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Finance Emphasis and Certification Tracks

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.

Job Opportunities

New graduates with bachelor’s degrees in finance from UMSL have a wide selection of career opportunities to choose from. At the corporate level, companies such as Monsanto, Boeing, and AT&T hire our graduates for positions in budget analysis, project management, working capital management, and mergers and acquisitions. Local and national investment firms hire many of our students to serve as stockbrokers, financial analysts, wealth managers, and portfolio managers. In banking, new graduates are employed in management positions in commercial and consumer lending, trust services, operations and branch banking. The insurance and real estate industries also have a strong presence in St. Louis and hire graduates for various sales and administrative positions.

 

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.

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

For students who desire to obtain a general knowledge of finance or custom tailor their own individual program, this option allows students to take any of the finance course electives in any sequence. By affording maximum flexibility, students can explore the many different areas within finance before deciding which career path they may want to embark on. As stated above, for a BSBA degree with an emphasis in finance, recipients must take a minimum of eighteen credit hours of the following courses:

 

FINANCE 3501:       Financial Policies

FINANCE 3503:       Computer Applications in Finance

FINANCE 3520:       Investments

FINANCE 3521:       Financial Engineering—Applying Derivatives

FINANCE 3522:       Security Analysis

FINANCE 3523:       Fixed Income Analysis

FINANCE 3524:       Advanced Investment Management

FINANCE 3525:       Practicum in Investments (1 credit hr)

FINANCE 3540:       Introduction to Financial Institutions and Financial Markets

FINANCE 3541:       Commercial Bank Management

FINANCE 3542:       Principles of Real Estate

FINANCE 3545:       Venture Capital and Private Equity

FINANCE 3560:       Practice of Personal Financial Planning

FINANCE 3561:       Principles of Insurance

FINANCE 3562:       Life Insurance and Employee Benefits

FINANCE 3563:       Retirement Planning and Employee Benefits

FINANCE 3564:       Estate Planning and Trusts

FINANCE 3580:       International Corporate Finance

FINANCE 3582:       International Investments

FINANCE 3585:       Business in China

FINANCE 3586:       Essentials of Fintech

FINANCE 3588:       Blockchain in Business

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, 107 Anheuser Busch Hall.

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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 & Reporting 1

ACCTNG 3402:       Financial Accounting & Reporting 2

FINANCE 3501:       Financial Policies

FINANCE 3503:      Computer Applications in Finance

FINANCE 3520:      Investments

FINANCE 3521:       Financial Engineering— Applying Derivatives

FINANCE 3523:       Fixed Income Analysis

FINANCE 3524:       Advanced Investment Management

FINANCE 3540:       Introduction to Financial Institutions and Financial Markets

FINANCE 3580:       International Corporate Finance

FINANCE 3586:       Essentials of Fintech

FINANCE 3588:       Blockchain in Business


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:       Introduction to Financial Institutions and Financial Markets

FINANCE 3541:       Commercial Bank Management

FINANCE 3542:       Principles of Real Estate

FINANCE 3545:       Venture Capital and Private Equity

FINANCE 3560:       Practice of Personal Financial Planning

FINANCE 3561:      Principles of Insurance

FINANCE 3586:       Essentials of Fintech

FINANCE 3588:       Blockchain in Business

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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 & Reporting 1

ACCTNG 3402:       Financial Accounting & Reporting 2

FINANCE 3503:       Computer Applications in Finance

FINANCE 3520:       Investments

FINANCE 3521:       Financial Engineering— Applying Derivatives

FINANCE 3523:       Fixed Income Analysis

FINANCE 3524:       Advanced Investment Management

FINANCE 3525:       Practicum in Investments

FINANCE 3540:       Introduction to Financial Institutions and Financial Markets

FINANCE 3582:       International Investments

FINANCE 3586:       Essentials of Fintech

FINANCE 3588:       Blockchain in Business

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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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Financial Services Industry in St. Louis from STLChamber on Vimeo.

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

 

Fintech Track

As a rapidly evolving field, Fintech (financial technology) revisits financial disciplines including corporate finance, financial markets, financial institutions, investments, real estate and derivatives using a common thread of technology. This track introduces students to the major areas of Fintech, including Blockchain, Cryptocurrencies, FinTech Credit, Big Data, Machine Learning, Neural Network, Robo Advisers, and Algorithmic Trading. It provides students with the foundation for the interaction of finance, technology, and regulation in the financial industry. Students must complete the first two required courses and three additional courses in the list below.

 

FINANCE 3586       Essentials of Fintech*

FINANCE 3568       Application of Blockchain in Financial Services Industry*

FINANCE 3503       Computer Applications in Finance

FINANCE 3520       Investments

FINANCE 3521       Financial Engineering: Applying Derivatives

FINANCE 3524        Advanced Investment Management

IS 3842                   Data Networks and Security

IS 3848                   Introduction to Information Security

*required

 

 

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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 filed 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. All of the law faculty hold J.D. degrees from major U.S. universities and have many years of experience in private law practice both national and international.

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 $350,000 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.

LEGAL STUDIES

To succeed in business, students require an understanding of how the legal environment governs relations among individuals, business, and government. Legal studies place an emphasis on ethical decision-making. Study of the law also encourages critical thinking and reasoning skills. The legal environment of business introduces students to the role of the law in regulating business operations. More specialized courses delve into specific aspects of how the law influences the organization and decision-making processes in business. Courses in international business law encourage student awareness of the differences in major legal systems and global legal trends. Legal studies afford students contemplating law school an opportunity to explore the role of lawyers and the law in our society. Courses include:

 

BUS AD 2900:         Legal Environment of Business

BUS AD 3990:         Internship in Business Law

INTL BUS 3280:      The Law of International

 

Business Transactions

 

http://www.umsl.edu/divisions/business/finance/index.html


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