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Academic Curriculum

The academic curriculum is a year-long instructional program that includes courses in

  • Security Analysis
  • Advanced Financial Topics
  • Workshops in the EDS Financial Technology and Trading Center.

During the course of the academic year, students master valuation theory and practice, acquire practical skills in financial analysis, and learn how to use complex financial software in the AIM trading room. Students in the Financial Analyst Program analyze current case studies in company performance and valuation to better integrate financial, accounting, and economic issues. There is also heavy emphasis on students’ writing and presentation abilities.

FAP students enroll in the course Security Analysis in the fall term. It covers topics like industry and strategy analysis, estimating the cost of capital, analysis of financial statements, interpretation of financial ratios, developing pro-forma forecasts, and stock valuation via the discounted cash flow model. The students also look at options and convertible bond valuation. In the spring term,

The practicum course allows group and independent study in advanced financial topics by letting students explore topics of interest in greater depth. Topics selected in the spring may include credit evaluation, accounting regulation and effects, and mergers and acquisitions.

Students In the Financial Analyst Program become adept at using and interpreting financial data through enhanced modeling and spreadsheet skills, and through programs like Bloomberg and FactSet.

Real World Experience

The Financial Analyst Program at the University of Texas gives each student practical experience in applied investment management. Undergraduates in the FAP serve as research assistants to the MBA fund managers who direct the $17.1 million MBA Investment Fund. The student analysts are responsible for helping monitor stocks currently under investment. FAP students submit biweekly financial updates and analyses on stock holdings directly to the graduate Security Research Directors.

The undergraduate analysts also undertake comprehensive industry analyses on industries and sectors of interest to the fund managers. Student analysts are responsible for researching and presenting their opinions on different equity investments to the Fund’s MBA managers and investment advisers. The relationship between MBA fund managers and undergraduate FAP students replicates the associate analyst structure you'd find on Wall Street. Fund managers serve as role models and mentors to the undergraduates as they gain experience.

Graduates of the Financial Analyst Program typically pursue careers in investment banking, risk management, corporate consulting, and derivatives trading. Some of the companies where recent graduates have obtained positions include:

  • Bain & Co.
  • Goldman Sachs
  • Wells Fargo
  • Deloitte Consulting
  • JP Morgan Chase & Co.
  • BearingPoint Consulting
  • Raymond James
  • Boston Consulting Group
  • Lehman Brothers
  • McKinsey & Co.
  • USB
  • Bank of America
  • Morgan Stanley
  • Merrill Lynch
  • Citigroup
  • CSFB


Frequently Asked Questions

 1. What is the Financial Analyst Program (FAP)?

The Financial Analyst Program permits undergraduates to combine a program of academic study with a hands-on experience of working as financial analysts to MBA students.  Undergraduates participate in the program for a year.  They complete the academic curriculum while undertaking stock research for MBA Fund Managers.  For more information, please see the program overview.

2. Who is eligible for the FAP? 

Candidates must be finance undergraduates registered in the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas. Due to limited positions, the program is not open to any other business major (i.e., PPA). One must already have been admitted to the McCombs School of Business at University of Texas.  Also, to be eligible a student must be a finance major and be on target to complete the pre-requisites.  The program is not offered to anyone outside the university.  For course prerequisites and requirements, please see the application steps page.

 3. What steps do I take to apply?       

An electronic application and interview is required for admittance to the program. Currently, applications are submitted around the mid point of the fall term when finance majors are in their third year.  Students should complete the year and a half program the term they plan to graduate.  Early applications are not accepted.  Please note prerequisites and requirements prior to applying. For detail, please see the application steps page.

4. What are the benefits of the program?

The program overview gives a good synopsis of the kind of experience students get in the program. The projects and presentations involved offer hands-on knowledge of financial markets, modeling, and analysis. Students graduating with the program have a wide array of career opportunities, including professions in investment banking, commercial banking, alternative investments, corporate finance, and consulting. Members of the FAP have the advantage of intensive training and practical know-how, and receive the benefit of learning from MBA Managers.

