Master of Science in Financial Services

Course Descriptions

Note: All MSFS that also satisfy the requirements of the MBA degree are cross-referenced as "MBA" courses.

ACC 500 Accounting Concepts 3 credits
The basic principles and procedures for classifying and recording business transactions and interpreting the results for investors, business managers, and other users of financial information.

ACC 601 Tax Planning for Management Decision Making 3 credits
The goal of this course is to introduce the many tax planning opportunities that are inherent in management and personal financial decisions. The emphasis is on acquiring recognition-level knowledge of the important role taxation plays in the daily operation of business enterprises and in each individual's personal financial affairs.

ACC 602 Financial Statement Analysis 3 credits
This course provides a study of how to analyze a business enterprise through financial statements and related data. As evaluating accounting information by decision-makers becomes more essential to optimize a firm's outcome, concepts covered in this course applied in several decision contexts.

DSS 505 Business Statistical Tools with Excel 3 credits

This course covers descriptive statistics including tabular, graphical, and numerical methods. Probability distributions such as the binomial, Poisson, and normal are covered. Sampling, internal estimation, hypothesis testing, and linear regression are included. The emphasis is on practical application to business situations, including computer applications. Knowledge of Excel is required.

FIN 500 Managerial Economics 3 credits
This course familiarizes students with the basic concepts, the language and the analytical tools of microeconomic and macroeconomic theory in order to enhance decision-making in business and finance. The course is divided into two parts. The first part focuses on the component parts of our economic system: consumers, workers, production enterprises, governments, and the interactions of these entities in markets where the prices of outputs and inputs are determined. The second part covers aggregate economic activity and looks at the problems of inflation and unemployment. It analyzes the role of government in controlling the growth of the economy, the theory of money and banking, and the role of the Federal Reserve System.

FIN 503 Financial Management 3 credits
This course is an introduction to finance and lays the background for future courses. Topics include the financial environment including the federal reserve system, financial analysis, time value of money, working capital policy, cash management, risk and return, and valuation.

FIN 550 Shareholder Value Management 3 credits
This course covers the concepts and practices of value-based financial management. Selected topics include financial analysis and forecasting, application of time value of money, valuation and stock market signals to management, introduction to risk and modern portfolio theory, capital budgeting, options, cost of capital, and capital structure. This course emphasizes value creation and the role of domestic and international financial management in facilitating this process.

FIN 600 Financial Institutions and Capital Markets 3 credits
This course examines the operations, investment policies and analysis of financial institutions and their relationship to money and capital markets. Topics covered include the financial system, the Federal Reserve System, monetary policy, international financial relationships, and interest rate theory. Prerequisites: FIN 550

FIN 601 Personal Financial Planning 3 credits
Personal Financial planning is designed to provide those students who will be dealing with individuals rather than a business entity as a career, an understanding of the problems and concerns that arise in an individual's life cycle. Students will learn how to reach appropriate decisions regarding the allocations or personal wealth between current consumption and future consumption. Current consumption decisions will include discussions of metrics covering the optimal consumption pattern for major purposes, e.g. houses and automobiles, more routine purchases, such as, insurance coverage. In addition the course will examine the appropriate use of credit, either through standard loan contracts or the use of credit cards. There will also be a discussion of the existing consumer protection laws and their effect on individual consumption patterns. Future consumption allocations will include a discussion of metrics involved in reaching optimal decisions regarding long-term health care, retirement, and estate planning. Prerequisite : FIN 550

FIN 602 Portfolio Management 3 credits
This course covers the theory and practice or portfolio management. Topics include capital market models, risk assessment, performance evaluation, mutual funds, international diversification, and managing risk with derivative securities. Recent empirical evidence is also covered.  Prerequisites: FIN 550

FIN 604 Personal Insurance Planning 3 credits
This course examines the theory and practice of risk management within a personal financial planning framework. It examines the wide range of risks that individuals are exposed to and the ways that insurance can be used to deal with the problems posed by such risks. Topics include the nature of risk, organization and regulation of the insurance industry, life and health insurance, and property and liability insurance. Insurance is also examined within the framework of employee benefit packages.

FIN 605 Pension and Benefits Administration 3 credits
This course is intended to provide students with a basic understanding of the various pension and employee benefit plans available in the workplace. Emphasis will be placed on preparing professionals to make informed decisions about what types and designs of plans are best for their company or client and about how they can best administer their chosen benefit package.

