Bachelor of Arts in Finance

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  • Course description
    The Finance Major

    The programs of study leading to a degree, with a major in finance, are based on the conviction that successful administration in business demands an understanding of the operation of the individual firm and the environment in which it must function, as well as a command of the analytical tools essential to decision making. Thus, students selecting a major in the department are required to become knowledgeable in four distinct, but interrelated areas of study:

        * analytical tools, including computers, spread sheet software, statistics, and economics
        * functional area knowledge of the business firm, including Accounting, Finance, Management and Marketing
        * environmental issues, including an examination of both the legal and economic frameworks that condition business decisions and actions
        * technical skills in the specific functional area chosen as a concentration in Finance

    FIN 20100 Corporate Finance Essentials (Prerequisite: ACCT 20100)

    This course is intended for business students who will not major in finance. The course provides a general introduction to finance principles. Students will learn financial goals, valuation theory, risk and return concepts, financial statement analysis and techniques for managing current and fixed assets and capital structure. Personal investing and financial institutions are also discussed.

    FIN 20150 Corporate Financial Management (Prerequisite: ACCT 20100)

    This course is required for finance majors and a grade of "C" or higher is a prerequisite for continuing in the finance major. The course provides an in-depth and quantitative examination of the principles of financial decision-making. Students learn the concept of value maximization, mathematics of finance, valuation of financial securities, capital investment evaluation, the estimation of required rates of return, financial statement analysis and the theory of capital structure.

    ACCT 30100 Corporate Financial Reporting (Prerequisite: FIN 20150)

    This one-semester course is designed for and required of finance majors and others who wish to develop an advanced knowledge of financial reporting in the corporate environment.  The course covers financial statement preparation and analyses with a focus on understanding financial accounting information from a user perspective.

    FIN 30210 Managerial Economics (Prerequisites: BAMG 20100, ECON 10010)

    This course provides a coordination of economic theory and managerial practice. Topics covered include: consumer demand, production functions, cost behavior, output determination and pricing within various market structures.

    FIN 30220 Macroeconomic Analysis (Prerequisite: BAMG 20100, ECON 10010)

    This course addresses topics including the goals of economic policy, national income accounting, theory of income determination, the determination and behavior of economic aggregates, such as total output and the price level.

    FIN 30400 Advanced Corporate Finance (Prerequisites: BAMG 20100, FIN 20150)

    This course provides a sound conceptual framework within which a wide variety of corporate financial policy decisions can be evaluated. The course builds upon and extends the topics in FIN 20150. Topics covered include risk and return, capital structure theory, dividend policy, corporate restructuring, leasing and advanced capital budgeting. This course combines class lectures and case discussions in order to blend theory and practice.

    FIN 30600 Investment Theory (Prerequisites: BAMG 20100, FIN 20150)

    This is an advanced course covering investment theory, financial markets and financial instruments. The topics of security analysis, options and futures are also introduced.

    FIN 30700 Real Estate Fundamentals (Prerequisite: FIN 20100 or FIN 20150)

    (Note: This course does not count as a Finance major elective.)An introduction to the principles and practices of real estate. Topics to be covered shall include land use patterns and regulation, real estate finance, valuation, real estate law, brokerage and transfers, urban economics, and real estate development.

    FIN 40230 Business Forecasting and Data Mining (Prerequisite: BAMG 20100)

    This course develops the tools forecasters use to generate and evaluate forecasting models for both the economy and the firm. In addition to classical forecasting tools, the course also uses data mining and extremely large data sets for prediction. The student will make extensive use of the computer in applying these tools to real-world situations.

    FIN 40320 Management of Financial Institutions (Prerequisites: BAMG 20100, FIN 20150)

    This course examines the theory and practice of financial firms and the markets in which they operate. It analyzes the role of various financial intermediaries in the transfer of funds between economic units. Management issues and problem-solving techniques are emphasized through the use of case studies.

    FIN 40410 Mergers and Acquisitions (Prerequisites: FIN 30400, FIN 30600)

    The objective of this course is to understand various aspects of the corporate acquisition market, including sources of acquisition synergies, valuation and pricing of acquisition targets, takeover defenses, the roles of management incentives and compensation, financing methods, the roles of insider and institutional shareholders, and regulations and taxes.

    FIN 40480 Corporate Governance (Prerequisite: FIN 30400)

    This course studies the major issues and problems involved in corporate governance from the point of view of an investor. Emphasis is on evaluating proposed solutions to these problems. Topics such as external political and legal influences, and internal executive compensation and monitoring of executive behavior will be discussed.

    FIN 40490 Real Option Analysis (Prerequisites: FIN 30400, FIN 30600)

    As today's businesses increasingly shift their emphasis from tangible (bricks-and-mortar) assets to intangibles (patents, new product developments, joint ventures, etc.), financial decision makers will need the vision and capability to accurately assess the value of these investments. This course provides a framework for understanding and evaluating the inherent flexibility in investment opportunities. Students will gain sufficient mastery of the quantitative techniques to be able to apply the real options framework to real-world cases such as evaluating early-stage pharmaceutical R&D investments, multi-stage business roll-out strategies, optimal development of mining or drilling ventures, decisions about when to optimally abandon a failing business, and more. This elective should appeal to students in both the Corporate and Investments Tracks of the Finance major.

    FIN 40500 International Finance (Prerequisites: FIN 20150, FIN 30220)

    This increasing international exchange of goods, services and financial capital demands increased understanding of international financial markets. The first part of the course addresses the international financial environment, examining iinstitutional, theoretical, and empirical factors influencing exchange rates. The second part of the course addresses derivative security markets for foreign exchange, notably currency forward, futures, and options markets. The third part of the course discusses international debt, equity, loan, and money markets, and their interrelationship with foreign exchange markets.

