Specializations

The strength of Finance at Illinois is the breadth and depth of the curriculum. The strong foundation, coupled with the specialization options, gives you the flexibility to design a program to meet your personal goals.

    Required Courses

  • Finance 580 QM: Quantitative Methods for Finance

    This course provides an introduction to quantitative methods that are applicable in several areas of finance; presents concepts and methodologies from probability theory, statistical inference, regression analysis, and time series analysis; emphasis is placed on software applications of real data on stock returns, CAPM and Fama-French models, and cross-section firm data.

  • Finance 580 CF: Corporate Finance and Valuation

    Introduces fundamental techniques of financial analysis; topics include financial statement analysis, cost of capital, capital budgeting techniques, equity and firm valuation, Monte Carlo simulation, and real options; applications of financial modeling with Excel and Monte Carlo techniques with Crystal Ball; company valuation project is a course requirement.

  • Finance 511: Investment

    Introduction to investment analysis, including the theory and implementation of portfolio theory, empirical evidence on the performance of financial assets, evaluation of portfolio investment strategies, and the extension of diversification to international markets.

  • Finance 580 FE: Financial Economics

    Designed to give you a strong understanding of the theory and logic of microeconomics; discusses the standard models of how consumers and producers behave and the implications of these models for resource allocation and market efficiency; basic tools of microeconomics, including optimization, comparative statics and equilibrium will also be discussed; applications to finance will be highlighted throughout the course.

Areas of Specialization

Corporate Finance
  • Finance 521: Advanced Corporate Finance

    Addresses both the theoretical and applied aspects of firms' financing decisions; topics include capital structure and cost of capital theories; mergers, acquisitions and leveraged buyouts; options, warrants, and convertibles; venture capital and initial public offerings; and pensions.

  • Finance 522: Cases in Financial Strategy

    Course focuses on financial management cases. Provides students with an active learning experience. Case work is based on concepts learned in introductory corporate finance. Topics discussed include measuring and interpreting cash flow performance, financial forecasting and turnaround management; capital investment and cost of capital; and capital structure, dividend policy; and firm valuation.

  • Finance 524: Mergers and Acquisitions

    The primary objective of this course is to give students experience in valuing firms. While the primary focus of the course is on mergers and acquisitions, the course will also cover topics such as initial public offerings, leveraged buyouts, spin-offs, and divestitures.

  • Finance 551: International Finance

    Explores the characteristics of the international financial market and examines various aspects of corporate financial management. Topics may include international parity conditions, exchange-rate risk management, country risk, cross-border investment analysis, multi-national firm budgeting, hedging in foreign currency markets, accessing international financial markets for financing, and competitive strategy in a global marketplace.

  • Finance 580 PE: Private Equity

    Provide students with an understanding of the nature of the private equity market, the principal participants in this market, and the financial strategies that they employ; topics covered include: how private equity funds are raised, structured and financed; contracting in private equity market; valuation of private equity interests; sources of capital for private companies, strategies for value creation; and exit strategies.

  • Finance 580 TBM: Turnaround and Bankruptcy Management

    Offers an overview of issues related to workouts, turnarounds and bankruptcies; covers management issues in distressed companies such as use of financial ratios to predict distress, valuation of distressed companies, and sources of financing for distressed companies through the use of case studies, selected readings, and T&B professionals sharing their experiences and insights.

  • Finance 580 BF: Behavioral Finance

    Presents the increasing evidence that the financial decisions of at least some investors are affected by various behavioral biases that do not follow from traditional portfolio choice models; this course will highlight and analyze key findings from this research and consider implications of this observed behavior for managers of corporations, mutual funds, and human resource departments.

  • Finance 490 EQP: Equipment Leasing and Financing

    This course provides the future CFO/Decision-Maker a competitive basis to analyze all issues, decision-making techniques, industry background, accounting and economic factors as well as lessor-lessee negotiating techniques regarding equipment leasing and finance; emphasizes a “hands-on” practical understanding of equipment issues to be considered in finance decisions.

  • Accounting 517: Financial Statement Analysis

    An in-depth analysis of financial reporting from a user’s perspective, using a variety of tools to break apart financial reports into meaningful units for analysis, forecasting financial statements, and valuing a firm; supplements material covered in corporate finance and valuation course.

