Finance in the MBA Program

The Master's level finance courses provide an understanding of how companies, institutions, and individuals make investments, raise capital, and manage risk in a dynamic financial environment. The investments courses provide rigorous analytical tools for the measurement of risk-return tradeoffs in financial markets, the pricing of financial securities, and the allocation of capital in the financial economy. Corporate finance and institutions classes provide an understanding of how capital is raised, risk is managed, and companies are governed in the corporate sector. The finance curriculum also provides opportunities to better understand ways in which derivative securities can be used in managing risk in corporations as well as in investment portfolios.

The Master's level finance courses can be taken as individual electives tailored to student interests or into sequences of electives relevant for career tracks often chosen by MBA students. For instance, students aspiring to be financial engineers can take quantitative courses that transform a scientific understanding of the finance field into mechanisms, products and management policies that better serve the strategic needs of business entities. Our courses also include hands-on experience in managing funds. For instance, through the Mayer Fund, select students obtain hands-on experience in securities analysis and portfolio management while earning course credit, bridging classroom theory and actual finance practice. 

Career Tracks and Electives 

Master's Level Courses

BUSI 640, Financial ManagementThe finance core. Focuses on the valuation of the real assets of firms, how they are financed, and the valuation of stocks and bonds, the primary financial assets in an economy. The core stresses the three conceptual foundations of valuation: time value of money, no-arbitrage, and systematic risk.

BUFN 740, Capital Markets Designed to deepen the foundations necessary to finance focused students. This a gateway course that is necessary for those intending to take classes in or specialize in the quantitative areas of finance including investments, fixed income, and financial engineering, BUFN 761 to BUFN 770.

BUFN 750, Valuation in Corporate FinanceAn advanced topics course in Corporate Finance dealing with valuation. Main topics will be, building pro forma statements, cost of capital, using ratios and comparables to value projects and firms, discounted cash flow valuations, WACC and APV methods of valuation and Real Option Valuations.

BUFN 751, Financial Strategy For Corporations An advanced course in corporate finance, focusing on the issues that firms face when they plan to raise external capital from financial markets. The focus is on the financing problems faced by mid-market to large firms and on capital raised from public markets. The forms of external finance vary from simple debt or equity to more complex securities that bundle financing with an element of risk management.

BUFN 752, Financial RestructuringFocuses on identifying ways to increase firm value through corporate restructuring. Specific topics include: mergers and tender offers, spin-offs, carve-outs, divestitures, takeover defense strategies, leveraged buy-outs, and international acquisitions. Additionally, the theory, practice and empirical evidence related to each of these topics will be covered. Emphasis will be placed on valuation analysis and strategic considerations.

BUFN 753, Corporate GovernanceDeals with corporate governance and its impact on shareholder value. Divergence of interests between corporate insiders and providers of funds leads to agency problems which can impair corporate performance and shareholder value. Various instruments of corporate governance - internal as well as external mechanisms - that can help align managerial incentives with those of outside investors, and hence help restore shareholder value will be studied.

BUFN 754, Corporate Risk ManagementSurveys the theory and practice of financial risk identification, measurement, and mitigation at financial and non-financial firms. Topics will include hedging with options and futures, interest rate risk management, Value-at-Risk (VaR), Cashflow-at-Risk (CaR), Earnings-at-Risk (EaR), credit risk, equity risk, commodities risk, exchange rate risk, and lessons from risk management disasters.

BUFN 755, Entrepreneurial Finance and Private EquityAn advanced topics course in Corporate Finance. The major emphasis is how financiers help growing firms - and in particular young start-ups - using different types of securities at different points in the industry's and firm's life. Financing arrangements and securities studied will include private equity funds and private financings placements, venture capital and preferred equity, investment banks through initial public offerings, private equity funds, debt and leveraged buyouts. Students will learn additional techniques that will help them understand how financiers value firms and how to understand, plan and value different financing strategies.

BUFN 760, Applied Equity AnalysisStudents will learn to analyze equity securities using the basic EIC (Economy/Industry/Company) framework used in the financial industry, paying special attention to financial statement analysis. Students also will learn the primary valuation techniques used to estimate market values for equity securities.

BUFN 761, Derivative SecuritiesStandard types of derivatives contracts are presented, and illustrated as to how they are used in practice. The theory of pricing these contracts is then presented in detail. The use of static and dynamic replication strategies, and the concept of no-arbitrage strategies is illustrated in numerous ways. Standard valuation techniques are covered, and standard formulas are presented. The theory is then applied to develop specific pricing and hedging strategies for various types of derivatives on different underlying assets. The management of the exposure of various risks is covered in detail as well.

BUFN 762, Fixed Income AnalysisDescribes important financial instruments which have market values that are sensitive to interest rate movements. Develops tools to analyze interest rate sensitivity and value fixed income securities. Defines and explains the vocabulary of the bond management business.

BUFN 763, Portfolio ManagementProvides training that is important in understanding the investment process - the buy side of the financial world. Specifically, the objective is to provide graduate-level instruction in the following topics, both in theory and in using financial markets data to test the basic theory and practice of portfolio choice and equilibrium pricing models and their implications for efficient portfolios.

BUFN 765, Fixed Income DerivativesSurveys fixed income assets and related securities such as Exchange-traded bond options; bonds with embedded options; floating rate notes; caps, collars, and floors; floating rate notes with embedded options. Also surveys advanced tools for interest-rate and fixed-income portfolio management, including the use of derivative securities, and the application of binomial trees for analysis of options, and a sound understanding of stochastic yield curves.

BUFN 766, Financial EngineeringDevelop Excel and Visual Basic (VBA) models to solve problems related to portfolio management, options valuation, fixed income securities, interest rate processes, and risk management. This course thus bridges theory with the design of algorithms and models that can be directly applied in practice.

BUFN 770, International InvestmentAddresses international stock markets, portfolio theory, international interest rates, exchange rates and exchange rate derivatives (options, forwards, and futures), exchange rate swaps and exchange rate exposure (operating, translation, and transaction), foreign investment strategy.

BUFN 771, International Corporate and Project FinanceIssues addressed will include capital budgeting, project financing, exchange rate exposure (operating, translation, and transaction), foreign investment strategy, and risk management.

BUFN 772, Bank ManagementAnalyze and discuss readings in bank management, with primary focus on the measurement and management of risk, including credit, market, and interest rate risk. Look at the management of liquid reserves. Examine the special nature of financial institutions, incorporating their functions, policies, services, and regulation. Study the evolving nature of the financial services industry, by reading the financial press and by having outside practitioner speakers. Focus is on U.S. banks.

BUFN 773, Institutional Asset ManagementExamines how money is managed by organizations such as university endowments, pension funds, mutual funds, hedge funds, and private equity funds. Involves a mixture of finance and economics and emphasizes the incentives professional money managers face within the context of the organizational structure in which they operate. Particular attention is paid to compensation structures and monitoring mechanisms.

Robert H. Smith School of Business
Map of Robert H. Smith School of Business
University of Maryland
Robert H. Smith School of Business
Van Munching Hall
College Park MD 20742