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Discover Your Ideal Career with 10 Undergraduate Business Majors

Choose from a wide variety of business majors to gain focus in your career and acquire the skills you need to make a difference in your future organization.

Unlike many other undergraduate business programs, the Wisconsin BBA gives you the flexibility to select your major after you are admitted. If you’re having trouble choosing a major, your academic advisor and career advisor can help you evaluate your options.

If you would like to gain skills in two fields of study, you can pursue a double major. You may choose from any additional major at the Wisconsin School of Business or the UW–Madison College of Letters and Science.

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Accounting

Accounting majors learn to help organizations manage money and materials in order to monitor and report on organizations’ financial well-being.

Eligible students may add a fifth year to their studies to earn a master’s degree in accounting and meet the educational requirements for licensure as a certified public accountant. The Integrated Master of Accountancy degree program provides students with direct experience in the field through spring internships. This program stresses in-depth study of tax law in a variety of areas, including business tax, individual and estate tax planning, multijurisdictional tax issues, and tax administration.

Beyond the Classroom

Accounting Honor Society students serve the community by participating in the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program in collaboration with the University of Wisconsin Credit Union. In 2015, 23 students contributed more than 250 hours of service to help 240 taxpayers, including those in low-income positions, complete their tax returns. Together, they delivered more than $520,000 in federal and state refunds—with no cost to their clients.

#17

#17 in the U.S. among undergraduate accounting programs

U.S. News & World Report, 2015

Career Results — Class of 2016

Common job titles

Staff Accountant, Tax Associate, Financial Analyst, Mortgage Banker

Average starting salary

$57,166

Key employers

Baker Tilly, Deloitte, EY (formerly Ernst & Young), KPMG, PwC, TDS

View detailed information about the Wisconsin BBA Program major in accounting.
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Actuarial Science

Actuarial science majors use mathematics and statistics to assess liabilities and risks. In an uncertain world, their skills are needed beyond the traditional realms of insurance and pension plans.

Beyond the Classroom

Actuarial science students contribute to the Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) Project, where students develop educational aids to support learning in the classroom and to pass professional exams.

Named a National Center of Actuarial Excellence

—Society of Actuaries, 2009–present

Career Results — Class of 2016

Common job titles

Actuarial Analyst, Product Analyst, Business Development Associate

Average starting salary

$61,610

Key employers

Allstate, Milliman, Prudential, Aon Hewitt, Northwestern Mutual

View detailed information about the Wisconsin BBA Program major in actuarial science.
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Finance, Investment, and Banking

Finance majors learn to manage organizations’ financial resources, weighing the time, returns, and risks associated with cash, equity, debt, and more advanced financial instruments. Eligible students may add a fifth year to their studies to earn a Master of Science in finance.

Beyond the Classroom

Each year, students participate in the Duff & Phelps YOUniversity Deal Challenge. University of Wisconsin–Madison students have won the competition in three of the last four years. In 2015, students were required to address valuation and transfer pricing implications of eBay’s plan to spin off its payments business segment, PayPal, into a separate publicly traded company.

#22

#22 in the U.S. among undergraduate finance programs

U.S. News & World Report, 2015

Career Results — Class of 2016

Common job titles

Investment Banking Analyst, Business Analyst, Portfolio Manager, Audit Associate

Average starting salary

$62,343

Key employers

BMO Harris Bank, Robert W. Baird, Deutsche Bank Securities, Huron Consulting Group, Procter & Gamble, Dell

 View detailed information about the Wisconsin BBA Program major in finance, investment, and banking.

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Information Systems

Information systems majors use a blend of business acumen, knowledge of industry standards, and practical information technology (IT) skills to help organizations maximize technology’s full potential.

Beyond the Classroom

Students gain real-world experience using computer technologies to analyze business problems and processes in order to design and implement computer-based information systems that support business operations, decision-making, and planning.

Career Results — Class of 2016

Common job titles

Technology and Systems Integration Analyst, Business Intelligence Analyst, IT Analyst

Average starting salary

$69,688

Key employers

Accenture, Epic, Google, Deloitte Consulting, IBM Corporation

View detailed information about the Wisconsin BBA Program major in information systems.

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International Business

International business majors focus on the business practices, languages, and cultures of a global region, equipping themselves to apply functional skills internationally. International business majors must select a second BBA major as a specialization.

Beyond the Classroom

All international business students study abroad for one semester in their region of emphasis. Regional tracks and experiences are established for Asia, Europe, and Latin America.

