Finance Division


Finance division programs:

The finance program is designed to provide broad professional competence for students entering management positions in financial departments of business enterprises, in investment management and services, in banking or other financial institutions, or in government agencies concerned with private finance. In addition, the student can acquire specific technical skills required in an increasingly quantitative environment. 

Specific skills and general management principles can be obtained in the following subject matter areas: 

  1. Management of the assets and liabilities of a publicly-owned business enterprise ("corporate finance")
  2. Analysis and management of financial assets ("securities") using modern portfolio theories ("investment management")
  3. The workings of Canadian capital markets and the financial institutions that operate in those markets ("money and banking")
  4. The workings of international capital markets and special skills required to manage corporate assets and liabilities in an international environment ("international finance")

The purpose of the Finance specialization in the MBA program is to prepare students for superior achievement in the highly competitive, complex and rapidly changing field of finance. Our students will acquire the skills, knowledge and experience necessary to solve the strategic and tactical problems that finance executives face today and will face in the future in the international business world. 

Our audience is students who are interested in an applied, yet rigorous, education that prepares them for careers in investment banking, money management, corporate finance, securities trading, commercial banking, and financial research and consultancy.

The MSc program in finance offers a more technically advanced, quantitative and specialized finance education than an MBA, without the considerable research component of a PhD. 

The program is comprised of a combination of PhD courses and Master's courses. Since space in the MSc program is limited, admission is highly competitive. Although there are no formal entry conditions into the finance MSc, beyond those generally required by the Commerce Master's Office, finance MSc students typically have very strong academic records and undergraduate degrees (or even graduate degrees) in a quantitative discipline such as commerce, economics, mathematics, statistics, science or engineering. Previous work experience is not required. 

The MSc program in finance usually takes two years to complete. Students normally take four courses per semester, but may elect to enroll in only three courses during those semesters in which courses with particularly heavy workloads are taken. 

Judging by the standards of research achievement, graduate placement, publications, and research grants received, the PhD program in finance at The University of British Columbia stands at the top of Canadian business schools and among the first rank of North American programs. 

Recent placements of students in the program have included positions at such schools as the University of California at Berkeley, the University of California at Los Angeles, Carnegie Mellon University, The University of Texas at Austin, The University of Calgary, and The University of Colorado at Boulder. Entrants into the program can expect to join a stimulating research environment where interaction with fellow students and faculty members plays a key role in creating outstanding research. 

An active group of skilled junior and senior researchers is a distinguishing feature of the finance faculty at UBC. This translates into a rich and heterogeneous portfolio of research interests ranging from game-theoretic models of corporate finance, to applications of Bayesian analysis in empirical finance, to theoretical modeling of equilibrium asset pricing. The wide research interests of the Division allows substantial flexibility for the PhD student in selecting a thesis research topic. Undergraduate and perhaps graduate training in economics, mathematics, engineering, or other quantitative disciplines is a typical background for qualified applicants. 

Students are accepted only if the Division believes that they have the ability to succeed in the program. Once a student is admitted, the faculty members are intensely interested in guiding the new researcher through the stages of the doctoral program and in assisting him or her in creating independent research. Except for those funded from outside sources, at least three years of funding is guaranteed to all admitted students.

The Dean of Commerce (UBC) Portfolio Management Foundation (PMF) is a three-year extra-curricular program for BCom students that begins at the second year of university. It consists of two summers of internships, an academic year as a “Junior Research Associate” (receiving training from PMF supervisors and participants), an academic year as a “Research Associate” (assisting the students one year ahead in the program), and an academic year as a “Fund Manager” (making team-based decisions and guiding students who will follow in the program). The FMs’ and RAs’ task is to add value to a real portfolio of stocks and bonds, currently valued at about $10 million. To accomplish this, PMF students aggressively pursue the opportunities which the program provides, including access to key members of the investment community, experience in developing the linkage between investment theory and practice, and dealing with the real life pressures of investment management by committee. The highest degree of ethical and professional behavior must be followed at all times.

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