Finance Major

In addition to the core curriculum, students majoring in finance complete 12 credits in the discipline. These credits focus understanding of finance beyond basic formulae to a more critical look at financial statements, portfolio risk and return, and corporate financial strategy.

Required Courses
BUAD 324 - Money & Debt Markets

3 credits | Fall & Spring | Prerequisite(s): BUAD 323 - Financial Management


An examination of the operation and importance of global money and debt markets including market characteristics, regulation, international differences, international interest and exchange rate behavior, bond analysis and valuation, and risk management with interest rate and currency options and futures.

BUAD 325 - Equity Markets & Portfolio Management

3 credits | Fall & Spring | Prerequisite(s): BUAD 323 - Financial Management


An examination of the operation and importance of global equity markets including market characteristics, regulation, international differences, investor behavior portfolio theory and capital asset pricing, asset allocation, security analysis, mutual funds, performance measurement, and equity options and futures.

BUAD 423 - Corporate Financial Strategy

3 credits | Fall or Spring | Prerequisite(s): BUAD 323 - Financial Management


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.

Electives (Choose One)
BUAD 417 - International Finance

3 credits | Fall or Spring | Prerequisite(s): ECON 101 - Principles of Microeconomics, ECON 102 - Principles of Macroeconomics, or the equivalents.


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

3 credits | Fall or Spring | Prerequisite(s): BUAD 323 - Financial Management


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

3 credits | Fall or Spring


A study of the evolution of financing arrangements, financial risk, current institutions, government policies, and the forces driving booms, busts, and financial panics. The course begins with an eclectic survey of the financial record, highlighting relevant financial theory as well as history. The final part of the course highlights the role of history in helping to shape current debate on the appropriate policy responses to macro-financial problems.

BUAD 421 - Student Managed Investment Fund

3 credits | Fall & Spring | Prerequisite(s): BUAD 323 - Financial Management and instructor permission.


The purpose of this course is to provide portfolio management and security analysis experience through the management of the Mason School 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

3 credits | Spring | Prerequisite(s): BUAD 323 - Financial Management and consent of the instructor.


The goal of this course is to expose the student to practices and developments within several specialized areas of the financial services sector through the case method of instruction. Key objectives are to develop the student's problem solving ability and oral and written communication skills through the quantitative nd qualitative analysis of actual business situations. Active student participation in case discussion and analysis is required. This course is offered through the Distinguish program, and requires and application.

BUAD 492 - ST: Private Equity / Venture Capital

3 credits | Spring | Prerequisite: BUAD 323 - Financial Management