A male instructor addressing a student at a desk, while another student looks on

The finance, investment, and banking curriculum prepares students for a wide variety of career pathways including corporate finance, the investments and securities industry, the management of financial institutions including banks and insurance companies, and the evolving financial technology sector. The theory of finance and its applications are emphasized. Students learn about security analysis and valuation, security trading, financial markets and government policies, financial forecasting, capital structure, financial risk management, venture capital, security issuance, international finance, and financial technology.

A significant part of the coursework teaches students to understand risk and uncertainty, both at an intuitive level and at a technical level. More important, students 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
Forex and Investment Club
Investment Banking Club
Sales & Trading and Asset Management Society
Society of Personal Investments
Wealth Management Group
Women in Finance and Accounting

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.

While not required for declaration, students are encouraged to enroll in these courses in preparation for the major as they serve as a foundation for enrollment in subsequent courses.

Business Analytics
GEN BUS 306 Business Analytics I3
Or approved Business Analytics course for Actuarial Science major, Economics major, or Economics certificate students. 1
MATH 213 Calculus and Introduction to Differential Equations3
or MATH 222 Calculus and Analytic Geometry 2

Students pursuing an additional major in Actuarial Science or Economics may opt for a different Business Analytics course. The approved list is detailed on the School of Business Requirements page.

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 

See the Advising and Careers tab for helpful progression advice or the Four-Year Plan tab to see a sample on how to graduate in four years.

MATH 213 Calculus and Introduction to Differential Equations3
or MATH 222 Calculus and Analytic Geometry 2
ACCT I S 301 Financial Reporting I3
FINANCE 305 Financial Markets, Institutions and Economic Activity3
FINANCE/​ECON  320 Investment Theory3
FINANCE 325 Corporation Finance3
FINANCE 330 Derivative Securities3
Complete two 3-credit Finance courses numbered above 330 16
Total Credits24

Each course must be at least 3 credits each.

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. Apply proper controls and best practices in the governance of modern organizations while recognizing the impact of finance on business and society.
  2. Explain the workings of financial markets, the role of financial intermediaries, and market mechanisms to create and trade securities.
  3. Evaluate the risk and return of financial securities and transactions.
  4. Interpret models of asset pricing and demonstrate how to value financial securities.
  5. Learn and apply best practices in data-driven decisions about investments, financing and payout policies, corporate restructuring, and risk management.
  6. Identify the role of financial technology in shaping the financial system and financial operations.
  7. Formulate a comprehensive financial plan for individuals or business entities.

Please use this recommended course sequencing guide as a reference point as you work with your academic advisor to plan your schedule throughout your BBA experience. This guide is intended for students whose primary major and career interests are in finance. Many business breadth and core finance courses are recommended early on so that students are prepared for the internship interview process which begins as early as sophomore year. There are several factors that may impact your optimal course sequencing plan, so please consult with your academic advisor.

MATH 211 or 2215MATH 213 or 2223-4See footnote 3
PSYCH 2023GEN BUS 3063 
ECON 1014ACCT I S 1003 
GEN BUS 11011ECON 1023-4 
GEN BUS 1061FINANCE 20021 
Communications A3-4  
 17-18 13-15 0
FINANCE 20521FINANCE/​ECON  3203Internship
FINANCE 3053MARKETNG 300, M H R 300, or OTM 3003 
ACCT I S 3013GEN BUS 3603 
GEN BUS 3073Ethnic Studies3 
MARKETNG 300, M H R 300, or OTM 3003  
 16 15 0
FINANCE 3303MARKETNG 300, M H R 300, or OTM 3003Internship
Finance Elective43Business Breadth3 
ACCT I S 2113Ethics54 
Electives6Humanities or Social Science3 
 15 16 0
Finance Elective43Business Breadth3 
GEN BUS 3013Humanities, Literature, or Social Science3 
Humanities, Literature, or Social Science3Science3 
Science 3Electives4 
 15 13 
Total Credits 120-123

Pre-business admits will take this course in the term of admission to the Wisconsin School of Business.


This is the recommended course but any elective is acceptable.


Taking summer courses is an option to reduce credit loads during the traditional semesters.  Ideal classes to take over the summer include: MARKETNG 300, M H R 300, OTM 300, ACCT I S 211, ECON 102 and Business Breadth.


This can be any 3 credit FINANCE course numbered above 330.


 Students must choose one of the following courses: PHILOS 241 Introductory EthicsPHILOS 243 Ethics in BusinessPHILOS 341 Contemporary Moral Issues, PHILOS/​ENVIR ST  441 Environmental Ethics


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

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

Business academic advisors and career coaches are passionate about student success. 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 Coaches

Admitted business students will have one assigned academic advisor.  Career coaches are assigned by academic major to be able to provide industry-specific career guidance.  If a student has more than one major, they may have more than one assigned career coach.  Students can find their assigned advisor and coach by logging into the Starfish portal through MyUW.

For students not yet admitted to the School of Business, there is a team of pre-business advisors available.

Accessing Advising

Drop-in advising and scheduled appointments are available for admitted business students. Pre-business students may also schedule an appointment with a pre-business academic advisor or utilize drop-in academic advising. 

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

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

Planning for the Finance Major

In preparation for completing the major requirements for the Finance major, taking these courses early will help you graduate in a timely fashion.

Prior to enrolling in FINANCE/​ECON  320, FINANCE 325, or FINANCE 330, plan to take:
FINANCE/​ECON  300 Introduction to Finance3
MATH 213 Calculus and Introduction to Differential Equations3
or MATH 222 Calculus and Analytic Geometry 2
GEN BUS 307 Business Analytics II (can be taken concurrently) 13
Prior to enrolling in FINANCE 325 take:
ACCT I S 301 Financial Reporting I3
Prior to your third year, complete:
FINANCE/​ECON  300 Introduction to Finance3
GEN BUS 307 Business Analytics II 13
ACCT I S 301 Financial Reporting I3
Other guidance:
It is recommended to take FINANCE/​ECON  320 before or concurrently with FINANCE 330; FINANCE 330 is the most quantitatively challenging of the three required courses beyond principles.
If the mathematics requirement has not been completed prior to admission to the School of Business, then you must take MATH 213 and MATH 222 as early as possible.
Prior to your summer internship it can be useful to complete certain finance electives that match your internship and/or career focus area. Please discuss with your advisor.

Students pursuing an additional major in Actuarial Science or Economics may opt for a different Business Analytics course. The approved list are detailed on the School of Business Requirements 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
  • Investment research
  • Global markets (sales and trading)
  • Financial technology/cryptocurrency
  • Wealth management and financial planning

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

More information on Career Pathways.

Faculty AND Staff in Finance

For more information about the faculty and their research interests, please visit the directory.


AACSB International—The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business

Accreditation status: Accredited. Next accreditation review: 2026–2027.