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Global Finance Concentration

Closeup photo of a range of euro notes

The Global Finance Concentration (GFX) will expose students to the workings of global financial markets, their key institutional features and the theoretical underpinnings of their design. Students will learn about the structure and operation of U.S. and world financial institutions such as the IMF, the World Bank, private financial firms and central banks around the world, as well as related financial regulations.

GFX comprises a sequence of six courses and a combination of internships and workshops to develop appropriate computer skills and gain real work experience. Students typically complete the requirements of the Concentration in three years.


The concentration accepts up to 15 students annually. You are encouraged to declare the Global Finance Concentration during your sophomore year. Students with a demonstrated interest in the application of their academic discipline to the financial sector are encouraged to contact the Concentration Director.

Some students may choose to pursue the concentration in addition to a second major or a minor. This would occur when the concentration serves to logically unify and reinforce a particular program of study. Such decisions should be made in consultation with the your adviser, and must be approved by the Global Finance Concentration Advisory Committee.

GFX 100: Introduction to Global Financial Markets

This eight-week lecture series is offered each fall. GFX100 provides an overview of the financial system and the role of financial institutions in the global economy; domestic and international regulation; domestic and international banking. Faculty and guest lecturers also reflect on contemporary developments and challenges within their fields.
1 credit, S/U only.
Mahnaz Mahdavi (Economics)

Required Elective Course

All concentrators are required to take ACC 223: Financial Accounting (offered every spring).

Other Electives

Students are required to take three other electives drawn from at least two different departments. Students can select from the approved list of Smith and Five College courses detailed below, one of which must be a Smith Economics course.

No more than two elective courses that fulfill the requirements for a student’s major and one from a student’s minor will be counted toward fulfillment of the concentration.

Concentrators may choose to focus on a specific region (Africa, Asia, Europe or the Americas) by selecting courses on that region and doing research in their capstone seminar related to the region. Concentrators focusing on a region are strongly urged to study a language spoken in that region. Language courses will not be counted towards fulfillment of the concentration.

Smith College Electives


  • ANT 271: Globalization and Transnationalism in Africa*

Computer Science

  • CSC 109: Communicating with Data

East Asian Studies

  • EAS 100: Intro to Modern East Asia*
  • EAS 220: Culture and Diplomacy in Asia*


  • ECO 211: Economic Development
  • ECO 220: Introduction to Statistics and Econometrics**
  • ECO 226: Economics of European Integration
  • ECO 238: Inequality and Economic Growth
  • ECO 240: Econometrics**
  • ECO 254: Behavioral Economics
  • ECO 255: Mathematical Economics
  • ECO 258: Applied Market Design
  • ECO 260: Public Economics and Finance
  • ECO 265: Economics of Corporate Finance
  • ECO 271: The Economics of Climate Change
  • ECO 275: Money and Banking
  • ECO 296: International Finance


  • GOV 207: Politics of Public Policy
  • GOV 221: European Politics*
  • GOV 226: Latin American Political Systems*
  • GOV 227: Contemporary African Politics*
  • GOV 228: Government and Politics of Japan*
  • GOV 230: Government and Politics of China*
  • GOV 232: Comparative Political Economy
  • GOV 241: International Politics
  • GOV 242: International Political Economy
  • GOV 244: Foreign Policy of the United States
  • GOV 252: International Organizations


  • HST 259: Aspects of African History - Discourses of Development*


  • MTH 190: Statistical Methods for Undergraduate Research**
  • MTH 241: Probability and Statistics for Engineers, Mathematicians and Computer Scientists**
  • MTH 246: Probability**

Middle East Studies

  • MES 203: Introduction to Middle East Comparative Politics*


  • PHI 221: Ethics and Society

Public Policy

  • PPL 250: Race and Public Policy in the United States


  • SOC 236: Beyond Borders: The New Global Political Economy

Statistical and Data Science

  • SDS 293: Machine Learning

Study of Women and Gender

  • SWG 238: Women, Money and Transnational Social Movements

Five College Electives

Amherst College

  • ECON 207: Economics and Psychology
  • ECON 212: Public Economics:Environment, Health,& Inequality
  • ECON 218: Inequality in the US
  • ECON 223: Economics of Migration
  • ECON 265: Introduction to Financial Economics
  • ECON 271: US Economic History 1600-1860
  • ECON 421: Education & Human Capital in Developing Economies

Mount Holyoke College

  • ECON 312: International Trade


  • ECON 308: Political Economy of the Environment
  • ECON 330: Labor in the American Economy
  • ECON 336: Economics/Science Tech & Innovation
  • ECON 348: The Political Economy of Women
  • ECON 394: Law and Economics

*Recommended for regional focus

**Only one statistics course will be counted towards the Global Financial Institutions Concentration

Students are required to complete two practical experiences: one approved workshop and one summer internship or two internships.

