Graduate Courses

The Course Catalog includes course descriptions of all courses offered by F. W. Olin Graduate School of Business. For descriptions of the courses offered in the current or upcoming semesters, please see our Course Listing

 Graduate Course Catalog

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FIN6100 FINANCE This course includes a review of how to read and interpret financial statements, with a focus on how to interpret the relevant information in the context of finance. Students will learn how to forecast sustainable growth rates for a business. The course introduces time value of money concepts and provides an overview of how these concepts may be used to value securities. Students will learn techniques for allocating capital optimally across competing projects and will be introduced to the concepts of risk and return, with an emphasis on frameworks for evaluating these in an uncertain environment. The course also explores how to measure and manage the cost of capital, and the role of bankruptcy. The advantages and disadvantages of project finance and corporate finance are reviewed, as well as corporate governance and the role of different stakeholders.


Finance for Entrepreneurs (1.5 credits) This course will translate established principles and tools from corporate finance into the entrepreneurial environment. Specific topics include milestones and staging, alternative forms of funding, forecasting for new ventures, financial strategy, and valuation. Through hands on workshops and case studies, students will learn how to negotiate funding terms and establish metrics that will maximize the value of their entrepreneurial investment.


FIN6200 Financial Data Analysis and Practice 1.5 credits This year-long course trains students how to use different data sets for research, how to develop appropriate financial memos and reports for various audiences, and provides some introduction to different aspects of the finance profession. At least four different datasets such as (but not limited to) CRSP, Compustat, Bloomberg, and Capital IQ will be introduced. Students will learn how to access and download data, analyze the data, create reports, and provide written and oral reports to different financial and non-financial audiences. In addition, students will be made aware of professional practices and standards in different financial professions to prepare students for rapid entry into the workplace.


Financial Data Analysis and Practice This yearlong course trains students how to use data sets for research, how to develop appropriate financial memos and reports for various audiences, and provides some introduction to different aspects of the finance profession. At least four datasets such as (but not limited to) CRSP, Compustat, Bloomberg, and Capital IQ will be introduced. Students will learn how to access and download data, analyze the data, create reports, and provide written and oral reports to financial and nonfinancial audiences. In addition, students will be made aware of professional practices and standards in financial professions to prepare students for rapid entry into the workplace.


FIN7200 Introduction to Financial Management Introduction to Financial Management (FIN) – This course introduces the managerial finance skills required of effective business managers operating in all functional areas of an organization as they seek to create shareholder value. Covers basic corporate finance topics including financial analysis, construction of pro forma financial statements and forecasting cash flows, the relationship between risk and return, the cost of capital, discounting future cash flows, assessing the viability of projects and capital budgeting, financing and capital structure issues, and the valuation of stock, bonds, firms and other entities.


FIN7502 Capital Markets 3 credit elective This course provides an overview of modern capital markets and is intended both for students who are not concentrating in finance (but want to learn more about how markets work) as well as for finance concentrators. The course considers the domestic and the global aspects of capital markets. It begins by studying the basics of fixed income markets, concentrating on determinants of the yield curve and the term structure of interest rates. It then discusses options and other simple derivatives, including their pricing and how they are traded. Corporate, sovereign, and municipal bond markets, including credit default swaps, are studied. We then discuss the interaction between financial markets and financial institutions, including the mortgage markets, mutual funds, commercial banks, investment banks, and hedge funds. The course concludes with equity markets and new electronic equity trading facilities. Prerequisite: FIN7200 This course is typically offered in Fall and Spring.


FIN 7503 Equities (Formerly "Equity Portfolio Management") 3 credit elective This course will address both theoretical and practical issues that arise in equity valuation and portfolio management. Students will develop a framework for understanding the following: basic valuation techniques (e.g. absolute and relative multiples (COMPCO), Discounted Cash Flow (DCF), and Dividend Discount Model (DDM)), modern portfolio theory, equity portfolio construction, passive versus active management, investing styles, and performance measurement. In addition, a portion of the course involves analysis of issues in Private Equity. These include: analysis of equity swaps quantitative investing and LBO transactions. Equity valuation and equity portfolio management are as much art as science and we will focus on the challenges equity professionals face in the pursuit of alpha. As part of the course, students will manage a "paper portfolio" in which they will design an investment strategy, execute that strategy and complete a performance attribution on the results. Prerequisite: FIN7200 This course is typically offered in Fall and Spring.


