5 Common Courses in a Master of Finance Degree Program

masters in finance
  • Corporate Finance
  • Accounting Concepts and Financial Reporting
  • Buyouts and Acquisitions
  • Investment Management
  • Financial Markets

By completing the common classes in Master of Finance programs, students may make a career change and enhance their future earnings. Several specializations are available to students in these programs. They may choose investment banking, entrepreneurial finance or private wealth management. Such programs require a careful selection of electives. Nonetheless, there are core classes that most finance students will encounter.

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1. Corporate Finance

Depending upon their educational and professional background, students may take either an introductory or an advanced version of this core course for Master of Finance students. Topics covered include financial theories as well as the practices that are typical in corporate finance. By examining market efficiency, corporate capital valuation and capital asset pricing, students begin to understand the economic considerations that underpin corporations. Other subjects include how corporate financial policies are devised and implemented as well as the principles of current financial theory.

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2. Accounting Concepts and Financial Reporting

In this course, students develop familiarity with the fundamentals of financial accounting. This may include learning how to record transactions such as investments and operating activities in the statement of cash flow, balance sheet and income statement. Along with exploring the technical skills that accounting requires, students learn to analyze financial statements for the corporation and the disclosures that are necessary to financial analysis. Further emphasis may be placed on interpreting and understanding accounting standards and how such data are communicated to interested parties such as the government, stockholders, creditors, and executives.

3. Buyouts and Acquisitions

Much of the modern corporate world is built upon the acquisition of other firms. A course that covers mergers and friendly acquisitions, as well as buyouts and hostile takeovers, is an essential Master of Finance common class. Frequently, the coursework will involve the intense study of each of these transactions from a real-world example. Issues covered may include the motivation and strategy behind buyouts and acquisitions as well as pertinent financial theory. The coursework enables the student to evaluate a potential transaction through a valuation approach or to structure a deal that is innovative and beneficial.

4. Investment Management

In addition to exploring the structure of the industry and what drives it, students will discover the current trends and themes affecting the marketplace. The course also may emphasize the overall investment management process, including topics such as establishing objectives for investors, risk tolerances, portfolio administration, and performance evaluation. The principals of portfolio construction, touching on subjects such as strategic asset allocation and developing a stylized investment cycle, similarly may be covered.

5. Financial Markets

Typically a broad overview course, students encounter the institutions, theories, and methods that make it possible to nurture entrepreneurship and manage risks. An introduction to leadership and ethics in the world of finance also may be discussed in these classes. Modern and currently accepted practices will be highlighted, but students also may expect to encounter theories about the future of financial markets and how they will be administered. With a better understanding of the Federal Reserve, the banking industry and how financial intermediaries behave, students discover more about the role they play in the economy.

Earning a graduate degree in finance may open numerous doors for ambitious students who want to embark on a new career. By completing these typical Master of Finance courses as well as numerous electives, it is possible for students to gain the academic background required to succeed in a finance career.