Financial Economics Certificate Courses
The Financial Economics Certificate curriculum consists of four courses, as detailed below.
Students must take the Principles of Finance
course first, during Fall Quarter. They may take subsequent courses in any order.
KELLG_FE 310-0: Principles of Finance
Instructor: Phillip Braun
This foundation course, taken by all students during Fall Quarter, provides an overview of financial principles. Students will learn about the impact of time and uncertainty on value; discounted cash flows; equity and debt valuation; the term structure of interest rates; portfolio theory; asset pricing; and efficient market theory. The course also explores firms’ financing decisions, including capital budgeting, capital structure and payout policy. (This course is also featured in the Managerial Analytics Certificate program.)
KELLG_FE 312-0: Investments
Instructor: Dimitris Papanikolaou
This course covers key investment concepts from the perspective of a portfolio manager. Students will learn about passive and active investment strategies for large portfolios. The class will cover topics at the frontier of academic research, including performance evaluation, risk management, liquidity, and models of risk and return. Syllabus
KELLG_FE 314-0: Derivatives
Instructor: Viktor Todorov
This course focuses on the use and pricing of forwards, futures, swaps and options. Strategies for speculation and risk management, no-arbitrage pricing for forward contracts, the binomial and Black-Scholes option pricing models and applications of pricing models in other contexts are discussed in depth. Syllabus
KELLG_FE 316-0: Topics in Financial Economics: Accounting and Financial Decisions
Instructors: Michael Fishman
and Mark Finn
Each year, this course changes topics to better reflect the current nature of the industry.
Financial professionals need a solid understanding of accounting because accounting systems provide the primary data for financial decision-making. The first half of this course will provide a detailed introduction to accounting performance metrics and the principles of their construction. It is designed for students who have not taken a prior accounting class. However, because our focus will be on decision-making applications using actual financial statements, it will also be a valuable overview for students who have already learned some accounting in another setting. Deliverables for the first half of the class will be several team assignments and an in-class midterm.
The second half of this course applies the concepts covered in the earlier CPU finance courses to case studies with the goal of enhancing students’ understanding of practical managerial financial decision making. Topics include short-term financing, capital structure and dividend decisions, cost of capital, evaluating investment opportunities, firm valuation, and initial public offerings. The course emphasizes the basic principles of corporate finance and is sufficiently general to be of interest to all CPU students. At its most fundamental level, the course attempts to improve problem-solving skills: problem definition, gathering and organizing the relevant information, developing feasible alternative courses of action, evaluating the various choices, and recommending and defending the best course of action. The deliverables for this half of the course will be case study analyses completed in groups (there are no exams). Syllabus
Interested students may consider taking these complementary courses at Northwestern University:
BUS INST 260-0: Accounting and Business Finance
ECON 311-0: Macroeconomics
ECON 349-0: Industrial Economics
ECON 380-1, 2: Introduction to Mathematical Economics
ECON 331-0: Economics of Risk and Uncertainty