Finance- Master's Catalog

MS in Finance (MS)

Program Director: Jeffrey Oxman, Ph.D.

The Master of Science in Finance program at Canisius University is offered full or part-time   in a non-cohort model allowing students to enter the program three times per year. Day availability required as finance courses are offered during the day twice a week for approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes.  It is a 30 credit hour program which may be completed in as little as 12 months. The program combines a solid theoretical grounding in the fundamentals of finance with applied quantitative and qualitative training to prepare graduates for careers in finance.

The undergraduate finance program at Canisius University is widely respected and was recognized as one of the top undergraduate business programs in the nation. Graduates of this program go on to work in equity research, banking, risk management, and other diverse finance functions locally, nationally, and beyond. The MS in Finance program was created to offer this top-ranking curriculum to students with an undergraduate degree in a quantitative discipline who have discovered an interest in the exciting and fast-paced world of banking and finance. Students will work closely with faculty in the program, including the academic director, to ensure effective progress through the program. Applied projects will help the students hone their quantitative skills and improve their oral and written communication abilities as deliverables will mimic the expectations of a professional work environment. It is the goal of the program to place as many graduates of possible on a strong career path in financial services.

The MS in Finance offers four track options, depending on students’ backgrounds and career interests. Investment Research is for students who want to combine quantitative and qualitative analysis to conduct analysis of various investments at the institutional level. The Risk Management option is for students with a more quantitative mindset that are interested in the growing field of measuring and managing risk to protect banks and other financial institutions from disaster. Data Analytics is for students who enjoy programming and working with big data sets and who want to do so in a finance setting. The General Finance track is for students without a finance background and who want a focused graduate degree to advance their career.


In addition to a graduate degree from Canisius’ Wehle School of Business, students also will earn a Leadership & Professional Development Certificate and digital badge. This unique program offers students personal and professional development experiences to evaluate their competencies as well as personalized coaching to define their personal brand and chart a career path.

The LPD Program consists of three courses: My Personal Brand, My Leadership Plan, and My Path Forward. These are not academic in the traditional sense as there are no textbooks, exams, or weekly class meetings.  Students will earn one academic credit for the certificate.  The LPD has a significant impact on students both during their studies and after graduation, whether a young professional or an emerging executive. Completion of the LPD is a requirement for degree completion and conferral. 


Leadership & Professional Development Courses 1
BUS 601My Personal Brand.5
BUS 602My Personal Leadership Plan.5
BUS 603My Path Forward0
Preparatory Courses 2
ACC 505Financial Accounting3
ECO 503Statistics for Managers with Excel3
ECO 606Managerial Economics3
Required Finance Core
FIN 608Corporate Finance3
FIN 620Investment Management3
FIN 622Financial Institutions and Markets3
or ECO 621 Money, Banking and the Economy
FIN 617Portfolio Analysis3
Electives 3
Select 6 elective courses below18
Total Credits40

Students are required to complete the Leadership & Professional Development Program. Upon completion of the courses students will receive a LPD certificate and electronic badge. 


Students are required to have Calculus and knowledge of and competencies in excel.  In addition, preparatory courses can be completed at Canisius or depending on undergraduate course work, may be waived.


Students are encouraged to select their elective courses from one of the four options listed below.

Finance Core

Students who can demonstrate waiver of one or more Finance Core courses (FIN 608, FIN 620, FIN 622 or ECO 621, and FIN 617) will substitute additional courses in the General Finance Track or even to add a second concentration if possible in order to reach the minimum program requirement of 30 credit hours.

General Finance Track (18 credits)

Select 4 finance electives from any of the tracks below12
Select 2 graduate-level electives 1

Graduate electives must be from a related field (Accounting, Economics, Management, Marketing, or Data Analytics) or approved by program director.

Investment Research Concentration

FIN 623Fixed Income Securities3
FIN 624Golden Griffin Fund I 13
FIN 629Golden Griffin Fund II3
FIN 812Equity Analysis3
FIN 628Derivative Securities3
Select 1 finance elective from list below3
Total Credits18

Please note, the Golden Griffin Fund course sequence includes a supervised applied integrative project experience.

