The goal of the business, economics, and management (BEM) option is to provide students with the analytical tools to operate successfully in a modern business environment and to prepare students interested in pursuing graduate studies in related fields. The emphasis is on entrepreneurship, finance, and strategy, in free-market, competitive, and strategic situations. Today’s business environment is complex, and therefore required courses in this option are highly analytical. Students often pair the BEM option as a double major with a science or engineering option. The BEM option also serves as a standalone major for students interested in careers in the financial industry, consulting, or entrepreneurial ventures. Expected learning outcomes from completing the BEM option include:
- a strong background in economic theory and econometrics;
- an understanding of the theoretical and practical aspects of finance, risk management, business strategy, and developing new ventures;
- an ability to analyze business problems using qualitative and quantitative methods;
- an ability to analyze financial and business data;
- an ability to write and communicate effectively; and
- an understanding of the broader impacts of business and management on society in general.
Note: The official source on requirements for graduation is the Caltech catalog from the year in which a student began studies at Caltech. Please see the catalog online, from this and previous years, for information regarding the applicable option requirements.
BEM Option Requirements
It is highly recommended to take a statistics/econometrics course, as well as BEM 102 and BEM 103 before other BEM courses.
- Ec 11, Ec 122, Ma 3 or ACM/EE/IDS 116, and PS/Ec 172.
- BEM 102 and BEM 103.
- Three courses out of BEM 104, BEM 105, BEM 110, or BEM 117.
- Writing/oral presentation courses: a scientific writing requirement course, and a three-unit course in oral communication, offered by any division (some options combine these two requirements into one course, that can be taken to satisfy this requirement), or En/Wr 84. The course used to satisfy this requirement must be taken on grades.
- Five courses, to be chosen from the menu (may be taken pass/fail): any BEM courses (excluding the ones listed under 1 and 2 above), ACM 113, ACM/EE/IDS 116 (if not taken under requirement 1), An/PS 127, CS/Ec 149, Ec/ACM/CS 112, Ec 105, 121 ab, 129, 130, 135, Ec/PS 160 abc, Ma 112a and Ma/ACM/IDS 140ab. No more than one from these three: CMS/CS/CNS/EE/IDS 155, CS/CNS/EE 156a and IDS/ACM/CS 157. Other courses with permission of BEM option representative.
- 45 additional units of science (including anthropology, economics, political science, psychology, social science), mathematics, and engineering courses; this requirement cannot be satisfied by courses listed as satisfying the introductory laboratory requirement or by any course with a number less than 100 (may be taken pass/fail).
- Passing grades must be earned in a total of 486 units, including all courses used to satisfy the above requirements
BEM Typical Course Schedule
|Units per term|
& Ma 3
|Ec 11||Introduction to Economics||9||-||-|
|BEM 102||Introduction toAccounting||-||-||9|
|BEM 103||Introduction to Finance||9||-||-|
|PS/Ec 172||Game Theory||-||9||-|
|En/Wr 84||(or 3 unit course in oral communications and a scientific writing requirement course||-||-||9|
1 See option requirements 4 and 5