Faculty & Staff


James Harriss, Ph.D. headshot
Professor of Banking & Finance
Phone: 970.943.3005
Office Location: Borick Business Building 215


FOR REQUIRED COURSES AND DEGREE PLANS, VISIT THE OFFICIAL UNIVERSITY CATALOG. This is a sample of courses offered by Western Colorado University. To ensure the courses you need are offered during the current semester, please visit the university course search.

 BUAD 315 - Business Law (3 credits)

Study includes: sales, commercial paper, secured transactions, corporations, partnerships, estates, trusts, and agency. Prerequisite: BUAD 210.

 BUAD 322 - Financial Planning (3 credits)

An exploration of the fundamental issues of financial planning. Students gain an understanding of the concepts of the financial planning process, the economic environment, the time value of money, the legal environment, financial analysis, and ethical and professional considerations in financial planning. Prerequisite: Completion of Base Curriculum.

 BUAD 461 - Investments (3 credits)

A study of the many investments available for individual portfolios. Emphasis is placed on the risks inherent in investments and the methods and techniques of analysis used in selecting securities for investments. Prerequisite: completion of Base Curriculum; BUAD 360; or instructor permission.

 BUAD 491 - Strategic Management (3 credits)

The formal analysis of an organization's macro and industry environment; its mission and goals; and strategy formulation, implementation, and control. This is a capstone course which integrates the student's knowledge from the areas of accounting, finance, marketing, and management. Students are encouraged to take this course during their last semester; graduating seniors are given priority in enrollment. Prerequisites: completion of Base Curriculum; BUAD 309; BUAD 333 or 350; BUAD 360; and senior standing.

 ECON 201 - Macroeconomics (3 credits)

An introduction to the methods, models, and approaches used by economists to analyze and interpret events and policies related to the overall operation of the economy. The course endeavors to make sense of unemployment, inflation, recessions, debt and deficits, economic growth, the expanding role of the Federal Reserve, and policies to provide stability to the economy. Additional attention is given to the making of economic policy in an era of globalization. Finally, students are exposed to multiple schools of thought regarding macroeconomic reasoning. Prerequisite: ACT math score of 19 or above; SAT math score of 500 or above; pass MATH 099; or Accuplacer Elementary Algebra test score of 85 or higher, or university-level math requirement with a minimum grade of C-. Prerequisite or corequisite: ENG 102.

 ECON 361 - Money, Banking and Financial Markets (3 credits)

A survey of the core topics relating to the monetary sector of the economy. This includes an examination of the role and nature of money, financial institutions and markets, banking structure and regulation, determinants of interest rates, central bank policy, exchange rates, and the international monetary system. Attention is also given to particular monetary episodes such as the Great Depression, the Latin American debt crisis, the collapse of the Mexican Peso, and the Asian monetary collapse. Prerequisites: MATH 140, MATH 141, or MATH 151 with a minimum grade of ÒC-Ó; ECON 201.

The Finance emphasis is designed to prepare students for careers in the financial services industry, including banks, brokerages, investment advisors and insurance.

Why Study Finance? 

The financial services industry is one of the most attractive areas in business. With high salaries and strong demand for graduates, finance is a very popular choice for students. Denver and Colorado Springs have vibrant financial sectors and recent graduates have been placed with firms including Charles Schwab, Factset, Wells Fargo and Northwest Mutual. 

What Skills Will I Learn? 

The coursework in the finance major will allow you to learn how to:

  • Prepare, analyze and interpret financial information
  • Apply financial theories to make sound business decisions
  • Apply the basic principles of security markets to create, evaluate and manage security portfolios
  • Value cash flows, businesses, capital projects and financial securities
  • Make investment decisions
  • Research and interpret data by applying appropriate technology tools to solve business problems
  • Understand the risk reward relationships that go into every financial decision

After Graduation

Students with a finance degree have the opportunity to seek positions as: 

  • Financial Analysts
  • Financial Consultants
  • Finance Managers
  • Money Managers 
  • Financial Planners
  • Corporate Financiers
  • Investment Bankers
  • Real Estate Agents