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Curriculum and Requirements

The Master of Science in Finance is a generalist graduate program in finance. The MSF program begins in August each year and is completed in three semesters (fall, spring, fall). Most core and required courses would be completed in the first fall semester; however, dependent upon a student’s background and career goals, some core courses may be substituted or taken in the spring semester.

 

Core Courses

As we admit students from a range of backgrounds, so in their first semester students may need to work on their fundamental knowledge in important areas. We offer three core classes in the fall semester:

  • FIN 580 Corporate Finance and Valuation (4 credit hours)
    This course will cover a broad range of corporate finance topics providing a comprehensive overview of the material. At the conclusion of the course, students will understand the broad fundamental concepts of corporate finance in a unifying model. The text we will be using provides an excellent introduction to the concepts. Topics can be explored in more detail based on class interest and experience.
  • FIN 580 Financial Statements (2 credit hours)
    Introduces the fundamentals of reading and understanding financial statements. The basics financial statements will be introduced and there will be in depth examples and cases demonstrating how the statements are constructed and how to carry out basic analysis. At the end of the class students should feel comfortable understanding a typical annual report.
  • FIN 580 Quantitative Methods (2 credit hours)
    This course provides an introduction to quantitative methods that are applicable in several areas of finance; presents concepts and methodologies from probability theory, statistical inference, and regression analysis; emphasis is placed on software applications of real data on stock returns, CAPM and Fama-French models, and cross-section firm data.

Students with an appropriate undergraduate background may waive some or all of these classes, with the approval of the academic director. For example, students with a Finance undergraduate degree do not need to take the Corporate Finance and Valuation class

Required Courses

The program is very much focused on providing a flexible set of classes for students to tailor to their own specific career aims. There are only two required classes in the program:

  • FIN 511 Investments (4 credit hours)
    Introduction to investment analysis, including the theory and implementation of portfolio theory, empirical evidence on the performance of financial assets, evaluation of portfolio investment strategies, and the extension of diversification to international markets.
  • FIN 501 Economics of Stock Market Fundamentals (4 credit hours)
    Firms’ long-run value ultimately depend on their business fundamentals. This course covers micro- and macro-economic drivers of such fundamentals, such as consumer demand, market competitiveness, government regulation, interest rates, business cycles, and monetary policy. Also includes topics in risk and inter-temporal decision-making.

Specializations

We have a wide array of electives on the program from topics in entrepreneurship all the way through to financial engineering and machine learning. To help guide students through the extensive list of electives available on the program, students have the flexibility to select classes that suit their interests and allow them to specialize in a particular area. We currently offer six different specializations on the MSF program, please click on the links below to see the extensive offerings in each specialization.


Asset Management Specialization

Fall Semester 1

  • FIN 501 Economics of Stock Market Fundamentals (required class)
  • FIN 511 Investments (required class, prerequisite class for specialization)
  • FIN 512 Financial Derivatives
  • FIN 580 Wealth Management (2 credit hours)

Other classes within specialization: FIN 568 Behavioral Finance (2 credit hours), FIN 580 Cases in Wealth Management (2 credit hours).

Other useful classes: *Core classes, FIN 521 Advanced Corporate Finance, FIN 541 Real Estate Fundamentals, FIN 580 Introduction to Python, FIN 580 Quantitative Methods 2.

Spring Semester 

  • FIN 515 Fixed Income Portfolios
  • ACCY 517 Financial Statement Analysis
  • FIN 580 Investment Banking/Valuation
  • FIN 580 Professional Development (2 credit hours)

Others within specialization: FIN 518 Financial Modeling, FIN 551 International Finance, FIN 580 Advanced futures, FIN 546 Real Estate Financial Markets, FIN 571 Retirement Policy, FIN 579 Applied Portfolio management

Other useful classes:  FIN 521 Advanced Corporate Finance, FIN 561 Financial Intermediation, FIN 580 Entrepreneurship through acquisition

Fall Semester 2

  • FIN 580 Practicum
  • FIN 579 Applied Portfolio management (capstone class for specialization)
  • FIN 580 Big Data Analytics

Others within specialization: FIN 518 Financial modeling, FIN 545 Real Estate Investment, FIN 568 Behavioral Finance (2 credit hours), FIN 580 Applied Financial Econometrics, FIN 580 Cases in Wealth Management (2 credit hours), FIN 580 Practical Asset Allocation.

