Two business professionals looking at a computer

Bachelor of Science inFinance

Program summary

Prepare for the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and/or Certified Financial Planner (CFP) examinations with our AACSB–accredited finance degree. This program features multiple online extracurricular opportunities that allow you to apply your knowledge as you progress through your course work.

Application deadline

Apply by March 15 to start May 13

Credits and costs

120 Credits$626/$671 per credit

Nationally Recognized

US News and World Report Bachelor's badge
Our bachelor's degrees are highly ranked by U.S. News & World Report.

An Online AACSB–Accredited Degree in Finance

This program is AACSB Accredited

Develop a solid foundation in principles of finance, including capital management, investment and portfolio management, financial institutions, and personal finance, with the 120-credit Bachelor of Science in Finance from Penn State World Campus. In this program, students can learn the analytical and conceptual skills necessary to add value to a finance-based position. As a graduate of the AACSB–accredited bachelor's degree, you can be prepared to pursue or advance a career in banking, financial analysis, security analysis, corporate finance, or personal financial planning.

Finance at Penn State

The World Campus undergraduate finance program, offered in partnership with Penn State Behrend, is distinct in its pragmatic focus on professional designations. Your in-depth course of study will help prepare you for the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and/or Certificated Financial Planning (CFP) designations.

The bachelor's in finance has also been accepted into the CFA® Institute University Affiliation Program, a unique accomplishment for an online program. This status is granted to institutions whose program incorporates a significant portion of the CFA Program Candidate Body of Knowledge (CBOK) into its curriculum. Students who complete the required course work will be better prepared to sit for the CFA exams.

Your Online Finance Courses

As a student in our finance program, you will study all components of the field, including investments, corporate finance, financial markets, and more. The curriculum provides a firm grounding in the principles of business, economics, and accounting — with an in-depth focus on issues and knowledge in finance and financial management. This Penn State World Campus program also offers flexibility in choosing the path most suited to your goals.

Extracurricular Opportunities

An education through Penn State World Campus encourages you to explore your talents beyond the classroom. While progressing through your bachelor’s degree program, you will have the opportunity to participate in extracurricular activities traditionally offered only to resident students. By taking part in these offerings, you can further enhance your knowledge and demonstrate to employers that you are motivated to acquire experience in the finance field while pursuing your education.

Extracurriculars include:

  • Intrieri Family Student Managed Fund
  • Investment Research Challenge Team
  • Financial Management Association
  • Financial Planning Club
  • Finance Speaker Series
  • Spring Student Trip

CFA is a registered trademark owned by CFA Institute.

Courses

The Bachelor of Science in Finance degree requires students to complete a minimum of 120 credits.

The number of credits you will have to take will vary according to the courses you transfer into the degree program. Once you are admitted into the degree program, an assigned academic adviser will help you with remaining requirements; 21 of the 45 General Education credits are included in the requirements for the major.

Prescribed Courses (47 credits)

  • 1 credit of electives. Consult your academic adviser when choosing an elective to fulfill this requirement.
  • 4
    credits

    Introduction to the role of accounting numbers in the process of managing a business and in investor decision-making.

    • Prerequisite

      MATH 21 or a higher math course or a satisfactory score on the mathematics placement examination

    • C or better

      A student enrolled in this course must receive a grade of C or better.

  • 3
    credits

    The exploration of conventional and advanced methods of analyzing financial statements, including the assessment of earnings quality.

    • Prerequisite

      FIN 301

    • C or better

      A student enrolled in this course must receive a grade of C or better.

  • 3
    credits

    Introduction to speech communication: formal speaking, group discussion, analysis and evaluation of messages.

    • C or better

      A student enrolled in this course must receive a grade of C or better.

  • 3
    credits

    Methods of economic analysis and their use; price determination; theory of the firm; distribution.

    • C or better

      A student enrolled in this course must receive a grade of C or better.

  • 3
    credits

    National income measurement; aggregate economic models; money and income; policy problems.

  • 3
    credits

    Writing reports and other common forms of business communication.

