major- business

The Business Administration program seeks to make it possible for students to master the requirements – in broad education and in specialized knowledge – to find immediately meaningful work and/or to attend critically a graduate business school program. If theory and analytical techniques of various sorts are readily learned and imitated, communication and interpersonal skills, as well as the ability to weave together and make use of different kinds of knowledge are at once less easily taught or transferred to others. Precisely because they are less easily imitated, they are highly valued by the business environment. The Business Administration program intends to open to students the possibility to internalize those skills and ability through an uncompromisingly excellent classroom teaching that emphasizes the integration of the business disciplines and prudential decision making.

Business Administration addresses the complex phenomenon of acting persons engaged in business transactions. Decisions made during those business transactions are always based on value judgments that rely upon non-systematic information available and upon the purpose of the interacting persons. Personal factors are precisely what makes the difference between good and bad business decisions. The acquired habit of weighing the qualitative and quantitative factors involved in the business oriented personal interaction is the cornerstone of the business craft.

Other majors in our department:
Global Affairs & International Business

Explore the Business Program

The study of business is the study of innovation, creativity, and entrepreneurship that increases value for human life in broad terms.  Involving as it does an organic complex of personal orientation, analytical skills, specialized knowledge, and acquired habits, the study of business – as the study of what wealth is and how it is created by personal action and judgment – can be a noble and fulfilling path of undergraduate study.

Business administration addresses the complex phenomenon of acting persons engaged in business transactions. Decisions are always based upon judgments of value.  The scientific approach to decision-making has an undoubted place, but decisions are always based on imperfect and non-systematic information.  Beyond the technical quality of the decision-making process, the worth of a decision depends crucially on its purpose.  Hence personal factors – virtues, background, and experience – as well as thought, reflection, common sense, and intuition, make the difference between good and bad business decisions.  The acquired habit of prudential weighing the qualitative and quantitative factors involved in business-oriented personal interactions is the cornerstone of the business craft.

Business is a practical endeavor. Indeed, business leaders constantly face critical issues that demand judgment calls, which puts a premium on the acquisition of the habit of prudent action acquired through professional formation, carried out through directed practice and mentoring. Ave Maria’s business education includes exposure and appropriate mastery of the specific knowledge and skills of business, learned in the courses that give students specialized abilities needed for success.

Our students learn the basics of business: marketing and management, finance and accounting, economics and statistics, global issues and business law in a way that is practical and oriented towards what is necessary to actually run a business.  Our students develop and sharpen their skills in communication and analysis, in working with others and working with numbers, in seeing the big picture and in drilling down to details.  Our students learn how to think – how to think better, more broadly, more flexibly – which is the best preparation for the changing world of business.

Business can be a tremendous force for good if pursued with rectitude of intention and a clear-minded awareness of the truth of the human person.  Carried out with an incorrect understanding of its purpose, business can be destructive and corrosive to the community.  Indeed, because it involves human action, business cannot be dissociated from morality and cannot be divorced from virtue.  Yet habits of moral action must be learned existentially: virtue cannot be acquired through study alone.  Ave Maria Business students are blessed to live and study in a context where moral virtue is valued and instilled, where the practices and expectations of the university community encourage students to choose what is right rather than what is convenient. Because students learn to value human beings for what they are, not for what utility they bring, they are able to serve the Church and their society loyally and generously.

1.     Our alumni work in all areas of business: analysis, sales, consulting, management, logistics, accounting, information systems, sports, healthcare.  Many have gone on to graduate study in business, law, and other areas.

2.     We offer a Major and a Minor in Business Administration, a Major and a Minor in Accounting, a Major in Finance, and a Major in Global Affairs and International Business.

3.     We have a close relationship with the Career Services Department.  Jointly we run a Corporate Internship program, through which students are placed in internships that are overseen by our faculty.

