Georgetown University

Online MS in Finance Courses

A Comprehensive, Career-Driven Curriculum

The Master of Science in Finance (MSF) online program focuses on a global outlook, practical application, real-world trends and the importance of ethics to deliver a comprehensive and career-focused education.

The world-class MSF curriculum consists of 32 credits over 21 months: On-campus Orientation, six core courses, six selective courses, the weeklong On-campus Residency and the Global Consulting Project Residency.

The MSF Curriculum At-A-Glance

Program Component

Detail

Credits

Core Curriculum

Financial Markets

3

 

Financial Accounting

3

 

Corporate Finance

3

 

Financial Econometrics

3

 

Advanced Corporate Valuation and Modeling

3

 

Principled Financial Leadership

3

On-campus Requirements

On-Campus Residency [one week]

2

Program Selectives

Options Pricing and Risk Management

3

 

Investments and Fixed Income

3

 

*Private Equity Real Estate

1.5

 

*Big Data

1.5

 

*Advanced Financial Modeling

1.5

 

*Financial Statement Analysis

1.5

Capstone

Global Consulting Project

3

Total

 

32

Semester structure: 3-credit courses offered in 7-week modules; *1.5 credit courses offered in 4-week modules: only two are required.

Experience Georgetown University: On-campus Residency

This weeklong residency occurs after students complete their first core course: Financial Markets. While on the Georgetown University campus, students will work together on a case study competition, experience the Georgetown University campus, and get better acquainted with their classmates and professors.

Go Abroad with the Global Consulting Project

This capstone project challenges students with an invaluable real-world experience. Drawing upon the skills you have learned throughout the program, students conduct a consulting project for a firm in another country. Students will research the history, business, political and regulatory environment of the client’s country as well as consult with them via e-mail, phone and video conferencing. The project concludes with a weeklong visit to the client’s country during which the students will finalize their project, present it to the client, and enjoy business and cultural site visits.

MSF Student Team prior to presenting the findings and recommendation to their global consulting project client.

The Six Core Courses

Financial Markets

This course begins with a review of the building block concept of the time value of money and quickly moves onto bond and stock valuation; the relation between risk and return; and the ongoing debate about the workings of financial markets according to the Efficient Market Hypothesis and the alternative hypothesis of Behavioral Finance.

Learning Outcomes of Financial Markets

  • Value stocks and bonds using classic techniques and be aware of the implications of the latest research:
    • Rank different streams of cash flows.
    • Value government and corporate bonds.
    • Have a deep understanding of the Treasury yield curve.
    • Value stocks.
    • Estimate returns and risks of individual securities.
    • List and explain the benefits of diversification.
    • Estimate the efficient frontier using the Markowtiz constrained optimization technique.
    • Estimate returns and risks of portfolios.
    • Discuss and apply the Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM).
    • Discuss and apply alternatives to the CAPM such as the Fama and French 3-Factor Model.
    • Have a deep understanding of the efficient market hypothesis.
    • Understand how to compute alpha and the joint hypothesis problem.
    • List and explain the key building blocks of the competing hypothesis of behavioral finance.
    • Identify relevant information and tools needed to solve complex financial problems.
    • Apply tools to personal financial decision making.
    • Make informed decisions and articulate the appropriate solutions.

Click Here for Video Transcript

[MUSIC PLAYING]

ALLAN EBERHART: Welcome to Financial Markets, the inaugural course in the new Master of Science in Finance, or MSF program, here at Georgetown University's McDonough School of Business. I'm Allan Eberhart, professor of finance and director of the program. And I'm thrilled to be teaching the course with my colleagues, Sandeep Dahiya and Lee Pinkowitz.

LEE PINKOWITZ: We're going to each be the lead instructor for two of the units in this course, and we'd like to give you an idea of what each of those units is going to be like.

SANDEEP DAHIYA: Businesses make decisions, billion-dollar decisions, about launching new products, entering new markets, putting together new production facilities.

How do you assign value to these cash flows that are going to occur way out in the future when you compare it to the cash that is going out today? This is what the tool set that time value of money allows us to do.

