FINC 3331 – Business Finance
University of Houston-Clear Lake
Spring 2011 Syllabus
Professor: Dr. Jeff Whitworth
Office: Bayou 3121.32 Phone: (281) 283-3218
Office Hours: MW 10:00-11:30 a.m., MW 2:30-3:30 p.m., M 6:00-7:00 p.m.,
and by appointment
E-mail Address: WhitworthJ@uhcl.edu, or directly through WebCT’s mail feature
Course Web Site: http://coursesite.uhcl.edu/bpa/whitworthj/3331/
Blackboard/WebCT Site: http://courses.uhcl.edu:8900
Time/Place: MW 11:30-12:50 in Bayou 2236 (Section 2)
M 7:00-9:50 in Bayou 3332 (Section 3)
The prerequisites for this class are principles of accounting, principles of economics, and
statistics (DSCI 3231 or equivalent). Anyone who has not completed the required
prerequisite courses should speak with me before continuing in the course.
Textbook: Fundamentals of Financial Management, concise 6th ed., by Brigham and
Course Notes: The notes for each chapter will be posted to the class web page
periodically. Please visit the class web page regularly and print out copies of the chapter
notes before we discuss the material in class.
Financial Calculator: For this course, you will need a good business calculator with
time value of money functions, including internal rate of return (IRR). Please bring your
calculator with you to every class session. I primarily use the TI BA II Plus in class to
demonstrate how to solve financial problems, and I will offer many helpful comments on
its operation. The TI-83 and TI-84 models are also excellent, but they are more
expensive. The HP 10BII and HP 12C calculators are also adequate for this course.
I also recommend that you obtain a copy of “Time Value and the Financial Calculator,”
an excellent tutorial available at eLearnAbout.com either on DVD or by streaming video.
This will answer many of your questions about how to use your calculator to solve the
problems we encounter. The video is also available for the TI BA II Plus, HP 10BII, and
HP 12C calculators.
Your performance in this course will be evaluated as follows:
Student Info Sheet 10 points
Online Chapter Quizzes 130 points
February 21 100 points
March 28 100 points
April 18 100 points
May 4/9 140 points
Total 580 points
The following scale will be used to determine grades:
% of Total Points Grade % of Total Points Grade
92.0 - 100.0 A 72.0 - 77.9 C
90.0 - 91.9 A 70.0 - 71.9 C
88.0 - 89.9 B+ 68.0 - 69.9 D+
82.0 - 87.9 B 62.0 - 67.9 D
80.0 - 81.9 B 60.0 - 61.9 D
78.0 - 79.9 C+ 0.0 - 59.9 F
The professor may lower any of these requirements slightly at the end of the semester if it
is appropriate. However, there is no guarantee of any such adjustment. In any event, no
amount of pleading will result in a grade change – regardless of whether someone feels
he/she deserves the higher grade, worked hard, never missed a class, or “really studied.”
Grades will also not be changed because someone needs a higher grade to graduate, avoid
academic probation, keep financial aid, or get into graduate school. If you need a grade
for any of these reasons, you must earn it!
Homework: A list of homework questions and problems will be posted to the class web
site for each chapter we cover. It is very important that you complete the required
homework as soon as possible and see me if you have any questions. Homework is not
collected for grading, but it is vital to your success. You will definitely see a lot of
questions on the quizzes and exams that are similar to your homework.
Quizzes: There will be an online quiz administered through WebCT/Blackboard for each
chapter that we cover. These quizzes will be based heavily on the chapter homework.
You may refer to your books, homework, and notes as you complete each quiz outside of
class at your convenience. Each quiz may be attempted up to two (2) times, and I will
count only your higher score. There is a minimum waiting period of one hour between
Please be aware that each quiz in WebCT/Blackboard has a deadline which is not
flexible. Any answers submitted after the deadline (even by one minute) will be rejected
by the server. Technical difficulties such as WebCT/Blackboard server problems,
computer crashes, internet service provider (ISP) outages, and last-minute personal
emergencies are not valid excuses for failing to complete a quiz on time. Since these
problems do happen sometimes, waiting until the last minute to take a quiz is a bad idea.
After we cover the relevant material in class, you will typically have about one week to
complete each online quiz, which should be plenty of time.
Exams: We will have four exams this semester. The last exam will be given during the
designated final exam period, as determined by the class schedule. While the format will
be primarily multiple choice, these exams will be challenging. Be prepared, stay up with
the material, and do not get behind! Exam questions will be drawn from your homework
and from other material that we discuss in class.
Exam papers must be returned to the professor immediately. You will receive a
grade of zero on the test if you remove it from the classroom either during the test
or the test review.
On each exam (including the final), you will be allowed to use one hand-written,
double-sided 8½” × 11” sheet of notes that you have personally prepared. The
exams are otherwise closed-book, closed-notes. If you do not bring a note sheet or
your sheet does not conform to the guidelines above, I will supply a list of
formulas from Appendix C of the textbook.