4.     Our professors have multiple, advanced degrees in management, accounting, finance, economics, taxation, and law.

5.     The top 20% of business juniors and seniors are qualified for membership in Sigma Beta Delta, the business honor society.

In addition to the core curriculum, business majors take the following courses
ECON 201 Principles of Macroeconomics
ECON 202 Principles of Microeconomics
STAT 230 Statistics
ACCT 201 Financial Accounting
ACCT 202 Managerial Accounting
BUSN 303 Management and Ethics
BUSN 304 Marketing
FINC 301 Fundamentals of Finance
BUSN 340 Business Law

Elective Options (choose one)
BUSN 200 Business Communication
BUSN 250 Personal Financial Planning
BUSN 322 Human Resources
BUSN 329 Business and Economic Forecasting
BUSN 330 Organizational Behavior
BUSN 397 Business Internship
BUSN 400 International Business
BUSN 440 Business Law II

See the Academic Catalog for course descriptions


Ave Maria University is fortunate to be connected to a strong, nationally-recognized network of business managers and CEOs who are looking for the skills and the virtues that characterize Ave Maria students.  We are very active in developing our students’ career potential, connecting them with suitable internships, and ensuring their success.



Business administration majors are highly employable.  The best projections suggest strong growth in both pay and availability of jobs in business.  Business majors work as market research analysts, operation research analysts, accountants, financial advisors, business operations managers, marketing or financial managers, event planners, compliance officers, human resources managers, sales managers, insurance agents, loan officers, etc., in every industry and walk of life.

There is strong competition for good positions in business.  To be competitive, the best business majors distinguish themselves with academic excellence, a second major in a complementary field, internship experience, excellent personal skills, analytical ability, courage, responsibility, moderation, and judgment.



The Business Honor Society Sigma Beta Delta has a chapter at Ave Maria University, to which the top twenty percent of juniors and seniors are admitted.

Gabriel Martinez, Ph.D.

Interim Vice President for Academic Affairs and Associate Professor of Business & Economics
Education: B.A.I.S., University of South Carolina; M.A., University of Notre Dame; Ph.D., University of Notre Dame
Office: Henkels Academic Bldg. 3056
Office Phone: (239) 280-1611
Fax: (239) 280-1637
Curriculum Vitae: Download

Frank Shepard, D.P.S.

Associate Professor of Business
Education: Doctorate in Professional Studies – Finance and International Economics, Pace University;  M.B.A. – Finance, Columbia University;  B.S. – Accounting, Bentley College;  Certification: Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst
Office: Henkels Academic Bldg. 2020
Office Phone: (239) 304-7345
Fax: (239) 280-1637

Mary Hunt, Ph.D (candidate)

Chair of the Business Department, Internship Coordinator, and Assistant Professor of Business & Psychology
Education: B.A., Political Science & Spanish, Wellesley College; M.B.A., Marketing, Washington University; M.S., Industrial/Organizational Psychology, Illinois Institute of Technology; Ph.D. (candidate), Industrial/Organizational Psychology, Illinois Institute of Technology
Office: Henkels Academic Bldg. 2030
Office Phone: (239) 304-7128
Fax: (239) 280-1637

Ubiratan Rezende, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Business
Education: M.A., Ph.D., Public Administration, University of Southern California; M.A., Theological Studies, John Paul II Institute, Washington, D.C.; B.A., J.D., University of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil
Office: Henkels 2056
Office Phone: (239) 280-1662
Fax: (239) 280-1637

Dorothy Thompson, M.S., C.P.A.

Assistant Professor of Business
Education: Bachelor in Business Administration – Accounting, Texas Woman’s University; Master of Science in Accounting and Master of Science in Finance, University of Texas at Dallas
Certification: Certified Public Accountant
Office: Henkels Academic Bldg. 2052
Office Phone: (239) 280-1662
Fax: (239) 280-1637

Patrick Gillen, Ph.D., J.D.

Adjunct Professor of Business