The finance, investment, and banking curriculum prepares students for careers in corporate financial management, the investments and securities business, and the management of financial institutions—e.g., banks and insurance companies. The theory of finance and its applications are emphasized. Students learn about: security analysis and valuation, security trading, government policy and financial markets, financial forecasting, capital structure, financial risk management, venture capital, security issuance and international finance.

A significant part of the coursework teaches you to understand risk and uncertainty, both at an intuitive level and at a technical level. More important, you learn to construct models of financial decisions—e.g., an investor’s portfolio choice problem, the issuance of securities by corporations and the structure of financial investments by banks.

Related Student Organizations

Capital Management Club
Fantasy Sports & Finance Club
Finance & Investment Society
Investment Banking Club
Sales & Trading and Asset Management Society

Society of Personal Investments
Wealth Management Group

Students wishing to pursue this major must be admitted to the School of Business. Once admitted, students are able to pursue any business major they choose. To find out more about the school's admissions process for undergraduate students, please see Entering the School.

University General Education Requirements

All undergraduate students at the University of Wisconsin–Madison are required to fulfill a minimum set of common university general education requirements to ensure that every graduate acquires the essential core of an undergraduate education. This core establishes a foundation for living a productive life, being a citizen of the world, appreciating aesthetic values, and engaging in lifelong learning in a continually changing world. Various schools and colleges will have requirements in addition to the requirements listed below. Consult your advisor for assistance, as needed. For additional information, see the university Undergraduate General Education Requirements section of the Guide.

General Education
  • Breadth—Humanities/Literature/Arts: 6 credits
  • Breadth—Natural Science: 4 to 6 credits, consisting of one 4- or 5-credit course with a laboratory component; or two courses providing a total of 6 credits
  • Breadth—Social Studies: 3 credits
  • Communication Part A & Part B *
  • Ethnic Studies *
  • Quantitative Reasoning Part A & Part B *

* The mortarboard symbol appears before the title of any course that fulfills one of the Communication Part A or Part B, Ethnic Studies, or Quantitative Reasoning Part A or Part B requirements.

School of Business Requirements

The Wisconsin Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) degree program is based on a broad educational foundation combined with courses in business and economics. This curriculum is designed for those students who wish to prepare for careers in business. Students completing any School of Business major are required to satisfy a common set of Pre-Business Requirements, Liberal Studies Requirements, Business Preparatory Requirement, Business Core Requirement, Business Breadth Requirement, and Credits for BBA Degree.

School of Business BBA Requirements
Complete requirements:
Liberal Studies
Business Prep
Business Core
Business Breadth

finance major Requirements 

Undergraduate finance majors should enroll in GEN BUS 306 Business Analytics I or its equivalent as early as possible in preparation for this major. Before enrolling in FINANCE/​ECON  320 Investment TheoryFINANCE 325 Corporation Finance, or FINANCE 330 Derivative Securities, students must complete:

  1. FINANCE/​ECON  300 Introduction to Finance;
  2. MATH 213 Calculus and Introduction to Differential Equations or MATH 222 Calculus and Analytic Geometry 2;
  3. Either complete or concurrently enroll for GEN BUS 307 Business Analytics II (or its equivalent).

ACCT I S 301 Financial Reporting I must be completed before enrolling for FINANCE 325 Corporation Finance.

Students planning on a major in finance should complete FINANCE/​ECON  300 Introduction to Finance, GEN BUS 307 (or equivalent) and ACCT I S 301 in or before the first semester of their junior year. FINANCE/​ECON  320 Investment Theory, FINANCE 325 Corporation Finance or FINANCE 410 Bank Management should be completed prior to a summer internship, where the choice from these would match the internship and/or career focus area. FINANCE 330 Derivative Securities is usually the most quantitatively challenging of the three required courses beyond principles, and generally helps to take ECON/​FINANCE  320 Investment Theory either prior to or concurrently with FINANCE 330 Derivative Securities. If the mathematics requirement has not been completed prior to admission to the School of Business, then MATH 213 Calculus and Introduction to Differential Equations or MATH 222 Calculus and Analytic Geometry 2 should be completed as early as possible. Finance majors should also be aware of enforced prerequisites for other finance courses.

MATH 213 Calculus and Introduction to Differential Equations3
or MATH 222 Calculus and Analytic Geometry 2
ACCT I S 301 Financial Reporting I3
FINANCE/​ECON  320 Investment Theory3
FINANCE 325 Corporation Finance3
FINANCE 330 Derivative Securities3
Select one of the following:3-4
Financial Markets, Institutions and Economic Activity
Intermediate Microeconomic Theory
Intermediate Macroeconomic Theory
Intermediate Microeconomic Theory - Advanced Treatment
Intermediate Macroeconomic Theory - Advanced Treatment
Money and Banking
Complete one 3-credit Finance course numbered above 400 13
Total Credits21-22

University Degree Requirements

Total Degree To receive a bachelor's degree from UW–Madison, students must earn a minimum of 120 degree credits. The requirements for some programs may exceed 120 degree credits. Students should consult with their college or department advisor for information on specific credit requirements.
Residency Degree candidates are required to earn a minimum of 30 credits in residence at UW–Madison. "In residence" means on the UW–Madison campus with an undergraduate degree classification. “In residence” credit also includes UW–Madison courses offered in distance or online formats and credits earned in UW–Madison Study Abroad/Study Away programs.
Quality of Work Undergraduate students must maintain the minimum grade point average specified by the school, college, or academic program to remain in good academic standing. Students whose academic performance drops below these minimum thresholds will be placed on academic probation.
  1. Explain the trade-off between risk and returns, and to explain methods of measuring and managing risk.
  2. Use financial models, including those for optimal portfolios and the estimation of expected returns.
  3. Distinguish between equilibrium and no-arbitrage pricing, and be able to apply both approaches.
  4. Explain the costs and benefits of the separation of ownership and control in the typical large firm.
  5. Understand how market frictions can influence financial decisions.
  6. Explain how investment and financing decisions can create and destroy value.

