The undergraduate finance curriculum is designed to familiarize the student with the institutions, theory, and practice involved in the allocation of financial resources within the private sector. It is also designed to incorporate foundation study in such related disciplines as economics and quantitative areas. Finance provides an educational foundation for careers involving financial management, investment analysis and portfolio management, investment banking, risk management, banking, and international finance. See the four-year finance major requirements.
Finance majors have the opportunity to participate in one of six competitive finance fellows programs. Sophomore Fellows is a sophomore-level program for students who want to begin their finance studies early. The three junior/senior-level programs are Emerging CFOs for students interested in corporate finance, Financial Services for students interested in traditional and personal banking, and Quantitative Fellows for students who want to pursue mathematical finance. Students may also participate in one of two highly competitive senior-level funds: Senbet Fund, whose students manage donor money and Private Equity and Venture Capital Clinic where students serve as analysts for an actual private equity fund.
The Smith School has two Netcentric Financial Markets Laboratories to facilitate teaching and research related to financial markets. Developed in partnership with Reuters, the lab emphasizes hands-on learning and utilizes the latest in technology. The lab resembles a New York Stock Exchange specialist post surrounded by floor broker booths. Real-time data and analytical tools are provided by Reuters and displayed on Daktronics' electronic display boards and a 20-foot electronic stock ticker. In the lab, students are analyzing real-time and historical data to understand financial instruments. They are also building and testing investment portfolios using professional software packages.
The undergraduate finance program is also a partner school with the CFA Institute. The CFA Institute is a global organization comprised of the world's largest association of investment professionals. The CFA program is a graduate-level study program. Investment professionals can become CFA charter holders by taking a series of three exams, covering ethical standards, investments, corporate finance, global issues, economics, accounting, and statistics. CFA Institute partners with a limited number of globally diverse, select institutions whose degree programs cover a significant portion of the CFA Program Candidate Body of Knowledge, including the high ethical and professional standards. These universities are recognized leaders and serve as role models for other institutions. As a partner school, the finance department will participate in CFA Institute conferences and will be able to nominate students for CFA scholarships.