ALLAN EBERHART: In unit two, we're going to talk about bonds. And a bond can be thought of as a promissory note, or a contract, where the issuer of the bond agrees to pay the buyer of the bond some money in the future in exchange for some money today. And the fundamental question of finance is how much should the buyer of that bond be willing to give the issuer of the bond? We're going to answer that question in this unit, with a focus on government bonds.

SANDEEP DAHIYA: So, Allan just covered government bonds. These are securities issued by the governments. In this unit, we'll be focusing on securities issued by corporations. For example, corporate bonds, or corporate equity. How do you value corporate bonds, corporate stock is the focus of this unit on security valuation.

LEE PINKOWITZ: The fourth unit is about risk and return. When we think about securities, we try to think, if I invest in them, what will I get? That's the return part. But not all securities are equal. That's the risk part. Is there a tradeoff between risk and return? We'll first take a look at this historically, and say how do we even define risk, and how do we measure return, and what does the tradeoff seem to be? And that's what we're going to do in this unit.

It's me again. In this unit, we're going to build on our discussion of risk and return, except we're going to talk about how do we measure risk and return when we combine assets together into a portfolio. That's what we're going to talk about with portfolio theory. We're actually going to see that the concept of risk changes when we put things together in a portfolio. It's what we call diversification. And that's going to be the focus of this unit.

ALLAN EBERHART: Unit six is the last unit in this course. And it covers a big topic-- how do financial markets work? There are two competing views on this. On the one hand, we have the efficient markets view. On the other hand, we've got the behavioral finance view. And we're going to have a cage match between these two views in this unit.

So welcome to Financial Markets, the first course in the MSF program. We look forward to seeing you in the live sessions.

[MUSIC PLAYING]

Financial Accounting

This course focuses on the accumulation, analysis and presentation of relevant accounting data of an enterprise and how it is used to serve the needs of managers, shareholders, creditors and external analysts.

Learning Outcomes of Financial Accounting

  • Discuss and understand the role of accounting in providing information for financial managers, investors, equity analysts, and creditors.
  • Apply the fundamental accounting concepts and principles to concrete business problems.
  • Discuss the elements of financial statements and the implications of management judgment and choice in accounting measurement.
  • Describe how managers might employ opportunistic behavior (earnings management) to further their own gain, avoid unwanted attention, and report the firm in the best possible way.
  • Create financial statements.
  • Analyze, synthesize, and evaluate accounting information in the context of concrete business problems.
  • Describe and understand international differences in accounting.
  • Describe and understand the facets of multinational accounting.
  • Discuss ethical and social issues and the macro implications of accounting.

Corporate Finance

Building on the previous core courses, this course shows you how to maximize shareholder wealth within a legal and ethical framework. Topics covered include capital budgeting, cost of capital, capital structure, payout policy and the fundamentals of derivative pricing.

Learning Outcomes of Corporate Finance

  • Describe the different facets of agency conflicts between managers, shareholders, and debtholders.
  • Explain how the goal of shareholder wealth maximization does not necessarily conflict with stakeholder wealth maximization.
  • Use the NPV capital budgeting criterion and demonstrate why it is the best criterion.
  • Compute a project’s internal rate of return (IRR) and understand its shortcomings as a capital budgeting criterion.
  • Compute the Payback Period and understand its drawbacks as a capital budgeting criterion.
  • Follow the rules for the correct application of the NPV criterion.
  • Assess the consequences of parameter estimation error for capital budgeting decisions.
  • Describe the MM Capital Structure Propositions and the guidance they provide to valuing a levered firm.
  • Estimate a firm’s appropriate capital structure.

Click Here for Video Transcript

[MUSIC PLAYING]

ALLAN EBERHART: Welcome to Corporate Finance, a course designed to equip you to sit at the head of a boardroom table like this. Play your cards right and study hard and you'll be chairing meetings that consider projects worth millions, perhaps even billions of dollars. And what better place to start than at the ballpark.

Behind me is Nationals Park across town from the Georgetown campus, on the banks at Anacostia River. And home to our hopefully World Series bound Washington Nationals. One of the reasons Washingtonians love the Nats is the ballpark. A state of the art facility that opened in 2008.

