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Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration

Unlock your potential with a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration — no business background or experience required.

Complete 64 credits from the B.A. in Business Administration coursework toward the 124-credit Bachelor Degree Completion program to earn your degree. 

Merrimack’s coursework provides a strong foundational knowledge in finance, marketing, technology, data analysis, business strategy, organizational behavior, ethics and strategy.

Quick Facts:

  • Aligned with ACBSP requirements.
  • 100 percent online learning.
  • Only pay for the courses you need.
  • Credit for prior coursework, certifications and more.

Take the next step and learn more about Merrimack’s Bachelor Degree Completion program.

Graduates with a bachelor’s in business administration earn an average base salary of $75,000 per year.

Source: Payscale, 2024

B.A. in Business Administration Online Coursework

All students must earn a total of 124 credits to complete a bachelor’s degree. To earn a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration, students complete 64 credits of business administration major coursework in addition to the 12 credits of professional core. The remaining 48 credits must include 28 credits of arts and sciences coursework and 20 credits of open electives. Up to 90 credits may be transferred from prior coursework, such as an associate’s degree, as well as professional certifications and more.

Professional Core (12 credits)

Through interactive approaches and real-world examples, students will explore various perspectives of health and well-being. Students will examine leading health indicators in the U.S. and around the world and will learn basic terminology and other health-related data concepts in order to have a deeper understanding of a range of health data and information. Students will apply health knowledge and skills to support health and well-being. As part of the Professional Core in the BA in Applied Arts and Sciences program, this course emphasizes: effective communication (oral and written), critical thinking, ethical teamwork, the ability to work independently, initiative and proactive planning, and real-world applications. Credits: 4

Modern living is complex due to competing desires and obligations: family, career, community, and personal needs. Learning how to balance these competing claims on our attention and affections often involves making choices based on core values. This course explores answers to a variety of timeless questions so students can come to a better understanding of themselves, their desires, and their obligations. Questions that will be explored may include: What does it mean to live a good life? What is the meaning of life? Does life have a meaning? What does it mean to be ethical and how does one know right from wrong? What makes work meaningful? What does it mean to be happy? What does it mean to be successful? What is the relationship between work, success, and happiness? To whom in my life am I responsible, and what do I owe them? Drawing on religion, philosophy, and literature, students will examine and critique a diversity of responses to these kinds of questions, reflect on the relevance of these responses in their lives, and formulate their own responses to these questions. In keeping with Merrimack College’s Catholic and Augustinian mission, special attention is paid to the Christian tradition and the life and thought of Augustine of Hippo.

As part of the Professional Core in the BA in Applied Arts and Sciences program, this course emphasizes: effective communication (oral and written), critical thinking, ethical judgment and decision-making, effective teamwork, the ability to work independently, initiative, proactive planning, and real-world applications. Credits: 4

Examination of the major issues, theories, and findings in the psychological study of positive emotions and experience (Positive Psychology). Emphasis is on the scientific investigation of such topics as the nature of happiness and well-being, psychological flow, savoring, love, optimism, resilience, character strengths and virtues, and the meaningful life. Credits: 4

Required Courses (52 credits)

This course provides students with an integrative approach to learning the functional areas of business while emphasizing oral and written communication and effective group interaction. Students will learn various technical, organizational and operational aspects of business through active learning opportunities, case discussions, technological applications, and outside activities. Credits: 4

This course will prepare students for a career in business by teaching them how to properly use some of the most popular industry software. Students will learn how to import, clean, and manipulate data in order to draw empirically supported conclusions. In addition, students will learn how to create dashboards, documents, and presentations which will help them communicate their conclusions effectively. Credits: 4

Businesses collect enormous amounts of data from their day-to-day operations, facilities, plants and equipment, social media, and websites. These datasets usually contain information on the operational performance of the business, as well as critical insights into the actions and behavior of their customers, suppliers, and employees. However, it has been observed that most businesses are not utilizing the valuable information in these datasets at a time when analytical capabilities and data-driven decision-making have become the key differentiators of company performance and competitiveness.

