Capstone Finance Course Employs Theory to Prepare Students for Job Market

The Kogod School of Business’ graduate Finance program is introducing a Capstone Finance course in Spring 2017 that will be available to students who are part of the Fall 2016 cohort. Taught by Dr. Jeffrey Harris, the Gary D. Cohn Goldman Sachs Chair in Finance, the class will serve as an essential bridge between theory and practice, better preparing students to compete in today’s market.

jeffharisThe course will help Master of Science in Finance (MSF) students think critically about finance theories by covering many aspects of financial economics. Students will engage in readings and discussion, and will apply what they’ve learned to projects outside of class. As a result, students will gain an essential library of seminal literature for future reference.

The course will also highlight the economics underpinning the financial sector. Students will explore the return distribution assumptions made in investment theory; real options in making staged investment decisions; agency theory and information asymmetries in corporate and institutional settings; as well as current topics in high-frequency trading, market design and executive compensation.

When asked about the overarching goal of the class, Harris said, “The integration of theory and practice is the cornerstone of a high-quality educational experience. While much practical knowledge can be gained from on-the-job experiences, theory provides perspectives that give students a more rigorous and deeper understanding of financial decisions and decision-making processes.”

Insights into Current Market and Corporate Challenges Position Students for Success

Finance is unique in the business world in that many of its applications can be traced directly to academic work. A solid theoretical base for the study of finance gives students in the Capstone Finance course a more rigorous toolkit to apply to their careers after they graduate. The class is intended to reinforce the economics  of finance – supplemented with mathematical and statistical rigor – so that MSF students can distinguish themselves as strong candidates for positions beyond their first job.

The MSF Capstone course draws heavily on Professor Harris’s personal experiences with research in market microstructure, and from  his professional experiences with Nasdaq, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). Harris’s research has appeared in the Energy Journal, European Financial Management, Financial Management, The Financial Review, the Journal of Finance, the Journal of Investment Management, the Journal of Financial Economics, the Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, the Journal of Futures Markets, the Review of Futures Markets and the Review of Financial Studies.

The Capstone course is supported by a team of dedicated faculty members who are experts in the areas of fixed income markets, financial data analysis and international finance.


Discover how the Master’s in Finance program at the Kogod School of Business can position you to compete in today’s job market.

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