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Finance (FINA) Course Descriptions. Information is taken from the USC Undergraduate Bulletin and from the USC Graduate Bulletin. Courses are not offered every semester.  Click syllabi for representative syllabi of departmental courses.  If a specific professor's syllabus is needed, please e-mail him/her using the information on our faculty list.

Undergraduate Courses

101 — Introduction to Personal Finance. (1) Course will provide a basic framework for student personal financial management while in college. Topics include money management skills, banking, credit cards, creditworthiness, credit reports, students loans, identity theft, and basic taxes.

301 — Money and Banking. {=ECON 301} (3) The role of money in the market economy. Commercial banks, the Federal Reserve System, and monetary policy.

333 — Finance and Markets. (3) (Prereq: ECON 224 (or 221 and 222), ACCT 222) Provides an in-depth introduction to the world of finance.  You will learn how individuals and companies interact with financial markets. 

341 — Management of Risk and Insurance. (3) (Prereq/Coreq: FINA 363) A management approach to the handling of non-speculative risks faced by individuals and organizations. Analysis of the nature and uses of private and social insurance as well as other methods for achieving economic security. Tactics, techniques, and strategies for managers of life, health, property, and liability insurance programs.

363 — Introduction to Finance. {=ECON 363} (3) (Prereq: ECON 221, ACCT 225, and 3 hours of statistics at the 200 level) Basic concepts of finance related to decision making.

364 — Financial Institutions. {=ECON 364} (3) A study of the functions and operations of financial institutions and their relationships to the commercial banking system and the general economy. Attention is devoted to savings institutions, insurance companies, rural and urban real estate credit, consumer credit, and associated topics.

365 — Corporate Financial Analysis. (3) (Prereq: FINA 363) Analysis of business investment and financing decisions.

366 — Introduction to Real Estate and Urban Development. (3) (Prereq: FINA 363) Real estate analysis and administration; basic principles, concepts, terminology, and institutional factors related to real estate decisions in the urban environment. This course fulfills a pre-examination requirement of the South Carolina Real Estate licensing law (30-hour approved course).

367 — Real Estate Market Analysis. (3) (Prereq: FINA 366) Concepts, methodologies, and analytical tools used in urban real estate analysis.

369 — Personal Finance. (3) Life insurance, health insurance, wills, trusts, Social Security, stocks, bonds, real estate, mutual funds, and other uses of funds.

442 — Life Insurance. (3) (Prereq: FINA 341) Individual financial management of economic losses caused by premature death, disability, and old age; functional aspects of life-health insurer management.

443 — Property and Liability Insurance. (3) (Prereq: FINA 341) Functional aspects of property-liability insurer management and operations including detailed treatment of pricing, risk assessment, marketing, investment, contract design, financial statement analysis, and regulation.

444 — Corporate Risk Management. (3) (Prereq: FINA 341) Tools and concepts used by corporations in managing all types of risk with a focus on the use of derivatives and insurance. Analysis of when risk reduction is beneficial.

445 — Employee Benefits. (3) (Prereq: FINA 341) Management of employer-sponsored benefits, especially group life, health, and retirement plans; emphasis on plan design and administration, cost, funding, regulation, and tax considerations.

446 — Insurance Operations. (3) (Prereq: FINA 341) Exposes students to the various aspects of insurance operations.  The focus is on how insurers innovate to compete in the modern world.

463 — Case Studies in Corporate Finance. (3) (Prereq: FINA 365; Prereq/Coreq: FINA 469) Application of financial concepts and tools to corporate decisions.

465 — Commercial Bank Practice and Policy. (3) (Prereq: FINA 363) Fundamental principles underlying the employment of bank funds. Allocation of funds among the various classes of loans and investments to bank operating costs and to changing bank practices.

466 — Real Estate Investment Fundamentals. (3) (Prereq: FINA 366 or FINA 469) Analysis and decision-making; return and risk; financing; tax implications; pricing and investment strategies.

467 — Real Estate Finance. (3) (Prereq: FINA 366 or FINA 469) The nature and importance of credit in real estate development and operations; legal framework, sources of mortgage funds, role of public and private financial institutions.

468 — Real Estate Appraisal. (3) (Prereq: FINA 366) Traditional appraisal concepts and methodologies; appraisal process, real property analysis.

469 — Investment Analysis and Portfolio Management. (3) (Prereq: FINA 363) Conceptual and analytical framework for formulating investment policies, analyzing securities, and constructing portfolios.

470 — Financial Statement Analysis. {=ACCT 470} (3) (Prereq: ACCT 225 and 226 and FINA 363) This course focuses on the analysis of financial statements for profitability and risk assessment and for firm and segment valuation.

471 — Derivative Securities. (3) (Prereq: FINA 363) Options, forward and futures contracts, and swap contracts are analyzed, along with their uses in risk management, portfolio management, and corporate financing. Markets where these contracts trade will be examined.

472 — Student Managed Investments. (3) (Prereq/Coreq: FINA 469 and instructor permission) The course will provide students with a hands-on experience in investment analysis as they manage a real portfolio. It will expose students to the decision-making process in the design of a portfolio management process, especially with respect to asset allocation, security selection, and risk management. 

475 — Fixed Income Securities. (3) (Prereq: FINA 469) Examine fundamental principles of fixed-income securities and fixed-income valuation models.

 490 — Special Topics in Finance. (3) Analysis of current topics, issues and practices in various areas of finance. May be taken up to three times as content varies by suffix and title.

Graduate Courses

737 — Derivative Products and Analysis. (3) (Prereq: DMSB 715 or FINA 760) Derivative contracts (forwards, futures, swaps, and options), valuation models, and supporting market structures.

