Private Equity in the MBA Program at The McCombs School of Business
The Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst Center for Private Equity Finance supports development of the private equity finance curricula in the McCombs School of Business graduate and undergraduate programs. These curricula are designed to help students prepare for careers that require an in-depth understanding of the private equity market. While there is a heavy emphasis on finance, the curricula are multi-disciplinary. They include courses in all of the traditional functional areas of business as well as more specialized courses covering concepts directly related to the private equity market and managing private equity investments. The curricula develop skills that are especially important for students interested in careers with investors in private equity funds, private equity fund managers, issuers of private equity securities, or other important participants in the private equity markets, such as commercial banks or other investment advisors or agents.
In addition to being multi-disciplinary, the curricula cover the broad spectrum of private equity investments, including early and later-stage venture investing, mezzanine investing, investing in established private firms, buyouts, financial restructuring of distressed firms, and private equity financing by public firms. Students interested in a particular segment of the private equity market, such as buyouts, have the opportunity, in conjunction with the general private equity curricula, to focus on that area by taking specialized courses in finance or entrepreneurship or by designing customized independent study courses with individual faculty.
The general private equity curriculum in the MBA program begins in the first semester with the following core courses required of all Texas MBA students:
- Financial Accounting
- Financial Management
- Marketing Management
- Operations Management
Private equity students also take a course on Valuation during the second half of the first semester.
During the second semester, students take core and elective courses on:
- Strategic Management
- The Art and Science of Negotiations
- Leading People and Organizations
- Investment Theory and Practice
- Advanced Corporate Finance
The Advanced Corporate Finance course covers important concepts related to mergers and acquisitions, highly levered transactions, and corporate governance, among others. Collectively, the first-year courses cover many of the concepts and tools that are important in the second year of the MBA program. They also provide students with a solid technical base for general finance or private equity internships during the summer after their first year.
The second-year curriculum is designed to build on the skills developed in the first year. In the first semester of the second year, students take a finance course that focuses on the private equity market and another course that focuses on Financial Management of Small Businesses. In the first course, students study the roles of, and relationships between, the major participants in the private equity market and concepts related to identifying, valuing, and financing private equity investments, managing these investments for value creation, and exit strategies. The second course, on Financial Management of Small Businesses, provides students with a comprehensive exposure to financial concepts that are important to managers of small businesses—from start-up through managing growth and harvest strategies. Both of these courses are taught through a combination of lectures, case studies, consulting projects and presentations by industry participants. In addition to the two second year finance classes, students are advised to take courses on the Entrepreneurial Management and Financial Statement Analysis during the first semester of their second year. This schedule provides students with the opportunity to select one elective course in this semester.
In the second semester of their second year, there are no recommended courses. Students who have taken the recommended courses during the first three semesters can choose five electives during this semester. This provides students with considerable flexibility in tailoring the program to suit their specific interests.
The private equity curriculum at the undergraduate level provides advanced undergraduate finance students with opportunities to take elective courses and attend guest lectures on private equity topics as well as to pursue independent study projects in private equity. These opportunities, combined with the general requirements for the finance concentration, help prepare undergraduate students to pursue careers in private equity .