Program Offerings

Offering type

Under the auspices of the Bendheim Center for Finance, Princeton undergraduates majoring in any department may earn a minor that attests to their proficiency in the discipline of finance. The rapidly developing field of finance focuses on the pricing of financial assets, including equities, bonds, currencies and derivative securities; portfolio management and the evaluation of financial risks; banking and financial intermediation; the financing of corporations; corporate governance; financial market and banking regulation; and many other topics. In addition to the obvious practical relevance of finance, the field contains both challenging intellectual problems and a distinctive formal framework within which those problems can be addressed. Knowledge of modern finance is also essential to the proper understanding of many other topics in economics and public policy, including the determination of exchange rates and international capital flows, the making of monetary and fiscal policy, the role of financial reform in developing and transition economies, the regulation and taxation of financial markets and financial instruments, and antitrust policy. Finally, modern finance is remarkably eclectic, drawing from many disciplines besides economics, including mathematics, operations research, engineering, computer science, psychology, politics and history.

Goals for Student Learning

The Bendheim Center for Finance offers a minor in finance, which is open to all majors and requires an application at the end of sophomore year. Princeton students earning the minor in finance are drawn from a wide cross-section of majors on campus. Modern finance is remarkably diverse, drawing from many disciplines beyond economics including mathematics, statistics, operations research, engineering, computer science, psychology and politics. In addition to the obvious practical relevance of finance, the field contains both challenging intellectual problems and a distinctive conceptual framework. Learning goals for students in the program include the following:

  • Understand and interpret the prices of financial and real assets, including equities, bonds, currencies and derivative securities
  • Construct and manage portfolios, including environmentally and socially responsible investing
  • Evaluate financial and other risks
  • Analyze the role that banks and other intermediaries play in the economy
  • Assess corporate governance, how companies finance themselves and interpret financial statements
  • Understand FinTech innovations including digital money



As economic theory, mathematics, and probability and statistics are pervasive in modern financial analysis, completion of the finance minor requires mathematical ability and preparation. The following foundation courses are required for admission into the program and (except as noted) must be completed by the end of sophomore year. All courses require a letter grade (pass/D/fail not allowed). Students are required to take courses in mathematics, economics and probability and statistics as follows:


(a) MAT175; (b) MAT201 and MAT202 or equivalent EGR154 and EGR156; or (c) MAT203 and MAT204. MAT 201 and MAT 202 are both strongly recommended, though only the higher of the two grades is recorded for the purpose of fulfilling the entry requirements. Students who choose to fulfill this requirement by taking the one-semester MAT 175 will be responsible for mastering the linear algebra part of the curriculum on their own.


ECO300 OR ECO 310 (Microeconomic Theory)

Probability and Statistics

ORF 245 (Fundamentals of Engineering Statistics), or ECO 202 (Statistics and Data Analysis for Economics), or PSY 251 (Quantitative Methods), or SOC 301 (Sociological Research Methods), or POL 345 (Quantitative Analysis and Politics), or SPI 200 (Statistics for Social Science).  A score of 5 in AP Statistics also fulfills the statistics prerequisite.

Admission to the Program

Interested students must submit a completed application online by June 1 of their sophomore year. A sophomore applying for admission by June 1 should select their courses in April, assuming they are going to be admitted. Students will receive admission decisions by July 31. At that point, they can change course selection if needed.

Program of Study

Students must take a total of five courses, at the 300 level or higher.  Students must receive a minimum grade of C+ averaged over the core courses and the elective courses.

Out of the five courses, at most only two can be double-counted between the student’s major and the finance minor.

The two core courses — ECO 362 (Financial Investments) and ECO 363 (Corporate Finance and Financial Institutions) — are typically completed during junior year. There are no equivalents or substitutions for these core courses.

Three electives must be chosen from the two lists of elective courses found on the program's website.

  • List 1: Financial Applications
  • List 2: General Methodology for Finance

Students will be required to take at least one of the three electives from List 1. They may take the other two electives from either list, regardless of their major.

In the case of study abroad, the two core courses must be completed at Princeton. Students are permitted to use course(s) completed abroad to fulfill one (but not more) of their three elective courses, subject to the approval of the director of the undergraduate program (DUP). We approve courses taken elsewhere only if they are of comparable standards and taken at comparable institutions. We only accept regular semester courses (no summer session or online courses). Study Abroad forms must be signed by the DUP prior to any travel taking place, and courses cannot be used retroactively.

Additional Information

See the Program in Finance website for more details.


  • Director

    • Markus K. Brunnermeier
  • Director of Undergraduate Program

    • Yacine Aït-Sahalia
  • Executive Committee

    • Mark A. Aguiar, Economics
    • Sanjeev Arora, Computer Science
    • Alan S. Blinder, Economics
    • Markus K. Brunnermeier, Economics
    • René A. Carmona, Oper Res and Financial Eng
    • Natalie Cox, Economics
    • Jianqing Fan, Oper Res and Financial Eng
    • Harold James, History
    • Jakub Kastl, Economics
    • Nobuhiro Kiyotaki, Economics
    • Moritz F. Lenel, Economics
    • Ernest Liu, Economics
    • Ulrich K. Mueller, Economics
    • Arvind Narayanan, Computer Science
    • Jonathan E. Payne, Economics
    • Mykhaylo Shkolnikov, Oper Res and Financial Eng
    • Ronnie Sircar, Oper Res and Financial Eng
    • Mete Soner, Oper Res and Financial Eng
    • Robert J. Vanderbei, Oper Res and Financial Eng
    • Mark W. Watson, Schl of Public & Int'l Affairs

For a full list of faculty members and fellows please visit the department or program website.