Economics and Finance

Asli K. Ogunc (Department Head)

The Master of Science in Finance program prepares students for the demands of the global financial environment in all major areas of finance.  In addition to traditional general finance courses, the curriculum also includes courses designed to help the student who is preparing for CFA and/or CFP certification exams.  Students with applicable undergraduate business coursework can complete the program with 30 hours of graduate coursework.  Students without undergraduate preparation in finance may be required to complete up to 39 hours (which includes 9 semester hours of foundation coursework) in their program.  

Note: The Department reserves the right to suspend from the program any student who in the judgment of the departmental graduate committee, does not meet the professional expectations of the field.

ECO 501 - Economics for Decision Makers
Hours: 3
Economics for Decision Makers. Three semester hours. An introduction to the primary concepts and methods of micro and macroeconomics as they apply to decision makers within the business unit- all within the context of expanding global markets. This course satisfies the economics background requirement for MBA candidates.

ECO 502 - Quantitative Analysis for Managers
Hours: 3
This course satisfies the MBA background requirements for quantitative analysis and production management techniques. The course will cover descriptive statistics, inferential statistics and math models with business applications to analyze management and organizational problems. Specific topics include: measures of central tendency and variation, probability distributions, estimation, hypothesis testing, regression and correlation, decision theory, linear programming, transportation and assignment models, and inventory management and queuing theory models. Prerequisites: Math 175 or 141.

ECO 518 - Thesis
Hours: 3-6
Thesis. Six semester hours. Graded on a (S) satisfactory or (U) unsatisfactory basis.

ECO 528 - International Economic Problems
Hours: 3
International Economic Problems. Three semester hours. An analysis of current global issues and their impacts on the United States. Emphasis is on gains from trade, balance of payments and adjustment to national international equilibria, determination of exchange rates under various monetary standards, international capital flows, and trade policy considerations in a changing world economy.

ECO 533 - Applied Economic & Financial Forecasting
Hours: 3
Introduces students to the tools, techniques and computer software used to create a structural process by which future economic, finance, and business variables are forecasted. Prerequisites: Eco 231 and 232, or ECO 501. Cross-listed with FIN 533. Crosslisted with: FIN 533.

ECO 552 - Economics for Public Policy
Hours: 3
Economics for Public Policy. Three semester hours. Business, government, and culture provide the three interacting subsystems of society within which markets must operate. This course analyzes each side of that relationship, covering the different ways that public policy affects the activities of the modern global corporation and the key responses on the part of market participants. Prerequisites: ECO 2301, 2302, or ECO 501.

ECO 562 - Managerial Economics
Hours: 3
Managerial Economics. Three semester hours. The study and application of concepts and models, primarily microeconomic, to various types of management problems. While analysis is primarily in terms of cost, demand, revenues, and market structure, the process combines ideas and methods from other functional fields of business administration. The case method is used to provide illustration and application of concepts. Prerequisites: ECO 2301, 2302, or ECO 501.

ECO 572 - Monetary Theory
Hours: 3
Monetary Theory. Three semester hours. A study of contemporary monetary theory and the role of the banking system in the economy. Special emphasis is given to the development of central banking and the international aspects of monetary policy. Prerequisites: ECO 2301, 2302 or equivalent, or ECO 501.

ECO 576 - Macroeconomics for Managers
Hours: 3
This course provides a broad overview of macroeconomic theory and policy. The major focus is on understanding fluctuations in the levels of income, employment, prices, and production in a global environment. While individual managers and firms have no control over aggregate economic performance, they are very much impacted by macro forces. The effective manager recognizes and understands these forces and is thus better able to operate efficiently in the ever changing market environment. Prerequisites: Eco 231, 232, or ECO 501.

ECO 578 - Statistical Methods
Hours: 3
A course dealing with the study and applications of sampling, estimation, hypothesis testing, analysis of variance, correlation, regression analysis, time series decision theory and nonparametric statistical methods.

ECO 580 - Internship in Economics
Hours: 4
The goal of this course is to gain relevant work experience in the student's field of study by developing specific work related skills to improve marketability upon graduation. Students will also build a "network" of professional contacts. Prerequisites: FIN 504 and departmental approval.

ECO 589 - Independent Study
Hours: 3
Independent Study. One to four semester hours. Individualized instruction/research at an advanced level in a specialized content area under the direction of a faculty member. May be repeated when the topic varies. Prerequisite: Consent of department head.

ECO 595 - Applied Business Research
Hours: 3
A course to investigate the techniques of the research process as applied to business and economics. Experience is gained in defining research problems and in collecting, analyzing, recording and interpreting data. Also, an analysis of pertinent research literature in business and economics. Required of all graduate majors in business administration under Option II.

