Summer Business Institute

  • Participant Comments

    "After completing the Summer Business Institute, I realized how fascinating and important having a firm grasp on accounting and finance can be for a successful career in business. After SBI, I ended up enrolling in SMU’s Master of Science in Finance program to further my knowledge. SBI got me hooked and served as a great jumping-off point."

    Henry Holtzer
    Colby College, Economics

    "SBI was exactly what I needed to balance my non- business major. Regardless of the career you pursue, a foundational understanding of finance, accounting, business law and entrepreneurship will be essential to your success. I knew the program paid off when I nailed a business question in an interview and got the job. I am incredibly grateful for the SBI program and would recommend it to every non-business student."

    Reid Burkett
    Southern Methodist University, Psychology

    "My SMU engineering professors taught me fluid mechanics, structural analysis and other complex concepts I use every day. But the Summer Business Institute taught me essential life lessons - personal finances, 401(k)s and more. Attending SBI after my senior year was a great transition from being a student to being a member of society."

    Gabriel Andonie
    Southern Methodist University, Civil Engineering

    "SBI sharpened my skills and prepared me for upper-level economics courses. It was a fantastic way to get ready for the business world and stand out when applying for internships and jobs."

    James Student
    Southern Methodist University, Economics

    "The professors demonstrated the importance of marketing, finance, and accounting while applying real-life examples to each SBI student's area of study throughout the month. The rigor of the course was both challenging and rewarding and I look forward to implementing these concepts in the fields of communications and public relations."

    Mary Anna Billingsley
    Southern Methodist University, Communications

    "The certificate I earned from the Summer Business Institute is an achievement that will set my resume apart. I truly enjoyed working for it. The course content, instructors, field trips - every element was fantastic. I didn't want the program to end."

    Hannah Taylor
    Southern Methodist University, Economics

    "The SBI far exceeded my expectations. Besides learning the "basics" of business, I was able to apply business knowledge and skills through hands on experiences. The professors truly care about the students and make sure the students get everything out of the program. I strongly recommend the SBI to anyone who wants to learn, build, and utilize their business skills, no matter their background."

    Jimmy Anderson
    University of Georgia, Economics

    "Coming into the Summer Business Institute, I didn’t know what to expect. I wasn’t sure how business would help me, since my degree was in cinema television. Completing the program was one of the best experiences of my life. It’s opened the door to a whole host of new possibilities. I’m now pursuing a career in the financial sector—which is about the farthest thing from film there is. SBI changed my life and my future."

    Tom Hauser
    Southern Methodist University, Cinema Television

    "The Summer Business Institute was challenging and inspiring. In just four weeks, I gained priceless knowledge that has enhanced my resumé and guided me toward a new career path. Through the tireless dedication of my instructors, I was able to grasp business concepts and learn how to approach professional situations with confidence and skill."

    Morgan Davidson
    Southern Methodist University, Art History/Italian Area Studies

    "SBI helped me develop an understanding of fundamental business principles and gave me the working knowledge I need to be a competitive applicant for business-related programs."

    Mitu Ramgopal
    University of Minnesota, Genetics, Cell Biology and Development

    "SBI gave me a solid grounding in all aspects of corporate culture. The professors kept me interested in the material—even accounting—and were truly invested in their students. Our field trips to Cowboys Stadium and The Richards Group made me realize how much I had learned in only a few weeks. Now I don’t have to learn basic business on the fly. I have a step up on my competition."

    April Philley
    Vanderbilt University, Sociology and Philosophy

    "The Summer Business Institute gave me the tools I needed to be successful in one of the highest-ranking MBA programs in the country. It was a priceless investment in my future that I’d recommend to anyone who’s looking to expand their horizons."

    Maura C. Bellmio
    SMU, MA/MBA, Arts Management

    "The Summer Business Institute gave me the tools I needed to be successful in one of the highest-ranking MBA programs in the country. It was a priceless investment in my future that I’d recommend to anyone who’s looking to expand their horizons."

    Maura C. Bellmio
    SMU, MA/MBA, Arts Management

    "The SMU Cox Summer Business Institute was incredibly valuable. It not only taught me the ‘how’ of accounting, finance and marketing, it also taught me the ‘why.’ I chose SBI over an internship because I knew how important these insights will be when I start my own business. I couldn’t have found better teachers than the faculty at SMU Cox."

