• MS in Finance

    This program provides students with a broad overview of the quantitative and qualitative aspects of finance, helping them understand what steps should be taken to maximize shareholder wealth. Students learn the technical skills of everything from valuation techniques, to forecasting methods, to the application of the time value of money, to building pro-forma financial statements.

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  • Overview

  • DESIGNED FOR SUCCESS

    At Katz, we prepare our students to gain a broad introduction to their distinct business area and develop the advanced technical skills sought by the world’s leading organizations. See our sample schedule below.

    Select Program:

    Faculty Director

    Andrew Washburn
    Clinical Assistant Professor
    E-mail: ajwashburn@katz.pitt.edu
     

    Curriculum

    Fall Term

    15

    Credits

    Finely-tuned core coursework designed to offer a solid foundation in business.

    Sample Courses

    • BACC 2401 Financial Accounting

      3 CREDITS

      BACC 2401 Financial Accounting

      Course Description

      This course enables students to understand the basic financial accounting model, as well as the structure and substance of a firm's financial reports from a user's point of view. This includes what is (and what is not) included in financial statements, how and when events affect the statements, and what users can infer from these reports. When they finish the course, students should be able to examine a set of financial statements and effectively analyze the firm's financial position, profitability, and cash generating ability. Prerequisites: None.

      3 Credits

    • BECN 2401 Economic Analysis For Managerial Decision: Firms And Markets

      3 CREDITS

      BECN 2401 Economic Analysis For Managerial Decision: Firms And Markets

      Course Description

      This course develops an understanding of how a market-based economic system reconciles the separate needs of consumers and producers, and provides an economic framework for managerial decisions. Additionally, the course provides tools of analysis and concepts that are used in the MBA program's functional fields. Centering on the basic concept of the business firm, it integrates the analysis of market demand with that of production and costs in the context of a variety of domestic and global market structures. Topics include pricing, output, and quality decisions; the impact of productivity improvements on costs; quality-cost tradeoffs; transaction costs as a determinant of the boundaries of the firm; and market imperfection and the role of regulation. Prerequisites: None.

      3 Credits

    • BQOM 2401 Statistical Analysis: Uncertainty, Prediction, and Quality Improvement

      3 CREDITS

      BQOM 2401 Statistical Analysis: Uncertainty, Prediction, and Quality Improvement

      Course Description

      This course provides students with a set of integrated statistical tools and methodologies useful in a managerial environment. The emphasis is on the use of real data for modeling and solving problems in the areas of marketing, finance, human resources, and operations management. Topics covered include data analysis and modeling, simple and multiple regression (estimation, testing, and prediction), analysis and design of experiments, nonparametric statistics, and statistical quality control. Prerequisites: None.

      3 Credits

    • BFIN 2409 Financial Management 1

      1.5 CREDITS

      BFIN 2409 Financial Management 1

      Course Description

      The main objective of this course is to gain understanding of the theory and practice of financial decision making. This course develops the tools and framework necessary to address the central question in corporate finance: What investment projects should be undertaken to maximize shareholder wealth? To examine this question, we will learn how to value an uncertain stream of cash flows and apply the concept of the time value of money in valuing bonds 11 and equity. The course covers a number of market-based investment criteria and develops an entity valuation model, based on discounted cash flows (DCF) used for standard capital budgeting decisions. We will conclude with a short introduction to the concept of risk and return, resulting in the cost of capital. We will cover a case discussion on capital budgeting to put our framework in a more realistic environment. Financial Management 1 is a prerequisite for taking Financial Management 2. Prerequisites: BACC 2401 Financial Accounting and BQOM 2401 Statistical Analysis. These courses can be taken as co-requisites during the same term. Participating in the Financial Management I: Workshop on Time Value of Money is required prior to enrollment.

    • BFIN 2410 Financial Management 2

      1.5 CREDITS

      BFIN 2410 Financial Management 2

      Course Description

      This course builds on Financial Management 1 and develops an asset pricing framework used in corporate finance based on the trade-off between risk and return. We use modern portfolio theory to determine a suitable asset pricing model and arrive at determining the relevant discount rate to reflect the risk associated with the cash flow we focused on in Financial Management 1. Finally, we will address how financing and capital structure choices affect project and firm value using the above techniques and methods. The course will conclude with three valuation methods: WACC, APV, and FTE and an extensive case discussion. Financial Management 1 & Financial Management 2 are prerequisite courses for any other finance elective in the curriculum. Prerequisites: BFIN 2409 Financial Management 1.

