Finance Major

A finance degree from Saint Mary’s prepares students to plan, analyze, and manage financial aspects of individuals, businesses, and organizations in multiple fields.  

Students who are considering a career in business and like numbers, analysis, and “real world” applications will enjoy this major. Those interested in becoming a Certified Financial Planner are encouraged to consult with a finance faculty member early in their college career to determine the best way to meet the requirements.

Career Options

Financial manager; financial analyst; financial planner; investment manager; credit analyst; credit manager; risk analyst; insurance analyst

High School Preparation

Accounting; Business; Calculus; Microeconomics; Statistics

Enhance Your Experience

Students who major in finance oftentimes pursue a double major or minor in international business, finance, or accounting

Degree Requirements

A. All of the following:

AC222 Accounting Concepts (3 cr.)

This course provides an introduction to accounting with an emphasis on the interpretation and use of accounting information for effective business decision-making. The course employs an "information user/managerial approach" rather than an "information preparer approach." Students are introduced to the accounting system, financial statement analysis, and quantitative managerial accounting techniques.

BU215 Business Statistics (3 cr.)

Statistical techniques which are commonly used in all areas of business are studied. Topics include descriptive statistics, probability and probability distributions, hypothesis testing, regression, and non-parametric statistics. Emphasis is placed on the appropriate use of each procedure and on communicating the results of statistical techniques to others.

BU243 Business Computer Applications (3 cr.)

This course provides in-depth coverage of Microsoft Excel and Access in the context of business applications. Excel topics include formulas and functions, charting, large datasets, pivot tables and what-if analysis. Access topics include relational database concepts, database design, basic query construction, and report generation. This course combines on-line and hands-on learning.

BU285 International Business Environment (3 cr.)

An introduction to the international business environment, including cultures, ethics, economics, geography, and legal systems, associated with our global society. The course serves as a foundation for international business majors and as a survey course for other business majors.

BU312 Business Law I (3 cr.)

This survey course is designed to introduce students to the study of law through a review of its historical origins, the various sources of the law and the practical context in which laws are applied. Particular attention is given to areas of law which are relevant to today's business environment; for example, torts, contracts, agency and sales.

BU452 Strategic Management (3 cr.)

This capstone course in business develops students' understanding of strategic decision-making through integrative use of business knowledge from each of the major functional areas in business. Extensive use of decision cases is made to address such issues as: What is strategy?, Who makes it?; What are the basic strategic options of a firm?; How is the business environment analyzed for strategic purposes? Highlights of the course include a business case competition and computer simulation.

EC261 Principles of Microeconomics (3 cr.)

A traditional introduction to the principles of microeconomics, concentrating on behavior of the household and the firm. The course analyzes factors determining prices, production and allocation of economic resources. Current issues are emphasized.

EC262 Principles of Macroeconomics (3 cr.)

A traditional introduction to the principles of macroeconomics, concentrating on how aggregate levels of economic activity are determined. The course analyzes macroeconomic policies and economic issues such as problems of unemployment and inflation. Current issues are emphasized.

FN341 Corporate Finance (3 cr.)

The goal of corporate financial management is to maximize the wealth of the stockholders. Decisions regarding risk and return, the management of current assets and current liabilities, and capital budgeting are examined in view of this goal. Students are also introduced to the stock market and other financial institutions and systems.

MG219 Principles of Management (3 cr.)

This first course in management stresses an understanding of the management functions as an integral part of the business organization. Attention is given to planning, leading, organizing, controlling and other aspects of the managerial process.

MK217 Principles of Marketing (3 cr.)

This beginning course in marketing develops an understanding of the marketing function and its central importance to the business organization. Attention is paid to a variety of marketing topics including products, channels and distribution, pricing, promotion, buyer behavior, and ethical issues in marketing.

PH362 Business Ethics (3 cr.)

The course examines critically the major ethical or moral theories that are at the basis of decision making in the complex area of contemporary behavior we know as "the business world." It is recommended for business majors.

B. Mathematics: one of the following

(either M148 and M149 or M145 or M151):

M145 Finite Mathematics (3 cr.)

This course provides an introduction to noncalculus mathematical modeling methods prevalent in business. Topics include: matrix methods, systems of linear equations and inequalities, linear programming by the geometric method and by the simplex method, and the mathematics of finance.

M148 Calculus I with Precalculus (part 1) (4 cr.)

This course, followed by M149, provides a two-semester sequence that covers the material of M151 along with built-in coverage of precalculus topics. Topics in M148 include: solving equations, functions, classes of functions (polynomial, rational, algebraic, exponential, logarithmic), right triangle trigonometry, angle measure, limits and continuity, derivatives, rules for derivatives. Credit is not granted for this course and M151 or courses equivalent to college algebra and college trigonometry.

