Financial Institution


Finance is the study of how people distribute their assets over time under uncertain or certain conditions. The time value of money is a key aspect of finance and significantly impacts decisions. It suggests that a unit of currency tomorrow is worth less than the same unit of currency today. Finance can be broken down into 3 different sub categories: personal finance, corporate finance, and public finance. A bachelor degree in finance is necessary for most positions, such as entry level jobs at accounting firms and banks.

Program Information

The University of Notre Dame has one of the best finance programs in the country. The Department of Finance is the largest academic department in the Mendoza College of Business, and faculty of the college are some of the leading researchers in the areas of international finance and market microstructure. Some undergraduate finance courses include: Corporate Financial Management (which provides a quantitative and in-depth examination of the principles of financial decision making), Managerial Economics (which provides a coordination of managerial practice and economic theory), and Real Estate Fundamentals (which gives an introduction to the practices and principles of real estate). Georgetown University also has an excellent finance program. The McDonough School of Business offers an undergraduate concentration in finance designed for students who want to pursue careers in commercial and investment banking fields and financial consulting. The finance concentration includes required courses in investments, finance, and international finance. It also offers elective courses in specialized fields such as derivatives, real estate finance, investment banking, financial statement analysis, and fixed income. Students who major in finance must take 5 courses beyond the required Business Financial Management course.

finance student

Pros & Cons

The undergraduate program may be very general, even if you choose a specific concentration like finance. This may require you to attend graduate school to specialize in one area, or learn about certain aspects of a field on your own time. This broad curriculum does give you insight into many different fields however, opening up a range of careers for you to pursue. Most financial service jobs are stressful, and you may work long hours – especially if your employer has a large call center for clients. The compensation packages are usually excellent though, with employers offering salaries and commissions. Some financial careers may involve consistent travel, which can be a negative if you have a family. Some careers limit travel to just once or twice per year.

Graduate School & Career

Since most careers only require an undergraduate degree in some field of business, many undergraduates do not attend graduate school. Instead, they enter the workforce immediately. Some financial majors become Financial Analysts. Financial Analysts analyze financial trends and offer guidance and advice to businesses on major financial decisions. They also may make recommendations about long-term financial goals and investment strategies. They analyze various types of investments including stocks, mutual funds and bonds. Others become Financial Managers. They are responsible for the long-term economic growth of a firm or company. They are responsible for implementing plans to make the growth happen. Another career option is a stockbroker. They work on behalf of clients to help them with short and long term financial goals. They advise clients to buy stocks in certain companies or other securities like mutual funds and bonds.