Darden Professor Ken EadesAt Darden, all MBA students build core strength in finance through the required curriculum. MBA finance electives, beginning at the end of the First Year, are varied and provide the opportunity for deep learning — both on a technical and strategic level. Students pursuing career paths in finance leverage the extensive curriculum with Darden's action-oriented enterprise perspective.


Finance: Required Courses

Finance: Electives

Corporate Finance

Students who pursue a career in corporate finance will be responsible for the company’s financial direction and therefore, need to have a solid foundation that will allow them to understand increasingly sophisticated financial topics. MBA students interested in corporate finance should complement the core finance courses with strategy and operations fundamentals. It is also important for future financial decision makers to have an international perspective. Throughout, students looking to become financial analysts should fine-tune their quantitative skills.

Primary Courses
Related Courses

Investment Banking

An investment banking career requires a thorough comprehension of valuation techniques and concise understanding of how financial markets  both national and international  function. Investment bankers must be comfortable combing through financial statements, thus the importance of the two accounting courses in the selection of courses below. In addition, investment bankers must have a deep understanding of strategy and competitive markets. Finally, as with most financial careers, quantitative skills are a crucial foundation. An MBA with finance emphasis is pivotal for success in investment banking.

Primary Courses
Related Courses

Investments/Portfolio Management

A successful portfolio manager must be able to select securities in which to invest according to pre-defined criteria. This task requires portfolio managers to be comfortable with various valuation techniques and portfolio theory. Managers must be able to learn about an industry and evaluate companies’ strategic positioning in their respective markets. Portfolio managers must also understand the broader context of financial markets and how those markets operate.

Primary Courses
Related Courses

Small Enterprises

MBA students interested in pursuing finance careers with small enterprises will need different skill sets than those students joining large, established corporations. Small enterprises are usually characterized as having higher growth rates and higher risk. Students need to understand the methods that smaller companies use to raise financing and the different valuation techniques that may be applied to small enterprises.

Primary Courses
Related Courses

Sales and Trading

Students pursuing a career in sales and trading will manage their clients’ and firm’s needs through executing orders in various financial markets. Therefore, a foundation in understanding markets and how firms are valued in markets is essential. The core finance courses will also help MBA students understand how to manage risk — a large component of their future jobs. The derivatives course will give students an introduction to some of the increasingly sophisticated financial securities they will encounter on the job. Negotiating skills are an important adjunct to the pure financial skills necessary to make successful trader.

Primary Courses
Related Courses

*Courses offered in the First and Second Year. All other courses are offered only in the Second Year.


Please note: courses are subject to change each year. Consult the course directory for the most up-to-date course offerings.


Darden faculty created the following finance concentrations to help Second Year students develop course plans:

Asset Management/Sales & Trading

This concentration is designed to extend the valuation principles learned in the First Year curriculum to solve complex problems faced by asset managers and sales and trading professionals. The courses expose students to a variety of different financial markets and give students a deeper understanding for how companies are valued, which are critical components for either managing a client’s funds or executing security trades. Faculty contact: Ken Eades.

Corporate Finance/Investment Banking

This concentration is designed to extend the valuation and value creation principles learned in the First Year curriculum to the solving of complex problems faced by companies and investment banks. The courses fine tune students’ analytical skills and broaden students’ exposure to a wide range of financial and business decisions. Faculty contact: Ken Eades.

Clubs & Events

  • Darden Finance Club (DFC) - As the largest student organization at Darden, DFC serves the Darden MBA community as a comprehensive professional, social, and educational organization focused on all areas of finance. Club highlights include: the Darden Finance Conference and the Week on Wall Street job trek.
  • Darden Capital Management (DCM) - DCM is a student-run organization with the purpose of preparing its membership for careers in investment management and research as well as other functions within the financial markets. DCM's assets have grown from $250,000 in 1990 to over $8,000,000 held in five funds managed completely by Darden students. Club highlights include: DCM Financial Markets Competition, DCM Stock Pitch Competition and the Darden Finance Conference.
  • Darden Private Equity Club (DPEC) - DPEC's mission is to build and develop a network of student and alumni professionals with a common interest in private equity investing, ranging from angel stage and venture capital to leveraged buyouts and turnaround situations.

View the full list of Darden student organizations.

Career Video

Vineet D'Souza (Class of 2012) talks about the job search process for students interested in finance careers. He discusses the finance curriculum and faculty, companies that recruit at Darden, the alumni network, the Darden Finance Club and resources available through the Career Development Center.



Still have questions? Feel free to contact the following current student and/or alumni to ask specific questions about finance at Darden or in their careers. For additional contacts, please visit the Darden Student and Alumni Ambassadors list.

Brett Durick (MBA '11)Brett Durick (MBA '11)

Undergraduate education: University of South Dakota
Undergraduate major: Finance
Company: Goldman, Sachs & Co.
Role: Associate, Leveraged Finance
Current location: New York, NY

"I came to Darden to gain an enterprise perspective to business and management.  Following four years of investment banking, I wanted to learn more about Operations, Marketing and Strategy than I did about Finance and Accounting. Darden has provided me with a much broader view on all functional areas of business. The Darden faculty are terrific in building an incredible classroom environment that challenges students and keeps everyone constantly learning. In addition, my learning team was an awesome experience. It functioned very similar to that of an Investment Banking deal team. We had intelligent people from diverse backgrounds working together and leveraging each person’s strength to reach a common goal."

R. Jerry Nemorin (MBA '08)R. Jerry Nemorin (MBA '08)

Undergraduate education: University of Florida
Undergraduate major: Finance and Sports Management
Company: Bank of America Merrill Lynch
Role: Associate, Financial Sponsors Group
Current location: New York, NY

"Investment banking is a team-oriented, data intensive, and fast-paced industry which requires a strong work ethic, the ability to analyze and synthesize volumes of data, and the communication skills to concisely articulate one’s analysis and views. Darden's intense, case-based curriculum, and team-oriented culture was the perfect training ground for me. The school provided the analytical, yet practical framework that allows me to take a holistic approach in my analyses and the soft skills to navigate in a team of dynamic personalities."

Lara Kagan (MBA '08)Lara Kagan (MBA '08)

Undergraduate education: Dartmouth College
Undergraduate major: History
Company: Goldman, Sachs & Co.
Role: Associate, Equity Capital Markets
Current location: New York, NY

"I arrived at Darden with a very limited knowledge of finance or even excel, so I knew I had my work cut out for me. The education I received at Darden was invaluable in preparing me for a career in finance, and I credit both the outstanding faculty and the case method for helping me to understand both the theory and practice of the financial tools I now use every day."

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