Roadmap To The Future: An Undergraduate Business Program Curriculum Redesign


  • Tom Davis University of Pittsburgh
  • Debbie Good University of Pittsburgh
  • Kiersten Maryott University of Pittsburgh


In 2020, the University of Pittsburgh’s College of Business Administration (CBA) had reached an inflection point in its growth that warranted a full curriculum review. As with most strategic planning work in 2020, that review was delayed as the school responded to the COVID-19 pandemic including a pivot to fully remote instruction. When the curriculum review committee reconvened in 2021, the school was literally bursting at the seams – welcoming its largest incoming class ever, over-enrolling some sections to ensure that students slated to graduate could get the courses they needed, and seeking alternative classroom and office space to supplement its traditional campus location. Against that backdrop, the committee’s work became even more urgent, and it began with a comprehensive analysis of the current state CBA curriculum. To start, a review of the literature compared against the committee’s goals narrowed the scope of the analysis to two lenses for the review: A horizontal review (verifying that multiple sections of the same course cover the same learning objectives) and a subject-area review (verifying that similar content taught in different subject areas was reinforcing, not redundant). Second, a suitable curriculum mapping taxonomy was sought from within the field of business, and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) provided inspiration in the form of its CPA Evolution Model Curriculum. That curriculum includes a line of sight from the organization’s top level goals to course topics to learning objectives to courses, and the team was able to build an analogous CBA Model Curriculum Template to be populated with its own school-, curriculum-, and course-level data. Third, the team accessed all available, systemic metadata about each of CBA’s existing courses and pre-populated its template. To fill in gaps in the systemic data and dig in on emerging areas of focus such as equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI), data analytics, and integrated learning, interviews were conducted with course leads, and finally the comprehensive, current state CBA Curriculum Map was complete, highlighting the curriculum’s strengths, gaps, and redundancies for the full committee to review and action both from the perspective of horizontal and subject-area reviews. In summary, this baseline curriculum map has been invaluable in enabling CBA to move forward with its development of an evidence-based, future state curriculum, and the process of mapping the baseline curriculum has created a playbook that can be leveraged again for future curriculum reviews






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