Finance Coursework

The Raymond A. Mason School of Business Undergraduate Finance Program prepares students to be the next generation of financial leaders.

Overviews of the finance courses offered at William & Mary are included below.

BUAD 290: THE FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY

Spring | 3 Credit Hours

This course does not require admission to the business school, and is available to any interested student.  It will introduce students to the institutional framework of financial markets and the financial services industry, advance students’ understanding of the application of basic financial concepts to “real world” situations encountered in the financial services industry, and prepare students better for jobs in and around the financial services industry (and for getting those jobs).

BUAD 323: FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT

Fall & Spring | 3 Credit Hours

This course provides an introduction to finance. The basic principles of finance are explored here and applied not only to personal financial management but also to decisions faced by the financial manager. The course develops the basic tools necessary for analyzing and interpreting financial data and lays the foundations for understanding how securities are priced in the financial markets, and how financial managers can create value for their shareholders. Specific concepts covered include time value of money, the relation between risk and return, security valuation, cost of capital, evaluation of investment projects, and the efficient markets hypothesis.

BUAD 324: MONEY & DEBT MARKETS

Fall & Spring | 3 Credit Hours

The goal of this course is to make modern approaches to fixed income analysis accessible and provide students with a set of concepts and tools to handle the new instruments that will inevitably arise. Topics covered include basic bond analysis, valuation of mortgage securities and bonds with embedded options, bond portfolio strategies, interest rate swaps, portfolio risk management, and securitization. If time permits, asset-backed securities, CDOs and bank loans are also covered. Students gain experience using software tools such as Bloomberg, Crystal Ball, and Excel.

BUAD 325: EQUITY & PORTFOLIO MANAGEMENT

Fall & Spring | 3 Credit Hours

The course introduces the theory and practice of portfolio management and of investments in equities. Emphasis is placed on hands-on development and use of financial software tools. Topics include portfolio optimization, performance measurement and reporting, use of derivatives in portfolio management, equity valuation, and security analysis. Students will emerge from this course with a thorough understanding of modern techniques in equity asset management and valuation and the ability to apply these techniques in practice.

BUAD 417: INTERNATIONAL FINANCE

Fall & Spring | 3 Credit Hours

A study of the foreign exchange markets, the relation between interest rates and exchange rates, and the current international monetary system. Specific course topics include borrowing and lending opportunities in international financial markets, international trade finance, the management of risks associated with exchange rate fluctuations, the analysis of currency crises, and the assessment of sovereign risk.

BUAD 419: VALUATION

Spring | 3 Credit Hours

A study of enterprise valuation both from an academic and industry perspective. Topics include an analysis and application of multiple valuation approaches and an exploration of differences in valuation approaches for public, private, and distressed firms. The goal is to develop insight into how financial managers can create value for their shareholders, understand other value drivers, and learn how to incorporate them in the enterprise valuation process.

BUAD 420: FINANCIAL HISTORY

Spring | 3 Credit Hours

Students will engage financial history and the people who made it by studying the evolution of financing arrangements, financial risk, current institutions, and government policies. We will also investigate the historical record regarding booms, busts, and financial panics. Since a main reason to study history is to provide context for current decision-making, students will seek to understand how lessons from financial history can help inform debates on current macro-financial problems.

BUAD 421: STUDENT MANAGED INVESTMENT FUND

Fall & Spring | 3 Credit Hours

The purpose of this course is to provide portfolio management and security analysis experience through the management of the Mason School Student Managed Investment Fund (SMIF). Students select companies from an S&P stock universe, do research on their business model and competitive environment, make forecasts of future financial performance and perform valuation analyses, write an investment report and present orally a recommendation to their colleagues and faculty for inclusion in a real endowment portfolio of common stocks. This course may be repeated one time.

BUAD 422: APPLIED FINANCIAL CONCEPTS

Spring | 3 Credit Hours

The goal of this course is to expose students to practices and recent developments within several specialized areas of the financial services sector utilizing a case method format. The course utilizes cases from leading graduate business schools as well as original cases written by case sponsors.

BUAD 423: CORPORATE FINANCIAL STRATEGY

Fall & Spring | 3 Credit Hours

Advanced topics in the theory and practice of financial decision-making. Cases and readings are used to examine the tools and techniques of financial strategy formulation and implementation under various environmental settings.

BUAD 426: FUNDAMENTALS OF HEDGE FUND MANAGEMENT

Spring | 1 Credit Hour

This course is designed to give students an overview of the hedge fund industry. Topics covered include typical fund structures, primary stakeholders and partners, key regulatory and legal issues, and important items for management to consider in the establishment and management of funds. This course is offered in January prior to the start of the Spring semester.

BUAD 492: CFA RESEARCH CHALLENGE

Fall & Spring | 2 Credit Hours

The CFA Challenge is a course designed around the national CFA Challenge competition. A small group of students works with a finance professor in looking for, valuing and pitching a company. As a capstone to the class, students compete in the Virginia State CFA Challenge. This course requires instructor permission.