The Masters in Finance program is designed with a goal of furnishing our students with all of the essential skills for a career in finance. The program delivers a strong theoretical basis, without losing focus on practical applications, and a financial toolbox that provides our students an edge in their careers. The program is enriched with seminars and workshops, offering a contextual knowledge of the financial environment.
The MiF curriculum can best be described in four components.
1. Proficiency in Financial Theory and Applications
Courses in rigorous graduate-level finance programs provide students with sound theoretical foundations of finance. MiF is committed to presenting the same level of theory with a practical perspective. Our courses in corporate finance deal with the financial management of companies, as well as valuation of real assets and firms, studied through a series of case studies. On the other hand, investments courses are concerned with security pricing and portfolio management. The investments courses make heavy use of the Center for Applied Finance Education (CAFE) imparting practical knowledge of trading and handling information flow.
2. Building a Financial Toolbox
Following the suggestions of our Advisory Board, the program is designed to equip students with financial tools in two major areas. The first area is the analysis of financial data, which is an essential skill in the finance industry today. To that end, ‘Financial Econometrics’ courses cover analysis of time series data and forecasting techniques from an applied perspective. ‘Financial Statement Analysis’ course teaches students the techniques used in investigating and interpreting financial statements, such as balance sheets and income statements of companies. The second tool set is related to programming and financial modeling skills.
3. Understanding the Practice of Finance
This innovative component truly distinguishes the MiF program from other finance programs. The details of the local and global finance practice are conveyed through a series of seminars, called Finance Practicum, given by experts from industry. Over two semesters, many topics of practical interest, such as tax law, security market law, company law, regulations, mergers and acquisitions, IPO processes and valuation are covered in these seminars. To give our students the opportunity to learn by doing, the MiF program is complemented by an internship requirement during the second semester of our program.
4. Developing Managerial Skills
The Advisory Board is in consensus that communication skills is the most important for advancing in a professional career. Employees who can communicate ideas efficiently, in writing or verbally, definitely hold an edge in climbing the career ladder quickly. Our students participate in the Managerial Skills Development, where, students are able to develop their writing, presentation, and interviewing skills.
Program Learning Objectives
MiF graduates are expected to be able to:
- Demonstrate knowledge of financial theory as well as practice and display critical evaluation of the knowledge.
- Access, interpret and analyze data and information by using current technologies; and use the results of such analyses to make financial decisions.
- Reflect on social and ethical responsibilities linked to the application of their finance knowledge, judgments and decision making.
- Communicate effectively in both written and oral form using appropriate technology where necessary, and discuss finance-related issues with both finance and non-finance professionals.
- Understand the international financial markets, practices, and accounting standards.
The MiF program is a non-thesis degree program comprised of a total of 30 credits in course work together with the seminar series (Finance Practicum) and the internship requirement. The program starts in early September and runs slightly more than 10 months until mid-July.
First two weeks in the program are devoted to intensive remedial courses in Accounting, Statistics, and Excel, running 5 days a week. These remedial courses may be waived for students with demonstrated background in these topics.
In the second quarter of the spring term, the students are required to take an internship position in the financial services industry. This component of the program aims to enable students apply their knowledge to real life projects and get acquainted with various financial business lines.
Masters in Finance program at the Sabancı University Sabancı School of Management is a rigorous and challenging 10-month full-time program. In addition to attending the classes on a mandatory basis, the students are expected to participate actively in discussions held in classes.
The practical application of finance theory will be demonstrated with in-class examples, simulation exercises, and various projects at CAFE, the Center for Applied Finance Education. Students will spend a significant amount of time in CAFE to gain the necessary experience on the technology, hardware equipment, and software programs that are integral parts of any professional financial organization in the business world.
‘Practicing Finance’ seminars will provide students an invaluable opportunity to meet with the leaders of the professional finance world. In addition to learning the practical issues about finance, the students will also have the opportunity to establish network connections, which will be useful both in finding jobs and furthering careers in the future. Attending the seminars is mandatory.
Finally, the students will have to complete an internship or a project satisfactorily in order to graduate from the program successfully.
The graduates of the program will have taken 31,5 credit hours of master level courses. The students will have had 550 official contact hours, excluding the required attendance to the seminars involving practical finance issues, and excluding the time spent for the internship.
To continue in good academic standing, MiF students must maintain a cumulative grade point average (CGPA) of 3.00 or above in each term. If the CGPA is below 2.00, the student will be dismissed. To graduate, the student must complete the program with a CGPA of 3.00 or above.
Graduation from the program requires a successful completion of the 23 courses in the program. A satisfactory grade from an internship or a project is also required for graduation.
Accounting (1.5 credits)
This introductory course presents the basic financial accounting rules, teaches the construction of financial statements, and focuses on the accounting issues related to financial investments and debt instruments.
Statistics (1.5 credits)
In this introductory statistics course, topics include probability theory, distributions, sampling, hypothesis testing, and regression methodologies.
Modeling in Excel (1.5 credits)
Modeling with Excel tables, graphical visualization Excel, and programming with VBA macros are the topics covered in the course.
