Economics and Finance

Guclu Atinc (Interim 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.  

Admission Requirements

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. 

Successful completion of the Comprehensive Exam is required of all students.

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ECO 501 - Economics for Decision Makers
Hours: 3
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 background requirements for quantitative analysis and techniques. The course will cover descriptive statistics, inferential statistics and models with business applications to analyze business problems. Specific topics include: measures of central tendency and variation, probability distributions, estimation, hypothesis testing, regression and correlation.

ECO 510 - Advanced Environmental Economics
Hours: 3
This graduate level course applies advanced analytical tools of economics to explain the interaction between the marketplace and the environment, the implications of that relationship, and an examination of effective solutions. Particular emphasis given to agricultural, natural resources, and policy analysis. Prerequisites: ECO 2301 or ECO 2302 or Instructor Permission.

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

ECO 528 - International Economic Problems
Hours: 3
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. Crosslisted with: ECO 428.

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. Crosslisted with: FIN 533.

ECO 552 - Economics for Public Policy
Hours: 3
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 555 - Health Care Services in the U.S.
Hours: 3
This course provides (1) a historical perspective on the development of health care services in the United States, (2) a description of the key factors and issues which influence the development of the current health care delivery systems and (3) a description of the current health care delivery systems.

ECO 556 - Health Economics
Hours: 3
This course examines the application of economic principles to the allocation of scarce resources in health care; the use of economic theory to understand problems of organization, delivery, and financing of health services; and the choices available to society regarding these issues.

ECO 557 - Health Policy
Hours: 3
Provides an overview of health policy in the United States and introduces both qualitative and quantitative methods for analyzing health policy with attention given to the political and economic perspectives on health policy questions

ECO 562 - Managerial Economics
Hours: 3
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 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 589 - Independent Study
Hours: 3
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
Organized class. May be repeated when topics vary.

FIN 501 - Finance for Decision Makers
Hours: 3
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
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. Prerequisites: FIN 304 or FIN 501, or consent of instructor.

FIN 510 - Investment Seminar
Hours: 3
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. Prerequisites: 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 - Financial Data Analytics
Hours: 3
This course is a hands-on introduction to the application of data science techniques to visualize, condition, transform, and model financial data using R. Topics include: the layered grammar of graphics, security and portfolio returns, risk analysis, portfolio optimization and performance, publishing results using R Markdown, and an introduction to processing large data sets from public data sources, Google Trends, and the SEC's Edgar database. Prerequisites: ECO 2301 and 2302, or ECO 501. 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. Crosslisted with: FIN 434.

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. Crosslisted with: FIN 436.

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. Crosslisted with: FIN 438.

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 545 - Financial Econometrics
Hours: 3
This course is designed for a first course in graduate financial econometrics. The objective of the course is to equip students with necessary methods and techniques that allow them to analyze finance-related studies. The focus of the lecture is modelling financial time series such as prices, returns, interest rates, and exchange rates. Accordingly, the emphasis of the course is on empirical applications. Prerequisites: FIN 504.

FIN 550 - Advanced Financial Modeling
Hours: 3
This course is intended for graduate students who wish to learn the application of rigorous computational methods and to implement them to concepts of finance studied in introductory and other advance finance courses using Microsoft Excel and other software programs. The course provides students with the opportunity to develop the skills needed to build financial models. The course primarily focuses on models used for valuation, capital budgeting, cost of capital and portfolio models. This course is a hands-on, assignments-based course focusing on getting students to work with Excel to solve computational problems from a broader range of finance concepts. Prerequisites: FIN 510.

FIN 560 - Behavioral Finance
Hours: 3
This course aims to investigate psychology's contribution to finance and economics. The standard approach in finance theory is based on the assumption of rational and unemotional economic agents. However, the anomalies in the financial markets have evidenced the decisions of investors may not be in line with this assumption, leading to inexplicable events such as bubbles. This course discusses psychological explanations for irrational financial decisions. The analysis of deviations from rationality will lead us to the predictability of financial asset price movements by employing psychological principles and explanation of real world market anomalies. Upon successful course completion, students will better understand the decision behavior of an individual investor within a market context. Prerequisites: FIN 504.

FIN 570 - Financial Markets, Institutions & Instruments
Hours: 3
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 504. Crosslisted with: FIN 471.

FIN 575 - Principles of Real Estate
Hours: 3
This course is designed for introductory graduate-level students to introduce them to the basic concepts of real estate and to prepare them for higher level courses in real estate. The course is a survey of real estate topics that includes fundamental principles of real estate investment, appraisal, mortgage finance, and development. This course presents a variety of concepts and vocabulary that are useful for real estate consumers, investors, and professionals. Prerequisites: FIN 501. Crosslisted with: FIN 340.

FIN 576 - Real Estate Appraisal and Investment
Hours: 3
This course is a study of the major aspects of real estate finance and investment. Commercial properties will be emphasized. The course begins with an overview of the fundamentals of income producing real estate and builds on these concepts as we consider the forces that influence the cyclical, fragmented, and inherently local business of real estate investment. The course will expose students to current “real world” real estate finance and investment situations and people who shape them. Crosslisted with: FIN 476.

FIN 577 - Real Estate Finance
Hours: 3
In this course, the student is introduced to the principles and methods of financing real estate. The sources of funds, types and contents of financing instruments, and the role of various financing institutions, both private and governmental, are covered in this course. The latest electronic technology is incorporated wherever possible. Crosslisted with: FIN 477.

FIN 580 - Internship in Finance
Hours: 0-4
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: 0-4
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 590 - Energy Markets
Hours: 3
This course is designed as an introduction to the Energy Commodity, Equity, Bond and derivatives markets. Students will learn the impacts of energy related assets on the overall commodity and financial markets. Specific topics covered include an overview of domestic and international energy investments, their impacts on portfolio concepts and general market analysis. The pre-requisite to take this class is FIN 510 Investments. Prerequisites: FIN 510.

FIN 591 - Energy Economics
Hours: 3
This seminar-type class concentrates on the macro/micro economic implications of the energy markets. In particular, it ties relevant empirical research with current market dynamics. Students will be exposed to topics including advanced energy market analysis, energy policy and governance. Prerequisites: FIN 590.

FIN 592 - Energy Finance
Hours: 3
This seminar-type class highlights the corporate side of energy markets and investments. Students will be exposed to the financial implications of energy markets on diversified as well as sub-sector energy companies. Topics include financing, hedging and project evaluations for energy producers, sellers and users. Prerequisites: FIN 590.

FIN 595 - Applied Financial Research
Hours: 3
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
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.

Ramya Aroul
Assistant Professor
M.S., BITS, Pilani, India; M.B.A., ICFAI University, India; M.S., Ph.D, University of Texas at Arlington

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

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

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

Lirong Liu
Associate 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

Mary Francis Miller
Assistant Professor
B.S., M.S., New Mexico State University; Ph.D., University of Texas-Dallas

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

Asli K. Ogunc
Associate Professor
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.