Department of Finance

Department Mission Statement

The Department of Finance is a major unit within the College of Business Administration. Our curriculum prepares students to be active participants in the finance industry. Based on our engagement with finance professionals and academic research, we develop innovative educational programs that enhance the skills of students and that apply lessons from the frontiers of academic research to critical business problems. The Chicago Mercantile Exchange Market Training Laboratory provides a unique environment in which to gain hands-on experience in trading and to understand the intricacies of financial markets. The Finance Department recognizes the significance of its Chicago location and fosters partnerships with the financial and academic communities to develop the leadership potential of our students. 

The department’s teaching mission involves:

  • Providing strong professional training for careers in finance.
  • Connecting undergraduate students to the financial services industry in the Chicago area.
  • Introducing curriculum specializations designed for specific areas of the financial services industry such as global finance, derivatives, risk management, banking, and portfolio and other investment strategies.
  • Utilizing contemporary information technology in the learning process.
  • Drawing upon other departments for interdisciplinary teaching areas, including accounting, information and decision sciences, and managerial studies.

BS in Finance

The finance curriculum explores the principles of financial analysis and control of individual business firms. It applies these principles to financial management, the valuation and selection of securities, and the influence of the monetary and banking system on economic activity. Students majoring in finance study how money is stored, protected, received, distributed, and generally managed. In the finance major, students are prepared to be leaders in the financial services industry. Productive and research-oriented faculty members emphasize the newest and most innovative areas of finance.

Distinction

See Academic Honors in College of Business Administration section.

Degree Program

Courses

FIN 300. Introduction to Finance. 3 hours.

Description of financial markets. Time value of money. Risk and return. Market valuation of securities. Capital budgeting, capital structure and dividend policy of firms. Course Information: Recommended background: ACTG 210 and ECON 120.

FIN 301. Introduction to Managerial Finance. 3 hours.

Introduces students to managerial finance: the valuation of future cash flows, capital budgeting, capital structure, and banking. Current events and policy issues are discussed.

FIN 302. Introduction to Investments. 3 hours.

Introduces students to investments: risk/return, models of risk, efficient markets, derivative securities, fixed income securities, international aspects. Current events and policy issues are discussed. Course Information: Prerequisite(s): FIN 301.

FIN 310. Investments. 3 hours.

Organization of security markets. Legal and institutional environment, mechanics of trade, financial intermediation, security classification. General principles of asset valuation with application to specific securities. Course Information: Prerequisite(s): FIN 300; or FIN 301 and FIN 302.

FIN 311. Introduction to Urban Real Estate. 3 hours.

Introductory survey of urban real estate; business, legal, economic and financial perspectives. Course Information: Same as ECON 311. Previously listed as FIN 371. Prerequisite(s): ECON 120.

FIN 320. Managerial Finance. 3 hours.

Short-term asset management, capital budgeting under certainty and uncertainty, capital structure and dividend policy, valuation and risk, capital asset prices, financial policy for firms. Course Information: Prerequisite(s): FIN 300; or FIN 301 and FIN 302.

FIN 330. Quantitative Methods. 3 hours.

Introduces students to the quantitative methods needed for advanced finance coursework: point/interval estimation, hypothesis testing, regression, cross-section analysis, time series analysis, portfolio modeling, advanced topics. Course Information: Prerequisite(s): IDS 270. Recommended background: FIN 300; or FIN 301 & FIN 302.

FIN 340. International Financial Markets. 3 hours.

Evaluation of exchange rate regiments and international financial institutions; develop critical understanding of the asset approach to exchange rates and international financial markets. Course Information: Prerequisite(s): FIN 300; or FIN 301 and FIN 302.

FIN 396. Independent Study. 1-3 hours.

Independent study, under the direction of a faculty member, must be arranged before the start of the semester. Course Information: May be repeated. Students may register in more than one section per term. Prerequisite(s): Consent of the instructor, and the Department Head.

FIN 404. Financial Strategies and Text Analysis. 3 or 4 hours.

Learn the developments made in analyzing textual information. Discuss implications for financial regulations and trading strategies (including high frequency trading). Course Information: 3 undergraduate hours. 4 graduate hours. Prerequisite(s): FIN 300; or FIN 301 and FIN 302 (undergraduate students). FIN 500 (graduate students). Recommended background: FIN 310 (undergraduate students); FIN 510 (graduate students).

FIN 412. Portfolio Management. 3 hours.

Development of portfolio theory; establishment of portfolio objectives for individuals, corporations, banks, pension and mutual funds; evaluation of portfolio performance. Course Information: Prerequisite(s): FIN 310.

FIN 415. Fixed Income Securities. 3 hours.

Valuation of fixed income securities, term structure estimation and arbitrage trading with practical application using real data. Course Information: Prerequisite(s): FIN 310.

FIN 416. Options and Futures Markets. 3 hours.

History and institutional structure of options and futures markets. Uses of futures and options for arbitrage, speculation and hedging by managers of domestic and multinational organizations. Analysis of factors which determine futures and options prices. Course Information: Prerequisite(s): FIN 310.

FIN 418. Commodities, Energy, and Related Markets. 3 or 4 hours.

Covers markets; physicality; laws and regulations; market participants; fundamentals (ags, metals, petroleum, electricity, emissions, and shipping); spreads; options; and, risk management. Course Information: 3 undergraduate hours. 4 graduate hours. Prerequisite(s): FIN 310; and FIN 330 or IDS 270 (undergraduate students); FIN 510 (graduate students). Recommended background: IDS 371 (undergraduate students); IDS 570 (graduate students).

