Overview: BS in Finance
A Bachelor of Science (BS) in Finance degree from GCU prepares graduates to work in the financial world. Finance degree majors learn to analyze data and information related to money and finances. They know how to evaluate investments and determine beneficial alternatives. GCU graduates who major in finance are able to integrate their understanding of financial markets on a global scale with decision-making for everyone from individual clients to major corporations.
Why Major in Finance?
Students interested in money management should consider a Bachelor of Science in Finance. There are vast career possibilities at the end of the degree program that include working in just about any industry or sector and with any size client-base. Finance majors can work for families, nonprofits and mega corporations.
A finance degree ensures that people who enjoy working with money are prepared to handle areas like:
- Trade relationships
- Global finances
Bachelor of Science in Finance vs. Accounting
Finance and accounting are interrelated fields. A BS in Finance uses the accounting records and financial reports created by accountants to make decisions. The data provided in the reports helps finance majors analyze possibilities and create plans for money management. In turn, accounting majors collect the data from these decisions and plans.
To better understand the difference, here is what finance majors study:
- Banking and financial markets
- Portfolio management
- Securities and risks
While accounting students learn about:
- Accounting procedures
- Financial statement preparation
- Tax preparation
Finance Bachelor’s Degree Curriculum at GCU
Like all degrees earned from The Colangelo College of Business at Grand Canyon University, the BS in Finance is based on core business domains. These domains ensure that finance students are well-rounded, ethical practitioners. Finance students learn how to develop useful communication and critical thinking skills, information literacy and research skills, business and operations understanding as well as legal and ethical practices.
The finance degree program core classes focus on:
- Investment strategies
- Modern monetary systems
- Capital markets
- Budget and accounting report analysis
- Financial proposals
- Credit reporting and money lending
- Risks and mitigation strategies
- Real estate proposals and financing options
After completing an in-person or online finance degree at GCU, graduates can begin preparation to earn their Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), Certified Financial Planner (CPF) or state/federal licensing exams.
Careers with a Finance BS Degree
GCU BS in Finance graduates have the opportunities to work in many different capacities. Places looking for finance degree holders include corporations, financial and banking institutions, brokerage firms, investment businesses and insurance organizations. Local, state and federal governments may be another option for employment.
Positions within these environments can vary greatly for finance graduates. Depending on personal interest, you might find work as a:
- Financial analyst
- Loan or credit officer
- Operations analyst
- Relationships manager
- Customer support associate
- Sales agent
- Financial planner
People who work in finance can make a big difference in the lives of individuals and the success of businesses. If managing money is a job description you are interested in, a degree in finance may be right for you. Learn more about the Bachelor of Science in Finance degree at GCU.
General Education Requirements
General Education coursework prepares Grand Canyon University graduates to think critically, communicate clearly, live responsibly in a diverse world, and thoughtfully integrate their faith and ethical convictions into all dimensions of life. These competencies, essential to an effective and satisfying life, are outlined in the General Education Learner Outcomes. General Education courses embody the breadth of human understanding and creativity contained in the liberal arts and sciences tradition. Students take an array of foundational knowledge courses that promote expanded knowledge, insight, and the outcomes identified in the University's General Education Competencies. The knowledge and skills students acquire through these courses serve as a foundation for successful careers and lifelong journeys of growing understanding and wisdom.
Upon completion of the Grand Canyon University's University Foundation experience, students will be able to demonstrate competency in the areas of academic skills and self-leadership. They will be able to articulate the range of resources available to assist them, explore career options related to their area of study, and have knowledge of Grand Canyon's community. Students will be able to demonstrate foundational academic success skills, explore GCU resources (CLA, Library, Career Center, ADA office, etc), articulate strategies of self-leadership and management and recognize opportunities to engage in the GCU community.
- UNV-112, Success in Science, Engineering and Technology & Lab: 4
- UNV-103, University Success: 4
- UNV-303, University Success: 4
- UNV-108, University Success in the College of Education: 4
Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to construct rhetorically effective communications appropriate to diverse audiences, purposes, and occasions (English composition, communication, critical reading, foreign language, sign language, etc.). Students are required to take 3 credits of English grammar or composition.
- UNV-104, 21st Century Skills: Communication and Information Literacy: 4
- ENG-105, English Composition I: 4
- ENG-106, English Composition II: 4
Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to express aspects of Christian heritage and worldview. Students are required to take CWV-101/CWV-301.
- CWV-101, Christian Worldview: 4
- CWV-301, Christian Worldview: 4
Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to use various analytic and problem-solving skills to examine, evaluate, and/or challenge ideas and arguments (mathematics, biology, chemistry, physics, geology, astronomy, physical geography, ecology, economics, theology, logic, philosophy, technology, statistics, accounting, etc.). Students are required to take 3 credits of intermediate algebra or higher.
- MAT-154, Applications of College Algebra: 4
- MAT-144, College Mathematics: 4
- PHI-105, 21st Century Skills: Critical Thinking and Problem Solving: 4
- BIO-220, Environmental Science: 4
Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to demonstrate awareness and appreciation of and empathy for differences in arts and culture, values, experiences, historical perspectives, and other aspects of life (psychology, sociology, government, Christian studies, Bible, geography, anthropology, economics, political science, child and family studies, law, ethics, crosscultural studies, history, art, music, dance, theater, applied arts, literature, health, etc.). If the predefined course is a part of the major, students need to take an additional course.
- HIS-144, U.S. History Themes: 4
- PSY-102, General Psychology: 4
- SOC-100, Everyday Sociology: 4
Program Core Courses
This course provides the foundation of core knowledge within the field of information technology. Topics include technology-centric organizations, the type and role of fundamental information technology systems, data management to include privacy and security, e-business and m-business, hardware, software, and computer networks.
