Investments, Undergraduate Certificate

Department of Economics, Finance, and Accounting

The W. A. Franke College of Business

This undergraduate certificate serves students who have completed the prerequisites that make up the Business Profession Program Milestone. Time, patience, discipline, and money are often cited as the prerequisites for thriving in the world of investments. But students who wish better preparation can enhance their acumen with five courses designed to develop an understanding of financial theory, while getting real-world practice through our Student Managed Investment Fund and Certified Financial Analyst (CFA) Global Investment Research Challenge.

  • To receive an undergraduate certificate (at least 15 units) at Northern Arizona University, you must complete a planned group of courses from one or more subject matter areas with a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.0.

    Please be aware that federal financial aid is not available for some certificates, if the certificate is pursued and completed as a stand-alone certificate (i.e., not completed concurrently with a degree program). See the "Details" tab for additional information.

In addition to University Requirements:

  • Complete individual plan requirements.

Students may be able to use some courses to meet more than one requirement. Contact your advisor for details.

Minimum Units for Completion 15
Major GPA 2.0
Highest Mathematics Required MAT 121
Additional Admission Requirements Required

Purpose Statement

The mission of the Northern Arizona University undergraduate Finance Program is to educate skilled and well-trained finance professionals. The graduates with a major in finance will be well positioned to understand important issues and tools in the fields of investments, corporate finance, financial institutions, risk management and international finance. They will be prepared for their first position in the field of finance and prepared to continue to progress throughout their careers.

Consistent with this goal, the Finance Area seeks to continuously improve the curriculum to ensure that our graduates possess those core competencies which are most closely aligned with the values of finance professionals. While knowledge requirements will change with time, these core competencies have long-term value and will support a variety of career opportunities in the fields of investments, corporate finance, banking, and risk management.  Coursework provides students with professional preparation focusing on the concepts and principles involved in four core skill areas common to many careers in the field of finance: asset valuation, risk assessment and management, analysis of financial statements, and forecasting financial statements.  Students also have an opportunity to gain hands-on experience and apply course concepts while managing a real-dollar portfolio of stocks and bonds by participating in the Student Management Investment Fund.  At the completion of the Investments Certificate, students will be able to demonstrate competency in designing, implementing, monitoring, and managing investment portfolios that are appropriate given an investor’s profile.  Students are also prepared to enter a master’s program in business if they choose to continue in an academic track.

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Value Assets: When valuing stocks, bonds, projects or other assets, students can identify and use the correct inputs and understand how they affect value and understand how value changes in an international setting.
  • Assess Risk: Students should fully understand the causes of risk, how risk can be measured in various ways and how risk affects value and decision making.
  • Analyze Financials: Students should be able to accurately analyze an income statement, balance sheet and cash flow statement.  Students should be able to use them correctly to identify strengths and weaknesses of a company.
  • Forecast Financials: Students should be able to accurately forecast an income statement, balance sheet and cash flow statement.  Students should be able to use these forecasts to help a firm prepare for future changes.

Additional Admission Requirements
  • Individual program admission requirements over and above admission to NAU are required.

  • The W.A. Franke College of Business (FCB) offers more than a dozen undergraduate certificates, some of which are open to all Northern Arizona University students.

    For a list of certificates open to non-business majors, contact the Office of Academic Services in the FCB. 

    The FCB does not accept upper-division transfer credits from programs not accredited by the AACSB (such as the University of Phoenix or the Bachelor of Business Administration program at NAU).

    You must complete 9 units of certificate coursework that are not used in your major, minor, or other certificates, and you must complete at least 60% of certificate coursework at Northern Arizona University.

Certificate Requirements
  • Take the following 15 units with a minimum GPA of 2.0:

    Please note that if you are a Finance Major you cannot use FIN 431 in both your major and this certificate. You should take FIN 431 for the certificate requirement and FIN 451 for your major requirement.

    This certificate is available only for those students with the Business Professional Program Milestone.


  • You must have completed all of the coursework used to fulfill these requirements within the last 10 years.

  • This certificate may only be pursued and completed concurrently with a degree program. This certificate is not available as a stand-alone certificate.

  • Be aware that some courses may have prerequisites that you must also successfully complete. For prerequisite information, click on the course or see your advisor.