This course introduces students to the world of data analytics for business (business analytics) at an early stage in their program without having to take multiple courses. The course takes a practical approach to familiarize students with data-driven decision-making. Students will develop a good understanding of common business decisions, the underlying data sources, statistical analysis, data modeling, data visualization, and reporting. They will gain hands-on experience with commonly used data analytics software to load, process, visualize, and analyze datasets for descriptive, predictive and prescriptive analysis. In this way, the course prepares the students with an analytical mindset and essential data management skills that enable them to view business and management decisions they learn in other courses from a data analytical perspective. Credits: 4

This course is designed to develop the students’ ability to read and interpret internal and external financial reports, understand their underlying concepts, use their information in making informed decisions, and understand the effects of management decisions on these reports and the financial performance of the business. Topics include the basic concepts of the accounting process, preparation of the financial statements, analysis and application of the generally accepted accounting principles used to account for the various elements of the balance sheet and income statement, accounting for manufacturing operations, cost-volume-profit analysis, relevant costing, budgeting, and financial statement analysis. Prerequisite: MGT 1100. Credits: 4

An examination of the manufacturing function from the view of the cost accountant. Managerial control of the elements of product costs will be studied with an emphasis on cost accumulation systems, both historical and estimated. Topics covered will include standard (estimated) costs, variance analysis, profit planning, cost-volume-profit analysis, and relevant cost analysis for problem-solving. Prerequisites: ACC 2203 and MGT 1150. Credits: 4

The marketing course introduces marketing as a functional area of a business enterprise. You will study numerous marketing principles and functions, including the marketing concept, the marketing mix, buyer behavior, market segmentation, product position, and marketing research, all within a global context. Prerequisite: MGT 1100. Credits: 4

This course introduces the basics of a standard finance course. The goal is to provide a comfortable level of understanding of corporate finance and financial markets and securities for all business majors. The course will develop the financial skills and knowledge that will help them interact with the other functions of the firm to make good managerial decisions. The main topics included in the course are outlined under five main areas: (1) financial markets and institutions in a global environment; (2) financial ratios, budgeting, a firm’s pro forma financial statements, and cash flows determining firm value; (3) time value of money tools and concepts (compounding, discounting, annuities, and perpetuities); (4) relationship between risk and return; and (5) the basics of bond & stock valuation. Prerequisite: ACC 2203. Credits: 4

This course is designed for students interested in learning how to manage their own financial affairs and make decisions that will improve their overall financial well-being. The course provides students with the knowledge, skills, and competence necessary to make wise financial decisions regarding cash and credit management, home buying, retirement planning, insurance, and tax and education planning. Students will have a solid understanding of the personal financial planning process and the use of quantitative and qualitative tools to measure financial health, manage liquidity, estimate insurance and retirement needs, and evaluate investment opportunities. Students will also learn insights from the consumer behavior and behavioral finance fields that will help guide their own financial planning processes. Credits: 4

This course builds on the knowledge and skills developed through the Business Enterprise core courses. The course will focus on individual and group-level organizational behavior within domestic and international contexts, with specific emphasis on leadership, power, communication, negotiation, organizational change and self-managed team processes. This course is designed to deepen students’ understanding of behavioral theories and provide them with opportunities to apply that learning to interpersonal, group, and organizational problems. This is an experiential course and it is recommended for students planning to apply to graduate school in business or related areas. Prerequisite: MGT 1100. Credits: 4

Ethics and Social Responsibility provides students with opportunities to examine the meaning of business ethics and the social responsibility of business in light of the numerous high-profile challenges that managers face in the current business environment. Varying ethical approaches will be applied to ethical leadership and the management of conflicting values confronting business leaders on a daily basis. The more global issue of balancing principles of good business with principles of ethical behavior in various cultures will be discussed. Students will participate in a significant service-learning project in this course. Prerequisite: MGT 1100. Credits: 4

