2016-2017 Graduate Bulletin


Master of Science in Applied Quantitative Finance  

The Master of Science in Applied Quantitative Finance from the Daniels College of Business combines the in-depth study of finance theories and principles with advanced technologies, communication and teamwork with a strong focus on ethics and values. You will develop financial models with integrated classroom experience and apply your newly learned skills immediately. We will challenge you to think, not memorize. We believe in learning by doing, practicing and perfecting.

The Daniels Master of Science in Applied Quantitative Finance is a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) degree according to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The DHS expanded list includes designated degrees that qualify for up to 17 months Optional Practical Training (OPT) Extension for F-1 Nonimmigrant Students.

Daniels has been continuously accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International (AACSB) since 1923.

Master of science in Applied Quantitative Finance

Admissions Requirements

  • Application fee $100 non-refundable
  • GMAT or GRE Scores required. Applicants who wish to be considered for merit-based scholarships or graduate assistantships are encouraged to take the GMAT. To have your GMAT or GRE scores reported to Daniels, please use the following codes: GMAT code MZR-GT-43 and the GRE code is 4842.
  • Official Transcripts: Submit one official transcript from each higher educational institution you attended in officially sealed envelopes. Transcripts that arrive in opened envelopes are not considered official.
  • Submit a resume that focuses on your unique strengths and accomplishments.
  • Two letters of recommendation are required from individuals (non-relatives) who can evaluate your academic and/or work performance as well as your potential for success in graduate school.
  • Two required and one optional essay. Essays are assessed for clarity, organization, conciseness and grammar. Through the essays, you can communicate what you hope to achieve at Daniels and how you will contribute to the Daniels community.
  • Admissions Interview: Applicants are contacted by a Daniels representative to schedule the admissions interview, which will be conducted in person, by phone, or via web cam.
  • Tuition Deposit: If accepted into the program, a $500 deposit is due to reserve your seat. This deposit is non-refundable and is credited toward your first tuition payment.

Language Proficiency

  • Official scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) are required of all graduate applicants, regardless of citizenship status, whose native language is not English or who have been educated in countries where English is not the native language. Applications will not be processed until the required TOEFL or IELTS score is received. The TOEFL and IELTS scores are valid for two years from the test date and are considered official only when received directly from the testing agency and are considered official only when received directly from the testing agency.

  • A minimum of an 88 TOEFL (no less than a 20 on any section) or a minimum of a 6.5 IELTS (no less than 6.0 on any section) is required to apply.

  • Applicants may be exempted from English proficiency test requirements if by the time of matriculation they have earned a baccalaureate degree or higher from a formally-recognized/accredited university where the institution's language of instruction and examination is English. Such applicants may be exempt from the TOEFL/IELTS and the English Language Proficiency Assessment requirement but not from other standardized graduate entrance examinations.

  • Students whose native language is not English and who are required to submit TOEFL/IELTS scores will be assessed by the University of Denver English Language Center (ELC) prior to matriculation.

Master of Science in Applied Quantitative Finance

Degree Requirements

Coursework Requirements

Prerequisite Courses 1
ACTG 4610Financial Accounting and Reporting4
FIN 4630Managerial Finance4
FIN 4170Quantitative Methods in Finance4
Finance Core Courses
Total Core requirements: 25
FIN 4000Financial Modeling and Databases Bootcamp1
FIN 4500Financial Modeling4
FIN 4200Financial Investments and Markets4
FIN 4830Econometrics for Finance4
FIN 4180Global Finance2
FIN 4110Ethics in Finance4
INFO 4140Business Databases4
Students can take either FIN 4740 or FIN 47502
Managerial Microeconomics
Managerial Macroeconomics
Elective requirements
20 credits required in 4000 level FIN courses, including:20
Investments Track
Quantitative Methods in Stock Selection
Financial Risk Management Strategies
Security Analysis and Valuation
Portfolio Management and Risk Analytics
Marsico Investment Fund I
Marsico Investment Fund II
Marsico Investment Fund III
Fixed Income Analysis
Predictive Analytics
Data Mining and Visualization
Complex Data Analytics
Topics in Finance (varies)
Topics - Int'l Monetary Economics & Finance
Topics - Finance Capitals (Travel Course)
Finance Internship (varies)
Independent Study (varies)
Corporate Track
Financial Planning & Analysis
Financial Actg & Analysis
Enterprise Risk Management
Treasury Management
Capital Expenditure Analysis
Strategic Finance
Advanced Business Valuation
Investment Banking and External Financing
Predictive Analytics
Data Mining and Visualization
Complex Data Analytics
Topics in Finance
Finance Internship
Independent Study
Investment Banking Track
Financial Actg & Analysis
Financial Planning & Analysis
Investment Banking and External Financing
Advanced Business Valuation
Strategic Finance
Security Analysis and Valuation
Predictive Analytics
Data Mining and Visualization
Complex Data Analytics
Topics in Finance
Finance Internship
Independent Study
Total Credits45-57