Risk Management Concentration

Take the following courses (18 credit hours)
ECO 609
Business Analytics
or DAT 501
Statistics and Econometrics
FIN 619
Financial Modeling
FIN 623
Fixed Income Securities
FIN 657
Financial Modeling with SAS
FIN 658
Risk Managment & Financial Institutions
FIN 691
Supervised Applied Integrative Project

Data Analytics Concentration

Students will select from the following menu to complete the three-course minimum programming requirement.  Additional courses taken in this menu over the three-course minimum will be counted toward the 18-credit concentration minimum:

CSC 511Introduction to Programming 13
CSC 512Data Structures and Algorithms 13
Select 3 of the following electives:8-9
DAT 511
Data Stewardship: Preparation, Exploration and Handling of Big Data
CSC 610
Database Management
DAT 521
Applied Integrative Projects in Data Analytics I
FIN 619
Financial Modeling
FIN 674
Business Analytics Using R
Select 1 or more of the following electives to complete 18-credit minimum for track4
DAT 501
Statistics and Econometrics
DAT 512
Statistical Approaches to Big Data
MAT 500
Topics in Applied Mathematics
Supervised Applied Integrative Project
Total Credits18-19

A minimum of three programming courses required depending on prior preparation. For students with no prior programming background, CSC 511 and CSC 512 are required toward the minimum of three programming courses and will count toward the 18-credit concentration minimum.  Students who demonstrate prior programming credit for one or more of these courses will substitute additional courses to meet the 18-credit concentration minimum.

Learning Goals and Objectives

Student Learning Goal 1

Graduates of the MS Finance Program will demonstrate an understanding of theory and practice of corporate finance, investments, and financial institutions and markets.

Student Learning Goal 2

Graduates will identify principled, ethical financial decisions and understand their duties as described in the Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct.

Student Learning Goal 3

Graduates will be able to assess their leadership capacities and professionally present their value propositions in a range of situations; and apply skills in the three competency areas of engaging communications, empowering teams, and inspiring innovation.


Accounting (ACC) Course, Leadership & Professional Development Business (BUS) Courses, Economics (ECO) Courses, Finance (FIN) Courses

Accounting (ACC) Course

ACC 505 Financial Accounting 3 Credits

Reporting the financial results of operations and financial position to investors, creditors, and managers; examination of problems that arise in the preparation, analysis and use of accounting data, with emphasis on the use of financial reports.

Offered: every fall & spring.

Leadership & Professional Development Business (BUS) Courses

BUS 500 WNY Prosperity Fellowship Program 0 Credits

WNY Prosperity Fellowship Program requires student to apply. Once accepted into the fellowship, students will participate in activities related to the economic development of the WNY community.

Offered: every summer.

BUS 601 My Leadership and Brand 0.5 Credits

This course is about you and your leadership journey and career goals. Specifically this course is designed to help you discover more about yourself, your leadership skills, and what competencies are most critical to achieving your professional career goals. Central to the theme of the LPD program is your personal leadership plan, which will be developed in this course and submitted by the end of the semester. The activities in the course will also give you hands-on experience with goal setting, a critical skill to developing and empowering others. Finally, you will have the benefit of working with a Canisius alumnus who has been specially trained in coaching, mentoring, and helping to develop your leadership plan.

Offered: every fall & spring.

BUS 602 Career Readiness 0.5 Credits

Students will identify their value proposition and how to best present their talents across multiple mediums and channels.

Prerequisite: BUS 601.

Offered: every fall, spring, & summer.

BUS 603 My Path Forward 0 Credits

Student will reflect on leadership plan and chart their path forward beyond graduation.

Prerequisite: BUS 602.

Offered: every fall, spring, & summer.

BUS 698 Internship 1-3 Credits

Student works in an organization to gain work experience. As the internship is for academic credit, a student will have to secure a faculty supervisor and will have to complete academic assignments. Approval of an internship requires the completion of an application located in the student's portal.

Offered: every fall, spring, & summer.

BUS 699 Graduate Business Independent Study 3 Credits

Students are working on a special project or course related to content of their graduate business degree.

Offered: occasionally.

Economics (ECO) Courses

ECO 606 Managerial Economics 3 Credits

This course is designed to acquaint students with market forces that affect the decision making process of managers. It provides the analytic framework to understand consumer behavior, production technology, and input costs. Students will also learn how markets and the global environment influence managers, set prices and respond to the strategies of their competitors for long term firm sustainability.

