Course Descriptions

MBA 8135 – Corporate Finanace

3 hours | CSP: 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8
This course focuses on the financial management of both publicly-held and private corporations. Students are presented with a conceptual framework for understanding and addressing problems commonly faced by corporate decision-makers and are provided opportunities to apply these concepts to contemporary business situations. Topics covered include, but are not limited to: the valuation and role of debt and equity, capital acquisition and the organization of domestic and international financial markets, the relationship between risk and return including the capital asset pricing model, capital budgeting/project evaluation techniques, cost of capital, cash flow estimation, project risk analysis, real options, company valuation, and capital structure decisions.

FI 8000 – Valuation of Financial Assets

3 hours | CSP: 1, 2, 6
This course develops core competencies that all finance graduates regardless of area of specialization should possess. Topics include foreign exchange markets, interest rate risk measures, term structure theory,introductory option pricing, futures markets, swaps, and valuation.

FI 8020 – Financial Analysis and Loan Structuring

3 hours | CSP: 1, 2, 6
This course provides students with the skills to analyze a business, determine its funding needs, and design a financing structure to satisfy those needs (primarily, private debt instruments). There is minimal discussion of pricing; the focus is credit analysis. The principal teaching method is case analysis, and a significant course objective is the development of logical thinking and communication skills. The case mix includes companies of all sizes including small- and medium-sized firms. Students have the opportunity to evaluate the needs of a variety of businesses that differ with respect to type, industry, profitability, growth, cyclicality, and degree of distress.

FI 8070 – Leading the Finance Function

6 hours | CSP: 1, 2, 6
This course addresses the leadership, design, and organization of the finance function in a modern corporation for effectively promoting the development of human capital and firm value. First, an economics-based framework for leading and organizing a finance department is established with a focus on the optimal assignment of decision rights, the design and alignment of incentive and compensation systems, and performance review and evaluation. Next, a bridge is built between economic theory and practice with the use of case studies and guest speakers representing leading corporate organizations.

FI 8090 – Financial Data Analytics

3 hours
This course provides the foundation for financial data analytics. Students will develop knowledge of data analytics modeling aimed at addressing a range of financial questions in practice. The objective of this course is to gain experience in analyzing financial data using modern machine learning techniques, statistical methods, and prediction models. Students will perform data analysis using a statistical programming environment. Students will have hands-on experience on the development of data analytics applications.

FI 8200 – Derivative Markets

3 hours | CSP: 1, 2, 6
This course focuses on the valuation, uses, and regulation of derivative instruments-contracts or agreements whose values derive from the prices of underlying assets such as equities, commodities, interest rates, and currencies. The course is presented from the perspective of corporate risk managers and institutional professionals who use these valuable risk-shifting instruments for controlling market risks. Coverage is presented of both exchange and off-exchange derivatives including futures, options, forwards and swaps, and structured products such as hybrid debt having embedded derivative features. The course keeps abreast of global trends, trading developments such as electronic markets, and new products such as electricity, weather, bandwidth, and credit derivatives.

FI 8240 – Global Portfolio Management

3 hours | CSP: 1, 2, 6
This course explores in greater depth than possible in [Fi 8000] the practical aspects of investment valuation and portfolio management in a global framework. The focus is on market microstructure, bond- and equity-portfolio management and overall asset allocation. Practical aspects of portfolio management are introduced through lectures and class discussions of journal articles and cases.

FI 8260 – Hedge Funds and Their Trading Strategies

3 hours | CSP: 1, 2, 6
This is an advanced graduate elective course on hedge funds, which have emerged as popular investment vehicles. The course will cover institutional topics including the history and evolution of hedge funds, the differences between hedge funds and mutual funds, funds of hedge funds, and key sources of information such as databases, indices, and benchmarks. The course will investigate hedge fund risk-return characteristics, performance evaluation, risk management, asset allocation, and managerial compensation. Trading strategies to be considered will include long-short equity, merger arbitrage, relative value arbitrage, convertible arbitrage, fixed income arbitrage, and trend-following.

