2005 John Petroff

Program of Studies:
Finance

Studies in the field of Finance prepare for professions either in the banking, insurance and investment industries, or in finance departments of all large businesses. There are also numerous positions in government that require a strong background in finance. There are numerous professional licenses that one may have to obtain in order to practice certain professions such as stock broker, insurance agent or financial analyst. Each of these licenses requires passing one or a set of examinations, some of which are very demanding.

In finance departments of large businesses there are two sets of decisions: which of the company's project will add most to owner's wealth (i.e. shareholder's equity for corporations), and which mix of short or long term borrowing and equity capital is best to fund the most desirable projects. Banks seek to provide loans to businesses so as to generate bank profits, and must manage the risk present in each borrower and in potential changes in interest rates they must pay to their depositors. Investment companies assist businesses in raising equity capital and issuing long term debt instruments in capital markets. Investment companies also provide guidance in mergers and acquisitions. All financial decisions must pay attention to economic and monetary conditions which affect government policies and all costs of borrowing. In turn, monetary policies are formulated to maintain price stability and avoid recessions.

Prior to undertaking studies in Finance, it is absolutely essential to obtain a solid knowledge of economic and accounting, as well as a general understanding of all aspects of running a business such as marketing and management. A good grounding in mathematics is also a must, especially in aspects of statistics and probabilities. Finally, because all financial markets and major corporations have a global dimension, aspects of international trade and finance must be familiar. Most of the courses listed below will specify what are the prerequisites for taking the course.

The core courses for all concentrations in finance are:

- Money and banking
- Fundamentals of finance theory
- Securities markets
- Corporate finance
- Financial analysis

Those interested in banking and investment professions should take at least four of the following courses

- Commercial banking
- Bank strategy
- Investment banking
- Securities laws
- Modern portfolio strategies
- International financial markets
- Advanced investment topics
- Quantitative methods in finance
- Insurance company strategies

Those interested in working a corporate finance department should take at least four of the following courses

- Capital budgeting
- Advanced corporate finance
- Sources of capital
- Corporate taxation
- Long term financial planning
- International financial management

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