    Daniel Briesch
    SMU, English

    "The professors are fantastic and I know significantly more than I did before enrolling. I think everyone should take this program."

    Jacquelin Sewell
    New York University, Social Science and Political Science

    "I enjoyed it; I thought I would suffer there. SBI is the reason I’m actually doing well in business school! I fully expected the SBI classes to be taught by graduate students, but they’re all taught by SMU professors."

    Gwyneth G. Gravelle
    Duke University, Asian Languages & Literature

    "I had an extremely positive experience at the Summer Business Institute. For me, the highlight was working with and learning from the Cox professors of undergraduate and graduate programs."

    Katie Brattain
    Southern Methodist University, Spanish and Markets & Culture

    "Of all the extracurricular and volunteer activities I was involved with during my undergraduate years, choosing to participate in the SMU Cox Summer Business Institute is by far the best decision I made for my career."

    C. Halle Smith
    Southern Methodist University, Political Science

    "I am glad to have found out about the program in time to join! I have really learned a lot and will be able to take home a wealth of knowledge. A+ on this program."

    Anne-Marie Corley
    Stanford University, Slavic Languages and Literatures

    "The instructors were out standing. The knowledge I gain from the courses will be invaluable to my future as it has greatly increased my interest in business."

    Oliver Stone
    Emory University, History

    "Before the Institute, I didn’t understand business concepts. Thanks to the help of the SMU instructors, I have the courage to enter the job market, feeling confident that I have competitive edge."

    Laurie Anne Feltus
    Sewanee: The University of the South, English

    "The instructors were well organized and taught with enthusiasm. I can now apply to business school with confidence and succeed. I have already recommended this program to others."

    Bryan Hixon
    Duke University, Psychology

    "The program was extremely useful for those who want to learn an overview of business environments."

    Justin Fountain
    Texas A&M University, Mechanical Engineering

    "The quality of this program was outstanding! I have acquired knowledge of all business fundamentals that I will need to be a successful individual in corporate America."

    Shannon Blount
    Southern Methodist University, Corporate Communications and Public Affairs

    "The Summer Business Institute gave me a stronger grasp of current business ideas and trends. The faculty was excellent and they provided the tools I need to become confident in the business world."

    Richard Burt
    University of Tennessee, Urban Studies


  • Parent Comments

    “When our daughter mentioned the Summer Business Institute after her spring semester, our first thought was, ’You need some time off.’ Boy, were we wrong. The classes and information Elizabeth learned were truly inspiring— and she put that knowledge to work immediately. The SBI curriculum covers content every high-school and college student needs to know. We’re very pleased with SBI and feel the investment was truly worthwhile. We highly encourage other students to get involved.”

    Pete and Lisa Whan, SBI ’17 Parents
    “Two of our children have attended SBI, and it was a great compliment to their college educations. They got a crash course in business knowledge that's enabled them to better understand key aspects of their lives and careers. With business courses, company tours and workshops and training for interviews and presentations, the program is a well-rounded experience I'd recommend for any non-business major”

    Victor Andonie, SBI ’14 and '15 Dad
    “The Summer Business Institute was all we hoped it would be. We wanted Hannah to be exposed to key business disciplines and the local professionals involved with the program. You delivered what we were expecting and more. We're very pleased with the choice.”

    Phillip Taylor, SBI ’15 Dad

    "Our daughter was hesitant about taking SBI but called us within the first week to tell us of her newfound passion for marketing. SBI was the perfect balance of coursework--including field trips, teamwork, and a cumulative final presentation. I have already recommended it to several parents." 

     Becky Billingsley, SBI ’14 Mom

    “SBI provided my daughter with the opportunity to receive the benefits of the Cox School of Business in an accelerated 30-day window. The practical knowledge she gained will last her a lifetime.”

    Scott Rohr, SBI ’14 Dad
    “SBI made a real difference for Mitu. It opened his eyes about business and gave him a framework for making sense of the business world.”

