The Applied Security Analysis Program curriculum includes core MBA classes, as well as courses in investments, portfolio management and security analysis functions.  The ASAP is a CFA® Program Partner with the CFA Institute.

The first year of the program equips the students with the tools and techniques to perform investment research, while the second year is focused on training students in the actual management of various portfolios.

The CFA partnership indicates that the ASAP degree program incorporates more than 70 percent of the Chartered Financial Analyst® (CFA) Curriculum, the CFA Institute Code of Ethics and Professional Standards, and adheres to other requirements.

First Year

During the first semester, ASAP students enroll in the core MBA classes that are required of all Wisconsin MBA students. During the second semester, ASAP students take additional core MBA courses, as well as courses required for the finance major.

One key aspect of the first semester is the integrated core project, where students (working in groups) analyze a firm across all of their core MBA classes. This project ends with group presentations to the faculty and staff at the end of the semester.

A focal course for first year ASAP students is the Contemporary Topics course, which is nicknamed “ASAP 101.” This course is taught by investment managers, and teaches students how to produce high quality research reports and introduces them to the tools and approaches utilized by money managers. Group project work completed in the first semester core classes is also incorporated into the research report created in “ASAP 101.” While this class is offered for two credits, the work load is substantial.

First year students have access to all of the resources in the Hawk Center and are encouraged to spend significant time in the Center interacting with the second year students who are managing the funds.


Following the first year, students are placed in summer internships at various investment firms across the country. In addition to internships, the students are required to write an industry report, including a detailed analysis of at least one stock and one corporate bond.

Second Year

During the second year of their MBA studies, ASAP students manage various portfolios and operate the investment firm. They have research and administrative duties within the firm. Students are divided into teams, manage about $62 million, have no safety net, and report to clients. Find out more about the structure of the second year and the ASAP student portfolio.