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Master of Science in Finance

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About the Program | Apply Today | Degree Requirements | Meet the MSF Class of 2016
Faculty | Application Process | Program Costs | Request More Information

Master of Science in Finance Program Overview

The Department of Finance at Florida State University welcomes a new class to its Master of Science in Finance (MSF) Program every summer. The three-semester, lock-step program consists of ten, three-credit-hour finance courses and a one-credit course in both the fall and spring semesters devoted to the management of the Student Investment Fund. A non-credit Professional Development Series also runs throughout the program. The program is slightly less than a calendar year in duration, typically starting in late June and ending in late April. The program also boasts a state-of-the art trading room, equipped with presentation and financial data displays, Bloomberg terminals, an eight-zone world clock, touch-screen computers, and scrolling stock tickers, replicating trading rooms used by Wall Street investment firms.

Watch our video about the Master of Science in Finance program. external link icon

The program is intended primarily for students who have completed an undergraduate finance degree prior to entering the program. It provides current finance majors at Florida State with an opportunity to obtain a high quality graduate degree in their chosen field of study without relocating, as prior business experience is not required for admission. Students with undergraduate degrees in related areas such as mathematics, statistics, accounting, economics, actuarial science, and other business disciplines will be considered for admission upon demonstrating a high level of competency in both their chosen field of study and in the prerequisites required for admission. A completed internship is strongly encouraged for all without prior business experience.

The MSF Program utilizes a "hands-on" approach wherever possible, with the focus on practical applications in finance. To facilitate such an approach, classes will be limited to approximately thirty students per year. Specific benefits derived from any program of study vary across individuals, but as a student who successfully completes the program you can expect to:

  • solidify and expand on your current understanding of important financial concepts and analytical tools used in the financial decision making process
  • enhance your ability to model financial problems in an efficient and informative fashion that facilitates decision making
  • become proficient at analyzing and interpreting statistical evidence from financial research in an intuitive and economically meaningful fashion
  • improve your overall quantitative skills
  • improve both your oral and written communication skills in general through meaningful practice and feedback
  • develop skills that will help you effectively communicate results from financial analyses and studies to other interested parties with limited backgrounds in finance
  • hone your presentation skills
  • function more efficiently and effectively in group settings
  • become a more attractive applicant to prospective employers looking for someone with expertise in finance combined with good communication and interaction skills
  • have made considerable progress towards acquiring the CFA or CFP Certificates

To learn more about the MSF program, download the brochure (PDF).

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Apply Today

Begin your Master of Science in Finance application today by entering the Graduate Admissions Portal external link icon .  The application deadline is March 1 and the program admits in the summer semester only.

Admissions Guidelines
Admission to the Master of Science in Finance program is highly competitive.  The decision is based on a portfolio of qualifications, including prior academic performance, work experience, entrance exam scores (such as the GMAT or GRE) and letters of recommendation. The entrance exam is a university requirement that may be waived if an applicant meets certain criteria. For exact criteria and instructions on requesting waivers, see business.fsu.edu/waive.

The GMAT is the preferred exam. If you have not taken the GMAT, you should make plans to take the exam as soon as possible. To register to take the GMAT test, visit gmat.com external link icon.

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Degree Requirements

Prerequisites

All applicants must complete specific business foundation courses (see below) with a cumulative overall GPA of 3.3 or better, and an upper division GPA of 3.4 or better, prior to enrollment in the MSF program.

Minimum Finance prerequisites include Financial Accounting (ACG 2021 or its equivalent), an introductory course in Financial Management (FIN 3403 or its equivalent), Investments (FIN 4504 or its equivalent), and Problems in Financial Management (FIN 4424 or its equivalent). All students without acceptable real world work experience are strongly encouraged to have completed an internship prior to entering the program.

Any exception to the specified minimums must be approved by the Director of the MSF Program.

Specific requests for exceptions or substitutions must be submitted in writing to The College of Business Graduate Office.
 

Course Descriptions

FIN 5840 Applied Econometrics in Finance
This course focuses on providing students with an in depth understanding of statistical techniques commonly employed in financial studies. Actual applications within a variety of financial studies are examined to help students learn how to conduct statistical tests, as well as to interpret the results. Students are familiarized with WRDS and a variety of data bases to facilitate their future research efforts

FIN 5935r Computer Skills for Financial Analysis
Utilizing Excel and other software, this course focuses on developing computer modeling skills that will serve as a tool for financial analyses, planning and decision making.

FIN 5425 Problems in Financial Management
An advanced course in corporate finance. Upon completion of this course students will have a better understanding of the issues faced by a typical Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of a corporation. The main method for analyzing each topic is through reading and presenting a case, an article, or a research report about a specific firm.

FIN 5515 Investment Management & Analysis
Analysis of financial assets with emphasis on the securities market, the valuation of individual securities, and portfolio management.

MAN 5716 Economic and Business Conditions Analysis
A study of external variables (to the firm) that can have significant impact on performance. They include economic, financial, political, social, and government policy variables. While these variables are external to the firm, their potential impact on the firm can be substantial and must be understood and managed.