FIN7504 Risk Management (formerly Managing Financial and Corporate Risk) 3 credit elective Risk management of modern corporations has risen to a new pre-eminence in industrial and financial firms. The reasons for this rise, and the techniques and instruments used by risk managers, are the subjects of this course. The course first considers the mechanics and the economic intuition behind the basic tools of financial risk management: forwards, futures, swaps, and options. Students will then use their knowledge to build synthetic securities, to exploit arbitrage opportunities, and to alter the risk/return characteristics of corporations. We then apply these tools to risk management problems of firms in industries such as energy (oil and natural gas), chemicals, financial services (banks and securities firms), and commodities (gold), and pharmaceuticals (intellectual capital.) Prerequisite: FIN7200 This course is typically offered in the Spring


FIN 7511 Corporate Finance: Raising Capital (Formerly "Financing the Firm") 3 credit elective This course is designed to help students develop analytical tools and skills to build financing strategies and manage the right hand side of the balance sheet. It explores the theoretical and practical issues of capital structure design, considers firm financing alternatives, including equity, long-term debt, hybrid securities, leasing, securitization, project finance, and examines the process through which securities are issued. The course also explores share repurchase, dividend policy, and risk management. Prerequisite: FIN7200 This course is typically offered in Fall and Spring.


FIN 7513 Fixed Income (Formerly "Fixed Income Portfolio Management") 3 credit elective This advanced quantitative course is designed for students interested in fixed income portfolio management, as well as students interested in the sales and trading of fixed income securities and their related structured products. Topics covered include: (i) bond pricing and day count conventions; (ii) relative value and yield curve construction; (iii) duration, basis point value, and convexity; (iv) pricing and hedging of interest rate currency swaps; (v) Treasury bond futures, conversion factors, and the concepts of cheapest-to-deliver and implied repo; (vi) the repo (GC and special) market; (vii) credit risk and the pricing of high yield bonds and credit default swaps; and (viii) securitization, mortgage-backed securities, and collateralized mortgage obligations. Prerequisite: FIN7200 This course is typically offered in the Fall.


FIN 7516 Corporate Finance: Evaluating Opportunities (Formerly "Strategic Corporate Investment") 3 credit elective Students registering for this course may not have already taken FIN7506 Financial Tools for Business Managers. Credit will not be granted for both courses. This course is designed for those interested in evaluating complex long-term strategic investment proposals and valuing firms and subsidiaries for merger and acquisition purposes. Building on the foundation of the finance core, it explores finance theory to identify pitfalls, common mistakes, and best practices in corporate valuation. It expands valuation skills by introducing the equity approach and the adjusted present value (APV) valuation method, the preferred approach when capital structure is changing over time(e.g. in private equity transactions). It also covers the identification and valuation of real options embedded in strategic initiatives. Prerequisite: FIN7200 This course is typically offered in Fall and Spring.


FIN7517 Financing and Valuing Sustainability 3 credit elective This course will examine the concepts of 'going green' and sustainability in the context of finance and value creation. Students will analyze sustainable technologies, strategies, and business models from the perspective of managers, entrepreneurs, and investors. Basic financial tools such as discounted cash flow, capital budgeting, capital structure, and risk/return will be used to evaluate the feasibility and financial implications of 'sustainable' products and practices in a variety of industries and applications. Prerequisite: FIN7200


FIN7518 Managing Portfolios 3 credit elective Managing Portfolios is designed for students interested in investment management, portfolio management, and/or risk management. The course will augment and extend students' basic finance skills, tools and concepts learned in core finance courses and in other courses in the Investments concentration curriculum. In the context of a variety of individual and institutional investor types, from high net worth individuals to endowments, students will explore the simultaneous management of positions in multiple securities using heuristic, statistical and other mathematical tools. Topics covered include client assessment, investment objective setting, investment strategy formulation, security selection, allocation of risky assets, optimal portfolio selection, and the use of derivatives to meet investment objectives. Through projects and readings, students will explore these topics in portfolio theory and practice. Tools and theories used widely by portfolio management professionals are fundamental to this course. In addition to the traditional course work, the students will study and prepare investment proposals, periodic client communications and conduct portfolio performance evaluations. This course is typically offered in the Spring Prerequisite: FIN7200


FIN7519 Personal Financial Management 3 Credit Elective This course teaches students to negotiate the retail financial landscape, emphasizing issues that have a large impact on their future financial well-being. It assumes no finance knowledge other than first-year finance. The course covers topics such as selecting a financial adviser, financing the purchase of a house, college saving, retirement saving, behavioral finance, trusts, and investment frauds and scams. Specific investment products studied include mutual funds, exchange-traded funds, municipal bonds, emerging markets, alternative investments (including hedge funds, private equity funds, and commodities), annuities, and insurance products. Consideration will be given to the problem of an entrepreneur or start-up employee who has a substantial fraction of personal wealth invested in a single business venture, including evaluating stock- and option-based compensation plans. Over the duration of the course, students may work to develop a personal financial plan for themselves, or if they prefer, for a fictional person with a defined set of financial traits. Prerequisite: FIN7200 This course is typically offered in the Fall.


