Undergraduate Program:

Why Join the Pamplin Undergraduate Program?

Unlike most other schools with an MBA program, the Pamplin College of Business places great emphasis on the undergraduate program. The best faculty teach in the program, and a large fraction of resources is directed towards undergraduate academic advising and placement activities. No wonder the Pamplin College of Business’s undergraduate program has been consistently ranked in the top 50 by U.S. News and World Report. It was ranked 40th in the latest report.

Why Choose the Finance Program?

The Finance program is the best undergraduate program in the Pamplin College of Business. Not surprisingly, it had the largest number of juniors and seniors among all business majors. Students continue to pick finance as their major of choice as they learn more about the faculty, training, and placement in finance. The faculty are internationally recognized experts in their respective fields. Their ongoing research allows the faculty to bring the latest concepts and ideas into the classroom and discuss current events with useful insights. More than 90% of the classes are taught by full-time finance faculty with doctoral degrees. The department offers many electives for specialization in a variety of areas of finance. Employers also like finance graduates, offering more on-campus interviews to finance students during the 2004-2014 time period.

Description of the Field

Finance focuses understanding and mitigating the risks associated with the development, allocation and use of monetary resources within established legal and ethical frameworks. Money is a critical component of the economic system and its flow is the sustaining force of the U.S. and global economy. Working with how governments, corporations, intermediaries, and households utilize their financial assets, finance professionals play an integral role to perpetuate the standard of living that we enjoy.  The Finance curriculum gives students perspectives on financial decision-making, computer–based financial analysis, the institutional and legal structures of corporate finance and financial institutions, and the application of theoretical models.

Traditionally there are three separate but related fields within finance:

1. Corporate Financial Management or “business finance” focuses on the internal decisions of companies to raise funds and invest in corporate assets.  The corporate finance officer is primarily concerned with the allocation of resources among competing projects, controlling the cash flow from operations, and tapping internal and external sources of capital.

2. Investment Management focuses on the purchase and sale of stocks and bonds or their derivatives by individuals and institutions.  This usually requires the professional to assess the value of securities and design investment policies and portfolios that are consistent with the goals of the investor: individuals, corporations, banks or other institutions such as pension funds.

3. Financial Services Management focuses on the management and regulation of institutions and the role that financial institutions play in the economy. Financial services professionals often find themselves playing a role as intermediary between corporate financial managers and investors in capital and money markets. Thus within this specialty there is a need to understand the other two specialties in finance while also coping with a vast web of regulations and restrictions.  A growing subset of financial services management is financial planning for individuals and small-business owners.  In this role a professional would provide financial advice and financial product selection services for a wide variety of clients and situations.

The undergraduate program in finance meets the requirements of students who desire specialized careers in financial management. Students gain expertise in both accounting and finance, essential for success as a financial professional. The case-oriented focus of coursework requires students to apply their knowledge and strengthen their oral and written communication skills. The department offers specializations in (i) Corporate Financial Management, (ii) Investment Management and the CFA® (Chartered Financial Analyst) program, based on the CFA® curriculum as recognized and approved by the CFA Institute, (iii) Financial Services Management, (iv) Financial Accounting, and (v) CFP® (Certified Financial Planner) education program that is registered with the CFP Board of Standards, Inc.  Selected students have the opportunity to gain real-life experience managing either bond- or stock-based portfolios through BASIS or SEED.

Graduates of the program enter careers with financial services firms as well as traditional domestic and multinational corporations.  Positions available to finance majors include: account representative, auditor, controller, credit analyst, collector, financial analyst, financial planner, loan officer, securities analyst, stockbroker, or treasurer.