This is a sample four-year plan for students directly admitted into the School of Business from high school. We encourage all students to consult with their academic advisor to develop an individualized plan that meets their specific needs. 

MATH 2115MATH 2133MARKETNG 300, M H R 300, or OTM 3003
PSYCH 2023ECON 1014ACCT I S 2113
GEN BUS 1101ACCT I S 1003 
Science 3Ethnic Studies3 
Communications A3-4Humanities, Literature, or Social Science3 
 15-16 16 6
GEN BUS 3063GEN BUS 3073MARKETNG 300, M H R 300, or OTM 3003
FINANCE/​ECON  3003GEN BUS 3003-4 
ECON 1024Elective3 
ACCT I S 3013FINANCE/​ECON  320 or 3253 
Communications B3-4Humanities, Literature, or Social Science3 
 16-17 15-16 3
MARKETNG 300, M H R 300, or OTM 3003Finance Elective23 
FINANCE 3303FINANCE/​ECON  320 or 3253 
FINANCE 3053Business Breadth3 
 13 12 
GEN BUS 3013Finance Elective23 
Finance Elective 23Humanities, Literature, or Social Science3 
Business Breadth3Elective3 
Science 3Elective 3 
 12 12 
Total Credits 120-123


Advising is an integral part of any student’s educational journey in the School of Business BBA Program. Starting at Student Orientation, Advising, and Registration (SOAR), we encourage all students to connect with academic advisors. BBA academic advisors have a wealth of knowledge about courses on campus, as well as policies and procedures.

BBA career advisors help students with career exploration, internships, resumes, job search, interviewing and more. We encourage students to connect with their career advisor once they arrive on campus.

BBA advisors want students to succeed. Students experiencing academic difficulty or personal struggles are encouraged to talk to their advisor about how their individual situation may affect their academic performance.

Assigned Academic and Career Advisors

For admitted BBA students, advisors are assigned by academic major. If you have more than one major, you may have more than one assigned advisor. You can find your assigned advisor by logging into your student center and looking on the right hand menu under “Program Advisor.”

For students not yet admitted to the School of Business, we have a team of pre-business advisors available to you.

Accessing Advising

If you have a quick question, no more than 15 minutes, please utilize our drop-in advising.

You may schedule a 30-minute appointment with an academic and career advisors. Advisors are trained, and have knowledge regarding all ten majors in the BBA, so if your assigned advisor is not available you can be confident to schedule an appointment with any of the BBA advisors.

Pre-business students may also schedule an appointment with a pre-business academic advisor.

If you have a quick yes/no question you may always send an email to your assigned advisor.

For more information on accessing academic advising, please see our academic advising page.

For more information on accessing career advising, please see our career advising page.


Finance is the integration of time, returns and risk and how they are interrelated. Two pressing questions in finance are:

  • What do I invest in?
  • How do I pay for it?

Organizations that focus on finance include banks, credit card companies, insurance companies, consumer finance companies, corporations, stock brokerages, investment funds, government sponsored enterprises, education, and individuals.

Students may pursue careers in many different industries, including but not limited to:

  • Commercial and retail banking
  • Corporate finance
  • Investment banking
  • Investment management
  • Equity and debt capital markets
  • Research
  • Sales and trading

Find more details about these industries on the BBA Finance website.

Faculty AND Staff in Finance

David Brown, BA, Ph.D.

Brad Chandler, BA, JD, MBA
Faculty Associate

Briana Chang, BS, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor

Dean Corbae, BA, Ph.D.

Robert Cramer, BA, MBA, Ph.D.
Senior Lecturer

Greg Edwards, MS
Faculty Associate

Bjorn Eraker, Ph.D.

Gwen Eudey, Ph.D.
Faculty Associate

Mark Fedenia, BS, MS, Ph.D.
Associate Professor

Besti Hill, BS, MS
Faculty Associate

James Johannes, BA, MS, Ph.D.
Director, Puelicher Center for Banking Education

Robert Krainer, BA, MBA, Ph.D.

Mark Laplante, Ph.D.
Senior Lecturer

Oliver Levine, BS, MA, Ph.D.
Associate Professor

Antonio Mello, BS, MBA, MA, Ph.D.
Academic Director of the Nicholas Center for Corporate Finance and Invesment Banking

Belinda Mucklow, MBA, MS, Ph.D.
Senior Lecturer

Bulent Paker, BS, MA, MS, Ph.D., Ph.D.
Clinical Professor

Marisa Palmer, BS, MBA
Senior Lecturer

Daniel Pickett, BBA, MS
Faculty Associate

Sebastien Plante, BS, MS, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor

Erwan Quintin, MBA, Ph.D.

Mark Ready, BS, MBA, Ph.D.
Department Chair for Finance, Investments and Banking, Academic Director of the Hawk Center for Investment Analysis

Roberto Robatto, MS, MS, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor

Greg Schroeder, BA, MS
Senior Lecturer

Ivan Shaliastovich, BA, MA, Ph.D.
Associate Professor

Adam Smedema, BA, Ph.D.

Randall Wright, BA, MA, Ph.D.

Christopher Yarbro, BBA, MAcc


AACSB International—The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business

Accreditation status: Accredited. Next accreditation review: 2021–2022.