Investment Analysis Certificate

Program Overview

The Certificate in Investment Analysis Program is designed to prepare students for a variety of careers in investments and corporate finance. Participants receive in-depth training involving investment tools, valuation of assets, and management of investments that will position them to enter the fields of security analysis and portfolio management.

Even though the focus of the program is on investments, the knowledge that participants gain from the required courses is highly valued in other finance fields such as financial planning and treasury management. 

This undergraduate certificate program is also designed to prepare students for the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Level 1 Exam. The CFA designation is globally recognized by employers and investment professionals. The contents of the required courses for the certificate program, along with the other required courses for a business undergraduate degree, cover a significant portion of the CFA Level 1 Exam curriculum.

Curriculum Overview

The certificate program requires students to take the following five courses: Intermediate Corporate Finance; Investments; Fixed Income and Derivatives; Investment Analysis and Portfolio Management and Financial Analysis and Ethics. 

The five required courses for the certificate program satisfy finance major requirements. Finance-Accounting double majors are not required to take Financial Analysis and Ethics. 

To complete the program, students must have a minimum GPA of 3.4 for the six courses required by the program and minimum cumulative GPA of 3.25.

Degree Offered

  • Certificate in Investment Analysis


Feng-Ying Liu, Ph.D.
Sweigart Hall 261

Program Website:

Associated Department: Department of Finance


Rider undergraduate students majoring in Finance may choose to apply for the certificate program if they meet the following requirements:

  • minimum cumulative GPA of 3.25 after completing 60 credits
  • minimum grade of “B” in at least five of the six prerequisite courses
  • minimum grade of “C” in no more than one of the six prerequisite courses

Prerequisite Courses

ACC 210Introduction to Accounting3
ACC 220Managerial Uses of Accounting3
ECO 200Principles of Macroeconomics3
ECO 201Principles of Microeconomics3
MSD 200Statistical Methods I3
MSD 201Statistical Methods II3

Students must also achieve a minimum grade of “B” in FIN 220 Introduction to Finance, which is normally taken in the junior year. However, students interested in the certificate are strongly encouraged to take FIN 220 in the second semester of their sophomore year.

Requirements for the Certificate

(15 credits)

FIN 309Intermediate Corporate Finance3
FIN 312Investments3
FIN 360Derivatives3
FIN 370Financial Analysis and Ethics3
FIN 412Investment Analysis3
Total Credits15

1Students who are double majoring in Finance and Accounting are permitted to waive FIN 370 Financial Analysis and Ethics.

In order to successfully complete the certificate program, students must have a minimum GPA of 3.25 in the 15 semester hours of required coursework and a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.25.

Courses and Descriptions 

FIN 309 Intermediate Corporate Finance 3 Credits

This course builds on and extends the concepts of financial management learned in FIN 220. The course examines long-term corporate financing and investment decisions and how those decisions interface with each other. Topics covered include: cost of capital, financial planning and analysis, capital budgeting, capital structure and dividend policy.

Prerequisite(s): FIN 220.

FIN 312 Investments 3 Credits

The fundamentals of investing in stocks, bonds, and other negotiable instruments are covered. Major topics include trading on securities markets, mutual funds, international investing, margin accounts, short sales, determinants of securities prices, and investment risks. Stock options, financial futures, convertible securities, and implications of taxes on investment decisions are also discussed.

Prerequisite(s): FIN 220.

FIN 360 Fixed Income and Derivatives 3 Credits

This course centers on the quantitative portion of the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) level 1 curriculum, which includes materials on fixed-income risk and return, fundamentals of risk analysis, derivative instruments and risk management applications of option strategies. The goal is to help students prepare for the exam, as well as introduce them to a variety topocs in finance.

Prerequisite(s): FIN 312.

FIN 370 Financial Analysis and Ethics 3 Credits

This course covers the topics of financial reporting and analysis and related ethical issues. The course would benefit students interested in augmenting their ability to understand, analyze and apply the information in financial statements. It provides essential knowledge for students seeking either the Certified Management Accountant (CMA) or Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) certifications. Specifically, the course covers the Ethics and Professional Standards of the CFA curriculum, and materials on financial reporting quality and financial statement analysis. Course goals are to help students prepare for the certification exams, as well as introduce all interested students to a variety of topics in financial analysis and ethics.

Prerequisite(s): FIN 312 or POI.

FIN 412 Investment Analysis 3 Credits

Real-world application of the concepts and techniques of investment analysis and portfolio theory introduced in FIN 312. Students interact with and make recommendations to professional portfolio managers. Topics include analysis and forecasts of business conditions, market interest rates, international opportunities, and corporate profits. Emphasis is placed on the valuation of securities, stock selection, investment timing, technical analysis, and management of portfolio risk with options, futures, and other tools.

Prerequisite(s): FIN 312 or permission of instructor.