FI 8310 – Investment Banking

3 hours | CSP: 1, 2, 6
This course covers the three distinct activities of investment banking: (1) underwriting- new issues of securities, (2) fee banking-activities that earn a fee like advising on corporate restructurings, securities and economic research, and other types of financial consulting, and (3) transactions- trading in the secondary markets, proprietary trading for the firms own account, and retail brokerage. The emphasis of the course will be on equity underwriting and advising in orporate restructuring activities. It will also focus on the principles of firm valuation. These tools will be used to value, for example, an initial public offering firm, the target firm in a takeover contest, and a leveraged buyout firm.

FI 8320 – Corporate Financial Strategy

3 hours | CSP: 6
This course uses a combination of lectures, case analyses, class discussion, and team projects to develop the ability and skills necessary to make strategic financial decisions within the firm. The emphasis is on investment and financial decision-making and their impact on firm value; capital market imperfections and their impact on the capital acquisition process; and corporate governance and its impact on firm value. Specific topics will vary according to current relevance and may include the estimation of divisional cost of capital, project analysis including flexibility and real options, incentive alignment, corporate governance, and the influence of alternative financing choices on firm value.

FI 8360 – Corporate Finance and Banking in the Global Economy

3 hours | CSP: 6
This course allows for in-depth study of select corporate finance and banking topics of global significance. Coverage is drawn from cutting-edge issues such as the global financial architecture, the management of risk exposures (market/credit/operational/other risks), credit derivatives, financial value chains, regulatory frameworks and developments, project financing decisions, corporate governance, and the implementation of financial strategies. Topic coverage may also include newer development in the financial world such as Islamic banking, microfinance, peer-to-peer lending, and high-frequency trading.

FI 8389 – Directed Readings in Finance

1-3 hours
Students must receive consent of the instructor to take this course.

FI 8391 – Field Studies in Finance

1-3 hours
The field study is a supervised, employer-site learning experience that provides students the opportunity to learn and apply finance skills in a professional setting. Participating students are expected to work a designated number of hours each week; to attend education lectures and seminars; and to submit assignments, projects, and term papers. The field study is typically non-paid; students will receive course credit. Participating students will be selected through a competitive review.

FI 8450 – Financial Analysis of Asset and Wealth Management

3 hours
This course introduces the student to a financial analysis of the major agents in the economy – the household, small business, publicly traded corporations, and the financial institution. The major elements of value, stock, and flow are examined for each of the agents with analytical emphasis given to financial concepts such as cash versus accrual accounting, fair value, and financial accounting principles. The course also examines the structure and economics of the investment and wealth advisory business, evaluating the intersection of the demand for services with the supply. Integration of the various elements of asset and wealth management is done through a course project.

ACCT 8040 – Topics in Federal Taxation

3 hours | CSP: 1, 2, 6, 7
This course introduces students to the federal tax concepts applicable to individuals, sole proprietorships, partnerships, corporations, estates, and trusts. In particular, it focuses on developing a professional level of problem-solving skills and critical thinking as well as oral and written communications. Emphasis is placed on differences between tax and financial accounting concepts. In addition, students are exposed to accounting periods and methods, deferred compensation, tax planning, ethical practices, and tax research.

PFP 8420 – Financial Advice and Planning over the Life Cycle

3 hours | CSP: None
This course examines financial decision making over the life cycle. Among the main topics covered are setting financial objectives, insurance and risk management, planning for adequate retirement income, social security and other government benefits, income tax planning, qualified plans, pre- and post-retirement investment planning, planning for long-term care, and planning for incapacity.

PFP 8520 – Advanced Studies in Wealth Management and Advisor Practice

3 hours | CSP: None
This course is designed as a capstone for students in the wealth management program. The emphasis is on integrating knowledge from the program and building the skills for a successful advisory practice. The course assesses the student’s relative strengths across the domains of wealth advisory practice. The course also examines practice management and profitability of advisory firms. Students participate in case study role play exercises to build communication skills. Students identify a wealth management client and complete the advisory process. Students also prepare a wealth management paper suitable for submission to a professional journal.