Finance and Quantitative Methods

All programs offered by the Foster College of Business Administration, Bradley University, are accredited by the AACSB International: The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

FACULTY Professors Bhandari, Hatfield (Gerald Stephens Professor), Horvath (Robert T. Stevenson Jr./PNC Professor, chair), Showers, Webster; Associate Professors, Rubash; Assistant Professors El Shahat, Sinha.

The Department of Finance and Quantitative Methods serves actuarial science-business and finance majors, 3:2 master of science in quantitative finance majors, decision analysis minors, and others enrolled for one of the actuarial science, finance, or quantitative methods courses. Solid foundations in the fundamentals of these fields and the supporting areas of mathematics, communications, and the sciences, both natural and social, are stressed by departmental faculty. Graduates are equipped to adapt to rapidly changing and competitive environments. Innovation, creativity, and analysis are integrated into a diverse and rigorous program preparing students for graduate school or success in their chosen professional fields.

Social and professional activities available to students include the Actuarial Science Club, the Bradley Investment Organization, and the Financial Management Association and its National Honor Society.

Actuarial Science – Business Major

A career in actuarial science is widely recognized as one of the most attractive professions available to college graduates. Actuaries apply a unique set of business and mathematical skills in solving financial and social problems. Examples of organizations employing actuaries include insurance companies, public utilities, and select regulatory agencies.

The actuarial science major is a cooperative effort between the Finance and Quantitative Methods Department and the Department of Mathematics and is based on the premise that successful actuaries have mastered essential business and risk management and insurance knowledge along with specific actuarial mathematics skills.

The objective of Bradley’s actuarial science-business program is to prepare majors for successful careers as actuaries. Required courses include several which help students prepare for several of the standard actuarial exams administered by the Society of Actuaries (SOA) and the Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS).

A list of the program requirements is provided below, along with a recommended course sequence for actuarial science-business (ASB) majors.

Departmental requirements for an actuarial science – business major

  • Complete the business core, substituting MTH 325 and 326 for QM 262 and 263, respectively; and substituting IME 313 for BMA 353.
  • Actuarial Science Business (ASB) requirements
    • All students must successfully complete the following courses:
      • BMA 175 Introduction to Developing Business Applications
      • MTH 121 Calculus I
      • MTH 122 Calculus II
      • MTH 223 Calculus III
      • MTH 207 Elementary Linear Algebra with applications
      • MTH 325 Probability and Statistics I
      • MTH 326 Probability and Statistics II
      • MTH 335 Topics in Actuarial Science
      • MTH 335 Topics in Actuarial Science (repeated under different topics)
      • MTH 427 Applied Statistical Methods
      • IME 313 Operations Research I
    • All students must successfully complete three additional 3-credit-hour courses chosen from:
      • ECO 301 Money and Banking,
      • FIN 325 Investment Analysis
      • FIN 327 Derivatives
      • FIN 328 Financial Institutions and Markets
      • FIN 423 Advanced Business Finance
      • FIN 425 Portfolio Theory
      • ASB 315 Risk and Insurance
    • All students must sit for at least one professional actuarial exam administered by the Society of Actuaries.

    A recommended course sequence for actuarial science–business majors is shown below. Elective courses should be chosen with care to ensure that the University general education requirements are satisfied.

    Freshman Year

    • ATG 157 Accounting Principles – Financial - 3 hrs.
    • ATG 158 Accounting Principles – Managerial - 3 hrs.
    • BUS 100 Contemporary Business - 3 hrs.
    • COM 103 The Oral Communication Process - 3 hrs.
    • ENG 101 English Composition - 3 hrs.
    • MTH 121 Calculus I - 4 hrs.
    • MTH 122 Calculus II - 4 hrs.
    • General Education Requirements - 6 hrs.
    • BMA 173 Information Systems and Business Applications - 3 hrs.

    32 hours

    Sophomore Year

    • BUS 210 Team Dynamics - 1 hr.
    • BMA 175 Introduction to Developing Business Applications - 3 hrs.
    • ECO 221 Principles of Microeconomics - 3 hrs.
    • ECO 222 Principles of Macroeconomics - 3 hrs.
    • MTH 223 Calculus III - 4 hrs.
    • MTH 207 Elementary Linear Algebra with Applications - 3 hrs.
    • MTH 325 Probability and Statistics I - 3 hrs.
    • General Education Requirements - 9 hrs.
    • Behavioral Science Requirements - 3 hrs.