Corporate Finance Specialization

Fall Semester 1

  • FIN 501 Economics of Stock Market Fundamentals (required class)
  • FIN 511 Investments (required class)
  • FIN 521 Advanced Corporate Finance (prerequisite class for specialization)
  • ACCY 501 Accounting Analysis I

Others within specialization:  FIN530 Foundations in Risk Management (2 credit hours), FIN 568 Behavioral Finance (2 credit hours), FIN 570 Business and Public Policy

Other useful classes:  *Core classes, FIN 580 Quantitative Methods 2 (2 credit hours)

Spring Semester

  • FIN 526 Enterprise Risk Management
  • FIN 527 Topics in M & A (2 credit hours)
  • FIN 563 Investment banking/valuation
  • FIN 580 Professional Development (2 credit hours)
  • ACCY 517 Financial Statement Analysis

Others within specialization:  FIN 518 Financial Modeling, FIN 551 International Finance, FIN 561 Financial Intermediation, FIN 580 Growth Corp Capital Funding, FIN 580 Entrepreneurship through acquisition.

Other useful classes:  FIN 512 Financial Derivatives, FIN 579 Applied Portfolio management

Fall Semester 2

  • FIN 580 Practicum
  • FIN 522 Cases in Financial Strategy (capstone class for specialization)
  • FIN 580 Big Data Analytics

Others within specialization:  FIN 518 Financial Modeling, FIN 570 Business and Public Policy, ACCY 502 Accounting Analysis II.

Other useful classes:  FIN 512 Financial Derivatives, FIN 579 Applied Portfolio management

Data Analytics and Fintech Specialization

Fall Semester 1

  • FIN 501 Economics of Stock Market Fundamentals (required class)
  • FIN 511 Investments (required class)
  • FIN 580 Quantitative Methods 2 (2 credit hours) (prerequisite class for specialization)
  • FIN 580 Introduction to Python (2 credit hours)

Others within specialization:  FIN 580 Big Data Analytics,

Other useful classes:  *Core classes, FIN 512 Financial Derivatives, FIN 521 Advanced Corporate Finance, STAT 542 Statistical Learning

Spring Semester

  • FIN 567 Financial Risk Management
  • FIN 580 Data Analytics
  • FIN 580 Fintech**
  • FIN 580 Professional Development (2 credit hours)

**May be offered in Fall for 2019-20, but a Databases class is likely to be offered in its place in the Spring.

Others within specialization:  None

Other useful classes:  FIN 512 Financial Derivatives, FIN 513 Financial Engineering I, FIN 514 Financial Engineering II, FIN 515 Fixed Income portfolios, FIN 518 Financial Modeling, FIN 580 Advanced Futures, STAT 542 Statistical Learning.

Fall Semester 2

  • FIN 580 Practicum
  • FIN 580 Big Data Analytics (capstone class for specialization)
  • FIN 580 Applied Financial Econometrics
  • FIN 580 Machine Learning

Others within specialization:  None

Other useful classes:  FIN 514 Financial Engineering II, FIN 516 Term Structure Models, FIN 521 Advanced Corporate Finance, FIN 566 Algorithmic Market Microstructure, FIN 580 Practical Asset Allocation, FIN 580 Option Trading and Market Making, STAT 542 Statistical Learning.

Quantitative Finance Specialization

Fall Semester 1

  • FIN 501 Economics of Stock Market Fundamentals (required class)
  • FIN 511 Investments (required class)
  • FIN 512 Financial Derivatives (prerequisite class for specialization)
  • FIN 580 Quantitative Methods 2 (2 credit hours)
  • FIN 580 Introduction to Python (2 credit hours)

Others within specialization:  FIN 580 Big Data Analytics

Other useful classes:  *Core classes 

Spring Semester

  • FIN 513 Financial Engineering I
  • FIN 514 Financial Engineering II (capstone class for specialization)
  • FIN 515 Fixed Income portfolios
  • FIN 567 Financial Risk Management
  • FIN 580 Professional Development (2 credit hours)

Others within specialization:  FIN 580 Advanced Futures, FIN 580 Data Analytics,

Other useful classes:  FIN 518 Financial Modeling, FIN 521 Advanced Corporate Finance, FIN 580 Fintech, STAT 542 Statistical Learning. 

Fall Semester 2

  • FIN 580 Practicum
  • FIN 516 Term Structure Models
  • FIN 580 Big Data Analytics
  • FIN 580 Applied Financial Econometrics

Others within specialization:  FIN 566 Algorithmic  Market Microstructure, FIN 580 Machine Learning, FIN 580 Practical Asset Allocation, FIN 580 Option Trading and Market Making

Other useful classes:  FIN 518 Financial Modeling, FIN 521 Advanced Corporate Finance, FIN 580 Fintech, STAT 542 Statistical Learning

Real Estate Specialization

Fall Semester 1

  • FIN 501 Economics of Stock Market Fundamentals (required class)
  • FIN 511 Investments (required class)
  • FIN 541 Real Estate Fundamentals (prerequisite class for specialization)
  • FIN 580 Legal Issues in Real Estate

Others within specialization: FIN 545 Real Estate Investment, FIN 447 Real Estate Development

Other useful classes:  *Core classes, FIN 512 Financial Derivatives, FIN 580 Quantitative Methods 2. 

