An Academic Evolution: The Business and Economics Department Posted on October 19th, 2023 by

The upcoming 2023-2024 academic year marks a significant transformation for Gustavus Adolphus College. Amidst the broader shifts in curriculum, one notable change is the rebranding of the Economics and Management Department, which has been officially rechristened as the Business and Economics Department.

While Gustavus Adolphus College traces its roots back to 1862, the official inclusion of business classes didn’t occur until the 1880s when they were initially labeled as “bookkeeping classes.” Over the years, the institution’s academic landscape has undergone notable changes.

1887 – Business classes found a home at the “Gustavus Adolphus School of Commerce.” However, due to waning interest in Commerce, the department metamorphosed into the “Sociology and Economics Department” at a point in history that is not precisely specified. 

1985 – The department adopted the moniker “Economics and Management,” a title it proudly held for 38 years.

2023 – “Business and Economics Department” emerges as the department’s new identity. This change underscores the profound emphasis on a well-rounded liberal arts education and experiential learning. The shift aims to prepare students for corporate ventures and impactful roles in non-profit organizations and entrepreneurial pursuits.

Looking ahead, the future holds exciting prospects for Gustavus Adolphus College. A fresh addition to the academic repertoire is the introduction of a Sports Management Minor, commencing in the fall of 2023. Furthermore, an innovative International MBA track is currently undergoing testing in Sweden. This pioneering initiative offers Gustavus students a unique opportunity to pursue an affordable MBA in Europe, opening doors to global perspectives and experiences.



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