College of Business

Welcome to the Finance Department at Idaho State University! Whether you want a career in commercial banking, corporate finance, or investments, the finance major at ISU will provide you with the tools you need.

Undergraduate Programs in Finance

Finance is a quantitative discipline that requires a good understanding of accounting and economics. Those entering the field of finance should have an interest in understanding financial analysis, forecasting, and valuation.

The finance major is designed to prepare future business leaders and scholars for success in the fields of business finance, financial institutions, and investment management. Like all business majors, finance majors are exposed to the basics of finance, marketing, management, accounting, and computer information systems in the junior-level core courses.

To major in finance, students take an additional six finance courses at the senior level. These six courses consist of three required courses in investments and advanced corporate finance plus three finance electives in areas such as banking, financial modeling, real estate finance, entrepreneurial finance, international finance, and financial derivatives.

Career Opportunities

Recent surveys by the National Association of Colleges and Employers cited finance as one of the hottest careers, with high demand by employers and growing starting salaries. Recent ISU finance graduates have landed starting positions at large manufacturing firms, banks, insurance companies, and financial services firms in Idaho and nationwide. You can find excellent information on finance careers including necessary skills, salary information, and much more at the web site The following information is only a brief summary of the opportunities available in the various fields within finance.

Corporate Finance

The job of the financial officer is to measure, manage, and create value. A career in corporate finance means you would work for a company to help it find money to run the business, grow the business, make acquisitions, plan for its financial future and manage any cash on hand. You might work for a large multinational company or a smaller firm with high growth prospects. Responsibility can come fast and your problem-solving skills will get put to work quickly in corporate finance.

Commercial Banking

Commercial banks are in the business of providing banking services to individuals, small businesses and large organizations. Jobs in banking can be exciting and offer excellent opportunities to learn about business, interact with people and build up a clientele. Today's commercial banks are more diverse than ever. You'll find a tremendous range of opportunities in commercial banking, starting at the branch level where you might start out in lending or operations, to a wide variety of other services such as leasing, credit card banking, international finance and trade credit.


The investments field includes several career choices such as stockbroker, financial planner, and investment manager. While the latter choice, investment management, generally requires an MBA for entry into the field, a bachelor's degree is more than sufficient for being a stockbroker or financial planner.

Stockbroker (Financial Consultant)

Traditionally, being a stockbroker involved conducting trades and making investment recommendations to clients. Over the past several years this career has changed dramatically. Brokerage firms often call their brokers Financial Consultants, and the job now contains many elements of financial planning in addition to the commission trading function.

Financial Planner

Financial planners help individuals plan their financial futures. This work can be personally and financially rewarding and requires excellent interpersonal skills. Marketing courses are very valuable in addition to your finance, accounting, and economics courses. The work pays well and is rewarding if you like to help people. The finance major provides a background in financial principles that is extremely beneficial in studying to pass examinations required to be a stockbroker or financial planner.

Contact an Advisor

The best way to learn about matching your interests with the requirements for the Finance major is to schedule a visit with an academic adviser. Contact Susan Hooks: Office: BA 203 - Main Floor; Phone: (208)282-3448; Email:

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