    • Prerequisite

      (ENGL 15 or ENGL 30) and fourth-semester standing

    • Note

      A student may take only one course for credit from ENGL 202A, 202B, 202C, and 202D.

    • C or better

      A student enrolled in this course must receive a grade of C or better.

  • 3
    credits

    Nature of finance function; risk and return concepts; working capital; dividend policies; mergers; security markets; acquisition and management of corporate capital; analysis of operations; forecasting capital requirements; raising capital; and planning profits. Available to baccalaureate students only.

    • Prerequisite

      (ENGL 15 or ENGL 30) and ACCTG 211 and (ECON 102 or ECON 104) and (SCM 200 or STAT 200)

    • C or better

      A student enrolled in this course must receive a grade of C or better.

  • 3
    credits

    Investment and risk, types of security investments, sources of investment information, the broker, the stock market, portfolio management.

    • Prerequisite

      FIN 301

    • C or better

      A student enrolled in this course must receive a grade of C or better.

  • 3
    credits

    Case studies are used to develop skills in solving a variety of financial management problems.

    • Prerequisite

      FIN 301

    • C or better

      A student enrolled in this course must receive a grade of C or better.

  • 3
    credits

    Financial decision-making in an international environment. Emphasis on topics relevant to small businesses and entrepreneurs.

    • Prerequisite

      FIN 301

    • C or better

      A student enrolled in this course must receive a grade of C or better.

  • 3
    credits

    Examination of fundamental principles and processes applicable to the study of management. Not available to students who have taken BA 304.

    • Prerequisite

      (ENGL 15 or ENGL 30) and (ECON 102 or ECON 104) and (MATH 21 or higher or satisfactory score on the mathematics placement examination)

    • C or better

      A student enrolled in this course must receive a grade of C or better.

  • 3
    credits

    Study of strategic management and business policy formulation and implementation processes.

    • Prerequisite

      MGMT 301, MKTG 301W, FIN 301, SCM 301

    • Note

      BA 422W can be substituted for this course

    • C or better

      Students need to earn at least a C grade in each course taken to be eligible for the certificate.

  • 3
    credits

    Provides an overview of the role of information systems in business process design; the current technologies used for obtaining, storing, securing, and communicating information in support of operations and decision-making within a business organization; as well as the concepts and principles for developing and using popular spreadsheet and database tools.

    • C or better

      A student enrolled in this course must receive a grade of C or better.

  • 3
    credits

    Covers terminology and important concepts related to marketing in the business environment. Domestic and international environments that impact marketing are included, with particular emphasis on the marketing environment, segmentation, positioning, and targeting. Not available to students who have taken BA 303.

    • Prerequisite

      (ENGL 015 or ENGL 030) and (ECON 102 or ECON 104) and (MATH 021 or higher or satisfactory score on the mathematics placement examination.)

    • C or better

      A student enrolled in this course must receive a grade of C or better.

  • 3
    credits

    Supply chain management concepts, principles, and methodologies.

    • Prerequisite

      ACCTG 211 and ECON 102 and (SCM 200 or STAT 200)

    • C or better

      A student enrolled in this course must receive a grade of C or better.

Additional Courses (select 34–37 credits)

  • Select 6 additional credits from 400-level FIN courses, excluding FIN 494 and FIN 495.
  • Select 6 credits from FIN or other business areas.
    • 4
      credits

      Impact of management's financing, investing, and operating decisions on GAAP–based financial statements.

      • Prerequisite

        ACCTG 211 and FIN 301

      • C or better

        A student enrolled in this course must receive a grade of C or better.

    • or both:
      • 3
        credits

        Theory and practice issues in income concepts and value measurement; GAAP; revenues, costs, assets, liabilities, and equities.

        • Prerequisite

          ACCTG 211 or ACCTG 311

        • C or better

          A student enrolled in this course must receive a grade of C or better.

      • and:
        3
        credits

        Off-balance sheet financing; special issues in cost capitalization, liabilities, and equities; matching; funds flow statements; statement analysis; inflation accounting.

        • Prerequisite

          ACCTG 371 or ACCTG 471

        • C or better

          A student enrolled in this course must receive a grade of C or better.

