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Earning a finance degree at Broad isn’t just rewarding and challenging—it opens countless doors.

Employers across the nation recognize the value of a finance degree from Broad. Our graduates are highly regarded and sought after for their knowledge, skill and superior work ethic.

What can I do with this degree?

Corporate finance   |   Capital markets and investment banking   |   Commercial banking   |   Financial advising and investments

Business Core Curriculum and Degree Requirements

To build a solid business foundation, there are common degree requirements for all Broad majors.

B.A. in Finance Requirements

Major Field Requirements: 2.0 Minimum GPA

Required Courses

These required courses introduce the basic concepts that define the field of finance. They provide students with essential knowledge and financial tools that are common to careers in the field.

Major Selection Courses

Students must earn nine (9) credits from the following finance major selection courses.

Suggested Course Combinations

Here are suggested major selection courses for the most popular career paths in the world of finance, along with some potential job titles in each area.

Corporate Finance Path

Corporate finance involves more than setting the right debt/equity ratio that you learned about in FI 311 (though this is part of it). You’ll be analyzing revenues and expenses to make sure companies are using their capital most effectively, helping companies make the right capital investments to grow to their full potential (making shareholders happy and potentially putting a lot more quality employees to work), evaluating projects and structuring deals to help keep growth on a solid footing.

Careers in this field include chief financial officer (CFO), treasurer, financial analyst, project manager, cash manager, corporate development officer and strategic planner.

Capital Markets and Investment Banking Path

Jobs in capital markets involve objective, scientific analysis of economic and market factors that help companies make the right investment decisions. Often this involves helping companies raise the capital they need to keep growing.

Investment bankers help a company with its financing needs, and also aid in facilitating mergers and acquisitions. It’s a very complex world, but the rewards can be significant both for you and for the companies you help to grow and thrive.

Common job titles in these areas include debt capital markets officer, equity capital markets officer, investment banker, financial strategist, trader and mergers & acquisitions analyst.

The Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation, along with an MBA, are highly recommended for this career path.

Commercial Banking Path

Today’s bankers function as the lifeblood of our economy: enabling companies and individuals to get the funding they need to grow and thrive. Commercial bankers help companies with their cash management needs, not only to keep the lights on, but also to fuel the investment in growth and innovation that has put our economy at the top of the global scale.

Other than “banker,” job titles in this area include cash management specialist, commercial lender, private banker, branch manager and mortgage lender.

Financial Advisor Path

A career as a financial advisor is one of the most rewarding careers for those who enjoy enabling others to reach their goals and live better lives. This career path involves a lot more than setting asset allocations or picking the right stocks, bonds and mutual funds—it’s all about relationships.

The title “financial advisor” is a broad description of many other types of careers you can have in this field. Other jobs include chief investment officer, portfolio manager, relationship manager, financial planner, investment analyst, trust officer, retirement plan specialist and account executive.

The Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation is highly recommended for this career track.

Digital Track Path

The Digital Track will prepare future business leaders with skills in data science and analytics to cope with challenges in the emerging digital economy.

Recent advances in artificial intelligence using big data are rapidly transforming many parts of our society, including the financial sector. These changes reach beyond simple automation of manual labor and have begun replacing mental tasks associated with white-collar jobs. To cope with these rapid changes in the financial sector, there is an increasing demand for students with the ability to harness these new data science and analytics tools for traditional corporate decisions. The Finance Digital Track fills this void and exposes students to various aspects of the digital economy through an integrated curriculum that combines regular business training and modern computing technology.

Effective Fall, 2020, the Department of Finance will offer a specialized Digital Track for students interested in experiencing in-depth exposure to modern computing applications in finance. In addition to the traditional requirements for finance majors, students in the Digital Track will take Finance course sections identified as “Digital” in MSU’s Schedule of Courses (schedule.msu.edu). The Department of Finance will honor students who complete four Digital Track Finance classes with a non-transcriptable Finance Digital Track acknowledgement.

  • FI 312 Introduction to Investments

    3 Credits

    Theoretical and empirical analyses of securities. Risk and return formation. Security analysis and concepts of market efficiency. Common stocks, bonds, options, futures, and mutual funds. Digital content includes an overview of commonly used data and methodology in investments. Assignments include the application of computer programming to the fundamentals of finance. Please check for an appropriate section at MSU’s Schedule of Courses (schedule.msu.edu).

    View full course description at the Office of the Registrar.

  • FI 335 Financial Modeling

    3 Credits

    Development of computer spreadsheet-based models to analyze corporate financial strategies and valuation issues. (All sections of FI 355 qualify for the Digital Track).

    View full course description at the Office of the Registrar.

