Mathematical Finance | Trinity University
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Mathematical Finance

The mathematical finance major is an interdisciplinary study of financial markets. The major is specifically designed for students considering graduate studies in finance, applied financial economics, mathematical finance, applied mathematics, or actuarial science.

Increasingly, firms of all types–and financial institutions in particular–rely on sophisticated mathematical models to understand financial markets, to evaluate financial instruments, and to measure and manage risk. To understand and utilize these models, students need specific capabilities that can be gained only from study in the fields of economics, finance, and mathematics.

Students who graduate with a degree in mathematical finance have a wide range of career choices, including commercial banking, corporate finance, financial planning, investment banking, money management, and real estate. Students who are interested in applications of mathematics and statistics to risk management and insurance can also consider a career in actuarial science.

Requirements for the Mathematical Finance Major

I. The common curriculum
II. Required Courses

Course Number

Course Name

Frequency of Offering


ACCT 1301

Fundamentals of Financial Accounting Every term
  FNCE 3301 Financial Administration of Business Firms Every term
  ECON 1311 Principles of Microeconomics Every term
  ECON 1312 Principles of Macroeconomics Every term
  ECON 3325 Intermediate Microeconomics Every term
  ECON 4367 Advanced Microeconomic Theory Every other fall
  ECON 4370 Econometrics Every Other Fall
  MATH 1311 Calculus I Every Term
  MATH 1312 Calculus II Every Term
  MATH 2321 Calculus III Every Term
  MATH 1320 Statistical Methods
MATH 3334, Probability, may be substituted for MATH 1320.
Every Term
  MATH 3370 Mathematical Finance Every Other Year
  MATH 3316 Differential Equations and Linear Algebra Every Other Year
III. Three Additional Elective Courses from the Following:
  FNCE 3351/
ECON 3356
Financial Institutions and Markets Every Term
  FNCE 3352 Investment Principles and Analysis Every Term
  FNCE 3353 Student Managed Fund I Every Term
  FNCE/ECON 3361 International Finance Every Term
  FNCE 4351 Financial Management and Policy Every Term

Mathematical Finance Courses

ACCT-1301 Fundamentals of Financial Accounting
An introduction to business and the basic concepts of financial accounting. The course incorporates identifying, analyzing, measuring, recording, and communicating financial information for businesses that are organized and operated for profit. Emphasis is placed on applications of these concepts to real world situations.

ECON-1311 Principles of Microeconomics
An introduction to the economic organization of society, with emphasis on how markets, prices, profits, and losses guide and direct economic activity. Throughout the course, economic analysis is applied to a wide range of contemporary problems and issues.

ECON-1312 Principles of Macroeconomics
The theory and measurement of changes in the levels of prices, employment, national income, and other aggregates. Topics addressed include money and the banking system, international economics, unemployment and inflation, and government stabilization policy.
Prerequisite: ECON 1311.

ECON-3325 Intermediate Microeconomics
An analytical study of decentralized economic decision-making, with primary emphasis on markets and prices. The range and precision of the analytical techniques developed in Economics 1311 are expanded substantially; these techniques are applied to a variety of economic situations, issues, and problems. Attention is given to the economic efficiency consequences of different market structures in both product and input markets and of various kinds of government intervention in market processes.
Prerequisite: ECON 1311.

ECON-4367 Advanced Microeconomic Theory
This course acquaints the student with classical microeconomic theory and enables him or her to construct mathematical economic models. Topics include: consumer theory; theory of the firm; multimarket equilibrium; decision-making under certainty; optimization over time; theoretical and applied welfare economics.
Prerequisites: ECON 3325 and MATH 2321.

ECON-4370 Econometrics
The development of statistical techniques of measurement and inference especially suited to empirical economics. The course covers linear regression, maximum likelihood estimation, and significance tests. The main emphasis is on the proper formulation and testing of hypotheses.
Prerequisites: ECON 1312, ECON 3325, ECON 2320 or equivalent, and MATH 1312, or permission of instructor.

FNCE-3301 Financial Administration of Business Firms
Financial decision making in organizations; planning and managing cash flows, raising, and allocating funds. Topics include cost of capital, capital budgeting, working capital management, and financial planning. Emphasis on non-financial corporations.
Prerequisites: ACCT 1301, ECON 1311, and BUSN 2301.

