Course Syllabus

Welcome to BUS202: Principles of Finance. General information about this course and its requirements can be found below.

Course Designer: Claudia Araiza, PhD

Course Description: The study of a number of different sub-fields within finance, with particular emphasis on determining which projects have the best potential payoff, managing investments, and evaluating stocks.

Earning College Credit

This course provides students the opportunity to earn actual college credit. It has been reviewed by Qualifi, a UK Awarding Organization. Once a proctored final exam is successfully completed, the course can count as three credits towards a special degree track at City Vision University. You can read more about this program here.

Getting Started

After familiarizing yourself with the following course syllabus, enroll in this course using the “Enroll me in this course” button located on the left hand toolbar. Once enrolled, navigate to Unit 1 of the course to read the Unit Introduction and Unit 1 Learning Outcomes. Links and instructions for all unit specific course resources will follow the introductory materials.

Evaluation and Minimum Passing Scores

In order to pass this course, you will need to earn a 70% or higher on the final exam. Your score on the exam will be tabulated as soon as you complete it. If you do not pass the exam on your first attempt, you may take it again as many times as needed, following a 7-day waiting period between each attempt. 

You will only receive an official grade on your final exam. However, in order to adequately prepare for this exam, we recommend that you work through the materials in each unit. Throughout the course you may find practice quizzes or other assignments that will help you master material and gauge your learning. Scores on these assignments are informational only and do not contribute to your overall course grade. 

If you are seeking to earn college credit at City Vision, you must take and pass the version of the exam titled "Proctored Final Exam." That exam will be password protected.

Technical Requirements

This course is delivered fully online. You will be required to have access to a computer or web-capable mobile device and have consistent access to the internet to either view or download the necessary course resources and to attempt any auto-graded course assessments and the final exam.

To access the full course including assessments and the final exam, you will need to be logged into your Saylor Academy account and enrolled in the course. If you do not already have an account, you may create one, free of charge, here. Although you can access some course resources without being logged into your account, it’s advised that you login to maximize your course experience. For example, some of the accessibility and progress tracking features are only available when you are logged in.

If you plan to attempt the optional credit recommended final exam that accompanies this course, then you will also need access to a webcam enabled computer. A webcam is needed so that our remote proctoring service can verify your identity, which will allow Saylor Academy to issue an official transcript to schools on your behalf. Full details about remote proctoring for credit recommended exams can be found here.

For additional technical guidance check out Saylor’s tech-FAQ and the



There is no cost to access and enroll in this course. All required course resources linked throughout the course, including textbooks, videos, webpages, activities, etc are accessible for no charge. This course also contains a free final exam and course completion certificate.

This courses does contain an optional final exam that will provide students an opportunity to earn college credit. Access to the exam itself is free, though it does require the use of a proctoring service for identity verification purposes. The cost for proctoring is $25 per session.

Time Commitment

While learning styles can vary considerably and any particular student will take more or less time to learn or read, we estimate that the "average" student will take 133.5 hours to complete this course. Each overall unit, resource, and activity within the course is similarly tagged with an estimated time advisory. We recommend that you work through the course at a pace that is comfortable for you and allows you to make regular (daily, or at least weekly) progress. It's a good idea to also schedule your study time in advance and try as best as you can to stick to that schedule.

It may be useful to take a look at these time advisories, to determine how much time you have over the next few weeks to complete each unit, and then to set goals for yourself. Perhaps you can sit down with your calendar and decide to complete Subunit 1.1 (a total of 4 hours) on Monday; Subunit 1.2 (a total of 4.5 hours) on Tuesday; Subunit 1.3 (a total of 5 hours) on Wednesday and Thursday; etc.


Learning new material can be challenging, so below we've compiled a few suggested study strategies to help you succeed.

Take notes on the various terms, practices, and theories as you read. This can help you differentiate and contextualize concepts and later provide you with a refresher as you study.

As you progress through the materials, take time to test yourself on what you have retained and how well you understand the the concepts. The process of reflection is important for creating a memory of the materials you learn; it will increase the probability that you ultimately retain the information.

Although you may work through this course completely independently, you may find it helpful to connect with other Saylor students through the discussion forums or study groups. You may access the discussion forums at

Complete the units and all sub-units in the order as they appear.

Get acquainted with Microsoft Excel before you begin this course as many of the assignments involve using Excel. You can find several tutorial sites on the web but this one is especially recommended: Florida Gulf Coast University: Technology Skills Orientation: "Excel 2000 Tutorial" (HTML).

The author of the main textbook, Dr. Ivo Welch, highly suggests that you use a robust internet browser such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari, Camino, Opera, or Konqueror to view the online textbook. Microsoft's Internet Explorer is compatible with the textbook but it is better to use the latest version (version 9). You can read about other suggestions for viewing the online textbook in Dr. Ivo Welch's information site for the textbook: Corporate Finance, 2nd Ed. (HTML).

Pay special attention to Unit 1, as it will lay the ground work for understanding the more advanced, explanatory material presented in the latter units.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, you student will be able to:

  • explain the objectives of the financial manager and how the structure of a corporation affects financial decisions;
  • explain how the financial manager uses and analyzes the income statement, the balance sheet statement, and the statement of cash flows to make better informed decisions;
  • explain the concept of time value of money and how the present value calculation is related to the future value calculation;
  • explain the rules and methods in capital budgeting when making financial decisions;
  • explain how the financial manager makes financial investment decisions when confronted with issues of risk and uncertainty while considering different risk preferences;
  • explain the different components of a company's capital structure;
  • explain the Modigliani-Miller theorem in finance;
  • apply the WACC formula for estimating a company's cost of capital;
  • explain the use of the CAPM model for estimating valuations of a company's rate of return; and
  • use Excel to prepare an analysis of a company's financial statements and stock data.

Throughout this course, you'll also see related learning outcomes identified in each unit. You can use the learning outcomes to help organize your learning and gauge your progress.

Suggested Prerequisites

In order to take this course you should:

Last modified: Wednesday, 13 January 2016, 8:55 PM