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Undergraduate Certificate in Finance

Undergraduate Certificate in Finance

Undergraduate Certificate in Finance

Students graduating in 2024 will earn a Certificate in Finance, while students graduating in 2025 and beyond will have a Minor in Finance. Certificate students can find details of the program below.

Certificate Requirements

Students who fulfill all the requirements will receive a certificate from the University upon graduation, issued by the Registrar.

To complete the Certificate in Finance, students must complete a total of five courses, including two core courses and three electives, at level 300 or higher, and independent work in finance. Students must earn a minimum grade of C+ averaged over the two core courses, the three elective courses, and the independent work. All courses and independent work must be completed by the end of a student’s senior year.

Core Courses

The two core courses are:

ECO 362: Financial Investments

This course surveys the field of investments with special emphasis on the valuation of financial assets. Issues studied include how portfolios of assets should be formed, how to measure and control risk, how to evaluate investment performance and how to test alternative investment strategies and asset pricing models. 

ECO 363: Corporate Finance

This course investigates the financing decisions of companies and financial institutions in the wider context of the workings of financial markets. Topics include capital budgeting, capital structure choice, risk management, liquidity, corporate governance, and the interactions between corporate finance and the workings of financial institutions and markets.


Independent Work Requirement

The preferred way to satisfy the independent work requirement of the certificate is for a student’s senior thesis, in their chosen concentration, to include significant finance content, meaning that a substantial component of the thesis (at a minimum, a separate chapter of the thesis) involves issues or methods drawn from finance.

If there is no possibility of including finance content in a student’s senior thesis, a separate, shorter piece of independent work is required. Students should consult with the BCF Academic Administrator Melanie Heaney-Scott to discuss this possibility and receive approval to satisfy the IW requirement in the form of either:

  • A junior paper, written in the student’s department, which contains significant finance content.
  • An independent paper, completed during the student’s senior year, which must be about a finance topic. Please contact the BCF Academic Administrator Melanie Heaney-Scott  to be paired with an advisor. Independent papers should be at least 15 pages long.

Students may use the same independent work, including senior thesis,  junior paper, or independent paper, to fulfill the finance certificate independent work requirement plus one other (department’s requirement, or a different certificate’s requirement), but not more than one other. View senior theses submitted in previous years.


In addition to the two core courses of the certificate, students must complete three courses chosen from the two lists below. All require a letter grade. Pass/fail is not allowed.

Courses not listed in the pre-approved lists here but which form part of a coherent program of study in finance, and which are approved in advance by the Director of Undergraduate Studies, may be used to fulfill the electives requirement. Courses must be at the level 300 or higher. 

Requests must be made by email to the Director of Undergraduate Studies, Yacine Ait-Sahalia.

Please check this page for updates regarding new courses eligible as elective courses for the Certificate or removals of previously-listed courses from the eligibility list. Not all courses may be offered every year. Please check with the relevant departments to confirm their offerings in any given year.

When you select your elective courses, keep in mind that:

  • ECO and ORF students must take at least 2 of their 3 elective courses from List 1
  • Other concentrators must take at least 1 of their 3 elective courses from List 1

List 1: Financial Applications

  • ECE 473/COS 473: Elements of Decentralized Finance
  • ECO 325: Organization and Design of Markets
  • ECO 327: Firm Competition and Strategy: A Mathematical Approach
  • ECO 342: Money and Banking
  • ECO 353: International Monetary Economics
  • ECO 361: Financial Accounting
  • ECO 416: Fintech
  • ECO 461: Entrepreneurial Finance, Private Equity and Venture Capital
  • ECO 462: Portfolio Theory and Asset Management
  • ECO 463: International Financial Markets
  • ECO 464: Corporate Restructuring
  • ECO 466: Fixed Income, Options & Derivatives, Models & Applications
  • ECO 467: Institutional Finance: Trading and Markets
  • ECO 468: Behavioral Finance
  • ECO 469: Valuation and Security Analysis
  • ECO 491: Cases in Financial Risk Management
  • ECO 492: Asian Capital Markets
  • ECO 493: Financial Crisis
  • ECO 494: Chinese Financial and Monetary Systems
  • EGR 395: Venture Capital and Finance of Innovation
  • EGR 475: Building and Operating Complex and Regulated Ventures
  • EGR 491: High-Tech Entrepreneurship
  • ORF 335: Introduction to Financial Mathematics
  • ORF 435: Financial Risk Management
  • ORF445: High Frequency Markets: Models and Data Analysis
  • SPI 466: Financial History
  • SPI 524: The Political Economy of Central Banking
  • SPI 582f: House of Debt: Understanding Macro & Financial Policy

List 2: Methodology for Finance

  • APC 350: Introduction to Differential Equations
  • COS 324: Introduction to Machine Learning
  • COS 333: Advanced Programming Techniques
  • COS 423: Theory of Algorithms
  • COS 424: Fundamentals of Machine Learning
  • COS 432: Information Security
  • COS 436: Human-Computer Interface Technology
  • COS 445: Economics and Computing
  • COS 448: Innovating Across Technology, Business, and Marketplaces
  • COS 461: Computer Networks
  • ECO 311: Macroeconomics: A Mathematical Approach
  • ECO 312: Econometrics: A Mathematical Approach
  • ECO 313: Econometric Applications
  • ECO 317: The Economics of Uncertainty
  • ECO 322: Econometric Tools for Research in Microeconomics
  • ECO 323: Market Failures and Policy Responses
  • ECO 365: Introduction to Empirical Methodology in Finance
  • ECO 414: Introduction to Economic Dynamics
  • ECO 418: Strategy and Information
  • ECO 488: Applied Game Theory
  • ELE 364: Machine Learning for Predictive Data Analytics
  • ELE 435: Machine Learning and Pattern Recognition
  • MAT 385: Probability Theory
  • MAT 486: Random Processes
  • ORF 307: Optimization
  • ORF 309: Probability and Stochastic Systems
  • ORF 311: Stochastic Optimization and Machine Learning in Finance
  • ORF 350: Analysis of Big Data
  • ORF 363: Computing and Optimization for the Physical and Social Sciences
  • ORF 401: Electric Commerce
  • ORF 405: Regression and Applied Time Series
  • ORF 409: Introduction to Monte Carlo Simulation
  • ORF 455: Energy and Commodities Markets
  • POL337:  Business Influence in American Politics
  • SPI 340: Psychology of Decision Making


Study Abroad and Earn Credit Toward Your Certificate

Many students ask if they can use a course from study abroad. The answer is yes! After the usual approval forms have been signed prior to your departure, the course grade will automatically appear in your DPR for the Certificate. We only accept regular semester courses (no summer session or online courses) that are deemed equivalent to a Princeton course.


If you are a current Certificate student and have any questions regarding the program or your requirements for completion, please contact Academic Administrator, Melanie Heaney-Scott.