Finance and Quantitative Methods

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

FACULTY Professors Hatfield (Gerald Stephens Professor), Horvath, Showers, Webster; Associate Professors Rubash, Sinha; Executive in Residence Funkhouser. Chair: Dr. Jannett Highfill

The Department of Finance and Quantitative Methods serves actuarial science-business and finance majors, and two minors: decision analysis and finance, as well as other majors wishing to enroll in 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 Gamma Iota Sigma 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, consulting firms, 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. Several required courses will help students prepare for some 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 for QM 262 and substituting MTH 326 for the "Quantitative Skill Building" course, respectively.

Actuarial Science Business (ASB) requirements

  • All students must successfully complete the following courses:
    • 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
  • All students must successfully complete one "programming" course chosen from:
    • MIS 175 introduction to Developing Business Applications
    • CS 100 Introduction to Programming Concepts and Languages
    • CS 101 Introduction to Programming
    • CIS 102 Introduction to Computer Information Systems With Basic 
  • All students must successfully complete one "tools" course chosen from:
    • QM 326 Business Forecasting
    • QM 364 Decision Support Systems
    • FIN 426 Financial Research & Modeling
    • ECO 319 Introduction to Econometrics
    • MTH 435 Stochastic Processes
    • IME 313 Operations Research 1
  • All Students must successfully complete three additional 3-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.

Typical Course Sequence

For a four-year course plan for each major in the Foster College of Business, go to:http://www.bradley.edu/academic/colleges/fcba/education/.

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. Graduate 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. 

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:
    • Q M 326 Business Forecasting
    • Q M 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 International Monetary Economics
    • ECO 391 International Trade
  • Q M 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 314 Cost Accounting
    • ATG 301 Intermediate Accounting

Minors

Decision Analysis

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 assists 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
  • QM 263 Quantitative Analysis II

    Three courses from Groups A and B with at least two from Group A

    Group A:
  • QM 260 Quantitative Methods in Finance
  • QM 326 Business Forecasting
  • QM 364 Decision Support Systems
  • QM 369 Topics in Quantitative Methods

    Group B:
  • ECO 319 Introduction to Econometrics
  • ECO 418 Mathematical Economics
  • MTG 341 Marketing Research I
  • M L 353 Operations Management in Organizations
  • QM 498 Independent Study in Quantitative Methods

Finance Minor

A Minor in Finance from Foster College of Business enhances your financial decision making skill as you pursue your chosen major. Students with finance minors understand the importance of monetary and financial factors in business functions, thereby expanding their knowledge and enriching job prospects.

Required Course

  • FIN 322 Business Finance

Electives: 12 hours from groups A and B

Group A Electives (Select 1)
  • Q M 260 Quantitative Methods in Finance
  • Q M 263 Quantitative Analysis II
Group B Electives (Select 3)
  • FIN 323 International Financial Management
  • FIN 327 Derivative Securities
  • FIN 328 Financial Institutions and Markets
  • FIN 329 Commercial Bank Management
  • FIN 330 Financial Services Marketing
  • FIN 325 Investment Analysis
  • FIN 422 Financial Analysis
  • FIN 423 Advanced Business Finance
  • FIN 424 Capital Budgeting
  • FIN 425 Portfolio Theory and Management

Students pursuing a major from the Foster College of Business must have at least 12 unique hours in courses different from those used to fulfill their major requirement.