Curriculum: Master of Science in Finance

July 31, 2021
30-38 credit hours

curriculum icon Curriculum at a Glance

For the Master of Science in Finance online, the curriculum includes the program courses (23 semester credit hours) and five to six elective hours.

Ten hours of Business Foundations courses can be waived with demonstrated previous undergraduate coursework and/or professional experience. To find out if you qualify, contact your Enrollment Advisor.

To learn more about our course offerings, review a sample of our curriculum.

Foundations in Accounting

This course educates students in the fundamentals of finance and accounting. The methods covered are used extensively throughout the MBA program. Topics include: the accounting process that results in the preparation of financial statements for external users, techniques for analyzing a basic set of financial statements, using accounting information to support management decisions, and using time value of money techniques to evaluate capital asset decisions. (MS Accounting students cannot earn credit by taking this course.) This course cannot be used as an elective course for Lindner College of Business Master's programs.

Foundations in Economics

This course provides an introduction to the fundamentals of economics at the graduate level for students without previous economics coursework. Students will be exposed to the essentials of both microeconomics and macroeconomics. Microeconomics topics to be discussed include the supply and demand mechanism,how markets are affected by regulation and taxation, costs of production, and how market structure affects outcomes. Macroeconomic topics to be discussed include the fundamental measures of the aggregate economy, the sources of economic growth, explaining short-run fluctuations in economic activity, and how government policies can affect these fluctuations. A particular focus will be to understand how fundamental economic principles at both the micro and macro level can affect companies, investments, industries, and national economies. This course may not be used as an elective course for Lindner College of Business Master's programs.

Organizations

The purpose of this course is to provide students with a foundation in the study of Organizations (Management) in preparation for the MBA or MS program. The goal is to provide students with an introduction to the study of organizations (strategy, structure, design, and context) to help students navigate through the advanced graduate course work and to become a more effective manager. This entails understanding how organizations work as well as developing requisite personal skills in problem analysis and writing. This course cannot be used for an elective course for Lindner College of Business master's programs.

Data Analysis

Introduction to data analysis and statistical methods with focus on practical decisions using quantitative models in a spreadsheet environment. Topics include sources of data, descriptive and graphical statistical methods, probability, distributions, sampling and sampling distributions, estimation, confidence intervals, and hypothesis testing. This course may not be used as an elective course for Lindner College of Business Master's programs.

Marketing Foundations

The purpose of this course is to provide students with a foundation in Marketing. Concepts such as segmentation, targeting, positioning, customer and market analysis, and basic marketing planning will be introduced. This course cannot be used as an elective for Linder College of Business master's students.

Financial Statement Analysis

This course is designed to understand financial statements and to use them to make sound decisions that you will be using in the real life. Managerial decision making and analysis will be emphasized. In order to successfully complete this course, one must already have at least a basic understanding of US Financial Accounting.

Econometrics for Finance

This is an introductory masters level course in econometrics emphasizing econometrics foundations and financial data analysis. The course covers topics in time series analysis with an emphasis on applications rather than econometric theory. The course is designed to enable students to perform independently comprehensive financial data analysis using statistical software packages.

The Theory of Financial Decision Making

This course has two main goals. The first is to understand how well-run corporations create value. The second is to develop a set of techniques for valuing capital investment projects in privately and publicly traded companies. To support the first main goal, the course considers the theory of the firm and develops a set of principles concerning optimal allocation of costly resources and production levels in the face of market forces that depend on the nature of competition in input and output markets. This section defines and identifies sources of market power that managers can exploit to create value. With this analysis, students should be able to examine specific firms and the industries in which they operate to determine the firm’s short-term and long-term profitability and potential threats/risks. To support the second main goal, the course (1) examines valuation techniques, (2) develops asset pricing models (the Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM) and the Arbitrage Pricing Theory (APT) in particular) to determine the appropriate required or opportunity cost of capital for discounting future cash flows, (3) considers basic risk management techniques, (4) examines how firms raise capital, (5) analyzes the effect of financing choices on shareholder wealth, firm value, risk, and tax payments, and (6) considers how corporations can design appropriate compensation schemes to induces effective managerial action and effort. The course also defines real options and examines how real options are valued and affect capital budgeting decisions. To support this task, the course examines the definition, use, and pricing of derivative securities such as financial options. Throughout, a secondary goal is to have students develop intuition on financial issues so that they are not only able to analyze a variety of standard corporate finance problems but are also capable of analyzing new issues that will arise in the ever-changing business environment.

Equity Analysis

This course is about the analysis of financial information--particularly, but not limited to, a firm's financial statements--for making decisions about investing in a business. The primary focus is on equity (share) valuation, with some attention given to credit evaluation and the valuation of debt. The methods of fundamental analysis will be examined in detail.

fixed income

This course examines fixed-income markets, with an emphasis on the pricing and risk of fixed income securities, derivatives, and portfolios. Bond immunization and trading strategies will be discussed with an in-depth coverage of both Treasury and Corporate Debt Securities. We will explain how Federal Reserve uses monetary policy to influence the term structure of interest rates.This course helps students to establish a solid foundation in understanding fixed-income securities and furthermore to apply such knowledge to real-world investment decisions in bond markets.

