Ivy College makes big change to class requirements


Emily Clement/Iowa State Daily

Gerdin is home to Iowa State’s Ivy College of Business.

The Ivy College of Business has decided to do away with the pre-business major, instead allowing students to apply for their major as soon as they enroll.

In October, the college announced the following two semesters would see changes to the previously required curriculum. The restructuring is intended to streamline students’ schedules to more accurately reflect their major.

In previous years, students who enrolled at the Ivy College of Business were required to take a specific set of classes before applying to and declaring their major. However, starting this spring for sophomores, juniors and seniors, students can apply for any major at the college before taking the classes. Incoming freshmen will have the same opportunity the following fall semester.

The course set was initially created before Iowa State University had its own college of business, and all business majors were a part of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. These required courses are still a part of the curriculum, but students are now free to take other classes at Ivy, so long as they have met the requirements for that specific class.

“They would take them sooner, their programs, in their time here,” said Diann Burright, the director of undergraduate programs for the Ivy College of Business. “Where it might take them, as pre-business, two to three semesters to get through that first step, to get into the second. Now it may only take a semester or two, to make sure they have the prerequisites they want.”

The intention is to open the whole curriculum for students sooner so that they may explore their options and work through internships and other opportunities earlier. Burright said that in general, students are coming to college with college credit from high school, so the college doesn’t want to hold students back if they are already prepared for higher level classes.

“Currently, students, typically in their junior and senior year, are taking the brunt of their major-specific courses,” said Morgan Johnston, a senior in marketing and the president of the Ivy student council. “From the student perspective, walking into the career fair, or trying to network post-college, if you’re having a delay on some of the classes that employers are looking for, I know it can be a little bit more difficult. It’s almost the same equivalency as a freshman going up to a company at the career fair.”

Johnston, who is also a peer mentor, works with many students that she believes would benefit from this change and helps them on their professional journey. Johnston thinks that as most college students do change majors when they first enroll, it could give them a better chance to look at what a program at the college offers and if that truly is in the student’s best interest.

“For many students, switching majors is common across Iowa State, not even just Ivy,” Johnston said. “So I think being able to take some of those classes sooner will help students land on the major they really want to go into and have a better understanding of the opportunities that fall within said major.”

Additionally, Johnston hopes that this change could help freshmen and sophomores become better acquainted with the Ivy college itself, as many of the initial electives that they were required to take first are spread all across the campus. Johnston anticipates that giving students the choice could bring both a better understanding of the major they are interested in, as well as bring them closer to the rest of the Ivy college community.