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B.S. in Commerce

Integrated Core Experience

All third-year McIntire students complete the Integrated Core Experience, also known as “ICE.” ICE ensures that you’ll gain a thorough understanding of commerce from every angle. This is not your basic business fundamentals coursework; it’s a team of faculty helping you address real-world problems in real time so that you gain the perfect blend of business skills and functional expertise. ICE teaches you to broaden your horizons, see cases from many perspectives, and understand the interconnectedness of business functions across industries.

How ICE Works

Through McIntire's unique corporate partnerships, ICE offers you unparalleled opportunities to solve unstructured, challenging business problems, and work through them using a holistic approach—just as you would in a real job. You won’t study financial models; you’ll create them. You won’t look at the returns on marketing plans from a few years ago; you'll conduct the comprehensive market analysis required to create a go-to-market plan.


Students are divided into eight groups of about 40-45—which we call blocks. This is the group of students who will share in your learning experience for the entire year. Inside your block, you’re then matched with four to six students with whom you’ll form a tight-knit study group that works on projects together. You'll get really close to these students—you’re in class with them three hours per day, four days a week for an entire school year.


In ICE, you won’t learn through lectures; you’ll work through the case method. Your class will pre-read a write-up, or case, detailing a real-world business dilemma and then your teaching team will lead you through a discussion of it from every angle. For example, in one three-hour class period, during the first half, you’ll have a professor talking about a case from a strategic management perspective. In the second half, you’ll discuss the same case, but from an information technology/systems perspective.

Corporate Sponsors

Every block has a unique corporate sponsor that brings a comprehensive business project into the classroom. At the beginning of the semester, high-level professionals from participating companies will join your class and present a new venture or large-scale project that their organization is tackling. It is not uncommon for students to be interfacing with members of the C-suite. Across several weeks, you will work with your small group to examine the problem as consultants would and, at the end of the semester, you will deliver a formal presentation to the executives and receive comments.


What You'll Learn

Your yearlong experience in ICE will quickly transform you into a business generalist who can consider big problems and deliver solutions that work.

  • Examining cases through multiple academic disciplines will help you understand the way business dilemmas and decisions are connected and interdependent.

  • You’ll develop a versatile, broad-based business foundation that is rooted in strong critical thinking, problem-solving and effective communication.

  • The rigor and dynamic of the group study model will help you develop the “people skills” you’ll need to thrive in a complex and fast-moving workplace.

  • Your communications skills will be honed along the way, helping to ensure you can navigate all manner of group scenarios and deliver polished and persuasive presentations.


At McIntire, the Integrated Core Experience is more than just an academic requirement: It is a cornerstone of the academic experience that provides students with a significant competitive advantage upon graduation. 

David Lehman

Professor of Commerce

Connect With Us

McIntire’s Office of Undergraduate Admission collaborates with prospective B.S. in Commerce students, helping in a variety of ways.

We encourage prospective students to contact us early in the admissions process to take advantage of all of our advising opportunities, including academic advising, information sessions, and other events, or to connect with a student ambassador. 

Learn More