Jul 17, 2018  
University of Alberta Calendar 2016-2017 
University of Alberta Calendar 2016-2017 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Major in Finance [Business]

Description of Field

Finance is valuable for students interested in general management in large or small businesses. It also opens opportunities which require specialized knowledge.

The Finance program includes study of a number of topics:

  1. Investors' choices among financial investments (securities), such as stocks and bonds, and the management of investment portfolios;
  2. Business asset management, including selections of such items as equipment, cash and inventory, and related financial planning;
  3. Businesses; choices among methods of financing assets through borrowing, retaining earnings and issuing securities, including cost and governance aspects;
  4. The operation and regulation of security markets and financial institutions;
  5. Risk management, the transfer and reduction of risk through financial market operations;
  6. International finance.

Career Opportunities

Corporations and government enterprises employ many finance specialists in finance, controllership, investment analysis, and general management positions. Banks, insurance companies, government financial regulatory agencies, and other organizations specializing in financial affairs hire finance specialists in specialized staff positions and as part of their regular management. Instruction in finance provides valuable insights and information for students who plan to enter business for themselves. The problems of obtaining financing and evaluating investment opportunities are frequently critical to the survival and success of the entrepreneurial venture. This major provides a basis for a number of professional designations (listed in Professional Designations section).

Sequence of Courses

Year Three

Year Four

  • ★9 chosen from Finance Major designated electives, which are all 400-level FIN classes (See Notes 5 and 6)
  • ★21 in free electives


  1. See Policy on Elective Courses 
  2. May be taken in either of Year Two (Winter Term) or Year Three.
  3. May be taken in any year except Year Two, Fall Term.
  4. May be taken in either of Year Three or Year Four.
  5. Students planning to take advanced course work in Economics may wish to substitute ECON 281 . See Policy on Elective Courses (4) . ECON courses used to satisfy the requirements of this major may not also be used to satisfy the requirements for coursework outside the Faculty of Business.
  6. Students may, with Departmental consent, substitute a maximum of ★6 in coursework in ACCTG, BUEC, ECON or MGTSC for FIN electives. Contact the Department of Finance and Statistical Analysis for suggested courses.


  1. Students with a declared major in Finance may choose to do a minor in any subject area of Business. See Minors for Business Students [Business] . Minors are not required. Students are urged to select areas complementary to the Finance major. Some suggestions and details are listed next. Students may also wish to consider the Cooperative Education program (see BCom (Cooperative Education Program) ).
    1. Accounting: A recommended minor area particularly for students who wish to acquire a professional designation in accounting and/or finance. See Major in Accounting  and below.
    2. Management Science: Recommended for students interested in modelling. See Major in Decision and Information Systems [Business] .
    3. Marketing: Recommended for students interested in marketing financial products. (See Major in Marketing [Business]  and Major in Retailing and Services .)
    4. MIS/Computing: See the MIS major in Major in Management Information Systems [Business] .
    5. International Business: Recommended for students emphasizing international finance. See Major in International Business [Business] .
  2. Students with a declared major in another area may complete a minor in Finance by fulfilling the requirements of Minors for Business Students [Business] .
  3. Students wishing to construct informal programs of study outside the Faculty of Business should consider the following suggestions:
    1. Economics: Selections from ECON 281 , ECON 282 , ECON 323 , ECON 341 , ECON 373 , ECON 384 , ECON 385 , ECON 421 , ECON 422 , ECON 441, ECON 453 .
    2. Statistics/Mathematics: Recommended for students who are interested in research and/or graduate study in finance. Interested students should consult with the Chair of the Department of Finance and Statistical Analysis.

Finance Concentrations

There is sufficient flexibility within the Finance major to emphasize specific streams within finance, if desired. These streams are listed together with some recommended electives. It is recommended that students take FIN 412  before FIN 416  or FIN 442 . Each of these streams may be combined with minor areas (listed in Minors).

Professional Designations

Many finance positions require a professional designation. Part of the requirement for a professional designation may be satisfied by elective courses. Please consult the appropriate governing body.

  1. CA (Chartered Accountant), CGA (Certified General Accountant), CMA (Certified Management Accountant): See Professional Requirements 
  2. CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst): Offered by the Institute of Chartered Financial Analysts.
  3. CFP (Chartered Financial Planner): Offered by the Canadian Institute of Financial Planning. Partial credit may be possible for taxation, law and economics courses.
  4. CBV (Chartered Business Valuator): Offered by the Canadian Institute of Chartered Business Valuators.
  5. Canadian Securities Course: Offered by the Canadian Securities Institute and required to sell securities in Canada.
  6. CIM (Certified Investment Manager): Offered by the Canadian Securities Institute following the Canadian Securities Course.