Majors & Programs



Why Study Finance?

Our strong finance curriculum can lead you to a career in corporate finance, in commercial or investment banking, or in asset management. Your courses will cover capital mar-kets, valuation methods, investment strategies, corporate financial decisions, options and derivative pricing, and the role of financial intermediaries in markets. You can also choose an advanced elective in asset management, in which students manage a portion of the University’s endowment or an advanced elective covering research methods in finance.

The John M. Olin Business School

Olin Business School, founded in 1917, has a longstanding reputation for outstanding business education. We equip high-potential students with the skills, knowledge, and experiences they need to become leaders in a time of intense competition and global change. Participants in our programs learn much more than management theory and practice; they acquire new ways of thinking that can profoundly change their lives and the success of their organization.

Typical Courses for Finance

All finance majors take:

  • Advanced Financial Management

    Capital Markets and Financial Management


    Options, Futures, and Derivative Securities

Finance majors also choose electives from courses like:

  • Information, Intermediation, and Financial Markets

    International Finance

    Investment Praxis

    Mergers and Acquisitions

    Research Methods in Finance

Further Education

Master of Science in Finance (MSF) Olin’s Master of Science in Finance is a rigorous and comprehensive graduate program that offers in-depth training in securities research, asset management, derivative pricing, and fixed income for students pursuing specialized finance careers in four tracks—Corporate Finance, Quantitative Finance, Global Master of Science, and Accelerated Master of Science in Finance.

The Finance tracks fuse mathematical tools with a strategic understanding of business decision-making. The rigor of Washington University’s MSF programs attracts applicants with excellent quantitative skills and a broad range of academic experience in the areas of finance, economics, engineering, and mathematics. Prior internship or work experience is recommended, though not required, for admission to the program.

Investment Praxis

In this unique elective course, you and your classmates manage a portion of the University’s endowment funds. You address the challenges and restrictions faced by profession-al managers and experience the issues and considerations of managing investments for the benefit of others. Partici-pants in the equity fund present stock analyses, and the class determines whether to invest in the recommended securities, including blue-chip and high-tech stocks. The equity fund has a present-day value of approximately $1.25 million as of 2016. Students managing the new Stern Global Investment Fund use short-term securities and bank deposits denominated in the U.S. dollar, yen, pound sterling, and euro.

Olin Programs Abroad

Almost all business activity today is conducted on a global basis. In preparing for career opportunities in any area of business activity, students are well-served to incorporate study of the international character of business into their overall course of study.

International Internship Programs

Olin’s International Internship Programs offer students the opportunity to combine classroom learning with an internship experience in England, Australia, France, Germany, or Israel. Participants in any of these programs earn 15 units of academic credit and placement in a semester-long internship while abroad. Students also write a significant research paper and present an oral presentation at the end of the program.

Study Abroad Programs

Olin students have the opportunity to pursue a strictly academic focus in their study abroad experience. Taking classes in a local university, interacting with its students, and experiencing the culture and excitement of a foreign city offer students a challenging and rewarding experience. Olin maintains exchange relationships with Bocconi University in
Milan (Italy); Carlos III University in Madrid (Spain); Chinese University of Hong Kong; ESCP in Paris (France); FGV in Sao Paulo (Brazil); Hong Kong University of Science and Technology; University of Melbourne (Australia); Singapore Management University; and WHU in Koblenz (Germany).

Honors Programs

Honors in Management

The Honors Program consists of a two-semester Honors Seminar taken senior year. Honors candidates must complete a total of 126 credit hours of academic work, including both semesters of the Honors Seminar. To participate in the Honors Program, students are nominated and selected by the School’s faculty.

Final Honors

Graduating seniors in the top 5 percent of their graduating class based on their overall record at Washington University will graduate “Summa Cum Laude.” Seniors in the next 10 percent will graduate “Magna Cum Laude.” These designations are recorded on the official University transcript.

Beta Gamma Sigma

The top seven percent of the junior class and the top 10 percent of the senior class are eligible for invitation to Beta Gamma Sigma, the national business honorary. Students must have completed a minimum of 30 credit hours at Washington University to be eligible.

Student Life at Olin

There are a number of undergraduate student organizations and many opportunities for student engagement at Olin. We encourage students to fully investigate all of these options and to become active participants in the ones that interest them.

  • Alpha Kappa Psi, an international business fraternity
  • Arch Consulting, a case competition group
  • Beta Alpha Psi, an accounting honor organization
  • BSBA Alumni Mentor Program
  • Delta Sigma Pi, an international business fraternity
  • Ellevate, a professional women’s network
  • International Business Association
  • Marketing Association
  • MicrOlin, a microfinance group
  • National Black MBA Association
  • NetImpact, an organization focused on socially and environmentally sustainable business practices
  • Olin Business Council, Olin’s student government
  • Olin Peer Ambassadors
  • Olin Sports Management Organization
  • Phi Gamma Nu, an international business fraternity
  • Student Investment Fund
  • Washington University Student Investment Fund
  • Women’s Mentor Program

Olin’s Graduate Study in Business Opportunities

We offer an array of options to combine your undergraduate degree with graduate study in business:

Early admission 3+2 MBA program

Specialized Masters Programs

  • Master of Accounting
  • Master of Science in Finance
  • Corporate Finance Track
  • Quantitative Finance Track
  • Global Master of Finance
  • Accelerated Master of Science in Finance
  • Master of Science in Supply Chain Management
  • Master of Customer Analytics

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