  • 4
    credits

    Explores the ethical, political, social, legal and regulatory, technological, and demographic diversity environment of business.

    • Note

      A student may not receive credit toward graduation for both BLAW 243 and BA 243.

    • 3
      credits

      Analysis of forces that determine the level of aggregate economic activity.

      • Prerequisite

        ECON 104

      • C or better

        A student enrolled in this course must receive a grade of C or better.

    • or:
      3
      credits

      Money, credit, commercial and central banking, financial intermediaries, treasury operations, monetary theory and policy, and foreign exchange. Students who have already taken ECON 451 may not schedule this course.

      • Prerequisite

        ECON 102 or ECON 104

      • C or better

        A student enrolled in this course must receive a grade of C or better.

    • 3
      credits

      An intensive, rhetorically based experience in reading and writing that will prepare you both to understand the communications that surround you and to succeed in your own communication efforts.

      • Prerequisite

        ENGL 4 or satisfactory performance on the English placement examination

      • C or better

        A student enrolled in this course must receive a grade of C or better

    • or:
      3
      credits

      Prepares students both to understand the communications that surrounds them and to succeed in their own communication efforts. The course focuses specifically on analyzing verbal and visual texts (reading) as well as on producing such texts (writing), always in terms of rhetorical principles. Enriched by more rigorous requirements (longer papers, additional research component where the student is required to cite and engage critical sources and conversations). Participation requirements are also enhanced, making for a richer honors experience.

      • C or better

        A student enrolled in this course must receive a grade of C or better.

    • 4
      credits

      Introduces and develops the mathematical skills required for analyzing change, and the underlying mathematical behaviors that model real-life economics and financial applications. Develops student knowledge of calculus techniques, and how to use a calculus framework to develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

      • Prerequisite

        MATH 022 or MATH 40 or MATH 41 or satisfactory performance on the mathematics placement examination

      • C or better

        A student enrolled in this course must receive a grade of C or better.

    • or:
      4
      credits

      Introduces and develops the mathematical skills required for analyzing change and creating mathematical models that replicate real-life phenomena. Develops student knowledge of calculus techniques and how to use the calculus environment to develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

      • Prerequisite

        MATH 22 and MATH 26 or MATH 26 and satisfactory performance on the mathematics placement examination or MATH 40 or MATH 41 or satisfactory performance on the mathematics placement examination.

      • C or better

        A student enrolled in this course must receive a grade of C or better.

  • 4
    credits

    Descriptive Statistics, frequency distributions, probability and normal distributions, statistical inference, linear regression, and correlation.

    • Prerequisite

      Placement into MATH 21 or higher.

    • C or better

      A student enrolled in this course must receive a grade of C or better.

Supporting Courses and Related Areas (15 credits)

Select 15 credits from any business major field or any non-business major course, except for all Health and Wellness (GHW) courses, any ENGL course below ENGL 15, and any MATH course below MATH 110. Students are encouraged to work with their adviser to identify the appropriate supporting courses.

General Education Requirements

Some General Education requirements may be satisfied by courses required for the major. Students should work with an adviser to select courses.

  • Foundations: 15 credits  
    All courses require a grade of C or better. Inter-Domain courses may not be used for foundations requirements. 
    • Writing/Speaking: 9 credits 
    • Quantification: 6 credits 
      3-6 credits are selected from mathematics, applied mathematics, and statistics; 3 credits may be selected from computer science or symbolic logic. 
  • Knowledge Domains: 15 credits  
    Inter-Domain courses may not be used for knowledge domain requirements.
    • Health and Wellness (GHW): 3 credits 
    • Natural Sciences (GN): 3 credits 
    • Arts (GA): 3 credits 
    • Humanities (GH): 3 credits 
    • Social and Behavioral Sciences (GS): 3 credits  
  • Integrative Studies: 6 credits
    • Inter-Domain course work: 6 credits  
  • Exploration: 9 credits 
    • Natural Sciences (GN) (may be Inter-Domain): 3 credits
    • GA, GH, GN, GS, and Inter-Domain courses: 6 credits  
      May include 3 credits of World Language course work beyond the requirements of the student’s degree program or at the 12th credit level, whichever is higher.

