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Finance is a broad program of study designed to provide a descriptive, behavioral, and analytical background of financial management to enable students to qualify for opportunities in financial services, insurance, brokerage, government, real estate, and financial management of business enterprises. Finance is also an excellent area for those who wish to become more knowledgeable as consumers, particularly in the fields of investments, insurance, and real estate.

Areas of study in the field of finance include corporate financial management, investments, portfolio management, insurance, real estate, banking, and risk management. Upper-level courses include a review of contemporary literature in the field, case studies, and financial problem analysis integrating finance courses previously taken.

Undergraduate Major in Finance

For undergraduate curriculum in business, major in finance.

The Department of Finance offers a major in finance.  Students will complete the general education requirements (including business foundation courses), supporting courses/major prerequisites, business core requirements for the bachelor of science (B.S.) degree, and 21 additional credits in the major.

The instructional objective of the Finance program is to provide a well-rounded professional education in finance. Such an education should provide the student with:

  1. a mastery of basic financial concepts and methods of analysis
  2. an understanding of financial operations in a global setting and of the role of financial institutions in the economy
  3. an ability to effectively communicate and work with others as the finance member of a team
  4. an ability to demonstrate leadership capabilities in financial analysis and portfolio management.

For more information on the undergraduate major in Finance, please visit:

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon graduation, undergraduate students majoring in Finance will:

  1. Be effective communicators
  2. Be effective collaborators
  3. Be problem solvers
  4. Understand business concepts
  5. Recognize ethical and legal responsibilities to organizations


In addition to the basic business degree requirements (, finance majors must also complete:

Required Courses (6 credits):
FIN 310Corporate Finance *3
FIN 320Investments3
Elective Courses (12 credits):
Select four courses from the following (at least two must be 400-level):
FIN 330Financial Markets and Institutions3
FIN 334XIntroduction to Financial Technologies and Cryptocurrencies3
FIN 361Personal Risk Management and Insurance3
FIN 371Real Estate Principles3
FIN 415Business Financing Decisions3
FIN 424Financial Futures and Options3
FIN 425Security Analysis and Portfolio Management3
FIN 426XQuantitative Investment Analysis3
FIN 427Fixed Income Securities3
FIN 428Advanced Fixed Income Analysis and Portfolio Management3
FIN 431Small Business Finance Decisions3
FIN 435Venture Capital, Private Equity, and Mergers and Acquisitions3
FIN 445Bank Management Decisions3
FIN 450Analytical Methods in Finance3
FIN 455Predictive Analytics in Finance3
FIN 456Financial Modeling3
FIN 462Corporate Risk Management and Insurance3
FIN 464Risk Management Derivatives3
FIN 472Real Estate Finance3
FIN 474Real Estate Investment3
FIN 480International Finance3
FIN 491International Study Course in Global Capital Markets3
FIN 492XCase Studies in Strategic Financial Decision-Making3
Additional Elective Courses (3 credits):
Select one course from the following:
ACCT 383Intermediate Managerial Accounting3
ACCT 386Intermediate Financial Accounting I3
ACCT 387Intermediate Financial Accounting II3
or any additional 400+ level Finance course.

Total Credits:  21 

NOTE: Finance majors must take STAT 326 Introduction to Business Statistics II as part of the supporting courses.

The X designation after a course number indicates this is an experimental course offered by the Department.  Although in an experimental phase, these courses are open for registration just the same as permanent courses listed in the course catalog and count as elective choices in the major.

Students are limited to three business majors/degrees/minors within the Ivy College of Business.  This limit is on business majors/degrees/minors only, and does not apply to multiple majors/degrees/minors taken outside the Ivy College of Business.

Finance, B.S.

Sample 4-Year Plan (Your plan may differ)

BUSAD 102 or 1031ECON 1023
ECON 1013STAT 2263
COM S 1133US Diversity#3
ENGL 1503ACCT 2843
MATH 1503SP CM 212 or 3123
LIB 1601BUSAD 2031
 14 16
ACCT 2853Core Business Course3
FIN 3013PHIL 2303
MATH 1513STAT 3263
Natural Science3Global/International Perspective@3
 15 15
ACCT 2153FIN 3203
FIN 3103FIN Electives6
Core Business Courses6Core Business Course3
General Elective3HUM/SOC SCI3
 15 15
FIN Electives6FIN Elective3
Core Business Courses6MGMT 478*3
HUM/SOC SCI3Global/International Perspective@3
ENGL 3023General Electives5
 18 14
Total Credits: 122

Students must be admitted to the professional program in business to major in finance. The requirements to enter the professional program are:

1.  Completion of at least 30 credits, Foundation Courses, ENGL 150, and all ENGL 101/99 courses if required.

2.  A minimum GPA of 2.50 either cumulative or in the Foundation Courses. Early admission is allowed for Honors-eligible students. (See your advisor for specific information)

Graduation Requirements:

        1.  Grade of “C” or higher in at least 30 credits of Core and Major courses.

        2.  42 credits of 300+ level courses from a four-year institution.

