Browse Duke FinTech Courses
In order to offer courses in today's most in-demand skills and industry-relevant topics, course offerings and content are subject to change.
Please Note: Not all courses are offered every semester. Scheduled courses may be subject to change during course registration periods, including the possibility of course cancellation.
Industry Preparation Core
MENG 540: Management of High-Tech Industries
The purpose of this course is to empower students to become collaborative, ethical leaders in the globalized, 21st-century workplace. Students learn concepts and practice skills that will enable them to transition from being an engineering sole contributor to managing and leading others as a business professional. Students gain a sound understanding of management and leadership; increase awareness of their own management and leadership styles; build and practice competencies essential for team success (e.g., effective communication, collaboration, conflict resolution); and become ethical leaders above reproach. Emphasis is on leading teams in a volatile, complex and interdependent world. 3 units.
MENG 570: Business Fundamentals for Engineers
This comprehensive course examines core and evolving concepts in the business fundamentals of successful technology-based companies including Business Plan Development & Strategies, Marketing, Product & Process Development processes, Intellectual Property, Accounting, Finance, and Operations. Students will learn the fundamentals essential to understanding all aspects of a business and will be able to converse in some depth in each of the areas studied upon completion. Other topics will include Supply Chain Management, Stage-Gate Development Cycles, Balanced Scorecards, Blue Ocean Strategy, and Disruptive Technologies. 3 units.
FINTECH 501: Seminar and Workshops
In their first fall term, FinTech students are required to complete one semester of the professional development Seminar and Workshops course, FINTECH 501. This course engages industry leaders in a speaker series on applied financial technology and entrepreneurship.
Course requirements include completion of three (3) professional development workshops, including the sessions Achieving Objectives in Organizations and Time Management. Students may choose the third workshop from the offerings provided by Pratt's professional development program for master's students. 0 units.
FINTECH 510: Programming for FinTech
This class is aimed at students who want to focus on financial technology (FinTech) but who may not have a programming or even technical background. This course will bring students up to speed on programming, data structures, and algorithms. C++ is the language of choice in this class because C and C++ are very commonly used by computer engineers.
In order for students to make such impressive learning gains in their first semester, students must come prepared by having good programming skills in C. Novices should achieve this by completing Duke's Coursera specialization Introduction to Programming in C before the start of the term. Those with some programming experience may also wish to complete the specialization to learn professional tools and acquire deep understanding of concepts taught in the specialization.
Students of all backgrounds will take a required self-assessment prior to the start of the term to assist them in choosing the right programming sequence. 3 units.
FINTECH 512: Software Engineering for FinTech
This course focuses on moving from small-to-medium software projects, to the design ideas required for larger scale, maintainable code. We will start with core design principles, which we will see manifest in a variety of forms through the course of the semester. We will see these ideas emerge from smaller scale design at the start of the semester to large scale system architecture at the end. Testing will also be an important topic throughout. 3 units.
FINTECH 520: Financial Institution Products & Services
The course provides students with an understanding of finance and financial concepts, with emphasis on innovation and technological changes. Study includes the maturation of products and services used by financial services firms, the monetary and financial system, the structural position of institutions comprising the financial services industry and their businesses, and “non-banks”. Students will acquire skills to develop interest rate forecasting models, asset management methodologies, and time value of money applications. A review of the role of industry vendors/utilities will complete an understanding of this environment. 3 units.
FINTECH 522: Asset Pricing and Risk Management
Much of financial valuation is based on the trade-off between returns (i.e., profit) and risk (i.e., volatility of returns). This core understanding of the correlation between return and risk permeates all areas of finance from banking to brokerage to investment management.
The primary purpose of Asset Liability Management within banking is to ensure that the bank is sufficiently capitalized to provide a cushion for risk exposure, while continuing to enable growth and profitability. In this course, students will learn about various financial, macroeconomic, business, and technology risks, as well as the tools and methodologies for quantitative assessment of risk and performance. 3 units.
FINTECH 514: Secure Software Development
This course is about minimizing risk when creating software and will focus on the fundamental structure of a Secure Development Life Cycle (SDLC), the advantages and challenges of cryptography, then explore automated testing solutions. Students will learn to effectively manage risk in the process of creating software. Hands-on experience with specific technologies prepare students to make informed decisions about the design, architecture, and implementation of software. Assignments use automated vulnerability hunting tools. Students will learn the risk profile of the target software project, and an understanding of how these tools add value to the overall secure development lifecycle. 3 units.
