About the College

Our History

COBA seal

The School of Business Administration was established in September, 1967 as one of the five schools that constitute the University. The roots of this school, however, go back to 1915 when a course in “Political Economy” was first offered. When the College of the City of El Paso and its School of Commerce was closed in 1918, its program was voted to become a branch or supplement to the School of Mines. When the College of Mines’ curriculum was expanded to include Liberal Arts in 1927,  business courses were introduced.

 A combined Business and Economics department was established and a Bachelor of Arts major was first offered in 1931. Separate majors in Economics and Business Administration were offered in 1935. The Bachelor of Business Administration degree (BBA) was authorized in 1946.

In 1964 Business and Economics (later Economics and Finance) were split into separate departments under the School of Arts and Sciences. In 1967 the two departments became the basic foundation of the new School and, in 1968 a third department, Accounting, was added. These three academic departments, together with the Bureau of Business and Economic Research (originally founded in 1963) form the four basic divisions of the School. Most of this history was documented by Prof. Emeriti Lola Dawkins and Prof. Elizabeth Sipes.

A new three story College of Business Administration building was dedicated in 1983 and brought together Accounting, Business, and Economics and Finance which had previously been housed throughout The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) campus. It provided classrooms, faculty and department office spaces, computer labs, research centers  and study areas for students.

A highlight for the college was when UTEP received national accreditation for both bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in Business and Accounting by American Assembly of Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), in 1989. After 6 years of upgrading to meet the rigorous standards, UTEP’s College of Business joined the ranks of the elite distinguishing itself among the best schools of business nationwide, one of only 47 in the country at the time. The College of Business Administration continues to be accredited by AACSB by always meeting its strict standards.

2004 was a year of great significance and growth as the college began its doctoral program in International Business. The program experienced great success with a waiting list of students wishing to be accepted. Its graduates have been placed in institutions of higher education around the globe.

The growth of the college has made it necessary to expand to a unique location outside of the UTEP campus and closer to the city’s business sector in downtown El Paso. 2010 marked the year of the opening of the Graduate Business Center in the Chase building at the city’s center. This represents the first physical expansion of COBA in over 25 years creating space for the launch of new programs and learning environments appropriate for managers and executives.

Historical Dates  

                                                                                                                                                              

1915
First course in Political Economy at School of Mines

1918
The College of the City of El Paso and its School of Commerce becomes a branch of the School of Mines

1919
Accounting offered for the first time

1927
First Business Administration Courses

1931
Combines Business and Economics department - First Bachelor of Arts major in Business

1935
First Majors in Economics and Business Administration

1946
First  Bachelor of Business Administration under school of Arts and Sciences

1964
Business and Economics (later Economics and Finance) were split into separate departments under the School of Arts and Sciences.

1967
School of Business Administration was established

1968
A third department, Accounting, was added

1983
New College of Business Administration Building

1989
National Accreditation by American Assembly of Collegiate Schools of Business for graduate and undergraduate programs

2004
First Ph.D. Cohort in International Business

2010
Opening of Graduate Business Center in downtown Chase Building

Degree Plans