    32 hours

    Junior Year

    • BMA 342 Legal Environment of Business - 3 hrs.
    • BMA 352 Managing in Organizations - 3 hrs.
    • BUS 220 Career Planning Strategies - 1 hr.
    • FIN 322 Business Finance - 3 hrs.
    • IB 206 Introduction to International Business - 2 hrs.
    • IME 313 Operations Research I - 3 hrs.
    • MTH 326 Probability and Statistics II - 3 hrs.
    • MTH 335 Topics in Actuarial Science (taken twice under different topics) - 3 hrs.
    • General Education Requirements - 3 hrs.
    • Two courses chosen from: ECO 301; FIN 325; FIN 327; FIN 328; FIN 423; FIN 425, ASB 315 - 6 hrs.

    30 hours

    Senior Year

    • One additional course from the group:
      ECO 301; FIN 325; FIN 327; FIN 328; FIN 423; FIN 425, ASB 315 - 3 hrs.
    • ENG 300, 301, 304, 305, or 306 - 3 hrs.
    • MTH 427 Applied Statistical Methods - 3 hrs.
    • MTH 335 Topics in Actuarial Science (taken twice under different topics) - 3 hrs.
    • MTG 315 Principles of Marketing - 3 hrs.
    • BMA 452 Strategic Management and Business Policy - 4 hrs.
    • Behavioral Science Requirements - 3 hrs.
    • Free Electives - 8 hrs.

    30 hours

    BS/BA-MSQF 3:2 Program

    The Department of Finance and Quantitative Methods offers an integrated Bachelor‘s (BS or BA) and Master of Science in Quantitative Finance (MSQF) degree. In this integrated program (commonly referred to as a 3:2 program), students initiate their studies by applying in writing. Freshmen apply upon entering the university. Admission to the BS/BA-MSQF program is based on their ACT or SAT score, class standing in the upper 15 percent of their graduating class, and two academic letters of recommendation.

    Initiation of the 3:2 BS/BA-MSQF track is available when students are admitted to Bradley University and through their junior year. Students may transfer from other majors or programs by applying in writing. Admission for transfer students is based upon ACT or SAT, grade point average (minimum acceptable is 3.0), and two academic letters of recommendation.

    Students in the BS/BA-MSQF program may take 500-level courses during their senior year (90 or more credit hours) so long as course prerequisites are satisfied. When a BS/BA-MSQF student accumulates 90 credit hours and maintains at least a 3.0 grade point average, the student is admitted to the MSQF program.

    The BS/BA-MSQF undergraduate track requires 124 credit hours as outlined below and provides the foundation for the graduate-level courses required for the BS/BA-MSQF. Upon completion of 124 credit hours and all requirements listed below, the student would receive a BS or BA degree in Quantitative Finance. BS/BA-MSQF candidates begin their graduate status upon receipt of their BS/BA degree. Subsequent to completion of the requirements in the graduate catalog, a student receives the Master of Science in Quantitative Finance degree. Students who fail to meet the requirements or who do not qualify for admission to the MSQF by the end of their senior year may still earn a BS or BA degree in finance by completing all courses required for the undergraduate finance degree. (See "Finance Major" below.)

    The 3:2 BS/BA-MSQF track offers students greater availability of financial aid and earlier guarantee of admission to the graduate program (see the Graduate Catalog for specific requirements). The track also provides the student with the mathematical concepts, tools, and techniques needed for many advanced finance-related positions in both the private and public sectors and subsequent graduate studies.