Students fulfill the capstone requirement for the concentration by taking one seminar selected from the list of approved seminars (see below). Such seminars are drawn from disciplines in which global finance research is already featured, such as economics, government and public policy. Concentrators must gain approval for their seminar paper topic from the concentration director and present their research during the annual Celebrating Collaborations event in April.

Approved Capstone Courses

  • ECO 311: Topics in Economic Development: The Economic Development of India
  • ECO 314: Industrial Organization and Antitrust Policy
  • ECO 324: Economics of the Environment and Natural Resources
  • ECO 338: Household Finance and Inequality
  • ECO 375: The Theory and Practice of Central Banking
  • ECO 396: International Financial Markets
  • ENV 323: Climate and Energy Policy
  • CSC 325: Responsible Computing
  • GOV 343: Corruption and Global Governance
  • PRS 318: Religion of the Marketplace: A Demystification
  • SDS 390: Topics in Statistical and Data Science: Advanced Programming for Data Science
  • SOC 333: Social Justice, the Environment, and the Corporation

This intensive workshop, offered each September, is led by former investment bankers with applied expertise in financial and valuation modeling methodologies and bridges the gap between academics and the real world to equip students with the hands-on practical financial skills that they will need to excel during the recruiting process and on the job. Contact the Lazarus Center for Career Development for additional information.

Fall 2022

September 24 & 25 | 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. | Stoddard Auditorirum
*Registration on Handshake required

How to Apply


To apply to the Global Finance Concentration, fill out the online application below.
Application deadline for AY23 is December 1, 2022.



Declaration of Concentration

To join the concentration please fill out the declaration form after receiving approval from director.
Program of Study Declaration Form.

Practical Experience Forms

*The reuirements for the Practical Experiences are one Practicum and one internship or two internships
After discussing the proposed practical experience with their advisers, students need to fill out the corresponding practical experience approval form in order to have the experience count towards the concentration requirements:

  • Summer Internship (100 hours or more)—Internship Credit Application
    All students undertaking a summer internship of at least 100 hours are eligible to receive academic credit (0.25 credits per experience) that will appear on their transcript. We encourage all students who qualify to apply for internship credit. Students applying for Praxis funding don’t need to fill out this form, and should instead use the “Praxis with Credit” form below.
  • Unpaid Summer Internship (220 hours or more)—Praxis with Credit Application
    All Smith students are eligible to receive a stipend payment for one normally unpaid internship through the Praxis program at the Lazarus Center. These internships must take place during the summer, and must comprise at least 220 working hours. Students in Concentrations are eligible to apply for Praxis a second time– Praxis Plus. When applying for a Praxis internship, the applicant must specify if the internship counts towards a concentration and should fill out the “Praxis with Credit” application.
  • Wall Street Prep Workshop
    Only one on-campus workshop experience may be counted toward fulfillment of GFX requirements. Learn to Excel with Excel workshops will no longer count for students taking it after Spring 2022.

  • Retroactive Credit for an Experience
    Students who completed a practical experience relevant to the concentration prior to declaration should discuss the experience with their concentration adviser as soon as possible. Once the experience is approved, students must fill out the Practical Experience Completion Form and check the ‘Retroactive Experience’ box on the form.

Advising Checklist for Graduation

Students are required to submit a completed Concentration Advising Checklist at the start of their final semester. This form documents the completed components of the concentration requirements, and must be signed by the student’s concentration adviser. Completed form should be sent to the Registrar's office ( and to the Administrative Coordinator for Concentrations (




Global Finance Concentration

Concentration Co-Directors:
Mahnaz Mahdavi

René Heavlow
413- 585-3575