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
Corporate Finance 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

How to Get in

Current UW–Madison Students

Requirements Details
How to get in Application required. Meeting the requirements listed below does not guarantee admission. (https://admissions.wsb.wisc.edu/BbaPreBusiness)
Courses required to get in Students are required to complete each of the 4 requirements below. Requirements can be completed via coursework, test credit, transfer work, or placement exam (if applicable).

Communication A
Quantitative Reasoning A
Human Behavior
GPA requirements to get in Minimum 3.0 UW-Madison GPA.
Credits required to get in
  • If you started at UW-Madison as a first-year student, 24 credits completed/in-progress at UW-Madison are required for application.
  • If you started at UW-Madison as a transfer student, 12 completed/in-progress at UW-Madison are required for application.
  • In-progress course credits towards this minimum must be completed at the end of the spring application term.

  • Pre-Business 101 workshop required during the intended application year.
  • Pre-Business applicants may apply once within their first four terms (Fall/Spring) at UW-Madison, based on enrollment date. There is no credit maximum.
Semester Deadline to apply Decision notification timeline
To apply for a fall start Mid March On or before July 1st.
To apply for a spring start This program does not accept applications to start in the spring.
To apply for a summer start This program does not accept applications to start in the summer.

Prospective First-Year Applicants

All prospective UW–Madison students must apply through the central Office of Admissions and Recruitment.  Prospective high school students may be considered for direct admission to Business based on their application to the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Simply list a Business interest as your top academic area of interest on the University application.

Prospective Transfer Applicants

Transfer students at University of Wisconsin System campuses or Wisconsin Technical Colleges may apply separately for admission to both the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the School of Business during the spring term for fall enrollment. Information for prospective transfer students can be found here: https://business.wisc.edu/undergraduate/admissions/transfer-students/.

Additional Information

Students declared in Business: Finance, Investment and Banking cannot earn the Summer Certificate in Business Fundamentals, Certificate in Business, or the Certificate in Entrepreneurship due to curriculum overlap.  

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) program combines UW–Madison’s general liberal education requirements, broad coverage of core business disciplines, and cutting-edge signature courses to create a strong academic foundation upon which students delve deeply into their majors.

School of Business BBA Requirements
Complete requirements:
School of Business Liberal Studies Requirements
Business Fundamentals Requirement
Business Core Requirement
Business Signature Requirement

Business: Finance, Investment and Banking Major Requirements 

See the Advising and Careers tab for helpful progression advice or the Four-Year Plan tab to see a sample of 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 200 Finance Industry Fundamentals1
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 3306
Total Credits25

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.

Learning Outcomes

  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.

Four-Year Plan

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 2214-5MATH 213 or 2223-4
ECON 101 or 1114ECON 102 or 1114
GEN BUS 1101ACCT I S 1003
GEN BUS 1061Ethnic Studies3
Communications A3 
 14-15 16-17
GEN BUS 3073ACCT I S 3013
PSYCH 202, SOC 211, ANTHRO 104, GEN&WS 102, or HDFS 263 (Human Behavior)3-4GEN BUS 3603
GEN BUS/​DS  240, 250, or 3082Humanities3
 14-15 15
FINANCE 3253MARKETNG 300, M H R 300, or OTM 3003
OTM 3003Literature3
M H R 3003Elective3
R M I 300, REAL EST 306, INTL BUS 200, or INFO SYS 322 (Take One)3PHILOS 241, 243, 341, or 441 (Ethics)3-4
ACCT I S 2113GEN BUS 250, 240, or 3082
 15 14-15
Finance Elective13Finance Elective13
GEN BUS 3013Science3
GEN BUS 4003Elective4
Science 3Elective3
 16 16
Total Credits 120-124

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

Advising and Careers


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.


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.