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Master of Science in Finance

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About the Program | Apply Today | Degree Requirements | Meet the Current MSF Class
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Master of Science in Finance Program Overview

The Department of Finance at Florida State University annually welcomes a new class to its Master of Science in Finance (MSF) program.

  • Complete degree in less than one year: The MSF offers a three-semester lock-step program consisting of 32 credit hours: 10 finance courses (three credit hours each); the Student Investment Fund course (one credit hour taken in each of the fall and spring semesters); and a non-credit Professional Development Series that runs throughout the program. Slightly less than a calendar year in duration, the MSF program typically starts in late June and ends in late April.
  • Benefit from real-world application: Opportunities for MSF students include managing an investment fund, currently amounting to more than $4 million. 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 real-life trading rooms.
  • Increase your options:The MSF program provides an outstanding career placement rate and networking opportunities with alumni serving in posts ranging from Florida’s most innovative corporations to Wall Street’s strongest financial firms.
  • Customize your degree with real estate finance: MSF students now have the option of specializing in real estate by choosing a set of courses focused on real estate finance instead of further coursework in risk management and investment or international banking. The College of Business’ Real Estate program is ranked No. 7 among public institutions and No. 11 in the nation by U.S. News & World Report (2019). Highly qualified FSU undergraduates majoring in real estate can get a jumpstart on graduate coursework by applying for our combined program.

The MSF program employs a "hands-on" approach wherever possible, with the focus on practical applications in finance. Those successfully completing the program can expect to:

  • Solidify and expand understanding of important concepts and analytical tools, including financial modeling, used in the business decision-making process
  • Develop proficiency at analyzing and interpreting statistical evidence from financial research in an intuitive and economically meaningful way
  • Improve overall quantitative and communication skill set, including honing effective presentation skills
  • Learn to function more efficiently and effectively in teamwork and group settings
  • Make considerable progress toward the Chartered Financial Analyst® (CFA) or Certified Financial Planner™ (CFP) certifications
  • Become a more attractive applicant to prospective employers looking for someone looking for graduate-trained candidates with advanced skills

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 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 the following four business foundation courses prior to enrollment in the MSF program:

  • Financial Accounting (ACG 2021 or its equivalent)
  • Financial Management (FIN 3403 or its equivalent; minimum grade of B- required)
  • Investments (FIN 4504 or its equivalent)
  • Problems in Financial Management (FIN 4424 or its equivalent)

The MSF program is intended primarily for students who have completed an undergraduate finance degree prior to entering the program. 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.

Any exception to the specified minimums must be approved by the MSF program director. Specific requests for exceptions or substitutions must be submitted in writing to the College of Business Graduate Programs 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. 3 credit hours

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. 3 credit hours

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. 3 credit hours

FIN 5515 Investment Management and Analysis
Analysis of financial assets with emphasis on the securities market, the valuation of individual securities, and portfolio management. 3 credit hours

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. 3 credit hours

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. 3 credit hours

REE 5205 Topics in Real Estate Finance
This course provides an advanced treatment of topics fundamental to real estate finance. The course topics are presented in units that range from pricing mortgages to the lending process to the secondary mortgage. Topics include a discussion of primary and secondary mortgage markets, mortgage market operations, mortgage instruments and mortgage-related securities. Emerging topics of special interest are also discussed. (Available for Real Estate specialization) 3 credit hours

REE 5209 Advanced Real Estate Finance and Investment

Prerequisite: REE 5205. This course provides advanced treatment of the commercial mortgage and real estate equity markets. Topics include in-depth discussion of financing income-producing properties; commercial mortgage underwriting; real estate investment trusts; and the decisions faced by institutions regarding their property and mortgage portfolios. Emerging topics of special interest also are discussed. (Available for Real Estate specialization) 3 credit hours

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. (MSF core class; also counts toward Real Estate specialization) 3 credit hours

FIN 5537 Derivatives and 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. 3 credit hours

FIN 5306 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. 3 credit hours

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. 3 credit hours

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 and 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. (Required in fall and spring) 1 credit hour

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.

Schedule for Program of Study

MSF: Standard Program                                            

MSF: Real Estate Specialization

Summer

  • FIN 5840 Applied Econometrics
  • FIN 5935r Computer Skills for Financial Analysis

Summer

  • FIN 5840 Applied Econometrics
  • FIN 5935r Computer Skills for Financial Analysis

Fall

  • FIN 5425 Problems in Financial Management
  • FIN 5515 Investment Management and Analysis
  • FIN 5917R Student Investment Fund (1 credit hour)
  • MAN 5716 Economic and Business Conditions

    Plus:

  • FIN 5317 Financial Institutions and Risk Management

 

Fall

  • FIN 5425 Problems in Financial Management
  • FIN 5515 Investment Management and Analysis
  • FIN 5917R Student Investment Fund (1 credit hour)
  • MAN 5716 Economic and Business Conditions

    Plus:

  • REE 5205 Real Estate Finance*

 

Spring

  • FIN 5537 Derivatives and Risk Management
  • FIN 5917R Student Investment Fund (1 credit hour)
  • REE 5305 Real Estate Investment

    Plus:

  • FIN 5306 Investment Banking
  • FIN 5605 Multinational Financial Management     

 

 

 

Spring

  • FIN 5537 Derivatives and Risk Management
  • FIN 5917R Student Investment Fund (1 credit hour)
  • REE 5305 Real Estate Investment*

Plus:

  • REE 5209 Advanced Real Estate Finance and Investment*

And 1 of the following 2 courses:

  • FIN 5306 Investment Banking
  • FIN 5605 Multinational Financial Management

* Indicates courses taken for Real Estate Specialization. REE 5205 taken instead of FIN 5317 in the fall. REE 5209 taken instead of FIN 5306 or FIN 5605 in the spring.

Note: All courses above are three (3) credit hours except FIN 5917R Student Investment Fund, which is one (1) credit hour. All MSF courses must be taken on campus. Online courses may be substituted only with the approval of the directors of the MSF and real estate graduate programs.

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Faculty and staff members list

Click here to view our Finance faculty and staff.

MSF applicants interested in the Real Estate specialization may click here to view our Real Estate 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 (FSU students and alumni, please note: It is not necessary to request FSU transcripts because the Graduate Programs Office has access to official copies.)
  • 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. Read the official policy.

In addition, Florida State University undergraduate finance students applying for the Master of Science in Finance (MSF) program with an overall GPA of at least 3.4 and an upper-division finance GPA of at least 3.2 can now qualify to have the GMAT test requirement waived.  The upper-division finance GPA is based on the six following upper-division FIN courses completed at the time of application: FIN 3244, FIN 3403, FIN 4424, FIN 4504 and any two FIN 4000-level electives.

A completed GMAT test is also not required (for those meeting the waiver criteria) to be considered for MSF graduate assistantships/fellowships.

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Program Costs

ESTIMATED PROGRAM COSTS FOR THE 2018-2019 ACADEMIC YEAR

The MSF program requires 32 credit hours:

  • Florida residents: $479.32 (tuition plus fees) per credit hour. Total estimate program cost is $15,338.24.
  • Non-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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