Offered: every fall, spring, & summer.

ECO 621 Money, Banking and the Economy 3 Credits

The connection between financial markets, the economy, and the Federal Reserve will be explored. This course will examine the nature of financial markets, the determination of interest rates, banking, money and monetary policy. Emphasis will be placed on the impact of monetary policy on the macro economy.

Prerequisite: MBA 504 or ECO 504.

Offered: every fall.

Finance (FIN) Courses

FIN 608 Corporate Finance 3 Credits

This course provides the basic tools of Financial Management. It introduces you to the goal of Financial Management, analysis of financial statements, the concepts of cash flow, financial planning, time value of money, capital budgeting, the principles of valuation, the concepts of return and risk, the use of financial leverage, the cost of capital, dividend policy and working capital management.

Prerequisite: ACC 505 and ECO 503.

Offered: every fall, spring, & summer.

FIN 617 Portfolio Analysis 3 Credits

An introduction to modern portfolio theory and management. Strategies underlying portfolio construction and evaluation. Implications of market efficiency on portfolio management.

Prerequisite: MBA 620 or FIN 620.

Offered: every fall.

FIN 619 Financial Modeling 3 Credits

Programming in EXCEL via construction of custom functions and macros using Visual Basic. These techniques are applied to a variety of financial models.

Prerequisite: FIN 608, FIN 508, or MBA 508.

Offered: every fall.

FIN 620 Investment Management 3 Credits

This course introduces the student to the construction, management, and performance evaluation of investment portfolios. Primary topics include portfolio models, equilibrium in financial markets, market efficiency and the application of these concepts to the investment industry.

Prerequisite: FIN 608, FIN 508 or MBA 508.

Offered: every fall, spring, & summer.

FIN 622 Financial Institutions and Markets 3 Credits

This course examines the changing world of financial services and the role that financial intermediaries and financial markets are playing in a rapidly consolidating industry with new benchmarks and success factors. Universal banking as the new model will be analyzed. Emphasis will be placed on contemporary issues as well as a review of the history of this evolving industry.

Prerequisite: MBA 508 or FIN 508.

Offered: every spring.

FIN 623 Fixed Income Securities 3 Credits

This course discusses the various types of fixed income securities and the markets in which they are traded. Emphasis is placed on contact evaluation, extracting term/risk structure information from pricing, evaluating, investment opportunities and interest rate risk management.

Prerequisite: MBA 620 or FIN 620.

Offered: every fall.

FIN 624 Golden Griffin Fund I 3 Credits

This course is the first of a two semester program in which students become equity analysts and portfolio managers responsible for 'real money' portfolio of common equity securities (the Golden Griffin Fund or 'GGF'). In the fall semester, students begin the process of stock selection and analysis, leading to recommendations for investment by the GGF. Students follow and discuss current events in the economy and financial markets, and monitor and produce written reports regarding current GGF portfolio positions. Students serve on committees, including: Accounting and Finance; Legal and Compliance; Marketing; Public Relations and Portfolio Management. Each committee will have certain responsibilities throughout the fall and spring semesters. Students taking MBA 624 are expected to continue into the spring semester in MBA 629. Student must apply in early spring before the upcomiong fall semester Offered; fall

Prerequisite: MBA 620 or FIN 620 concurrent with MBA 812 or FIN 812.

Offered: every fall.

FIN 625 Advanced Corporate Finance 3 Credits

This course provides an in-depth treatment of corporate financial management. Topics from the introductory course (MBA 508) are developed in greater detail with emphasis on the underlying theories and more extensive applications to financial decision making. Additional topics beyond the introductory level are presented and discussed. The class relies primarily on lectures, problems and case discussions.

Prerequisite: MBA 508.

Offered: occasionally.

FIN 626 International Finance 3 Credits

International Finance (also known as 'Open-Economy Macroeconomics') is the study of the monetary and economic linkages among countries. The main goal of this course is to equip students with an understanding of the global macroeconomic environment. The following topics will be covered: purchasing power parity, interest rate parity, exchange rate determination, international capital flows. MBA 504, MBA 508

Prerequisite: MBA 508 or FIN 508 and MBA 504 or ECO 504.