Entering students may waive these classes by demonstrating competency in introductory financial accounting and reporting, quantitative methods of finance, and introductory managerial finance through waiver exams. Please see an advisor for more information.


FIN 4000 Financial Modeling and Databases Bootcamp (1 Credit)

This bootcamp is designed to equip students with a firm foundation in financial modeling as well as acquire an adequate command of Excel functionality and efficiency. This course also serves as an introduction to financial databases, mainly centered on the Capital IQ platform, which the student will be using throughout his or her academic and professional career. Topics covered include: Excel modeling best practices, keyboard shortcuts and common functions, financial datasets, and practical modeling applications in finance.

FIN 4110 Ethics in Finance (4 Credits)

This second course in the Compass is specifically designed for the Master of Science Finance (MSF) curriculum and focuses on the ethical, professional, social, and legal responsibilities of finance professionals, organizations and markets. Financial institutions are facing a crisis of confidence. Trust is an essential ingredient to maintaining efficient and effective financial markets. The finance industry has acquired a reputation for unethical and unsavory activity and has lost the trust of much of society. Many financial professionals believe they are encouraged and rewarded for engaging in unethical activity. We discuss the ethical issues facing financial institutions and professionals and explore solutions for resolving these issues and restoring trust.

FIN 4120 Quantitative Methods in Stock Selection (4 Credits)

This course introduces quantitative methods and techniques applied to alpha generation in stock selection. It enables students to better understand and conceptualize the entire quantitative investment process in the context of a simulated long/short equity portfolio. The student learns to set investment objectives, test investment hypotheses, define security selection criteria and construct portfolios using quantitative techniques. This is a practical class held in a lab environment using financial industry tools and data with a strong emphasis on student participation. Students have to define and defend a quantitative investment strategy and implement it in a simulated portfolio environment. Prerequisites: FIN 4200.

FIN 4130 Financial Risk Management Strategies (4 Credits)

This course applies risk management, quantitative approaches and investment theoretical models to derivatives markets. It examines the proven risk management and revenue enhancement strategies in derivatives and equity markets, creates innovated derivatives investment styles, validates quantitative strategies in options markets, and implements investment models. This course is to offer advanced graduates in finance a well-rounded exposure to the theory and practice of risk management and derivatives investment strategies. It focuses on four aspects: (1) essential risk management theories regarding asset pricing, portfolio construction, and financial statistics; (2) the approaches to develop risk management and derivatives investment strategies based on the fundamental analysis, statistical analysis, and behavioral finance; (3) the rigorous test of various options investment strategies; and (4) the implementation of risk management and investment strategies based on The Reiman Fund. Prerequisites: FIN 4200 and FIN 4500.

FIN 4140 Enterprise Risk Management (4 Credits)

This course introduces the fundamentals of enterprise risk management (ERM). The purpose of this course is to give students an overview of the current approaches used to identify, evaluate and monitor the key risks that an organization faces. Students learn that there are numerous approaches that organizations take in addressing ERM. Over the course of the quarter, a number of outside ERM experts address the class on various aspects of ERM. Students then apply newly gained ERM knowledge to a mock risk assessment developed from a real-life corporate scenario from Newmont Mining Corporation.

FIN 4150 Advanced Business Valuation (4 Credits)

The objective of this course is to present advanced valuation techniques to deepen students' understanding and enhance their knowledge of valuation theory and practical application.

FIN 4160 Treasury Management (4 Credits)

The objective of the course is to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of how various treasury functions are managed in a corporation and build students' capabilities to assume the role of a proficient treasury manager.

FIN 4170 Quantitative Methods in Finance (4 Credits)

This course introduces students to the mathematical and statistical methods needed in order to succeed in the quantitative discipline of modern finance. Topics include differential calculus, optimization techniques, linear algebra, probability, and statistical methods. Data analysis software is used when appropriate to facilitate the analysis. Emphasis is on applications, analytic reasoning, and proper interpretation of results.

