Financial Risk Management Track

Male MS Finance student sitting in Alfiero Center.

Identify and analyze areas of potential risk threatening the assets, earning capacity or success of a business.

As a fund manager, investor or advisor, you will minimize and control the exposure of investments to such financial risks as high inflation, volatility in capital markets, recession and bankruptcy.

  • Immerse yourself in a rigorous introduction to risk diversification and measurement, portfolio theory, statistics, programming finance models in statistical software and Excel skills
  • Apply your knowledge to such topics as foreign currency trading and risk, interest and inflation rate models and hedging strategies. You’ll also perform statistical analysis using big data, and learn about investments, financial derivatives, fixed income securities and financial institutions
  • Take courses in corporate finance, financial modeling, programming and independent research, or consider graduate courses outside of the Department of Finance to complete a customized program that fits your interests
  • Prepare to earn your CFA—a career-differentiating certification—with our MS Finance curriculum, which aligns with the topics on the exams

Contact Us

Graduate Programs Office
School of Management
University at Buffalo
203 Alfiero Center
Buffalo, NY 14260-4010

Tel:  716-645-3204
Fax: 716-645-2341
Meet our Team

STEM Eligible

The MS Finance is a STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) curriculum with 36 credits typically completed in three semesters. Some students extend to a fourth semester, and UB undergraduates may be able to complete the program in two semesters. All majors are welcome to apply; however, business, math, economics and engineering majors are ideally suited to the program.


First Semester Second Semester Third Semester Electives Prerequisites

Fall Start

MGF 635LEC Financial Derivatives

Objectives of this technical course include providing students with knowledge of specific trading mechanics, basic economic concepts and technical asset valuation tools to successfully employ a wide variety of derivative securities into a risk management context; as well as to understand risk-return tradeoffs associated with specialized speculative strategies in derivatives markets. A broad survey of rapidly-changing forward, futures, options, swaps (and other related derivative types) is followed by emphasis upon asset pricing models of complex financial instruments using both classical economic theory and advanced mathematical techniques. Basic knowledge of differential calculus is expected. Basics of stochastic calculus will be covered. Students will be prepared to employ material learned into a corporate (or smaller firm) environment for management of business-related risk from fluctuating commodity prices, interest rates changes, foreign exchange fluctuations and construction of stock/bond investment fund 'portfolio insurance'.

Credits: 3.00
Semesters offered: Fall 2020 | Spring 2020
Co-Requisite: MGF 633 or MS Accounting Majors.

MGF 638LEC Fixed Income Securities

This is a course about fixed-income securities and markets. It covers topics that are important for any MBA student that anticipates hedging interest rate exposures or otherwise transacting in the fixed-income market. The course reviews basic bond pricing concepts and important features of interest rate futures and options contracts. It also introduces a few (somewhat complicated) models of the term structure. This is a rigorous course that requires students to be familiar with basic investments and calculus concepts. While MGF633 is not a prerequisite for this course, students that are taking MGF633 simultaneously with the course will be better prepared. Like most finance courses, the course focuses more on lasting financial principles than on current institutional details.

Credits: 3.00
Semesters offered: Spring 2020

MGF 641LEC Financial Policies and Strategies

This course provides an in-depth treatment of corporate finance concepts for all finance majors, with the purpose of furthering students' understanding of major corporate financial policies and decisions. These decisions include choosing between competing investment opportunities, measuring risk and return, how to value a business, how much debt to issue, how much equity to issue, what level of dividend to payout, and incentive structure for managers, and so on. The course starts with a discussion on corporate financial goals and corporate governance issues. It then proceeds to cover topics that center on corporate investment decisions, corporate valuation, and capital structure issues.

Credits: 3.00
Semesters offered: Fall 2020 | Spring 2020

STEM or Non-STEM Elective (select one)

Spring Start

MGF 661LEC Mgmt of Fin Institutions

The financial services industry is very dynamic and continues to undergo dramatic changes. Many forces contribute to the changes including interest rates, overall market and credit factors, consolidation within the industry, and regulations. From this perspective, the course explores the basic management problems in the credit, investment, and financing administration functions of financial institutions, including commercial banks in the United States and abroad.

Credits: 3.00
Semesters offered: Fall 2020
Pre-Requisite: MGF 631 Or MGQ 606.

MGF 685LEC International Finance Management

This course is designed to familiarize students with the core concepts related to international financial management, including foreign exchange markets (from institutional details to quantitative models for the forecasting of future exchange rates), currency risk derivatives (spanning both a discussion of contract characteristics and quantitative methods for pricing and valuation of currency forwards, options, and swap contracts), quantitative approaches for risk management and hedging in cross-border settings, quantitative analysis of currency arbitrage operations, analysis of translation, economic, and political risks, cross-border financing, issues with cross-border taxation, analysis of institutional details and recent statistics on foreign debt and equity markets, and other topics.

Credits: 3.00
Semesters offered: Fall 2020
Pre-Requisite: MGF 611 and MGQ 608.

MGF 696LEC Portfolio Theory and Strategy

The course covers sophisticated approaches to investing and it has an introduction and three main parts. The introduction covers measures of performance and risk and methods to calculate them in closed form or from historical data. The first part of the course covers investment strategies across several asset classes, from traditional ones such as value or growth investing to strategies employed by hedge funds, such as arbitrage, option trading and other quant strategies. The second part of the course addresses portfolio construction, from assessing a utility function to the investor to constructing an optimal portfolio maximizing that utility. Investor types covered are individuals saving for retirement, speculators, university endowments or foundations, or pension funds. Finally, the last part of the course addresses the topic of risk measurement and management, with an emphasis of risks faced by decentralized organizations, such as funds of funds, foundations, or pension funds.

Credits: 3.00
Semesters offered: Fall 2020
Co-Requisite: MGF 633.

STEM or Non-STEM Elective (select one)