 5. What kinds of projects do we participate in while in the program?      

The FAP is a two-semester program, and projects are assigned for each respective term. Projects are team-intensive. During the first term of the program, there are two major projects.  The first is a report analyzing the growth and value portfolios.  The second project that term is an investment report and stock pitch to the MBA fund managers. During the second semester of the program, students write and present either an industry report or a stock pitch to the MBA Managers. FAP students also write individual papers and continue working with their peers that term.  In the spring of the year in which they graduate, senior FAP students may serve as mentors to junior FAP students and run a training day for incoming program members. 

6. What is the estimated time commitment for the program? 

The FAP is formally a two-semester program.  In the first term of the program, students take a course in security analysis.  In the second semester, students take a course titled the FAP Practicum.  In their final term prior to graduation, senior FAP students volunteer to train and mentor incoming juniors.  The program is group-oriented and thus requires students to dedicate a good amount of time outside of class in order to work with peers and present to MBA managers. The time commitment is somewhat difficult to estimate and may vary from week to week.  A December graduate may be able to participate in the program so long as he or she is in residence for at least two semesters—the spring before and the fall of the graduation year.

7. What kinds of experience do I need to be considered for the FAP? 

Required knowledge prior to beginning the program is obtained in part through the pre-requisites of FIN357, ACC311, and ACC312.  If a student has not completed FIN367 prior to the start of the FAP program, then he or she shall take FIN367 concurrently with the required course in security analysis.   Applicants should be well versed in the basics of economics, finance, and accounting.  Applicants are students who are interested in following developments in financial markets.  Students may have had a finance internship or participated in a case competition or investment challenge prior to commencing the program.  Once accepted, FAP members shall advance their academic background in the area of equity analysis.  FAP students shall gain additional “hands on experience” by working with MBA’s and through summer internships.

8. Which finance tracks are considered for the Financial Analyst Program? 

Students in the Financial Analyst Program have declared various tracks within the finance major.  All finance tracks are considered for admittance to the FAP.

9. What Factors are considered in the Admittance Process? 

The Financial Analyst Selection Committee considers various items in the selection process for the FAP.  Students are assessed on the basis of: academic performance; difficulty level of the academic curriculum taken to date; leadership, activities, and / or honors; work experience; writing ability; and strength of financial analysis.  For students advancing to the interview round, additional considerations are the oral interview and the professor recommendation. 

10. What is the interview like? 

Students who advance to the interview round will meet with one of several interviewers selected by the Financial Analyst Selection Committee.  The interviewer is a member of the finance faculty.  The interview will last about twenty minutes.  During the meeting the interviewer may solicit information such as experiences listed on your resume, interests and goals, and your reasons for being interested in the Financial Analyst Program.  In addition, the interviewer may ask questions regarding your knowledge of finance, economics, and accounting.

11. Who shall I ask to serve as my reference? 

Because the Financial Analyst Program is offered by the department of finance, it is required that you ask a member of the University of Texas finance faculty to serve as your reference.  You need not ask the faculty member to write a letter of recommendation; instead the Selection Committee will solicit feedback from the reference at the appropriate time.  The faculty member may be a professor with whom you are currently taking a class as he or she will have time to get to know the quality of your work by the time the reference is requested.  Only one reference is necessary.  If you wish to ask someone other than a professor, list that person as an extra reference.

12. Can I study abroad while in the Financial Analyst Program? 

No, it is not possible to study abroad once admitted to the FAP.  Once admitted to the FAP, students can only fulfill the program requirements by being in residence at the University of Texas at Austin.  Students who are abroad the fall of the junior year are able to apply to the program so long as they will be back in residence at UT Austin by the time the program starts.

13. When will I find out if I have been admitted? 

Due to the time involved in evaluating the applications, the initial decision regarding which students will receive interviews is not made until mid to end November.  Next, interviews are conducted, references are contacted by the Selection Committee, and the current semester performance is reviewed to ensure the pre-requisites have been completed.  This means that the final decision cannot be made and released until the middle of January just before the start of classes.  We regret that we cannot inform you sooner but the timeline involved requires notice just as the program is starting.