These General Education Requirements are for students who started in summer 2023 or later. Students who started earlier can review the prior version of the general education requirements

Course Availability

If you're ready to see when your courses will be offered, visit our public LionPATH course search (opens in new window) to start planning ahead.

Costs and Financial Aid

Undergraduate Tuition

Undergraduate tuition is calculated based on the number of credits for which you register and the number of total credits you have accrued at or transferred to Penn State.

Tuition is due shortly after each semester begins and rates are assessed every semester of enrollment.

2023–24 Academic Year Rates

Tuition rates for the fall 2023, spring 2024, and summer 2024 semesters.

How many credits do you plan to take per semester?If you have 59 or fewer creditsIf you have 60 or more credits
11 or fewer$626 per credit$671 per credit
12–19$7,602 per semester$8,206 per semester

Undergraduate students taking more than 19 credits will be charged the flat tuition rate plus the regular per credit hour rate for each credit above 19. 

2024–25 Academic Year Rates

Tuition rates for the fall 2024, spring 2025, and summer 2025 semesters.

How many credits do you plan to take per semester?If you have 59 or fewer creditsIf you have 60 or more credits
11 or fewer$632 per credit$678 per credit
12–19$7,678 per semester$8,288 per semester

Undergraduate students taking more than 19 credits will be charged the flat tuition rate plus the regular per credit hour rate for each credit above 19. 

Financial Aid and Military Benefits

Some students may qualify for financial aid. Take the time to research financial aid, scholarships, and payment options as you prepare to apply. Military service members, veterans, and their spouses or dependents should explore these potential military education benefits and financial aid opportunities, as well.

How to Apply

Deadlines and Important Dates

Your degree application, including receipt of all transcripts, must be received by the following deadlines to be considered complete.

  • Summer DeadlineApply by March 15 to start May 13
  • Fall DeadlineApply by June 30 to start August 26
  • Spring DeadlineApply by October 31, 2024, to start January 13, 2025

New students are encouraged to complete the FAFSA by March 1. Please visit the Office of Student Aid website for more information about applying for financial aid and recommended deadlines.

Admissions Help

Thank you for your interest in applying to this program. Contact an admissions counselor to discuss your educational goals, financial aid options, and application deadlines.

Admission Requirements 

To apply for this program, you must be a high school graduate or have completed your GED. 

Entrance-to-Major Requirements

For students transferring directly into the major:

  • Completion of 29.1 credits or higher
  • Entry to the finance major requires the successful completion of 5 entry-to-major courses: ACCTG 211, ECON 102, ENGL 015 or ENGL 030, MATH 110 or MATH 140, and SCM 200 or STAT 200, or their equivalents. Each course requires a C or better grade for successful completion.
  • A Behrend campus dean's review is required for all students in order to enter the major directly as well as for all students who have earned 45 or more transferable credits.
  • Note: A current Penn State student needs a grade point average of 2.0 or higher to enter the major. Transfer students require a minimum 2.5 cumulative grade point average to enter the major.

What You Need

Applications are submitted electronically and include a nonrefundable application fee. You will need the following items to complete your application:

High school transcripts or GED transcript — First-year applicants are required to submit Self-Reported Academic Records (SRAR). Official high school transcripts will only be required at the time a student accepts an offer of admission to Penn State.

Official college or university transcripts, if you attended another institution, and/or official military transcripts (if applicable) — All college or university transcripts are required regardless of the length of time that has passed, the grades earned, or the accreditation of the institutions attended. Acceptance of transfer credit toward your degree is subject to final approval by the academic department. For detailed information, see the Transfer Students page.

Transcripts not in English must be accompanied by a certified translation. Please send your transcripts by mail or electronically through Parchment, eScrip-Safe, or the National Student Clearinghouse directly to Penn State from the college/university where course work was attempted.

