Jake Jabs College of Business & Entrepreneurship


Kregg Aytes, Ph.D., Dean
Myleen Leary, Ph.D., Associate Dean for Academic Affairs
Tia Kelley, MBA, Director of Operations 
Brenda Truman, MPA, Director of Student Services

General Information

The mission of the Jake Jabs College of Business & Entrepreneurship is to inspire innovation, creativity, and growth. We accomplish this through a personalized learning environment that challenges students to deeply engage in their education and take initiative for their own success in school and life.

An extraordinary faculty offers transformational learning experiences that help students develop the initiative, skills, and creativity to be effective innovators in many different organizational contexts, including entrepreneurial ventures and large corporations. Distinguishing features of the program include small classes, exceptional faculty members in every classroom (no graduate student instructors), rigorous course work, an interactive, personalized learning environment, an emphasis on professional skills, and high-performing students. Each student has a faculty advisor who is available to mentor the student on both academic and career choices.

The College’s mission is embodied by Jabs Hall, the College’s new home which opened in summer 2015. Jabs Hall offers students a brand new energy-efficient building with cutting-edge classrooms, student work rooms, and many collaboration and social areas. In addition, new opportunities in entrepreneurship, creativity, and innovation will be added to the College’s programs in the near future.

The College is fully accredited by AACSB International—the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, the premium accrediting association for business programs. AACSB has awarded its mark of distinction to only five percent of all business programs worldwide. Not only does this accreditation certify that the JJCBE meets AACSB's rigorous standards for business education, but it also signals to local, regional, and national employers that the College's graduates are well-prepared for careers in business.

Learning Objectives

The College has established the following learning objectives for our students:

  • Knowledge of Business: Students will have strong working knowledge of fundamental concepts in accounting, finance, management, marketing, information technology, strategy, and law.
  • Critical Thinking: Students will learn to effectively and persuasively assimilate and evaluate information to solve business problems.
  • Quantitative Reasoning: Students will be able to interpret, represent, and evaluate quantitative information and integrate such information into business decisions and recommendations.
  • Effective Written Communication: Students will be able to develop and organize ideas, adopt an appropriate tone, employ correct grammar, sentence structure and mechanics, use appropriate vocabulary, and correctly cite sources for facts, quotations and ideas.
  • Effective Oral Communication: Students will be able to develop and organize ideas, successfully employ technology in support of a message, speak extemporaneously with minimal hesitations and fillers, adopt an appropriate tone, use appropriate vocabulary, employ correct grammar and sentence structure, and manage presentation pacing and timing effectively.
  • Ethical Decision Making and Social Responsibility: Students will recognize the ethical and societal implications of proposed actions, employ decision-making tools to evaluate the ethical and societal effects of a variety of options, and make sound decisions in accordance with the analysis and evaluation of options.
  • Life-Long Learning: Students will be immersed in an environment that encourages life-long learning through extensive opportunities to learn in team settings and to develop effective team skills, to develop research skills to advance learning, and to strengthen critical thinking skills.

Throughout the business curriculum, students receive significant exposure to each of these learning objectives. The level of student learning related to each objective is assessed in the senior year.

The Gary K. Bracken Center for Excellence in Undergraduate Business Education

The JJCBE's commitment to undergraduate student success is embodied in The Gary K. Bracken Center for Excellence in Undergraduate Business Education, which is both a physical place and a philosophy.

The Bracken Center is physically located within the Jake Jabs College of Business & Entrepreneurship (JJCBE) in Jabs Hall, where it offers access to internship and career information, employer interviews, state-of-the-art conference rooms for student use, and the Bracken Business Communication Clinic (BBCC). The BBCC is staffed by business communication professionals who coach students on oral presentations and written assignments, including basic grammar, punctuation, sentence structure and tenses, and business themes, content, and organization of material.

