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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Fundamentals of Finance by University of Pennsylvania

889 ratings

About the Course

In this course, you’ll learn the basic fundamentals of corporate finance. Based on the pre-term qualifying courses for Wharton MBA students, Professor Jessica Wachter has designed this course for learners who need a refresher in financial concepts, or for those who are learning about corporate finance for the first time. You’ll identify foundational concepts in corporate finance, such as NPV, Compound and Simple Interest, and Annuities versus Perpetuities. You’ll also learn how to apply the NPV framework to calculating fixed-income valuation and Equity, using hypothetical examples of corporate projects. By the end of this course, you’ll have honed your skills in calculating risk and returns to optimize investments, and be able to assess the right set of financial information to achieve better returns for your firm....

Top reviews


Mar 17, 2024

The teacher is very knowledgeable but sometimes passes some topics too fast and its hard to grasp the concept and the idea. The quizzes are not according to the classes that are given.


Mar 21, 2022

The notes for this course were excellent, and the lectures were concise and easy to follow. Prof. Wachter is easy to listen to and is relaxed and helpful in her explanations.

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1 - 25 of 241 Reviews for Fundamentals of Finance

By Matthew L

Mar 8, 2021

Just brutal. A very frustrating experience. I *did* learn some things. But it was hard. Harder than i think it needed to be. It seems like she is glossing over some of the steps in her explanations. It would be helpful if there were more concrete examples. The course would also benefit from better slides, and some animations. Her speaking pace is really slow. I watched the videos at 1.75x speed, and that felt just slightly faster than *normal* speech. I don't feel like I really absorbed the underlying concepts. The quizzes are just enraging. Sometimes you round up, sometimes you round down, but it is inconsistent. You might have the "right" answer, but you wont know because you are entering it in the wrong format. The last two questions of week 4 are terrible. It would be nice if there was s single ZIP file of all of the reading material. Downloading the optional material in week 5 is just way more work than it should be.

*HERE IS A TIP* - do the first two weeks of the Introduction to Corporate Finance by Michaels Robert BEFORE you do this course. His explanations are much easier to understand. It will help you to understand *some* of the material in this course. That course explains all of its concepts so much better. It's just night and day. Then to see what is *really* possible with online instruction, go over to Marginal Revolution University and take their Intro to Micro course. Their instructional material is amazing. Every online course should teach as well as MRU.

HERE IS ONE MORE TIP...when you are taking the quizzes...Submit your quiz *one answer at a time*. And then write down your correct answers in your own answer key in a word or excel document. Otherwise, you may not remember what your answer was when you inevitably re take the quiz. When you know you have all the right answers, enter them all at once, and then submit a final time. it's not worth filling out each answer every time you re submit the quiz. just do the quiz one questions at a time until you are ready to submit all of the answers at once.

By Anita K

Jan 11, 2021

It's not for beginners. Furthermore it is too difficult to keep up.

By Daniel O

Feb 3, 2021

I feel like the classes are 2 + 2 and the quizzes are differential equations... of double and triple integrals.

The fact of having to type the answers makes you not sure if it is wrong to round or not, or if the nomenclature was not what was desired for this particular answer, I'm sorry but I abandon this, the professor It is very well prepared, but this took me too much out of my boxes, I have like 4 hours trying different things to know if my answers are wrong for using a wrong formula or only the desired nomenclature was different.

In other courses such as python for everyone you can quickly contact a specialist to review what you are doing and support you, here there is no way to get support to know if you are doing something wrong, I cannot simply put the exam questions in the forum .

Finally, to be a fundamentals course, it is assumed that the student has too much previous knowledge, it should not be called fundamentals then nor have a classification for beginners that it is assumed that no previous experience or knowledge is required, for example there are things explained through limits , which I don't think everyone has knowledge of

By Cailean M

Nov 10, 2020

Terrible explanations literally worst course I've taken on here

By Darshan T

May 24, 2020

I liked the 1st week of the video lectures. From week 2, things get confusing. I do not understand why the notes have different symbols for same variable..sometimes it's called face value (FV), other times just value (V), other times price (P). There are just too many terms defined which strip away the core of 'findamentals'. Define only what's necessary. Don't build me a clock, just tell the time. I think for general public who is not familiar with financial terms, this is not the course I would recommend for learning the fundamentals.

By Steven W

Feb 1, 2021

Not as easy as stated.

By Stephen C

Apr 11, 2021

This is not up to the standard I've come to expect on Coursera. Despite a lot of bad reviews, I thought how bad can it be? Well, pretty bad. From the first lesson, concepts are explained via equations scrawled in almost illegible handwriting using unexplained terminology. Luckily I've seen variants of these equations before so had some idea of what the lecturer was talking about; but this is not how you teach a fundamentals course. The examples didn't make sense: numbers apparently plucked out of thin air with no explanation of how they were obtained – if these are just assumptions, then this isn't communicated. As for the Week 1 quiz – so many errors and poorly phrased questions. So I'm waving the white flag and finding a different course.


Aug 29, 2020

The instructor understands the subject well and knows what she's talking about. The notes and the downloads are great study aids. But the multiple tech issues taking the tests is an ongoing and still unresolved problem. Sometimes the data is accepted and credited, other times there is an issue with the data being received. Monitors for this course experience the same problems and have stated as much in the forums. In week three, discussions drop, questions remain unanswered. I tried to unenroll according to the instructions provided ( but there was no option to "leave course". So the tech issues surrounding this course make it not worth taking.

By Kenneth

Dec 16, 2020

I don't think the course taught the content well, and rushed through things at times. They don't prepare you enough for the quiz and the quiz is riddled with mistakes, I suggest changing it to an MCQ instead. Thankfully their corporate finance course covers some of the topics

By Mikhail U

Apr 9, 2021

Horrible, she is just talking to herself. Not giving any definitions to any of her terms.

