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First Semester Courses

First Semester Courses

In addition to RSP 103 (and any other pre-registered courses), all Heider College of Business freshmen are required to complete courses in the Magis Common Core for their first semester.

This page will help you understand:
Strongly Preferred Courses
Preferred Courses
Optional Courses


Strongly Preferred Courses for First Semester

Heider students typically take the two required mathematics courses in their first year. One course in statistics and one course in calculus:

  1. Mathematical Reasoning (MTH 141 Applied Calculus, MTH 245 Calculus or MTH 231 Calculus for the Biological Sciences)
    If you just finished pre-calc or high school calculus, it might be a good idea to keep going with calculus because it’s fresh in your mind.  Most business students will take MTH 141 Applied Calculus. It is applied calculus with applications for business.  MTH 141 is less theoretical than MTH 245 Calculus.  MTH 245 is recommended if you plan to minor or major in math. Additionally,  if you plan to attend graduate school in economics, or earn a PhD in finance, MTH 245 will be required.  MTH 231 Calculus of Biological Sciences is recommended if you are a BSBA Pre-Health Sciences student.  MTH 231 emphasizes the application of calculus for the biological sciences. Some professional or graduate schools require traditional calculus, while others may not. We believe it’s better to be safe than sorry, and give yourself the most options possible when / if you apply to professional or graduate school.  If you would like to avoid calculus for a semester, or if you think you might receive AP credit for calculus, take MTH 161 Business Statistics.
  2. Business Statistics (MTH 161)
    MTH 161 Business Statistics is an introduction to descriptive and inferential statistics for business. Topics include measures of central tendency and dispersion, sampling and estimation, confidence intervals, regression and correlation, and relevant examples from business, finance and economics.  This class is the first in a two-class statistics sequence. The second statistics class will be taken during sophomore year. If you think you might receive AP credit for statistics, do not take MTH 161.

    If you think you might receive AP credit for both calculus and statistics, review other course options with your RSP Advisor. Do not register for either required math class if you think you will earn AP credit for either / both classes.

The University requires all incoming students to take the Quantitative Assessment for New Students (QANS). Results from the QANS may be used to provide advising on the placement in and timing of mathematics courses.

Philosophy or Theology
Plan to take either Philosophical Ideas (PHL 11X) or The Christian Tradition (THL 11X) in your first semester.
Do not take both courses in the same semester.

Preferred Courses for First Semester

Critical Issues
Critical Issues in Human Inquiry (XXX 17X – 3 credits) has a “co-requisite”- meaning, you will register for this course and the corresponding Communicating Critical Issues (COM 101 – 1 credit).  When you choose a Critical Issues in Human Inquiry section, you will find the corresponding co-requisite Communicating Critical Issues course listed under “notes” in the course description. Together the two courses will be 4 credits. When you are in the registration add / drop site, you will need to enter both CRNs together (matching co-requisites) in the “add” boxes.  You will not be able to check the box next to each class individually on the search page. Both the lecture and the lab must be entered together / registered for together, by entering both CRN’s in the “add” boxes on the registration page.

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You may register for your first business course, ECO 203 Introductory Microeconomics, for the fall semester. This is the only business course you may take in your first semester in the Heider College of Business. If you do not take ECO 203 in fall, plan to take ECO 203 in the spring.

Optional Courses

Understanding Natural Science
The Understanding Natural Science component helps students to understand the nature of science, the strengths and limitations of the scientific approach, the differences between science and other ways of understanding the world, the key role of science in technological developments and vice versa, and the mutual influence of science and society on each other.

CSC 121 Computers and Scientific Thinking is required for all Heider students.  This class should be taken in the first three semesters, or no later than fall of sophomore year. You may choose any of the Magis: Understanding Natural Science courses. However, CSC 121 fulfills both the required Heider pre-requisite, and your Understanding Natural Science requirement.

CSC 121 is an introduction to science and scientific reasoning from a perspective that integrates computer science and the natural sciences. Students will gain a basic understanding of computer technology and how computers are used in various scientific disciplines. Methods and applications from the biological sciences will be emphasized, providing practical insights into how biologists utilize computers and computer modeling in solving problems.

If you intend to follow the BSBA Pre-Health curriculum, satisfactory completion of the QANS Placement Exam is required for CHM 203/204. Students who do not meet this requirement should substitute CHM 105 for their first semester and then take CHM 203/204 in Spring 2023.

Note: Unless you are a pre-health science Heider student, we do not recommend CHM111, CHM 203/204 and BIO 201/205.


Understanding a Social Science
The Understanding Social Science component introduces students to social science through courses that begin with an overview of what it means to “understand social science” as the study of society and human nature using theories and quantitative or qualitative analysis of data, and then present in detail fundamental concepts and theories from at least one social scientific discipline. You may choose from any of the Magis: Understanding Social Science requirements. However, PSY 201 Introductory Psychology (requirement for HCB students) fulfills both the required Heider course, and your Understanding Social Science requirement. You will only receive 3 credit hours, but PSY 201 will fulfill both requirements.


Contemporary Composition (ENG 15_)
This component introduces students to the essentials of academic writing. This course will present the theory and practice of rhetoric and composition, teaching students how to construct well-organized and well-supported arguments. 

Foreign language is not required in the Heider College of Business, unless you plan to major in International Business or pursue a major or minor in a language.

International Business majors are the only Heider students who must take two language courses, XXX 112 and 225 levels at minimum. If you are thinking about a minor in a language, or a major in International Business, you should take a language in your first semester. Overall, no matter what you think your major will be, and if you like language, this is a good course to consider.

If you are interested in taking Spanish, German or French, we strongly recommend taking the online Language Placement Exam now, or at least three days before your registration date. It will take 2 – 3 days to receive the results of the exam, which will indicate which language course/level you should register for.  If you do not want to take a language in your first semester, do not take the Language Placement Exam. You may take the exam at a future date.​

Kingfisher Concentration

The Magis Core and The Heider Mindset Curriculum allows you to explore your interests and achieve a breadth of knowledge across disciplines. A Kingfisher Concentration, for BSBA students, encourages students to find an area of depth that supports growth in one of the Heider Mindsets, and allows exploration in a liberal arts area. Students are required to take 3 classes to fulfill a Kingfisher Concentration. This offers the freedom to choose an area to compliment your business studies, sets you on a path to complete a minor through the College of Arts and Sciences should you take 3 additional classes in that same area, or simply allows a student to explore an area of interest outside of business.

If you are certain about an academic discipline you would like to explore in the College of Arts and Sciences, like a language or other area of interest, you may choose to take a Kingfisher Concentration course in your first semester. If you are unsure, don’t worry! There is plenty of time to decide on a Kingfisher. Pre-Health Sciences and 3/3 Pre-Law students are not required to earn a Kingfisher Concentration.

Non-Restricted Electives
You may take any classes to fulfill non-restricted elective requirements to help you earn 128 required credits to graduate. Some business students may reserve non-restricted electives for a second major in business, or additional classes beyond the Kingfisher requirement to earn an Arts & Science minor. Other students will take a variety of courses, from exercise science to theatre to biology. The choice is yours! Plan well and have fun!