Description of Program
Finance plays a central and critical role in the functioning of the economy. All enterprises (for-profit, nonprofit, and government) need to finance their strategic undertakings as well as their ongoing operations. Individuals, likewise, need to plan for important future events (e.g., financing their children’s education, weddings, and retirement). The study of finance provides students with the knowledge and tools necessary to work and thrive in today’s dynamic global financial environment.
Students of finance typically follow career paths in financial management (such as working in the finance department of a corporation or government unit or working in a consulting firm), investments (such as brokerage, portfolio management, or security analysis), or financial services (such as working in a bank or an insurance company).
The curriculum of the Finance Department is uniquely designed to meet the needs of students wishing to pursue any of these career paths by offering three different track options within the finance major: the Managerial Finance (MGF) track, the Investment and Financial Analysis (IFA) track, and the Risk Management (RM) track. Students selecting the IFA track commit to preparing for the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) professional designation exam at the end of their senior year.
Understanding the importance of linking theory and practice, the Department recommends that students consider joining Gamma Iota Sigma (the Risk Management and Insurance Club) and/or the Investment Club (in which students manage an actual investment fund). In addition, we advise that, during their University years, students strongly consider undertaking an internship or co-op.
The mission of the Finance Department--in concert with the missions of the University and the School of Business--is to prepare students for a purposeful life by integrating Lasallian values with current financial management theory and practice. Through its curriculum and interactions with faculty and the external business community, the Finance major will provide students with an educational experience that emphasizes the sound fundamental financial concepts necessary for success in business and for preparing them to begin a meaningful career upon graduation.
Program Student Learning Outcomes and Goals for the Finance Department are:
1. To understand the nature of firm value and maximization of shareholder wealth.
Outcome: demonstrate the ability to calculate and interpret MVA and EVA.
2. To understand basic financial securities, valuation models, and the trade-off between risk and return.
Outcome: demonstrate the ability to apply appropriate valuation models in the calculation of stock and bond values and/or expected yields and to interpret the results.
3. To understand capital budgeting techniques and discounted cash flow analysis.
Outcome: demonstrate the ability to estimate cash flows, apply the appropriate capital budgeting method(s) and interpret the results.
4. To understand capital structure concepts and their effect on firm value.
Outcome: demonstrate the ability to calculate and interpret the weighted average cost of capital and various measures of leverage.
5. To understand how uncertainty and risk can be managed with forecasting and sensitivity analysis to improve decision making.
Outcome: demonstrate the ability to forecast and interpret financial projections under varying assumptions.