     Ramgopal Venkataraman, SBI ’11 Dad
    “Victor participated in the 2011 SBI, and it resulted in a profound transformation. He found the program rigorous and very pertinent, the students interesting and—although most of the courses are taught by tenured faculty—the professors more than accessible. He started his junior-year summer internship interviews with a strong foundation in business, a beautiful resume, enhanced interviewing skills and a self-confidence that was priceless.”

     Jan C. Olavarri, 
    SBI ’11 Mom
    “My son earned a degree in English and wanted to boost his career potential after graduation. SBI was ideal. He enjoyed the content and said the professors were outstanding. When he landed a marketing job, we gave SBI a lot of the credit because of the material it covered and the help he received in creating a professional resumé.”

     Richard A. Briesch, 
    SBI ’10 Dad
     “Several things impressed me about the program. One was the quality of the instruction. My daughter—an art history major—described lessons and insights from professors that I only got in a two year MBA program. The other thing was the tailoring of instruction to a group who may not think they’re business types, but who now have the tools to be, at a minimum, very knowledgeable consumers of business and financial services.”

     Bo Underwood, 
    SBI ’12 Dad
    -"Tyler gained valuable insight into the business world which allowed him to pursue entrepreneurial endeavors over the last several years. Alison is a biological and chemistry major. Prior to entering dental school, she felt she needed to broaden has business knowledge due to setting up a practice after she completes her program."

     Anne Fields, 
    SBI '07, '09 Mom
     -"The SBI program was a great way for our daughter with degrees in Asian Studies and Theater from Duke University to test her idea about whether her graduate B-school notion was a passing fancy or the beginning of a craft. It turned a potentially difficult decision-making process into a serious lifetime interest for her and a strengthened common bond based on a language we can both speak."

     David A. Gravelle, 
    SBI '08 Dad
    -"My son graduated with majors in Comparative Politics and Chinese. After graduation, he enrolled in the Summer Business Institute to get a better sense of the corporate world. He was very happy with what he learned and how he learned it. The program was consistently engaging and matched almost perfectly his level and interests. He particularly enjoyed the teaching styles of the professors and the team projects. I felt the overall curriculum was comprehensive and organized in such a way that students like my son could access it effectively. I would recommend this program to any recent college graduate who felt the need to ramp up their knowledge about business before pursuing a career."

    • Gordon Walker, 
    SBI '08 | Dad

  • Program Logistics

    Summer Business Institute - Program Logistics

    Program Format

    The Summer Business Institute is a four-week course of study requiring great commitment from participants. Class attendance is mandatory. Classes meet Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m., with a three-hour class each morning and another three-hour class each afternoon. An average of two hours of homework will be assigned most evenings.

    Classrooms and Course Materials

    The Institute is held on the campus of Southern Methodist University in the heart of Dallas, Texas. Classes will be held in state-of-the-art classrooms in the Cox School of Business, which are tiered, amphitheater-style classrooms. Students will also make use of breakout rooms, computer labs, and social areas.

    Students will receive electronic course materials that serve as valuable reference tools long after the program ends. This includes weekly assignments of cases, readings and handouts.


    Those who successfully complete the program through attendance and final project participation will earn a non-credit SMU Cox Summer Business Institute Certificate. This certificate indicates to potential employers that you have mastered the essentials of the "hard skills" of business. Certificates are awarded based on active attendance and participation as well as mastery of the material.


    Students who will be providing their own housing will attend on a non-residential basis. For Residential students accommodation will be provided on campus, and include breakfast and dinner. For both residential and non-residential students occasional group meals and special events are included during the program.



  • FAQ

    Can I get any college credit for this course?

    Unfortunately, this program is offered only on a non-credit basis.

    How long will it take to find out if I have been accepted into the program?

    You should receive an email within one to two days letting you know your application has been received. You will need to submit your transcript to complete your application. This year, the selection committee has set meeting dates on April 4, 2019, and May 3, 2019, and will meet at various other times throughout the year. If you do not hear about your application within three days after those dates, or within two weeks of submitting your application and transcript, please contact us.

    How much work is involved?

    This will not be a passive learning experience. In addition to class time, students should expect two or more hours of preparation/homework each evening. It will be intense and it will be hard work, but the pay-off will be immense for non-business majors who will be better able to present themselves to potential employers.

