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Grand Valley State University    
2011-2012 Undergraduate & Graduate Catalog 
  Apr 26, 2019
2011-2012 Undergraduate & Graduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Seidman College of Business


Dean: Williams; Associate Dean: Reifel



The Seidman College of Business provides a rigorous learning environment, with a student focus, a regional commitment, and a global perspective.

The Legacy of Seidman

The Seidman College of Business was named in honor of the late Frank Edward Seidman, who for more than 50 years was a distinguished member of the Grand Rapids business community and a partner in the national accounting firm of BDO/Seidman. He was nationally recognized as a business and civic leader, an economist, and a philanthropist. For many years he wrote a newspaper column on business and economics and contributed to numerous professional journals. He was also the co-author of three technical books, Legislative History of the Federal Income Tax Law, Financing the War, and Accounting Handbook.

Mr. Seidman worked for both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in commercial science by attending night classes at New York University. He placed a high value on education and was devoted to improving educational opportunities for all persons from all backgrounds. He was especially dedicated to improving the level of competence in the business and public sectors, not only in his own firm, but also in all of the organizations it audited.

He was, in every sense, a creative businessman. His own competence and remarkable qualities of leadership were reflected in the many honors bestowed upon him. He was chairman of the Citizens’ Advisory Committee on the Michigan Tax Study and of the Michigan State Board of Accountancy. He was a director of the Grand Rapids Community Chest and the Community Services of Kent County for 25 years and was a long-time director of the Grand Rapids Foundation, the largest philanthropic organization of its kind in the area. As a trustee of the Thomas Erler Seidman Foundation, named for a deceased son, he was instrumental in providing youth-building and educational opportunities for thousands of young persons in the Grand Rapids area as well as funds for the Seidman House at Grand Valley.

In establishing the Seidman College, Grand Valley intended to embody the philosophy, ideas, and spirit of Mr. Seidman and to provide a place to gain an education in business and administration in West Michigan.

Just as quality was the hallmark of Mr. Seidman’s efforts, so quality in education has been made the touchstone of Seidman College. Grand Valley’s purpose has been to honor the man not merely by affixing his name to the college, but by perpetuating the high ideals to which he personally dedicated himself.

Program Information

The Seidman College of Business offers programs in business and economics leading to a Bachelor’s of Business Administration (B.B.A.), a Master’s of Business Administration (M.B.A.), a Master’s of Science in Accounting (M.S.A.), and a Master’s of Science in Taxation (M.S.T.). The Seidman College also offers dual M.B.A/J.D., M.S.A./J.D., and M.S.T./J.D. degrees in cooperation with Michigan State University College of Law. The Seidman College in partnership with Michigan State University College of Law also offers the opportunity to participate in a “3+3” Legal Education Admission Program leading to a BBA and J.D. in approximately six years. For a description of the B.S. and B.A. economics program, see Economics.

Through these programs, the college helps students learn to gather the information upon which effective management is based, make rational decisions on the basis of that information, plan for the effective implementation of those decisions, and monitor their consequences. Students will develop an understanding of the functional areas of business, of the dynamics of competitive and cooperative group process, of formal and informal organizational behavior, and of the culture of business.

Students also will become better acquainted with the external environment of business, gaining a perspective on contemporary global business through historical and international comparisons. They will come to understand more fully the ways in which business and management are responding to current social, economic, political, international, and technological challenges.

Undergraduate students may major in accounting, business economics, finance, general business, international business, management, and marketing. Emphases in general management, human resources, manufacturing, operations, and organizational information systems are available in the management program. Emphases in general business economics and real estate business economics are available in the business economics program. Emphases in general marketing, distribution and logistics, and sales are available in the marketing program. There are also opportunities for students who do not wish to enter a degree program to take courses that apply to their professional interests.

In each case, the college makes every effort to accommodate the varying needs of its students. Persons employed full-time, for example, can enroll in many evening classes. Those who are not employed can gain valuable experience through internships with area businesses and government agencies.

Graduate students may pursue master’s degrees in accounting, business administration, or taxation.  For the Master in Business Administration degree program, it is possible (but not required) for students to pursue an emphasis in finance, health or technology innovation management.

Academic Units

School of Accounting

Economics Department

Finance Department

Management Department

Marketing Department

Seidman Business Services

Center for Entrepreneurship

Center for Business Ethics

Family Owned Business Institute

Seidman Information Services

MI-Small Business Technology Development Center - Region 7

MI-Small Business Technology Development Center State Headquarters

U.S. Department of Commerce Export Assistance Center

Seidman Financial Planning Certificate Program

Van Andel Global Trade Center

Refer to the Community Resources section of this catalog for descriptions for the services above.

