Early Start to the Finance option
The Early Start to the Finance option is an opportunity for students to begin specializing in Finance in Year 2 and complete all of the requirements for the Finance option by the end of Year 3. This early start is intended for academically strong students who would like to:
- pursue a career in capital markets, and
- better prepare for recruitment opportunities beginning with internship applications early in their third year.
Early Start to the Finance option course pathway
|COMM 298||Introduction to Finance (Term 1)|
|COMM 370||Corporate Finance (Term 2)|
|COMM 371||Investment Theory (Term 1)|
|COMM 374||Applied Financial Markets (Term 2)|
|Year 3 or Year 4|
|Six credits from the following courses:|
|COMM 3771||International Financial Markets and Institutions|
|COMM 4702||Venture Capital|
|COMM 4713||Mergers and Acquisitions|
|COMM 4741||Fixed Income Markets & Management|
|COMM 4751||Investment Policy|
|COMM 4774||Risk Management & Financial Engineering|
|COMM 4795||Advanced Topics in Corporate Finance|
|COMM 486H1||Advanced Topics in Investment Management|
1 Can be taken at the earliest in Year 3 Term 2 because COMM 371 is a prerequisite for the course.
2 Formerly numbered COMM 386G and titled Venture Capital and Angel Financing. COMM 470 may be used to fulfill requirements toward either the Entrepreneurship or Finance option, but not both.
3 Formerly titled Financial Management.
4 Can be taken at the earliest in Year 4 Term 1 because COMM 374 is the prerequisite for the course.
5 Formerly numbered COMM 486Q.
To be eligible for the Early Start to the Finance option in the 2021 Winter Session, students are required to:
- be starting Year 2 for the first time in 2021W (students who had a Year 2 standing in 2020W or a previous winter session are not eligible to apply),
- have COMM 290, 293, and 295* completed or be completing them in Term 1 of 2021W,
- complete COMM 298* in Term 1 of 2021W,
- have COMM 291 and COMM 294 completed or be completing them in 2021W, and
- be eligible for promotion to Year 3 at the end of 2021W.
* COMM 290, 293, 295, and 298 must be completed while registered in the BCom program at UBC Sauder.
You must submit a two-part application for admission to the Early Start to the Finance option. Part One of the application must be submitted after successful registration in COMM 298 in Term 1 as a condition of continued registration; students who do not submit it will be removed from the course. Part Two of the application must be submitted by the end of Term 1 (date to be determined).
Space in the Early Start to the Finance option is limited. Admission is competitive and based on of the following criteria:
- A minimum grade of 65% on the first attempt in each of the following UBC courses: COMM 290, COMM 293, and COMM 295. All of these courses need to be completed by the end of Term 1 of Year 2. Grades from repeated attempts will not be considered.
- A minimum grade of 75% in COMM 298.
- A minimum average of 76% calculated on all of COMM 290, COMM 293, COMM 295, and COMM 298.
- Qualitative evaluation in COMM 298.
Applicants to the Early Start to the Finance option will be notified of decisions at the start of Term 2 of Year 2. Students who are admitted to the option will be registered in their first required Finance option course, COMM 370 Corporate Finance, in Term 2 by the Undergraduate Office.
Note: Students who are not admitted to the Early Start to the Finance option can still choose the Finance option after completing Year 2. Selection of the Finance option requires a competitive GPA (see option selection criteria).
Frequently asked questions
Eligibility and registration
If you’re interested in pursuing a career in the capital markets, the Early Start to the Finance option provides early access to advanced finance courses in Years 2 and 3. This option pathway is a good fit if you have:
- the capacity to take on an extremely heavy/challenging course load in BOTH Years 2 and 3, while maintaining a high academic average,
- strong quantitative, problem solving, and analytical skills,
- an exceptional work ethic,
- excellent time management skills,
- strong teamwork and interpersonal skills, and
- research skills.
Your registration date and time for the winter session is determined by your previous winter session average. The higher your previous winter session average, the earlier your registration open date and time will be. If Term 1 sections of COMM 298 are full when your registration opens, register for a Term 2 section. You can then add yourself to a waitlist for a Term 1 section; waitlist details will be provided in the registration information you will receive prior to registration. If any seats become available before the start of Term 1, students on the waitlist will be prioritized for registration based on their previous winter session average.
In order to be eligible for the Early Start to the Finance option, you must have all of COMM 290, COMM 293, COMM 295 and COMM 298 completed before the start of Term 2. If you have deferred standing (i.e., SD) for any of these courses at the end of Term 1, you will not be eligible for the Early Start to the option. Instead, you can still choose the Finance option after completing Year 2. Please note that selection of the Finance option requires a competitive GPA (see option selection criteria).
We will only consider grades from your first attempt at the required courses to determine your eligibility for admission to the Early Start. Appeals on the basis of extenuating circumstances will not be accepted. Remember, you can still choose the Finance option after completing Year 2. Please note that selection of the Finance option requires a competitive GPA (see option selection criteria).
If you decide that you no longer want to pursue the Early Start to the option before the start of Term 1, we encourage you to switch yourself to a section of COMM 298 in Term 2. If you are unable to switch yourself to a Term 2 section, please complete the online registration assistance form so that the Undergraduate Office can assist you. If you decide that you no longer want to pursue the Early Start to the option while completing COMM 298 in Term 1, it is not necessary to submit Part Two of the Early Start application.