It's a spectacular place to watch a ballgame. Today's a fairly gray day in April, but tomorrow is the season opener. This year against the Atlanta Braves. The empty street you're seeing now will be filled with families and fans as they walk to the ballgame hoping for a home opener win.

But the building of this ballpark at a cost of nearly $700 million dollars was not without controversy. As a public private partnership, was it worth it for the investors who were, to a large extent, the taxpayers of Washington D.C.? Would it make money for the owners? What were the long term benefits of regenerating this area of D.C., which was somewhat depressed before the arrival of the new park?

That's where corporate finance comes in. Corporate finance helps put hard numbers against different options helping you decide. Because if you asked a fan like me whether the Nats needed a new park, I'd say of course. I couldn't imagine any Nats fan not being excited about bringing a world class park to the nation's capitol. But enthusiasm alone is never a good indicator of whether an idea is going to have a positive NPV.

After all, the newer park can mean higher ticket prices and more expensive beers. And it's worth remembering that many of the most successful ideas might have looked a little crazy at first. A store in your computer before most people had ever heard of the internet. Equally these days, it sometimes feels that the crazier the idea, the more disruptive the invention, the better it is.

So how do you decide? Well you'll find the decision a great deal easier if you can think through your various options in numerical terms. Corporate finance provides the real world tools and techniques to do just this. So let's get started. On your screen in a second are the six units for this course. I think you're going to find this fascinating and useful. I'll see you in unit one.

[MUSIC PLAYING]

Financial Econometrics

Focusing on the art and science of making sense of financial data, this course teaches students how to build and analyze large databases using advanced econometric techniques.

Learning Outcomes of Financial Econometrics

  • Improve your ability in applying numerical information effectively.
  • Introduce the fundamental concepts in Statistics and to present certain applied tools for decision making.
  • Train you in the practical application of Regression Analysis/Econometrics.
  • Advance your understanding and skill set in data driven quantitative modeling.
  • Prepare you for subsequent courses in the Masters of Finance curriculum.

Advanced Corporate Valuation and Modeling

This course covers advanced valuation topics such as the free cash flow approach to equity valuation, the use of accounting and market data to measure and manage the value of the firm, and parameter estimation errors in valuation.

Learning Outcomes of Advanced Corporate Valuation and Modeling

  • Describe and explain two fundamental drivers of corporate value: Return on Invested Capital (ROIC) and Organic Revenue Growth.
  • Describe and discuss operating performance of the entire firm and of individual business units.
  • Rearrange the balance sheet to find invested capital.
  • Rearrange the income statement to find net operating profit after tax (NOPAT).
  • Analyze a firm’s historical performance through traditional ratio analysis and through ROIC decomposition.
  • Build an integrated valuation model using discounted cash flow analysis in order to value a publicly traded company and its equity:
    • Forecast key variables.
    • Develop pro forma financial statements.
    • Determine the appropriate forecast period.
    • Estimate continuing value.
    • Derive a firm’s weighted average cost of capital.
    • Derive and discount estimated cash flows.
  • Discuss and describe nuances of continuing value estimation.
  • Conduct multiples (or relative) valuation to triangulate valuation estimate.
  • Discuss and describe the nuances of multiples valuation (imbedded assumptions, leverage effects, etc).
  • Perform sensitivity analysis to pinpoint key value drivers for the firm.
  • Examine the robustness

Principled Financial Leadership

Designed to train women and men to lead with integrity, this course focuses on ethical challenges faced by leaders of financial firms or by leaders in finance positions at non-financial firms.

Learning Outcomes of Principled Financial Leadership

This course will offer answers to the questions below to equip you with tools to answer them on your own over the course of your career.

  • What does it take to lead effectively?
  • What inclines us to follow some people and not others?
  • What inclines people, teams, business units, or entire firms to behave ethically and what explains their misconduct?
  • What do we owe morally to others in a business context?
  • What do corporate leaders owe to society?