Strategic Analysis and Decision-Making is a capstone course that exposes students to issues that concern the firm as a whole. Through the use of “real-world” case studies and sophisticated practitioner journal articles, students will be called upon to grapple with such strategic issues as sizing up an organization’s standing in the marketplace, differentiating between winning and mediocre strategies, and spotting ways to improve a company’s strategy execution. In this course, student teams will meet with the teaching team one hour per week to discuss their analysis of the assigned readings and cases. Prerequisites: FIN 2500, MGT 2110, MKT 2205. Credits: 4

Electives (choose three) (12 credits)

Businesses are currently facing a fundamental change in the ways that consumers interact with brands and each other. Social media has connected consumers with family and friends while also giving them considerable power over marketers and brands. This course offers an overview of how marketing has changed due to the increasing prominence of social media as a digital marketing tool. The curriculum of this course is designed to equip students with the relevant knowledge, perspectives, and practical skills required to both develop and present an effective social media marketing strategy. Prerequisite: MKT 2205. Credits: 4

This is a broad survey course providing a comprehensive overview of several human resource functions, including recruitment and selection, compensation, training, performance evaluation, labor and employee relations. Students will consider HRM topics as they relate to all employees with different roles and perspectives for supervisors and subordinates, and how these topics apply to creating strategic directions for an organization. Using an applied setting focus, instruction methods combine interactive lectures, experiential exercises, current events, case review, and external project analysis and presentation. Prerequisite: MGT 1100. Credits: 4

This course provides students with an experiential, hands-on approach to understanding the many different activities and skills required to create a new business opportunity. Skills such as critical thinking, communication, and teaming are applicable to a multitude of degrees and careers beyond business. The students will engage in simulations, workshops, case studies, and a group project for a well-rounded entrepreneurial experience. Credits: 4

This course is designed around the assumption that conflict in its various forms is an integral and unavoidable component in human affairs. The course approaches the study of conflict from a communication-centered perspective. As such, students explore how communication theory and research can add to our understanding of conflict. Wide ranges of conflict contexts are examined (e.g., interpersonal; intercultural; small group; organizational) along with contemporary models and theories of effective conflict management. Credits: 4

This course explores theories of leadership, leadership philosophies and styles, as well as how leaders achieve institutional goals in an increasingly complex and challenging world. It addresses questions such as who can be a leader, society’s biases and norms about what constitutes leadership, the differences between leadership styles (i.e. collaborative, cooperative, problem-solver, and hierarchical), concepts such as mentorship and sponsorship, as well as the challenges, opportunities, and obstacles faced by marginalized groups who seek leadership positions. Students will have an opportunity to address their relationship to leadership and strengthen their capabilities through interactive and engaging assignments and activities, including Harvard’s Implicit Association Test, Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, Leadership Style Self-Assessment and Optional Thinking Leadership Assessment, among others. Credits: 4

This course will explore cultural perspectives on what it means to be a leader and how notions of leadership are both socially constructed and reinforced in ways that reify gender norms, as well as gender, racial, and other biases. Using the lenses of feminist theory, critical race theory, queer theory, and intersectionality, students will explore how racialized notions of masculinity and femininity, along with heteronormativity and ability, function to determine culturally valued standards of leadership. We will look at historical and contemporary contexts, locally and globally, in which leaders emerge and the ways in which leadership has been/is defined and represented. In effect, then, this is a course that examines power and how norms and biases are deployed to grant or limit access to leadership. The course will examine leadership in times of crisis and across a range of categories and fields such as political leadership (Congress/presidency); social movement leadership; and business/corporate/workplace leadership. This course will explore the ways in which leadership is represented in media, as well as the language and symbols associated with leadership. Finally, our study will focus on both those who seek leadership roles and “unintentional leaders” — people who find themselves thrust into leadership positions by circumstances (i.e., Malala Yousafzai or Greta Thunberg). This course culminates by examining whether (and how) leadership as a concept can be reimagined and reinvented to allow for greater diversity.