    • BFIN 2145 Financial Modeling

      3 CREDITS

      BFIN 2145 Financial Modeling

      Course Description

      The course will apply finance theory to solve various problems in financial management and investments. It will take a hands-on approach in building financial spreadsheet models using Microsoft excel. Students will learn to address issues that arise in various areas of financial analyses. These issues include but are not limited to discounted cash flow valuation, cost of capital estimation, asset return calculations, portfolio theory, index models, option pricing models, bond pricing and investment performance analysis. Prerequisite(s): BFIN 2410 Financial Management 2

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    Spring Term

    15

    Credits

    Specialized courses and real-world application of fundamental tools and theories.

    Sample Courses

    • BFIN 2039 Investment Management/Capital Markets

      3 CREDITS

      BFIN 2039 Investment Management/Capital Markets

      Course Description

      The objective of Investment Management/Capital Markets is to provide the student with a theoretical and practical background in the field of investments. The course will cover the major topics of financial markets, portfolio theory, security valuation, capital market equilibrium and risk-return trade-off, performance evaluation, and international diversification. The course is intended for those students who want to become investment professionals or those who want to be wise individual investors. Real-world examples will be given to make connections with the theoretical framework. Prerequisites: BFIN 2410 Financial Management 2.

      3 Credits

    • BFIN 2036 Corporate Finance

      3 CREDITS

      BFIN 2036 Corporate Finance

      Course Description

      This course is an introduction to corporate financial management. The course builds on BFIN 2409 & 2410 to provide students with the conceptual framework and analytical tools necessary to appreciate, understand, and analyze the problems facing corporate financial managers. The course consists of four main parts. The first part develops the tools necessary to conduct the analysis of corporate finance problems. These tools include the analysis of data reported on financial statements, building pro-forma financial statements, the basics of put and call options, and an introduction to corporate valuation techniques. The second part of the course examines how managers set the two primary corporate financial policies: capital structure and payout policy (e.g. dividends and share repurchases), and the process of restructuring in financial distress and bankruptcy. The third part of the course analyzes the process of issuing securities in the capital markets, including the role of the investment banker. Finally, the fourth part explores several aspects of mergers and acquisitions, including the motives for these transactions, the structure of the deal, and the role private equity firms. Prerequisites: BFIN 2410 Financial Management 2

      3 Credits

    • BFIN 2030 Valuation 1

      1.5 CREDITS

      BFIN 2030 Valuation 1

      Course Description

      This course examines the discounted cash flow approach to valuing business firms. Students develop the skills necessary to project free cash flows, estimate the cost of capital, compute terminal values, conduct sensitivity analyses, identify value drivers, and estimate the values of firms. It is a "hands-on" course in which students are required to value an actual company. Prerequisites: BFIN 2410 Financial Management 2.

    • MS Finance Electives

      7.5 CREDITS

      MS Finance Electives

      Course Description

      See below for recommended electives for download the MS Finance Curriculum Plan to view all approved electives. 


    Recommended Electives

    Choose from the approved elective courses below or download the MS Finance Curriculum Plan to view the complete list of elective options. 

    • BFIN 2015 Short-Term Finance

      1.5 CREDITS

      BFIN 2015 Short-Term Finance

      Course Description

      Examines several important short-term financial issues and challenges confronting companies. Topics include cash forecasting and cash management, including a focus on the interactions among current assets and liabilities; budgeting and forecasting techniques and issues; and foreign exchange rate risk and management. Particular emphasis on the organizational tensions, including strategic compromises, that arise in managing working capital and budgets. Prerequisites: BFIN 2410 Financial Management 2.