FNCE-3351 / ECON 3356 Financial Institutions and Markets
Analytical investigation of the structure, efficiency, and regulation of financial markets and institutions. Topics include determination of the level and structure of interest rates, asset valuation and the flow of funds between markets, theory and practice of financial intermediation, and the social utility of the financial sector.
Prerequisites: ECON 1311, and ECON 1312, and junior standing.

FNCE-3352 Investment Principles and Analysis
Analysis of common stock, bonds, options, and futures. Topics include financial markets, valuation of securities, technical analysis, market efficiency, and portfolio theory.
Prerequisites: FNCE 3301 and junior standing.

FNCE-3353 Student Managed Fund I
Combines study of the security analysis and portfolio management with practical demands of hands-on money management. Provides opportunity to invest University endowment funds. Economic, industry, and company analysis. Economic and financial forecasts. Valuation models. Portfolio theory. Investment philosophy. Ethics in investing. Capital market performance history. Managing endowment funds. Portfolio performance measurement. To be taken in the first semester of the academic year.
Prerequisites: FNCE 3301, FNCE 3352, and consent of instructor.

FNCE-3361 International Finance
This course emphasizes the study of the global exchange rate and associated derivatives markets with particular emphasis on foreign risk hedging; the study of financial equilibrium relations and their effects on the international capital markets, and the potential arbitrage opportunities that result in the absence of equilibrium; and the use of case studies to illustrate the application of theoretical tools on the multinational corporate environment. (Also listed as ECON 3361.)
Prerequisite: FNCE 3301 or consent of instructor.

FNCE-4351 Financial Management and Policy
Advanced study of financial theories and practices. Emphasis on case studies to develop analytical thinking about problems faced by businesses. Topics include capital budgeting, risk analysis, leasing, bankruptcy, and mergers.
Prerequisites: FNCE 3301 and junior standing.

MATH-1311 Calculus I
A study of functions including transcendental and trigonometric: Limits and continuity; differential and integral calculus; and applications. MATH 1307 and 1311 cannot both be taken for credit.
Prerequisite: Successful completion of either MATH 1301 or the equivalent. Students who have completed the equivalent of MATH 1301, as opposed to taking MATH 1301 at Trinity, must take the Mathematics Placement Exam to determine readiness for this course.

MATH-1312 Calculus II
A study of methods of integration, series, and an introduction of differential equations and linear algebra.
Prerequisite: MATH 1307 or 1311 or the equivalent.

MATH-1320 Statistical Methods
Methods of analyzing data, statistical concepts and models, estimation, tests of significance, and regression. MATH 1320 and 3320 cannot both be taken for credit.
Prerequisite: MATH 1307 or 1311 or the equivalent.

MATH-2321 Calculus III
The study of partial differentiation, multiple integrals, and vector calculus.
Prerequisite: MATH 1308 or 1312.

MATH-3316 Differential Equations and Linear Algebra
The theory and applications of first order equations, linear second order equations, linear systems of equations, Laplace transforms, the eigenvalue problem, matrix algebra, and vector spaces. MATH 3316 and MATH 3366 may not both be taken for credit.
Prerequisite: MATH 1308 or 1312.

MATH-3370 Financial Mathematics
Problems that arise in the area of finance and the mathematics of their solutions. Examples include portfolio selection, option pricing, arbitrage, single-agent optimization, the Fundamental Theorem of Asset Pricing, and the Black-Scholes formula.
Prerequisites: MATH 1320 or 3320 or 3334 and MATH 3316 or 3323.


  • Eduardo Cabral Balreira, associate professor, mathematics
  • Julio Roberto Hasfura-Buenaga, associate professor, mathematics
  • John H. Huston, professor, economics (chair)
  • Ricardo M. Santos,  assistant professor, economics
  • Shage Zhang, assistant professor, finance and decision science
Major Description: 

Combining courses from economics, finance, and mathematics, the mathematical finance major is an interdisciplinary study of financial markets, utilizing mathematical models to understand markets, evaluate financial instruments, and measure and manage risk.