General Finance

With a general finance concentration you are exposed to a wide variety of courses and challenged to be analytically savvy with modern technical skills that position you for a variety of roles in finance.

sample courses

Introduction to the concepts, assumptions, and methods underlying managerial accounting, with an emphasis on using accounting information to plan and control a company's operations. Topics include information relevant for decision-making, cost behavior, activity-based costing, pricing, cost-volume-profit analysis, operating budgets and variance analysis, capital budgeting, and performance evaluation.

The class objective is to develop financial decision-making skills in a variety of different settings.  We will develop core modern finance skills as part of the tool-kit and apply the concepts to a variety of different real-world industry verticals.  The class is very applied in nature.There will be field-work classes (formal lecture substituted by library, internet research) that will require you to learn about industry verticals.

Generally speaking, project finance refers to financings where the terms and conditions of the debt are directly related to the specific purpose for which the proceeds will be used. In project financing lenders often rely only on the cash flows of those projects for repayment and have no recourse to the broader balance sheet of the sponsoring corporation.  Project financing activities are often referred to as "structured finance" since the repayment schedule and covenant packages for this debt are likely to reflect specific project cash flows or other characteristics of the assets being financed.

The course objectives are to provide an understanding of the drivers of value creation and destruction in mergers and acquisitions (M&A) and to develop skills in the design and evaluation of these transactions. Familiarity with M&A is a foundation for effective work in a wide range of fields including investment banking, private equity, consulting, corporate development, and advising senior management. The focus of the course will be primarily to analyze M&A from the perspective of a financial advisor, integrating issues from economics, accounting, law, strategy and organizational behavior where appropriate.

The first part of the course is a review of capital market theory and how to estimate the divisional cost of capital. We then examine the efficient market theory and how it affects our investment decisions. The next section concentrates on dividend policy and the share repurchase decision. The fourth part focuses on the firm's capital structure. The basic issue is whether or not the firm's capital structure influences the value of its common stock. Other topics include examining the benefits and costs of mergers, divestitures, going-private, going public and financial restructuring.

Corporate Governance of Publicly Traded Corporations has been in a state of rapid evolution over the past 30 years.  It began in the 1980's with the recognition that Corporations in the US were not being managed in the interests of shareholders and Agency problems were recognized as a root cause.  The advent of Corporate Raiders further forced the issue and questions arose regarding takeover protections and entrenched boards. Two major pieces of legislation, Sarbanes Oxley and Dodd Frank grew directly out of these episodes.

The objective of this course is to prepare you to work in the areas of portfolio management, stock research and investment banking. The course is designed to improve your understanding of the fundamental concepts of security investments. The course will primarily focus on security analysis and management of stock portfolios. We will also cover fundamentals of fixed-income securities and equity options.

This is a course dealing with the valuation and use of derivative financial assets. Initially we will study option contracts. We will consider relative pricing requirements for these contracts enforced by arbitrage. Extension of this technique will lead to the derivation of exact valuation models. During the second portion of the course we will study futures contracts. The focus again will be on relative pricing requirements enforced by arbitrage. The overall objective of the class is to give students skills to assess the values and risks of derivative assets and to develop trading and hedging strategies based on their analyses.

This course extends the principles of finance to the international context. Topics include exchange rate determination, the international monetary system, foreign exchange markets, currency futures, currency options, currency swaps, parity conditions, risk management, currency trading, and foreign investments.

This course is intended to give students an idea of the work conducted by investment banks.  Areas reviewed will include debt financing, equity underwriting, merger & acquisition advisory assignments, and trading activity. Special emphasis will be placed on the methods commonly applied when conducting valuation, debt capacity, and transaction analysis.  In addition, to provide context, there will be a brief summary of investment banking history and of the peripheral players (private equity and hedge funds) that interact with banks.

The course surveys the private equity industry, with an emphasis on the financial and economic tools useful for leveraged buyout and venture capital investing. The primary audience for this course is finance majors interested in careers at private equity funds. The secondary audience is students planning careers that have significant interaction with private equity funds, either as providers of these funds (pension fund managers, institutional investors, investment advisors) or as consumers of them (managers/owners of startups or buyout candidates). More information at

This course is designed for students interested in better understanding (i) how the private equity industry works, (ii) how to structure the acquisition of a business and (iii) how to make money by leveraging key value drivers in a business. Unlike traditional courses, this course takes a unique approach by bringing in leading experts and practitioners to provide industry perspectives for almost every class. More information at

This course in finance and economics will provide the fundamental tools in understanding the workings of markets surrounding professional, semi-professional and collegiate sports. The sports we will be examining include the "big three" in the US (Baseball, Football and Basketball), professional hockey, collegiate football and basketball, professional soccer (football in Europe and the rest of the world), Olympic sports, professional golf and perhaps professional wrestling. The material will provide tools and knowledge regarding the analysis of the workings of these sports and franchises within these sports to the finances surrounding the material participation in these sports.

This course covers the contemporary principles of valuation, acquisition, financing, and financial management of real property. Emphasis is on the analytical techniques of mortgage lending, valuation, tax factors, investor objectives, and trends in the industry.

Advanced topics and tools for analysis of decision problems, focusing on modeling the real-world complications.  We address the issues of: too many alternatives (leading us to resource pricing, linear programming using optimization techniques);  aversion to risk (utility); multiple, conflicting objectives (multi-attribute decision making and value-focused thinking); and too many, complex outcomes (Monte Carlo simulation). The primary course objective is to improve managerial effectiveness through clearer thinking about complex decision issues, and through the application of powerful analytical tools to a wide variety of common management problems.

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