Finance and Legal Studies Department

Undergraduate Program in Finance

 

Finance as a Discipline
Finance is a multi-disciplinary field that combines various concepts from management, economics and accounting with financial techniques to make sound business decisions and solve problems.  There are many business situations in both large and small companies that require knowledge of the latest financial practices and tools.  Generally, these applications involve investing (using funds) or financing (raising funds).  As a result, the field is comprised of a number of areas including corporate finance, investments, financial institutions and services--banking, insurance, real estate and personal financial planning.

Philosophy
General Finance Emphasis
Track Certification
Corporate Finance Track
Services Track
Investment and Portfolio Management Track
Financial Planning Track
Insurance Track

Philosophy
Over the last two decades, the field of finance has become increasingly technical and specialized.  Employers recruiting for financial positions not only require candidates to have an undergraduate or graduate degree in finance, but also want new employees to exhibit skills and experience beyond those typically found in a traditional academic environment.  As a result, professional licensing or certification has become a widely recognized means of demonstrating core competency.  Consequently, the finance program at UMSL carefully integrates finance tracks into the curriculum to enable students to complete their academic degrees while at the same time providing the in-depth knowledge necessary for taking professional certification exams.  Our program is designed to accelerate professional development and provide students with superior credentials to qualify them for skilled positions in a highly competitive job market.  Details for each of the tracks are discussed below.

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General Finance Emphasis

Course Title
FINANCE 3501 Financial Policies
FINANCE 3502 Treasury Management
FINANCE 3503 Computer Applications in Finance
FINANCE 3520 Investments
FINANCE 3521 Financial Risk Management
FINANCE 3522 Security Analysis
FINANCE 3525 Practicum in Investments (1 credit hour)
FINANCE 3540 Financial Services Industry and Services
FINANCE 3541 Commercial Bank Management
FINANCE 3542 Principles of Real Estate
FINANCE 3560 Practice of Personal Financial Planning
FINANCE 3561 Principles of Insurance
FINANCE 3562 Life Insurance
FINANCE 3563 Retirement Planning and Employee Benefits
FINANCE 3564 Estate Planning and Trust
FINANCE 3580 International Corporate Finance
FINANCE 3582 International Investments
FINANCE 3599 Independent Study in Finance

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Track Certification
All students completing one of the specialized tracks at UMSL discussed below will receive a Certificate of Completion for that track.  This document will be in addition to any degree the student may receive and is intended to provide additional evidence of attaining a specific body of knowledge.  To receive the certificate, students must fill out an application for certification in their last semester.  The application can be obtained from the Undergraduate Advisors in the College of Business Administration, 487 Social Science Building, or from the Finance Secretary in 1107 Tower.

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Corporate Finance Track
The Corporate Finance Track trains students to make business financial decisions to maximize the value of the firm.  In addition to raising and investing capital, managers must deal with a number of stakeholders including stockholders, lenders, customers, and regulators.  While the major focus is on the financial problems of large corporations, many of the analytical tools and techniques also apply to small business enterprises.  Students completing FINANCE 3502, Treasury Management, are eligible under a special agreement with the Association for Financial Professionals to sit for the Certified Treasury Professional (CTP) exam.  After completion of two years of work experience, the CTP designation qualifies students to work in the Treasury Departments of leading companies or service providers like banks.  Students must complete five courses from the list below:

ACCTNG 3401 Financial Accounting and Reporting I
ACCTNG 3402 Financial Accounting and Reporting II
FINANCE 3501 Financial Policies
FINANCE 3502 Treasury Management
FINANCE 3503 Computer Applications in Finance
FINANCE 3520 Investments
FINANCE 3521 Financial Risk Management
FINANCE 3540 Financial Serivces/Industry & Instruments 
FINANCE 3580 International Finance


Financial Institutions and Services Track
Financial institutions design and deliver financial services to businesses, government, and individuals.  It is also one of the fastest growing segments of the economy.  This track is intended for students with a desire to work in a bank, insurance company, real estate firm, or other service provider.  Beginning career opportunities include becoming a loan officer, securities broker, mortgage broker, or property manager.  Additionally, the Principles of Real Estate course (FINANCE 3542) provides students with the educational foundation to sit for the Missouri Real Estate Salesperson’s Exam to become licensed to sell residential property under the direction of a broker.  Students must complete five courses from the list below:

