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Finance

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Western's Finance department teaches students the art and science of money management. What can you do with a B.S.B.A. in Finance? Career opportunities include financial planning, investment management, corporate finance, treasury management, investment banking, commercial banking, commercial real estate, risk management and insurance.

The finance major has three concentrations for you to choose from: Personal Financial Planning, Banking Finance and Corporate Finance.

The B.S.B.A in Finance is a residential degree located on WCU's main campus in Cullowhee. Concentrations are Banking Finance and Corporate Finance.

The degree requires 120 total hours – 42 Liberal Studies hours, 36 Business Core hours, 21 major hours, and 6-15 general elective hours, depending on Liberal Studies courses completed. Detailed Degree Requirements

Banking Finance Concentration

The Banking concentration provides both the necessary education and the networking opportunities to help students establish careers in middle, upper, and executive level management of banks and credit unions. Curriculum is based on both research in the banking field as well as the extensive experience of our banking faculty.

Graduates will find careers in the banking industry, financial analysis, or corporate financial management. It specializes in studying the mechanics of starting and managing the operations of banks and other financial services firms.

General Finance

Students who complete the general finance concentration can custom tailor their educational program to their interests and ambitions. This program is suitable for students seeking careers in any of the wide array of finance employers, including wealth management firms, brokerages, accounting firms, or the finance department of any major corporation. 

Personal Financial Planning

WCU has the only Certified Financial Planning Board ® certified bachelor’s degree program in North Carolina.

Students who complete this concentration will be eligible to sit for the prestigious Certified Financial Planner ® certification exam. Career opportunities in the field of personal financial planning include providing financial advice independently by starting their own firm or being employed by a financial institution, credit union, insurance company, accounting firm, brokerage firms, or other financial services companies. In addition, graduates may work in employee benefits or pension departments of large corporations or for public institutions such as state and federal government agencies or universities. For more information about the Certified Financial Planner ® exam and designation, please visit cfp.net. 

Eight Semester Plans 

Students who wish to finish their degree in eight semesters can follow a prescribed program of study:

For a general Finance degree

For a Financial Planning concentration

For a Banking concentration

For dual degrees in Finance and Accounting

Personal Financial Planning

WCU has the only Certified Financial Planning Board ® certified bachelor’s degree program in North Carolina.

Students who complete this concentration will be eligible to sit for the prestigious Certified Financial Planner ® certification exam. Career opportunities in the field of personal financial planning include providing financial advice independently by starting their own firm or being employed by a financial institution, credit union, insurance company, accounting firm, brokerage firms, or other financial services companies. In addition, graduates may work in employee benefits or pension departments of large corporations or for public institutions such as state and federal government agencies or universities.

There is still time to apply for fall 2021 enrollment! Learn how to Apply for Undergraduate Online Programs.

For more information about the Certified Financial Planner ® exam and designation, please visit cfp.net. 

Eight Semester Plan

Students who wish to finish their degree in eight semesters can follow a prescribed program of study:

For a Financial Planning concentration

A minor in Finance requires 18 total hours. View detailed degree requirements.

There are numerous internship opportunities for students. In some cases internships are established through a faculty member in the student's major. Oftentimes students find part-time jobs in an area related to their field of study. When this happens, students should discuss with their academic advisor the possibility of receiving college credit. Generally, three hours of general elective credit can be earned for a minimum of 200 hours of experience.

Advantages

  • Three (possibly more) hours of course credit which counts as a general elective towards your degree
  • Compensation
  • Relevant entry-level experience
  • Ability to make a more informed career decision and to be ahead of peers who do not have experience in the field
  • Future contacts and references/networking opportunities

How to Apply and Prepare

  • Visit WCU Career Services and obtain information about resumes, job searches, and interviewing
  • Attend Career Services seminar on Resume Writing and schedule an appointment with Career Services for resume assistance
  • Attend Interviewing Skills and Job Search Seminars
  • Become involved in the appropriate student organization: The Accounting Club, Beta Alpha Psi, The Finance Club, The Association for Information Technology Professionals.
  • Attend Career Fairs and Meet-the-Firms Night
  • Once you accept an internship offer, with permission from your academic advisor register for the internship course to obtain three hours of elective credit. All students must keep a work log, submit a written report and make a short presentation to faculty and students about their work

 

Finance majors in the banking concentration are expected to intern and those in the personal financial planning concentration are strongly encouraged to intern at some point in their college career. Annually, we hold a Financial Services Career Fair where area banks and other financial institutions meet with interested students. Local institutions where students have interned in the finance area (both banking and personal financial planning majors) include Macon Bank, Home Trust Bank, and the State Employees Credit Union.

Participating in student clubs and organizations is a great way to enhance your educational experience and also looks good on your resume.

The Finance Club is open to all students. One of the main activities of this club is to manage a $400,000 portfolio of equities, providing the opportunity to learn about investing in the stock market. Each fall the club sponsors a trip to New York City where they visit the New York Stock Exchange and other Wall Street institutions. During the spring semester, they sponsor a trip to Charlotte or Atlanta to make corporate visits. The members also organize and host the annual College of Business Career and Informational Fair. Contact Dr. Leo Diosdado, ldiosdado@wcu.edu.

 

 

Study Abroad programs are a great way to expand your horizons and at the same time earn college credit toward the completion of your academic program. If you want to gain international experience and exposure and a distinguishing edge in today's competitive job market, then studying abroad is for you. Academically, studying abroad is not only a fun way to earn credits, but it also exposes you to different teaching methods and perspectives on academic topics.

Western's Study Abroad opportunities are designed for both undergraduate and graduate students. These opportunities consist of programs that are one semester or an entire academic year, or even just for the summer. Each program has its own distinctions and prerequisites. Learn more about these opportunities.

Finance Faculty

Hai-yang Chen

Professor

Ph.D., Finance

Leobardo Diosdado

Assistant Professor

Ph.D., Finance

Patrick Payne

Assistant Professor

Ph.D., Finance

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