Options and Futures

The principal objective of this course is to provide a detailed examination of options, futures, forwards, and swaps. By the end of the course students will have a good knowledge of how these contracts work, how they are traded, how they are used, and how they are priced. A major emphasis in the class will be on how derivative instruments are used by financial institutions in light of recent economic events.

Career Management

Designed for Graduate Business students to assist them in their job search. Covers such topics as your elevator speech, practice interviewing, resume construction and salary negotiations.

SPECIAL TOPICS IN FINANCE

In-depth study of special topics in Finance.

MS FIN Capstone

This course stresses the application of finance theory and methods to real business situations. While the focus of the project is finance related, a multi-disciplinary approach is desirable. A secondary objective of this course is to gain experience in collaborative teamwork to solve a business problem. All work in this course is team-based. You are required to work collaboratively and creatively with your team members to address the challenge presented. Peer evaluation and industry project coach’s evaluation of the team’s work is an important measure of your performance in this course.

Finance Careers and Professional Development II

The course is designed to assist MS Finance students in their job search and their understanding of the many facets of the finance profession. As well as gaining an understanding of the entry process into the finance profession, students will participate in a series of presentations and other activities to increase their understanding of the key areas of finance-corporate, investments, risk management, and real estate. A focus will be placed on particular segments of each area, such as: portfolio management, equity and fixed income analyst, private equity, risk management and insurance, financial planning, corporate finance. This course is designed to work with and complement BA 7077 Career Management, which focuses on the skills needed for a student to successfully complete a job search. Students will meet for one hour each week, with guest speakers from corporations and government attending many of the class sessions. The numerous career paths available to finance students will be mapped out so that students are aware of the options that are available to MS Finance students.

Financial Planning Capstone

This course is the companion course to FIN 6060 (Fundamentals of Financial Planning), which examines how to develop and implement an effective financial plan from the perspective of a financial planning professional advising individual clients.FIN 6061 (Financial Planning Capstone) is the Financial Planning (FP) capstone course where the student creates an effective financial plan for a actual client. Students will be assigned an actual client at the beginning of the term in which FIN 6061 is taken and it will be the students responsibility to, using all of the principles discussed in FIN 6060, manage the relationship with the client so that the deadlines for the deliverables are met

Portfolio Management

This course presents the mainstream and alternate view of portfolio management using research papers, articles, and materials from academics and the markets. Many of the concepts covered are covered in the body of knowledge leading to the CFA designation.

Risk Management of Financial Institutions

This course examines the regulatory and risk management issues facing a variety of financial institutions (including depository institutions, insurance companies, investment banks, mutual funds, and pension funds). The course will start with some of the basic theories of financial intermediation to identify the various services financial institutions provide. We also will identify and analyze the key types of risks faced by financial institutions (focusing on interest rate risk, market risk, liquidity, and credit risk). With this as context, we will then examine the set of techniques available for measuring and managing these risks. We will focus on recent trends in off-balance sheet activities, securitization, and other financial innovations and will examine the causes, consequences, and suggested remedies of the recent financial crisis.

Advanced Capital Budgeting

An in-depth analysis of capital budgeting decisions. Topics covered include: estimation of the cost-of capital, issues in forecasting and valuing cash flows from projects, and the applications of real options to corporate capital budgeting decisions.

Real Estate Development

The purpose of this course is to review property trends and market analysis techniques, as well as the general process of development from a business perspective. The emphasis is upon market and feasibility analysis methods as applied to real estate. In addition, the purpose of this course is to explore different negotiation strategies and models within the context of well prepared real estate and development projects, and use whatever methodologies are appropriate in preparation for the negotiation cases. This course will require graduate students to undertake an additional piece of written assessment to complete the requirements of the course.

Electives: Advertising

The purpose of this course is to introduce students to elements of advertising and promotion.The course is designed from the perspective of managers who will need to make decisions about marketing communications programs.

Topics covered include: setting objectives, positioning, target audience selection, creative strategy, media strategy, advertising research and evaluation. The marketing communications program is seen as one part of the overall marketing mix. The material covered in the course is relevant for all types of organizations (large, small, public, or private).

Electives: Marketing Ethics

This course is designed to provide MS/MBA students with a broad, practical overview of ethical issues in marketing. Drawing from moral philosophy and cognitive psychology, students will acquire and refine analytical and managerial decision-making skills through the application of ethical principles to moral dilemmas represented in case examples. The primary emphasis of this course is on managerial decision-making. A central theme of this course is that good decisions are informed by a thorough understanding of the subjective biases to which individual human judgments and group decisions are prone.

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