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A Dual-degree in

Business & Engineering

at the
University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
Background Information
An initiative of the
Lobbying Division,
Society of Business Engineers

The modern age brings forth increasingly difficult questions to answer. The looming energy
crisis, concerns over alarming increases in health care costs, and the issues of an interconnected
world, among many others, require effective and sustainable long-term solutions. This requires a
new and very different skill set.
Conventional ways of thinking are less dependable in this dynamic world. Innovative problem
solving approaches can only be developed by those who have been instilled with a unique
ability; that of analyzing situations with the combined perspective of both efficiency and
feasibility. Efficiency is learned from technical experience, and feasibility from a thorough
understanding of how business and economics work. The sooner one integrates these skills, the
better poised one is to meet these problems head on.
Business Engineering is the fusion of Engineering & Business, merging technical expertise with
Business fundamentals. A Business Engineer is very capable of dealing with Technology while
being equally proficient at handling an organizations Managerial of Financial aspects. This
unique combination of two very different fields makes an individual very versatile, resourceful,
and highly skilled.
Business Engineers have envisioned and brought about breakthroughs in industry, made
tremendous advances in Business Operations and revolutionized key processes. Alternatively, a
Manager who is a Business Engineer, will be adept at evaluating the best emerging technologies
and applying them to derive the maximum benefit for his firm. A Business Engineer is also able
to plan and execute Business decisions that can alter a market by engineering and developing a
cutting-edge product that presents a winning value proposition.
Currently, at the University of Michigan, the system set up for pursuing a dual-degree is virtually
nonexistent. The few resources that do exist are scattered across colleges on opposite sides of
campus. Ross provides only one excel template sheet for scheduling and one advisor who knows
about the dual-degree program, Sarah Powers, while CoE has zero advertised resources. For
students currently pursuing a dual-degree, figuring out the all the necessary paperwork, minutia
of requirements, and navigating the bureaucracy between two Colleges with very unique
identities is incredibly difficult. One of the primary reasons the Society of Business Engineers
was even set up, was to help those students interested in pursuing a dual-degree learn from one
another just how one goes about doing it. The primary problems are a lack of information, lack
of advising, and lack of resources.
Creating a schedule to complete around 180 credits in 4 years, is extremely difficult. The sheer
difficulty of scheduling almost 6 classes every term and the lack of information and
cooperation from both schools discourages students from even wanting to pursue a dual-degree.

Constantly having to check and recheck academic requirements manually to ensure that they are
on track to graduate safely is a major hassle. Wolverine Access does not accommodate dualdegree students and so it is not possible to check if one is meeting all the necessary requirements.
A SoBE member, Nelson Burton, tried to schedule a meeting with a CoE advisor during
sophomore year to figure out requirements for completing his engineering degree. He was told
that since he was no longer a College of Engineering student (he had matriculated into a new
home school of Ross over the summer), they could not provide him with advising services. He
explained that he had full intentions of pursuing an engineering degree, had fulfilled his
freshman year engineering requirements and was currently enrolled in CoE courses, but to no
avail. The EAC insisted the he should go through the process of be re-admitted to the College of
Engineering by filling out relevant paperwork in the Office of Recruitment and Admission.
However, they were unaware of what needed to be done and thus he was left completely
unaware of what steps to take.
When describing our mission to those outside SoBE, many are shocked that it is possible to
pursue a dual-degree in the two diverse fields of business and engineering. Academic advisors
during freshman year regularly convey to interested students that it is not possible to pursue a
dual-degree, proving the lack of information among advisors. One SoBE member, Matt Kosovec
was plainly told by an advisor that planning for a dual-degree was futile, not possible, and not
even worth attempting.
These current problems illustrate the need for a formal dual-degree program complete with
transcript reform, dedicated advisors, and a centralized resource for information.