Master of Science Degree in Finance

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This degree will propel you above others in the business world because you’ll have the technical competence to make financial decisions that can generate true value for today’s business stakeholders. You’ll develop a grounded foundation for business, economics, and quantitative skills.

The courses will give you a strong conceptual understanding of finance as you hone your analytical and critical thinking abilities. Your studies will emphasize technical competence, application of financial tools to decision-making, value creation for stakeholders, and professional responsibility and ethics.

For more information download our Graduate Program Policies and Procedures.

Why choose the College’s MS in Finance?SOT14_300dpi17

  • All course content is based upon real-world scenarios
  • Opportunity to specialize in specific disciplines such as portfolio management, economics, and financial analysis
  • Maximize your critical thinking skills with research-based coursework
  • Competitive pricing. You can earn a graduate degree for less than $15,000
  • The College is fully accredited by the Higher Learning Commission
  • Flexible curriculum that caters to your personal educational goals
  • Study on your own time from anywhere in the world
  • Learn from industry expert professors using text, video, and interactive forums
  • Military Friendly

Required Courses:

COM500: Communication & Research Techniques for Master’s Students

This three-week course introduces you to communication and research techniques that will contribute to your success in the Master of Science degree and certificate programs. Through three writing assignments, quizzes, and discussion questions, you gain knowledge of how to utilize the Internet and the University Library as effective research and reference tools for graduate courses, in addition to learning the use of APA formatting.

FIN523: Debt Analysis

An introduction to the analysis of debt investments. Debt topics cover characteristics of debt securities, yield measures, fixed income security valuation, measurement of interest rate risk, and spot forward rates. Valuing bonds and mortgage-backed and asset-backed securities, and credit analysis are also covered.

ACC510: Financial Statement Analysis

Accounting tools applied in fundamental investment analysis are covered in this course. You will be introduced to financial statement analysis covering accrual accounting, cash flow analysis, financial ratios, earnings per share, asset and liabilities analysis, and accounting disclosure through assignments, discussions, and a final project. This is a required, core course to earn the MS Finance degree.

ECO510: Money & Banking

This course uses advanced economic theories and principles to explain the structures of financial markets, financial institution management, and the role of interest rates and money in the economy.

FIN525: Equity Valuation

An introduction to the valuation of equity investments, this course has assignments, quizzes, and discussion questions covering the topics of applying the capital asset pricing model, estimating required return and beta for investments, and valuing equity through the dividend discount, free cash flow, residual income, and market based models. Private company and startup valuation are also included in this course, which has a comprehensive company evaluation assignment due in the last weeks.

FIN552: Corporate Finance

Through topics such as corporate governance, capital budgeting, cost of capital, cash management, financial statement analysis, and mergers and acquisitions, this course covers the principles of corporate finance through assignments, quizzes, discussion questions, and a comprehensive final company evaluation. This is a required, core course to earn the MS Finance degree.

Concentration Options (Choose 1):

After completing the required core courses you are able to choose a concentration as part of your degree program.

If you are not interested in pursuing a concentration, you can simply choose any two electives you wish.



ECC610: Advanced Macroeconomics

This course uses advanced economic theories to explain various schools of economic thought including the Classical and Neo Classical, Keynesian and Neo Keynesian, and Monetarist schools. Also covered are advanced models of interest rate determination, aggregate demand and aggregate supply, inflation and unemployment, and monetary and fiscal policies.


ECC620: Advanced Microeconomics

This course builds upon the concepts of an introductory microeconomics course. This course introduces the microeconomic concepts of supply and demand analysis, theories of firm and individual behavior, competition and monopoly, and welfare economics. Application of the microeconomic concepts is tested through addressing problems in current economic policy.




FIN520: Quantitative Analysis

Through assignments, quizzes, and discussions, this course covers fundamental statistics and time value concepts related to investment analysis. Topics include compounding/discounting, investment returns, cost of capital, capital budgeting techniques, measures of central tendency, measures of dispersion, basic probability concepts, linear regression, correlation, and hypothesis testing.


FIN523: Debt Analysis

An introduction to the analysis of debt investments, debt topics in this course cover the characteristics of debt securities, yield measures, fixed income security valuation, measurement of interest rate risk, and spot forward rates. Valuing bonds and mortgage-backed and asset-backed securities, and credit analysis are also covered through assignments, quizzes, and discussion questions.




FIN523: Debt Analysis

An introduction to the analysis of debt investments, debt topics in this course cover the characteristics of debt securities, yield measures, fixed income security valuation, measurement of interest rate risk, and spot forward rates. Valuing bonds and mortgage-backed and asset-backed securities, and credit analysis are also covered through assignments, quizzes, and discussion questions.


