Department History and Background

Westminster College maintains a prestigious reputation among small liberal arts institutions. For the past seventy years, Westminster has made significant contributions to economics and business education by offering strong specialized programs in accounting, business, and economics. The sound, realistic, and rigorous education Westminster graduates receive has enabled many of them to become corporate leaders.

Courses in economics and business have been offered at Westminster since 1918. The Department was established in 1922, predating many other private and state programs in Pennsylvania. By 1932, one out of four Westminster students declared a major in economics or business. Under the leadership of Captain William McKee, Westminster`s Department of Economics and Business became known throughout Pennsylvania. Westminster was one of the first schools in Pennsylvania to use the Harvard Case System of instruction. In 1933, Westminster's Department of Economics and Business received the rank of "first" in the Carnegie survey of thirty-two Pennsylvania college and university programs in economics.

Since those early days, embellishments made to the curriculum of the Department of Economics and Business ensure that students receive an education that is comprehensive, relevant, contemporary, and balanced. Internships were added to the curriculum in 1972. Since then, many students as interns have put classroom theory into practice at a variety of business organizations. During the mid-1970s the Department organized short-term travel seminars for foreign studies in business and introduced interdisciplinary programs in International Business and in Industrial Relations. The elevation of the discipline of accounting to a major during the 1980s significantly increased students' interest in taking the professional examinations for CPA or CMA certification.

The Department of Economics and Business always has provided our graduates with the skills necessary to become immediately productive in the corporate work place. The liberal arts background that graduates of Westminster College earn has helped them to develop the ethical framework and broad perspective valuable for long-run success. The faculty of the Department of Economics and Business believes that Westminster's unique blend of the practical business applications within the conceptual framework of the liberal arts makes its economics, business, and accounting graduates unique and particularly well-suited for the rapid change typical of today's business landscape.

The job and graduate-school placement record of graduates from Westminster's Department of Economics and Business is strong. Placement statistics indicate that Department graduates have recently held or are currently holding six seats on corporate boards of directors, over forty presidential positions, and more than thirty vice-presidential positions in such American corporations as Aetna, Alcoa, City Bank of New York, Columbia Gas, DeBartolo Corporation, Fireman`s Fund, First Western Bank, Mellon Bank, and Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel. Also, Westminster's Economics and Business graduates find acceptance into graduate economics, business, and law programs at such prestigious institutions as the American Graduate School of International Management, Carnegie-Mellon University, Clemson University, Cornell University, Dickinson Law School, Duquesne University, George Washington University, Harvard University, M.I.T., Purdue University, University of Chicago, University of Pittsburgh, University of Virginia, Valparaiso University, Vanderbilt University, and V.P.I.