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Understanding the World of Money

Finance Department

The Department of Finance offers undergraduate studies in finance and real estate, and graduate coursework in finance, real estate, and business economics. Our skilled faculty are dedicated to creating financial and real estate leaders that help their companies create value.

Providing the Keys to Finance, Real Estate & Graduate Business Economics

Our experienced faculty and practical curriculum equip students with the industry knowledge, analytical skills and real-world experience they need to make a positive impact in the marketplace. Small class sizes ensure that students receive plenty of individual attention and support.

Learn more about our programs, coursework, resources and faculty. Have questions? Please contact us.

Undergraduate Students: (651) 962-5544
Graduate Students: (651) 962-4200

Contact

Lalith Samarakoon

Department Chair
Lalith Samarakoon headshot.
Phone Number
(651) 962-5444

Finance Department Offerings

  • Finance Program
  • Real Estate Program
  • Graduate Business Economics Courses
  • Internship Opportunities
  • Career Placement
  • Finance Program

    Finance plays a pivotal role in business decisions across all functional areas of business. Our undergraduate concentration and graduate coursework in finance give students a strong foundation. We teach the skills they need to excel in corporate finance, investments and portfolio management, financial institutions and banking, and global finance. Students receive supplementary training in the related areas of accounting, economics and information technology.

    Explore Finance Degrees and Concentrations

    Undergraduate concentrations:

    Coursework in graduate programs:

    Real Estate Program

    Real estate is a sophisticated field of study involving a diverse skill set that goes far beyond selling houses. In addition to strong communication skills, real estate professionals must know how to:

    • Analyze population demographics, employment data and shopping patterns
    • Estimate construction and materials costs
    • Interpret zoning and land use regulations
    • Understand commercial real estate investment and development

    To create knowledgeable real estate professionals, we offer real estate programs and electives at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Graduates of the B.S. in real estate program are involved in challenging careers involving real estate investment, analyses, financing and development.

    Explore Real Estate Degrees and Concentrations

    Undergraduate concentrations:

    Coursework in graduate programs:

    Graduate Business Economics Courses

    Business economics focuses on the internal structure of organizations and on the markets in which they operate. The business economics faculty provides the core economics courses for all St. Thomas business masters programs and electives in strategy, forecasting, the global economy and other advanced courses for students desiring more in-depth knowledge.

    Courses in business economics are especially helpful for MBA students considering a career in consulting, and they can be excellent complements for students specializing in management, marketing, operations and finance.

    Explore Business Economics Coursework:

    Internship Opportunities

    We encourage students interested in finance and real estate to explore internship opportunities in the Twin Cities area. Nearly 90% of our students have least one internship during their undergraduate program.

    Career Placement

    The analytical skills and financial insight you gain from a finance major prepare you for a variety of careers. From financial planner to budget analyst and accountant, you can play a role in virtually any company in any industry. St. Thomas graduates with a finance major have a 98% job placement rate within four months of graduation at companies like U.S. Bank, Ecolab, Target, Ameriprise, Chartwell, and Craig-Hallum. Likewise, close to 100% of our real estate majors were employed within four months of graduation, at organizations such as Thrivent and the City of White Bear Lake.

    Finance Program

    Finance plays a pivotal role in business decisions across all functional areas of business. Our undergraduate concentration and graduate coursework in finance give students a strong foundation. We teach the skills they need to excel in corporate finance, investments and portfolio management, financial institutions and banking, and global finance. Students receive supplementary training in the related areas of accounting, economics and information technology.

    Explore Finance Degrees and Concentrations

    Undergraduate concentrations:

    Coursework in graduate programs:

    Real Estate Program

    Real estate is a sophisticated field of study involving a diverse skill set that goes far beyond selling houses. In addition to strong communication skills, real estate professionals must know how to:

    • Analyze population demographics, employment data and shopping patterns
    • Estimate construction and materials costs
    • Interpret zoning and land use regulations
    • Understand commercial real estate investment and development

    To create knowledgeable real estate professionals, we offer real estate programs and electives at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Graduates of the B.S. in real estate program are involved in challenging careers involving real estate investment, analyses, financing and development.

    Explore Real Estate Degrees and Concentrations

    Undergraduate concentrations:

    Coursework in graduate programs:

    Graduate Business Economics Courses

    Business economics focuses on the internal structure of organizations and on the markets in which they operate. The business economics faculty provides the core economics courses for all St. Thomas business masters programs and electives in strategy, forecasting, the global economy and other advanced courses for students desiring more in-depth knowledge.