FIN 5317 Financial Institutions and Risk Management
Fundamental to the financial health and prosperity of financial institutions is the identification, measurement, pricing and management of key risks. The purpose of this course is to expose students to the key risks facing bank managers and the modern techniques for measuring, pricing and managing those risks.

REE 5305 Real Estate Investments
Introduces students to the procedures and analytical methods used to evaluate real estate markets and project-specific investments. The course focuses on the topic of real estate investment analysis primarily from the private (equity) investor’s perspective.

FIN 5537 Derivatives & Risk Management
Issues related to the pricing and application of futures, swaps, and options are explored. Emphasis is placed on different methods used to value derivative securities and how derivatives are used to hedge macroeconomic and firm specific risks. Real-world examples of derivative use are examined in the context of how they impact on firm value.

FIN 5935R Investment Banking
Focuses on the management of investment banking firms, with emphasis on the primary activities of such firms. A blend of theory and practical application is utilized to explore such topics as strategic corporate advice, security issuance, risk management, initial public offerings, and corporate restructuring issues including mergers, acquisitions and divestitures.

FIN 5605 Multinational Financial Management
Provides students with a much deeper and broader understanding of international financial markets. Major topics addressed include the exchange rate system, interest rate parity, purchasing power parity, managing real exchange rate risk, political and country risk, and foreign currency derivatives. Cases and Class Discussions will be utilized, with emphasis on real world applications where feasible.

FIN 5917R Student Investment Fund
Students, under the supervision of a faculty advisor, are responsible for actively managing an investment fund currently valued well in excess of $1 million.  The management of the student investment fund is integrated into the Investment Management & Analysis course in the fall and the Derivatives and Risk Management course in the spring, and provides students with a wealth of hands-on experience in investing. 

Professional Development Series
This non-credit series addresses various aspects of professional development such as networking, interviewing skills, business ethics, communication skills, professional dress, etc.  It also involves participating in a variety of speaker series, several of which are designed exclusively for MSF students.

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Finance faculty and staff members list

Click here to view our Finance faculty and staff.

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Application Process

The following information is needed to complete your FSU graduate application. Please review this application checklist to determine what will be submitted online and what you must mail to Florida State University. All students admitted to the Program must complete the prerequisite business foundation courses (see above) or equivalents before entering (or enrolling in) the MSF program.

The following items should be submitted through the Florida State Graduate Application portal, available exclusively online at https://admissions.fsu.edu/gradapp external link icon:

  • An applicant's statement (Word document, .docx) of purpose for pursuing the MSF Degree (1-2 pages)
  • An up-to-date resume, clearly indicating an excellent prior academic record, from accredited universities, and any work experience including dates and positions held
  • Three (3) recommendations: Two (2) recommendations from former college professors and one (1) recommendation from outside of the academic environment that speak specifically of the applicant's ability to successfully complete the MSF program and other attributes which make the applicant a valuable addition to the MSF Program
  • Nonrefundable application fee of $30.00 (see University Application or go to http://fees.fsu.edu external link icon)

The following items should be sent to the Admissions Office, PO Box 3062400, 282 Champions Way, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL 32306-2400:

  • One (1) official transcript from all colleges and universities attended
  • Florida Resident Affidavit, if applicable (see University Application or http://admissions.fsu.edu/images/pdf/residency.pdf external link icon)
  • Official TOEFL/IELTS score report(s) (required of international applicants whose native language is not English, regardless of academic background)
  • Official GMAT scores (The code to send GMAT scores to Florida State is PN8K567).

International Applicants

International applicants whose native language is not English and who have not completed an undergraduate or graduate degree in an English-speaking country are required to take either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) and submit official test results in order to be admitted to The Florida State University. The College of Business requires a minimum TOEFL score of 100 on the internet-based test, or a minimum of 7.0 on the IELTS exam, taken within the past two (2) years.

In addition, international graduate applicants seeking teaching assistantships are required to pass a test of spoken English.
In addition to the above mentioned personal funding, international applicants, if admitted, will be required to obtain health insurance.

For University information, such as financial responsibilities, degree equivalency, to download the University application, etc., please go to the international applicant information site. external link icon

Waiving the GMAT/GRE
The entrance exam requirement may be waived for outstanding applicants who meet certain criteria.

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Program Costs

ESTIMATED PROGRAM COSTS FOR THE 2016-2017 ACADEMIC YEAR

The MSF program requires 32 credit hours:

  • ŸFlorida residents: $479.32 (tuition plus fees) per credit hour. Total estimate program cost is $15,338.24.
  • ŸNon-Florida Residents: $1,110.72 (tuition plus fees) per credit hour. Total estimate program cost is $35,543.04.

Note: These costs do not include required books and supplies for courses.  Costs are subject to change. Fees in table do not include some per-term flat fees for FSUCard and facilities use. For a breakdown of on-campus student fees and their explanations, visit the university’s Tuition Rates page.

Learn more about why our graduate programs are consideredA Smart Choice in Value." 

Read more about the college’s financial assistance options for graduate students.

You may also visit Florida State's financial aid web site for more information on types of financial aid.

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