/ Culverhouse - Economics, Finance, Legal Studies

overview

The Department of Economics, Finance and Legal Studies is home to world-class teaching and research faculty and offers a wide variety of undergraduate and graduate degree programs. Our various specializations in finance allow students to seek careers in banking, financial services, real estate, insurance and risk management, corporate financial management, investment management and international finance.

Our specializations in economics enable students to attain deeper insights into the economic forces that shape health care provisions and utilization, international trade and development, markets for labor and natural resources, and domestic and international macroeconomic and monetary policies.

Additional courses in business law, and law and economics are available to students interested in exploring the legal and institutional frameworks within which modern businesses and markets must operate.

Our degree programs appeal to students with a desire to learn and apply quantitative and analytical methods in decision-making at all levels of the private and public sectors. The department also offers a variety of special programs for top achieving undergraduate students.

The department offers graduate programs at the master’s level in finance (MSF), and economics (MA); and at the doctoral level in finance (Ph.D) and economics (Ph.D). Information on our graduate programs in economics and finance can be found on the Manderson Graduate School of Business site.

The department hosts a weekly seminar series throughout the academic year that features leading researchers and academics from around the world. Students are encouraged to routinely attend and participate in the department’s seminar series.

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Majors
  • Economics

    Economics majors are well versed in math, acting as exceptional logical thinkers with an interest in human systems. A degree in Economics takes Culverhouse graduates from the classroom to the boardroom with excellent preparation for those interested in a wide array of fields.

    Culverhouse students working toward an undergraduate degree in Economics must select either a specialization or an additional major. For students whose interests go beyond a single area, economics may be the only major. 


    Courses
    • EC 308Intermediate Microeconomics
    • EC 309Intermediate Macroeconomics
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    • FI 301Introduction to Financial Institutions & Markets
  • Finance

    Careers in Finance allow graduates to choose which of today's market sectors will define tomorrow's economies. The undergraduate Finance program offers courses designed to develop the student's analytical skills and abilities. Undergraduate students seeking a degree in finance must select an additional major or specialization.

    Culverhouse graduates who complete a bachelor's degree in Finance enjoy careers in banking, financial services, corporate finance, investment management, real estate, insurance enterprise risk management, consulting and the public sector.


    Courses
    • EC 308Intermediate Microeconomics
    • EC 309Intermediate Macroeconomics
    • FI 301Introduction to Financial Institutions & Markets
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    • FI 410Intermediate Financial Management
    • FI 412Money & Capital Markets
    • FI 414Investments
Specializations
  • Actuarial Science

    Actuarial Science is a perennial “best job” for future-oriented minds with a mathematical prowess. As a student specializing in the sciences, you will take important steps toward certification with a specialization in Actuarial Science that includes calculus courses, educational experience requirements and prep work for two actuarial examinations.

    As a career actuary, you will join an elite group that estimates the probability of future events, develops ideas for coping with unexpected losses and helps shape the way society deals with risk. Actuarial Science offers a wide variety of career paths consistent with many attractive lifestyles. As an actuary, you may work in a small town, a city or anywhere that your mind and math can take you.

    Students taking this specialization must complete the calculus sequence. Non-finance majors will need to take FI 410 and FI 414.

     


    Courses
    • EC 413Economic Forecasting & Analysis
    • FI 341Fundamentals of Risk Management & Insurance
    • FI 389Computerized Management Information Systems
    • FI 419Financial Derivatives
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    • ST 452Applied Regression Analysis
    • ST 454Mathematical Statistics
    • ST 455Mathematical Statistics II
  • Banking and Financial Services

    Capital moves through banks. Banks are the railroad hubs of markets. Banks and financial institutions also often provide the funding and liquidity essential to the growth of economies. Every decision a company makes has financial implications that directly or indirectly involve banks, financial institutions and securities markets.

    Students specializing in Banking and Financial Services understand that anything involving money has direct and indirect ties to their careers. Accordingly, banks and financial institutions often seek Culverhouse undergraduate and graduate finance students.


    Courses
    • AC 351Managerial Accounting Decisions
    • AC 352Corporate Financial Reporting
    • FI 341Fundamentals of Risk Management & Insurance
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    • FI 412Money & Capital Markets
    • FI 421Bank Management
  • Financial Management

    An institution's capital is only valuable when it is effectively managed—regardless of how much capital there is.

    This realm of finance analyzes valuation, incorporating risk as it applies to both certainty and uncertainty—ultimately making every venture less of an adventure. Students will learn how corporate decisions involve, for example, capital structure choices and payout policies, and the effects of market imperfections on such decisions.

