skills to engage responsibly with the life of their times. The authors provide compelling examples of effective pedagogies and curricular designs that promote this essential learning for business students, along with campus cultures that support it. They also provide insights about educating for innovation and entrepreneurial thinking and for competence in navigating a global business environment. The lessons of the volume are directly applicable to undergraduate fields such as engineering, nursing, and education, as well as business.

Education Level:

APA Citation

Colby, A., Ehrlich, T., Sullivan, W.M., Dolle, J.R., & Shulman, L.S. (2011). Rethinking Undergraduate Business Education: Liberal Learning for the Profession. . The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.