    • BFIN 2042 Acquisition of Privately Held Companies

      1.5 CREDITS

      BFIN 2042 Acquisition of Privately Held Companies

      Course Description

      The course will provide an introduction to the acquisition of privately held companies along with strategies for value creation in the acquired business. The course, which is exclusively taught using the case method, takes lessons taught in the valuation courses extending these concepts to the valuation of privately held business, the structuring of the acquisition balance sheet and the execution of the acquisition process. While a discussion of secured financing alternatives will be included, the application of junior capital, both mezzanine debt and equity will be the focus of the course. A risk analysis of the target will be performed and an investment thesis intended to illustrate value creation techniques will be central to each class discussion. Upon completion, students will be better prepared how to assess both operational and financial forms of risk, develop techniques intended to reduce both forms of risk, and consider value creation strategies in marketing, operations, finance and management. Each case will involve a real company acquired over the years by PNC Equity Partner along with actual selling memorandum, diligence prepared by PNC principals, market research firms, accounting firms and law firms employed by PNC as part of their diligence process. Prerequisites: BFIN 2410 Financial Management 2

    • BFIN 2043 International Financial Management

      3 CREDITS

      BFIN 2043 International Financial Management

      Course Description

      This course will examine decision-making in international finance via a broad study of the opportunities and problems encountered when investments and business operations across national boundaries. Emphasis will be placed on how conventional financial models require modification in a global context, and on the use of international financial markets to enhance portfolio performance, control risks and maximize firm value. Specific topics include foreign exchange markets, international parity conditions and exchange rate forecasting, exchange rate exposure and hedging, global capital sourcing, multinational capital budgeting, and international portfolio diversification. Prerequisites: BFIN 2410 Financial Management 2.

      3 Credits

    • BFIN 2051 Introduction to Derivatives

      1.5 CREDITS

      BFIN 2051 Introduction to Derivatives

      Course Description

      The purpose of this course is to introduce participants to derivative securities with particular focus on four basic derivatives: forwards, futures, options, and swaps. Toward this purpose, we will examine the structure of these contracts, discuss the techniques used for their valuation, and explore the various uses of these financial products in speculation and risk management. Prerequisites: BFIN 2410 Financial Management 2.

    • BFIN 2068 Markets and Trading

      1.5 CREDITS

      BFIN 2068 Markets and Trading

      Course Description

      This course is designed to give participants a broad understanding of the operations of various financial markets with special focus on liquidity, market structure and trading. With this objective in mind, the course will concentrate on the operations of exchanges, trading systems and broker-dealer intermediaries. Participants will be exposed to a range of issues regarding the formulation of trading decisions and market structure design and regulation. Simulation software will be used to provide hands-on experience with making tactical trading decisions in different market structure environments. Prerequisites: BFIN 2410 Financial Management 2.

    • BFIN 2069 Fixed Income Securities

      1.5 CREDITS

      BFIN 2069 Fixed Income Securities

      Course Description

      This course examines the concepts that are most frequently encountered in the market for fixed income securities. Specifically, the course describes the most important fixed income securities and markets and develops tools for valuing these securities and managing their interest rate and credit risk. Historically, “fixed-income” refers to securities which promise fixed cash flows over their lives such as a fixed-rate coupon bond. Now, it is generally accepted that a fixed income instrument is one whose value is driven by the level of interest rates and/or the value of a related underlying asset. This classification would include floating rate bonds, callable bonds, bond futures, bond options, caps, floors and collars, interest rate swaps, credit derivatives and asset-backed securities. The importance of understanding fixed income securities has been highlighted by the events that have unfolded over the last two years to create the credit crisis of 2007 where losses may top $1 trillion by the end of 2008. The losses have been attributed to a number of factors including errors in assigning credit ratings, valuation uncertainty, errors in valuation, complex security design and lack of transparency. The purpose of the course is to provide participant with the ability to qualitatively and quantitatively analyze the impact of these factors on global markets. Prerequisites: BFIN 2410 Financial Management 2.

    • BFIN 2130 Valuation 2

      1.5 CREDITS

      BFIN 2130 Valuation 2

      Course Description

      This course examines a number of topics in the area of business valuation, including alternatives to the discounted cash flow model, intricacies involved in estimates of the cost of capital and terminal values, and valuation of acquisition targets, private companies, financial institutions, foreign companies, and e-commerce companies. Prerequisites: BFIN 2030 Valuation 1.

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    Academics

  • TAKE THE FIRST STEP

    We are here to offer you support through the admissions process. Below, find all of the information, requirements, and key dates you’ll need to submit your application.