Spring Semester

  • FIN 521 Advanced Corporate Finance
  • FIN 546 Real Estate Financial Markets
  • FIN 544 Urban Real Estate Valuation
  • FIN 580 Professional Development (2 credit hours)

Other useful classes:  FIN 518 Financial Modeling, FIN 580 Legal Issues in Real Estate 

Fall Semester 2

  • FIN 580 Practicum
  • FIN 447 Real Estate Development (capstone class for specialization)
  • FIN 545 Real Estate Investment
  • FIN 580 Big Data Analytics

Other useful classes:  FIN 518 Financial Modeling, FIN 579 Applied Portfolio Management, FIN 580 Wealth Management

Finance Research (PhD Specialization)

Fall Semester 1

  • FIN 501 Economics of Stock Market Fundamentals (required class)
  • FIN 511 Investments (required class)
  • FIN 580 Quantitative Methods 2 (2 credit hours)
  • FIN 580 Introduction to Python (2 credit hours)
  • FIN 591 Theory of Finance (prerequisite class for specialization)

Others within specialization:  None

Other useful classes:  Mathematics, Economics or Statistics classes as required.

Spring Semester 

  • FIN 515 Fixed Income Portfolios
  • FIN 567 Financial Risk Management
  • FIN 580 Financial Databases (TBC)
  • FIN 594 Seminar in Corporate Finance

Others within specialization:  None

Other useful classes:  512 Financial Derivatives, FIN 513 Financial Engineering I, FIN 514 Financial Engineering II, FIN 521 Advanced Corporate Finance, Mathematics, Economics or Statistics classes as required. 

Fall Semester 2

  • FIN 580 Applied Financial Econometrics (required class for specialization)
  • FIN 580 Big Data Analytics
  • FIN 580 Microeconomic Theory

Others within specialization:  FIN 592 Empirical Analysis of Finance, FIN 594 Seminar in Corporate Finance

Other useful classes:  FIN 514 Financial Engineering II, Mathematics, Economics or Statistics classes as required.


Students choose an appropriate group of electives, including a prerequisite and capstone elective. Specializations will be awarded to students who:

  • Complete both the pre-requisite class and the capstone class in the specialization.
  • Complete at least 16 credit hours in the chosen area. This includes the pre-requisite and capstone classes, so most students will need to take an additional 8 credit hours of electives from the specialization.
  • Achieve a B or better in all courses and an A in at least one of them.

Students satisfying these requirements receive an official letter from the program as evidence of their specialization.

Concentrations

A concentration is “an elaboration or an extension of a graduate major: either content specialization within a particular discipline (for example, a taxation concentration in accountancy, or an interdisciplinary program A concentration is a coherent set of courses some or all of which count toward the major.”

The MSF offers three concentrations. Unlike the specialization, the concentration will appear on your final transcript:

Electives available for students

All of our extensive elective offerings are included in at least one of the MSF Specializations listed above. Here is a full list of the electives that have been offered on the MSF program in previous semesters:

  • ACCY 501: Accounting Analysis I
  • ACCY 517: Financial Statement Analysis
  • FIN 447: Real Estate Development
  • FIN 512: Financial Derivatives
  • FIN 513: Financial Engineering I
  • FIN 514 Financial Engineering II
  • FIN 515: Fixed Income Portfolios
  • FIN 516 Term Structure Models
  • FIN 518: Financial Modeling
  • FIN 521: Advanced Corporate
  • FIN 522: Cases in Financial Strategy
  • FIN 526: Enterprise Risk Management
  • FIN 527: Mergers and Acquisitions
  • FIN 541: Real Estate Fundamentals
  • FIN 544: Urban Real Estate Valuation
  • FIN 545: Real Estate Investments
  • FIN 546: Real Estate Financial Markets
  • FIN 551: International Finance
  • FIN 561: Financial Intermediation
  • FIN 563: Investment Banking
  • FIN 566: Algorithmic Market Microstructures
  • FIN 567: Financial Risk Management
  • FIN 568: Behavioral Finance

 

  • FIN 570: Business and Public Policy
  • FIN 571: Retirement Policy
  • FIN 572: Health Care Policy
  • FIN 579: Applied Portfolio Management
  • FIN 580: Fintech
  • FIN 580: Legal Issues in Real Estate
  • FIN 580: Machine Learning
  • FIN 580: Option Trading Market Making
  • FIN 580: Practical Asset Allocation
  • FIN 580: Advanced Futures
  • FIN 580: Big Data Analysis
  • FIN 580: Cases in Wealth Management
  • FIN 580: Applied Financial Econometrics
  • FIN 580: Growth Corporate Capital Funding
  • FIN 580: General Microeconomic Theory
  • FIN 580: Quantitative Methods II
  • FIN 580: Real Estate Cases
  • FIN 580: Wealth Management
  • FIN 580: Data Analytics
  • FIN 591: Theory of Finance
  • FIN 592: Empirical Analysis in Finance
  • FIN 594: Seminar in Corporate Fianance

 

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