Financial Analysis Graduate Credit Certificate Program

Person-in-ChargeAlfred Warner
Program CodeFINANL

The Graduate Certificate in Financial Management is designed to enhance essential skills for making intelligent financial business decisions. The required courses for the certificate provide a strong foundation in financial theory, building on the concepts of time value of money and risk management. Students will acquire technical skills for developing analytical approaches and improve critical thinking abilities through hands-on coursework and real-world case studies. Real world examples will be covered in corporate finance, investments, portfolio theory and international analysis are emphasized.

In addition to being an excellent stand-alone credential, all of the courses in the Graduate Certificate in Financial Management can be applied toward the blended M.B.A. program offered through Penn State’s Behrend College. However, successful completion of the certificate neither guarantees nor implies acceptance into any graduate program at Penn State. Admission to the M.B.A. graduate degree program is a separate step and is not guaranteed. Approval to apply nondegree graduate credits toward a degree program must be granted by the student's academic adviser, the program head or graduate officer, and the Graduate School. A maximum of 15 credits earned as a nondegree student may be applied to a degree program, subject to restrictions outlined in GCAC-309 Transfer Credit.

Effective Semester: Fall 2021
Expiration Semester: Fall 2026

Admission Requirements

Applicants apply for admission to the program via the Graduate School application for admission. Requirements listed here are in addition to Graduate Council policies listed under GCAC-300 Admissions Policies. International applicants may be required to satisfy an English proficiency requirement; see GCAC-305 Admission Requirements for International Students for more information.

An applicant must demonstrate fundamental competence in Finance either by attaining a B or better in FIN 300, FIN 301, or equivalent or by completing an online training module as designated by the program.

Certificate Requirements

Requirements listed here are in addition to requirements listed in Graduate Council policy GCAC-212 Postbaccalaureate Credit Certificate Programs.

All candidates are required to take 12 credits in four courses (corporate finance, portfolio management, portfolio analysis, and either undergraduate or graduate level financial statement analysis).

Required Courses
ACCTG 426Financial Statement Analysis3
or ACCTG 881 Financial Statement Analysis
BADM 532Corporate Finance3
BADM 834Portfolio Management3
FIN 420Investment and Portfolio Analysis3
Total Credits12


Graduate courses carry numbers from 500 to 699 and 800 to 899. Advanced undergraduate courses numbered between 400 and 499 may be used to meet some graduate degree requirements when taken by graduate students. Courses below the 400 level may not. A graduate student may register for or audit these courses in order to make up deficiencies or to fill in gaps in previous education but not to meet requirements for an advanced degree.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Master the basic tools of financial analysis including assessment of financial statements, valuation for stocks and bonds, capital budgeting, and assessing optimal capital structure.
  2. Have a clear understanding and appreciation of a wide variety of risk types including market (systematic) risk, security (diversifiable) risk, psychological risks for investors, and several unique risks for different securities such as fixed-income securities. This class measures risk in terms of standard deviation (and variance) and in terms of beta.
  3. Understand and quantify the role of risk management in two key ways. First, students will explore a variety of securities that would allow an investor or firm to hedge different risks and create value with risk management. Second, applied risk management projects ask students to identify firms that could benefit from management strategies.
  4. Understand the entire spectrum of derivates including those based on fixed-income securities, interest rates, foreign exchange, and equities Master the basic techniques for the valuation of forwards, futures, swaps, and vanilla options (calls and puts).


Campus Erie
Graduate Program Head Al Warner
Program Contact

Lea Saunders
(814) 898-6716