Courses offered in the MS in Finance degree program, listed by term.

Summer   Finance Bootcamp

Accounting (3 units)
Introduces the roles, concepts, principles, legal requirements, and impacts of external financial reporting. Covers basic financial statements and the analysis and recording of transactions, with a focus towards interpretation of reported results. Studies the more common and significant transactions impacting firms.

Business Integrity and Society (3 units) Focuses on how society influences, and is influenced by, business, and the responsibilities that organizations and managers have toward their external stakeholders. Challenges students' views of organizations, workers and their responsibilities. Discusses models of workers and organizations that differ from those commonly used in management studies. Topics may include: the origins of morality, ethics, and organizational dynamics that can undermine the responsible behavior of workers; how public policies influence and are influenced by business; the legal environment of business and managing social issues.

Managerial Competencies & Team Effectiveness (3 units)
Explores group dynamics to enable students to perform more effectively in groups and teams. Provides students with feedback on individual managerial competencies to aid in career self-management and planning. Must be taken during the student's first or second quarter in residence.

Statistics (3 units) Introduces probability and statistical analysis, emphasizing applications to managerial decision problems. Discusses descriptive statistics, probability theory, sampling distributions, statistical estimation, hypothesis testing, and simple and multiple regressions. Additional topics may include exploratory data analysis, analysis of variance, and contingency tables.

Fall Quarter

Corporate Financial Reporting (3 units)
An in-depth study of the concepts underlying external financial reporting, along with expanded coverage of basic financial statements, detailed analysis of measuring and reporting assets, liabilities, shareholders' equity, and related revenues and expenses. Takes a decision-making perspective by framing the financial reporting function of accounting in the context of the decision-support role it serves.

Financial Management (4 units)
Introduces the basic concepts and tools of finance. Reviews balance sheet and income statement categories. Emphasizes the time value of money, present value calculations, the opportunity cost of capital, valuation of simple securities, and evaluating investment opportunities in a capital budgeting system.

Economics for Business Decisions (3 units)
Introduces the use of microeconomics in making better business decisions. Includes topics on determinants of demand, role of demand elasticities in an optimizing firm, identification of costs which are relevant to business decisions, estimation and forecasting demand and costs using regression analysis, differences between various market structures and consequences for business decisions, and optimal pricing in segmented and non-segmented markets. Integral part of the course is the use of current business articles to integrate and illustrate topics. Emphasizes applications of microeconomic theory.

Unrestricted Elective (3 units)
View sample list below.

Winter Quarter

Corporate Finance (3 units)

Investments (3 units)
Explores investment securities and markets; reviews valuation tools; analysis of stocks, bonds, and derivatives. Introduces constructing portfolios and controlling investment risks. Focuses on learning how to value assets given forecasts of future cash flows. Concentrates on the risk characteristics of different asset classes. Covers four broad areas: (a) bonds and other fixed income securities, (b) risk/return relationships, portfolio diversification, and equity factor models, (c) performance evaluation and security analysis, and (d) currencies, international interest rates, and derivatives. Combines the theoretical underpinnings of finance with real-world examples. Before taking the course, students should understand time value of money (discounting), capital budgeting, and evaluation of two-stock portfolios.

Unrestricted Elective (3 units)
Two to be selected in this quarter.

Spring Quarter

Finance Elective (3 units)
Review the Finance electives; three to be selected this quarter.

Urestricted Elective (3 units)
One required this quarter.

Finance Electives

Your Finance electives must be selected from a list approved by the Finance faculty. This list currently includes, but is not limited to:

Management Accounting: The Finance Function (3 units)

Financial Statement Analysis (3 units)
Analyzes financial statements and footnote disclosures. Focuses on (1) developing a framework that interprets financial statements as a reflection of a company's industry, business strategy, and competitive environment; and (2) showing how decision makers can use financial data to evaluate a company's performance, liquidity, solvency, and valuation. 

Fundamental Value Analysis (3 units)
Analyzes financial statements and footnote disclosures. Focuses on (1) developing a framework that interprets financial statements as a reflection of a company's industry, business strategy, and competitive environment; and (2) showing how decision makers can use financial data to evaluate a company's performance, liquidity, solvency, and valuation.

International Finance Management (3 units)
Studies financial issues specific to firms operating internationally. Examines the global financial environment, agency problems and corporate governance, international financial markets, exchange rate behavior, and corporate hedging decisions using currency options, currency futures, forward & cross-currency interest rate swaps by the multinational corporation (MNC) and understanding international parity relations.

Financial Markets and Institutions (3 units) 
Studies financial service companies such as commercial banks, investment banks, and insurance companies from the perspective of a corporate issuer. Reviews valuation tools. Emphasizes the analysis of a corporation's funding alternatives under regulatory constraints, interest rate risk management, and the relation between financial institutions and financial markets. Other topics may include evolution of financial intermediaries and current developments in financial regulation.

Mergers, Acquisitions, and Corporate Restructuring (3 units)
Examines corporate governance and corporate restructurings. Emphasizes how corporate ownership, control, and organizational structures affect firm value. Other topics include valuing merger candidates, agency theory, and takeover regulation. Places a heavy emphasis on case projects and/or class presentations.