Career Results — Class of 2016

Common job titles

Corporate Auditor, Zone Manager, Business Analyst, Assistant Account Executive, Analyst

Average starting salary

$60,577

Key employers

3M, SC Johnson, Aldi, Ford

View detailed information about the Wisconsin BBA Program major in international business.
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Management and Human Resources

Management and human resources majors choose from any combination of three specialties:

  • Management (organizational structure and function)
  • Human Resources (attracting, developing, and retaining people)
  • Entrepreneurship (bringing new ideas to market)

Beyond the Classroom

Each year, students work in small groups to complete a business consultation for real companies. Students interview employees to learn more about their operations, marketing, and leadership. They then put their classroom knowledge to work by providing each company with formal recommendations for improvement.

#20

#20 in the U.S. among undergraduate management programs

U.S. News & World Report, 2015

Career Results — Class of 2016

Common job titles

Assistant Project Manager, Business Analyst, Human Resources Assistant, Sales Development Representative

Average starting salary

$53,003

Key employers

Nestlé USA, Target, Wells Fargo, Mercer Consulting, Milwaukee Tool/TTI

View detailed information about the Wisconsin BBA Program major in management and human resources.
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Marketing

Marketing majors research consumer demand for products and services, learn about product and brand management, practice conducting marketing communications campaigns, and learn to lead sales teams.

Beyond the Classroom

Professional Honorary Marketing Society students provide marketing guidance and assistance to small businesses in Madison, such as Acclaim Energy Drink, Community Car, and Flat Cola. Past projects have included developing a marketing strategy, establishing new distribution channels, promoting brand awareness and brand preference, implementing promotional events, and exploring different uses of media outlets for advertising.

#9

#9 in the U.S. among undergraduate marketing programs

U.S. News & World Report, 2016

Career Results — Class of 2016

Common job titles

Merchandise Analyst, Sales Specialist, Marketing Assistant, Health Care Analyst, Client Service Associate

Average starting salary

$54,380

Key employers

Altria Group Distribution Company, Kohl’s, Target, Intuit, General Mills, bp, Spectrum Brands

View detailed information about the Wisconsin BBA Program major in marketing.
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Operations and Technology Management

Operations and technology management majors learn how to create and improve the processes that organizations follow to deliver quality goods and services to the right place at the right time, with the right balance of cost and speed.

Beyond the Classroom

BBA students recently worked side-by-side with students from the Wisconsin MBA Program and the UW–Madison College of Engineering as part of the Hybrid Vehicle Team, which worked to manage the operations involved in developing and building innovative vehicles.

Career Results — Class of 2016

Common job titles

Project Manager, Customer Inventory Analyst, Business Technology Analyst

Average starting salary

$61,048

Key employers

Kimberly-Clark, Coyote, J.P. Morgan Chase, Epic

View detailed information about the Wisconsin BBA Program major in operations and technology management.
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Real Estate

Real estate majors learn to appraise property values for investors and the government, broker transactions, oversee development programs, manage properties, and plan and regulate communities.

Beyond the Classroom

Students in the Real Estate Club are able to take two national trips per year, usually in association with and sponsored by the Wisconsin Real Estate Alumni Association (WREAA). The study trips include tours of various real estate projects, presentations by real estate firms, and receptions with local alumni.

#2

#2 in the U.S. among undergraduate real estate programs

U.S. News & World Report, 2016

Career Results — Class of 2016

Common job titles

Real Estate Analyst, Valuation Associate, Assistant Project Manager, Investment Banking Analyst, Investment Strategy Manager

Average starting salary

$63,490

Key employers

Prudential, Tishman Speyer, Northwestern Mutual Real Estate Group, JLL (Jones Lang LaSalle), EY (formerly Ernst & Young)

View detailed information about the Wisconsin BBA Program major in real estate.

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Risk Management and Insurance

Risk management majors learn to identify, analyze, and manage risks that are inherent to the operation of any organization, gaining skills in analytics and critical thinking that apply to a broad array of positions across industries and organizations.

Beyond the Classroom

BBA students recently worked with United Airlines to create a useful data management tool after the company introduced a new claims tracking system. Students interacted with United’s risk management team, as well as its brokers and insurers.

#4

#4 in the U.S. among undergraduate insurance programs

U.S. News & World Report, 2016

Career Results — Class of 2016

Common job titles

Financial Analyst, Associate Underwriter, Internal Audit Analyst

Average starting salary

$60,067

Key employers

CUNA Mutual Group, American Family Insurance, General Electric, Swiss Re, Liberty Mutual Insurance

View detailed information about the Wisconsin BBA Program major in risk management and insurance.

Students in the Wisconsin BBA Program also complete general curriculum and degree requirements.

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