The philosophy of the Bracken Center is reflected in its mission to facilitate excellence in undergraduate business education through a high quality learning environment. The foundation for student success is based on "Three Pillars":

  1. "Learning to Do" — Excellent Academic Preparation:
    • Innovative, challenging, and practical curriculum
    • Small classes taught exclusively by faculty, not by graduate students
    • Focus on experiential, hands-on learning
  2. "Learning to Act" — Developing Professional Skills:
    • Student commitment to the student PRIDE Code of Excellence
    • Emphasis on team work and communication skills
    • Guidance in finding internships and jobs, including "Meet the Recruiters" events, and resume and interviewing assistance
  3. "Learning to Be" — Nurturing Personal Growth:
    • Individualized attention to help students recognize their strengths and interests
    • Faculty advisors/mentors assigned to all students from their very first day on campus
    • Study abroad opportunities supported by fellowships to help pay for travel expenses

The JJCBE considers student professionalism and personal development to be essential complements to academic excellence. Business students, in conjunction with the faculty, have therefore developed a Student PRIDE Code of Excellence to help guide students in their academic, professional, and personal choices:

Student PRIDE Code of Excellence

We, the students of the MSU Jake Jabs College of Business & Entrepreneurship (JJCBE), understand that in choosing to enroll at MSU we are investing in our professional futures. Therefore, we proudly commit to the following Code of Excellence:

Performance: I am accountable for and take pride in my own learning and conduct.

Respect: I treat with respect all members of my community, including peers, staff, and faculty.

Integrity: I am ethical in all that I do.

Diligence: I do my best work at all times.

Engagement: I challenge myself to invest proactively in my academic, professional, and personal development.

The College offers a wide array of opportunities for students to develop their academic, professional, and personal skills, including:

  • First Year and Senior Seminars consisting of no more than 20 students
  • Courses in which students serve as consultants for real firms and not-for-profit organizations
  • Minors in Accounting, Business Administration, Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management, Finance, and International Business
  • Student organizations, including Accounting Club/Beta Alpha Psi, Beta Gamma Sigma, Finance Club, International Business Club, Human Resources Management Club, Marketing Club, Montana Investment Group, and Enactus (entrepreneurship)
  • Internships at local, regional, and national companies and government agencies
  • Study abroad opportunities and short term international programs, including a most-expenses-paid internship in Tokyo, Japan; the Bracken Center offers scholarships specifically to support international activities
  • David B. Orser Executive Speakers Forum, which brings several high-profile professionals to the College annually to interact with students and offer insights into business
  • The Entrepreneur-in-Residence program, described below

The Bracken Center also provides assistance to faculty members to support their teaching and professional development activities.

The Jake Jabs Center for Entrepreneurship and the Alderson Program in Entrepreneurship

The mission of the Jake Jabs Center for Entrepreneurship is to help Montana businesses flourish by connecting them to Montana State University students and resources. Through several courses each semester, students provide pro bono consulting to businesses and not-for-profit organizations. Projects for these clients include market assessments, creating promotional materials, writing employee handbooks, and assessing the feasibility of new technologies. Students gain valuable, real-life experience working with start-up companies, while entrepreneurs gain valuable consulting for their businesses. The Center also offers the Entrepreneur-in-Residence program, which brings in experienced entrepreneurs to spend a week with students and faculty, as well as the Family Business Day on the Road program, which offers business skills development to communities across Montana. The Center provides funding for student and faculty Entrepreneurship Fellows, as well as other opportunities in entrepreneurship.

The Alderson Program in Entrepreneurship enables students to study entrepreneurship through the College's 30-credit minor in Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management. The culmination of the program is the capstone course—BMGT 463 Entrepreneurial Experience. Students in BMGT 463 gain valuable experience working with start-up or growth companies and may also provide assistance to scientists at MSU in commercializing their scientific discoveries. This partnership not only allows students to apply knowledge gained from their academic work to businesses, but also makes a significant contribution to the economic development of the state of Montana. The Alderson Program has been recognized twice by Entrepreneur Magazine as one of the top 10 entrepreneur-emphasis programs in the U.S.

In addition, MSU’s Blackstone LaunchPad, a collaboration of the Blackstone Charitable Foundation, Montana State University, the University of Montana, and Headwaters RC&D, provides guidance, resources, and mentoring to students from all majors as they develop their ideas into entrepreneurial opportunities.

Degree Programs

The Jake Jabs College of Business & Entrepreneurship (JJCBE) grants two degrees: a Bachelor of Science in Business, with options in Accounting, Finance, Management and Marketing; and a Master of Professional Accountancy.

Bachelor of Science in Business

The JJCBE undergraduate curriculum is structured on a four-stage model. The four stages include the University Core, the business pre-core, the common body of business knowledge (CBK), and the option courses. Courses are numbered to reflect their position within the curriculum. 100-level courses are generally taken in the freshman year, 200-level courses in the sophomore year, 300-level courses in the junior year, and 400-level courses in the senior year.

