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Curriculum

MS Finance is designed to have students complete the program in just 10 months with a 36-credit hour degree. Several electives are introduced in the spring semester that allow students to select a specialized curriculum path.

  • Practicum in Finance

    The Practicum spans the last half of the fall semester and the first half of the spring semester. Students work directly with sponsoring companies on a wide variety of finance problems and may indicate an area of interest for their practicum project in early fall. Students work in small groups under the supervision of the MSF program director and develop strong relationships with employers.

Summer Term

7 credit hours

Financial Management

BA S 385T | 3 credits | core course

 

Major topics in the corporate core class include time value of money, project selection methods (NPV and IRR), and the basics of capital markets and pricing risky capital, all with a heavy emphasis on the use of excel spreadsheet models. On completion of the core corporate class students will be able to calculate the present and future value of cash flow streams, model projects and calculate project selection metrics such as NPV and IRR, and estimate discount rates for use in project analysis and valuation.

Valuation

FIN S 286 | 2 credits | core course

 

The valuation course focuses on the valuation of businesses using Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) modeling and comparable company multiples, and includes rigorous assignments involving estimating a firm’s cost of capital using comparable company returns and financial data, and constructing a complete DCF model and valuation for a publicly traded company of their choosing. On completion of the valuation course students will be able to construct and use rigorous valuation spreadsheet models for valuing businesses or major investment projects, estimate costs of capital and firm value using comparable company analysis, and consider real-world adjustments in value related to control premiums or liquidity discounts.

Financial Accounting

BA S 284T | 2 credits | core course

 

Introductory Financial Accounting provides an overview of the accrual accounting model, how corporate financial statements report particular economic events, and the economic incentives of corporate managers as they exercise their judgment to prepare financial statements. By the end of the course the students will feel comfortable reading the financial statements in published annual reports, and will be able to come to a reasoned conclusion about a company’s financial health.

Fall Term

16 credit hours

Investment Theory and Practice

FIN 397.1 | 3 credits | core course

 

Major topics in Investment Theory and Practice include modern portfolio theory, asset allocation and the valuation and use of equities, fixed income, derivatives and mutual funds. On completion of this course, students will understand the relationship between risk and return, how decisions are made with respect to putting together a portfolio and how investors select and use different types of securities.

Advanced Corporate Finance

FIN 394.1  | 3 credits | core course

 

Advanced Corporate Finance focuses on issues concerning raising capital (designing corporate capital structure, issuing equity, debt, convertibles, etc.) and investing it (project evaluation, budgeting, and acquisitions). The course provides an opportunity to acquire or improve useful financial skills such as computing cost of capital, pricing options, assessing and managing financial risk, and valuing acquisitions.

Managerial Economics

BA 380S | 3 credits | core course

 

Managerial Economics focuses on the microeconomics and macroeconomic forces that influence an organizations decisions, including interest rates, business cycles, financial systems, input demand and supply, industry factors, market structure, and externalities.

Intermediate Accounting

ACC 280K | 2 credits | core course

This course focuses on issues in financial reporting of publicly held companies and builds upon the accrual accounting model developed in prior courses. By the end of the course, students will have developed a deeper understanding of the accrual accounting model and will have extended their ability to analyze the financial reporting implications of events that lead to scrutiny by equity investors, investment advisors, and the financial press.

Statistics for Financial Applications

BA 286T | 2 credits | core course

 

The course focuses on the use of data analytic, probability and statistics tools in financial applications. The main topics of the course are probability, conditional expectation, basic estimation concepts and regression analysis. Upon completion of the course, students will master basic statistics and learn how to use regression models to analyze real, applied problems. Emphasis is placed on analysis of actual datasets and the use of appropriate computational tools necessary for the analysis.

Advanced Valuation and Modeling

FIN 294.17 | 2 credits | core course

 

Advanced Valuation and Financial Modeling covers a range of topics in the field of financial economics, each of which requires extensive modeling skills. Topics include loan amortization schedules, style analysis, optimal portfolio selection, valuation and takeovers, fixed income derivatives, and equity derivatives. Course work is based on cases studies, academic research, and practitioner research. This is a hands-on course that requires students to analyze data and participate in class discussions.

Practicum in Finance

BA 191 | 1 credits | core course

 

The Practicum is an intensive program that spans the last half of the fall semester and the first half of the spring semester. Students work directly with sponsoring companies on a wide variety of finance problems.

Students may indicate an area of interest for their practicum project in early fall. Students work in small groups under the supervision of the MSF program director to complete the project, earning practical experience and developing a strong relationship with corporations and potential employers.

The MSF program director and Finance Department faculty work with various finance-related organizations to design projects that are valuable to MSF students and benefit the sponsoring group. Projects are designed to be accomplished within the Practicum time frame and culminate in a written report and presentation of work to the sponsoring company and program faculty.

Spring Term

13 credit hours

Financial Statement Analysis

ACC 280K.7 | 2 credits | core course

 

Financial Statement Analysis provides an overview of the use of financial accounting information to (a) for evaluate past performance, (b) predict future performance, and (c) independently estimate the value of a company. By the end of the course the students will be able to conduct a complete financial analysis for a publicly-traded company, including ratio analysis, forecasted financial statements, and estimates of company value using on several alternative valuation models.

