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Liberty International University

ACADEMICS - Finance

PictureProgram Description

Finance majors find career opportunities in a wide variety of diverse and dynamic industries. The Finance curriculum has been designed so that the course structure remains current in a field that changes continuously. It has also been designed to give you more flexibility in helping to prepare for specific finance-related jobs in banking, corporate finance, financial services, and investments.

 

Requirements for the major

You must take at least 18 credit hours in Finance courses and may, if you want, take as many as 24 hours.

Required courses (9 hrs.)

The following three courses are required courses that must be taken by all Finance majors:
FIN 4303 Financial Institutions and Markets (3 hrs.)
FIN 4504 Investments (3 hrs.)
FIN 4414 Advanced Corporation Finance (3 hrs.)

Finance electives (9-15 hrs.)

For the remaining courses, you can elect to take any 3000 or 4000 level course with an FIN, REE, or RMI prefix. The only condition is that at least two of these electives must have an FIN prefix. This allows you substantial latitude in picking a set of courses that will help prepare you to meet your career goals.

 

What kinds of jobs are there for Finance majors?

A career in finance can be both financially and intellectually rewarding. There is a wide variety of jobs where you can utilize your financial expertise. Most Finance majors ultimately will find employment in banking, corporate finance, financial services, or investments.

Careers in banking offer many opportunities. One is in commercial lending, which involves working with business clients to analyze their financial statements and help them secure loans to expand their firms. Another possibility is in bank branch management where you would work with individual customers to supply a wide range of banking services. Still another option is in trust management, where you would help clients with estate problems and the management of their wealth. Deregulation that has taken place in recent years has allowed banks to offer greater varieties of financial services, which has changed the tenor and the characteristics of the banking industry from what traditionally were considered "banking."

Jobs in corporate finance give you the opportunity to help firms make decisions about what assets to acquire and how to finance them. Much of the corporate reengineering that occurred during the 1980's was designed by finance practitioners. As a corporate finance specialist, you might also find yourself heavily involved in determining the firm's working capital position. While most people working in this area are employed by individual firms, some work for investment bankers and act as consultants to businesses. With the development of many new corporate securities in recent years, there is a real need for people who understand the complexities these instruments.

Financial services is a rapidly growing area where a wide variety of positions are available. Financial planners advise individuals and business clients on ways to accumulate wealth and help them in constructing appropriate portfolios and selecting individual investments. Many who enter this area go on to earn a professional designation called the Certified Financial Planner (CFP). We expect continued growth in this area as the average age of the general population increases and people become more concerned with acquiring assets for retirement. There are also many opportunities available in finance-related sales which include stock brokerage, insurance, and real estate.

Career opportunities in investments typically follow either of two paths: security analysis or portfolio management. Security analysts usually work for brokerage firms, an investment management firm, or maybe a mutual fund management company. Security analysts are said to be on the 'sell' side of the market, because they analyze different publicly-held companies and make recommendations to their clients regarding the purchase of the bonds and stocks issued by those companies. Portfolio managers are viewed as being on the 'buy' side of the market, because they acquire securities to form portfolios that will meet their client's risk and return needs. Portfolio managers with mutual funds will typically pursue a particular portfolio goal such as capital appreciation or dividend income. People working in the investments area frequently pursue the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) professional designation.

Careers along many of these paths might ultimately bring you back to the university for an MBA.

 

What elective courses should I take?

The 9 to 15 credit hours of electives can be packaged as you wish. (However, remember that at least two courses must have an FIN prefix.) Many students ask what would be the best combination of electives to prepare them for a career in a given area. So, below we list the courses that we believe will help prepare you for each of the four career paths presented above.

Suggested electives to guide a student toward a career in banking include:

FIN 3233 Money and Banking
FIN 3604 International Finance
FIN 4324 Bank Management
FIN 4412 Working Capital Management
FIN 4443 Financial Policies and Strat.
FIN 4934 Financial Statement Analysis

If you want to pursue a career in corporate finance, the following courses would be helpful:

FIN 3604 International Finance
FIN 4412 Working Capital Management
FIN 4443 Financial Policies and Strat.
FIN 4934 Financial Statement Analysis

If you want a position in the financial services industry, we suggest electives be taken from among the following courses:

RMI 3011 Principles of Insurance
REE 3043 Real Estate Decision Making
FIN 3604 International Finance
FIN 4514 Advanced Investments
FIN 4934 Financial Statement Analysis
REE 4303 Real Estate Investment Analysis

The following electives will be valuable for students who want a career in investments:

FIN 3604 International Finance
FIN 4514 Advanced Investments
FIN 4934 Financial Statement Analysis
FIN 4934 Financial Engineering
REE 4303 Real Estate Investment Analysis