Offered: Occassionally.

FIN 628 Derivative Securities 3 Credits

This course discusses forward and futures contracts, swaps and options. Markets for these securities are described and analyzed. Modern techniques for identifying over and undervalued contracts are presented. The use of derivative securities in risk management is discussed.

Prerequisite: MBA 620 or FIN 620.

Offered: occasionally.

FIN 629 Golden Griffin Fund II 3 Credits

This course is the second of a two semester program in which students become equity analysts and portfolio managers responsible for 'real money' portfolio of common equity securities (the Golden Griffin Fund or 'GGF'). In the spring semester, students begin the process of original equity research, leading to recommendations for investment by the GGF. Students continue to follow and discuss current events in the economy and financial markets, and monitor and produce written reports regarding current GGF portfolio positions. Committee work started in the fall semester continues as well.

Prerequisite: either MBA 624 or FIN 624 and either MBA 812 or FIN 812.

Offered: every spring.

FIN 650 Introduction to Financial Planning 3 Credits

Survey of topics in wealth management and personal financial planning. Review development of the wealth management industry, including the evolution of the high-net-worth investor segment. Various aproaches to asset management, benchmarks for evaluating portfolio performance, risk tolerance, and tax and estate planning issues will be explored.

Prerequisite: MBA 620 or FIN 620.

Offered: fall.

FIN 652 Risk Mangement & Insurance 3 Credits

Globalization, technological advances and their subsequent adaptions by enterprises and economies has led to rapid changes in how risks are evaluated and mitigated. The ability to identify/anticipate, measure, financially and operationally manage, mitigate and communicate risk exposures faced by an organization is essential to its business success. Moreover, the ability to communicate the various impacts and consequences of material risk exposures to executive management and other enterprise stakeholders is becoming a critical management skill. In this course we will discuss processes used by organizations to manage the risks that they face, with an emphasis on the types of risk commonly handled through the commercial insurance market. Coursework will address the costs and benefits of risk management, the goals of the process and the methods available to manage risks. Methods covered include traditional and nontraditional mitigations including retention, commercial insurance, captives, contractual risk transfer, etc. Throughout the semester, students will have the opportunity to learn more about the role of risk managers, insurance underwriters, brokers and other risk stakeholders through case studies, guest lecturers and local risk management events aimed at providing students a holistic picture of the industry. Students will be expected to demonstrate their understanding of current risk- related topics through class discussion, homework assignments, projects, and exams.

Offered: occasionally.

FIN 657 Financial Modeling with SAS 3 Credits

Building financial models for forecasting and analyzing investment and financial products using the SAS programming language. Models in the areas of corporate finance, equities, bonds, portfolio management and derivative securities will be explored.

Offered: every fall & spring.

FIN 658 Risk Managment & Financial Institutions 3 Credits

This course covers market risk including interest rate risk, credit risk, and operational risk, and how these are managed/hedged. We will model credit risk and value at risk metrics using historical simulation and scenario analysis. Relevant regulations are also covered

Prerequisite: FIN 508, FIN 620 and either FIN 621 or FIN 622.

Offered: every spring.

FIN 674 Business Analytics Using R 3 Credits

This course introduces students to the open source software language R. Students will access publicly available finacial data, process and analyze the data using R code. Analysis of financial ratios, investment portfolios, options, CAPM, Monte Carlo simulation, Value at Risk modeling and market microstructure will be explored.

Prerequisite: MBA 508 or FIN 508.

Offered: occasionally.

FIN 691 Supervised Applied Integrative Project 3 Credits

Special project or internship experience designed and supervised by a faculty member in conjunction with program professional partners. Intended primarily for the Risk Management or Data Analytics concentrations to be fully integrative with business applications. Examples may include risk management or big data projects for or within investment firms or financial institutions.

Offered: every fall, spring, & summer.

FIN 698 Finance Internship 1-4 Credits

Internship experience.

Offered: every fall, spring, & summer.

FIN 812 Equity Analysis 3 Credits

The analysis and valuation of equity securities is developed in stages using a case approach based on live publicly traded companies. Valuation models and the concept of value creation follows preliminary analysis of financial statements and market based financial information on risk and return.

Prerequisite: MBA 620 or FIN 620.

Offered: every fall.