The College of William and Mary was one of the first schools in the United States oriented toward business, beginning with the use of Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations as a test in political economy in 1798. The formal study of business was initiated in 1919 and a graduate degree program was established in 1967. Today the Mason School of Business offers graduate programs including a resident MBA program, an executive MBA program, and evening MBA program, a joint MBA/JD program, a joint MBA/MPP program, and an undergraduate BBA program.
Faculty in the School of Business actively engage in research in operations management, information systems, marketing, finance, economics and accounting. The School sponsors two centers to provide specialized business and technical assistance to outside organizations, primarily serving private sector and government clients - Center for Operations Management, Process Engineering, and Technological Expertise (COMPETE) and the Entrepreneurship Center. It also has a Field Consultancy Program in which teams of students work on projects for companies under the guidance of faculty and executive partners.