Asset Management
  • Finance 419: Real Client Managed Portfolios

    Applies academic topics on financial markets, security analysis/valuation and portfolio management to hands-on investment management. Students form and review objectives, constraints, and investment policy as it relates to the client's money under management. They purchase securities, monitor performance of the portfolio, and make recommendations for any adjustments to the holdings. Students learn to take responsibility for the fiduciary and ethical standards of professional money management as guided by the CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst)Institute.

  • Finance 515: Fixed Income Portfolios

    Conceptual foundations and implementation of strategies for the selection, evaluation, and revision of portfolios of fixed-income financial assets (bonds), examination of related research.

  • Finance 580 AM: Asset Management

    Course develops quantitative and qualitative skills in solving problems related to asset management; addresses issues related to how finance theory help us be better investors, how asset managers make investment decisions, major classes of institutions in asset management, and how investment managers make money.

  • Finance 580 BF: Behavioral Finance

    Presents the increasing evidence that the financial decisions of at least some investors are affected by various behavioral biases that do not follow from traditional portfolio choice models; this course will highlight and analyze key findings from this research and consider implications of this observed behavior for managers of corporations, mutual funds, and human resource departments.

  • Finance 580 EMI: Empirical Methods in Investments

    Reviews academic papers that characterize the movements of security prices and attempts to test whether financial markets are “efficient.”; special attention is directed to the basic quantitative techniques necessary to analyze the statistical behavior of securities prices relative to the benchmark asset pricing models; topics include models of risk and return (including the CAPM and multifactor models), investment strategies designed to exploit apparent violations of market efficiency, modern techniques for optimal portfolio selection, and evaluating the performance of money managers.

  • Finance 580 HF: Hedge Funds

    Provides an in-depth study on the equity trading strategies and institutional features of hedge funds; focuses on the strategies on four types of hedge funds: equity market-neutral, long/short equity, merger/risk arbitrage, and convertible arbitrage; for equity market-neutral and long/short equity funds, course discusses stock selection using both quantitative models and fundamental analyses; for merger/risk arbitrage funds, covers portfolio construction and risk assessment around publicly announced corporate mergers; for convertible arbitrage funds, course examines how to evaluate convertible bonds using option pricing techniques and how to construct arbitrage portfolio based on the evaluation.

Quantitative Finance
  • Finance 512: Financial Derivatives

    Introduces options, futures, swaps and other derivative securities; examination of institutional aspects of the markets; theories of pricing; discussion of simple as well as complicated trading strategies (arbitrage, hedging, and spread); applications for asset and risk management.

  • Finance 513: Financial Engineering I

    Provides an introduction to modern techniques for pricing options, swaps, and related financial instruments; the use of such instruments in managing financial risk; and the measurement and management of their risks.

  • Finance 514: Financial Engineering II

    Presents the main ideas and techniques of modern option pricing theory, including: the Black-Scholes-Merton analysis; risk-neutral probabilities and the probabilistic solution; numerical techniques for computing option prices; an introduction to term structure modeling; and perhaps other topics, at the discretion of the instructor.

  • Finance 515: Fixed Income Portfolios

    Conceptual foundations and implementation of strategies for the selection, evaluation, and revision of portfolios of fixed-income financial assets (bonds); examination of related research.

  • Finance 580 ERM: Enterprise Risk Management

    Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) is the application of the basic risk management principles to all risks facing an organization; ERM integrates hazard, financial, strategic and operational risks under a single framework; ERM is becoming an important issue partly as the result of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 that puts greater responsibility on the Board of Directors for managing all of an organization’s risks; this course will present the legal and regulatory environment that sets the state for ERM, cover the technical tools used in risk analysis, examine data integration processes and show how risk measures relate to strategic and tactical business decisions.

Banking & Capital Markets
  • Finance 561: Financial Intermediation

    Studies financial intermediation emphasizing analysis of problems faced by commercial bank managers. The three main areas covered are: the role of financial intermediation and its relation to the macro-economy, information technology, and government regulation; examination of the problems of pricing and evaluating the risk of bank financial services such as loans, loan commitments, and swaps; and consideration of bank-portfolio risk management.

  • Finance 562: Macrofinance

    Overview of the workings of the financial sector of the macro economy; includes the roles of financial institutions, financial markets, macroeconomic policies, interest rates, and the flows of funds.