ECO 597 - Special Topics
Hours: 1-4
Special Topics. One to four semester hours. Organized class. May be repeated when topics vary.

FIN 501 - Finance for Decision Makers
Hours: 3
Finance for Decision Makers. Three semester hours. This course is designed for nonbusiness undergraduate degree holders to prepare for making financial decisions. Basic concepts of finance are applied in both the public and private sectors. Graduate students will learn about financial analysis, financial forecasting, asset management, financial markets and security valuation (including state and local bonds). This course satisfies the finance background requirement for the MBA candidates and may be appropriate for graduate programs in a field other than business administration.

FIN 504 - Financial Management
Hours: 3
Financial Management. Three semester hours. A study of business finance within the economic environment including financial reporting, analysis, markets and regulations, with emphasis on global and ethical issues. Risk, valuation, planning and analysis including working capital management and capital budgeting, and other decision rules help maximize the value of the firm. Focus on total quality management and financial considerations in the production of goods and services. Prerequisite: FIN 304 or FIN 501, or consent of instructor.

FIN 510 - Investment Seminar
Hours: 3
Investment Seminar. Three semester hours. A comprehensive study of security selection and analysis techniques and of security markets and how they are affected by the domestic and international economic, political, and tax structures. Group discussion, individual and group research, and the computer are utilized. Prerequisite: FIN 504 or consent of instructor.

FIN 512 - Derivatives & Risk Management
Hours: 3
This course provides a broad introduction to the derivatives markets including options, futures, and swaps. Derivative securities play an integral part in managing risk for multinational corporations, portfolio managers, and institutional investors, as well as provide opportunities for speculators around the world. The main goal of the course is to leave the student with an understanding of various derivatives strategies and implications for portfolio management. Prerequisites: FIN 510.

FIN 515 - Fixed Income Analysis
Hours: 3
This course focuses on securities that promise a fixed income stream (mainly bonds) whose valuation are influenced by interest rates. Students examine the market for and the price/yield determinants of various fixed income securities, including Treasury debt, corporate bonds, agency debt, municipal bonds, mortgage- and asset-backed securities. The concepts and tools taught in this course are those that are useful to managers and investors who want to use these securities in investing, hedging, market-making, or speculating activities. Even though the cash flow streams are fairly predictable and easy to quantify, the ever changing interest rate and credit environment makes the valuation of bonds particularly challenging. Prerequisites: FIN 510.

FIN 520 - Advanced Entrepreneurial Finance & Venture Capital
Hours: 3
The goal of this course is to help students understand the dynamics of the capital food chain within the context of the entrepreneurial ecosystem affecting the global economy. To this end, we explore various stages of venture capital investing such as seed, start-up, early, mid and later. Next, we introduce the venture capital model and the valuation aspects of entrepreneurial finance. There is a strong emphasis on modeling cash flows as the most critical component of venture capital decision making. The mechanics of venture capital financing in the form of term sheets, business plans and due diligence process are discussed with respect to deal structuring (the entrepreneur perspective) and deal evaluation (the venture capitalist perspective). Prerequisites: FIN 504. Crosslisted with: FIN 420.

FIN 530 - Fundamentals of Financial Planning
Hours: 3
This course exposes students to personal financial planning utilizing basic financial planning skills and tools. Topics include insurance, investment, income tax, business, retirement, and estate planning to some degree within this course. It is through some exposure to all of these sub-fields and discussion of how the planner facilitates effective planning in each of them that students will gain a more complete perspective of the field of financial planning and the requirements of being an effective financial planner. Prerequisites: FIN 304 or FIN 501. Crosslisted with: FIN 430.

FIN 533 - Applied Financial & Economic Forecasting
Hours: 3
Introduces students to the tools, techniques and computer software used to create a structural process by which future economic, finance, and business variables are forecasted. Prerequisites: Eco 231 and 232, or ECO 501 and ECO 502. Crosslisted with: ECO 533.

FIN 534 - Advanced Risk, Insurance, and Estate Planning
Hours: 3
An advanced assessment of risk management, the risk management process, the insurance industry, insurance company operations, and insurance products for individuals, families, and small businesses. An in depth and comprehensive evaluation of insurance products including homeowners, auto, business life, health, disability, and long term care insurance. An advanced analysis of the estate planning process, asset titling, transferring of assets, and the estate and gift tax system. Both basic and advanced estate planning strategies and implications are also explored. Prerequisites: FIN 530.

FIN 536 - Advanced Retirement Planning & Employee Benefits
Hours: 3
This course provides an introduction to retirement plans and employee benefits. The emphasis is on the decision making process of the individual in consultation with the financial planner. After a thorough review of retirement funding, this course discusses qualified pension plans, profit sharing plans and stock bonus plans as well as distributions from and administration of these plans. Other topics include IRAs, SEPs, 401(k)-, 403(b)-, and 457 Plans, Social Security, Deferred Compensation and Non-qualified Plans. Employee benefits are explored in two as both fringe and group benefits. Prerequisites: FIN 530.

