Roosevelt University in Chicago, Schaumburg and Online - Logo

Heller College of Business

History of Walter E. Heller and Alyce DeCosta

Over his lifetime, Walter E. Heller developed the skills and expertise to create a world-known organization. As a young man he was given the responsibility to oversee his father’s successful sausage casing business. Being a resourceful and meticulous entrepreneur, Walter expanded to jewelry and then automobile financing. As his prosperity grew, so did his vision. Whatever the business at hand, Heller pursued it with vigor. He was the first to arrive on the job in the morning and the last to leave at night. During the 1930s, Heller expanded into the rediscount business and then factoring. Heller's firm became the pre-eminent asset-based commercial lender and factor from the 1940s through the 1960s. Heller's firm was the Cadillac of its industry, loaning money to flamboyant and high profile Hollywood movie studios, including United Artists Corporation. In 1956, Heller’s stock began trading over the New York Stock Exchange. Through its growth, the firm acquired companies, divested companies, and expanded overseas. Business Week magazine summarized Heller’s reach in a 1958 article stating the company “served as a funnel through which 1,800 stockholders, 76 banks, and 10 insurance companies extended credit to some 500 manufacturing distributors, small-loan, and auto-finance companies.“

In 1969, Heller died at the age of 78. With the generous support of his widow, Alyce DeCosta, and the Walter E. Heller Foundation, a gift of $2 million enabled Roosevelt University to construct a 10-story classroom, laboratory, and library facility. Alyce DeCosta established the Walter E. Heller Lecture Series in International Business and Finance and served as a member of the Board of Trustees. She died in 2004 at the age of 98. The college proudly carries the name of Walter E. Heller College of Business for Roosevelt University.

Roosevelt University's Heller College of Business provides a diverse population of students the best opportunity to develop critical skills necessary for success. This education emphasizes professional integrity, sustainable business practices, and global engagement.

All programs of the University are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. In addition, the business degree programs offered through the Heller College of Business are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP). The Master of Science in Accounting Forensics is a new program and has not been scheduled for ACBSP review for accreditation.

Degree programs
The Heller College of Business offers five graduate business degrees. The Master of Business Administration is a general management degree with a chosen area of specialization. The college also offers four specialized master of science degrees: Master of Science in Accounting, Master of Science in Accounting Forensics, Master of Science in Human Resource Management, and Master of Science in Real Estate.

Location and scheduling
Each degree is available at both the Chicago and the Schaumburg campuses, except for the MSRE degree which is only offered in Chicago. BADM 401 is offered online only and the other eight core courses for the MBA are offered at both campuses each semester. Concentration courses and specialty courses are offered on a regular basis, but not each semester. Graduate business classes are offered at various times, including the weekends.

Admission to graduate business programs
Domestic (U.S. citizen or permanent resident*) applicants. Applicants to graduate studies for the MBA and MS degrees in the Heller College of Business must complete and submit the following:
  • Graduate university application
  • Applicants with an undergraduate GPA 3.0 or higher are not required to submit a GMAT test score. Applicants with an undergraduate GPA below 3.0 may be required to submit test scores. The GRE is also accepted.
  • Resume or detailed work history
  • A two-page personal goals statement
  • Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended, regardless of whether a degree was received
  • Application fee

*Permanent residents must submit Permanent Resident Card

International applicants. International applicants and other students with academic credentials from institutions outside of the United States who are applying for the MBA and MS degrees in the Heller College of Business must complete and submit the following:

  • International Graduate University Application, including the Summary of Educational Experience by Year.
  • GMAT (taken within the last five years).
  • Demonstration of English proficiency, as evidenced by TOEFL/IELTS/Roosevelt ELP test, is required if education is not from a North American institution in which English is the medium of instruction.
  • Resume or detailed work history.
  • A two-page personal goals statement.
  • Financial Statement and Affidavit of Support, with supporting financial records.
  • Application fee.

International or domestic applicants who hold international degrees.

  • Applicants with a degree from outside the United States must submit an international degree evaluation to assess for US equivalency from either Education Credential Evaluators (ECE), World Education Services (WES) or Educational Perspectives.
  • Applicants with a three-year degree will be considered.
  • Non-admissible applicants with a three-year degree may be eligible to enroll in an RU undergraduate program, preferably business, to work toward four-year equivalency.

Graduate assistantships
The college has a limited number of graduate assistantships available to full-time students each year. The assistantships provide a cash stipend and up to 18 semester hours of tuition annually. The duties of a graduate assistant may include tutoring, research, advising, or other academic projects. Applications are available online or through Admission.

Academic performance
Please refer to the Student Handbook for all academic policies.

Full-time graduate students
The normal full-time load for a graduate student is 9 s.h. (three courses) plus BADM 401 (in the first semester). Scheduling conflicts may occur when taking four or more classes. Prerequisites are not waived to accommodate scheduling difficulties or to accelerate graduation.

Time commitment
The study of business at the graduate level requires a substantial time commitment over an extended period. Each student is expected to attend every class and to arrive on time. It is impossible to predict the amount of out-of-class time required to successfully complete a particular course. Variables include a student’s academic background and ability and the nature of the course. The workload often varies from week to week. Assignments must be turned in on time; penalties for late assignments may include grade reduction or non-acceptance. Although most instructors will try to make arrangements for a student whose work demands travel, this may not be possible in all cases. Students are responsible for informing instructors in advance of known absences and as soon as possible in the case of emergencies.

The most frequent cause of poor academic performance is an overload of coursework. Graduate school is a substantial time commitment. Each student must plan to allow sufficient time to study and complete assignments and meet with teams, while still allowing for family, work, and other commitments.

The advisor for all graduate programs is the assistant dean, Graduate Studies. All new students should meet with the Assistant Dean before registering for their first course(s). Advising may be in person, by telephone, or by e-mail. All students should seek advice, if necessary, and register as early as possible in the registration period.

Computing skills
Many courses either require or recommend the use of computer skills and business application programs. All graduate business students should have basic skills in word-processing, spreadsheets, databases, and presentation software. Each building has a personal computer laboratory available for student use; however, Roosevelt's computer laboratories are often at capacity during exam periods and near the end of a term. We strongly recommend that each student have access, outside of the university, to an up-to-date personal computer, business application software, and the Internet.

To facilitate communication with advisors, instructors, and among students, all graduate business students have a university e-mail account and must check it regularly.

Internships are offered as part of the graduate programs. With the prior approval of the assistant dean of Graduate Studies, a student may elect to use an internship as an elective course in the degree program. An internship can be a valuable learning tool for those graduate students who have had limited work experience or for those seeking a major career change. Students interested in pursuing the possibility of an internship should discuss this with the assistant dean of Graduate Studies early in the program.

Graduate students may use up to three credit hours of internship to fulfill degree requirements. To accept an internship, a student must be legally eligible to work in the United States. A student may not use an employer for whom he/she already works full-time for an internship. The student must receive written approval from the assistant dean of Graduate Studies before enrolling for an internship.

Graduate Degree Programs


Business Administration and Management

Hospitality and Tourism Management

Human Resource Management

Real Estate