The University Core, which is required of all MSU students, is described within its own section in this catalog. The business pre-core consists of 100- and 200-level courses that are necessary to develop fundamental knowledge and skills in business, accounting, mathematics, statistics, economics, information technology, and communication. Completion of the business pre-core is required for formal admission to the JJCBE. The business pre-core includes:

BGEN 104USBusiness & Entrepreneurship Fundamentals Seminar3
BMGT 205Prof Business Communication3
BMIS 211Intro to Bus Decision Support3
ACTG 201Principles of Financial Acct3
ACTG 202Principles of Managerial Accounting (ACCT students take ACTG 202 & 223; FIN students take ACTG 223; MGMT & MKTG students take ACTG 202.)3
or ACTG 223 Principles of Accounting II
M 161QSurvey of Calculus4
ECNS 202Principles of Macroeconomics3
ECNS 204ISMicroeconomics3
STAT 216QIntroduction to Statistics3
STAT 217QIntermediate Statistical Concepts3
or BMGT 240IS Business Research Methods

Students transferring into the JJCBE, either from another institution or from another MSU department, who have already earned credit for a University Seminar (US) course must take BGEN 204 instead of BGEN 194US.

The business common body of knowledge (CBK) courses, most of which are 300-level courses designed for juniors, establish the basis for business education in management, marketing, finance, information technology, production and operations management, law, and strategy. The business CBK courses are prerequisites for most upper-level option courses. The business CBK courses include:

BMGT 335Management and Organization3
BGEN 302Career Perspectives1
or BGEN 303 Professional Coaching Clinic
BMIS 311Management Information Systems3
BMGT 322Operations Management3
BMKT 325Principles of Marketing3
BFIN 322Business Finance3
BGEN 361Principles of Business Law3
BGEN 499Senior Thesis/Capstone: Strategy Seminar4

The option courses, most of which are 400-level courses designed for seniors, enhance the depth of understanding in one area of business: Accounting, Finance, Management or Marketing. Please see the descriptions of the option requirements for more detail on the option courses.

Senior Strategy Seminar: BGEN 499 is the capstone course to be taken in the last semester prior to graduation. Completion of CBK courses (BMGT 335, BMIS 311, BMGT 322, BMKT 325, BFIN 322, and BGEN 361) with a C- or better and full formal admission to the JJCBE are required before enrolling in BGEN 499. No concurrent enrollment between prerequisite courses and BGEN 499 is permitted. This course is restricted entry/no online registration available.

Master of Professional Accountancy

The JJCBE's Master of Professional Accountancy degree is a demanding and highly reputed program that should be considered by students who are interested in pursuing CPA certification or advanced financial positions. Information about this program can be found in the College of Business (JJCBE) section of MSU's Graduate Catalog.

Academic Policies

Formal Admission to the Jake Jabs College of Business & Entrepreneurship (JJCBE)

All business majors must be formally admitted to the JJCBE in order to enroll in upper-division (300-400 level) option (ACTG, BGEN, BFIN, BMGT, BMIS, BMKT) courses and the senior capstone, BGEN 499.

The performance criteria for formal admission to the JJCBE are as follows:

  • Junior standing (completion of 60 semester credits)
  • Completion of all business pre-core courses with no grade less than a C-
  • Minimum 3.00 cumulative MSU GPA (grade point average) for priority admission

Admission to the JJCBE is competitive, and the number of students admitted each term is limited by the instructional, classroom, and resource constraints of the College. To be considered for admission, students must submit a completed admission application prior to the deadlines below. Students who meet all performance criteria and have a 3.00 or higher cumulative MSU GPA will be given priority admission. Applications from transfer students and students with cumulative grade point averages less than 3.00 will be considered on a case-by-case basis with preference based on academic performance. Applications from students with a cumulative grade point average less than 2.50 will not be considered.

Applications for formal admission to the College will be considered twice a year. The application deadlines for admission are as follows:

  • Admission for Fall/Summer Term On or before May 1st
  • Admission for Spring Term On or before December 1st

Applications are available in the JJCBE Student Services Office located in Jabs Hall Room 124, and on the JJCBE website at: http://www.montana.edu/business/current-students/advising-faq.html. Notification of admission decisions will be made via the student's official e-mail address as listed in MyInfo.

