Finance Major

Undergraduate Program in New Brunswick

The Field

The Finance sector is comprised of establishments primarily engaged in financial transactions, which involve the creation, liquidation, or change in ownership of financial assets. Almost every firm, government agency, and other type of organization employ one or more financial managers. Working in offices often close to top managers and with departments that develop the financial data those managers need, financial managers typically have direct access to state-of-the-art computer systems and information services.

Our finance graduates secure careers ranging from managing finances for startups to working in the biggest, most prestigious financial firms on Wall Street [read story: Rutgers Road to Wall Street]. Students must be Finance and/or Accounting majors to complete the program.

Key Facts

  • Financial Managers commonly work long hours, often up to 50 or 60 per week
  • Salary levels also can depend on the type of industry and location
  • Financial institutions employ financial managers who oversee various functions, such as lending, trusts, mortgages, and investments, or programs, including sales, operations, or electronic financial services
  • RBS students gain access to Wall Street through industry-connected professors and a dedicated career management team

Career Paths

Financial managers generally oversee the preparation of financial reports, direct investment activities, and implement cash management strategies. Managers also develop and implement the strategies for the long-term goals of their organization. A bachelor’s degree in finance, accounting, economics, or business administration is the minimum academic preparation for financial managers. However, many employers now seek graduates with a master’s degree, preferably in business administration, finance, or economics. These academic programs develop analytical skills and teach financial analysis methods and technology.

The duties of financial managers vary with their specific titles, which include controller, treasurer or finance officer, credit manager, cash manager, risk and insurance manager, and manager of international banking. Candidates for financial management positions need many different skills. Interpersonal skills are key because these jobs involve managing people and working as part of a team to solve problems. Financial managers must also have excellent communication skills to explain complex financial data. Because financial managers work extensively with various departments in their firm, a broad understanding of business is also essential.

Financial managers should be creative thinkers and problem-solvers, applying their analytical skills to business. They must have knowledge of international finance as financial operations are increasingly being affected by the global economy. In addition, a good knowledge of regulatory compliance procedures is essential.

Rutgers Business School provides students with the skills and industry connections they need to get jobs in the most prominent financial agencies in New York City and beyond. With easy access to the city from either campus, internships, networking events, and alumni connections on Wall Street are minutes away, and provide valuable experiences for our students.

Career Advice:

Watch: Fred Hoffman, Assistant Professor of Professional Practice and Rutgers Financial Advisory Board member, offers advice on finding jobs in fields you may not have considered before.

Sample Occupations

  • Actuary
  • Budget Analyst
  • Claim Adjuster/Examiner
  • External Auditor
  • Financial Economist
  • Financial Planner
  • Market Research Analyst
  • Securities Broker
  • Underwriter

Where Graduates are Working

  • Bank of New York
  • J.P. Morgan Chase
  • John Hancock Financial
  • Merrill Lynch
  • Northwestern Mutual Financial Services
  • Schering-Plough
  • State Farm Insurance Companies


According to the 2012 U.S. Bureau of Labor Occupational Outlook Handbook, bachelor’s degree candidates in finance received offers with a median salary of $76,950.

How to Apply


Finance focuses on all aspects of money management, such as investment, collection, disbursement, borrowing, and fund-raising. These individuals prepare financial reports needed to conduct operations and to satisfy tax and regulatory requirements. Finance graduates also oversee the flow of cash and investments and develop information to assess the present and future financial status of an organization.

School Core Courses


Required (9 credits)

Corporate Finance [33:390:400]

Capital budgeting, capital structure, dividend policy, mergers and acquisitions, and some aspects of international finance.

Prerequisites: 33:390:310. Finance majors only. Junior or senior status.

Derivatives [33:390:420]

Analysis of different kinds of futures and options. Use of commodity, interest rate stock index, and currency futures for hedgers and speculators. Stock options, investment strategies, arbitrage restriction on value and evaluation models, and the use of options and futures contracts in portfolio management.

Prerequisites: 33:390:380. Finance majors only. Junior or senior status.

Investment Analysis [33:390:380]

Overview of financial markets and instruments that are used in investments. A brief discussion of the allocation of capital to risky assets. Efficient markets hypothesis, the behavioral finance critique, and technical analysis. The term structure of interest rates and the valuation of fixed income securities, including the use of duration and convexity. Valuation of common stock.

Prerequisites: 33:390:310. Finance majors only. Junior or senior status.

Electives (12 credits)

Advanced Corporate Finance [33:390:440] *RBS 24/7™

Complex corporate securities, such as callable and convertible debt or adjustable rate preferred stock, option theory, corporate insurance, and hedging.

Prerequisites: 33:390:400. Finance majors only. Junior or senior status.

Analysis of Financial Statements [33:010:472]

Factors that affect the critical examination and interpretation of financial statements from the viewpoint of groups, using such data with emphasis on accounting problems, analytical methods, and item content of formal statements.

Prerequisites: 33:010:326 or 33:390:400. Open to accounting and finance majors only.

Asset Pricing and Portfolio Analysis [33:390:410]

Focuses on modern theories of portfolio choice and portfolio management. In-depth coverage of mean variance portfolio selection, efficient frontier, Markowitz portfolio selection model, and single- and multifactor index models. Examines capital asset pricing models and the efficient market hypothesis, portfolio performance evaluation, active portfolio management, and international diversification.

Prerequisites: 33:390:380. Finance majors only. Junior or senior status.

