Sample Course Path for the Finance Degree

These sample paths can help you visualize your progression through the Finance Graduate Degree Program. Once you’re admitted, our academic advisors will help you plan out your specific pathway, tailored to your goals and preferences. Note that course offerings vary from year to year. Refer to the finance degree requirements to guide course selection.

On Campus

This path represents a student who lives and works full time in the Greater Boston area, commuting to campus weekly to take courses.

This sample represents the path of a student who works full time as a research associate in the budget office of a Boston-area university and wants to pursue a career in finance. He lives in the Greater Boston area, commuting to campus weekly to take courses. After two years in the program his wife has a baby, and he reduces his course load to be available for his family.

Year 1

Fall

Accounting course, taken on Harvard’s campus

Sample course:
Introduction to Accounting

Spring

Organizational Behavior course, taken online with a required weekend on campus

Sample course:
Managing Yourself and Others
Principles of Finance course, taken online

Sample course:
Principles of Finance

Summer

Finance elective, taken on Harvard’s campus

Sample course:
Managerial Finance

Milestones

This first year you complete the admission courses, then apply and gain admission to the program.

Requirements Fulfilled

  • Critical reading and writing skills test completed
  • 3 admission courses completed for admission path A
  • Applied and admitted to the program
  • Admitted to the program
  • 2 of 4 on-campus courses completed

Year 2

Fall

Financial statement analysis course, taken online

Sample course:
Financial Statement Analysis
Finance elective, taken via live web conference

Sample course:
Foundations of Real-World Economics

Spring

Investments course, taken on Harvard’s campus

Sample course:
Investment Theory and Applications
Corporate finance course, taken online

Sample course:
Corporate Finance

Summer

Business valuation course, taken on Harvard's campus

Sample course:
Business Analysis and Valuation

Milestones

This year you continue your coursework.

Requirements Fulfilled

  • All on-campus courses completed

Year 3

Spring

Finance elective, taken online

Sample course:
Economics of Business

Milestones

This year you meet with your academic advisor to review your progress, continue your coursework, and earn a certificate.

Requirements Fulfilled

  • Met with academic advisor to confirm progress towards completing degree
  • Earned Principles of Finance Certificate
  • Contacted CARC to learn more about how degree supports career aspirations

Year 4

Fall

Finance elective, taken as a web conference

Sample course:
Topics in Labor Economics

Spring

Strategy course, taken online with on-campus weekend

Sample course:
Strategic Management

Milestones

In your final year of study, you complete all required courses and attend Harvard Commencement.

Requirements Fulfilled

  • All required courses completed
  • Attended Commencement in May

Online

This path represents a student who lives outside the Boston area and is completing the degree mostly online.

In this sample pathway, a student who works full time as the office manager of a large medical practice decides to return to school because her duties increasingly include managing the practice’s finances. She lives outside the Boston area and is completing the degree mostly online. Because she has a full-time job and young children, she needs to fulfill her on-campus requirement in short timeframes.

Year 1

Fall

Principles of finance course, taken as an online option

Sample course:
Principles of Finance

Spring

Accounting course, taken as an online option

Sample course:
Financial Accounting Principles
Organizational Behavior requirement, taken online with a required on-campus weekend

Sample course:
Managing Yourself and Others

Summer 3-week session

Finance elective, taken on Harvard’s campus

Sample course:
Auditing

Milestones

This first year you complete the admission courses, then apply and gain admission to the program.

Requirements Fulfilled

  • Critical reading and writing skills test completed
  • 3 admission courses completed for admission path A
  • Applied to the program
  • Admitted to the Program
  • 2 of 4 on-campus courses completed

Year 2

Fall

Corporate finance course, taken as a web conference course

Sample course:
Corporate Finance

January 3-week session

Finance elective, taken on Harvard’s campus

Sample course:
Managerial Finance

Spring

Financial statement analysis course, taken online

Sample course:
Financial Statement Analysis

Summer 3-week session

Business valuation course, taken on Harvard’s campus

Sample course:
Business Analysis and Valuation

Milestones

This year you continue your coursework and earn a certificate.

Requirements Fulfilled

  • Met with academic advisor to review proposed plan to complete degree
  • All on-campus courses completed

Year 3

Fall

Investments course, taken online

Sample course:
Capital Markets and Investments

January 3-week session

Finance elective, taken via web conference

Sample course:
Economics of Financial Markets

Milestones

This year you meet with your academic advisor to review your progress and continue your coursework.

Requirements Fulfilled

  • Met with academic advisor to confirm progress towards completing degree
  • Contacted CARC to learn more about how degree supports career aspirations

Year 4

Fall

Finance elective, taken online

Sample course:
Nonprofit and Governmental Accounting
Strategy course, taken online with on-campus weekend

Sample course:
Strategic Management

Milestones

In your final year, you complete all required courses, graduate in March, and attend Harvard Commencement.

Requirements Fulfilled

  • All required courses completed
  • Graduated in March
  • Attended Commencement in May
  • Earned Accounting Certificate

International Student

This path represents a student who lives outside the United States and is taking most of his courses online.

This sample shows the path of a student who lives outside the United States and is taking most of his courses online. He wants to start a career in investing and is particularly interested in emerging markets. He needs an F-1 visa to study in the United States, so he will need to travel to Cambridge to take courses on campus at Harvard Summer School, which offers I-20s for the F-1 visa.

Year 1

Fall

Principles of finance course, taken as an online option

Sample course:
Principles of Finance

Spring

Accounting course, taken online

Sample course:
Financial Accounting Principles
Organizational behavior course, taken via web conference

Sample course:
Organizational Behavior

Summer

Corporate finance course, taken on Harvard’s campus

Sample course:
Corporate Finance
Finance elective, taken on Harvard’s campus

Sample course:
Private Equity

Milestones

This first year you complete the admission courses, then apply and gain admission to the program.

Requirements Fulfilled

  • Critical reading and writing skills test completed
  • 3 admission courses completed for admission path A
  • Applied to the program
  • Admitted to the program
  • 2 of 4 on-campus courses completed

Year 2

Fall

Financial statement analysis course, taken online

Sample course:
Financial Statement Analysis

Spring

Business valuation course, taken online

Sample course:
Business Analysis and Valuation

Summer

Finance elective, taken on Harvard’s campus

Sample course:
Managerial Finance
Investment theory, taken on Harvard's campus

Sample course:
Investment Theory and Application

Milestones

This year you continue your coursework and earn a certificate.

Requirements Fulfilled

  • All on-campus courses completed
  • Earned Corporate Finance Certificate

Year 3

Fall

Finance elective, taken online

Sample course:
Principles of Real Estate

Spring

Finance elective, taken via web conference

Sample course:
Enterprise Risk Management
Strategy course, taken online with on-campus weekend

Sample course:
Strategic Management

Milestones

In your final year, you meet with your academic advisor to review your progress, complete all required courses, graduate the following November, and attend Harvard Commencement the following May.

Requirements Fulfilled

  • Met with academic advisor to confirm progress towards completing degree
  • Contacted CARC to learn more about how degree supports career aspirations.
  • All required courses completed
  • Graduated in following November
  • Attend Commencement the following May