    Training in this area will prepare students for fast-paced careers in corporate finance. An entry-level position might be as a financial analyst in a corporate controller’s office or as a chartered financial analyst. Promotions could lead to capital budgeting manager, controller, chief financial officer or even chief executive officer. This specialization is for cautious-minded, forward-thinking students.


    Courses
    • AC 310Financial Reporting & Analysis of Business Activities I
    • AC 311Financial Reporting & Analysis of Business Activities II
    • AC 361Cost Analysis for Planning & Control
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    • FI 411Corporate Financial Policy
    • FI 413Working Capital Management
    • FI 419Financial Derivatives
  • Insurance & Risk Management

    Culverhouse ranks among the top schools in the world for students seeking a career in insurance management. Modern economies could not exist without risk management insurance and financial services. Every individual and organization faces the risk and possibility of loss from a number of factors. Students in this concentration learn to manage complex risks, which prepares them for one of the many rewarding career paths in insurance, financial services and risk management. This specialization allows students to enter the job market with comprehensive insurance of their own.

    FI 341 is required, students can also choose five of the classes listed below.

     


    Courses
    • FI 341Fundamentals of Risk Management & Insurance
    • FI 360Personal Asset Management
    • FI 410Intermediate Financial Management
    • FI 412Money & Capital Markets
    • FI 414Investments
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    • FI 442Business Risk Management
    • FI 443Property & Liability Insurance
    • FI 444Life & Health Insurance
    • FI 460Advanced Financial Planning
    • LGS 403Administration of Estates & Trusts
  • International Economics

    International business permeates today's business school curriculum. Students specializing in International Economics will come to understand many aspects of the international economy including the reasons why nations trade, why there is a presumption of gains from trade and the ways in which trade affects income distribution. Students will also learn about international aspects of the business cycle and the determinants of exchange rates and the trade deficit. Students must major in Economics, have at least three years of a foreign language and spend a semester abroad. Starting locally, students will gain an understanding of why businesses in today's globalized markets need to think locally, but sell globally.


    Courses
    • EC 430International Trade
    • EC 431International Finance
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    • IBA 350Introduction to World Business
  • International Finance

    Culverhouse understands that for some students, domestic markets and ventures aren't enough. The International Finance specialization is for students serious about finance but drawn to how the world does business. Studying International Finance gives students a useful institutional background to pursue a career within the international financial markets. 

    There are in-depth analyses of foreign exchange rate determination, the balance of trade and payments, and international capital flows. In this concentration, students will examine the effectiveness of fiscal and monetary policies in an open economy where different exchange rate regimes are fully examined. The program prepares students for research-oriented jobs in government agencies and international organizations. International Finance is for students with a broad interest in global investing. 

    Students specializing in International Finance must major in finance, have at least three years of a foreign language and spend a semester abroad.


    Courses
    • EC 430International Trade
    • EC 431International Finance
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    • IBA 350Introduction to World Business
  • Investment Management

    Investments grow with their investors. This specialization equips students to succeed in investment management, which includes financial-statement analysis, debt securities, equity securities, derivative instruments, portfolio management and financial risk management.

    Large financial services firms such as commercial banks, investment banks, and large funds like state retirement systems and mutual fund families, continue to need well-equipped professionals to meet their management needs.

    The financial derivatives area, now over $500 trillion in size, is also labor-intensive and requires professionals with quantitative skills. The Investment Management concentration lays a foundation for young professionals working here.

    Making the investment was smart. Keeping it smart is where students in this specialization invest their futures. 

     

    Courses
    • AC 352Corporate Financial Reporting
    • FI 415Advanced Investment Topics & Portfolio Management
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    • FI 419Financial Derivatives
  • Macroeconomics and Monetary Policy

    It is practically a truism that government and private enterprise are, in spite of their constant interaction, considered separate entities. In order to better understand how the government should implement policy, it is necessary to understand the behavior of an economy during its business cycle. This requires a fluency in macroeconomic policy and knowledge of how quid influences quo. Students will learn how policymakers deal with longer-term problems such as the viability of Social Security and the federal deficit. A concentration in Macroeconomics and Monetary Policy provides students with an awareness of current events, theoretical models and the statistical tools that macroeconomists use to study a policy's effect on markets.


    Courses
    • EC 413Economic Forecasting & Analysis
    • EC 416Monetary Theory & Policy
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    • EC 431International Finance
  • Personal Wealth Management

    Every Culverhouse student is in some way a specialist in the field of personal wealth management. However, a concentration in Personal Wealth Management enables you to get more from those skills.

    This course of study qualifies the student to sit for the Certified Financial Planner™ exam. The course selection extensively covers all aspects of personal finance including investments, estate planning, taxation, risk management and insurance, employee benefits, and retirement planning.