FIN 430. Introduction to Money and Banking. 3 hours.

Payment and banking systems; credit and market risk management; The Federal Reserve System; globalization of monetary, banking, and regulatory systems. Course Information: Prerequisite(s): FIN 300; or FIN 301 and FIN 302.

FIN 431. Management in the Financial Services Industry. 3 hours.

The principles of management of corporations in the financial services industry, emphasizing commercial bank management and risk. Methodology includes computerized bank management simulation or case studies. Course Information: Prerequisite(s): FIN 300.

FIN 435. Capitalism, Finance, and American Culture. 3 hours.

Considers how financial theory influences other aspects of American Culture. It will also encourage critical discussion and writing to help students become more effective financial managers. Course Information: Prerequisite(s): FIN 300; or FIN 301 and FIN 302.

FIN 442. International Corporate Financial Management. 3 hours.

Financial management within an international context. International monetary system and financial markets, management of foreign investments, working capital management, exchange risks, taxation and earnings reports. Course Information: Prerequisite(s): FIN 300; or FIN 301 and FIN 302.

FIN 444. Small Business Finance. 3 hours.

Aspects of acquiring funds for small business enterprises. Topics include the trade-off of liquidity and profitability, management of working capital, and capitalization. Course Information: Prerequisite(s): FIN 300.

FIN 449. Applied Equity Investment Management. 3 or 4 hours.

Puts financial theory to practice by giving students real life, hands-on experience in managing an equity investment process, from stock selection to portfolio management. Course Information: 3 undergraduate hours. 4 graduate hours. Prerequisite(s): FIN 310 (undergraduate students); FIN 510 (graduate students). Recommended background: A keen interest/ passion for the markets in general and the equity markets in particular.

FIN 455. Asset Management. 1-4 hours.

Applied course in Investments. The emphasis is on modern quantitative techniques for asset management. Course Information: Students will use real data, and learn to create their own spreadsheet optimization programs in MS excel. Prerequisite(s): FIN 310 (undergraduate students); FIN 510 (graduate students). Recommended Background: Students must be comfortable with linear regressions matrix algebra, basic calculus. Spreadsheet proficiency is essential.

FIN 465. Property and Liability Insurance. 3 or 4 hours.

Using property and liability insurance to manage risk. Topics may include fire, marine, consequential loss, crime, title, automobile, and workers' compensation insurance. Course Information: 3 undergraduate hours. 4 graduate hours. Prerequisite(s): FIN 300; or FIN 301 and FIN 302.

FIN 466. Life and Health Insurance. 3 hours.

Types, uses, and evaluation of life and health insurance. Economics of the industry. Regulation and taxation. Course Information: Prerequisite(s): FIN 300; or FIN 301 and FIN 302.

FIN 472. Real Estate Finance. 3 or 4 hours.

Finance principles applied to real estate; financing of residential and income-producing real estate; real estate development finance; secondary mortgage market; taxation and real estate finance. Course Information: Same as ECON 472. 3 undergraduate hours. 4 graduate hours. May not be used to satisfy the economics credit requirement for the MA in Economics and Ph.D. in Economics. Elective credit only will be applied toward these degrees. Prerequisite(s): ECON 220.

FIN 473. Introduction to Risk Management. 3 hours.

Introduction to risk management. Loan and credit management; credit scoring. Risk measurements and reserves; banking and insurance capital requirements, the BASEL accord, tail events and catastrophic event insurance. Financial contracts and hedging. Course Information: Same as IDS 473. Prerequisite(s): FIN 300 and IDS 371.

FIN 479. Enterprise Risk Management. 3 or 4 hours.

Overview of enterprise-wide risk management strategies and techniques: strategies that firms employ to enhance value and minimize exposure; techniques used to identify, measure, reduce, and transfer risk. Course Information: Same as IDS 479. 3 undergraduate hours. 4 graduate hours. Prerequisite(s): FIN 300; or consent of the instructor. Recommended background: IDS 473 or FIN 473.

FIN 480. Market Microstructure and Electronic Trading. 3 or 4 hours.

Details of how financial markets work. Market structures; models of price discovery; limit order models; liquidity and price impact; time effects; and, how electronic traders use these ideas to improve trading and research. Course Information: 3 undergraduate hours. 4 graduate hours. Prerequisite(s): FIN 310; FIN 330 or IDS 270 (undergraduate students); FIN 510 (graduate students). Recommended Background: IDS 371 (undergraduate students); IDS 570 (graduate students).

FIN 494. Special Topics in Finance. 1-4 hours.

An intensive study of a selected topic in finance. Topics vary by sections and by term. Course Information: 1 to 3 undergraduate hours. 2 to 4 graduate hours. May be repeated if topics vary. Students may register for more than one section per term. May be repeated to a maximum of 6 hours for undergraduates; may be repeated to a maximum of 8 hourse for graduate students. Prerequisite(s): Consent of the instructor.

FIN 495. Competitive Strategy. 4 hours.

Multidisciplinary analysis of organization strategy and policy using case method and/or business simulation. Assignments involve extensive library research as well as oral and written reports. Course Information: Prerequisite(s): Senior standing in the College of Business Administration and completion of all other CBA core courses, or consent of the instructor.

FIN 499. Research Experience. 1-3 hours.

Research experience under the supervision of a faculty member. The faculty member and student will determine the research project. Each student must submit a written report and each student must participate at a research event on campus. Course Information: May be repeated to a maximum of 12 hours. Students may register in more than one section per term. Prerequisite(s): Consent of the instructor and department head.