FIN 606 Estate Planning 3 credits
This course will begin with an overview of basic gift, estate, and generation-skipping-transfer tax law. Fundamental estate and gift areas will be covered as well as basic estate planning documents and estate devices. The student will become aware of how to apply these areas to real-life cases. The second half of the course will be a more in-depth examination of the tools and techniques of estate planning based on the transfer tax rules taught in the half of the course. This course will cover in great detail the estate planning techniques for lifetime gifts as well as life insurance planning and estate planning for qualified plans and IRA's . Other areas to be discussed will include ownership of family business entities and limited liability companies. Prerequisite: FIN 550

FIN 607 Risk Management 3 Credits
This course is designed to apply the theories and techniques taught in Finance to the complex and specific needs of managing financial risk in the financial services industry. The course will provide an overview of the banking and insurance markets and their products. In addition, several valuation and risk management tools and models designed to measure and manage equity risk, interest-rate risk, and default risk in the financial services sector of the economy will be introduced and implemented.

FIN 608 Advanced Financial Management 3 credits
This course is the second-level course for finance majors. It covers the theory and practice associated with the management of long-term assets and long-term capital. Topics include evaluating investment opportunities, single period, multi-period, certainty, uncertainty, risk analysis, capital structure, dividend policy, cost of capital and firm valuation. Prerequisite : FIN 550

FIN 609 International Finance 3 credits
This course describes and analyzes the structure and function of international money and capital markets with special consideration for the economics of foreign exchange markets, export/import finance, international financial institutions, Euromarkets, alternative forms of international monetary structure and comparative financial structures . Prerequisite : FIN 550

FIN 610 Security Analysis of Investments 3 credits
This course examines security valuation techniques. Topics include fundamental and technical analysis of stocks, bonds and derivative securities. Earnings estimation, as well as assessing the risk and values of individual securities, including options. Prerequisite : FIN 550

FIN 611 Mergers and Acquisitions 3 credits
This course will cover the theory and evidence concerning mergers and acquisitions and the market for corporate control. It will examine the accounting and evaluation aspect of mergers and acquisitions activities, discuss the alternative theories of mergers and acquisitions, and review the relevant empirical test. Mergers and acquisitions, and review the relevant empirical test. Mergers and acquisitions activity is evaluated in terms of the strategic alternatives faced by the firm. Restructuring, leveraged buyouts, share repurchases, and takeover defenses etc/ are also studied not only from a Finance perspective but also from a strategic perspective. Prerequisite : FIN 550

FIN 612 Derivative Markets 3 credits
Derivatives are financial instruments whose returns are derived from those of other financial instruments. Derivatives serve a valuable purpose in providing a means of managing financial risk. By using derivatives, companies and individuals can transfer for a price, any undesired risk to other parties who have risks that offset the other party's risk or who want to assume the risk of the other party. Derivatives can be bases on real assets, such as, agricultural commodities, metals, and sources of energy, or financial assets. This course is designed to have students learn about the characteristics of the institutions and markets where these instruments trade, the manner in which derivative prices are determined, and the strategies for the effective use of the instruments. Prerequisite : FIN 550

FIN 613 Finance Study Tour 3 credits
The international study tour in finance develops a better understanding of the global finance environment. It focuses on institutions, trends, and opportunities. Students will also experience the heritage, ambiance and excitement of the world's great countries and cities. Prerequisite : FIN 550

FIN 620 Financial Plan Development and Presentation 3 credits This course will require students to synthesize and apply elements of comprehensive financial planning.  The course will require students to perform all functions of the financial planning process and apply the CFP Board's Practice Standards.

FIN 770 Topics in Finance 3 credits
The course covers subjects of current interest in the field of finance. Specific topics will be announced in the course schedule. Prerequisite : FIN 550

MGT 552 Stakeholder Theory and Social Responsibility 3 credits
This course addresses corporate social responsibility through a stakeholder theory of business. The course will center on the question, " Which interests of which stockholders impose obligations of business?" The internal and external stakeholders addressed include investors, employees, customers, and the natural environment, among others. Some issues will be analyzed by exploring international differences in the treatment of stakeholders. The course exposes students to some of the ethical dilemmas confronted by employees in the workplace, and serves to enhance student skills in resolving these dilemmas.

*Six courses in the MSFS program satisfy the education requirements of the CFP ® test and have been certified as such by the CFP Board. These courses are FIN 601 Personal Financial Planning, FIN 604 Personal Insurance Planning, FIN 602 Portfolio Management, ACC 601 Tax Planning for Management Decision-Making, FIN 605 Pensions and Benefits Administration, and FIN 606 Estate Planning. The six courses cover the complete topic list required by the CFP ® Board. For maximum benefit, the courses should be taken so that the FIN 601 is first in the sequence, and the last two in the sequence are FIN 605 and FIN 606 in that order. The information contained in the first four courses is essential to make the completion of the retirement and estate courses both easier and more meaningful.