Finance Program Details
The finance program is designed to provide students with knowledge of the major concepts and practices of financial management, while at the same time developing their analytical, decision-making and communication abilities. The finance major prepares students for careers in business and/or postgraduate work by educating them in the fundamental principles and practical applications of modern financial analysis.
Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science in finance.
Approximately 200 students are enrolled in the major. Average class size is about 30 students.
The Department of Finance includes 4 faculty members with doctorates in finance and economics. Their scholarly interests include capital structure, capital budgeting, derivatives, dividend policy, information economics, financial markets, and investments. All full-time faculty are engaged in teaching classes from the introductory to advanced levels.
Students majoring in finance should have a strong general high school preparation, including mathematics and quantitative reasoning. REQUIRED CREDIT HOURS AND COURSES FOR A MAJOR 124 credit hours total; at least 42 of these hours must be taken in courses numbered 100 or above During their first year, students typically focus on building their liberal arts foundation prior to pursuing their business core and major courses in the College of Business and Public Administration. These first-year courses may include accounting, economics, English, mathematics, rhetoric and communication studies, and electives. Core requirements include:
FIN 95 - Investments
FIN 101 - Corporate Finance
FIN 102 - Advanced Corporate Finance
FIN 119 - Financial Institutions, Instruments, and Markets
FIN 193 - Portfolio Analysis
FIN 197 - Seminar in Finance
ECON 105 - Money and Banking
These courses provide the student with a thorough grounding in each of the functional areas of the finance discipline. It is recommended that students take FIN 95 and ECON 105 in the sophomore year; FIN 101, FIN 102 and FIN 119 in the junior year; and FIN 193 and FIN 197 in the senior year. Students should complete STAT 71 by the end of their sophomore year and STAT 72 by the middle of their junior year. The remainder of the program depends upon the studentís choice from one of the 5 career specializations or tracks: personal financial planning, bank management, corporate finance, investments and general finance. These tracks correspond to the most common careers followed by finance graduates. The descriptions of each track follow. Personal Financial Planning: Personal financial planners help individuals determine their financial and personal goals, considering alternative methods to attain these goals, choosing the plan that suits their situation, putting it into effect and constantly reviewing it for any needed changes. It includes knowledge of investment vehicles, tax shelters and tax planning, insurance, risk management, and personal, business, retirement and estate planning. Personal financial planning services are offered by a wide variety of financial institutions and are a growth area within the financial services industry. Students choosing this track may wish to consider a double major with insurance. Bank Management: With the deregulation of the banking and financial services industry, the need for specialists in this area is growing rapidly. As banks enter an environment that is more risky and potentially more profitable, bank managers of the future will need a background in both financial management and economic analysis. Corporate Finance: The finance function within the modern corporation requires a solid foundation in accounting coupled with a thorough understanding of financial management. This track requires a heavy emphasis in accounting and prepares students for a challenging career as a corporate financial analyst. Students choosing this track may wish to consider a double major with accounting. Investments: This track emphasizes the investment function within finance. It prepares students for careers with firms that have extensive investment holdings such as brokerage houses, insurance companies, and pension funds. General Finance: This option provides a solid foundation for a career in financial management or graduate study in finance or business administration by including all of the courses within the finance major plus advanced study in accounting.
REQUIRED COURSES AND CREDIT HOURS OUTSIDE MAJOR
At least 62 of the 124 credit hours must be taken in courses other than business. The Drake Curriculum, required of all undergraduates, is designed to help students meet personal and professional goals as they acquire fundamental knowledge and abilities in ten Areas of Inquiry, including communication, critical thinking, artistic experience, historical consciousness, information and technology literacy, international and multicultural experiences, scientific and quantitative literacy, values and ethics and engaged citizenship. Students work closely with their academic advisers to craft a program of study in general education that prepares students for civic and professional leadership. The Drake Curriculum also requires first-year seminars, which focus on development of critical thinking and written and verbal communication skills through a topical focus; and a Senior Capstone, in which students demonstrate the capacity to bring information, skills and ideas to bear on one project.
The Department encourages finance majors to participate in research and to gain experience through internships. Virtually all juniors and seniors are placed in a desired internship. The internships include positions in the financial services industry and in corporate financial management.
Finance careers can be broadly classified into one of 4 groups: personal financial planning, bank management, corporate financial analysis and investments. Drakeís program offers students a choice of study from specializations consistent with these classifications as well as an opportunity to major in general finance. Graduates are prepared for advanced study in business or finance or to assume responsible, entry-level managerial positions in financial management in business, government and not-for-profit entities as well as in the financial services industry. Furthermore, they possess an excellent foundation for future growth and career development.
Drake offers a student chapter of the Financial Management Association.
• Thomas J. Rossley, BN'82, senior vice president, Lehmann Brothers, Chicago, IL