About the Department of Finance and Commercial Law

Do you like numbers, logic and analysis? Do you enjoy working with people to help them understand complex concepts? If you are a person who enjoys data and details, one of the majors available in the Department of Finance and Commercial Law may be a great fit for your aptitude! You will enjoy many hands-on activities that immerse you in real-life business environments, and internships will help you to gain the experience you need to be extremely marketable in your job search to position you for a lifetime of success.

And it doesn’t stop there: At the Zhang Career Center, you have opportunities to attend career-related events and participate in finance and commercial law student organizations. Let’s work together so you can bring your financial skills to the workplace.

Your bright future, powered by our mission

The Department of Finance and Commercial Law provides an enriching environment from experiential learning from simulations to specialized classrooms, to certifications, to preparation for graduate school or industry.

  • The Department of Finance and Commercial Law offers an exceptional education that prepares students for successful careers in the business world. With experienced faculty, a multidisciplinary approach, experiential learning opportunities and strong industry connections, we are committed to providing students with a transformative educational experience.

    Dr. Jim DeMello, chair, Department Finance and Commercial Law

Dr. David Burnie is pointing to a projector screen and instructing a finance class.

Enter the working world with a remarkable resume

From day one, you will experience the difference a degree from WMU’s Department of Finance and Commercial Law can make to your future. Whether you want to work in corporate finance, business law or financial planning, the numbers show that our graduates are employable and fulfilled in the jobs they take after graduation! The department also offers several scholarships to help you on your path to success.

Take a look at some of the firms you'll have an opportunity to work with:

  • Advia logo
  • Comerica Bank logo
  • Greenleaf logo
  • PNC bank logo
  • Schupan and Sons logo
  • State Farm logo

Join outstanding alumni who’ve made their mark

Our alumni rise to the top of their fields, and the Department of Finance and Commercial Law Outstanding Alumni Award recognizes the career accomplishments of our alumni. The award is the highest alumni honor the department bestows.

  • Professional headshot of Jonathan Koch.

2023 honoree

Jonathan Koch believes in energizing and empowering diverse teams with a unifying mission, vision and values. Koch has a proven track record transforming businesses to drive innovation in evolving markets. He joined Fishawack Health in 2021 as chief executive officer. Having spent his entire career in healthcare, he is passionate about supporting life science companies in their mission to improve patients’ lives and drive faster access to life-saving therapies.

Our history, your legacy

Less than 6% of business schools worldwide have obtained AACSB accreditation—and WMU Haworth is one of them, making it an excellent choice for students seeking quality education that is a good investment of their tuition dollars. WMU Haworth has maintained its AACSB accreditation since 1970 for undergraduate programs and 1981 for its graduate programs.

Part of AACSB’s standard is an active connection to industry, which the department achieves in many ways. Here are just some of the unique opportunities available:

  • Student organizations are available for finance, personal financial planning and business law with professional development activities, social events and more to help you build connections.
  • Finance technology is readily accessible to all students in the Greenleaf Trust Trading Room. The lab space is equipped with Bloomberg Terminals so you can gain relevant experience. All finance students will be Bloomberg Market Concepts certified.
  • Conferences and case competitions provide valuable enrichment opportunities for students to learn from experts and apply their skills to interesting business challenges. The Department of Finance and Commercial Law supports student attendance at these events to give students an edge in their professional pursuits.
  • Advisory Council

    The mission of Western Michigan University's Department of Finance and Commercial Law Advisory Council is to facilitate the alliance between the department and the business community and to function in an advisory capacity to the chair and the department. In seeking to strengthen the relationship between the business community and the Department of Finance and Commercial Law, its faculty, staff and students, the advisory council provides guidance and assistance in helping the department achieve its objectives.


    Irem Aydin, manager/team leader Finance, Pfizer

    Honorable Judge Curtis Bell, chief circuit/probate judge, 9th Judicial Circuit Court, Kalamazoo, MI

    David Burnie, Ph.D., professor of finance, Department of Finance and Commercial Law

    Christopher Burns, CFA, CPA, investment strategist, senior fixed income analyst, Greenleaf Trust

    Jim DeMello, Ph.D., chair, Department of Finance and Commercial Law

    Satish Deshpande, Ph.D., dean, Haworth College of Business

    Dan Jaqua, owner and president, Jaqua Realtors

    Marcus Schoenherr, B.B.A.'03, business banking credit director, PNC Bank

    Todd Sanford, B.B.A.'83, CFP, president and chief executive officer, Sanford Financial Services, Inc.

    Tim Scheu, Ph.D., associate professor of finance, Department of Finance and Commercial Law

    Judy Swisher, Ph.D., CFA, professor of finance, Department of Finance and Commercial Law

Two students are walking in the Haworth College of Business courtyard,