FIN7523: Energy Markets- Business Models and Opportunities 1.5 Elective Credit The course will provide a fast paced overview of the history and current state of the Energy Industry. The overview will include the economics of resource and distribution of the current energy portfolio in its various forms, capital structure, underlying and forecast trends, and opportunities/obstacles of change. Students will then use this foundation to evaluate New Energy business models, opportunities, and unintended consequences. We will consider real life cases (US and international), involving current energy infrastructure and the economics/politics of change. There will be a group project assignment (no final) where students can develop and evaluate the economic (and societal) implication of any of a wide range of possible innovations (sample topics include autonomous vehicles, the digital age/gig-economy, storage, and efficiency concepts). Students will employ conventional and industry appropriate financial tools, as well as socially aware issues, to evaluate the current, transitional, and potential energy infrastructure. Prerequisites: FIN7200


FIN7524: Financial Modeling The course will provide students with the opportunity to develop a practical understanding of accounting and finance concepts by applying and manipulating such concepts in the context to analytical frameworks, or models, commonly used by investment banks, commercial banks, investment managers, private equity firms and academic researchers. The class will focus on developing and using models to evaluate and analyze business performance, securities valuations, as wells as a variety of other finance related topics. The course is designed to allow students to practically apply financial theory in a way that is consistent with financial industry practices, techniques and professional expectations. As such, the class will utilize case studies involving real companies and there will be a heavy emphasis on the practical financial research skills and Microsoft Excel mechanics necessary to develop and customize financial models in “real world” situations. LAPTOPS ARE REQUIRED FOR EACH CLASS THIS COURSE IS FOR MSF STUDENTS ONLY


FIN7525 Finance for New Ventures 3 credit elective FIN7525 is meant for entrepreneurs and small business owners that want a detailed understanding of the financial implications of strategic decisions as they start and grow their ventures. The focus is on forecasting integrated financial statements, valuation, and deal structure. The course covers equity investment (angels and VCs) from both the entrepreneur’s and investor’s perspectives, including pre- and post-money value, capitalization tables, dilution, and liquidation preferences. The impact of debt financing on financial statements and returns is also covered. Valuation methods include discounted cash flow, multiples, and the VC method. Risk management techniques incorporating staging, milestones, real options, and simulation are used to better assess uncertainty and then structure transactions to mitigate risk. Prerequisite: FIN7200


FIN7526: Corporate Governance and Financial Compliance 1.5 Elective Credits This course provides an overview of financial compliance and regulation along with case studies of both good and bad corporate governance. The course is intended not only for finance and investment professionals but also for business managers and entrepreneurs. The course begins with an overview of compliance requirements along with the best practices for ensuring conformity. The areas of discipline include ethical business practices, conflicts of interest, and legal issues. The second section of the course will involve case studies involving classic corporate fraud, aggressive accounting, and questionable corporate governance. Course material will challenge students to recognize business anomalies that the marketplace has not recognized. The course will end with a comprehensive analysis of an existing company. Active class participation is a requirement of the class along with a research paper. At the conclusion of the course, students will have an expanded knowledge of compliance management and enhanced analysis skills to detect improper corporate activities. Recommended: FIN7200 or ACC7200


F2F Meeting Dates: tbd with two additional recorded 1.5 hour WebEx sessions in-between FIN7545 Financial Trading Strategies 3 credit elective offered in Blended Format In this course, students will learn to develop and implement strategies to make effective trading and investment decisions in an uncertain environment. Students will build quantitative models that identify, quantify, and manage the risks and expected return associated with these strategies. The course is based on an experiential learning approach, in which trading simulation software provides a platform for delivering learning-by-doing cases. Specific cases covered in the course include alternative trading venues, algorithmic trading, value-at-risk, crude oil and natural gas futures, and portfolio insurance. The course will also cover the fundamental concepts of market microstructure, including bid-ask spreads, price discovery, information asymmetry, liquidity, and inventory risk.


FIN7550 Derivatives: Theory and Practice 3 credits This course examines the pricing and use of derivatives in depth. It will cover the mathematical underpinnings of forwards, futures, options, swaps and more exotic derivatives, as well as the practical uses of these derivatives to hedge and manage risk. This course will cover the Black-Scholes option pricing formula, binomial trees and risk-neutral pricing. Applications include financial hedging of foreign exchange risk, commodity risk, and interest rate risk; as well as portfolio immunization techniques.
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