Finance Major

In addition to the core curriculum, students majoring in finance complete 12 credits in the discipline. These credits focus understanding of finance beyond basic formulae to a more critical look at financial statements, portfolio risk and return, and corporate financial strategy.

Additionally, the Boehly Center for Excellence in Finance provides opportunities for advanced financial training, career exploration, networking, and experiential learning through financial firm-sponsored competitions as well as through industry-leader and dedicated faculty-taught courses. The Center capitalizes on William & Mary’s ideal size by offering uniquely personalized programs, including alumni mentor matching and academic and career advising.

Required Courses
BUAD 327 - Investments

(3 credits)

An introduction to portfolio management, fixed income, and derivative instruments.

BUAD 329 - Corporate Valuation

(3 credits) 

This course focuses on corporate valuation and credit analysis. Students will learn common methodologies for valuing corporate entities used by professionals working in investments, private equity, venture capital and investment banking. The course will familiarize students with various data sources and software used in the financial industry.

Electives (Choose Two)
BUAD 420 - Financial History

(3 credits) 

A study of the evolution of financing arrangements, financial risk, current institutions, government policies, and the forces driving booms, busts, and financial panics. The course begins with an eclectic survey of the financial record, highlighting relevant financial theory as well as history. The final part of the course highlights the role of history in helping to shape current debate on the appropriate policy responses to macro-financial problems.

BUAD 422 - Applied Financial Concepts

(3 credits) 

The goal of this course is to expose the student to practices and developments within several specialized areas of the financial services sector through the case method of instruction. Key objectives are to develop the student's problem solving ability and oral and written communication skills through the quantitative nd qualitative analysis of actual business situations. Active student participation in case discussion and analysis is required. This course is offered through the Distinguish program, and requires and application.

BUAD 423 - Corporate Financial Strategy

(3 credits)


Advanced topics in the theory and practice of financial decision-making. Cases and readings are used to examine the tools and techniques of financial strategy formulation and implementation under various environmental settings.

BUAD 424 - Derivatives and Risk Management

(3 credits)


An examination of the markets of derivative securities, valuation, trading strategies, and their applications in managing risk. The emphases are on financial engineering and the quantitative methods in the valuation of derivative securities

BUAD 427 - Advanced Investments

(3 credits)


An examination of the advanced topics of equity and fixed-income investments.

BUAD 428 - Behavioral Economics and Finance

(3 credits)


A review of prominent psychological biases and heuristics affecting individual decision-making. Applications to economics, finance, public policy, and social science.

Experiential Electives (Choose One)

BUAD 417 - International Finance

(3 credits)

A study of the foreign exchange markets, the relation between interest rates and exchange rates, and the current international monetary system. Specific course topics include borrowing and lending opportunities in international financial markets, international trade finance, the management of risks associated with exchange rate fluctuations, the analysis of currency crises, and the assessment of sovereign risk.

BUAD 421 - Student Managed Investment Fund

(3 credits)


The purpose of this course is to provide portfolio management and security analysis experience through the management of the Mason School Managed Investment Fund (SMIF). Students select companies from an S&P stock universe, do research on their business model and competitive environment, make forecasts of future financial performance and perform valuation analyses, write an investment report and present orally a recommendation to their colleagues and faculty for inclusion in a real endowment portfolio of common stocks. This course may be repeated one time.

BUAD 426 - Fundamentals of Hedge Fund Management

(1 credit)


This course is designed to give students a broad overview of the hedge fund industry and what is needed to launch a hedge fund and hedge fund manager by providing an overview of hedge fund structures, primary internal and external parties, and key regulatory, legal, and ethical considerations. This course is offered through the Distinguish program, and requires an application.

BUAD 429 - Special Topics Courses (Experiential Finance Topics Only)

(1-3 credits)


A course designed for special topics and for special opportunities to utilize the expertise of a faculty member.