Program Selectives

Based on student interest and faculty recommendations, the program has six selectives:

Options Pricing and Risk Management

Learning Outcomes of Options Pricing and Risk Management

  • Explain the difference between hedging, speculating, and arbitraging.
  • Explain the mechanics of options markets (i.e., how options markets are organized, what terminology is used, how contracts are traded, and how margin requirements are set.)
  • Discuss the factors affecting option prices using a number of different arbitrage arguments.
  • Implement trading strategies involving a single option on a stock and the stock itself as well as trading strategies involving a combination of options.
  • Use binomial trees to value options.
  • Describe and implement the concept of risk-neutral valuation to price options.
  • Describe and implement the Black-Scholes model to price options.
  • Discuss the role of corporate governance in shaping corporate financial performance.
  • Discuss the details and imbedded incentives of typical executive compensation plans.
  • Use option pricing models to value employee stock options.
  • Describe and implement the real options approach to value investment opportunities facing firms.
  • Demonstrate how corporations can use options, futures, forwards, and swaps to hedge their exposure to market risks.

Private Equity Real Estate

Learning Outcomes of Private Equity Real Estate

  • Introduction to the basic concept of real estate and the manner that investors consider this type of investment in their portfolios.
  • Exposure to the Four Quadrant Model of the real estate capital markets and the associated real estate products that constitute each quadrant.
  • Immersion in basic unleveraged valuation methodology for real estate using the discounted cash flow tool.
  • Introduction to the use of leverage and ultimately the calculation of personal income tax consequence as a result of owning a direct investment in real estate.

Big Data

Learning Outcomes of Big Data

  • To provide both a theoretical and practical understanding of the key methods of classification, prediction, reduction and exploration which are at the heart of data mining.
  • To provide a business decision-making context for these methods;
  • Using real business cases, to illustrate the application and interpretation of these methods.

Advanced Financial Modeling

Learning Outcomes of Advanced Financial Modeling

  • Record macros and debug code.
  • Demonstrate how to control the flow of code with loops and if - then statements.
  • Design a user interface by adding controls (buttons, scrollbars, drop down boxes, etc.)
  • Write custom functions for spreadsheets (such as functions that use Black-Scholes formulas to price options.)
  • Explain how to use VBA code to access data from databases and the web and manipulate pivot tables and charts to display the data.
  • Utilize VBA code to create your own simulations using random number generators and to automate the use of Solver.

Financial Statement Analysis

Investments
 and Fixed Income

Learning Outcomes of Investments and Fixed Income

  • Explain the basic institutional environment of professional investment management and private wealth management.
  • Optimize asset allocation using Excel.
  • Identify investment strategies that could have a positive alpha.
  • Construct and analyze an equity portfolio and its performance.
  • Construct and analyze a bond portfolio that meets credit quality and duration targets.
  • Summarize the basics of trading equities and fixed income.
  • Discuss the construction and application of structured products including mortgage backed securities and synthetic securities.
  • Describe ethical responsibilities of managers regarding fiduciary obligations, confidentiality of information, and insider trading.


Click Here for Video Transcript

JAMES ANGEL: Welcome to Investments. Here we are at the New York Stock Exchange, the epicenter of the stock market. When people think of investments, this is what they often think of. But investments is a lot more than stocks. It's a lot more than stocks and bonds. It consists of other asset classes. It consists of many other important details. So in this course, what we're going to do is we are going to learn about the history of the market. We'll learn about different investment strategies. We'll go into more depth into portfolio theory that you've already seen, but we'll get into it in more depth. Then we're going to talk about the market mechanics, what is actually going on this floor. You'll have a better understanding, not only of what happens here, but what happens inside the computers.

Were going to talk about the fixed income world, which is even bigger than the equity space. You'll learn about how we can build structured products, how we can build asset securities, how we can take relatively unattractive loans like credit card loans and turn them into attractive securities for investors. We'll also learn about how to measure investment performance. We will learn about your fiduciary obligation as an asset manager, and we'll study how to stay out of jail by not committing insider trading. This course will make you a better investor. You'll have a better understanding of what to invest in, how to invest, and how to measure your investment performance.

The curriculum is reviewed annually. Additions and updates to the courses could be made in the future based upon the annual review.