May 27, 2024  
2017-2018 Undergraduate Catalog 
2017-2018 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Finance, B.B.A.

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Dr. Hui Sono, Department Head
Phone: (540) 568-6530
Location: Zane Showker Hall, Room 335

P. Drake, J. Fink, K. Fink, A. Hamilton, Q. Liu, D. Thomas

Associate Professors
J. Chowdhury, E. Semaan, H. Sono, C. Ullrich

Assistant Professors
C. Larsson, K. Schumann, A. Usman, W. Zhang

W. Collier, M. Graham, D. Parker, R. Rubin


The Department of Finance and Business Law, together with our partners in the business community, is committed to preparing students to be principled, productive contributors to business and society.


To support its mission, the Department of Finance and Business Law is committed to the following values:

  • Ethics:  Develop decision makers who are respectful of stakeholders and the rule of law.
  • Engagement: Connect students and faculty with stakeholders in the local and global communities.
  • Critical Thinking:  Foster intellectual curiosity and analytical skills to enable an understanding of the role of finance and business law in the global economy.
  • Innovation:  Challenge students to develop their own solutions to financial issues in a dynamic economy.

Career Opportunities

The finance major is designed to prepare students for careers in the financial management of industrial and commercial enterprises; commercial, retail and mortgage banking; investment analysis and portfolio management; real estate; insurance; finance positions in federal, state and local governments; and graduate study.

Job titles held by graduates of the programs include:

  • Analyst, Real Estate Development
  • Analyst, Structured Finance
  • Assistant Treasurer
  • Associate, Forensic Technology
  • Business Systems Analyst
  • Consultant
  • Consultant/Engineer Analytics
  • Corporate Model Analyst
  • Credit Manager
  • Director of Risk Management
  • Director, Investor Relations
  • Financial Planner
  • Financial Analyst
  • Financial Engineer
  • Financial Management Analyst
  • Internal Auditor
  • Junior Analyst
  • Lending Officer
  • Loan Analyst
  • Manager, Capital Budgeting
  • Manager, Pension Fund Investments
  • Manager, Project Finance
  • Mortgage Analyst
  • Operations Analyst
  • Portfolio Analyst
  • Pricing Analyst
  • REIT Analyst
  • Securities Analyst

Co-curricular Activities and Organizations

  • Beta Alpha Psi
  • Financial Management Association
  • Madison Investment Fund
  • Madison Venture Group

Degree and Major Requirements

The Department of Finance and Business Law offers programs leading to the Bachelor of Business Administration degree in finance and the Bachelor of Science degree in quantitative finance. As part of the JMU assessment program, graduating seniors are required to participate in assessment activities. Assessment information is used to assist the College of Business and department faculty in curricula.

Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance

The B.B.A. degree with a major in finance requires a minimum of 120 credit hours of undergraduate course work. Fifty percent of this work, or 60 credit hours, must be taken outside of the College of Business . In counting the 60 credit hours of non-business courses, students may include all hours taken in General Education , up to a total of nine hours in economics (ECON courses must be counted as economics), and three hours of COB 191. Business Analytics I . The remaining hours, to bring the total to 60, must be taken from any department outside the College of Business . Students should carefully select these non-business electives to help them gain additional knowledge and expertise for their careers and personal lives.

Students enrolled at James Madison University who wish to change their major to finance must first complete the change of major form, available from the Registrar’s Office website, signed by either the Department of Finance and Business Law  department head or the finance major adviser. Further, students must be in good academic standing to change their major to finance and, if they have taken any FIN prefix courses at the time of the change request, must meet the prerequisites for the required courses in the finance major.

Students who plan to major in finance and earn a score on the Math Placement Exam sufficient for placement into MATH 235  are strongly encouraged to enroll in MATH 235 .

Required major courses provide finance majors with a foundation in financial management, investments and institutions. Electives within the major permit students to obtain an additional emphasis and explore other areas within the field of finance.

Degree Requirements


  • B.B.A. core courses 45-46 Credit Hours 1
  • Finance major requirements 24 Credit Hours
  • Free elective 3 Credit Hours 2
  • General Education  courses 41 Credit Hours 3
  • Non-business electives 6-7 Credit Hours

Total: 120 Credit Hours


1 Up to seven hours of core requirements in economics and calculus may also be taken for General Education  credit.
2 Any course offered by the university.
3 The General Education  program contains a set of requirements each student must fulfill. The number of credit hours necessary to fulfill these requirements may vary.

Major Requirements

Additional Information

In addition to these core courses, the student majoring in finance must successfully complete 12 credit hours of finance elective courses. Finance electives include any 300-level or 400-level finance course other than FIN 301 , FIN 345 ,FIN 499  and the finance major core courses.

A student may choose up to one of the following courses to satisfy the finance elective credit hours: ACTG 313 , ACTG 343 , ACTG 344 , ACTG 377 , BLAW 470 , BLAW 494 , BLAW 496 , BLAW 497 , BLAW 498 , and CIS 330 . A finance major cannot take more than 10 Credit Hours of FINprefix courses in any one semester.

Recommended Schedule for Majors

First Two Years

Students planning to major in finance must complete the 30-31 hour, lower-division B.B.A. core curriculum prior to enrolling in upper-division core courses, normally taken in the first semester of the junior year. It is expected that the lower-division core curriculum will be completed during the first two years of study along with most of the university General Education  curriculum. Failing to complete all lower-division B.B.A. core requirements on time will delay enrollment in upper-division core and major courses.

Third and Fourth Years

Finance majors will follow the course schedule below to complete the final two years of their program. It is possible to deviate from this program, but care must be taken to ensure that all course prerequisites are met. Finance majors are encouraged to enroll in FIN 360  during the same semester as COB 300 or during the semester following completion of COB 300. Note that students taking FIN 360  concurrently with COB 300 will have more choices in finance electives in subsequent semesters because FIN 360  is a prerequisite for most finance courses. It is anticipated that students will complete the finance requirements in three semesters following COB 300.

Third Year

Fourth Year

COB 487  is required during a student’s senior year but may be taken either semester.

First Semester

  • Finance electives 6 Credit Hours

Second Semester


Though not required, finance majors may elect a concentration. The concentrations are financial analysis and risk management. Students electing these concentrations will be taking specific electives in place of the required four electives for the major. Finance majors who wish to declare a concentration may do so once accepted into COB 300 or during any semester following. A student must earn a 2.0 in the courses designated for a concentration in order to have successfully completed the concentration.

Financial Analysis Concentration

Many James Madison University finance graduates go on to careers in financial analysis, and the need for financial analysts remains strong. The financial analysis concentration helps prepare students for these careers and also Levels I and II of the Chartered Financial Analyst exam.

Students wishing to declare and complete the financial analysis concentration must have a minimum of a “B” in COB 241  and COB 242 .

Risk Management Concentration

A focus in risk management is designed for finance majors pursuing a more in-depth review of the issues facing organizations and the tools needed to address those uncertainties. In the risk management concentration, students focus on the theory of risk management, risk identification, risk measurement and applications in the form of risk modeling techniques such as Value-at-Risk and Monte Carlo simulations.

Transfer Credit

In general, all finance course work must be completed at JMU. Transfer credit for finance courses is awarded only in certain circumstances. In no case will transfer credit be awarded for FIN 488. Advanced Financial Policy . Contact the department head for more information on transfer credit.

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