    I already know how to use Excel. Do I have to attend these sessions?

    Yes. The Excel sessions are mandatory, though you may test out of one of the sessions.

    I have never taken a business course. Will I be able to keep up?

    Yes. If students actively participate in class and keep up the readings they will be very successful. The Summer Business Institute presumes no prior knowledge of business topics. We'll start from the beginning and help students build their skills and knowledge one step at a time. Tutors will also be available to assist students outside of the classroom.

    Is this program only for SMU Students?

    No. Students from around the United States including international students may attend. The students who come to the Summer Business Institute have studied everything from fine arts to engineering. Past students have attended a variety of colleges and universities, including Duke University, Princeton University, the University of Texas at Austin and Texas A&M University. For a full list of universities past students have attended, click here.

    If I need housing to be provided for me, where will I be staying?

    If you need housing, single-occupancy on-campus housing will be provided.

    What if I need to cancel my registration?

    If the cancellation is made prior to May 3, you will be refunded the full program fee. If the cancellation is made between May 3 and June 1, you will be refunded 50% of the program fee. Students who fail to attend, cancel after June 2, or do not complete the program will not be eligible for refunds.

    What is involved in the final presentation?

    The month-long program will conclude with a group presentation to a small corporate panel. Groups will be critiqued on both their analytical and presentation skills.

    What is the class schedule?

    Classes meet Monday through Friday, with generally a three-hour class each morning and another three-hour class each afternoon. One to two hours of homework will be assigned each evening. Students have free time on weekends, though some optional social events will be held.

    What topics will be covered?

    Students will explore concepts in key topic areas like Accounting, Finance, Marketing, and Operations Management. Career planning, working effectively in teams, and making professional presentations using MS PowerPoint and Excel will also be included. See the “Course Curriculum” table in the brochure for a complete list of specific topics.

    When do I have to submit my payment?

    Full payment is due by May 3rd.

    When is the registration cut-off date?

    For Early Applications, it is recommended that your application - including your transcript - is complete by February 1, 2019. To receive the Early Application Discount, it is recommended that your application is complete by April 1, 2019. The deadline for your application is May 3, 2019.

    Who can attend the program?

    The Summer Business Institute is designed for non-business majors who have completed at least one year of college and recent college graduates. Applicants should have completed at least one year of college prior to attending and should have been out of college for no more than five years.

    Will there be any exams?

    Yes. There are two exams, one two weeks into the program, and one near the end of the program.

    Will there be social time outside of the classroom?

    There will be occasional group lunches and special events, including field trips and career panel lunches.

    Will this program strengthen my resume?

    Definitely. Non-business majors will be better able to present themselves to employers as well-rounded candidates ready to make a contribution on the job from day one. While undergraduates may not be accustomed to listing certificate courses on their resumes, it is a very common occurrence among business professionals. Corporate recruiters will recognize this type of education and it will separate you from the crowd. Properly listing this information on your resume will be covered in the Career Planning module.

    How do I contact you if I have more questions?

    If you have questions about the program and can't attend an info session, feel free to contact us at 214-768-2918 or 866-768-1013.

    How much does the program cost?

    With Campus Housing and Meals

    Early and Round One applications before April 1 - $7,995 (save $500)

    Round Two applications after April 1 - $8,495


    • Tuition and course materials
    • Single-occupancy room with breakfast and dinner seven days a week
    • Occasional group meals and special events

    Without Campus Housing and Meals

    Early and Round One applications before April 1 - $6,495 (save $500)

    Round Two applications after April 1 - $6,995


    • Tuition and course materials
    • Occasional group meals and special events

    I need financial assistance. Do I have any options?

    We have been advised by the undergraduate financial aid office of three possible loans that are available for non-credit certificate programs. These are private loans where the funds will be paid directly to you. The student is then required to disburse funds to SMU.

    Sallie Mae Student Loans

    Chase Select Private Student Loans

    Wells Fargo Education Connection Loan

    In the past, we have received Summer Business Institute tuition payments from College Savings Plans, such as a 529 Plan or the Texas Tomorrow Fund.