M149 Calculus I with Precalculus (part 2) (4 cr.)

This course completes the two-semester sequence that begins with M148, and together with M148 provides a two-semester sequence that covers the material of M151 along with built-in coverage of precalculus topics. Topics in M149 include: trigonometric and inverse trigonometric functions, rules for derivatives, applications of derivatives, and definite and indefinite integrals. Credit is not granted for this course and M151.

M151 Calculus I (4 cr.)

This course provides an introduction to the differential and integral calculus. Topics include: the concepts of function, limit, continuity, derivative, definite and indefinite integrals, and an introduction to transcendental functions. Credit is not granted for this course and M148 and M149.

C. All of the following:

FN368 Investments (3 cr.)

Students study the stock markets, bond markets, and derivative markets. The course emphasizes both personal investing and professional opportunities as investment counselors.

FN402 Financial Markets and Institutions (3 cr.)

This course focuses on financial markets, money, instruments, and institutions. The emphasis is on the operations and functions of domestic and international markets and institutions. The course reviews the determinants and structure of interest rates and asset prices.

FN404 Portfolio Management (3 cr.)

This course focuses on the valuation and major investment instruments and strategies available in capital markets. The course considers how investors evaluate and form portfolios with instruments such as bonds, mutual funds, and stocks. The primary focus of this course is the theory and practice of combining securities to optimal portfolios.

FN408 Financial Planning (3 cr.)

Professional financial planning is the capstone course in the Finance major.  This course will require the student to write a comprehensive personal financial plan.  The plan will require applying basic financial, economic, and institutional concepts to advise individuals and families in achieving their financial goals.  Topics include budgeting, financial analysis, credit management, insurance, time value of money, investment strategies, income taxes, risk management, retirement, and estate planning.

D. One of the following:

AC320 Federal Tax (3 cr.)

Recommended for all business majors, this course considers income tax concepts and income tax law as it applies to individuals.

AC321 Intermediate Accounting I (3 cr.)

A comprehensive study of selected financial accounting topics, the course considers financial statements, short-term receivables and payables, inventories, plant assets, intangible assets, depreciation, current liabilities, contingencies and long-term liabilities. Similarities and differences between U.S. generally accepted accounting principles and international financial reporting standards are considered throughout the course.

BU351 Information Systems for Business Intelligence (3 cr.)

This course focuses on the fundamentals of information systems and their foundational technologies as they can be used for business analysis and intelligence. Areas studied will include hardware, operating systems, database systems, knowledge management, decision support systems, and networked computing concepts. Data oriented techniques for business intelligence and decision making are introduced.  Structured Query Language (SQL) is studied.

BU352 Data Analysis and Business Modeling (3 cr.)

This course is designed to introduce the concept of data science in business.  The application of data science helps businesses make informed decisions by using sound judgment and data.  This is a skill development class that explores how statistics, optimization models, and key performance indicators are used in business.  Students in this course will leave with a specialized skillset used in a variety of roles within an organization.  Storytelling skills are taught and a final project is required.

BU469 Business Capstone Project (3 cr.)

The topics and projects for this course vary according to the needs and interests of business majors.

E328 Professional Communication (3 cr.)

An introduction to professional communication, this course teaches students how to write documents commonly generated in the work world, such as emails, memos, resumes, letters, manuals, reports, and proposals. Students are invited to write documents for different audiences, especially those in a student's major field of study. Some attention may be given to incorporating visuals as well. Finally, general principles of the composing process, of grammar and mechanics, and of style are reviewed as needed.

EC440 International Trade, Finance and Monetary Issues (3 cr.)

An intermediate course examining the forces which determine the competitive conditions and trade patterns in the global economy. Representative topics are monetary issues, balance of payments, capital movements and capital markets.

FN345 Entrepreneurial Finance for Small Business (3 cr.)

This course examines the financial aspects of opening and operating a small business. Special attention is paid to financial analysis, budgeting, forecasting and capital budgeting and sources of funding. The course focuses on developing a financial plan, gaining access to capital and leveraging debt and equity financing.

MG409 Production and Operations Management (3 cr.)

This course presents the quantitative or management science approach to management. Topics which may be included are quality control, forecasting, inventory management, resource allocation, work design, scheduling, project management and control, and facility design and location. Current techniques and tools are examined and used.

MK371 Professional Selling and Sales Management (3 cr.)

The selling component of this course involves learning selling concepts and the communications skills needed to apply them. Topics include prospecting, approaching the customer, determining customer wants and needs, making the sales presentation, overcoming objections, and closing the sale. The management component of the course involves recruiting and hiring, training, determining sales territories, sales forecasting, compensation schemes motivation, and management of sales force.

Please Note:

An internship or a course approved by the department chair and department advisor.