Submit official documents by mail to:

Undergraduate Admissions Office
The Pennsylvania State University
201 Shields Building
University Park, PA 16802

English Proficiency — The language of instruction at Penn State is English. With some exceptions, international applicants must take and submit scores for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Minimum test scores and exceptions are found in the English Language Proficiency section on the Undergraduate Admissions International Requirements page. Visit the TOEFL website for testing information. Penn State's institutional code is 2660.

Start Your Application

Former Penn State students may not need to complete the admissions application. Please visit our Returning Students page for instructions. 

If this is your first time applying to Penn State, you'll need to complete the following steps:

  1. Review the application instructions before beginning.
  2. Complete the online application and submit all official documents.
  3. Pay the application fee.

Checking Your Status

You can check the status of your application by using the same login information established for the online application form and choosing "MyPennState — Check Application Status." Your decision letter (confirming your acceptance or denial) will be mailed four to six weeks after receipt of all application materials. An admissions counselor will contact you if additional information is required.

Technical Requirements 

Review the technical requirements for this degree program.

Ready to Learn More?

Get the resources you need to make informed decisions about your education. Request information on this program and other programs of interest by completing this form.

* required1/3

I agree to be contacted via phone, email, and text by Penn State World Campus and affiliates. I understand my information may also be shared with select providers to offer ads that may be of interest to me.Privacy Policy. reCAPTCHA protected. Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

Learn more about this program

Download Program Brochure All my programs

Ready to take the next step toward your Penn State bachelor's degree?

Apply by March 15 to start May 13. How to Apply 

Start or Advance Your Career

A woman reviewing documents with two peers in a business meeting

You can use the knowledge gained from this program and the support of Penn State career resources to pursue careers in a variety of fields, depending on your goals.


Job Titles Related to This Degree

The following roles are often held by people with this type of degree:

  • Budget Analyst
  • Controller
  • Credit Analyst
  • Financial Analyst
  • Portfolio Manager

Employment Outlook for Occupational Fields Related to This Degree

Estimates of employment growth and total employment are provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and are subject to change. While these occupations are often pursued by graduates with this degree, individual outcomes may vary depending on a variety of factors. Penn State World Campus cannot guarantee employment in a given occupation.

Financial Managers

16%
employment growth (10 years)
740,780
total employment

Financial and Investment Analysts

7.6%
employment growth (10 years)
291,370
total employment

Budget Analysts

3.3%
employment growth (10 years)
48,430
total employment

Credit Analysts

-4.3%
employment growth (10 years)
71,960
total employment

Career Services to Set You Up for Success

Student having a virtual meeting on a laptop with a career counselor

From the day you're accepted as a student, you can access resources and tools provided by Penn State World Campus Career Services to further your career. These resources are beneficial whether you're searching for a job or advancing in an established career.

  • Opportunities to connect with employers
  • Career counselor/coach support
  • Occupation and salary information
  • Internships
  • Graduate school resources 

Contact Us

To learn more about the Bachelor of Science in Finance, offered in partnership with the Penn State Erie Black School of Business, please contact:

World Campus Admissions Counselors
Phone: 814-863-5386
Email: [email protected]

Jessica Zhao, Ph.D.
Samuel P. Black III Professor of Finance
Penn State Erie, The Behrend College
286 Burke Research Center
Erie PA 16563
Email: [email protected]

Faculty

  • Jeff Coy

    • Degree
      Ph.D., Finance, Florida Atlantic University
    • Degree
      MBA, University of North Florida
    • Degree
      B.S., University of North Florida

    Dr. Jeff Coy is an assistant professor of finance in the Sam and Irene Black School of Business at Penn State Behrend. He brings more than 10 years of teaching experience in the areas of corporate finance, international finance, investments, and portfolio analysis. Dr. Coy's published research is focused on the areas of cross-border mergers and acquisitions, corporate exchange rate sensitivity, and leveraged buyouts. His current research focuses on corporate diversification, short interest in acquisition targets, and the risk and leverage dynamics of the firm around the exercise of real options.

