Financial Services

Financial Services is one of the most dynamic fields in finance. It includes banking, securities, insurance and personal financial planning.

Personal financial planning is a new service industry that has sprung from its insurance, securities, and banking roots to become an important link between a variety of individuals and businesses and the broad spectrum of financial information. Students interested in working directly with people to help organize their finances and plan for their financial futures should consider a major in financial services.

Because financial planners must talk to individuals about all of the possibilities for investment and protection, they need to know about all areas of business and finance. They must also be capable of understanding and dealing with the needs of individuals. Students interested in financial services should possess an unusual combination of qualities. They should be humanistic, that is, they should care about and enjoy working with people. At the same time, they must be able to deal with quantitative measures and information, and to understand sophisticated theoretical concepts.

The financial services major is also the most appropriate background for the stock broker, insurance agent, personal banker, loan officer, and a wide range of related careers. These are the careers with the highest level of recruiting at SDSU's Career Services.

Program Overview

SDSU is one of a few universities in the United States - and the second in the prestigious Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International) - to offer programs in financial services and financial planning. The College of Business Administration has been a leader in the financial service area, attracting students from all over the country.

The SDSU Certificate in Personal Financial Planning is coordinated with the financial services major. The certificate is registered with the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards as a program that qualifies the candidate to sit for the CFP certification examination.

In the financial services major, students learn to call upon a broad set of abilities in many areas. They take courses in finance, accounting, marketing, management, economics, and information systems. Their studies are then divided into five principal components: banking, securities, insurance, real estate finance, and financial planning.

Students considering careers as fee-based financial planners should consider the M.S. program in financial and tax planning.

Special Features

The field has its own Web site that can be found at, which lists program information, some program alumni, associated jobs and internships, the SDSU Center for the Study of Personal Financial Planning and links to professional associations.

The student headed for careers in the financial planning profession are encouraged to join the San Diego chapters of FPA (Financial Planning Association) and NAPFA (National Association of Personal Financial Advisers). Scholarships to attend their professional meetings are widely available.

Aztec Equity Fund - with assets of over $100,000, the AEF is one of the first student-run equity funds in the United States to have capital raised entirely by the student participants.

Finance and Investment Society - a professional student organization, which provides an opportunity for all majors to develop their professional competency. Our organization incorporates four main areas of emphasis including professional development, social interaction, campus involvement, and a strong presence in the community. These areas are included into our program to strengthen business skills, as well as for personal enrichment.

Student Organizations - Delta Sigma Pi and Alpha Kappa Psi are two of the Professional Business Fraternities offered to College of Business students.

Business Honors Program - The program challenges students to integrate their Business education with material across the university and within the broader community. Students in the program build strong critical thinking skills and are challenged to apply those skills in a broad context.

Business Advising Center - The mission of the Business Advising Center is to enhance the quality of the College's undergraduate program by providing information, counseling, and advising to current and prospective undergraduate students.

The program has its own Board of Advisers who are prominent in the financial services industry and financial planning profession.

Career Opportunities

A Financial Services major prepares the student for a more specialized career in this rapidly expanding field. Because of the major's breadth of education, rapid advancement is possible once some experience is gained. Performance is objectively measured. Women have been significantly represented in this field at all levels, both historically and at the present.

Entry-level career areas include:

  • Financial planning: staff assistants helping to write plans;
  • Banking: loan officers;
  • Insurance: sales representatives, in a management training program;
  • Securities: sales representatives, in a management training program;
  • Real estate finance: Real Estate lending and real estate;
  • Investment counselors: and
  • Public accounting as financial planners

Graduates at the Master's level advance rapidly as major officers of companies in the financial services industry.

To further explore career options in this field, visit the Career Services Web site or Careers in Finance for more information.

General Catalog

You can view more complete information regarding the Financial Services program in the General Catalog. All students are responsible for reading and knowing the information pertinent to their areas of study available in the General Catalog. It contains requirements for all academic majors, course descriptions, policies, and regulations governing progress at the university. Catalogs are distributed at all New Student Orientation programs. To order a General Catalog, call (619) 594-7535.