FIN610: Advanced Portfolio Management

This course covers advanced investment issues, products, and strategies of concern at the portfolio management level. Topics include economic forecasting, psychological influences on security prices, use of options and futures to alter the risk/return profile of a portfolio, portfolio diversification using foreign stocks and alternative investments, and global performance evaluation tools and techniques.



Final Course Options (Choose 1):

After completing all other requirements, students may choose either a final case study (Capstone) or Thesis for their final required course in the program.


As a capstone course for the Finance degree, this course analyzes several case study portfolio situations. You will learn and submit comprehensive assignments concerning advanced investment issues, products, and strategies of concern at the portfolio management level for each case study portfolio. Topics covered include economic forecasting, psychological influences on security prices, use of options and futures to alter the risk/return profile of a portfolio, portfolio diversification using foreign stocks and alternative investments, and global performance evaluation tools and techniques.


Individual Research: Once you have completed all other coursework for the Master of Science in Finance, this thesis course completes your degree. For the individual research thesis, the project is based on your own research, which involves submitting a topic to the Graduate Studies Program Chair for approval and then applying your own studies and established research to the development of hypotheses. Your applied and supportive research is finalized when shown defending the thesis conclusion.

OR

Literature Research: Once you have completed all other coursework for the Master of Science in Finance, this thesis course completes your degree. For the literature research thesis, the project is based on a topic chosen by the candidate, and then submitted for approval by the Graduate Studies Program Chair. When approved, extensive research is done into established studies on the topic, hypotheses are developed around that research, and then the thesis concludes based on the comprehensive literature research findings.


Elective Choices:

Accounting

ACC510: Financial Statement Analysis

Accounting tools applied in fundamental investment analysis are covered in this course. You will be introduced to financial statement analysis covering accrual accounting, cash flow analysis, financial ratios, earnings per share, asset and liabilities analysis, and accounting disclosure through assignments, discussions, and a final project. This is a required, core course to earn the MS Finance degree.

Economics

ECO 510: Money & Banking

This course uses advanced economic theories and principles to explain the structures of financial markets, the financial institution management, and role of interest rate and money in the economy.

ECO550: Managerial Economics

Managerial economics uses advanced economic theory to solve resource allocation problems, and provide insight into strategic and tactical decisions that are made by analysts, managers, and consultants in the private, public, and not–for–profit sectors of the economy. Through quizzes and discussion questions, this course develops critical thinking skills and provides you with a logical way of analyzing business decisions.

ECO610: Advanced Macroeconomics

This course uses advanced economic theories to explain various schools of economic thought including the Classical and Neo Classical, Keynesian and Neo Keynesian, and Monetarist schools. Also covered are advanced models of interest rate determination, aggregate demand and aggregate supply, inflation and unemployment, and monetary and fiscal policies.

ECO620: Advanced Microeconomics

This course builds upon the concepts of an introductory microeconomics course. This course introduces the microeconomic concepts of supply and demand analysis, theories of firm and individual behavior, competition and monopoly, and welfare economics. Application of the microeconomic concepts is tested through addressing problems in current economic policy.

Ethics

ETH550: Business Ethics

Exploring ethical dimensions in the current global environment and applying major normative ethical theories to business situations, this course uses assignments and discussion questions to help you understand the relevance of stakeholders to business decisions, and improve the ethical and moral decision-making processes. Case studies that present ethical business dilemmas are analyzed and a required final research paper completes the course.

Finance

FIN510: Investment Management

This course incorporates the principles of risk/return, valuation, ratio analysis, capital structure, cost of capital, and capital budgeting techniques to corporate finance. Through assignments, quizzes, and discussion questions, net present value, the weighted average cost of capital, equity and debt valuation, behavioral finance, and alternative financing and leasing are explored. In addition, you will learn how to use a financial calculator and gain critical thinking skills through reading and discussing Kahneman’s groundbreaking work, Thinking Fast and Slow. This is a required, core course to earn the MS Finance degree.

FIN511: Global Finance

This course uses advanced economic theory to explain the workings of the global economy including global monetary system, financial markets, and institutions.

FIN520: Quantitative Analysis

Through assignments, quizzes, and discussions, this course covers fundamental statistics and time value concepts related to investment analysis. Topics include compounding/discounting, investment returns, cost of capital, capital budgeting techniques, measures of central tendency, measures of dispersion, basic probability concepts, linear regression, correlation, and hypothesis testing.

