Mendoza School of Business

Finance Undergraduate Courses

This course is required for all business majors and a grade of “C” or higher is a prerequisite for continuing in the finance major. The course provides an in-depth and quantitative examination of the principles of financial decision-making. Students learn the concept of value maximization, mathematics of finance, valuation of financial securities, capital investment evaluation, the estimation of required rates of return, and the theory of capital structure.

This course builds explicitly on prerequisite coursework in Accountancy but takes the perspective of a financial decision maker rather than a producer of financial statements. Students will gain the knowledge and skills required by a financial analyst charged with assessing a variety of corporate situations including business combinations, joint ventures, credit analysis, inventory analysis, and long term liabilities. Key ratios utilized in credit analysis will be covered as well as peer company analyses. (Note: Finance majors wishing to sit for the CPA exam, pursue a Master’s degree in Accountancy, or take additional upper level Accountancy courses must enroll in ACCT 30110 and ACCT 30210 instead of either ACCT 30100 or FIN 30100.)

This course provides a coordination of economic theory and managerial practice. Topics covered include: consumer demand, production functions, cost behavior, output determination and pricing within various market structures.

This course addresses topics including the goals of economic policy, national income accounting, theory of income determination and the determination and behavior of economic aggregates, such as total output and the price level.

This course provides a sound conceptual framework within which a wide variety of corporate financial policy decisions can be evaluated. The course builds upon and extends the topics in FIN 20150. Topics covered include corporate governance, financial statement analysis, security valuation, capital structure theory, dividend policy, security issuance, and advanced capital budgeting.

This is an advanced course covering investment theory, financial markets and financial instruments. The topics of security analysis, options and futures are also introduced.

(Note: This course does not count as a Finance major elective.) This is an introduction to the principles and practices of real estate. Topics covered include land use patterns and regulation, real estate finance, valuation, real estate law, brokerage and transfers, urban economics, and real estate development.

(Note: This course does not count as a Finance major elective.) This course introduces land use regulation, sustainable development practices, and land conservation practices. Topics considered include land use regulation and history, development entitlement processes, environmental /resource regulation and land use, and sustainable development practices including: conservation/cluster development; smart growth urban/suburban development; land conservation practices such as rural land conservation; urban green space development/preservation; use preservation practices; and recreational land use. Conservation funding practices will be considered as will special topics such as land use and corporate responsibility, time permitting.

(Note: This course does not count as a Finance major elective.) This is a first course in real estate development, designed to expose students to the practice of development from project inception to completion and subsequent real estate asset management. Course objectives include: developing familiarity with institutional features of the real estate industry (legal and regulatory processes, real estate markets, financial markets, etc); exploring the practical problems of real estate development; and exposing students to professionals from the development industry.

This course develops the tools forecasters use to generate and evaluate forecasting models for both the economy and the firm. In addition to classical forecasting tools, the course also uses data mining and extremely large data sets for prediction. The student will make extensive use of commercial software in applying these tools to real-world situations.

This course is intended to provide Finance majors with a working knowledge of the open source programming language Python. The course will teach the essential aspects of coding in Python and then apply the tool to financial applications involving analytics, large datasets, and unstructured data. The objective of the course is to provide students with a better understanding of how computers can be used to solve business problems. Students will be required to bring their own computer to class.

This course examines the theory and practice of financial firms and the markets in which they operate. It analyzes the role of various financial intermediaries in the transfer of funds between economic units. Management issues and problem-solving techniques are emphasized through the use of case studies.

The objective of this course is to understand various aspects of the corporate acquisition market, including sources of acquisition synergies, valuation and pricing of acquisition targets, takeover defenses, the roles of management incentives and compensation, financing methods, the roles of insider and institutional shareholders, and regulations and taxes.

This course emphasizes the set of decisions and problems that financial and operating managers face in determining short-term financial policy, setting terms when structuring contracts and deals, and managing business processes of the company. Major topics include identifying working capital elements and their relationships to company operations, financial analysis, cash forecasting, banking relations, cash-flow systems, and short-term investment and borrowing strategies.

This course studies corporate governance, focusing mostly on publicly traded firms. We will consider three viewpoints: (i) investors, (ii) all stakeholders (i.e., investors, employees, suppliers, management, taxpayers, the community, etc.), and (iii) the purpose of business in Catholic Social Teaching (i.e., the ‘common good’ , which includes the good of all stakeholders). In the ‘investor’ viewpoint, the main issue studied is the separation of ownership and control, and how corporate governance mechanisms can help investors to get a return on their investments. In the stakeholder viewpoint, we will consider how these mechanisms affect different stakeholders. The main mechanisms considered are legal duties, shareholder rights, M&A, boards, executive compensation, activism, creditor rights and bankruptcy, and restructuring. We will review the main Catholic Social Teachings documents (e.g Rerum Novarum, Quadragesimo Anno, Laborem Exercens, Centesimus Annus and Caritas in Veritate).

This course is an overview of the issues that corporations and financial institutions face when operating in international markets. It addresses the international financial environment and examines several factors that influence the determination of exchange rates. It defines the foreign exchange risk exposure that corporations may face and examines possible risk management solutions, with a focus on the use of derivative markets such as options, swaps and futures. Finally, it examines investment related issues within an international setting. Case studies may be used to emphasize issues and problems solving techniques.