Secondary Admission for Undergraduates

The Seidman College admits a select few students directly into the Business College as freshmen each year. This honor is reserved for students who have a 26 or higher composite score on the ACT and a 3.5 or higher high school GPA. In order to continue early-admitted status, students must maintain an overall GPA of 2.75. Students whose GPA falls below 2.75 will be reclassified as pre-business students and will need to reapply to the Seidman College as juniors.

For students not admitted as freshmen, Seidman’s admission criteria require a student to have at least 55 semester hours (junior status) with a 2.75 or higher overall GPA. Students who have earned fewer than 55 semester hours and have not been admitted as freshmen are accepted to the Seidman College of Business pre-business program. All business students must complete the  general education requirements (see section on “General Education”). This program will develop a base of general education upon which business administration education will rest. Included is a broad spectrum of liberal arts, mathematics, and science courses. After earning 55 semester hours with a minimum 2.75 GPA, students are admitted to the upper-division programs.

During their junior and senior years, students will take a variety of business administration courses in different areas to give them a strong general business and administration background. Additionally, they will complete courses applicable to one of the specific majors offered. Nonbusiness students must have earned 55 credit hours with a minimum 2.0 GPA to be eligible to enroll in upper-division business and economics courses.

Any student with guest student status (a degree-seeking student at another college or university who is taking classes at Grand Valley for one semester) must meet the criteria set for all Seidman College students. Accordingly, a guest student must be a student in good standing at his or her home institution in order to enroll in any 300- or 400-level courses at the Seidman College of Business. The guest student is advised to bring a transcript at the time of registration.

Graduate Admission

The graduate business programs are open to qualified individuals with bachelor’s degrees from accredited colleges and universities.

No particular undergraduate major is necessary for students selecting the traditional part-time M.B.A., program, the M.S.A., or the M.S.T., although candidates may be required to complete background coursework in business subjects before attempting advanced work. It is recommended that M.S.T. students have a background in accounting or law. Students selecting the Full-time Integrated M.B.A., (FIMBA) must have completed a bachelor’s degree in business prior to admission to the 14-month cohort program.

Candidates are admitted to the master’s degree programs in business administration, accounting, or taxation based on criteria that have been shown to predict success in graduate business programs, including performance on the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT), previous undergraduate and graduate academic performance, and evidence of other competencies related to academic program and work place success. A TOEFL score of at least 80 (IBT) is also required of applicants whose first language is not English.

The Graduate Admissions Committee considers a scholastic index for graduate business program applicants, computed as follows: (GPA for last 60 semester hours of undergraduate coursework x 200) + GMAT score. For example, an applicant with a 3.0 GPA and 500 GMAT has a scholastic index of 1100. Further consideration is given to the quantitative, qualitative, and writing scores of the GMAT and grades earned in courses determined to be relevant to the graduate curriculum. Using the scholastic index and other information, the committee implements the policies and practices described below.

An applicant for the traditional part-time M.B.A., with a scholastic index of 1100, including a GMAT score of at least 500, is generally admitted without further committee review. Applications with scholastic indexes of 1100, including GMAT scores between 450 and 490 are examined by the committee for evidence predictive of success. The committee’s analysis may result in the applicant being required to score higher on the GMAT or to upgrade his or her undergraduate record by completing background coursework with acceptable performance prior to the academic decision. Recognizing that both test scores and previous academic achievement are indicators of performance in the graduate programs, acceptable performance in background courses does not compensate for an unacceptable GMAT score. Although work experience is not required, it is preferred and may be a deciding factor.

The FIMBA program is highly competitive and designed for students with undergraduate business majors and no, or limited, work experience. Students are expected to have very strong academic credentials and admission test scores. A scholastic index, as described above, of at least 1200 is expected. Finalists will also submit a writing sample and will be interviewed for other competencies related to academic program and fellowship placement. Admission will be contingent on acceptance as a business fellow.

An applicant for the M.S.A. or M.S.T. program with a scholastic index of 1100, including a GMAT score of at least 500, is generally admitted without further committee review. Applications with scholastic indexes of 1100, including GMAT scores between 450 and 490 are examined by the committee for evidence predictive of success. The committee’s analysis may result in the applicant being required to score higher on the GMAT or to upgrade his or her undergraduate record by completing background coursework with acceptable performance prior to the admission decision. Recognizing that both test scores and previous academic achievement are indicators of performance in the graduate programs, acceptable performance in background courses does not compensate for unacceptable GMAT score. Work experience is not required.

Applicants for the M.S.A., are not required to submit a GMAT score if they have an M.B.A. or M.S.T. from an AACSB-accredited school, or a J.D. with at least a 3.0 GPA. Applicants for the M.S.A. may request a GMAT waiver if they have earned a B.B.A., in accounting from an AACSB-accredited school with superior grades in select accounting courses. Inquiries should be made of the graduate programs director.

