“Finance is not merely about making money. It's about achieving our deep goals and protecting the fruits of our labor. It's about stewardship and, therefore, about achieving the good society.” –Robert Shiller, (Finance and the Good Society, 2012)

Why study Finance at Sewanee?

Finance majors at Sewanee develop the knowledge and skills necessary to examine how individuals, businesses, and governments make financial decisions. The major is rooted in a robust foundation in economics, the discipline from which finance emerged. Students complete core courses in economics, corporate finance, investments, security analysis, and ethics, while also expanding their knowledge in electives in real estate finance, international finance, energy economics, game theory, and financial derivatives. Students develop critical-thinking skills and have hands-on opportunities to examine real-world financial data. Students completing this major will be well prepared for the Level I Chartered Financial Analyst exam or for graduate work in finance, economics, public policy, business, and law.

CFA Prep

Three letters that flex in the world of finance.

“CFA” is an invaluable three-letter designation in the world of finance. Rivaling the MBA, the Chartered Financial Analyst distinction earmarks up-and-coming professionals, making them top contenders in the job market. Candidates study 300-plus hours for the series of three exams, and with a pass rate hovering around only 40 percent, the CFA designation signifies real dedication.

“We want prospective finance majors to know that our program at Sewanee is thorough,” says Serkan Karadas, who is an assistant professor of economics with a specialty in financial economics. “Our coursework will prepare them for this exam and send a strong signal to employers that they are committed and capable.”

Several Sewanee graduates from the Class of 2019 passed the Level I exam while they were still enrolled in classes. This is a prodigious accomplishment, and one that the department heralds as a product of the program’s rigor.

“After doing some research and talking with professionals in the field about it, I learned how beneficial it is to have the CFA designation tied to your name,” says Lucas DeSantis, C’19. He passed Level I while still pursuing his undergraduate degree. “I am convinced that if I didn't take Level I, and wasn't able to put it on my resume, I would not have gotten the job I have now, nor would I have gotten the number of interviews I did.”

The CFA Charter—even simply having Level I prior to graduation—is like having your name underlined and highlighted. Employers gravitate to these type of resumes, and Sewanee’s finance course material lays the groundwork for this workplace preparedness. 

“The CFA is thought to be the most highly respected and recognized designation throughout the investing industry,” says Robert Zolper, C’19, who is now working with JPMorgan. “Although taking and passing Level I is only the first step in a lengthy process, I highly recommend any Sewanee student interested in finance or investing to register for this exam. And Sewanee enabled me to learn the exam material much more quickly than I would have otherwise been able to.”

A Sampling of Courses


Programs of Study & Related Programs

Requirements for the Major in Finance

Recommended Plans of Study for Finance Majors | Link

Requirements for the Major and the Minor in Economics | Website

Requirements for the Minor in Business | Website

Meet some professors


Katherine C. Theyson
Chair and Associate Professor of Economics and Finance 


Carnegie Hall 115, Ext. 1146

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