    Before You Apply

    Basic Requirements

    Applicants must meet the following requirements before filling out an online application.

    As this is a new program, a Student Profile is not available, however students interested in submitting a competitive application for the MS in Finance program should have a 3.0 GPA and at least a 600 on the GMAT exam. International applicants must also have at least a score of 100 onTOEFL or 7 or Higher on the IELTS. No prior work experience or prerequiste courses are required. 

    Questions regarding the application process can be e-mailed to admissions@katz.pitt.edu.

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    The Application

    Getting Started

    The following information and components are necessary to advance in the application process.

    In order to be considered for admission to the MS in Finance program, an applicant must submit all of the following items:

    Online Application Form.  
    Create your personal application account where you can start and save your work as needed.  You will also submit the following through your online application account:

    • Application fee (online)
    • Two recommendations
    • Essay responses
    • Current resume

    Application fee of $50. Each applicant is required to submit a $50 non-refundable application fee.  You are permitted to pay by bank check drawn on a U.S. bank, or by credit card.  If paying by check, please make the check payable to the University of Pittsburgh, and mail to:  Master's Admissions, 301 Mervis Hall, Pittsburgh, PA  15260.  If paying by credit card, please follow the instructions for payment which are included in the online application.

    Official transcripts.  An unofficial copy can be uploaded into the Educational Information section of the online application.  The unofficial copy will suffice for the application review process.  Once an applicant is admitted to the MS in Finance program, an official copy of the transcript will be requested.

    Report of the results of the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT). Graduate Record Examination (GRE) results may be accepted, but GMAT scores are preferred. When requesting that scores be sent to the Katz Graduate School of Business MS Program in Finance, the school code you must provide to Pearson Inc for the GMAT is DPZ-M5-35 and to ETS for the GRE is 1628.

    Two letters of recommendation  from persons who have known the applicant in academic or professional capacities (at least one from a faculty member is preferred). Applicants can enter the name and email address of their chosen recommenders in the online application. The recommenders will then receive an automatic email from the online application system, notifying them to complete the letter of recommendation.

    International applicants must also submit the following: a) official academic records accompanied by notarized English translations, including diplomas for degrees earned; (b) test scores in the Test of English as a Foreign Language - TOEFL (required of applicants whose official native language is not English even if English was the medium of instruction in the foreign schools attended by the applicant). When requesting that TOEFL scores be sent to the Katz Graduate School of Business MS in Finance program, the school code you must provide to ETS is B157.

    All submissions and other correspondence should be addressed to:

    Katz Graduate Admissions
    The Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business
    301 Mervis Hall
    University of Pittsburgh
    Pittsburgh, PA 15260

    All applicants are responsible for checking their application status by logging into the online application system. Any questions regarding the status of an application should be addressed to admissions@katz.pitt.edu. It is wise to do so several weeks before the completed application is due.

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    Additional Information

    Need To Know

    ROLLING ADMISSIONS INFORMATION

    The Admissions Committee reviews applications for this program on a rolling basis. To be guaranteed consideration for the program, the Admissions Committee must have received a completed application that includes all required documents. The application deadlines for the Fall start date are as follows:

    Application Deadlines

    Decision Notification

    November 1

    January 15

    January 1

    March 15

    March 1

    • Deadline for international applicants

    April 15

    May 1

    • Deadline for domestic applicants

    June 15

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  • 2

    Admissions

  • Tuition & Fees

    Tuition and fees vary based on program, residential status, and other factors.

    Tuition & Fees

    Program Tuition & Fees

     
     

    Tuition

    19,332

    Professional Development

    $850

    Activity Fee

    $30.00

    Wellness Fee

    $130

    Computing & Network

    $175

    Security & Transportation

    $90

    Total per term

    $20,607

    Est. Total Tuition & Fees

    (2 terms)

    $41,214

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    Tuition

    $14,270

    Professional Development Fee

    $850

    Activity Fee

    $30

    Wellness Fee

    $130

    Computing & Network

    $175

    Security & Transportation

    $90

    Total per term

    $15,545

    Est. Total Tuition & Fees

    (2 terms)

    $31,090

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  • 3

    Tuition & Fees

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