The Finance Specialization is designed to provide students with the means to gain exposure to five major areas in the field of Finance. These areas include corporate finance, financial institutions, investments, insurance, and personal financial planning. To attain the Finance Specialization, students must complete 21 credit hours in Finance or Finance-related coursework (seven courses) beyond FIN 3000, as noted in the University catalog.
Corporate Finance deals with the management of financial resources of non-financial firms. It involves the planning, acquisition, and financing of resources for businesses. A student interested in pursuing a career in corporate finance would take the required specialization course in Corporate Finance (FIN 3500), as well as some specialization elective courses such as International Finance (FIN 4100), Financial Modeling (FIN 4550), and/or Financial Accounting I (ACCT 3210), along with the other required courses in the Finance Specialization.
Financial Institutions deal with the management of and functions performed by employees of financial firms. These financial firms include commercial banks, savings and loans, credit unions, and insurance companies as well as the Federal Reserve of the United States. Students interested in pursuing a career in the banking industry could choose either a corporate-centered focus or a focus that is devoted more toward personal financial planning.
- Students interested in a corporate-centered focus would take, in addition to other specialization requirements, the required specialization course Financial Institutions (FIN 3400), as well as specialization elective courses such as Management of Financial Institutions (FIN 4450), Financial Modeling (FIN 4550), International Finance (FIN 4100), and/or Financial Accounting I (ACCT 3210).
- Students interested in personal financial planning would take Financial Institutions (FIN 3400) as well as specialization elective courses, Personal Financial Planning (FIN 4130), Retirement and Employee Benefit Planning (FIN 4140), Individual Income Taxation (ACCT 3410), and Estate Planning (ACCT 4440).
The study of Investments is one of the most rewarding and intriguing pursuits in the field of Finance. It is an area having significance to both individuals and businesses. The study of investments is the study of alternative opportunities and the evaluation of an investment’s expected return and risk. Businesses need to invest their excess cash, banks need to invest deposits and manage trusts, insurance firms need to invest premium payments, and individuals need to invest their savings. A student interested in pursuing a career in investments would take, in addition to other specialization requirements, the required specialization course Investment Analysis and Management (FIN 4350). Other specialization elective choices would depend on the student’s chosen focus (corporate or personal).
Insurance deals with the identification, measurement, and handling of pure risk situations for businesses and individuals. Pure risk situations are those in which the individual or business can only realize a loss, such as from weather-related hazards or the death of a family member. Consequently, Insurance deals with life, property and casualty, and health risk management, as well as employee benefits. Students interested in pursuing a career in Insurance would take, in addition to other specialization requirements, the specialization course Risk Management and Insurance Planning (FIN 4210) as well as courses with a personal financial planning focus (FIN 4130 and FIN 4140).
Personal Financial Planning deals with the development of a comprehensive financial plan in the combined areas of investments, tax, insurance, retirement, and estate planning. More about this area is discussed in the summary of the Financial Planning Concentration.