An annuity is an annuity, bloody thank you. Now I know that an annuity is an annuity. How could I live before?!

Every formula is in numbers only, does she know what 'magic number' means? Let her google it.

What is the use of formula 100/.05? Is it a class of arithmetic and we shall calculate the fraction? Is it so bloody hard to explain what goes in numerator and denominator? Is it so hard to give definitions to the terms you are using?

I went through many courses here and on other platforms but I have never in my life seen such a lazy teacher as she is.

I am outraged

By Michael A

Dec 22, 2020

There were several issues I had with this course. The videos were a bit challenging to get through. I found it difficult to follow the professor and the notes were the exact same so they were not helpful. I felt that the quizzes were not always accurate and there were not enough explanations when reviewing the lectures and readings. Overall for a foundations course, this was very difficult where it did not need to be.

By Kashyap S

May 31, 2021

Professor is not good at explaining things. Just started doing numerical.

By Supanan P

Sep 7, 2020

The instructor is knowledgeable and is able to explain things well, especially in the first few topics. However, at times, the instructor seems to assume that learners have some familiarity with the terms introduced. The notes and supplementary materials are incredibly useful, but typos make them appear a lot less professional. The thing that the instructor can improve the most is the quizzes as some of the questions are too confusing. This is because the examples given throughout the module are very straightforward, meaning learners do not get the chance to familiarise themselves with the languages used in some of the quizzes.

By Tracey W

Feb 19, 2021

Definitely not a beginner course. This course lacks a thorough breakdown of financial concepts and a basic understanding of financial terms. The quizzes feel like you are not meant to successfully complete them. I felt like instead of fully understand the basic principles, I was rushing through just to pass it, which I couldn't. It is very frustrating and I wish the quizzes were a little more straightforward. I think anyone taking this course should take a true beginners course first, or have a secondary resource to help you along the way. I ordered an intro to finance book to help me understand the basics first to help me along the way. The lectures are a joke when it comes to the quizzes and the presentation is also very sloppy.

By Dr. D H

Dec 3, 2020

It would be very helpful, not only to get 0 or 1 points in the quizzes. For some questions I could not figure out the correct answer. So I do not know how to improve.

By Layle M

Apr 25, 2021

I'm out. If the teachers' goal was to weed out the men from the boys at the first level-I'm a boy [girl]. If her goal was to help people learn then yes. I learned a lot. However, I can't pass any of the tests because I am a beginner at this. The test questions [module 1] should have been assigned as project work. The quiz should have been multiple choice. For instance the answers could have been A. 80.6 B. .08 C. 3,000 D. 1.80. It shows that you know the material and can learn at the same time. And for the questions beyond ones' scope could be simply a process of elimination. A further help would be to have short explanations of why the question was gotten wrong.

In studying the notes I can see she has a passion for her subject and wants people to understand, but I question her teaching ability. At any rate I am going to another school to take finance and accounting.

By Kay R

Apr 11, 2021

Horrible teaching materials and lecture., and instructor is horrible. COuld have been professional in presentations. More than 80% information lacks clarity . Lecturer comes up with quick calculations with no explanations. Overall i could not stand it after first session and going to cancel. The material is not well presented and hand written, too slow and total lack of clarity. Instructor could have atleast used ppt slides to present and keep things clear.

By Ummehani M P

Oct 24, 2020

Whole course is good but in the quiz, there should be only 50% for passing as the quiz are very hard


Aug 22, 2021

the professor speaks very clearly. Not withstanding I have a question. Is there anyway to ask a question on this venue?Not withstanding I have a question.

By Dimitris T

Jan 19, 2021

It was an Amazing journey learning with Coursera & University of Pennsylvania!! I went back to my school years and I remembered back my Algebra, thank you so much!!

By Carolyn P

Aug 31, 2020

The professor was extremely knowledgable and explained things quickly but well. The notes are very helpful. There are some bugs with the quiz's due to rounding errors that make them VERY frustrating to complete. Quiz 3 is a bear and there are still a couple questions no one can get. But other than that, great intro to finance that can be done in 2 weeks vs. 5 if needed.

By Viswas N

May 23, 2022

Presumes prior knowledge of jargons and doesn't take a moment to introduce said jargons. Consequently, the course required referencing external definitions quite often and thus can't be considered to be a introductory courses who come from a non-financial background.

There is also a lot of material in the optional reading section which would have been better off as lectured courses or a different finance program or dropped off from this. Now I am left feeling overwhelmed by that which for which notes have been given but not explained in person.

By Erik T

Nov 2, 2020

The professor is brilliant; however, the lectures don't prepare you enough for the quizzes. I love math and algebra, but the word problems were either confusing or vague. Definitely read the lecture notes to these modules.

By Stefan K

Sep 9, 2020

Amazing content, they need to work on the answers decimal points because I had trouble with 2 exercises, one in which I had 0.20 and I should not round it I had to put 0.19 and another in which I had 0.49 and I did not round it but the "correct answer" was 0.5, so you should like correct this or at least as to round every exercise or none.

By Gideon S

Jun 2, 2021

This class has a number of shortfalls. Without sounding too harsh and while offering the utmost respect, Professor Wachter seems better for suited for research than teaching. Every quiz was filled with pitfalls. The discussion forum certainly mirrored this sentiment. Students often asked why she didn't address certain concepts, making the video lectures appear incomplete or inconsistent. In her defense, she included plenty of material that we could access offline. However, her responsibility in providing a needed coherence among her videos was sorely lacking. Sadly, of all the online coursework I have had, I felt that this class was the least formative.