  • Accountancy 517: Financial Statement Analysis

    An in-depth analysis of financial reporting from a user’s perspective, using a variety of tools to break apart financial reports into meaningful units for analysis, forecasting financial statements, and valuing a firm; supplements material covered in corporate finance and valuation course.

  • Economics 563: Monetary Theory

    Micro- and macroeconomic theories of the supply of and demand for money; money substitutes and their significance; review of current empirical research; money in closed economy, macroeconomic, and static general-equilibrium models; and analysis of inflation and unemployment.

  • Economics 564: The Theory of Monetary Policy

    Theories of money; money in dynamic models; money in open-economy macroeconomic models; stabilization policy; and international aspects of monetary theory.

Insurance & Risk Management
  • Finance 431: Property-Liability Insurance

    Examines in detail the functions of property-liability insurers, including marketing, underwriting, claims, ratemaking and administration, and the major current issues facing this industry.

  • Finance 432: Managing Financial Risk for Insurers

    Introduces basic concepts in financial economics used in the analysis and management of financial risks, with an emphasis on the applications by insurers and pension plans; topics include decision making under uncertainty, economic statistics, deterministic and stochastic interest rate models, derivative securities, valuation, binomial and option pricing models.

  • Finance 433: Corporate Risk Management

    Case study course examining how corporations deal with pure risk.

  • Finance 434: Employee Benefit Plans

    Studies the purpose, structure, and financial aspects of employee benefit plans, including pensions, health insurance, life insurance, and disability plans.

  • Fin 580 ERM: Enterprise Risk Management

    Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) is the application of the basic risk management principles to all risks facing an organization; ERM integrates hazard, financial, strategic and operational risks under a single framework; ERM is becoming an important issue partly as the result of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 that puts greater responsibility on the Board of Directors for managing all of an organization’s risks; this course will present the legal and regulatory environment that sets the state for ERM, cover the technical tools used in risk analysis, examine data integration processes and show how risk measures relate to strategic and tactical business decisions.

Real Estate
  • Finance 443: Legal Issues in Real Estate

    Presents an overview of legal concepts, issues, and principles involving real estate.

  • Finance 444: Urban Real Estate Valuation

    The terminology, theory and techniques of real estate valuation (appraisal); a modern view of the three approaches to estimating value – sales comparison, cost, and income; special requirements include local field trips to appraise at least one single-family property and one income property.

  • Finance 445: Real Estate Investment

    An approach to the evaluation of real estate investment opportunities; begins with the identification of the investor’s goals and ends with an investment decision; legal, physical, locational, and financial constraint, aggregate real estate and financial markets, tax considerations, and investment criteria.

  • Finance 446: Real Estate Markets

    Discusses real estate financing techniques and the secondary market for real estate financial assets including mortgage-backed securities and mortgage-backed finance.

  • Finance 541: Real Estate Economics

    Discusses the theory and practice of real estate and urban land economics; emphasizes real estate market analysis, finance, appraisal, and investment.

Other Courses of Interest
    (Depending on the student’s background in accounting and English skills)

  • Accountancy 500: Accounting Measurement, Reporting and Control

    Prepares students to be informed users of financial statements; understand how financial statements are prepared, the role of accruals in attempting to reflect economic reality, and the limitations of current accounting conventions; accounting for common transactions and their effects upon reported financial statements; the importance of financial accounting and reporting issues and the implications of these issues on financial statements; students should be able to identify accounting difficulties, to apply a paradigm for understanding the difficulties, and to work with accounting professionals in accurately depicting the results of operations and the financial position of the entity.

  • Business Administration 590 OC: Oral Communication for Business

    Helps student to speak more fluently and intelligibly, especially when talking about business; focus on important elements of pronunciation and practicing them using business terms, phrases, and topics; students practice pronunciation in the context of an important skill in business – making effective presentations.

  • Business Administration 590 MC: Managerial Communications

    Helps students gain greater skill and confidence to communicate effectively in business situations. The course is designed to improve a student's ability to: analyze communication situations and develop a sound communication strategy; communicate persuasively; make successful oral presentations; listen and respond to others effectively; facilitate productive meetings; and to write effective, readable documents.

 

        
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