744 — Risk and Insurance. (3) A study of non-speculative risk and risk bearing techniques, with emphasis on insurance covering personal, property, and liability risks. Attention is also given to the structure and regulation of the insurance industry, the role of governmental insurance programs, new product developments, and the impact of tort law reform, inflation, and consumerism.

745 — Management of Employee Benefit Programs. (3) An analytical study of group life, health, and retirement plans that provide economic security for employees; focuses on design, funding, tax considerations, cost controls, compliance with governmental regulations, the impact of inflation, and new types of benefits.

746 — Risk Management. (3) (Prereq: FINA 737) An examination of non-speculative risk, its measurement, and management by organizations. Emphasis is on the formation of top management policy statements on pure risks and their implementation by risk managers. Loss control, insurance, and other risk finance techniques are applied to practical risk management situations.

747 — Financial Planning Seminar. (3) (Prereq: FINA 744 and 762) An intensive study of the financial planning process. Integration of insurance, investment, and tax principles in the development of comprehensive personal financial plans.

756 — Financial Statement Analysis. {=ACCT 738} (3) (Prereq: DMSB 717 or ACCT 729 or equivalent) Analysis of financial statements for profitability and risk assessment and for firm and segment valuation.

760 — Financial Policies. (3) (Prereq: ACCT 729) Theory and fundamentals of analysis and decision-making in financial management.

761 — Advanced Financial Management. (3) (Prereq: DMSB 715 or FINA 760) Advanced study of corporate financial management.

762 — Investment Management. (3) (Prereq: FINA 760 or equivalent) The use of analytical techniques to evaluate investment opportunities with consideration given to applicable quantitative methods of portfolio management.

763 — Options in Corporate Finance. (3) (Prereq: FINA 737) Applications of financial options in managing risk.

764 — Money and Capital Markets. (3) (Prereq: FINA 760) Characteristics, structure, and functions of money and capital markets; sources of funds for bond investment, stock financing, mortgage financing, and small business financing. Current problems and procedures in these markets are considered.

765 — Management of Financial Institutions. (3) (Prereq: DMSB 715 or FINA 760) Nature, functions, and operations of financial institutions with particular attention to the banking system. The activities of other lending and savings institutions are studied together with their monetary and fiscal implications.

766 — Advanced Real Estate Valuation. (3) (Prereq: FINA 760 or DMSB 715) A study of income producing properties including income expense analyses, capitalization processes and discount rates, direct capitalization methodologies, and computerized discounted cash flow valuation models.

767 — Real Estate Finance. (3) (Prereq: FINA 760 or DMSB 715) An analytical study of mortgage markets and the institutions involved. Particular emphasis is placed on specialized institutional practices, innovative financing techniques, and current developments.

768 — Real Estate Market Analysis. (3) (Prereq: FINA 666) Market analysis including an overview of market area study and its relationship to the feasibility of a specific project. Topics include theory and methods of market and feasibility analysis. Examples of market and feasibility studies are reviewed and critiqued.

769 — Real Estate Decision and Administrative Processes. (3) (Prereq: FINA 666) An integrative approach emphasizing the special features of real estate decisions; social, legal, economic, political, and environmental problems of the real estate sector within the economy as a whole are studied.

770 — Fixed-Income Securities. (3) (Prereq: FINA 737 and FINA 762) Fundamental principles of fixed-income securities and fixed-income valuation models, including valuation of bonds with embedded options.

771 — Financial Services Markets and Institutions. (3) (Prereq: DMSB 715 or FINA 760) Analysis of the functions and operations of financial markets and institutions, focusing on insurance markets, investment banking, and market microstructure.

772 — Student-Managed Investments. (3) (Prereq: FINA 760 or DMSB 715) Students will be introduced to a variety of approaches to security analysis and valuation techniques as they manage a real portfolio.

773 -- International Project Finance.  (3) (Prereq: FINA 760 or DMSB 715) Provides an understanding of the following:  fundamentals of non-recourse, project financing; financial markets for project finance; infrastructure sectors and their business risks; transaction structures and the documentation used to structure individual project financing; political risk; currency risk and problems with respect to local currency financing; international organizations relevant to infrastructure investment and finance.

781 — Real Estate Investment Analysis. (3) (Prereq: FINA 760) Advanced real estate investment analysis emphasizing equity investment positions under alternative ownership forms, syndications and securities registration, real estate productivity evaluation based on cash flow analysis, federal tax policies affecting real estate, and real estate portfolio analysis.

860 — Principles of Finance. (3) Fundamental concepts and issues in financial economics, such as risk aversion, portfolio theory, asset pricing models, arbitrage pricing models, corporate investment decisions, capital structure, dividend policy, risk management, and financial institutions.

865 — Theory of Finance. (3) Utility models and various alternative models used in asset and security pricing. Emphasis is on seminal research in finance.

866 — Current Issues in Finance. (3) (Prereq: FINA 865) Covers current theory of finance and extensions of the theoretical developments examined in FINA 865 Theory of Finance.

867 — Advanced Topics in Finance. (3) (Prereq: FINA 865) Special topics in financial markets and institutions, investment and portfolio theory, and/or corporate finance that are not examined in FINA 865 or 866.

868 — Empirical Methods in Financial Research. (3) (Prereq: FINA 866, CSCE 206) Planning and execution of applied research in finance.

869 — Seminar in Financial Research. (3) (Prereq: FINA 866) Examination of empirical literature in finance. Development of a research proposal is required.

BADM 780 — Special Topics

DMSB 715 — Global Finance. (3) Finance concepts and techniques as applied to a global setting. Considers financial markets and corporate financial decision-making.