2020-2021 Catalog 
    
    May 15, 2021  
2020-2021 Catalog

Foundations of Finance Certificate


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To earn the Certificate in the Foundations of Finance, a student must complete five courses in the Master of Science in Financial Analysis program:

  • Financial Markets
  • Corporate Finance
  • Fixed Income
  • Equity Valuation
  • Advanced Financial Statement Analysis

Courses in the Certificate are taken for a letter grade and can be used for academic units towards the MS in Financial Analysis program.  The Certificate is designed for individuals seeking the knowledge necessary to understand how to value the standard asset classes of stocks, bonds and derivatives. For more information, please contact admissions at management@usfca.edu or (415) 422-2221.

What are the pre-requisites for the Certificate Programs? 
An applicant must have an undergraduate degree as well as foundation courses in financial accounting, microeconomics and macroeconomics, and probability and statistics to qualify for entry into this Certificate program. 

When and where are classes held? 
All classes meet at the University of San Francisco School of Management’s downtown San Francisco campus (101 Howard Street). Courses generally meet once a week for four hours on weekdays. Students have the option of taking courses in the Hybrid Online/Live MSFA program with live class sessions that meet once a month. Completing the Certificate may take longer using classes in the Hybrid MSFA program due to scheduling.

How many courses do I take at a time?  
Courses in this certificate are offered throughout the year. Most students will take one or two classes at a time and can complete the program in one year or less. We do not accept international students into the certificate programs due to visa regulations.

How do I apply for the Certificate Programs? 
You need to submit your resume, statement of purpose and transcripts from any university level programs.

Program Learning Outcomes


  • Employ quantitative techniques to assess the return and risk of stocks, bonds and investment portfolios, with an emphasis on the key trade-offs faced by investors
  • Use and analyze the time value of money framework for valuing investment securities
  • Analyze key aspects of corporate finance such as capital budgeting and corporate project valuation, cost of capital, capital structure, and business and financial risk in the context of corporate valuation
  • Describe and interpret financial accounting concepts and measurements to (i) use financial statements and footnotes to analyze an investment valuation; (ii) analyze a company’s liquidity, profitability, financial stability, solvency and asset utilization; and (iii) analyze the effects of alternative accounting methods and assumptions on firm valuation
  • Analyze fixed income investments based on the characteristics of different types of bonds, the key risk factors that influence bond yields, and develop strategies for bond portfolios

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