Major In Finance

Contents

Description of Field

Finance is valuable for students interested in general management in large or small businesses. It also opens opportunities which require specialized knowledge.

The Finance program studies two sides of the money and capital markets, and includes a number of topics:

  1. Investors' choices among financial investments (securities), such as stocks and bonds, and the management of investment portfolios;
  2. Business asset management, including selections of such items as equipment, cash and inventory, and related financial planning;
  3. Businesses; choices among methods of financing assets through borrowing, retaining earnings and issuing securities, including cost and governance aspects;
  4. The operation and regulation of security markets and financial institutions;
  5. Risk management, the transfer and reduction of risk through financial market operations;
  6. International finance.

Career Opportunities

Corporations and government enterprises employ many finance specialists in finance, controllership, investment analysis, and general management positions. Banks, insurance companies, government financial regulatory agencies, and other organizations specializing in financial affairs hire finance specialists both in specialized staff positions and as part of their regular management.

Instruction in finance provides valuable insights and information for students who plan to enter business for themselves. The problems of obtaining financing and evaluating investment opportunities are frequently critical to the survival and success of the entrepreneurial venture. This major provides a basis for a number of professional designations.

Sequence of Courses

Year Two - Fall Year Two - Winter
  • ACCTG 311
  • BUS 201
  • MARK 301
  • MGTSC 312
  • *3 in electives outside Business (See Note 1)
  • ACCTG 322 (See Note 2)
  • FIN 301
  • MGTSC 352 (See Note 2)
  • ORG A 201
  • *3 in electives outside Business (See Note 1)
Year Three Year Four
  • B LAW 422 or 301
  • BUEC 311 or ECON 281 (See Note 5)
  • MIS 311
  • *12 chosen from Finance Major designated electives, which are all 400-level FIN classes
  • *6 in free electives (See Note 1) 
  • *3 in electives outside Business (See Notes 1 and 5)
  • *9 chosen from Finance Major designated electives, which are all 400-level FIN classes
  • *21 in free electives

Notes:

  1. See U of A Calendar section 64.1.4
  2. May be taken in either of Year Two (Winter Term) or Year Three.
  3. May be taken in any year except Year Two, Fall Term.
  4. May be taken in either of Year Three or Year Four.
  5. Students planning to take advanced course work in Economics may wish to substitute ECON 281. See U of A Calendar section 64.1.4(4). ECON courses used to satisfy the requirements of this major may not be used to satisfy the requirements for coursework outside the Alberta School of Business.

Finance Concentrations

There is sufficient flexibility within the finance major to emphasize specific streams within finance, if desired. These streams are listed together with some recommended electives. It is recommended that students take FIN 412 before FIN 416 or 442. Each of these streams may be combined with minor areas.

  1. Corporate Finance/Financial Management: FIN 412, 422, 434, 442; ECON 353; courses in accounting and economics.
  2. Derivatives/Risk Management: FIN 412, 413, 416; ACCTG 414, 415; ECON 353; other courses in accounting, economics, mathematics and statistics.
  3. International Finance: FIN 412, 414, 442; BUEC 414 or 445, BUEC 444; FIN 442, courses in international economics and trade, history and political science.
  4. Investments/Portfolio Management: FIN 412, 413, 414, 416, 442; ACCTG 413, 414; ECON 353; MGTSC 404, 405; other courses in accounting, economics, mathematics and statistics.

Electives and Complementary Minor Areas

  1. Students with a declared major in Finance may choose to do a minor in any subject area of Business. See 54.1.5. Minors are not required. Students are urged to select areas that complementary to the Finance major. Some suggestions and details are listed next. Students may also wish to consider the Cooperative Education program (see U of A Calendar section 64.5).
    (a) Accounting: A recommended minor area particularly for students who
         wish to acquire a professional designation in accounting and/or finance.
         See U of A Calendar section 64.1.3 and below.
    (b) Management Science: Recommended for students interested in
          modeling. See U of A Calendar section 64.2.4.
    (c) Marketing: Recommended for students interested in marketing financial
         products. (See U of A Calendar sections 64.2.16 and 64.2.18.)
    (d) MIS/Computing: See the MIS major in U of A Calendar section 64.2.14.
    (e) International Business: Recommended for students emphasizing
          international finance. See U of A Calendar section 64.2.12.
  2. Students with a declared major in another area may complete a minor in Finance by fulfilling the requirements of U of A Calendar section 64.1.5.
  3. Students wishing to construct informal programs of study outside the Alberta School of Business should consider the following suggestions:
    (a) Economics : Selections from ECON 281, 282, 323, 341, 373, 384, 385, 421,
         422, 441, 442, 453. 
    (b) Statistics/Mathematics: Recommended for students who are interested in research
         and/or graduate study in finance. Interested students should consult with the Chair of
         the Department of Finance and Management Science.

Professional Designations

Many finance positions require a professional designation. Part of the requirement for a professional designation may be satisfied by elective courses. Please consult the appropriate governing body.

  1. CA (Chartered Accountant), CGA (Certified General Accountant), CMA (Certified Management Accountant): See U of A Calendar section 64.2.1.IV
  2. CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst): Offered by the Institute of Chartered Financial Analysts.
  3. CFP (Chartered Financial Planner): Offered by the Canadian Institute of Financial Planning. Partial credit may be possible for taxation, law and economics courses.
  4. CBV (Chartered Business Valuator): Offered by the Canadian Institute of Chartered Business Valuators.
  5. Canadian Securities Course : Offered by the Canadian Securities Institute and required to sell securities in Canada.
  6. CIM (Canadian Investment Manager): Offered by the Canadian Securities Institute following the Canadian Securities Course.