This is an advanced investments course which elaborates on the basic principles discussed in introductory finance courses with a focus on multi-asset portfolio management in a global context. The topics covered will include: Institutional investors & the “Endowment Model”, global asset allocation, public equities, hedge funds, emerging markets, private equity, real estate, commodities, fixed Income, risk management and portfolio measurement & evaluation. An important feature of this course is guest lecturers from a number of world renowned investors.

The objective of this course is to develop a detailed understanding of the tools used by market professionals and corporate managers to analyze the value of companies and stocks. The central theme of the course will be the pricing of equity securities using discounted cash flow and relative valuation techniques. After completing this course, students should be able to identify and interpret the key value drivers for a firm or industry, develop quantitative models for firm and equity valuation based on DCF and multiples, and present firm and equity valuation analyses in a professional manner.

This course examines the general nature of organized trading by examining how bid and offer prices are determined, how market rules evolve, and what markets should be built. While markets for products and services are discussed, the focus is on the trading of financial securities. Existing centralized equity exchanges face competition from new alternative trading systems made possible by today’s information technology. This course will also examine the impact and implications of this dynamic.

This course examines options and futures markets, providing rigorous training to prepare students for employment with firms where derivatives are either of primary importance (e.g., banks, trading firms) or secondary importance (e.g., corporations having interest rate or foreign exchange exposure that requires hedging). Topics include fundamental pricing relations and models, trading strategies, and risk management. The emphasis is on financial derivatives for which the underlying assets are stocks, bonds, or foreign exchange.

This course provides an opportunity for students to blend the theory of investments with the practical demands of investment management. The course objectives include an understanding of the process of establishing a portfolio strategy with a real portfolio, gaining knowledge of the mechanics of trading, principles of equity valuation and technical analysis. Students actively manage a multi-million dollar portolio throughout the semester.

This course studies the U.S. and global bond markets. The focus is on traditional and evolving bond instruments including those with embedded options. We will consider bond valuation techniques, the term structure of interest rates and the analysis of bonds with embedded options. Bond portfolio management strategies and performance benchmarks are also studied.

This course introduces students to advanced topics in investments. The building blocks of the course include portfolio theory and factor models, active quantitative investment strategies based on time-series and cross-sectional return predictability, market frictions (transaction costs, liquidity, short-sale constraints, tax, etc.), and major institutional players. Special topics change from one year to another to reflect recent trends and practices in the industry.

This course will expose students to investments in privately-held companies that do not trade on organized exchanges, at all stages of a firm’s life cycle from venture capital through growth and mezzanine capital and leveraged buyouts. Topics include deal sourcing and structure, contract design, valuation, and returns to holders of private equity securities and publicly traded private equity firms. Recent developments, the impact of private equity on society and ethical issues surrounding each topic will also be discussed.

Applied Private Equity Projects is an advanced course that will provide an opportunity for students to practice private equity in a setting as close to real as possible. The course will combine lectures that introduce core concepts with investment projects that emphasize practical application. Through the project work, students will have the opportunity to work directly with private equity firms on a feasible yet challenging investment assignment. Class sessions will include several guest lecturers that address a variety of PE topics, including but not limited to investing fundamentals, deal sourcing, portfolio company operations, fund raising and monetization, and the importance of private equity in the global economy. The class is designed to allow a more natural business interaction that mimics as closely as possible the partner/associate relationship.

This course provides an understanding of the behavioral biases that individuals exhibit and the effects of these biases on financial markets. Standard finance theory assumes that individuals such as investors or financial managers are rational expected utility maximizers. Behavioral  finance argues that some investors are not fully rational and arbitragers are limited in the extent to which they can undo the effects of these investors. A number of stock market anomalies will be presented and analyzed.

The course considers fundamental methods of real estate valuation with emphasis on income property valuation and single property investment analysis.  Topics will include market comparable and discounted cash flow methods of valuation, financial leverage, taxes, corporate real estate investment, performance measures, pro forma construction and software (Argus), and the role of real estate in mixed asset portfolios. Techniques of market analysis may be considered.

This course analyzes primary and secondary real estate capital markets.  Included are fundamental features, investment characteristics, and underwriting of commercial and residential mortgages. The economics and mathematics of alternative loan structures is considered. Additionally, construction debt, subdebt, alternative lending (land/bridge/hard asset loans), private and public equity markets and real estate securitization markets are covered. The basic structure and mathematics of private equity funds and joint ventures is addressed.

Practicum Course 


This one-credit course, which is offered during spring break, will offer a small group of students an intensive week of real-world interaction and case study with a leading investment management firm. The investment manager will meet with the students at the beginning of the week to outline the case. During the week, students will attend additional lectures and work in teams to analyze the case, which will be presented to the investment manager at the end of the week. The learning objectives of the course include gaining a real-world perspective on investment management, understanding investing from a global vantage point, and contributing investment solutions in a collaborative setting. Please note, that as part of this course, students will travel with faculty coordinators to and from a global financial center as a group.

Course Offered in the London Program


This course will introduce students to emerging markets investing and provide them with both the conceptual framework and practical knowledge necessary to understand emerging economies. The course will include significant practitioner involvement, combining lectures that introduce core topics with case studies that emphasize practical application. Students will develop an understanding of the unique dynamics that make finance and investing in emerging markets so challenging. At the conclusion of the course, students will be prepared to analyze emerging market economies and economies in transition, taking into account critical characteristics and historical experiences.