Generally, you may use any calculator on an exam or quiz, so long as it does not
have a QWERTY keyboard or something equivalent. All non-programmable
calculators are fine; the TI-84 is fine. The TI-92 is not acceptable, nor are laptop
computers or PDAs. If you have any doubts about your calculator, please do not
wait until exam day to ask about it; see me in advance.
Students may not share calculators during exams.
Cell phones may not be used during exams.
Make-up exams will be given only in extenuating circumstances. If you
absolutely must miss an exam, please see me about it as soon as possible,
preferably at least 1-2 weeks in advance. If an emergency arises just before an
exam, it is absolutely vital that you let me know immediately. Even if you are ill
or have a family emergency, you can still take two minutes to e-mail me or call
and leave a message.
All exams count fully toward your grade. No exam grade will be dropped, and no
“extra credit” projects will be assigned to make up for poor performance on
Exams may not be retaken. Once you begin an exam, you must complete it in that
When a Scantron form is used, only the answers actually marked on your
Scantron count, regardless of any scratch work or answers circled on the test
paper. Be sure that the answers you mark are the ones you intend to mark!
Class Attendance: You need to attend all class sessions to get the most out of this
course. If you miss class, you will quickly fall behind, and you may miss quizzes,
assignments, or important announcements. You are responsible for all material presented
and all announcements made in class, whether you are present or not. If you must miss
class for any reason and cannot arrange to attend one of my other sections, please make
sure that you get the notes from a classmate, read the appropriate section(s) in the text,
and complete all of the corresponding homework.
Academic honesty is the cornerstone of the academic integrity of the University. It is the
foundation upon which the student builds personal integrity and establishes a standard of
personal behavior. Because honesty and integrity are such important factors in the
professional community, you should be aware that failure to perform within the bounds of
these ethical standards is sufficient grounds to receive a grade of “F” in this course and
be recommended for suspension from UHCL. The Honesty Code of UHCL states, “I will
be honest in all my academic activities and will not tolerate dishonesty.”
Students with Disabilities
If you will require special academic accommodations under the Americans with
Disabilities Act, or other state or federal law, please contact the Disability Services
Office (Student Services Building, Room 1301; phone 281-283-2626) as soon as
Dropping and Withdrawing
University policy will be followed. The last day to drop a course or withdraw for the
semester is Monday, March 28.
Students who entered college for the first time in Fall 2007 or later should be aware of
the course drop limitation imposed by the Texas Legislature. Dropping this or any other
course between the first day of class and the census date for the semester/session
(Tuesday, September 8) does not affect your 6 drop rule count. Dropping a course
between the census date and the last day to drop a class for the semester/session will
count as one of your 6 permitted drops. You should take this into consideration before
dropping this or any other course. Visit http://www.uhcl.edu/records for more
information on the 6 drop rule and the census date information for the semester/session.
Weather-Related Class Cancellation
If severe weather should necessitate the closing of the campus, students should first call
the Emergency Hotline at 281-283-2221 to determine whether classes will be held as
scheduled. If the University is open, you may assume that class will meet, unless
otherwise indicated by (i) our class website, (ii) an announcement from the professor on
our WebCT discussion boards, or (iii) an e-mail from the professor.
Changes to the Syllabus
Circumstances may require changes to any of the dates or other material contained in this
syllabus. Any such changes will be announced during class and/or posted to the WebCT
discussion boards. It is the student’s responsibility to keep informed of any changes by
attending all class sessions and monitoring the discussion boards regularly (at least
every two business days).
Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to…
recall and apply specific knowledge regarding time value of money principles
used in the financial management of corporations.
recall and apply specific knowledge regarding risk and return principles used in
the financial management of corporations.
recall and apply specific knowledge regarding the use of financial statement
analysis to evaluate the financial health of corporations.
recall and apply specific knowledge regarding the capital budgeting process used
in the financial management of corporations.
recall and apply specific knowledge regarding valuation principles used in the
financial management of corporations.
The School of Business may use assessment tools in this course and other courses for
curriculum evaluation. Educational Assessment is defined as the systematic collection,
interpretation, and use of information about student characteristics, educational
environments, learning outcomes and client satisfaction to improve program
effectiveness, student performance and professional success.
This assessment will be related to the learning objectives for each course and individual
student performance will be disaggregated relative to these objectives. This disaggregated
analysis will not impact student grades, but will provide faculty with detailed information
that will be used to improve courses, curriculum, and students’ performance.
From time to time, we will discuss how business finance principles can be applied to
personal finance situations. Although the information provided is intended to be accurate
and helpful, it is for educational purposes only. I am not engaging in the profession of
rendering legal, accounting, or financial advice. If you seek professional advice, you
should have a competent attorney, accountant, and/or financial planner review all the
pertinent details of your specific situation.