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Undergraduate Certificate in Finance

Current Students

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. Students must earn a minimum grade of C+ averaged over the two core courses and three elective courses. All courses must be completed by the end of a student’s senior year.  All Certificate students are required to submit either an independent finance paper or incorporate finance into at least a chapter of their senior thesis written under the supervision of the faculty member advising them in their department. The program will also accept a junior paper written in the student’s department that contains significant finance content. 

If neither of these two options is feasible, the Director of Undergraduate Studies will assign a Master in Finance student during the Spring semester of the student’s senior year to serve as an advisor on a separate independent paper. Independent papers should be at least 15 pages long.

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.

Elective Courses

The three elective courses may be chosen from among two lists of elective courses. ECO and ORF majors must select at least two of their three elective courses from List 1. All other concentrators must select at least one of their three elective courses from List 1. The program representative must approve a coherent plan of study that involves elective courses outside the pre-approved list.

See Electives

Senior Thesis Requirement

A student’s senior thesis, in their chosen concentration, must include significant finance content. For the purposes of this requirement, “significant finance content” means that a substantial component of the thesis will involve 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.

There are three potential individual papers that satisfy the requirements:

  • Your thesis, though it is fine if only a chapter has finance content.
  • Your junior paper, which must be a finance paper.
  • An independent work paper that is mainly finance-focused (and not part of a course you took but a separate piece of work).

Other Common Questions

Still have questions? Visit the Common Questions page for more.

Common Questions