    Graduates of the Personal Wealth Management Specialization often land careers working in or with securities firms, bank trust departments, mutual funds, insurance companies, investment advisory firms, and pension and accounting firms. Students will graduate with extensive knowledge of all areas of personal finance and wealth management.

    Note: Non-Finance majors will need to complete FI 414 Investments to sit for the Certified Financial Planner™ exam.


    Courses
    • AC 371Introduction to Taxation
    • FI 341Fundamentals of Risk Management & Insurance
    • FI 360Personal Asset Management
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    • FI 444Life & Health Insurance
    • FI 460Advanced Financial Planning
    • LGS 403Administration of Estates & Trusts
  • Public Policy and Law

    Serving the common good requires an uncommon skill set. Public policy is seldom the invention of the public and is created and implemented by people whose primary policy is helping others. Public Policy and Law students will find opportunities at all levels of government, including federal, state and local. Post-graduation opportunities for students include implementing policies that improve the lives of our nation's citizens. The costs and benefits of social policies such as No Child Left Behind and Medicare are not created without considering how they will utilize resources and impact the system that they are ultimately created to serve. A career in government can be as enterprising and advantageous to the participant as a career in the private sector. When serving the public is a student's calling, Culverhouse answers. Students must take three of the following courses.


    Courses
    • EC 410Law & Economics
    • EC 412Industrial Organization
    • EC 423Public Finance
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    • EC 480Economics of the Natural Environment & Natural Resources
    • EC 482Senior Seminar on Economic Issues
  • Quantitative Economics

    Where economies become volatile and markets unpredictable, more advanced forecasting methods must be engaged to explain what lies ahead. Just as basic mathematics turns to calculus to explain complicated systems, Culverhouse students turn to Quantitative Economics to explain diverse, new and evolving systems.

    The specialization in Quantitative Economics focuses on the use of mathematical and statistical tools to analyze both micro- and macroeconomic problems.

    Students will learn optimization theory, decision theory, economic modeling, economic forecasting and econometrics. The program prepares students for research-oriented jobs in government, business or consulting, and for graduate programs in economics and finance. An eye for numbers is advised; a passion for mathematics is required.

    Students must major in Economics and complete the calculus sequence, and MATH 237.


    Courses
    • EC 413Economic Forecasting & Analysis
    • EC 470Introduction to Mathematical Economics
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    • EC 471Econometrics
  • Quantitative Finance

    As the complexity of our surroundings increases, so does the need for finance managers who can understand it. 

    The Quantitative Finance specialization provides young Culverhouse professionals with a strong mathematical foundation suited to careers in nuanced and highly specialized areas of finance. A heavy emphasis is placed on calculus, statistics and financial derivatives. Students here, distinguish themselves through a superior quantitative foundation utilized particularly in investment management and financial risk management.

    Quantitative Finance is a useful concentration for those who know they will be pursuing advanced degrees. The quantitative skills acquired ease the burden of higher-level concepts encountered in graduate school. As our society advances technologically, the demand for professional finance personnel with quantitative skills does too.

    Students must major in Finance and complete the calculus sequence, and MATH 237.


    Courses
    • EC 413Economic Forecasting & Analysis
    • FI 419Financial Derivatives
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    • ST 454Mathematical Statistics
    • ST 455Mathematical Statistics II
  • Real Estate

    For students in the Real Estate specialization, bringing work home means giving people's work a home. What was once thought of as expertise required only for individuals seeking a career in residential and home sales has continued to grow into commercial markets, creating highly regarded career opportunities with it.

    The Real Estate concentration combines many different academic disciplines including economics, finance, sales, marketing and law.

    Commercial brokerage, appraisal, mortgage banking, property management, asset management and portfolio analysis are common areas of employment for Real Estate students. With the growth of large national and international real estate investment trusts, there is an even greater demand for people who can apply sophisticated investment management strategies to maximized returns in a sector where demand is always rising but supply rarely is.


    Courses
    • CE 463Construction Cost Estimating
    • FI 331Principles of Real Estate
    • FI 334Intro to Real Estate Property Management
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    • FI 432Real Estate Appraisal
    • FI 436Real Estate Finance
    • LGS 407Real Estate & Personal Property
graduate programs

The Department of Economics, Finance, and Legal Studies offers graduate programs in Economics and Finance at both Masters and Ph.D levels. Students wishing to apply for our MSF, MAE, and Ph.D tracks are encouraged to read the Economics(linked to PDF) and Finance(linked to PDF) Graduate Program Guides, which cover the finer details of graduate study in the department. Websites specific to our programs can be found below:

faculty
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Contacts
Department Head
William Jackson 205-348-6344
104 Alston Hall
Box 870225
Contact
Department Office
Sheila Eady 205-348-7842
200 Alston Hall
Box 870224
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Student Services 1-800-828-2622
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