FIN523: Debt Analysis

An introduction to the analysis of debt investments, debt topics in this course cover the characteristics of debt securities, yield measures, fixed income security valuation, measurement of interest rate risk, and spot forward rates. Valuing bonds and mortgage-backed and asset-backed securities, and credit analysis are also covered through assignments, quizzes, and discussion questions.

FIN525: Equity Valuation

An introduction to the valuation of equity investments, this course has assignments, quizzes, and discussion questions covering the topics of applying the capital asset pricing model, estimating required return and beta for investments, and valuing equity through the dividend discount, free cash flow, residual income, and market based models. Private company and startup valuation are also included in this course, which has a comprehensive company evaluation assignment due in the last weeks.

FIN541: Derivatives

Imparting knowledge of derivative markets, derivative pricing, and derivative trading and hedging strategies, this course covers derivative contracts such as forward and swaps, options, futures, and collateralized mortgage obligations. Through assignments, quizzes, discussion questions, and supplemental materials that aid in the accomplishment of calculations, this course teaches you derivative pricing using the Black-Scholes option pricing model, the binary option pricing model, and cost-of-carry futures pricing; and derivative strategies such as covered calls, protective put, option spreads, and portfolio insurance. This is a required, core course to earn the MS Finance degree.

FIN552: Corporate Finance

Through topics such as corporate governance, capital budgeting, cost of capital, cash management, financial statement analysis, and mergers and acquisitions, this course covers the principles of corporate finance through assignments, quizzes, discussion questions, and a comprehensive final company evaluation. This is a required, core course to earn the MS Finance degree.

FIN560: Public Finance

This timely course utilizes advanced economic theories to examine and explain the effects of government programs and policies on the national economy through exams and discussion questions.

FIN583: Portfolio Management

Through assignments, quizzes, and discussion questions, topics such as the construction of investment policy statements for a variety of individual and institutional investors, behavioral finance, asset allocation principles and strategies, equity styles, benchmarks, indexing, active and passive management, trading costs, and alternative risk measures are covered in this course.

Personal Financial Planning

 

PFP500 Financial Planning Overview

The financial planning process is covered in this textbook-based course. The readings, assignments, quizzes, and discussions cover legal, ethical, and regulatory issues affecting financial planners. A good overview of time value of money concepts is also covered; so be prepared by obtaining a financial calculator. Finally, principles of insurance and risk management are covered and culminate in a case-study risk assessment of a fictional couple.

PFP501 Studies in Risk Management

Delving into insurance concepts, employee benefits, and annuities, this textbook-based course applies the concepts of a variety of insurance needs to the financial planning process through readings, discussions, assignments, and quizzes. Disability income, long-term care, life, and property & life insurance topics are specifically explored and applied to case studies.

PFP502 Studies in Investment Planning

A wide variety of investment products are covered in this textbook-based course, including domestic and foreign securities, mutual funds, and fixed-income assets. Modern portfolio theory, risk and return, and company valuation are explored and calculated. Readings, discussion questions, quizzes, and assignments are required. You will need a financial calculator for this course.

PFP503 Studies in Income Tax Planning

Emphasizing the fundamentals of individual income taxation, this textbook-based course has required assignments and discussions delving into the tax implication of various types of businesses, tax-advantaged investments, employee compensation issues and planning, alternative minimum tax, tax traps, and other taxation subjects.

PFP504 Studies in Retirement Planning

Major retirement-related issues are covered in this course. Discussions and assignments impart knowledge of retirement savings needs analysis, IRAs, qualified retirement plans for large and small employers, Social Security retirement programs, and nonqualified deferred compensation. You will compare and contrast a variety of retirement programs by designing a comparison table. You will also write a paper on retirement plan administration issues, and apply your learning as you prepare a proposal for a hypothetical client as a term project.

PFP505 Studies in Estate Planning

Basic estate planning concepts and techniques are covered in this course. Subjects such as the estate planning process, client interaction about estate planning, basic legal estate planning documents, trusts, lifetime transfers, gift and estate taxation, insurance taxation, and charitable giving.

PFP540 Situational Estate Planning

Advanced estate planning topics are covered in this course. Through assignments and discussion questions, you will gain knowledge of incapacity planning, mechanisms for handling the gift tax, qualifying for the marital deduction, deductions and exemptions to mitigate the generation-skipping tax, preferred stock recapitalization and business transfer techniques, beneficiary planning, business ownership tax mechanisms, and effective business succession.

PFP550: Portfolio Management

The investment planning process between a financial planner and a client is covered in detail. The course covers the theory of investment management, security valuation, and portfolio management, including the analysis of risk and return and portfolio performance evaluation. The course exposes you to a balanced presentation of both the theoretical and practical aspects of investment management through analysis of a case study in personal investment management.