Evaluating and transferring knowledge in team-based environments with diverse groups of employees can be challenging. Leaders need to adapt their practices for working across multicultural, multi-gendered, multi-racial, multi-abled employees and collaborators, as well as across national borders. This course will expose students to theories of team leadership and help them develop tools for effectively sharing knowledge. Measuring team effectiveness is difficult for team-based leadership because a majority of team tasks within organizations are not quantifiable. Some of the criteria that can be used to measure teams’ tasks are: Output from teams should meet or exceed expectations; collaborative efforts among team members should enhance the capabilities of other team members; the team experience should satisfy the personal needs of team members. Credits: 4

The course is designed to provide students majoring in business administration with an overview of the concepts, methodologies, and applications of operations management (OM). The focus of operations in the process of converting or transforming resources into products and services. The principal responsibilities of operations managers lie in making sound, cost-effective decisions that increase the productivity and competitiveness of both manufacturing and service organizations. The process of planning, implementing and monitoring the production allows operations managers to continuously improve in providing high-quality goods and services at low costs thereby adding more value for the customer. Prerequisites: ACC 2203 and MGT 2120. Credits: 4

Only Pay for the Credits You Need:
Transfer up to 90 Credits Toward Your Bachelor’s Degree

Students can transfer up to 90 credits toward their 124-credit bachelor’s degree including work experience or job training such as EMT training, licensures, certifications, professional development and prior work experience that aligns with your degree path. 

All coursework from all accredited institutions, including four-year colleges and community colleges outside of Massachusetts, will be considered for transfer credit.

Bachelor’s + Master’s Pathway*

Master’s Tuition Savings

Did you know students who complete their bachelor’s degree at Merrimack can automatically save at least 25 percent off the total tuition for some online and on-campus master’s degrees at Merrimack?

Two Free Graduate Classes

Additionally, students can complete up to two free graduate classes during their final two Bachelor Degree Completion program semesters.

*Graduate certificates and some master’s degrees may not offer all benefits.

What Our Students Say

“I really enjoyed my experience in the BDC program and I am actually now going to Merrimack for my master’s in clinical mental health counseling. It’s a great opportunity for anyone who wants to continue their education.”

Graduate, 2023

“The bachelor program is a good program that allows you to use and adapt your personal experience into the course materials. Going back to school was probably one of the most daunting things to me but I really enjoyed it. It was easy to break down, easy to take on and I’m glad I did it.”

Graduate, 2023

“The professors made sure you had an understanding of the materials, I really liked that, especially after being out of school for a while.”

Graduate, 2023

“I’m in the Business Administration specialization and I’m moving on to a master’s in management. The program has helped prepare me for career progression. I was really looking for that in a program.”

Graduate, 2023

It’s Easy to Apply Online

A complete application includes:

  • Online application (no fee).
  • College transcripts from all institutions attended.*
  • English proficiency exam for non-English speaking applicants.

*Students need at least 12 credits in prior undergraduate work from an accredited community college, college, or university. If you do not have prior undergraduate coursework additional options may be available.

Key Dates and Deadlines

This program enrolls six times a year. Each term is eight weeks.

Application Deadline
Classes Begin
Summer II
Monday, June 17, 2024
Monday, July 1, 2024
Fall I
Monday, August 12, 2024
Monday, August 26, 2024
Fall II
Monday, October 7, 2024
Monday, October 21, 2024
Summer II
Application Deadline
Monday, June 17, 2024
Classes Begin
Monday, July 1, 2024
Fall I
Application Deadline
Monday, August 12, 2024
Classes Begin
Monday, August 26, 2024
Fall II
Application Deadline
Monday, October 7, 2024
Classes Begin
Monday, October 21, 2024

At Merrimack College, we’re proud of our long history of providing quality degrees to students entering the job market. Our faculty are more than just teachers. We are committed to helping you grow — academically, personally and spiritually — so that you may graduate as a confident, well-prepared citizen of the world.

  • Most Innovative Schools (No. 14)
  • Regional Universities North (No. 33)
  • Best Undergraduate Teaching (No. 31)
  • Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs (No. 86)
    (at schools where doctorate not offered)
  • Best Colleges for Veterans (No. 14)
  • Best Value Schools (No. 47)
  • Merrimack College is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE).
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