FIN 538 - Financial Planning Capstone
Hours: 3
This is a comprehensive course that will require students to synthesize and apply all the elements of comprehensive financial planning. This course will integrate education planning, investment planning, retirement planning, estate planning, insurance planning, and tax planning with plan presentation. The final product should be a written financial plan and oral presentation that reflects graduate level understanding and application of all topics involved. Prerequisites: FIN 534, FIN 510, FIN 530.

FIN 540 - Advanced Financial Statement Analysis and Valuation
Hours: 3
The goal of this course is to provide the analytical framework students need to scrutinize financial statements, whether they are (i) evaluating a company's stock price, (ii) determining valuations for a merger or acquisition, or (iii) calculating the value of a start-up company from the perspective of a venture capitalist. By understanding the dynamic nature of financial ratios and evaluating the trends in historical series, students will be able to interpret financial statements in today's volatile markets and uncertain economy, and allow them to get past the sometimes biased portrait of a company's performance. Crosslisted with: FIN 440.

FIN 550 - Portfolio Management in Excel
Hours: 3
A review of principles of portfolio management using Excel. There will be an emphasis on (1) Modern Portfolio Theory including the Black-Litterman Approach, and (2) Risk Management Strategies such as Portfolio Insurance, Immunization and Hedging. BLOOMBERG PROFESSIONAL® will be incorporated as much as possible. Prerequisites: FIN 510.

FIN 570 - Fin Mkts Instits & Instru
Hours: 3
Financial Markets, Institutions and Instruments. Three semester hours. A study of structure and functions of financial markets and institutions focusing on political, social, regulatory and legal effects, as well as demographic diversity, ethical considerations and changing global financial conditions, in finance decision making. Prerequisite: FIN 304 or FIN 501.

FIN 571 - International Business Finance
Hours: 3
A study of international corporate finance within the global economic environment, including relationships between exchange rates and economic variables, risks, global working capital management, direct foreign investment, multinational capital budgeting and international financial markets. Prerequisites: FIN 304 or FIN 501. Crosslisted with: FIN 471.

FIN 580 - Internship in Finance
Hours: 4
The goal of this course is to gain relevant work experience in the student's field of study by developing specific work related skills to improve marketability upon graduation. Students will also build a "network" of professional contacts. Prerequisites: FIN 504 and department approval.

FIN 589 - Independent Study
Hours: 4
Individualized instruction/research at an advanced level in a specialized content area under the direction of a faculty member. May be repeated when the topic varies. Prerequisites: Consent of department head.

FIN 595 - Applied Fin Research
Hours: 3
Applied Financial Research - Three semester hours Different techniques of financial research is investigated and applied to financial data. Experience is gained in research problem definition to literature review, collecting and analyzing the data and plotting and interpreting the results.

FIN 597 - SPECIAL TOPICS
Hours: 1-4
Special Topics. One to four semester hours. Organized class. May be repeated when topics vary.

Economics and Finance

Augustine C. Arize
Regents Professor
B.S., M.B.A., University of Central Arkansas; Ph.D., North Texas State University.

Raymond J. Ballard
Professor
B. A., California State University; M. A., University of Southern California; Ph. D., Texas AM University.

Dale Funderburk
Professor
B.A., East Texas State University; M.S., Ph.D., Oklahoma State University.

Al Gormus
Assistant Professor
B.A., M.S., Texas Tech University; Ph.D., University of Texas at Arlington

Kishor Guru-Gharana
Associate Professor
B.A., M.A. Tribhuvan University; M.A., Southern Methodist University; M.S., University of Texas; Ph.D., Southern Methodist University.

Singru Hoe
Assistant Professor
BA., Fu-Jen Catholic University, Taiwan, MBA., George Washington University, Ph.D., University of Texas at Arlington

Lirong Liu
Assistant Professor
B.A., Jilin University; M.A., Kent State University; M.S., Ph.D., University of Tennessee

Gregory Lubiani
Assistant Professor
B.B.A., M.A., Ph.D., University of Memphis

Srinivas Nippani
Professor
B.C., M.C., Osmania University; M.S., Indian Institute of Technology; Ph.D., University of Arkansas.

Asli K. Ogunc
Associate Professor and Department Head
B.B.A., Marmara University; M.B.A., Western Michigan University; M.S., Ph.D., Louisiana State University.

Steven S. Shwiff
Professor
B.A., University of Texas; M.A., St. Mary’s University; Ph.D., Texas AM University.