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What is the Two Piece Sequence?

This page is created to review a Smeal degree requirement called the 'Two Piece Sequence' and current options

Two Piece Sequence 


The Two Piece Sequence is a two course requirement (6 credits) for all majors in the Smeal College of Business (except Actuarial Science).  This requirement is designed to give Smeal students an opportunity to take two upper-level business courses in one area outside of their major. Finance and Supply Chain majors also have a 'Related Area' requirement (3 credits).  The Related Area is a third Two Piece Sequence course that can be in any subject area regardless of the chosen subject of the Two Piece Sequences courses.  Two Piece Sequence and Related Area courses cannot double count as major courses. To see the specific course offerings in each subject area, run your Academic Requirements Report or What-If Report on LionPATH (shown in the below video).

Below is a list of 2-piece sequence subject options but students should confer with their academic adviser to review the most up to date options as course offerings and requirements can change. Two Piece/Related Area courses are determined by your admit term. You should visit this page to find certain sections of any of the courses below may reserved for specific student populations.  Please read the 'Course Enrollment Requirements' and 'Course Notes' before trying to register for any section of a course.


You, no doubt, have heard that Accounting is the language of Business! Whether you are deeply involved in Financial Statements, or passively via your own investment interests, you should have an understanding of Corporate Reporting. These two courses provide measurement, valuation, and reporting at the intermediate level of most elements in Corporate Financial Statements and coverage of important footnotes thereto.

Business Law

The Business Law 2-piece provides students with legal knowledge and risk assessment skills that are essential for business management and strategy in a world where shifting law, politics and global relationships impact every market. After gaining a working knowledge of legal fundamentals, students can personalize their experience with specialized courses in the law of real estate, employment, technology, UCC/commercial transactions, or entertainment. This two-piece is relevant for any Smeal student, whether they seek a career as an entrepreneur, C-suite executive, consultant or successful investor. It is also excellent grounding for students interested in attending law school after graduating.


The Diversity 2-piece provides students with the skills, confidence and competencies needed to effectively lead and manage an increasingly diverse workforce. Together the courses provide both an historic and a strategic perspective on corporate Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DEI) practices as they relate to race, gender, sexual orientation, and other aspects of diversity. In addition, students will develop an understanding of the challenges that may arise when managing diversity cross-culturally, globally, and virtually.


Economics is the study of how people satisfy their wants in the face of limited resources. The subject uses a consistent set of methods and tools that is valuable in analyzing certain types of problems related to decision-making, resource allocation, and the production and distribution of goods and services. Students will be introduced to the methods and analytical tools of economic analysis, as well as their applications. Learning these methods and tools and applying them to interesting policy questions and issues is sometimes called "thinking like an economist." This method of logical thinking will help students understand policy, make better decisions (either for themselves or as an agent for an employer), as well as understand possible intended and unintended behavior change may be created by new policies. An Economics two piece will nicely complement any of the majors offered in the Smeal College of Business. That extra line on a resume sends a positive signal to employers that you are capable of logical thinking, decision making, as well as understanding policy and current economic events.


Rumor on campus is CIENT (Corporate Innovation and Entrepreneurship) is the coolest major at Penn State. Even with a primary focus in a different discipline, Smeal students can still get a cool experience and gain skills and abilities in both innovation and basic entrepreneurship principles by taking the two courses in the CIENT 2-piece. In MGMT 425 – New Venture Creation, students will learn the process of ideation through the pitch of a venture idea. In MGMT 453 – Creativity and Innovation, students will be exposed to managing innovation in organizations and sparking creativity.


This Finance 2-piece introduces students to the basic types of investment securities, the concept of investment risk, and investment management. Students examine security valuation, risk measurement, portfolio diversification, and portfolio performance measurement. Also covered are the basics of options and futures markets. Students also learn how derivative securities can be used to change the payoff structure of portfolios of financial assets.

