An Introduction to Corporate Finance

University of Pennsylvania

This course will provide a market-oriented framework for analyzing the major types of financial decisions made by corporations. Lectures and readings will provide an introduction to present value techniques, capital budgeting principles, asset valuation, the operation and efficiency of financial markets, the financial decisions of firms, and derivatives.


This course is part of the Wharton foundation series in the MOOC format. This course serves as an introduction to business finance (corporate financial management and investments) for graduate level business school students preparing for upper-level course work. The primary objective is to provide a framework, concepts, and tools for analyzing financial decisions based on fundamental principles of modern financial theory.

Click below for the other Wharton Foundation Series courses:

An Introduction to Marketing
An Introduction to Financial Accounting
An Introduction to Operations Management


Week 1:  The Objective Function for Corporations
Week 2:  Calculating Present Values
Week 3:  The Valuation of Bonds and Stocks,  A Comparison of Investment Criteria
Week 4:  Practical Aspects of the NPV Rule
Week 5:  Measuring Risk, Statistics Review, A Theory of Asset Pricing: Introduction, Mean-Standard Deviation Analysis, Diversification and Beta

Week 6:  Capital Budgeting and the Capital Asset Pricing Model

Recommended Background

The core material for these courses consist of recorded lectures held for MBA students at Wharton.  As a result, the course is most appropriate for a graduate level business school student preparing for upper-level course work. 

Suggested Readings

We will be discussing the Eurozone crisis as it develops. You may find the following short ebook useful. It can be downloaded for free at

F. Allen, E. Carletti, and S. Simonelli, Governance for the Eurozone: Integration or Disintegration? (Philadelphia: FIC Press, 2012). 

Course Format

The course will consist of lecture videos totaling approximately 80 minutes twice a week.  Lecture notes and PDF files from each course session will be available.  There will also be weekly problem sets due, and an assessment at the end of week 6.  


Will I get a Statement of Accomplishment after completing this class?

Yes. Students who successfully complete the class will receive a statement of accomplishment signed by the instructor.

What resources will I need for this class?

For this course, you will need an Internet connection, copies of the problem sets and lecture notes provided each week, and about 6-8 hours per week to watch the videos and complete the required work.

What is the coolest thing I'll learn if I take this class?

The Wharton School's core instruction on the topic of corporate finance.

For more information on Penn’s Open Learning initiative, please go to:

  • 28 October 2013, 6 weeks
Course properties:
  • Free:
  • Paid:
  • Certificate:
  • MOOC:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Email-course:
  • Language: English Gb


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