FINTECH 533: Design and Testing of Algorithmic Trading Systems
This course introduces students to the tools, concepts, and workflow used by industry to craft algorithmic trading systems, as well as the financial concepts involved. Using the Python Dash framework, students will build simple but powerful trading apps that fetch data, pass trade orders, and evaluate performance metrics. Students will gain exposure to modern Python data analytics packages, GitHub Actions, market data feeds, web scraping, and trade execution system APIs. The course assumes an entry-level understanding of Python and finance and is intended for students who wish to take their skills to the next level. 3 units.
FINTECH 534: Quantitative Financial Analysis for Technology-Driven Investment Decisions
An introduction to the most important concepts used in quantitative finance. Students will learn to build practical financial models using MS Excel spreadsheets. This course starts with the most basic, and most important, portfolio and investment models used to evaluate risk and identify profit opportunities. Using Excel, students will learn how to build these models themselves, and to understand the decision-making inputs used by professional investors. The course has a practical focus—how to analyze prices of stocks, bonds, options and other financial instruments using the types of computationally sophisticated tools in wide use today. 3 units.
FINTECH 535: Advanced Design and Testing of Algorithmic Trading Systems
This course is intended for students who are already comfortable with Python Dash, have some knowledge of finance, trading, and market data, and wish to take a deep dive into the development and evaluation of one trading strategy. Forming teams of 2 to 4, students will produce a Python trading app which implements the team’s strategy to process incoming data into actionable trade orders, pass the orders to a professional execution system, and visualize results and performance metrics as a dynamic web page. At the end of the semester, each team will present their strategy and results to Duke faculty and industry professionals at the annual Alpha Summit event. Prerequisite: FINTECH 533. 3 units.
FINTECH 536: Robo-Advising
Robo-Advice brings investment services to a wider audience at lower costs compared to human advisors. Students will construct a very basic advisor using the Python programming language. This will be a short experiential case study with an open-source Python code. Student teams will develop a comprehensive venture capital investment memorandum for a real-world Robo-Advising startup. Teams will analyze the Robo-Advisor’s market environment, including the financial services industry, wealth management segments, competitors and channels; and, internal company characteristics, such as business strategy, asset allocation and portfolio composition, cost of customer acquisition, and financials. 3 units.
FINTECH 540: Machine Learning for FinTech
Explores the history, current environment, and near-term outlook of Machine Learning, focusing on the applications within financial innovation (FinTech). The course provides hands-on experience in applying machine learning tools in a number of situations, as well as understanding the applications across finance. This class will delve into elements of the current environment of Fintech and how machine learning has contributed to the disruption. The goal of this course is that students leave with not only knowledge but hands-on experience implementing machine learning to solve problems and observe how this tool works and where the present and future value may be. 3 units.
FINTECH 545: Quantitative Risk Management
Quantitative Risk Management offers a hands-on introduction to the science and implementation of risk analytics. Topics include probability theory, regression and time series analysis, risk metrics such as Value at Risk and Excepted Shortfall, derivative valuation methods, stress testing and scenario analysis, factor models, and portfolio construction and optimization. 3 units.
FINTECH 564: Blockchain
Blockchain technology is being embraced in finance and other industries as an encryption base for all types of applications. This course explores the history, current environment, and near-term outlook of financial innovation (FinTech), focusing on applications of Blockchain technology. Topics range from digital stores of value to documents and transactions. Students will learn to formulate an accurate image and deep practical understanding of the capabilities and limitations of various blockchain techniques. Students will gain hands-on experience creating a simple Blockchain contract and will be able to converse on a practical basis about what Blockchain can and cannot do. 3 units.
FINTECH 565: Advanced Blockchain - Smart Contacts and Solidity Coding
This course follows the basic blockchain course to provide students hands on experience and instruction in Solidity coding via a number of exercises and programming assignments. These provide a basis from which students will be introduced to the details of smart contracts and the application of the coding skills acquired to develop and deploy these programs. Deployment will be primarily via public blockchains using developer functions. Prerequisite: FINTECH 564. 3 units.
FINTECH 590.XX: Web3 Engineering & Security
Web 3 technologies are advancing at ever increasing rate, with security being a critical component of that evolution. This class will serve to analyze the current state of cybersecurity, the most critical needs moving forward - both from a technical as well policy and regulatory perspective. Students will require interdisciplinary skills - technical development, legal, and business. Additional topic areas will include digital identity, securing proofing systems, core internet protocols and development tools. The course will also include a team project designed to advance one or more topic areas covered.
ECE 564: Mobile Application Development
Explores the world of mobile application development with focus on the needs of engineers. Centered on Apple environment, with the development environment being on OS X and the target environment being an iOS device – iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch or Apple Watch. Real-world context focused on the common programming “patterns” for engineers in academia or business – standalone apps, apps connected to other systems, apps connected to the cloud. Covers fundamentals essential to understanding all aspects of app development. Taught in a team environment. Students required to present their project proposals and deliver an app as a final project. 3 units.