    Courses in business economics are especially helpful for MBA students considering a career in consulting, and they can be excellent complements for students specializing in management, marketing, operations and finance.

    Explore Business Economics Coursework:

    Internship Opportunities

    We encourage students interested in finance and real estate to explore internship opportunities in the Twin Cities area. Nearly 90% of our students have least one internship during their undergraduate program.

    Career Placement

    The analytical skills and financial insight you gain from a finance major prepare you for a variety of careers. From financial planner to budget analyst and accountant, you can play a role in virtually any company in any industry. St. Thomas graduates with a finance major have a 98% job placement rate within four months of graduation at companies like U.S. Bank, Ecolab, Target, Ameriprise, Chartwell, and Craig-Hallum. Likewise, close to 100% of our real estate majors were employed within four months of graduation, at organizations such as Thrivent and the City of White Bear Lake.

    Featured Faculty

    Kathryn Combs headshot.

    Kathryn Combs, PhD

    Professor, Finance

    Kathryn L. Combs, PhD, teaches graduate-level managerial economics and economics of strategy courses at the University of St. Thomas Opus College of Business. Prior to her academic career, she was a manager at Pacific Northwest Bell in Seattle, Washington. She earned her BA in economics at Washington State University and her MA and PhD in economics at the University of Minnesota.

    Dr. Kathryn Combs's bio

    Thadavillil Jithendranathan headshot.

    Thadavillil Jithendranathan, Ph.D.

    Professor, Finance

    Thadavillil (Nathan) Jithendranathan, PhD, teaches various topics in finance at the graduate and undergraduate levels at the University of St. Thomas Opus College of Business. His teaching experience spans more than 28 years and covers the United States, Russia and Taiwan. Before his academic career, he worked for six years at a multinational firm in Africa as a finance controller and chief executive officer. He has traveled widely throughout Asia, Africa, Australia, Europe and North America. He brings his significant international experience into his courses.

    Thadavillil Jithendranathan's bio

    Brian Reagan headshot.

    Brian Reagan

    Clinical Faculty, Finance

    Brian Reagan is a clinical faculty member in the Department of Finance at the University of St. Thomas Opus College of Business. Prior to his appointment, he was the director of the Center for Business Excellence and the assistant dean of the Opus College of Business. He came to St. Thomas after a long career as a business executive.

    Brian Reagan's bio

    Finance and Real Estate Faculty

    Part-time/Adjunct Faculty

    • Jonathan Arndt
    • Blake Darsow
    • Eric Gray
    • Laurence Harmon
    • Kevin Henja
    • Zhenhu Jin
    • Sam Newberg
    • Lara Pischke
    • Joseph Reardon
    • Timothy Sielaff

    Emeriti Faculty

    • Heino Beckmann
    • Mel Gray
    • Michael Sullivan
    • Melvin Williams

    Clubs and Organizations

    Professor Jay Ebben teaching in a classroom.

    Financial Management Association

    The Financial Management Association encourages the interaction of business executives, faculty and finance students. Develop your professional, educational and social skills as you prepare for a career in finance, banking or investments.

    A professional listening attentively in classroom.

    Investments Club

    Learn about careers outside of corporate finance and within the capital and financial markets industry. The club hosts professionals from the investment community and leads educational activities such as managing your own sum of money using a real-time simulator.

    A group of friends pose for a photo during a ceremony.

    Real Estate Society

    Study local markets through club projects, field trips, guest speakers and meetings with industry professionals. Real Estate Society also assists with internship and job placement opportunities with various companies in the industry.

    Experiential Learning: The Aristotle Fund

    The Aristotle Fund is both a real-world, student-managed investment fund and a unique learning vehicle for University of St. Thomas students.

    • The course: Designed to replicate the work of an investment company, this class provides high-achieving MBA and undergraduate students with an exceptional hands-on experience managing an investment fund of over $6 million.
    • The fund: Made possible by a generous gift from Mr. Gerald Rauenhorst, this designated piece of the university’s endowment is actively managed by business students.

    Every year, a new group of students from the Opus College of Business manages an ongoing portfolio of equity securities, incorporating new stocks and divesting others. Students are also required to deliver performance updates, a mid-year newsletter and an annual report. The fund is overseen by an independent Board of Advisors, composed of qualified investment professionals who also act as mentors to the student managers.

    For questions regarding the Aristotle Fund program or application process, please contact:

    The Aristotle Fund
    University of St. Thomas
    1000 LaSalle, TMH 443
    Minneapolis, MN 55402

    Aristotle@stthomas.edu