FINANCE 3503 Computer Applications in Finance
FINANCE 3520 Investments
FINANCE 3540 Financial Services Industry and Services
FINANCE 3541 Commercial Bank Management
FINANCE 3542 Principles of Real Estate
FINANCE 3560 Practice of Personal Financial Planning
FINANCE 3561 Principles of Insurance

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Investment and Portfolio Management Track
There are billions of dollars flowing into retirement plans and mutual funds each year.  These monies are invested in securities markets around the world to provide the owners with the best returns available for a given level of risk.  Professional portfolio managers have the responsibility of meeting investor goals while subject to rapidly changing market conditions.  This path of study is intended to prepare students for a challenging career in money management.  Students must complete five courses from the list below:

ACCTNG 3401 Financial Accounting and Reporting I
ACCTNG 3402 Financial Accounting and Reporting II
FINANCE 3503 Computer Applications in Finance
FINANCE 3520 Investments
FINANCE 3521 Financial Risk Management
FINANCE 3525 Practicum in Investments
FINANCE 3540 Financial Services Industry and Services
FINANCE 3582 International Investments

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Financial Planning Track
The Financial Planning Track is designed to prepare students to counsel individuals on personal financial matters that impact the family.  This curriculum is a registered program with the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc., enabling students who successfully complete it to sit for their certification examination.  UMSL does not award the CFP® and CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERÔ designation.  The right to use the marks CFP and Certified Financial Planner is granted by the CFP Board to those persons who have met its rigorous educational standards, passed the CFP certification examination, satisfied a work experience requirement, and agreed to the CFP Board Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility.  Only persons registered with the CFP Board are permitted to sit for the CFP® certification examination.  CFP certificates and licenses are issued only by the CFP Board.  Students must complete the following courses:

ACCTNG 3441 Income Taxes
FINANCE 3520 Investments
FINANCE 3560 Practice of Personal Financial Planning
FINANCE 3561
Principles of Insurance
FINANCE 3563
Retirement Planning and Employee Benefits
FINANCE 3564
Estate Planning and Trusts
FINANCE 3565 Seminar in Financial Planning

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Insurance Track
This track is intended for the development of professionals for all aspects of the insurance industry.  Insurance plays a special role in risk management for individuals and businesses.  Areas emphasized include life and property/casualty risk exposures and the administration of pension and employee benefit plans.  Students are prepared for careers as analytical staff members of major insurance companies, consultants, insurance agents or brokers, employee benefit specialists, and risk managers.  The program is a cooperative partnership with the insurance industry.  In addition to preparing a student for a career in the insurance profession, the courses are designed to prepare the student for the prestigious professional certification programs within the insurance industry such as the widely recognized Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU), Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC), Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriter (CPCU), Certified Employee Benefit Specialist (CEBS) and others.  Up to three equivalent courses taken within five years may be transferred to The American College in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, which grants the CLU and ChFC designations, toward those professional certifications without further examination provided the courses are passed with a C grade or higher.  Transfer of these courses to the American College for certification does not require any additional tuition but only a one-time registration fee.  Both the CLU and ChFC require the passing of additional courses through the American College.  Students must complete five courses from the following list:

ACCTNG 3441 Income Taxes
FINANCE 3503 Computer Apps in Finance
FINANCE 3520 Investments
FINANCE 3560 Practice of Personal Financial Planning
FINANCE 3561 Principles of Insurance
FINANCE 3562 Life Insurance
FINANCE 3563 Retirement Planning and Employee Benefits
FINANCE 3564 Estate Planning and Trust

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Faculty
The finance faculty holds Ph.D.’s from major U.S. universities and has extensive industrial experience to share in the classroom.  As active researchers, they are on the cutting edge of new developments in the field which are carefully integrated into coursework.  The Finance area recently was ranked in the top 12% of all finance faculties nationwide, based on academic productivity. 

Practical Experiences

Student Investment Trust
UMSL offers students a chance to learn investments and portfolio management by investing real money in the securities markets.  Through a special fund called the Student Investment Trust, students manage a portfolio worth $120,000 and learn to apply tools and techniques learned in the classroom.

Internships
The UMSL College of Business Administration is the largest provider of internships in the St. Louis region.  Internships not only provide valuable real-world experience to complement academic learning, but enhances student marketability at graduation.

Financial Management Association
The college also has a student chapter of the Financial Management Association.  The group, recently recognized as the fastest growing chapter nationally, invites local executives as guest speakers, takes tours of St. Louis companies, and conducts other activities to further students’ knowledge of finance.