Principles of Finance (1.5 credits)
Fundamental issues of finance are taught in this course. Some of the topics that are covered are the time value of money, NPV and valuation concepts, introduction to CAPM and risk premium, introduction to firm valuation. Other corporate finance topics investigated in the course are opportunity cost of capital: WACC, financial planning, long-term planning and financing instruments, capital structure and valuation.
Financial Statement Analysis (1.5 credits)
The course focuses on how finance professionals use and interprete financial tables. Creation and use of financial ratios are discussed. Assessment of the financial strength of companies is examined.
Economics for Financial Managers (1.5 credits)
The purpose of the module is to familiarize students with the main economic concepts and the economic reasoning of an economist. In the first part, the focus is on the market economy and on the decision making problem of the individual units, notably firms. In the second part, the idea is to enable the student to use information concerning the surrounding (macro and global) economic environment in her (his) economic decisions.
Financial Econometrics I (1.5 credits)
This is a two-part course and aims to overview the essential econometric techniques used in applied financial analysis. Case studies from the academic finance literature are employed to demonstrate potential uses of each approach. The first course introduces basic classical linear regression model, panel data methods and qualitative dependent variables.
Portfolio Theory (1.5 credits)
The Portfolio Theory course builds from financial markets and securities trading and develops modern portfolio theory as a characterization of rational investor behavior by means of diversification. The course includes a rigorous discussion of the theory of the risk-return trade-off, market efficiency, portfolio management practices, portfolio performance evaluation, and concludes with behavioral finance.
Valuation (1.5 credits)
The process of measuring and managing value of companies is a central aspect of financial management. Managers constantly try and add value to their firms. The principal objective of this course is to provide the students with the conceptual basis, intuitive reasoning, and analytical framework for making sound valuation decisions.
Corporate Finance (1.5 credits)
The course starts with the analysis of capital structure of firms, which involves comparing the cost of debt and equity financing. Other topics include payout policy, options and futures, risk management, mergers and acquisitions and financial distress.
Derivative Securities (1.5 credits)
The course is about derivatives securities and markets. Specific topics that are covered are fundamental option valuation models, general valuation theory, forward contracts, futures markets, swaps, credit risk models, and numerical techniques involving derivatives instruments.
Financial Econometrics II (1.5 credits)
The second course in financial econometrics focuses on modeling and forecasting financial time series. The aim is to teach how to evaluate basic models and principles in the analysis of the financial time series, to interpret the existing empirical literature and execute new empirical studies in the areas of asset pricing, market microstructure and the general modeling of financial time series. The course covers univariate and multivariate stationary and non-stationary time series models as well as models of volatility.
Financial Modeling (1.5 credits)
This course provides an introduction to financial modeling. Developing good financial models requires combining knowledge of finance and modeling skills. Students are assumed to have a good working knowledge of the topics covered in the introductory finance course and a good comfort level in using Excel. Financial and statistical functions and more complex Excel and VBA (Visual Basic for Applications) operations such as generating random numbers, using data tables, and working with matrices, loops and arrays are introduced as necessary. No prior VBA knowledge is assumed. Project analysis, cost of capital, financial statement modeling, valuation, and leasing are among the topics covered.
Financial Risk Management (1.5 credits)
This course serves as a follow-up for the course titled Derivative Securities. The main emphasis is on how derivative securities are used against common risk factors such as interest rates, exchange rates and credit risk. In addition to hedging strategies to be created by any of the derivative securities, various other trading strategies involving options (spreads and combinations) are presented. Topics such as delta-hedging and portfolio insurance are also covered.
Fixed-Income Analytics (1.5 credits)
Fixed-Income Analytics deals with the valuation and management of fixed-income portfolios. The course starts with the modern interpretation of the term-structure of interest rates. Building from the basic notion of time-value of money, the course introduces duration and convexity with an emphasis on their implications for portfolio management. The course includes the derivation of an arbitrage-free interest rate model to help price options embedded in interest-rate dependent securities as wells as a discussion of interest-rate swaps and various trading strategies.
Mergers and Acquisitions (1.5 credits)
Valuation, deal structuring, leveraged buyouts and corporate structurings are the outline of the course.
Money and Banking (1.5 credits)
The course provides an introduction to macroeconomics. Characteristics of financial institutions are also examined in detail.
International Finance (1.5 credits)
The course enriches student knowledge on the exchange rate dynamics, international trade and development, and emerging markets. Furthermore, corporate finance issues with a global perspective are covered. More specifically, accounting for international transactions, valuation of international investments, and financial management of multinationals are investigated. On the international investments side, global portfolio management, risk management, country and sector risks, international interest rates, term structures, and global markets are examined.
Wealth Management (3 credits)
The course offers a hands-on experience about the practical aspects of financial portfolio management. Along with the concepts covered in the class, students are expected to build a portfolio management notion by thinking on real world problems. The main themes are investment decision making process and investment policy statement, management of individual and institutional portfolios, integrating capital market expectations and asset allocation, technical and practical aspects of portfolio management in traditional asset classes and alternative investments.
Finance Practicum (0 credits)
The course is based on seminars given by outside speakers. The topics are related to the practical issues related to Turkish financial markets, such as the Turkish tax system, capital market laws and regulations, public offerings, venture capital and entrepreneurial laws, Turkish financial markets and the European Union.
Project / Internship (0 credits)
There is an internship/project component of the program as well.