FIN 4180 Global Finance (2 Credits)

This course explores financial management in the international arena. Principal content elements include: The market for foreign exchange, interest rate parity, hedging currency risk, international portfolio management. Upon completion of this course, students should be able to accomplish the following objectives: Explain the determinants of foreign exchange rates; Explain and identify the financial difficulties and opportunities faced by corporations when operating internationally; Apply forwards and options for hedging currency risk; Identify the determinants of the expected returns on international investments; Discuss current issues in international finance. Prerequisites: FIN 4630.

FIN 4200 Financial Investments and Markets (4 Credits)

Introduction to financial markets, securities, instruments, and other factors that determine the financial environment. Prerequisites: FIN 4630 and STAT 4610 or FIN 4170.

FIN 4201 MS Management Managerial Finance (2 Credits)

FIN 4201 introduces concepts and analytical techniques to identify and solve financial management problems. The focus on Performance Metrics (Ratios and Du Pont Analysis), Time Value of Money and Opportunity Costs, and Project Analysis prepares managers to operate in an environment that can at times be driven by the financial performance of the company.

FIN 4320 Security Analysis and Valuation (4 Credits)

Examination of statistical and theoretical foundation for determination of market prices and market returns. Includes theoretical implications for investment management of options, futures, stocks and bonds. Prerequisite: FIN 4200.

FIN 4330 Portfolio Management and Risk Analytics (4 Credits)

Case and project approach to foundation of investment portfolio management. Prerequisite: FIN 4200.

FIN 4410 Financial Planning & Analysis (4 Credits)

Advanced course in financial planning and decision-making focusing on capital structure, working capital management, long-range and short-term financial planning, and mergers. Prerequisite: MBA 4112.

FIN 4420 Capital Expenditure Analysis (4 Credits)

Advanced course in capital budgeting examining capital allocation processes and procedures and the theory and applied techniques of capital spending and divestment under conditions of certainty and uncertainty. Related issues of cost of capital and leasing also included. Prerequisite: FIN 4630.

FIN 4500 Financial Modeling (4 Credits)

Use of erect functions and macros to construct financial models from corporate finance, investments and financial markets. Prerequisites: FIN 4170.

FIN 4610 Multinational Financial Management (4 Credits)

Financial analysis of multinational corporation operating in international markets, including exchange rates, international instruments, markets, institutions and futures. Prerequisite: MBA 4112.

FIN 4620 Financial Forecasting (4 Credits)

FIN 4630 Managerial Finance (4 Credits)

Analytical skills and tools of finances; theoretical concepts and practical applications. Topics include ratio analysis, breakeven analysis and leverage, securities valuation, capital budgeting, financial forecasting, and working capital management.

FIN 4700 Topics in Finance (4 Credits)

Topics vary each quarter. Course may be taken more than once if topics are different.

FIN 4701 Topics in Finance (1-10 Credits)

Topics vary. For new/experimental courses taught within the Reiman School of Finance.

FIN 4710 Marsico Investment Fund I (4 Credits)

A securities analysis and portfolio management practicum in which students manage a University endowment gift donated by Tom and Cydney Marsico. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. (First part of two-quarter course.).

FIN 4720 Marsico Investment Fund II (4 Credits)

A securities analysis and portfolio management practicum in which students manage a University endowment gift donated by Tom and Cydney Marsico. Prerequisite: FIN 4710. (Second part of two-quarter course.).

FIN 4730 Marsico Investment Fund III (4 Credits)

This course is an elective course that is the third in the series of classes involving the Graduate investment fund class: Marsico Investment Fund I & II. This course allows students to apply the investment, security analysis, and portfolio management tools and techniques that they have learned in their Finance classes. The students manage an actual portfolio, a portion of the University's endowment originally gifted by Tom and Cydney Marsico. The selection of students for this class is competitive. Students must agree to participate for 2 consecutive quarters, and they must be willing to address portfolio issues during the between-quarter periods if necessary. Because the course involves the application of tools and concepts learned in other classes, the best time to take the course is in the last year of a student's program. Prerequisites: FIN 4710 and FIN 4720.

