May Term

May Term is an optional 3½-week academic session that has increased in popularity over the past several years. Department majors who choose to enroll in a May Term course are asked to explore in depth a single business or economics topic, often in an off-campus setting. Because most May Term courses involve either domestic or international travel, students are able to explore academic topics in ways not necessarily available in typical semester-long courses. The result is an intense cultural and academic experience that often changes the way our students view the world.

Nearly thirty students participated in our three most recent May Term courses (see below), and Department faculty are committed to providing our majors with May Term opportunities that complement traditional course offerings.

  • Business Sustainability and the Environment – Examined environmental and sustainability issues for organizations such as NGO-business partnerships, eco-labeling, corporate environmental strategies, and new markets for environmental goods and services. Attention was paid to global warming concerns and the emerging strategies for measuring and reducing the carbon footprint of businesses. The course included company visits and significant domestic travel, primarily in California.
  • Central Europe in Transition – Fifteen students and two faculty members traveled to Central Europe (Czech Republic, Germany, and Poland) to explore the business, cultural, and economic issues associated with the transition of former Communist countries to democratic membership in the European Union. The course included basic language instruction and lectures given by professors from overseas universities.
  • Economics of Renewable Energy – Examined the benefits and costs of alternative sources of clean energy – wind, biomass, and solar – in terms of benefit-cost analysis, cost-effectiveness analysis, social benefits versus economic impact analysis, and equity analysis. The course included company visits and significant travel in the Midwest, primarily in Iowa.

Department faculty are already planning future May Term courses, including completely new courses with travel in Europe and Asia as well as updated versions of the above course offerings.