    While the Graduate Catalog provides a complete description of the MSQF program requirements, the following are specific course requirements at the undergraduate level in addition to or in lieu of the college core and university general education requirements:

    • MTH 121 Calculus I (meets math general education requirement) - 4 hrs.
    • MTH 325 Probability & Statistics I (in lieu of FCBA core requirement QM 262) - 3 hrs.
    • MTH 326 Probability & Statistics II (in lieu of FCBA core requirement QM 263) - 3 hrs.
    • FIN 325 Investment Analysis - 3 hrs.
    • FIN 327 Derivatives I - 3 hrs.
    • FIN 328 Financial Markets and Institutions - 3 hrs.
    • FIN 425 Portfolio Theory - 3 hrs.
    • FIN 494 Financial Strategy - 3 hrs.
    • FIN Electives - 2 hrs.
    • MTH 122 Calculus II - 4 hrs.
    • MTH 207 Elementary Linear Algebra - 3 hrs.
    • MTH 223 Calculus III - 4 hrs.
    • MTH 345 Differential Equations - 3 hrs.
    • BMA 175 Introduction to Developing Business Applications - 3 hrs.

    Note: If a BS/BA-MSQF student chooses to opt out of the program but still wishes to pursue a BS or BA degree as an undergraduate finance major, the finance courses listed above would count as part of the finance requirements listed in the “Finance Major” section.

    Finance Major

    Finance is the art and science of managing money and claims against money. The study of finance involves an analytic treatment of decision-making under conditions of risk and uncertainty. Graduates of this program are prepared to enter the dynamic and challenging world of finance or to continue their education in graduate school. MBA and MS in finance programs and law schools attract many graduates. The finance major enables students to understand the problems of obtaining and using monetary resources. Students select options preparing them for work in corporate finance, the securities area, futures, forward markets, options markets, real estate, insurance, or personal financial planning. International Financial Management and Financial Institutions and Markets courses are sometimes offered off campus in locations such as London and New York City.

    Corporate

    Students interested in corporate finance select courses providing a background in the various financial elements of corporate activities. Typically, financial management decisions involve capital budgeting and financing decisions as well as the daily activities associated with allocating and obtaining funds. A variety of optimization and modelling techniques are studied. The ability to develop a sound financial analysis of an opportunity is emphasized.

    Securities

    Students interested in the securities area select courses that will develop their skills in analyzing and selecting investment opportunities. Portfolio analysis as well as identification of individual security characteristics are stressed. The markets for securities of all types, domestic and international, are studied to provide an understanding of their opportunities and constraints. Implications of market efficiency are considered. The ability to develop a worthwhile and unique analysis of investments is emphasized.

    Markets and Institutions

    Students interested in financial institutions such as insurance companies, banks, pension funds, and finance companies select courses that will prepare them for positions in these organizations. Modern technology, globalization and newer ideas associated with managing financial institutions are of particular importance. The decision-making ability needed for proper management of progressive organizations is developed through a variety of rigorous courses.

    Other

    The curriculum structure is suitable for students planning graduate study or entrepreneurial activities. Many past students now own and operate their own businesses. Due to the highly quantitative nature of many areas of finance, the entering student is advised to have a strong mathematics background. Three years of algebra, one year of geometry, and a semester of trigonometry are recommended. It is also helpful for entering students to have and be able to use a personal computer.

    Departmental requirements for a finance major

    • A total of 24 hours in finance courses including the core: FIN 322 Business Finance, FIN 325 Investment Analysis, FIN 328 Financial Institutions and Markets. 
    • FIN 494, Financial Strategy, plus a minimum of 3 additional hours in finance courses at the senior (4xx) level. These classes count as part of the required 24 hours in finance. 
    • Three hours from courses designated as “tools courses,” selected from:
      • QM 326 Business Forecasting
      • QM 364 Decision Support Systems
      • ECO 319 Introduction to Econometrics
      • ECO 418 Mathematical Economics
    • An approved three-hour functional area international course, selected from:
      • FIN 323 International Financial Management
        Note: FIN 323 also counts as part of the required 24 hours in finance. ECO 390 and 391 also count as the junior-senior level economics course required by the college.
      • ECO 390 International Monetary Economics
      • ECO 391 International Trade
    • QM 260 Quantitative Methods in Finance or MTH 122 Calculus II
    • At least three hours in accounting beyond ATG 157 and ATG 158, selected from:
      • ATG 204 Cost Accounting
      • ATG 301 Intermediate Accounting

    An illustrative course sequence follows. Elective courses should be chosen with care to ensure that the University general education and Foster College of Business Administration requirements are met.