FIN 4740 Managerial Microeconomics (2 Credits)

This course combines the standard tools of microeconomic analysis with a well-rounded appreciation of the important perspectives that form the business environment in the contemporary world. The goal is to provide students with the tools from microeconomics, game theory, and industrial organization that they need to make sound managerial decisions. The course uses case studies to develop practical insights into managing the firm's resources to achieve competitive advantage. The course is divided into two principle modules based on market structure: perfect competition and imperfect competition. Both modules cover optimal behavior and strategies.

FIN 4750 Managerial Macroeconomics (2 Credits)

This course covers the theory and practice of modern macroeconomics. It teaches students how private market forces and government policy decisions drive fluctuations in the global economy and affect the business environment. It explores issues related to inflation, interest rates, foreign exchange rate, business cycles, and monetary and fiscal policies. The course uses case studies to analyze real-life macroeconomic issues, and students are encouraged to investigate the potential and limitations of macroeconomic theory with real-world problems. The course is divided into two principle modules: the economy in the long run, and the economy in the short run. Both modules cover impacts of government policies on the business environment in a closed economy and an open economy.

FIN 4830 Econometrics for Finance (4 Credits)

This course focuses on econometric and statistical modeling with an emphasis on finance applications. Prerequisite: STAT 4610 or FIN 4170.

FIN 4860 Derivatives (4 Credits)

This course provides a theoretical foundation for the pricing of contingent claims and for designing risk-management strategies. It discusses more advanced material in financial derivatives and is intended for students who have a quantitative background and are interested in enhancing their knowledge of the way in which derivatives can be analyzed. This course covers option pricing models, hedging techniques, and trading strategies. It also includes portfolio insurance, value-at-risk measure, multistep binomial trees to value American options, interest rate options, and other exotic options. Prerequisite: FIN 4200.

FIN 4870 Strategic Finance (4 Credits)

Addresses theory, concepts, and techniques associated with asset management and creation of value from a strategic orientation. Links financial theory and practice to strategic and operational objectives of the firm, prepares student to incorporate risk and uncertainty into analytical decision-making process and to analyze divestiture, restructuring, and liquidation decisions. Prerequisites: MS/ Finance students only and FIN 4840.

FIN 4885 Investment Banking and External Financing (4 Credits)

Considers the blend of theory and practice with regard to designing the appropriate capital structure of the firm as well as appropriate use of securities and process for raising capital in different financial markets. Prerequisites: MS/Finance students only and FIN 4840.

FIN 4890 Fixed Income Analysis (4 Credits)

Emphasizes valuation and management of fixed income securities in prevailing environment of complex and innovative financial arrangements. Study of the nature of evolving markets, both domestically and internationally. Prerequisite: FIN 4200.

FIN 4980 Finance Internship (0-10 Credits)

Permission of instructor required. Hours and times arranged by student.

FIN 4991 Independent Study (1-10 Credits)

Individual study and report. Hours and times arranged by student.

FIN 4992 Directed Study (1-4 Credits)


Maclyn Clouse, Professor and Department Chair, PhD, University of Washington

Vaneesha Boney, Associate Professor, PhD, Florida State University

Thomas Cook, Professor, PhD, University of Washington

David Cox, Teaching Professor, PhD, Texas Tech University

Louis D'Antonio, Professor, PhD, University of Colorado Boulder

Gary Farmar, Teaching Associate Professor, MBA, University of Denver

Leon Giles, Professor, Emeritus, PhD, University of Illinois

Robert Hannum, Professor, PhD, Florida State University

C. Thomas Howard, Professor, Emeritus, PhD, University of Washington

Jason Howell, Assistant Professor, PhD, University of Georgia

Chris Hughen, Associate Professor, PhD, University of Missouri

Irina Khindanova, Teaching Associate Professor, PhD, University of California, Santa Barbara

Justin Lallemand, Assistant Professor, PhD, University of Arkansas

Kenneth Leung, Lecturer, PhD, Johns Hopkins University

Pei Lung, Associate Professor, PhD, Texas Tech University

Craig R. Mosely, Teaching Associate Professor, University of Denver

Ronald Rizzuto, Professor, PhD, New York University

Andy Sherbo, Teaching Associate Professor, PhD, Saint Louis University (MO)

Andrew Smith, Lecturer, MBA, Rivier College

Jack Strauss, Professor, PhD, Duke University

JP Tremblay, Teaching Associate Professor, MBA, International University of the Americas

Tracy Xu, Associate Professor, PhD, University of Washington

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