BS in Business Administration

Concentration:  Finance

The undergraduate concentration in the Finance curriculum offers students a strong foundation in the various areas of finance, including financial management, investments, and financial institutions. This knowledge base is supplemented by studies in corporate finance and derivative assets that provide applications to real-world cases. The emphasis is on development of strong analytical and quantitative skills. Students also gain practical experience using computer software applications.


Areas to explore for those with a degree in Finance: commercial banking, corporate finance, financial planning, financial regulation, insurance, investment banking, money management, real estate, risk management

Commercial Banking Careers
Commercial banks are in the business of providing banking services to individuals, small businesses and large organizations. While the banking sector has been consolidating, it is worth noting that far more people are employed in the commercial banking sector than any other part of the financial services industry. Jobs in banking can be exciting and offer excellent opportunities to learn about business, interact with people and build up a clientele.

Corporate Finance Careers

The job of the financial officer is to create value for a company. The finance group has four main areas of concentration: liquidity, flexibility, compliance with laws and regulatory support. The goals of the objective are met through four main activities carried out by the Finance Department: designing, implementing and monitoring financial policies, planning and executing the financing program, managing cash resources, and interfacing with the financial community and investors.

Investment Banking Careers

Investment Banks help companies and governments issue securities, help investors purchase securities, manage financial assets, trade securities and provide financial advice. The leading investment banks include Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, and Citigroup.


Concentration Requirements:

In addition to the standard core curriculum for the management degree option, to fulfill the requirements for a concentration in finance, students are required to complete:
FIN 322 – Investments
FIN 324 – Corporate Finance
One additional Finance elective:

  • FIN 320 – Financial Markets and Institutions    
  • FIN 430 – Financial Statement Analysis
  • FIN 450 – Derivatives 
  • FIN 460 – International Finance
  • FIN 465 – Arbitrage Strategies
  • FIN 480 – Special Topics in Finance (as offered)

One additional elective chosen from:

  • 2nd FIN elective
  • SCM 360 – Spreadsheet Modeling
  • MATH 222 (Calculus II)
  • MATH 447 - Intro Probability & Statistics I

It is highly recommended that you complete four (4) or more of the finance courses offered. Faculty in the finance area are available to discuss careers in finance, and other appropriate management and non-management courses to take in addition to the concentration courses.


Grading Standards

In order to combat grade inflation, the Finance group at the School of Management has agreed to limit the number of "A" and "A-" grades awarded in their classes. "A" grades will only be awarded to students who display exceptionally high levels of understanding in all aspects of the course and who are able to critically think of broader issues in the field. The number of "A" grades awarded will be limited to at most 10 percent of the class, and "A-" grades will be limited to about 15 percent. Students attempting to answer questions primarily through rote memory without understanding the material will obtain grades of "C" or below. The class GPA will be posted online starting Spring 2014.

Grading Standards - Spring 2014


Course Descriptions:

Required FIN courses:

FIN 322 – Investments
The goal is for students to understand the overall investment process and the differences amongst various financial assets (bonds, stocks, derivatives) and the pricing of such assets. To that end, a range of theories and techniques to price various financial assets will be covered along with a discussion of the limits to these theories and techniques.
Prerequisites: FIN 311

FIN 324 – Corporate Finance
The course builds on the fundamental concepts learned in the introductory finance course. Topics to be covered include valuation of financial and real assets, capital budgeting, cost of capital, capital structure theory, dividend policy, options, and mergers and acquisitions. Students will have the opportunity to apply these concepts to a real world setting throughout the semester. Students will be responsible for several group projects related to various topics covered in the course. The group projects emphasize the application of concepts learned in the classroom, teamwork, as well as communication and writing skills. The knowledge and skills acquired through this course will be helpful in jobs in corporate finance, investments, consulting, investment banking, etc.
Prerequisites: FIN 311


Elective FIN courses:

FIN 320 – Financial Theory and Institutions
Provides an overview of financial markets and institutions, considers theories of interest rate structure, and details the money and capital markets. Topics include the nature of commercial banking, asset, liability and capital management, deposit insurance, and regulation. Structure of the equity, debt, and mortgage markets (including mortgage derivative markets) will be discussed. Organizational nature of other financial intermediaries, such as mutual funds and investment banks, may also be discussed.
Prerequisites: FIN 311

FIN 430 – Financial Statement Analysis
This course is about the analysis of financial information - particularly firms' financial statements - for making decisions to invest in businesses. The primary focus is on equity (share) valuation, with some attention given to credit analysis and the valuation of debt. The methods of fundamental analysis will be examined in detail and applied in cases and projects involving listed companies. This class is usually offered in the Spring semester.
Prerequisites: FIN 311 and FIN 324

FIN 450 – Derivatives
Introduction to and a comprehensive analysis of the derivatives markets in the U.S. Topics include discussions of options, futures, swaps and futures markets. This course is usually offered in the Spring semester.
Prerequisites: FIN 311 and FIN 322

FIN 460 – International Finance
This course is designed to equip you with the skills and knowledge to be able to function successfully in a global corporate environment. The current trend towards globalization poses many challenges for the finance executive, but also presents outstanding opportunities for success. In their quest for increasing value, corporations are increasingly "going global" in their investments, operational aspects, and in their financial policy. With this in mind, we will adopt the perspective of a manager in an international setting. This course is usually offered in the Spring semester.
Prerequisites: FIN 311 and Fin 324

FIN 465 – Arbitrage Strategies
This is an advanced, research-based, seminar course targeted at students majoring in finance and/or accounting. It teaches students to apply the latest research techniques used in research. The skills taught in this course are used in research-related jobs in auditing, consulting, corporate finance, forensic accounting, hedge funds, investment banking quantitative financial analysis, securities litigation consulting, etc. The course will build upon accounting and finance concepts covered in introductory classes.
Prerequisites: FIN 311 and FIN 322

FIN 480 – Special Topics in Finance
Particular topics within the broad area of finance.

FIN 481D – Trading Room
This is a one-credit course, offered only in the Spring semester as an extension to the FIN 322 class that utilizes the Trading Room. Students will continue to monitor the industries they studied during the Fall semester and meet about once each week to discuss the portfolio. Students will present their recommendations for the portfolio to a board made up of practitioners. Students must have taken the FIN 322 Trading Room oriented section immediately prior to the class.


Additional resources:

The Vault Guide to Finance
Fast Track: The Insider's Guide to Winning Jobs in Management Consulting, Investment Banking, and Securities Trading by M. Naficy
So, You Want to be an Investment Banker: The WetFeet Insider's Guide To Landing a Job on Wall Street




Last Updated: 7/29/15