Corporate Risk Management [33:390:460]

Examination of issues faced by the risk manager. Provides a survey of techniques used to measure, estimate, and mitigate a variety of risk exposures, by insurance, hedging, and diversification. Covered risk exposures include interest rate risk, credit risk, market risk, liquidity risk, foreign exchange risk, off balance sheet risk, and operational risk.

Prerequisites: 33:390:420. Finance majors only. Junior or senior status.

Ethics in Finance [33:390:331]

This course focuses on the ethical issues confronting financial professionals, including considerable coverage of the various financial crises, major corporate violations, challenges to investment professionals, the role of the financial regulators, and the very latest developments affecting ethics within the financial world. Instruction includes an overview of “what is legal and what is illegal, and what is ethical and what is unethical” and why this is so important in finance. The course also covers key definitions, issues, and general theories of business and finance ethics, citing examples of famous corporate and investment management fraud cases and from the recent scandals that have shaken public confidence in Wall Street and the world’s financial markets. Students leave the course with a better overall understanding of ethical issues confronting financial professionals, the way in which the industry is working to set and implement ethical standards, and important guidelines for making decisions throughout their careers.

Financial Analysis, Planning & Forecasting [33:390:450]

Overview of short-term and long-term financial analysis, planning, and forecasting; credit, cash, marketable securities, and inventory management. Applications of regression, linear programming, and computer techniques in alternative financial planning and forecasting analyses.

Prerequisites: 33:390:310. Finance majors only. Junior or senior status.

Fixed Income [33:390:490]

The study of bond valuation and various measures of bond risk, securitization, and measures of portfolio risk and how spread risk and convexity affect the value of a bond portfolio when interest rates change.

Prerequisites: 33:390:380. Finance majors only. Junior or senior status.

Global Capital Markets [33:390:320]

A study of the structure of securities, the financial markets in which they are traded, and the trading rules used by these markets. The assets include stocks, bonds, derivatives, and securitized assets issued by domestic and international issuers from the public and private sectors. The markets include both domestic and international exchanges.

Prerequisites: 33:390:310. Finance majors only. Junior or senior status.

Indexing and ETFs [33:390:414]

This is an advanced, modern finance course with the objective of studying indices and Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) and their application in investment management. The course is designed to be comprehensive in covering the economic space available to investors and the many investment objectives/strategies represented by indexes and ETFs. The contemporary and practical class content is enhanced by exposure to useful industry resources and participants. The course is divided into two major segments. The first provides a deep dive into the theories, methodologies and wide variety of products (covering all asset classes) that are the foundations of index-based investing. The second segment provides a thorough examination of ETFs from an investment strategy standpoint, including their anatomy, mechanics, application, availability, and the eco-system of industry participants. A semester project is required that involves working on either a current industry challenge or new investment opportunity that includes, portfolio design, calculation, backtesting and marketing. The class project includes working on teams, at times directly with industry experts, to practice the application of tools and material learned in class to actual real-world situations.

International Financial Management [33:390:375]

A study of the markets and the regimes for the exchange and interest rates for the world's leading economies and currencies. Examines the related institutions (e.g., central banks), agreements and policies, and the use of markets to share and allocate risk.

Prerequisites: 33:390:310. Finance majors only. Junior or senior status.

Intermediate Accounting I [33:010:325]

Development of accounting principles under the corporate form of business organization. Topics include basic financial statements, cash and receivables, inventories, property, plant, equipment, and intangible assets.

Prerequisites: 33:010:272. Open to accounting and finance majors.

Investment Banking Analysis [33:390:385]

A valuation-oriented course that provides many of the skills and knowledge required by first-year investment banking analysts. Includes Excel-based valuation models, financial statement and discounted cash flow analyses, and comparable valuation methodologies. Also included are modeling leverage buyouts and mergers and acquisitions.

Prerequisites: 33:390:400. Finance majors only. Junior or senior status.

Pension Fund Investment & Management [33:390:465]

Application of financial theory and methods to pension fund investment and management.

Prerequisites: 33:390:310. Finance majors only. Junior or senior status.

Real Estate Finance & Mortgage Backed Securities [33:390:435]

Examination of primary markets, secondary markets, and derivative products. Topics include origination process, income-producing mortgage loans, agency purchases, security pricing, and securitization of single-family and commercial loans.

Prerequisites: 33:390:310. Finance majors only. Junior or senior status.

Research In Finance [33:390:480]

Individual research and reading program under the guidance of a member of the department.

Prerequisites: Permission of department. Open only to finance juniors or seniors.

Treasury Management [33:390:430]

This elective course introduces how a Corporate Treasurer manages the finances of a business along with supporting the supply chain component of a business through various supply chain finance concepts. The course will take an in-depth look at firm’s working capital, domestic and international cash management, financial risk, receivables/payables and inventory, debt and investment, capital structure, cash forecasting, technology in the treasury area, and ethical issues. There will be case studies reviewed in the class that discuss the use of various treasury techniques. The various subjects taught in this class will be taught by a Treasury Practitioner who has extensive experience in all the various topics. For all the topics discussed the students will be provided actual business experiences that provide a clear understanding of the material.

Prerequisites: 33:390:310


RBS 24/7™*RBS 24/7™ designates that this is a synchronous class, where the content is video streamed live and recorded, so that it is available for asynchronous viewing anytime (24/7). In addition, RBS 24/7™ classes offer access to a virtual helpdesk that offers extended, supplemental learning support. Contact the finance and economics department to learn more.