Behavioral Investments (3 units)
Explores behavioral paradigms as they relate to investments. Considers psychological biases that might affect investment behavior and examines empirical evidence that investors are subject to these biases. Explores the possibility that investor behavior affects asset prices. For example, do stocks held by a limited number of investors sell for less than stocks held by many investors? Before taking this course, students should have a solid understanding of the time value of money (discounting), capital budgeting, and the evaluation of multi-stock portfolios.

Real Estate Finance (3 units)

Risk Management with Derivative Securities (3 units)
Covers financial topics most relevant to newly formed companies, with an emphasis on Silicon Valley-style startups that target large markets and raise outside capital. Includes topics on: (1) valuation, which is the course's primary theme, underlying all of the topics covered; (2) evaluating business opportunities, which focuses on the underlying economic principles that differentiate large opportunities from small opportunities; (3) funding business opportunities, which covers both identifying a company's needs and acquiring the capital to finance those needs; and (4) discussing how successful entrepreneurial ventures "exit."

Emerging Company Finance (3 units)
Covers financial topics most relevant to newly formed companies, with an emphasis on Silicon Valley-style startups that target large markets and raise outside capital. Includes topics on: (1) valuation, which is the course's primary theme, underlying all of the topics covered; (2) evaluating business opportunities, which focuses on the underlying economic principles that differentiate large opportunities from small opportunities; (3) funding business opportunities, which covers both identifying a company's needs and acquiring the capital to finance those needs; and (4) discussing how successful entrepreneurial ventures "exit."

Business Valuation (3 units)
Discusses implementing finance theory for valuation problems. Provides practical valuation tools for valuing a company and its securities. Covers valuation techniques including discounted cash-flow analysis, estimated cost of capital, market multiples, free-cash flow, and pro forma models.

Financial Engineering (3 units)
Examines the design, valuation, and risk management of derivative securities (futures, options, etc.), including structured products. Includes topics on arbitrage theory, futures, equity options, bond options, credit derivatives, swaps, and currency derivatives. Mathematical modeling of derivatives, including implementation and applications in investments, corporate finance, and risk management.

Behavioral Corporate Finance (3 units)
Identifies the key psychological obstacles to value maximizing behavior, along with steps that managers can take to mitigate their effects. Given that behavioral traps represent one of the most important obstacles to successfully implementing skills taught in traditional corporate finance courses, understanding these traps is absolutely essential. Teaches how to put the traditional tools of corporate finance to the best use, and mitigate the effects of psychological obstacles that reduce value. 

Financial Instruments and Markets (3 units)
Covers the basics of financial instruments and the markets in which these instruments trade. Consists of two sections: fixed income securities and derivative securities. Uses case studies to introduce advanced securities and institutional features of their markets in which these securities trade. Develops a framework for analyzing new financial instruments including decomposing a security into simpler pieces, analyzing (pricing, hedging, etc.) each piece separately, and putting the pieces back together for a unified analysis. Explores the security design process, and the role and motivation of financial intermediaries, including commercial banks, investment banks, insurance companies, and hedge funds.

Unrestricted Electives

Courses are selected from the graduate business schedule (subject to prerequisite restrictions). Among the choices that may be useful to the MSF candidate are:

International Monetary and Financial Relations (3 units)
Thoroughly examines the international monetary system and international financial arrangements with emphasis on policy toward exchange rates and balance of payments crises in emerging markets. Studies foreign exchange markets, balance of payments, international liquidity, central bank policy and international regulatory institutions, and macroeconomic modeling.  Economics Department.

Money and the Economy (3 units)
Examines the financial system as a whole. Considers the basic determinants of supply and demand for loanable funds, the manner in which funds are exchanged in the money and capital markets, the influence of demand and supply factors on interest rates, the impact of changes in interest rates, money supply, and loanable funds on the level of economic activity. Economics Department.

Marketing Analysis and Decisions  (3 units) Studies the role of marketing in modern organizations. Introduces key concepts, such as segmentation and creation of customer value. Surveys frameworks for competitive and market analysis. Presents tools to help managers make decisions in a range of tactical areas, including product development and positioning, competitive pricing, managing distribution channels, and promotion and communication. Features lectures supplemented by discussion of selected cases. Marketing Department.

Integrated Product Development (3 units)
Introduces students to the methods companies use to develop and release new products. New product development is a challenging, rewarding activity that can make the difference between success or failure for a company, especially in technology-based industries. The traditional view that new product development is an "art" practiced by engineers has now given way to an understanding that it is a discipline that must be learned and practiced to be successful. Examines the sequence of activities needed to successfully develop and launch a new product or service; understand how the different functions and roles in product development interrelate and work together; learn how to balance strategic and tactical activities in successful product development; develop a better understanding of how to determine and satisfy customer needs; understand the financial aspects of product development; develop the skills to analyze and improve product development efforts within a company. OMIS Department.

Financial Information Systems (3 units)
Examines analysis, design, and implementation of enterprise information systems as they relate to the accounting function and corporate financial management. Empha-sizes learning not only what functions the systems provide, but also understanding their technological structure and linkages with business strategy. Moreover, enables students to recognize organizational situations for which information system controls and assurance would help achieve organizational goals, and to participate in planning, development, and implementing control devices in highly automated contexts. OMIS Department.