Minimum Grades

The Montana Board of Regents has established a common policy on minimum course grades across all campuses in the Montana University System. According to the policy, a grade of C- or better is required to satisfy requirements for prerequisite and required courses in majors, minors, and certificate programs and for all university core requirements. Further, a grade of C- or better is required in all courses that will be counted toward the 42 upper-division credits required in all degrees. Courses with a passing grade of D-, D, or D+ may only be counted toward the overall 120 credit requirement. To graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business, a student must earn a C- or better in all prerequisites, university core, required and elective courses, and non-business/non-economics courses.

Repeat Grades

It is JJCBE policy that any upper-division required business or business option course(s) in which a student earns an unsatisfactory grade (D+, D, D-, or F) must be repeated in the JJCBE. A transfer course may not be used to fulfill a degree requirement in which a student earned an unsatisfactory grade in the JJCBE. If a student earns an unsatisfactory grade in an advisor approved or option elective course, s/he should contact the JJCBE Office of Student Services at business@montana.edu to discuss his/her possible remedies.

Advising and Student Services

The JJCBE's Office of Student Services coordinates new and transfer student orientation, continuing student registration, formal admission to the JJCBE, and certification of degree requirements. Each student is also assigned a faculty advisor to consult about the student's career-related goals and objectives.

Acceptance of Transfer Credits and Residency Requirements

Residency Requirements

All students must comply with the JJCBE and the Montana State University residency requirements to be awarded a degree from Montana State University. The Montana State University residency requirement can be found at http://catalog.montana.edu/curriculum-enrollment-graduation/#Credits_for_Degree_Completion

The JJCBE residency requirement is that of the upper-division credits required for business students, at least 28 credits must be taken in residence at the JJCBE.  These 28 credits must include:

BGEN 499Senior Thesis/Capstone: Strategy Seminar4
Four upper-division required option courses, and 12
Four of the following six required courses – BMGT 335, BFIN 322, BMIS 311, BMGT 322, BGEN 361, and BMKT 325 12
Total Credits28

Transferring to the JJCBE

University undergraduate programs in business administration normally concentrate on professional business courses in the last two years of a four-year program. The objective is to allow students the opportunity to build a foundation of work in the arts, sciences, and humanities prior to beginning professional course work. As a result of this approach, and because of the standards and requirements of AACSB, the international accrediting organization for colleges of business, most students transferring into the Jake Jabs College of Business & Entrepreneurship (JJCBE) from another university should do so no later than the end of their sophomore year.

Students taking their first two years of work at another institution should take only those business courses offered at the freshman or sophomore level at Montana State University. Lower-division business courses may not be used to satisfy upper-division course requirements of the JJCBE. If at all possible, students should complete courses which will transfer to Montana State University as the equivalent to the business pre-core.

For additional guidance on transferring to Montana State University, see the Admissions section of this catalog, explore the Admissions website at: http://www.montana.edu/wwwnss/, and/or contact the JJCBE's Office of Student Services at business@montana.edu.

Pre-Professional Requirements for the Master of Business Administration (MBA)

The JJCBE does not offer a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree. The following courses are recommended for non-business undergraduate students who are considering graduate study in business at another institution. These courses provide the "common body of knowledge" required for most MBA programs. Completion of these courses can reduce the time required to obtain an MBA, but students should correspond with the Graduate Admissions Officer at their intended graduate school to confirm the acceptability of these courses.

ACTG 201Principles of Financial Acct3
ACTG 202Principles of Managerial Accounting3
BMGT 205Prof Business Communication3
BMIS 211Intro to Bus Decision Support3
BMGT 335Management and Organization3
BMIS 311Management Information Systems3
BMGT 322Operations Management3
BMKT 325Principles of Marketing3
BFIN 322Business Finance3
BGEN 361Principles of Business Law3
BGEN 499Senior Thesis/Capstone: Strategy Seminar4
ECNS 202Principles of Macroeconomics3
ECNS 204ISMicroeconomics3
M 161QSurvey of Calculus4
STAT 216QIntroduction to Statistics3
STAT 217QIntermediate Statistical Concepts3
or BMGT 240IS Business Research Methods