full screen background

Center for Excellence in Finance

Students walk on campus on a chilly fall day.
Get your career started.

The Center for Excellence in Finance (CEF) brings together students, faculty, and the community, to further our understanding of finance. From the practical areas of behavioral and personal finance, to the academic understanding of markets and corporate finance, the CEF strives to further our knowledge of the field.

The Center for Excellence in Finance (CEF) offers students, faculty, and the community: 

Student award recipient smiling with Finance and Marketing chair Richard Ponarul.

Option in Finance

The option in finance provides students with a core curriculum that addresses investments, financial management theory, financial markets, and institutions. Students can select upper division electives in international finance, financial management application, investment analysis and policy, estate planning, risk and insurance, economics, and real estate finance.


2017 CME Group Trading Challenge: WINNERS: 1. Rutgers University 2. Carnegie Mellon University 3. Columbia University 4. Imperial College London 5. California State University, Chico
Investment Competitions

CSU, Chico has a history of performing well in international finance competitions. In 2017, the Investment Team placed 5th place in the CME Trading Challenge, an international investment competition among over 2,000 students from 35 countries.






Students talking in a classroom.
Financial Wellness Clinic

The CEF Financial Wellness Clinic provides the campus community with free financial planning and education services. Student para-planners advise guests on personal finance topics and guide them in a comfortable, one-on-one setting. The clinic is overseen by a licensed financial planner, and students must complete financial planning coursework to be eligible to work at the clinic. 



Students in the investor's club pose for a picture.
Clubs & Organizations

Since 2008, the Investor's Club has helped students get started managing their investments and learn how to research and analyze stocks, bonds, futures, and currencies. In 2015 the Finance Club and the Investor's Club merged and are now the main student organization under the Finance Department. 


Students in class listening to guest speaker.

Corporate Partnerships 

Our corporate partners offer employment for CEF graduates and provide operational funding. Representatives also conduct classroom talks throughout the year and are involved in competition judging. Interested in becoming a corporate partner? Email Emily Huang at jhuang22@csuchico.edu



Finance professor Norkeith Smith smiles as he poses for a photo.

Our CEF Research Lab connects datasets from Compustat, CRSP, WRDS, and Penn World. This allows students and faculty to research historical stock market, and other financial data.