The roots of the department stretch back to the Technical College for Industrial Managers in Dortmund, which was the foundational core of the Department of Business Studies established at the Fachhochschule Dortmund in 1971. In its early phase, the department had 660 students, among them 112 in their first-semester along with 22 staff. With the establishment of new courses of study as well as the internationalization, nowadays there are more than 50 full-time department staff and an additional 30 lecturers who come from numerous business sectors, along with 1900 students.
The Department of Business Studies is the largest of all the seven departments in the Fachhochschule Dortmund offering a variety of bachelor’s degrees, such as Business Administration (BA), International Business (BA) und Business Information Technology (BSc; in collaboration with the Department of Computer Science) as well as master’s degrees — European Master in Project Management (MA) and Risk & Finance (MSc) and also a distance learning with resident periods joint study program in Business Administration for New Public Management (MBA).
The international orientation of the department found its earliest expression in the International Business program in place since 1989 (with 500 students in 2013). At that time it was developed as a diploma program with the goal of a European college education, and since 2006 it has gone forward as a bachelor's degree program with partner colleges in France, the Netherlands, Great Britain, Australia, Spain, and Mexico.
The significant number of foreign students attending this program is not the only evidence of the international dimension of the Department of Business Studies. This is also reflected in the fact that the department collaborates with 20 partner colleges in Europe and overseas. These contacts are also the foundation of numerous research collaborations. Focal points of research involve, among others, the development of multi-media programs, of business models,and of expert systems for corporate planning and decision support. Current research projects concern the economic uses of mobile systems. The result of these innovations and also the specific focus on practical experience of the educational program along with its scientific orientation and connections with the regional economy are reflected in the demand for places in the programs of study.