With a strong emphasis on real world financial applications,
the program incorporates practical coursework in Law, Accounting, Mathematics, Finance and Business.
The Master of Science in Financial Risk Management is a lock-step program which requires 33 credits to be completed in four consecutive semesters. There are eleven full-semester 3-credit courses for domestic students and twelve full-semester 3-credit courses for international students. The courses in the program fall into four categories:
One three credit course provides an
overview of financial markets with introduction to various financial instruments and risk management.
Financial Risk Modeling
Three 3-credit courses provide mathematical and statistics background, covering topics such as discrete and continuous stochastic processes, stochastic calculus, statistical analysis
of financial data, and the relation between stochastic processes and stochastic differential equations. The courses also provide exposure to a broad range of analytical techniques for asset valuation and risk management. Students will learn numerical methods and Monte Carlo simulation techniques for solving practical asset valuation problems.
Financial Risk Management
Three 3-credit courses provide an open discussion of underlying theory of risk assessment in asset valuation and financial markets, and the modeling and valuation of cash flows. They focus on development of estimation techniques for valuation, measurement and mitigation of risk of financial securities including equity and fixed income assets (MBS, CMBS), derivatives and exotics. Students will also examine the use of risk management tools by hedge funds in constructing numerous strategies such as long and short, portable alpha, merger arbitrage, convertible arbitrage,
and carry trades.
The applications area includes four 3-credit courses: two traditional courses and two seminar-style courses that expose students to current practices and provide real project experience. The two traditional courses in this area will expose students to accounting and legal issues associated with implementation
of internal control systems.
two courses on accounting and legal issues will provide the student the necessary background to identify and analyze the legal and accounting
aspects of financial risk management. Accounting issues include provisions of the various standards setters (FASB, IASB), and relevant tax codes. The Sarbanes-Oxley rule of 2002 and its
implications for governance and risk management will be discussed. Legal aspects include compliance with regulation governing securities trading, disclosure, contract law and the fiduciary responsibility of financial institutions.
The other two courses (Special Topics and Applications) will be provided in a case format. Several modules will be presented over two semesters, including Hedge Fund Strategies, Enterprise Risk Management, and Development & Implementations of Risk Management Models. Academic credit for the second semester Applications course will be awarded upon completion of a Masters project which may carry over into the
The required sequence of courses is shown in the chart on the opposite page. To help employed students meet the requirements, selected courses in the program may be presented online, especially during the summer semesters. Typically three courses will be required each summer.
The Alternative Investments Seminar course is offered both Spring and Fall semesters and will meet roughly every two to three weeks.
One 3-credit semester-long course serves as a capstone to review and tie together the learning from all courses throughout the
The MSFRM Program is designed to provide a "Real World Approach to Risk Management Theory." The most important way the Program delivers on this is via its Experiential Learning Requirement, which must be met by each student. Though there is a wide range of options that can be chosen by the student, they all deliver the real world experience that this requirement demands.
These options include:
Group Student Project: participation in a company-sponsored risk management project that has been approved by the Program Staff. Submission of a final report to the Program Staff is required, and it must be approved by the Program Director or his designate.
Individual Student Project: similar to the Group Student Project, but without project co-workers, this project requires a proposal to be submitted to the Program Staff for approval prior to project work starting, and then a final report that must be approved by the Program Staff.
Internship: either a full-time or a part-time, paid or unpaid internship with a Program Staff-approved company or organization. This requires a completed application that indicates risk management-related responsibilities/tasks, and that must be approved by Program Staff.