        3.  50% of required Business courses must be earned at ISU.

        4.  At least 32 credits and the LAST 32 credits must be earned at ISU (exceptions for study abroad and internship may be requested).

        5.  122 Credits minimum and a Cumulative GPA of at least 2.00 with no quality point deficiencies.

        6.  A grade of C or better in ENGL 250 required, and also in one other required ENGL course.

        7.  All 300-level and higher business credits must be earned at a four-year college.

        8.  Multiple business majors must have at least 15 distinct credits in each of the major requirements; when applicable, one course can be shared between business majors; see your advisor regarding multiple business degree requirements.

Undergraduate Minor in Finance

The Department of Finance also offers a finance minor for non-finance majors in the Ivy College of Business. The minor requires 15 credits from an approved list of courses, including at least 6 credits in courses numbered 300 or above taken at Iowa State University with a grade of C or higher. The minor must include at least 9 credits that are not used to meet any other department, college, or university requirement. Students with declared majors have priority over students with declared minors in courses with space constraints.

Required Course (3 credits):
FIN 301Principles of Finance3
Elective Courses (12 credits):
Select twelve credit hours from 300 or 400 level Finance courses

Students are limited to three business majors/degrees/minors within the Ivy College of Business.  This limit is on business majors/degrees/minors only, and does not apply to multiple majors/degrees/minors taken outside the Ivy College of Business.

For more information on the undergraduate minor in Finance, please visit:

Graduate Programs

Master of Finance (MFIN)

The Finance Department offers a Master of Finance (MFIN) degree.  The MFIN is a non-thesis, non-creative component curriculum designed to provide students with in-depth coverage of finance topics and a strong quantitative skill set.  Students will learn financial analysis and valuation, advanced regression techniques and programming approaches for data analysis, time series analysis and forecasting, optimization techniques, modelling of financial and risk variables, simulation techniques, and tools for effective risk management.  The 30 credit program requires 18 core credits.  Another 12 credits of electives are required, six of which must be in finance courses.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon graduation, master of finance (MFIN) students will:

  1. Be critical thinkers in finance
  2. Have a broad understanding of financial concepts
  3. Have strong problem solving and decision-making skills
  4. Have a strong background in ethical development

For more information about the MFIN program, please visit:

Master of Real Estate Development (MRED)

The Finance Department also offers a Master of Real Estate Development (MRED) degree. Jointly created with the College of Design, and with significant input and engagement from industry leaders, the MRED is a 30-credit non-thesis, non-creative component program. The MRED program offers academic training, networking opportunities and collaboration with leading academics and practitioners to solve real world problems. Areas of study include real estate market analysis, finance, investments, leadership and negotiation, fundamentals of the build environment, construction science and urban planning.  The curriculum is offered in a convenient format of distance learning and brief campus residencies, making it ideal for the full-time working professional.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon graduation, master of real estate development (MRED) students will:

  1. Be knowledgeable in various aspects of real estate
  2. Be critical thinkers in real estate
  3. Be innovators in real estate
  4. Be leaders in real estate

For more information about the MRED program, please visit:

Master of Business Administration (MBA)

The Department of Finance also participates in the full-time and part-time Master of Business Administration (MBA) program as well as the PhD in Business and Technology program.  The MBA is a 48-credit, non-thesis, non-creative component curriculum.  Thirty of the 48 credits are core courses and the remaining 18 are graduate electives.  Within the MBA program, students may develop an area of specialization in Finance.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon graduation, MBA students will:

  1. Demonstrate effective communication skills
  2. Effectively lead and work in diverse teams
  3. Critically solve business problems
  4. Integrate ethical and global perspectives in decision making

For more information about the MBA program with a specialization in Finance, please visit:

Ph.D. in Business and Technology

The PhD in Business and Technology with a Finance (FIN) specialization is a 56-credit (minimum) curriculum designed to train students to teach at the university level, to do research that is publishable in top academic journals, and to analyze questions that are important to government agencies and the private sector.  Successful students develop close working relationships with the ISU finance faculty, both in the classroom and on co-authored research.  We strive for our students to publish their first research study before finishing the program, and to obtain jobs at research-oriented universities in the U.S. and abroad.  We emphasize rigorous training and hands-on experience.  Five semesters of coursework include a firm grounding in economic theory, thorough training in statistics and econometrics, and an immersion in the most important research studies in corporate finance, investments, and financial institutions.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon graduation, PhD students will be able to:

  1. Understand and advance knowledge
  2. Create knowledge through original research
  3. Teach effectively in an institution of higher education

For more information about the PhD program with a specialization in Finance, please visit:

Graduate Certificate

The graduate certificate in finance provides training in investment valuation and the skills necessary to value an entire company through analysis of expected cash flows based on financial statements, growth characteristics, and risk.

The certificate is for graduate students and recent graduates seeking job opportunities as investors or professional money managers, who deal with efficient asset allocation in a portfolio setting, investment performance measurement, and performance evaluation.  The certificate is available on campus in Ames.

For more information about the graduate certificate in Finance, please visit: