The Leon Hess Business School of Monmouth University traces its origins to the formation of the college, when business courses were an integral part of the curriculum.
In 1956, then Monmouth Junior College received authorization from the New Jersey Department of Education to initiate four-year baccalaureate curricula and confer the degrees of bachelor of arts and bachelor of science, including business administration. In 1967, authorization to confer graduate degrees at the master's level was received. The Master of Business Administration degree was approved in 1971. In 1990, Monmouth College was granted university status and changed its name to Monmouth University.
In 1981, the Department of Business Administration was reorganized into the School of Business Administration under the leadership of John “Jack” Bolton as the first step toward achieving accreditation by AACSB International – the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. The Department of Business Administration, and subsequently the School of Business Administration, was located in Withey Hall, the original guest house for the Shadow Lawn mansion, until 1991 when the school moved to its present location in Bey Hall. In 1994, the School of Business Administration was granted AACSB candidacy and achieved initial AACSB-International accreditation in the spring of 1999.
Today, the Leon Hess Business School offers degree programs at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Students in the Bachelor of Science in Business Administration can pursue concentrations in accounting, economics, finance, real estate, management, and marketing. In Fall 2009 a concentration in International Business will become available. In addition, a joint Bachelor of Arts in Spanish and International Business was established in the fall of 2007. Graduate students may pursue a Master of Business Administration with tracks in accounting, finance, or real estate in addition to the general MBA option. They may also pursue a Master of Business Administration with a Concentration in Healthcare Management, established in 1998. Post-graduate certificates are also available in accounting, real estate, and healthcare management.
Housed within the school are two centers: the Kislak Real Estate Institute and the Center for Entrepreneurship. The Real Estate Institute was established in 1992 with the creation of the Harry and Rita Greenberger Chair in Real Estate. The institute was renamed the Kislak Real Estate Institute in 2006 in honor of Julius Kislak, a prominent figure in the New Jersey and national real estate industries. The Center for Entrepreneurship was established in 2008 to serve the nascent businesses of the local community and further tie business education at the school with existing and emerging businesses.
In 2009, the School of Business Administration received a naming gift and changed its name to the Leon Hess Business School.
The Leon Hess Business School houses approximately 1,500 students instructed by 36 faculty members from the Departments of Accounting, Economics, Finance, and Real Estate, Management and Decision Sciences, and Marketing and International Business.