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The major is a part of the Department of Finance and Business Law, an academic unit within the College of Business.

The B.B.A. degree with a major in finance requires a minimum of 120 credit hours of undergraduate course work. Fifty percent of this work, or 60 credit hours, must be taken outside of the College of Business. In counting the 60 credit hours of non-business courses, students may include all hours taken in General Education, up to a total of nine hours in economics (ECON courses must be counted as economics), and three hours of COB 191. Business Analytics I. The remaining hours, to bring the total to 60, must be taken from any department outside the College of Business. Students should carefully select these non-business electives to help them gain additional knowledge and expertise for their careers and personal lives.

Students enrolled at James Madison University who wish to change their major to finance should go to the Student Center in MyMadison to submit a request. Students must be in good academic standing to change their major to finance and, if they have taken any FIN prefix courses at the time of the change request, must meet the prerequisites for the required courses in the finance major.

Students who plan to major in finance and earn a score on the Math Placement Exam sufficient for placement into MATH 235 are strongly encouraged to enroll in MATH 235.

Required major courses provide finance majors with a foundation in financial management, investments and institutions. Electives within the major permit students to obtain an additional emphasis and explore other areas within the field of finance.

Degrees Offered



Risk Management

Financial Analysis



Declaring the Major

New Freshmen and Transfer Students
Students should declare the Finance major when they register for orientation. Any student admitted to JMU can declare any major offered by the College of Business. However, students are not formally admitted into the College of Business until certain requirements are met as listed in the section "Admission to the Major."

Currently Enrolled Major Changers

All students must have at least one major with a degree (i.e. Biology - B.S.).  To add a 2nd major, select the major listed with no degree (i.e. Biology).

  1. Log into MyMadison, select Student Center.
  2. Select Major/Minor Change from the "Other Academic..." dropdown menu.
    1. To add a program of study select Add Major/Minor

      To narrow your search, select the plan type, change the criteria of plan description to "contains," and enter the beginning letters of the plan.
    2. To drop a program of study, select Drop Major/Minor.
    3. To update a concentration for an existing program of study, select Add/Change Concentration.
  3. After all requests are entered, select Submit Request.

Please note that any student admitted to JMU can declare one of the eight majors offered in the College of Business. However, any student enrolled in one of the B.B.A. programs must meet certain progression standards in order to continue as a business major beyond the first year of study.

Admission to the Major

Full Admission to the College of Business

Declaring a business major does not guarantee full admission to the College of Business. Students must formally apply for full admission to the College of Business by submitting an application for admission during the semester in which they are completing the lower-level B.B.A. core courses.Students are formally admitted into the College of Business as a B.B.A. degree seeking major and permitted to register for COB 300. Integrative Business when the following requirements are met:

  1. A completed application for admission into the College of Business is submitted to the College of Business Academic Success Center located in 205 Zane Showker Hall, according to the following schedule:
    • November 1 for the upcoming spring semester
    • April 1 for the upcoming summer session and fall semesters
  2. All 8 lower-level Bachelor of Business Administration (B.B.A.) core courses are successfully completed as follows: 
    • First Year (It is recommended that students complete the following five B.B.A. core courses by the end of their first year):
      • COB 191. Business Analytics or MATH 220. Elementary Statistics
      • COB 204. Computer Information Systems
      • ECON 200. General Education Macroeconomics
      • ECON 201. Microeconomics
      • MATH 205. Introductory Calculus or MATH 235. Calculus
    • Second Year (It is recommended that students complete the following five B.B.A. core courses by the end of their sophomore year):
      • COB 202. Interpersonal Skills
      • COB 241. Financial Accounting
      • COB 242. Managerial Accounting1 
      • COB 291. Business Analytics II

1 COB 241 must be taken before COB 242COB 242 is a prerequisite or corequisite for COB 300 and is not used in calculating the B.B.A. core GPA. COB 242 is a prerequisite for COB 300 for students taking COB 300 in Antwerp.

  1. No core course may be attempted more than two times.  Attempted courses include courses in which a final letter grade, “W,” “WP” or “WF” is recorded on the student’s official JMU transcript.
  2. Earn a cumulative GPA of 2.7 or higher in the B.B.A. lower-level core courses (excluding MATH 205 or MATH 235). The B.B.A. core GPA is calculated using grades earned in the B.B.A. lower-level core courses excluding calculus (MATH 205 or MATH 235). Only grades earned at JMU will be used. The university policy for calculating repeat-credit and repeat-forgiveness will be followed. Students with a 2.7 B.B.A. core GPA are assured admission into the College of Business and COB 300. Students who meet all of the requirements above but fail to achieve a 2.7 B.B.A. core GPA will be admitted to the College of Business and COB 300 based on B.B.A. core GPA ranking, and pending resources and space availability.
  3. Admission is granted within one calendar year of the applicant's first application. Two applications, in consecutive semesters of enrollment, are permitted.

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