This course is an introduction to the accounting cycle and the construction of financial statements. Students explore the fundamental principles and practices of financial accounting as outlined by Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP); the steps in the accounting cycle from journalizing transactions through the preparation of financial statements; and the use and interpretation of the balance sheet, income statement, and statement of cash flows. Prerequisite: MAT-134, MAT-144 or MAT-154.
This course is an introduction to the use of managerial accounting data in the decision-making process. Topics include the use of cost-volume-profit (CVP) analysis and relevant costs in decision making, using budgets and the balanced scorecard to evaluate performance, methods for setting prices of products and services, and analyzing capital investment opportunities. Prerequisite: ACC-250.
This course provides an introduction to the practical application of descriptive and inferential statistics in business. Topics include probability, probability distributions, the central limit theorem, confidence intervals, hypothesis testing, correlation, and regression. Prerequisite: MAT-134, MAT-144 or MAT-154.
This course develops the concepts of calculus through a wide variety of applications. Topics include limits, continuity, derivatives, antiderivatives, and integration. Prerequisite: MAT-154.
This course focuses on the fundamental ideas of microeconomics. Students examine the market forces of supply and demand under different market structures in order to understand how economic agents make decisions about both consumption and production. The structure, conduct, and performance of markets are evaluated through analysis of consumer, producer, and societal welfare. Students explore the topic of factor markets in which the incomes of most workers and owners of capital and property are determined. Prerequisites: ACC-240 or ACC-250 and BUS-352.
This writing intensive course is a comprehensive study of the legal and ethical issues of concern to business, including those areas of the U.S. legal system that are most relevant to business, such as the law of torts, strict liability, intellectual property, and contract law. It explores the role of ethics and values in business decision making, and approaches these subjects from the perspective of the stakeholders as opposed to an economic interpretation of the firm and its responsibilities.
This course focuses on the national economy by examining macroeconomic data measuring national income, the cost of living, production and growth, and unemployment. Students examine the basic functions of the monetary system and analyze the macro economy in terms of long-run economic productivity and growth and in terms short-run fluctuations. The influence and effect of macroeconomic policy is studied within the context of current events. Prerequisite: ECN-361.
This course introduces models and practices used by contemporary marketers in fast-paced, dynamic domestic and global markets including the marketing concept and processes for developing, implementing, and assessing the effectiveness of marketing plans. Building from a foundational understanding of consumer behavior and marketing research, students examine the development and implementation of marketing mix strategies and tactics with emphasis on integrated marketing communications that effectively combine traditional advertising and promotion with digital marketing.
This course is an introduction to managerial finance and the financial markets, analysis of financial statements, time value of money, interest rates, asset valuation, assessment of risk, cost of capital, and capital budgeting. Prerequisites: ECN-220, ECN-351, or ECN-361; and ACC-240 or ACC-250.
This course is an advanced study of the finance function within the modern corporation. Topics covered include financial analysis and planning, the valuation of financial assets, capital budgeting, capital structure, and working capital management. Prerequisites: ACC-240 or ACC-260 or ACC-350; and FIN-350.
This course studies stocks, bonds, mutual funds, exchange-traded funds, and other investment vehicles, and their application in investing. The securities market and trading procedures are discussed. The course introduces portfolio theory that is applicable to both professional portfolio management and individual investment decisions. The application of portfolio theory to corporate investments and diversification is also introduced. Prerequisite: FIN-350.
Drawing upon real-world management situations, this course is a study of individual and group behavior in organizations through detailed coverage of the functions of management, individual differences/diversity, leadership, motivation, decision making, organizational design, and organizational change and development. Emphasis is placed on how an understanding of organizational behavior leads to effective management practice.
This introductory course explores fundamental concepts in risk management and insurance. Students learn to identify and mitigate commercial and personal risks through the use of financial products, including insurance and other financial instruments. Prerequisites: MAT-251 and FIN-350.
In this introduction to the real estate industry, students learn about the risks and rewards associated with investing in and financing both residential and commercial real estate. This course includes concepts and techniques relevant to a variety of careers related to real estate. This course also provides students with a better understanding of real estate for their own personal investment and financing decisions. Prerequisites: MAT-251 and FIN-350.
This course is an advanced study of investments and their application in investment portfolio management. The course develops and emphasizes portfolio theory that is applicable to both professional portfolio management and individual investment decisions. The application of portfolio theory to corporate investments and diversification is also discussed. Prerequisite: FIN-375.
This course provides a study of interrelationships between the international monetary environment and financial planning for corporations with overseas operations. The topics covered include the international monetary system, the foreign exchange market, managing exchange exposure, political risk management, import/export financing, and international performance evaluation. Prerequisite: FIN-350.
This course is an overview of the modern monetary system as the informal infrastructure for a dynamic and decentralized global economy. Students examine this system by looking at a variety of markets where deal-making activities take place between central banks, traditional banks, and "near banks" that act as deal-makers in both capital and money markets by supplying liquidity to the system. Innovative central bank policies and activities intended to stabilize the system are discussed. Prerequisites: ECN-362 and FIN-350.
This writing-intensive course serves as the capstone experience in business and management that includes the gradual development of a comprehensive and integrative business plan. This course is designed to assist students in their development as managers, servant leaders, and successful strategic thinkers. Management, marketing, accounting, finance, economics, global perspectives, law, and political issues are covered during this course. Prerequisites: MGT-420; FIN-210 or FIN-350; and MKT-245 or MKT-315.