Practicum in Finance

BA 191 | 1 credits | core course

 

The Practicum is an intensive program that spans the last half of the fall semester and the first half of the spring semester. Students work directly with sponsoring companies on a wide variety of finance problems.

Students may indicate an area of interest for their practicum project in early fall. Students work in small groups under the supervision of the MSF program director to complete the project, earning practical experience and developing a strong relationship with corporations and potential employers.

The MSF program director and Finance Department faculty work with various finance-related organizations to design projects that are valuable to MSF students and benefit the sponsoring group. Projects are designed to be accomplished within the Practicum time frame and culminate in a written report and presentation of work to the sponsoring company and program faculty.

Intermediate Accounting

ACC 280K | 2 credits | core course

 

This class focuses on issues in financial reporting of publicly held companies and builds upon the accrual accounting model introduced in fall semester's financial accounting course. Topics include red-flag events that lead to one-off financial reports that lead to news releases and analysis in the financial press — e.g., reporting the effects of prior years' errors, forecasting the effects of changes in the tax code, issuing and retiring debt securities, issuing and retiring equity securities, removal of assets from the balance sheet via securitization to avoid recognizing related liabilities. By the end of the course, students will have developed a deeper understanding of the accrual accounting model and will have extended their ability to analyze the financial reporting implications of events that lead to scrutiny by equity investors, investment advisors, and the financial press.

Portfolio Management & Security Analysis

FIN 397.2 | 2 credits | core course

 

Portfolio Management & Security Analysis addresses modern practices in managing investment portfolios, portfolio optimization methods, asset management for individual and institutional investors, and valuation of equity securities.

Private Equity

FIN 294.11 | 2 credits | elective

 

The objective of this course is to provide you with a structural understanding of private equity ("PE") markets, the primary participants in these markets, and the financial strategies that they employ. This class will explore private equity as a major source of capital for new, growing and established private and public firms. As investors have been attracted to PE markets, funds have developed specialized strategies and targeted specific market segments. In addition to LBO and venture funds, there are growth, mezzanine, middle market buyout, infrastructure, and energy funds, among others, that have become attractive investment vehicles for institutional investors, particularly as yields from other investments have declined over the past several years.

Energy Technologies

FIN 294.8 | 2 credits | elective

 

Energy Technologies Offers an introduction to the legal, engineering, business, and financial aspects of energy development and operations.

Financial Risk Management

FIN 297.4 | 2 credits | elective

 

This course will introduce concepts and theories of modern risk management and addresses the various risk mitigation techniques used in private enterprises, public corporations, financial institutions and multinational firms.

Financial Technology

FIN 294  | 2 credits | elective

 

This course is focused on three main FinTech areas in which technology is driving changes in the way financial services are provided: (i) Lending/Banking services, (ii) wealth management (iii) Trading. The course is going to provide specific coverage and examples of developments from (1) payments (2) peer-to-peer lending (3) robo-advising (4) algo/quantitative trading. In each of these areas, we start by analyzing the marketing place, the incumbents, and the business case and strategies of the incoming technology players. We then turn to understand the role data and analytics plays in driving the technology-based services. Guest speakers augment the discussion by offering their perspective on future trends in each of these areas. 

Quantitative Trading Strategies

FIN 297.11 | 2 credits | elective

 

This class will offer statistical analyses that can be used in a variety of application areas, including energy trading, and will provide a cutting edge perspective on technical trading and valuation.

Computational Finance

FIN 297  | 2 credits | elective

 

Computational Finance will introduce three methodologies used across Finance: simulation, dynamic programming and optimization. Each methodology will be motivated and illustrated with examples that range from valuing financial instruments, to choosing financial portfolios, to constructing algorithms to liquidate a position.

Advanced Accounting

ACC 280K.2 | 2 credits | elective

 

This course covers advanced accounting topics related to inter-corporate investments, mergers and acquisitions and consolidation of controlled entities, both domestic and foreign.

Valuation of Energy Investments

FIN 294 | 2 credits | elective

 

This course is primarily focused on the evaluation and financing of energy investments with a focus on upstream oil and gas projects. This topic provides students with an opportunity to further develop their financial modeling skills, from detailed discounted cash flow models to advanced option pricing models utilizing a variety of computational approaches. The first half of the course will focus on valuation of projects in a deterministic setting, while the second half will involve stochastic models of project cash flows and managerial decision making (real options).

Raising Capital

FIN 294.7  | 2 credits | elective

 

The objective of this course is to develop a better understanding of firm financing with a special focus on the decision and the process of raising capital. In particular, we will analyze the factors that inform treasurers’ and CFOs’ choices of capital raising techniques and sources of funds. More specifically, we will consider issues relative to the public equity markets (e.g., IPOs and SEOs) and private equity including venture capital. We will examine debt financing at length. Corporate bonds, bank financing, short-term finance (e.g., commercial paper and credit lines) and other forms of debt financing will be studied. Finally, we will discuss bankruptcy and financial restructuring and the decision to finance acquisitions.