    FIN 40520 Global Portfolio Managment (Prerequisite: FIN 30600, permission required)

    This is an advanced investments course which will elaborate on the basic principles discussed in introductory finance courses with a focus on multi-asset portfolio management in a global context. The topics covered will include: Institutional investors & the "Endowment Model", Global Asset Allocation, Public Equities, Hedge Funds, Emerging Markets, Private Equity, Real Estate, Commodities, Fixed Income, Risk Management and Portfolio Measurement & Evaluation. An important feature of this course will be guest lecturers from a number of world renowned investors.

    FIN 40610 Security Analysis (Prerequisite: FIN 30600)

    The objective of this course is to develop a detailed understanding of the tools used by market professionals and corporate managers to analyze the value of companies and stocks.  The central theme of the course will be the pricing of equity securities using discounted cash flow and relative valuation techniques.  After completing this course, students should be able to identify and interpret the key value drivers for a firm or industry, develop quantitative models for firm and equity valuation based on DCF and multiples, and present firm and equity valuation analyses in a professional manner.

    FIN 40620 Trading and Markets (Prerequisite: FIN 30600)

    This course examines the general nature of oganized trading by examining how bid and offer prices are determined, how market rules evolve, and what markets should be built. While markets for products and services are discussed, the focus is on the trading of financial securities. Existing centralized equity exchanges face competition from new alternative trading systems made possible by today's information technology. This course will also examine the impact and implications of this dynamic.

    FIN 40630 Options and Futures (Prerequisite: FIN 30600)

    This course examines various topics involving options and futures, such as pricing fundamentals and models, risk management, trading strategies, and regulatory issues. Computer and mathematical skills are required and used regularly throughout the course.
    FIN 40640 Applied Investment Management (Prerequisites: FIN 30400, FIN 30600, permission required )

    This course will provide an opportunity for students to blend the theory of investments with the practical demands of investment management. The course objectives include an understanding of the process of establishing a portfolio strategy with a real portfolio, gaining knowledge of the mechanics of trading, current theories of market microstructure, principles of equity, and bond valuation and technical analysis, and the role of derivatives. Students will actively manage this portfolio throughout the semester.

    FIN 40650 Advanced Derivatives: Risk Management and Financial Engineering (Prerequisite: FIN 40630)

    This course provides rigorous applied training to prepare students for employment with firms where derivatives are either of primary importance (e.g., banks, trading firms) or secondary importance (e.g., corporations that hedge either interest-rate risk or foreign exchange-rate exposure). Specific topics include swaps, interest-rate forwards and options, advanced derivatives, derivative strategies, financial risk management techniques, and organizational risk management.

    FIN 40660 Debt Instruments (Prerequisite: FIN 30600)

    This course studies the U.S. and global bond markets. The focus is on traditional and evolving bond instruments including those with embedded options. We will consider bond valuation techniques, the term structure of interest rates and the analysis of bonds with embedded options. Bond portfolio management strategies and performance benchmarks are also studied.

    FIN 40670 Advanced Investment Strategies (Prerequisite: FIN 30600)

    This course introduces students to quantitative asset management. The building blocks of the course are asset allocation and factor models, active firm-level and portfolio-level quantitative investment strategies using a set of "investment signals", advanced trade execution and performance evaluation. Special topics change from one year to another to reflect recent trends and practices in the industry, and may include topics such as security litigation, fund activism, socially responsible investment, PE funds and LBO funds. In addition to regular lectures, this course uses case studies and guest lectures to enhance student understanding of the decision making process and the problem-solving skills of asset managers.

    FIN 40690 Behavioral Finance (Prerequisite: FIN 30600)

    Behavioral Finance is considered by many to be one of the most important emerging topics in finance. The purpose of this course is to provide an understanding of the behavioral biases that individuals exhibit and the effects of these biases on financial markets. Standard finance theory assumes that individuals such as investors or financial managers are rational expected utility maximizers. Behavioral finance argues that some financial phenomena can be better understood admitting that some investors are not fully rational and arbitrageurs have limits to how aggressively they could trade. A number of stock mark anomalies will be presented and analyzed.

    FIN 40710 Real Estate Valuation and Investment (Prerequisite: Check with Finance Department)

    The course considers fundamental methods of real estate valuation with emplhasis on income property valuation and single property investment analysis.  Topics will include market comparable and discounted cash flow methods of valuation, financial leverage, taxes, corporate real estate investment, performance measures, pro forma construction, and software (Argus).  Techniques of market analysis may be considered.

    FIN 40720 Real Estate Capital Markets (Prerequisite: Check with Finance Department)

    This course analyzes primary and secondary real estate capital markets.  Included are fundamental features, investment characteristics, and underwriting of commercial and residential mortgages.  Additionally, construction debt, sub-debt, alternative lending (land/bridge/hard asset loans), private and public equity markets, and real estate securitization markets are covered.  Real estate as a component of portfolio investment is addressed.

    FIN 40820 Mathematical Methods in Financial Economics (Prerequisite: FIN 30600)

    An introduction to financial economic problems using mathematical methods, including the portfolio decision of an investor and the determination of the equilibrium price of stocks in both discrete and continuous time, will be discussed. The pricing of derivative securities in continuous time including various stock and interest rate options will also be included. Projects reflecting students' interests and background are an integral part of this course.

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