Applicants for the M.S.T. are not required to submit a GMAT score if they have an M.B.A. or M.S.A. from an AACSB-accredited school, or a J.D. with at least a 3.0 GPA. Applicants for the M.S.T. may request a GMAT waiver if they have earned a B.B.A., in accounting from an AACSB-accredited school with superior grades in select accounting courses. Inquiries should be made of the graduate programs director.

Applicants will be given an admission decision for any academic semester for which they apply, provided their applications are complete at least one month before the semester begins. The exception is the FIMBA program for which applications are due by February 15 for the summer semester that follows.

Individuals not yet admitted to the traditional M.B.A., M.S.A., or M.S.T. programs may enroll in 500-level background courses with permission of the graduate business programs director. Enrollment in 600-level courses is generally restricted to students admitted to the respective program who have also completed the appropriate prerequisite courses. The exception to this policy is Seidman College students with senior standing who meet all other admissions criteria. With permission of the graduate programs director, such students may enroll for as many as five 600-level business courses that will be applied toward a graduate degree once they are admitted. FIMBA courses may not be taken by any student not admitted to that program.

Graduate Independent Study

Individualized study is available for candidates interested in pursuing relevant special interests in areas in which regular courses are not offered.  These may consist of research projects, theses, problem-solving projects, or other appropriate endeavors related to the candidate’s current job and intellectual or career interests.

No independent study or individualized courses will be allowed in areas in which courses exist and are taught at least once per year. 

Only graduate degree-seeking candidates who have completed the core requirements or have special permission from the program director may take individualized graduate courses or do graduate-level independent projects.

All independent study topics and the amount of credit to be earned must be approved by the faculty member who agrees to supervise the project.  A maximum of three hours of credit can be granted for independent study.  The conditions, meeting times, workload, and subject matter concerned with the project are mutually agreed to by the initiating candidate and the assenting faculty member, consistent with standards of quality education.  Request forms can be obtained from the program director’s office. 

Graduate Study Abroad

Seidman College of Business offers special topic business courses that generally include a two-week summer session abroad.

Washington Campus Program

Sixteen universities have recognized the importance of training private sector managers and leaders in the art of working with the federal government and have established the Washington Campus Program. These colleges and universities are Grand Valley State, Arizona State, the University of California at Berkley, the University of California at Los Angeles, Emory University, Georgetown University, Howard University, Indiana University, The Ohio State University, the University of New Mexico, the University of Michigan, Northeastern University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Purdue University, Texas A&M, and the University of Texas at Austin.

The Washington Campus Program offers a unique opportunity for current and future leaders in business and government to gain a basic understanding of how to deal with the problems inherent in business/government relationships by working with policy makers, politicians, regulatory agency personnel, and others who make up the teaching staff and resource persons for the programs.

Each year selected graduate students spend a week in Washington, D.C., attending classes, special lectures, and hearings, and conducting research. The students stay in appropriate facilities in Washington. Participants earn three hours of credit and a Certificate of Completion from The Washington Campus Program. For additional information, graduate students can contact the Graduate Business office.

Student Services

Distinguished Executive Lecture Series

One evening each semester, the Seidman College of Business Dean invites an expert on a current and relevant topic to address graduate business students. The topic is selected specifically to enrich the curriculum. Following the presentation, students and faculty ask questions and engage the presenter in conversation.

Seidman Professional Development Series

The Seidman Professional Development Series is a series of events held on Thursday evening twice each semester during the academic year. These events, open to all business students, are designed to provide the opportunity for students to develop successful business skills beyond what is taught in the classroom. Seminar topics have included how to work a room, salary and money matters, giving presentations that beat the competition, business golf, and the etiquette dinner.

Mock Interviews

To assist students in preparing for career placement the Seidman College of Business collaborates with Career Services and the Seidman Dean’s Advisory Board to offer mock interview opportunities for Seidman juniors and seniors who meet Seidman’s minimum grade point average requirements. The primary purpose of mock interviews is to give students a chance to practice their interviewing skills and build self-confidence. Students are matched with companies so that they interview with and receive feedback from business professionals in their major areas of study.

Awards and Scholarships

Student Awards

Each year the Wall Street Journal makes an award to an undergraduate business student. The award is a silver medallion and a one-year subscription to the Wall Street Journal. The recipients are selected by Seidman College faculty on the basis of academic excellence, business leadership, contribution to the university, and promise of success.

Accounting Awards

The Beene, Garter & Co., Institute of Management Accountants, Ernst & Young Accounting Senior Excellence Award, and Clipper Belt Lacer accounting awards are presented at the annual spring accounting awards dinner. These awards honor outstanding academic and leadership excellence.

Delta Sigma Pi Scholarship Key

Each year the International Fraternity of Delta Sigma Pi awards the Delta Sigma Pi Scholarship Key to the graduating student with the highest academic average for the four years of study in business administration. All business students are eligible for this award.

