Notre Dame’s College of Arts & Letters is launching a new selective program that will offer specialized coursework, programming, and resources for undergraduates interested in finding deeper meaning in the practice of business through the liberal arts.
The Sheedy Family Program in Economy, Enterprise & Society is a rigorous academic experience and collaborative community focused on helping students form strong bonds as they engage in exclusive classes, independent research, meaningful dialogue, and purpose-driven career discernment.
The cohort-based program is open to College of Arts & Letters students with a minor in business economics or a Mendoza College of Business minor, or Mendoza majors who have a major, supplemental major, or minor in Arts & Letters.
“A hallmark of a Notre Dame liberal arts education has always been helping students understand not just what they want to do, but who they want to be,” said Sarah A. Mustillo, the I.A. O’Shaughnessy Dean of the College of Arts & Letters. “The Sheedy Family Program will further engage business-minded students as they ponder the big questions facing the economy, develop their sense of vocation, and think deeply about how they can use their knowledge and skills to make a difference in the world.”
The program — made possible through a gift from Arts & Letters alumnus Charles Sheedy ’69 and his wife, Ellen — includes a sequence of classes including Business in Context, a gateway seminar that introduces big questions and important debates in the humanities about the modern history and practice of business. Students will then choose from a number of courses that tackle ethics in work, all of which will focus on practical, real-life ethical questions facing anyone entering the job market. An upper-level business and the liberal arts course will focus on a specialized discipline, question, or area of study. It will be taught by a rotating group of faculty affiliated with the program and provide further research and scholarly opportunities for those interested.
“The conversations we have in the classroom, in the advising process, and at our events will be focused on our individual and collective pursuit of purpose and meaning. We’re bringing together people who want to ask big questions about business and work — and never want to stop asking them.”
Beyond classroom opportunities, the program will also offer research and writing boot camps and retreats; community dinners and dialogue events; lectures from Notre Dame faculty, visiting faculty, and industry professionals; research funding and mentorship; guaranteed internship funding; and career planning and recruitment events.
The program includes an honors track, which students can apply for as a sophomore or junior. These Sheedy Scholars are given additional access to resources that develop their scholarly abilities and provide meaningful research experience. Through research-intensive mentorship from affiliated faculty and additional funding support, Sheedy Scholars will write a senior thesis involving business and the liberal arts, and many of the additional resources available to them through the program will support their efforts in such a project.
Faculty mentorship opportunities available to all Sheedy Program students will help them navigate internal and external internship funding resources, research experiences, and career discernment opportunities.
“The Sheedy Program will form a true community of faculty and students who are energized by topics at the intersection of business and the liberal arts,” said Paul Blaschko, director of the Sheedy Program and an assistant teaching professor in the Department of Philosophy. “The conversations we have in the classroom, in the advising process, and at our events will be focused on our individual and collective pursuit of purpose and meaning. We’re bringing together people who want to ask big questions about business and work — and never want to stop asking them.”
Between 30 and 40 students will be admitted to the program each year. Applications for the inaugural cohort open Feb. 28 and are due by March 15. Details about info sessions can be found on the Sheedy Program website.