  • FI 414 Advanced Business Finance

    3 Credits

    Advanced financial management of business firms. Theoretical analysis and case applications, including topics from capital budgeting, capital structure, options, and corporate restructuring. Digital contents include an introduction to sources for corporate financial data, assignments, and projects that implement concepts from corporate finance using computer programs. Please check for an appropriate section at MSU’s Schedule of Courses (schedule.msu.edu).

    View full course description at the Office of the Registrar.

  • FI 491 Topics in Finance: Deep Learning and Neural Networks in Finance

    This section of FI 491 Topics in Finance prepares students for an AI-driven world by introducing fundamental concepts of deep learning and applications in economics and finance. The main focus will be on machine learning methods using neural networks such as supervised learning, unsupervised learning, and reinforcement learning. After covering basic concepts and underlying principles of these methods, students will reinforce these ideas through various examples from economics and finance such as economic forecasting, fraud detection, and dynamic optimization for financial decisions. Please check for an appropriate section at MSU’s Schedule of Courses (schedule.msu.edu).

    View full course description at the Office of the Registrar.

  • FI 491 Topics in Finance: Financial Data Analytics

    This section of FI 491 Topics in Finance introduces students to the analysis of real-world financial data in a variety of settings. Students will learn to apply textual analysis to large documents, identify “sentiment” in Google search data, conduct a financial analysis of corporate filings and disclosures, and back-test trading strategies, to name just a few applications. To support the analysis necessary for these applications, students will develop the programming skills sufficient to collect and prepare data for analysis. The course emphasizes working with data from out in the wild, where data is messy and must be identified, downloaded, cleaned, and shaped before it can be analyzed. Many applications are drawn from recent academic research, giving students additional exposure to current issues in finance. Particular focus is placed on predictive and prescriptive analytics. Please check for an appropriate section at MSU’s Schedule of Courses (schedule.msu.edu).

    View full course description at the Office of the Registrar.

Students listening to the panel at the Women in Finance event

CFA Partner Program

The Broad College of Business is a CFA Program Partner of the CFA Institute, a global membership organization that awards the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation. The Chartered Financial Analyst program is a powerful avenue for boosting a career in finance at an early stage. The CFA designation is considered the gold standard when it comes to accreditations in fields such as financial management and investment analysis – in fact, for potentially lucrative careers in investment banking, mutual fund management and as the chief investment officer (CIO) of an investment company, the CFA is generally required.

The CFA examination process is widely considered one of the most rigorous credentialing programs, but the hard work should more than pay off throughout the rest of a career. Throughout the investment industry, those who have earned the CFA designation earn more and have greater responsibilities than those that do not. The exam is given in three levels – the Level I exam is held twice a year, while Levels II and III are only given once per calendar year.

Finance majors at MSU may apply for a partial scholarship to help offset the cost of the exam. For more details, visit the Department of Finance’s page on the CFA Partner Program.

Financial Markets Institute

The Financial Markets Institute (FMI) provides comprehensive training to a select group of highly motivated finance and accounting students at Broad. Scholars enjoy invaluable opportunities, such as co-managing a multi-million dollar investment fund and visiting financial services firms across the United States.

Based on student preparation, the institute provides employers with the confidence that FMI scholars have the technical and soft skills necessary to make immediate contributions to their firms.

Explore the FMI

Financial Planning and Wealth Management

The Financial Planning and Wealth Management program is designed to provide students with a solid understanding of the concepts and techniques used by wealth management advisors to help individual and institutional clients. As the industry continues to evolve, students will gain the skills to help firms meet the expanding needs of their client base.

Students who complete all courses in the program will satisfy the education requirement that is needed to be eligible to sit for the Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) exam upon graduation.

Learn More About the Program

The Michigan State University Finance Association (MSUFA) connects members with employers who offer internships and full-time jobs within finance and is a great way to learn more about careers in the field. The association sponsors career fairs as well as site visits to national financial centers such as New York, Chicago and Los Angeles. Membership can significantly help you build the knowledge base and network of contacts that can give you a tremendous advantage when you leave the halls of MSU and enter the world of finance.

Learn More  

The Student Investment Association (SIA) is an undergraduate student organization with the mission to educate undergraduates about investing through a real-money portfolio, educational seminars, professional speakers and investing competitions.

Learn More  

The Spartan Global Development Fund (SGDF) is a student-run initiative working to expand awareness and support for microfinance while building lasting partnerships in the quest for permanent solutions to global poverty.

The Spartan Global Development Fund helps promote the causes of sustainability and entrepreneurship by providing interest-free micro loans to small businesses in less-developed areas of the world. While the loans SGDF arranges may be small – typically ranging from $100 to $3,000 – their effects can be substantial.

While the fund is student-run, its membership also includes Michigan State alumni and faculty, and relies on financial support from the entire community.

Learn More  

Mastering finance isn’t just a matter of analyzing numbers and data. The Department of Finance prepares students to look beyond quantitative reasoning in order to discover innovative solutions to the most prominent issues confronting today’s businesses.