Is Change Management Taught During a Business Degree Program?

Major universities are increasingly opting to teach change management in business school programs. Despite the growing popularity of this subject, however, it remains far from universal in undergraduate and graduate programs. Students with a significant interest in change management would do themselves a favor to follow a few basic guidelines as they choose business schools and look for a program that emphasizes change management and accommodation of modern business concerns.

First, Choose an AACSB-Accredited Program

The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, or AACSB, is the largest and most prestigious accrediting body for business schools around the world. The AACSB continually reviews its accreditation guidelines to ensure that all of its member institutions are teaching students the latest concepts and measurements used in the business community. Change management is one such concept, and it’s most prevalent in business degree programs offered by AACSB schools. Though this is far from a foolproof method for finding classes in change management, it’s a good place to start.

Focus on Graduate-Level Courses in Change Management

Change management typically gets only a brief, passing mention in upper-level undergraduate courses. Business students learn the fundamentals of change management and what it means to the typical organization, but they don’t learn how to see changes through, work alongside employees in training and transition programs, and utilize changes to boost competitive advantage. These more advanced skills are typically reserved for MBA programs or Master’s in Management coursework. Students who are determined to learn about change management should therefore set their sights on a graduate degree. Some universities even offer an MBA concentration in this increasingly popular academic area.

Review Core and Elective Coursework Prior to Application

Thanks to the Internet, most universities have posted their MBA course requirements online for all to see. This allows prospective graduate or undergraduate students to determine whether the school’s business classes interest them, apply to their career aspirations, and include their preferred topics. If the school doesn’t offer any change management courses, or if they don’t emphasize it enough within the program, students are free to consider other options before filing an application and paying a lofty fee for doing so. Keep in mind, however, that change management may be integrated into these degree programs via research opportunities, graduate internships, and self-guided courses designed by the student during their final year of study.

Find a Faculty Mentor with a Similar Interest in the Field

Faculty members at major business schools typically engage in a great deal of research covering several areas of the business sector, especially at AACSB-accredited institutions. Find a faculty member who might already be interested in change management and researching how it impacts the typical workplace. They’ll be able to serve as a mentor in change management, a source of new information regarding the practice, and a great reference for students who intend to apply for careers in this part of the business field after graduation.

Change Management is New and Less Common, But Not Hard to Find

Change management¬†isn’t as common as finance or marketing in today’s undergraduate and MBA programs, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to study this topic. Pick the program carefully, look at course requirements before applying, and consider alternative ways of studying this emerging field, even at universities that don’t currently offer change management in business school.