  • Hongrui (Harry) Feng

    • Degree
      Ph.D., Finance, Oklahoma State University
    • Degree
      M.S., Quantitative and Computational Finance, Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech)
    • Degree
      B.S., Finance, Zhejiang University

    Dr. Harry Feng, an assistant professor of finance, worked in financial service companies for several years. He teaches financial management, financial modeling, corporate finance, and energy finance courses. His research interests are agency problems and empirical asset pricing.

  • Greg Filbeck, CFA, FRM, CAIA, CIPM, PRM

    • Degree
      DBA, Finance, University of Kentucky
    • Degree
      M.S., Applied Statistics, Penn State
    • Degree
      B.S., Engineering Physics, Murray State University

    Dr. Greg Filbeck holds the Samuel P. Black III Professor of Finance and Risk Management at Penn State Behrend and serves as director of the Black School of Business. Dr. Filbeck has authored or edited nine books and published more than 90 refereed academic journal articles. He has taught courses in corporate finance, investments, portfolio management, and derivatives.

  • Tim Krause

    • Degree
      Ph. D., Financial Economics, University of Texas at San Antonio
    • Degree
      MBA, Finance, Georgetown University
    • Degree
      A.B., Government, Georgetown University

    Prior to his career in academia, Dr. Tim Krause spent twenty years in the financial services industry as an investment professional and held senior management positions. He is the director of the Intrieri Family Student Managed Fund at the Black School of Business, a student-run investment fund. He teaches Portfolio Management and Analysis, Advanced Energy Finance, Derivative Securities, and Fixed Income Securities. Dr. Krause's research and teaching interests include investments, derivatives, risk management, and financial institutions and markets.

  • Bob Patterson

    • Degree
      MBA, Penn State
    • Degree
      B.S., Accounting, Penn State

    Bob Patterson is a lecturer in accounting and has also taught courses in statistics, finance, and operations. He is a CPA who maintains an active practice in individual income taxes. He also serves as an adviser for the Mu Pi chapter of the international fraternity Delta Sigma Pi and has received the Silver Helmet Award for 25 years of service to the chapter. He is currently the longest-serving Delta Sigma Pi chapter adviser in the country.

  • Eric Robbins

    • Degree
      MBA, Gannon University
    • Degree
      B.S., Accounting, Asbury University

    Eric Robbins has spent his entire career working with the stock market and managing the invested assets and the retirement income needs of retirees. In 2010, he began teaching corporate finance at Penn State Behrend while still working full-time in wealth management, accepting a full-time teaching position in 2013. He is also a Certified Financial Planner and a CFA charterholder, and he continues to consult periodically with clients about their financial needs.

  • Phil Stuczynski

    Degree
    MBA, Finance, Penn State

    Phil Stuczynski has worked in managerial roles and spent time managing and transferring risk for assets with a specialization in insurance. Although he enjoyed his time in the private sector, he returned to education, where he feels he can have a greater impact on others.

    Phil pursued and completed an MBA from Penn State Behrend, discovering interests in multiple areas of business. This has translated to the classroom, where he has taught courses in finance, economics, and accounting. Phil teaches corporate finance, investments and portfolio analysis, and financial statements and management decisions.

  • Xin (Jessica) Zhao

    • Degree
      Ph.D., Finance, State University of New York at Buffalo
    • Degree
      M.A., International Trade, Shanghai University of Finance and Economics
    • Degree
      B.A., English, Tianjin University for Science and Technology

    Dr. Xin (Jessica) Zhao received her Ph.D. in finance at the State University of New York at Buffalo. Dr. Zhao teaches international finance and corporate finance for both undergraduate and graduate students as a professor at Penn State Behrend. Dr. Zhao's research interests include market microstructure, event studies, financial markets, and asset pricing. Her research in these areas has been published in both academic and practitioner journals. Dr. Zhao has working experience in Da Hua CPA and China Petrochemical Corporation prior to joining Penn State Behrend.

News

Flags from the U.S. and the service academies are shown
How military students can make a quality college education more affordable,
Renata Engel addresses the crowd at the graduation celebration from a platform with a baseball diamond in the background.
Scenes from the Summer 2021 Graduation Celebration,

Ready to take the next step toward your Penn State bachelor's degree?

Apply by March 15 to start May 13. How to Apply