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Corporate Finance Degree Program Overviews with Course Info

Corporate finance refers to the activities of certain business enterprises. Studies in this field include investment banking, cost management and market regulations. Undergraduate education is often in corporate finance, while graduate programs typically award general finance degrees.

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Essential Information

While learning accounting fundamentals, international trade theories and investment strategies, students of such programs can prepare for positions that include investment banker, stock broker, auditor and financial analyst. Programs are available to students at both undergraduate and graduate levels in the fields of corporate finance and finance, respectively.

Common prerequisites include a high school diploma or GED for a bachelor's admissions and a bachelor's degree required to pursue a graduate degree. Minimum SAT, GRE and/or GMAT scores may also be required, along with an admissions essay and resume.


Bachelor's Degree in Corporate Finance

A bachelor's degree program for corporate finance teaches a range of subjects, including communications, management and accounting. Areas of study typically broach financial reporting, organizational psychology and international markets. General education courses in history, sociology and linguistics round out the degree program. This program typically results in a Bachelor of Science, but may also be offered as a Bachelor of Business Administration.

A high school diploma is a basic requirement for any student hoping to earn a bachelor's degree in corporate finance. Along with an admissions essay, most admission programs often require applicants to submit scores from either SAT or ACT examinations.

Classes for credit toward a bachelor's degree in corporate finance commonly include:

  • Personal investment strategies
  • Performance evaluation
  • Managerial finance
  • Fundamentals of accounting
  • Business finance strategies

Graduate Degrees in Finance

Graduate-level finance programs incorporate subjects in corporate record keeping, real estate valuation and risk analysis. Students learn about an array of global institutions and markets. Candidates for a master's or doctoral degree in finance typically focus on a specific area, such as corporate finance, financial management or real estate finance.

The primary requirement for admission to a graduate finance program is a bachelor's degree, preferably in a related field. Favored applicants perform highly on standardized tests, such as the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT). A statement of intent, copy of a resume or letters of recommendation may also be asked.

The curriculum for a graduate degree in finance comprises an array of classes in economics, financial technologies and asset management. Sample topics are:

  • Theories of international trade
  • Revenue optimization
  • Financial engineering
  • Mergers and acquisitions
  • International monetary policies

Popular Career Options

Those with a bachelor's degree can find employment opportunities in the following occupations:

  • Stock broker
  • Investment adviser
  • Financial reporter
  • Fraud investigator
  • Investment banker

Individuals with graduate degrees might find employment with brokerage houses, banks or financial regulation agencies. Career titles may include:

  • Professor
  • Auditor
  • Financial analyst
  • Bureaucrat
  • Fund manager

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

Salary and employment outlook varies greatly by type of position. For example, The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicted 10% growth from 2014-2024 for securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents, with a mean average salary of $102,860 (May 2015). In May 2015, the average mean salary for financial managers was $134,330.

Students interested in pursuing a degree program in corporate finance can do so at both undergrad and graduate levels. Graduates can then progress into popular career paths, such as an investment adviser or stock broker.

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