    Freshman Year

    • BUS 100 Contemporary Business - 3 hrs.
    • ENG 101 English Composition - 3 hrs.
    • MTH 115 or 121 Calculus I - 4 hrs.
    • QM 260 Quantitative Methods in Finance or MTH 122 Calculus II - 3 hrs.
    • ATG 157 Accounting Principles - Financial - 3 hrs.
    • COM 103 The Oral Communication Process - 3 hrs.
    • Programming Language (Section F) - 3 hrs.
    • General Education and/or Behavioral Science - 6 hrs.
    • BMA 173 Information Systems and Business Applications - 3 hrs.

      31 hours

    Sophomore Year

    • ATG 158 Accounting Principles - 3 hrs.
    • BUS 210 Team Dynamics - 1 hr.
    • ECO 221 Principles of Microeconomics - 3 hrs.
    • ECO 222 Principles of Macroeconomics - 3 hrs.
    • QM 262 Quantitative Analysis I - 3 hrs.
    • QM 263 Quantitative Analysis II - 3 hrs.
    • General Education, Behavioral Science, Finance Elective (FIN 220) and/or Tools Course (Section C, ATG 204) - 16 hrs.

      32 hours

    Junior Year

    • ENG 300, 301, 304, 305, or 306 Advanced Writing - 3 hrs.
    • FIN 322 Business Finance - 3 hrs.
    • MTG 315 Principles of Marketing - 3 hrs.
    • IB 206 Introduction to International Business - 2 hrs.
    • BMA 342 Legal Environment of Business - 3 hrs.
    • BMA 352 Managing in Organizations - 3 hrs.
    • BUS 220 Career Planning Strategies - 1 hr.
    • Finance Electives (Consider Section D, FIN 323) - 6 hrs.
    • Tools Course (Section C), Finance Elective, General Education and/or Free Electives - 6 hrs.

      30 hours

    Senior Year

    • BMA 353 Operations Management - 3 hrs.
    • ECO Junior-Senior Elective (Consider Section D, ECO 390 or 391) - 3 hrs.
    • Finance Electives (Consider Section D, FIN 323) - 6 hrs.
    • Senior Finance Elective - 3 hrs.
    • FIN 494 Financial Strategy - 3 hrs.
    • BMA 452 Strategic Management and Business Policy - 4 hrs.
    • International Requirement (Section D) or Free Elective - 3 hrs.
    • General Education, Finance Elective, and/or Free Electives - 6 hrs.

      31 hours

    Decision Analysis Minor

    The minor in Decision Analysis is designed to provide students with a solid foundation of mathematical and quantitative tools essential to sound decision-making. All areas of academic study such as sociology, psychology, and health sciences, may benefit from the application of analytical thought. Thus, this program will assist students in all majors across campus in formulating optimal solutions to common problems they will encounter in their professional lives. Students enrolled in the Decision Analysis program will acquire the skills to critically evaluate alternative solutions to complex questions in an analytical and pragmatic manner. Upon graduation these students will find themselves better prepared to assume responsible positions of authority and to perform their professional duties in a resourceful and productive manner.

    In addition to the University requirements and those imposed by the student’s college, a minor in Decision Analysis must complete the following or their equivalents:

    Required:

    • QM 262 - Quantitative Analysis I - 3 hrs.
    • QM 263 - Quantitative Analysis II - 3 hrs.

    Nine (9) hours from Groups A and B with at least six (6) from Group A

    Group A:

    • QM 326 - Business Forecasting - 3 hrs.
    • QM 364 - Decision Support Systems - 3 hrs.
    • QM 369 - Topics in Quantitative Methods - 3 hrs.

    Group B:

    • ECO 319 - Introduction to Econometrics - 3 hrs.
    • ECO 418 - Mathematical Economics - 3 hrs.
    • QM 498 - Independent Study in Quantitative Methods (1-3 hrs.) or a quantitative methods course in the student’s major if approved by the FQM Department

    Students whose major is from the Foster College of Business Administration must have at least 12 hours in courses that are unique from those used to fulfill their major requirements. Students should consult their academic advisor.