PFP552: Alternative Investments

This course takes a comprehensive look at various techniques and alternative investment designed to provide portfolio diversification, and their effectiveness. Alpha and beta drivers, real estate, hedge funds, commodities, private equity, and derivatives are covered. The course also analyzes the historical growth patterns and valuation models utilized in both domestic and global alternative investment markets.

PFP554: Behavioral Finance

This course explores behavioral finance and its impact on creating portfolios. Various biases are explored, and then applied to real-world case studies. Also explored is the psychology of money, which looks at how individuals think of money, and how past experiences can impact how they view and handle money on a day to day basis – this includes exploring money scripts and money disorders.

PFP560: Tax Planning for the Highly Compensated

Provides you with a strong background in tax research and planning techniques specific to upper-income taxpayers. The course discusses various methods of compensation planning with a goal of minimizing or deferring taxation. Potential investments and their tax impact on the highly compensated individual are also explored.

PFP570 Pre-retirement Financial Planning Topics

You will use a hypothetical couple planning to retire in 15 years. In designing their retirement plan, you will analyze a wide range of issues facing individuals who are preparing for retirement. This course also presents a variety of methods for approaching the issues to better assist clients in resolving the issues that may be faced when preparing for or after retirement.

PFP574: 401(k) & Salary Deferral Plan Topics

Provides an understanding of most of the important characteristics of cash or deferred arrangement (CODA) retirement plans, particularly 401(k) plans. It covers funding of CODAs, profit sharing, and hybrid plans; plan design, installation, administration, and operation; investment objectives; fiduciary issues; and prohibited transactions. Case analyses are used to simulate actual situations. You are required to research questions involving tax-deferred retirement plans.

PFP580: Issues & Cases in Estate Planning

Examines selected issues related to estate planning in a case study-driven format. These include both tax and non-tax aspects of planning for disability and death.

PFP581: Estate Planning for Retirement Benefits

Examines selected issues related to estate planning in a case study-driven format. These include both tax and non-tax aspects of planning for disability and death.

PFP590: Women & Financial Planning

Covers the unique financial issues facing women today. You will learn to apply each aspect of the financial planning process to women and their particular needs. The goal of this course is to provide basic tools and concepts for individuals practicing in the field of personal financial planning, of which women comprise a portion of their client base.

Professional Designation Courses

PFP520: Portfolio Construction

The Accredited Portfolio Management Advisor or APMA® Professional Designation Program is graduate-level and can be used as a 3-hour elective course in the MS program.

PFP532: Financial Planning for Domestic Partners

The Accredited Domestic Partnership Advisor or ADPA® Professional Designation Program is graduate-level and can be used as a 3-hour elective course in the MS program.

PFP576: Retirement Planning Strategies

The Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor CRPC® Professional Designation Program is graduate-level and can be used as a 3-hour elective course in the MS program.

PFP578: Retirement Plan Studies

The Chartered Retirement Plans Specialist or CRPS® Professional Designation Program is graduate-level and can be used as a 3-hour elective course in the MS program.

PFP558: Wealth Management Strategies

The Accredited Wealth Management Advisor or AWMA® Professional Designation Program is graduate-level and can be used as a 3-hour elective course in the MS program.

Program Delivery and Structure

The Master of Science program is delivered via a state-of-the-art asynchronous learning platform. This means that you can pursue your degree from anywhere in the world and study when it’s convenient for you. Your studies will revolve around real-world scenarios and cases with a focus on research and critical thinking skills.

This interactive demo covers the features of our exclusive online learning platform.

Classes are held five times per year with sessions beginning every January, March, May, August, and October. Each course is eight weeks with a two-week break between classes.

Pricing

Application Fee

$80

1 Credit Hour Course

$400

3 Credit Hour Courses

$1200

5 Credit Hour Course

$2000

Masters Program Start Dates

  • Tue
    06
    Jan
    2015
    Mon
    02
    Mar
    2015

    Graduate & Certificate Programs Session

    College for Financial Planning
  • Tue
    17
    Mar
    2015
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    11
    May
    2015

    Graduate & Certificate Programs Session

    College for Financial Planning
  • Tue
    26
    May
    2015
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    20
    Jul
    2015

    Graduate & Certificate Programs Session

    College for Financial Planning
  • Tue
    04
    Aug
    2015
    Mon
    28
    Sep
    2015

    Graduate & Certificate Programs Session

    College for Financial Planning
  • Tue
    13
    Oct
    2015
    Mon
    07
    Dec
    2015

    Graduate & Certificate Programs Session

    College for Financial Planning