International Business

The International Business 2-piece provides students with an understanding of how the global environment impacts business operations and strategies. Courses examine patterns and processes related to trade and investment; how government policies and different value systems shape the context of business in other countries; and the significance and impact of global issues related to labor, sustainability, economic development, and demographic change, among many others. Students pursuing the International Business 2-piece will be better prepared for their careers post-Smeal, and may apply this sequence toward the requirements for the International Business minor


Broadly speaking, in the MGMT 2-piece classes, you will learn the fundamental concepts, theories, and methods of managing people and designing organizations, as well as formulating and implanting strategies for competing in the global marketplace. More specifically, the areas in which you will gain knowledge and skills through successfully completing these courses include the following: teamwork/collaboration; leadership/influence; interpersonal/relational; organizational culture and cross-cultural management; corporate-level and business-level strategy; and alliance and network management.

Management Information Systems

The MIS 2-piece will help build your Information Technology (IT) skills. The first course is an introduction to Business Analytics and will provide you with a skill set to analyze large data sets using advanced spreadsheet analysis, social network analysis, and data visualization software. The second course explores the strategic implications of IT in business (as enabler, differentiator, and disruptor) using examples from a variety of industries. Since IT is indispensable for the successful operation of any business today, this 2-piece will position you well for using IT advantageously in your functional area of business.


The Marketing 2-piece focuses on the importance of customer value in making sound business decisions. You will have the opportunity to learn about consumer behavior and decision making, and then apply this knowledge in the context of global marketing strategy or integrated marketing communications. At the end of the sequence, you will be prepared to not only understand your customer but also develop skills needed to build strong customer relationships vital to the profitability and growth of your business.

Real Estate

The Real Estate 2-piece will provide you with the opportunity to combine your interests from your primary major with the knowledge and skills necessary to make informed decisions regarding the largest asset owned by most households and corporations. The courses focus on developing the tools required to successfully analyze and evaluate real estate investments as well as issues that most households encounter, such as whether to buy or rent a house, and how to obtain a mortgage. Furthermore, the Real Estate 2-piece is the foundation for the nine-credit Certificate in Real Estate Analysis and Development (READ Certificate) that is available with the addition of one advanced real estate course.

Risk Managment

As of 2023, the RM 2-piece is no longer being offered for new students.

Supply Chain

The Supply Chain 2-piece sequence is a detailed exploration of the plan, source, make, deliver (customer fulfillment) and return processes framework used by industry executives to add value and optimize their post covid, global supply chains. The concepts, tools, and techniques provided in these courses will assist students to analyze the flow of products, services, cash, and information through various supply chain networks allowing future managers to make more informed, profitable, and sustainable business decisions. A focus on collaborative problem-solving skill sets across the courses will help students to more fully integrate into the modern firm.


The Business Sustainability 2-piece will provide you with a sound understanding of both the environmental and societal impact of doing business as well as how sustainability impacts business decisions, operations, and the marketplace today. In addition to learning and applying sustainability frameworks to develop a sustainable decision-making mindset for your career, you will also gain collaboration, problem-solving, and project planning skills. As more and more companies incorporate sustainability into both their long-term and daily decision-making, you will be well-equipped to contribute to this critical conversation in business after this two-piece.

Additional Two Piece Options for Specific Majors

Risk Managment Majors -- Actuarial Science, Mathematics, Statistics

Real Estate Majors -- Actuarial Science, Corporate Benefits, Hospitality Management, Statistics

Using a Minor for the Two Piece Sequence (and Related Area) Requirement

Some minors can be used to complete the Two Piece Sequence (and Related Area) requirements.  The ENTIRE minor must be completed.  The minors are:

Smeal Minors: Information Systems Management (not allowed for Management Information Systems majors), International Business, Legal Environmental of BusinessSupply Chain and Information Sciences & Technology (not allowed for Supply Chain or Management Information Systems majors)

Penn State Minors: Economics, Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Information Sciences and Technology, Mathematics, Statistics 

World Language Minors: Arabic Language, Chinese Language, French and Francophone Studies, German, Greek, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese Language, Korean Language, Latin, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish

Other minors: Health Policy Administration (Management majors only), Labor and Human Resources (Accounting majors only), Media Studies (Marketing majors only), Psychology (Marketing majors only), Security and Risk Analysis (Management Information Systems and Supply Chain majors only), Six Sigma (Management Information Systems and Supply Chain majors only), Sociology (Marketing majors only)

This video can help explain the differences between a Two Piece Sequence and a minor.