EGRMGMT 587: Data Visualization
Students learn best practices for presenting discoveries and “calls to action” that are the primary aims of business data analysis. Learning about human visual perception, in particular the science of how choice of color, form, and other design elements can assist pre-attentive information processing. Origins of modern data-visualization in the pre-computer age are considered, starting with the use of overlay maps, and Galton’s Quincunx and Correlation Diagram. Students learn to recognize the most commonly utilized types of data-visualization metaphor, as well as rules of thumb for various types of data analysis. No prior software experience required.
Technology Management Track
FINTECH 550: Emerging Trends for FinTech Services
This class will study the environment of FinTech services to understand and acquire assessment techniques to model the motivation behind, for example: individual companies and offerings, the technology that has enabled many of these companies, and the business models that frequently challenge the customer service status quo. Applications of Game Theory—the ways in which businesses compete in the financial marketplace—will provide significant insights into the strategic behavior of current and future FinTech companies. The ever-increasing pace at which technology disrupts long standing business models will be reviewed in terms of both past, current, and possible future applications. 3 units.
FINTECH 552: FinTech Business Models
The goal of this course is for students to understand the business models in the major FinTech value chain segments (businesses include, but are not limited to, marketplace lending, neo-banking, robo-advisory, cryptocurrency, and other blockchain applications). In this course, we analyze the business models of selected FinTech companies with a special focus on the role of data. In some industries, such as banking, data has spurred and supported the new business models of the FinTechs. Therefore, data is most relevant for creating an overview of the actors in the FinTech, and broader financial services ecosystem. 3 units.
EGRMGMT 572: Innovation Management in Tech Organizations
This course takes students through a variety of issues related to managing innovation in the context of a technology-based organization. This includes managing know-how and innovation processes as well as creating an organizational culture that fosters and supports innovation. Students study best practices and benchmarks but must develop their own approach to managing innovation given each unique situation, including the organizational strategy, the competitive landscape, the strengths/weaknesses of the employees involved, etc. Nonetheless, there are accepted practices and concepts that will help guide students in developing a deeper understanding of this area.
Learning objectives include:
- Understanding the different processes related to innovation in a technology-based firm
- How to create a culture of innovation in an organization
- The critical role of champions
- Key concepts of innovation strategy
LAW 581: FinTech Law and Policy
FinTech Law and Policy will seek to understand the architectures, principal legal and regulatory issues, and the dynamics of modern financial marketplaces as these are shaped by technology. The seminar will help prepare students for a rapidly evolving framework in which successful business and legal practice must become technologically “bilingual.” Requires prior or current registration in a financial regulatory course. Please discuss with instructors if you think your prior course might be eligible. 3 units.
FINTECH 502: FinTech Capstone
The FinTech Capstone project is the culminating experience of the MEng FinTech program. Drawing on the full spectrum of classes taken, teams of students will work together to focus on developing solutions to real world problems, and present them to a sponsor and/or external review panel.
For example, sufficient retirement income is an increasingly pressing problem in the United States and most developed countries given growth in retirement age, health care cost and quality, with corresponding longevity of the population. In order to obtain solutions that are economically and operationally feasible there is a need to understand, through forecasting techniques, the probable outcomes, with an eye towards both sides of the balance sheet. This will ensure that solutions created do not operate in a vacuum that fails to account for Global economic environment. 3 units.
Internship or Project
MENG 550: Master of Engineering Internship or Project
The Master of Engineering Internship or Project requirement provides an opportunity for all MENG students to apply their classroom learning to a real-world work experience. Although students are responsible for finding their own internship, Duke provides an experienced career development team to help with your search.
Internships are typically 8-12 weeks. The minimum hourly requirement for the internship is 320 hours, equivalent to 8 weeks, 40 hours per week.
Online students in the FinTech program have the option of seeking approval from their faculty advisor to complete a project in lieu of a traditional internship, providing the project meets the same learning objectives.
All internships/projects must:
- Apply engineering principles to solving one or more problems outside the classroom environment
- Define a problem and determine potential solutions
- Appreciate the importance of organizational dynamics and work relationships
- Practice professional communication both written and orally
- Complement material presented in Master of Engineering courses
- Include a self-assessment upon completion in MENG 551
MENG 551: Master of Engineering Internship or Project Assessment
This assessment course is the culmination of your internship or project work. You will prepare a substantive assessment of your internship or project experience via a written report and/or oral presentation. A polished analysis should include:
- Problem or task conducted
- Challenges faced
- Solutions incorporated
- Workplace communication and interpersonal relationship critique
- Individual performance review