Yes. Admission to COMM 271 is also by application (see details). If you are admitted to COMM 271, keep in mind that the course is scheduled in Term 1 of the winter session during which you will also be taking all of COMM 293, COMM 295, and COMM 298 (and possibly COMM 290 if you are a transfer student). If you are a direct entry student who is planning to apply for a seat in COMM 271, you may consider taking COMM 293 and/or COMM 295 during the summer to reduce your Term 1 course load.
One advantage to taking COMM 271—if you are admitted to the course—is that it may help to you determine if a career in capital markets is the right fit for you.
You could also complete COMM 271 and start the Finance option in Year 3 or complete COMM 271 and pursue a different option.
Part One of the application will be required to be submitted to the Undergraduate Office in August (date to be determined). The specific date will be communicated in late July to all Year 2 students registered in a Term 1 section of COMM 298.
The 76% minimum average requirement for consideration of admission to the Early Start to Finance option includes only COMM 290, COMM 293, COMM 295, and COMM 298 (in addition to the individual course minimums listed under Admission above).
If you are not admitted to the Early Start and plan to start the Finance option in Year 3, selection of Finance requires a competitive GPA based on your Year 2 winter session average of all courses taken from September to April (see option selection criteria).
Both components are equally important and will be considered when determining admission.
Yes. If there is high demand for the Early Start, actual admission averages may be higher depending on the pool of applicants.
Applicants to the Early Start to the Finance option will be notified of decisions at the start of Term 2 in January.
Yes. Course requirements are the same regardless of when you start the option.
Within the Early Start to the Finance option, progression from year to year still requires completion of the same promotion requirements. Participants should expect to complete a Commerce-intensive schedule of core and option courses in Years 2 and 3, deferring most electives to Year 4.
No. The BUCS program itself is intensive with limited room for electives. It is not structured to be completed with a second option.
Finance is an option (i.e., specialization) rather than a major. All BCom students have the same major: Commerce. The BCom program is not structured to allow for completion of a minor in an area of business. For BComs, a minor is typically 30 credits of coursework in a subject area outside of business, of which at least 18 credits are at the 300/400-level.
If you are planning to take 300/400-level Finance courses, it is recommended that you pursue Finance as your primary option. Because there is high demand for Finance courses, there are very few seats open to non-Finance students (many Finance courses don’t have any).
While the Early Start does allow you to complete the Finance option in Year 3, you must also complete all of your other BCom program requirements to graduate. Your earliest opportunity to complete your required Year 4 capstone course (i.e., one of COMM 491, COMM 497, COMM 498, etc.) will be during the summer session after Year 3.
If you start the BCom program with advanced credit, complete a full course load each winter session, and complete courses during the summer, you may be able to finish your program in less than four years.
No. Completion of the Finance option will be denoted on all academic transcripts in the same way for all Finance students regardless of when they started the option.
Career preparation and employment opportunities
You should be ready to commit most, if not all, of your extracurricular time to the following:
- Building knowledge on the different roles and skillsets needed to stand out to employers in the capital markets.
- Reviewing online resources, attending company information sessions, and setting up informational coffee chats with BCom Career Managers, senior students, alumni, and finance professionals. It is recommended that you start doing this in the summer after Year 1 and throughout Year 2.
- Getting involved with relevant clubs, events, and competitions to build your financial knowledge and practice the interpersonal and technical skills needed to succeed in the capital markets.
- Practicing self-reflection as new knowledge is gained, to build a solid understanding of your individual “why” for pursuing particular finance roles. The answer to this foundational question is necessary to help you navigate the opportunities in finance you will be exposed to. It is also asked during internship interviews and often referred to in informational interviews.
Career path engagement
The Early Start to the Finance option allows you to be identified earlier for specific campus recruitment events from the major banks, pension plan companies, and investment firms. This allows for connection opportunities that can benefit you when you search for relevant summer internships. It can also provide you with a better understanding of the types of roles and positions that fall under the large capital markets umbrella. Organizations are eager to identify, and are starting to target, students interested in finance earlier in their academic careers.
Early exposure to relevant knowledge and skillsets
Along with giving you early exposure to the fundamental concepts of corporate finance, the Early Start to the Finance option provides you with the opportunity to practice relevant Excel skills in COMM 370 in Year 2.
Additionally, you have an opportunity to take all of your advanced finance courses by the end of Year 3, which allows you to focus on specific areas in the capital markets and better prepare for interviews.
If you apply to summer internships in capital markets, companies will consider your academic transcript during the screening process as a performance indicator so it’s important that you continue to maintain good grades. Your continued research and self-reflection in this area and involvement in relevant extracurricular activities will also help you to stand out as a strong candidate.
No, there are no guarantees that students taking the Early Start to the Finance option will land an internship in the capital markets or any other area of finance. This is due to the high level of competition for these internships.
Whether or not you are in the Early Start to Finance option, students who have landed internships exhibit both a strong dedication to their academics and a commitment to relevant extracurricular activities. It’s important to keep in mind, even this combination of academics and commitment does not guarantee success in landing an internship.
No. Students who do not take the Early Start to the Finance option can still land internships in the capital markets. Students from various options, not just Finance and Accounting, have successfully landed internships in the capital markets.