Seidman Service Award

The Seidman Service Award was created to honor an undergraduate and graduate student each year for their outstanding service contribution to Seidman, the university, and the community.


Accounting Alumni Scholarship

American Production and Inventory Control Society (APICS) Scholarship

Scott and Ruth P. Koeze Graduate Business Scholarship

The Barry Castro Business Ethics Scholarship

BOMA Scholarship

Business Study Abroad Scholarship

Newton D. Becker Scholarship Award

Fred A. Bell Business Scholarship

Excel Business Scholarship

Finance Department Advisory Board Scholarship

H. James and Carole Lynn Campbell Williams Scholarship in Business

Richard H. Giles Memorial Scholarships

Earl Harper Management Scholarship

The Hilda C. Holder Scholarship for Women in Business

J.C. Huizenga Scholarship

Jurries Family Scholarship

Global Forex Trading Scholarship

The Grubb & Ellis/Paramount Commerce Scholarship

Hungerford, Aldrin, Nichols & Carter, P.C. Accounting Scholarship

The Don Klein Graduate Scholarship in Accounting

The Jack J. Korff Seidman College of Business Finance Scholarship

L.V. Eberhard Business Scholarship

L.V. Eberhard Graduate Research Assistantship

Marilyn and B.P. Sherwood III Scholarship

Mithilesch and Jitendra Mishra Foreign Student and Faculty Scholarship

Seidman Dean’s Advisory Board Scholarship

The Steelcase Inc. Seidman College of Business Diversity Scholarship

Supply Chain Management Related Scholarships

TEI Accounting/Tax Scholarship

VanderZwaag Business Scholarship

The Richard E. Veazey Graduate Academic Scholarship in Accounting

The Kathleen B. Vogelsang Seidman College of Business Scholarship for Women

Robert H. and Barbara Wood Entrepreneurship Scholarship

Refer to the Seidman College of Business website at for scholarship details.

Graduate Assistantships

Graduate assistants work with Seidman College faculty and staff. Qualified full-time candidates are selected on the basis of aptitude, interest, and background.

Advisory Boards and Associations

Seidman College Advisory Board

The Seidman College Advisory Board, composed of the dean and three dozen leaders from local, national, and international companies, serves to create and sustain a partnership between the Seidman College and the business community. The board meets to advise the Seidman College of Business on goals, curriculum, and other matters that are of benefit to the continued enhancement of the student body, the college, and the business and public communities.

The Seidman College of Business Alumni Association

The Alumni Association consists of up to 30 graduates of the Seidman College who represent the alumni of the college. The board’s purpose is to promote, assist, and perpetuate the aims and objectives of the college.

Accounting Alumni Advisory Board

The Accounting Alumni Advisory Board is composed of accountants and meets as needed to advise the college on all matters pertaining to the accounting curriculum and alumni events. Representatives of national, regional, and local accounting firms, presidents of the local accounting associations, and corporate accountants are members of this board.

M.S.T. Advisory Board

The M.S.T. Advisory Board is composed of attorneys and accountants from the professional community who actively support, teach in, and refer students to the MST program.

Seidman Undergraduate Advisory Board

The Seidman Undergraduate Advisory Board (SUAB) is comprised of students from across the Seidman majors, class statuses, and academic levels. The SUAB meets regularly with the Dean to discuss, investigate, and communicate concerns, problems, and recommendations that Seidman students may have in relation to the business college. The SUAB members also act as student ambassadors on behalf of the undergraduate business program.

Seidman Graduate Student Advisory Board

The Graduate Student Advisory Board consists of at least eight graduate business students. New members are elected by the current board each year. The purpose of the board is to support the mission and vision of the Seidman College. The board also promotes a closer relationship and enhances communications between students and the faculty, staff, and administration. Members serve as ambassadors for the Seidman graduate programs and provide input to the dean and the director of the graduate business programs.  

Endowed Chairs

The L. William Seidman Accounting Chair

The L. William Seidman Chair in accounting was established to provide financial support to one distinguished accounting faculty member who would advance the accounting profession through teaching ,research, and professional outreach activities.

This endowed chair was established to recognize and honor L. William Seidman, who is the former Chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC). Mr. Seidman received his undergraduate degree from Dartmouth, his law degree from Harvard Law School, and his MBA from the University of Michigan. He is also a C.P.A. and a noted author. He has served as dean of the College of Business at Arizona State University, as Vice Chairman of Phelps Dodge Corporation, and is an Assistant to the President of the United States for Economic Affairs.

The Esther Seidman Chair

The E. Seidman Chair was established to provide financial support to one distinguished faculty member who would advance the initiatives and goals of the Seidman College of Business. This endowed chair was established to recognize and honor the late Esther Seidman who, along with her husband Frank Edward Seidman, was a distinguished member of the Grand Rapids business and civic community.