Master of Science in Finance (MSF)

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  Deadline to Apply!

Begin your application today by entering the Graduate Admissions Portal. Submit your application by:

March 1 for summer entry.

This program admits only once a year, typically starting in late June and ending in early May.
Apply early to be considered for competitive assistantships that provide financial assistance.

GMAT waivers available  

  Contact Us

Email Searra Lippard, academic program specialist, for more information about the admissions process.
Meet Gary Smith, MSF program director.

Graduate Programs Office
  877-587-5540 (toll free)

Invest in yourself and increase your options.

In our Master of Science in Finance (MSF) program, students develop and expand their understanding of concepts and analytical tools, including financial modeling, used for business decision-making. MSF students benefit from hands-on experience managing an investment fund of more than $5 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.

Over the course of a year on campus, students improve their overall quantitative, communication and presentation skills, develop proficiency at interpreting statistical evidence in an economically meaningful way, learn to work effectively in team settings and make considerable progress toward the Chartered Financial Analyst® (CFA) or Certified Financial Planner™ (CFP) certifications. The 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.

MSF students may follow one of two program tracks: MSF Standard or MSF Real Estate Specialization. Students selecting the MSF Real Estate Specialization option take Real Estate Investment (REE 5305) instead of Multinational Financial Management (FIN 5605) and Advanced Real Estate Finance and Investment (REE 5209) instead of Fixed Income Securities (FIN 5545). The College of Business’ Real Estate program is ranked No. 5 among public institutions and No. 8 in the nation by U.S. News & World Report (2021). Highly qualified FSU undergraduates majoring in finance or real estate can get a jumpstart on MSF coursework by applying for a combined pathway that double counts up to nine credit hours toward both bachelor’s and master’s degree requirements.

  Admission 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

The GMAT is the preferred exam. In order to meet these deadlines, prospective students should plan to take the GMAT at least one semester prior to applying for admission. To register to take the GMAT test, visit

  Degree Requirements


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.

Program of Study

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 plus a final Program Assessment (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 early May.

Program Schedule

MSF Standard Program

FIN 5840 Applied Econometrics
FIN 5935 Computer Skills for Financial Analysis

FIN 5455 Financial Data Analytics
FIN 5515 Investment Management and Analysis
FIN 5917 Student Investment Fund (1 credit hour)
MAN 5716 Economic and Business Conditions
FIN 5605 Multinational Financial Management

FIN 5537 Derivatives and Risk Management
FIN 5917 Program Assessment (1 credit hour)
FIN 5425 Problems in Financial Management
REE 5205 Real Estate Finance
FIN 5545 Fixed Income Securities

MSF Real Estate Specialization Track

FIN 5840 Applied Econometrics
FIN 5935 Computer Skills for Financial Analysis

FIN 5455 Financial Data Analytics
FIN 5515 Investment Management and Analysis
FIN 5917 Student Investment Fund (1 credit hour)
MAN 5716 Economic and Business Conditions
REE 5305 Real Estate Investment*

FIN 5537 Derivatives and Risk Management
FIN 5917 Program Assessment (1 credit hour)
FIN 5425 Problems in Financial Management
REE 5205 Real Estate Finance*
REE 5209 Advanced Real Estate Finance and Investment*

* Indicates courses taken for Real Estate Specialization. REE 5305 taken instead of FIN 5605 in the fall. REE 5209 taken instead of FIN 5545 in the spring.

Note: All courses above are three (3) credit hours except FIN 5917 Student Investment Fund and Program Assessment, which are one (1) credit hour each. All MSF courses must be taken on campus, which include remote access, when/if necessary. Online courses may be substituted only with the approval of the directors of the MSF and real estate graduate programs.

  Application Process

The following items should be submitted through the Florida State Graduate Application portal, available exclusively online at

  • Applicant Statement/Essay Question Responses
  • An up-to-date resume, clearly indicating work experience including dates and positions held, as well as noting full-time or part-time employment
  • Three (3) letters of 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
  • Florida Residency Declaration
  • Nonrefundable application fee of $30.00 (see University Application or go to

The following items should be sent to the Graduate Admissions Office, 222 S. Copeland St./314 Westcott Building, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL 32306-1410 or to

  • One (1) official transcript from all colleges and universities attended (FSU transcripts are not necessary for FSU alumni, students)
  • Official GMAT/GRE score(s) and, if applicable, English Language Proficiency score(s) (The English Language Proficiency test score is a University requirement for international applicants whose native language is not English and who have not completed an undergraduate or graduate degree from a U.S. institution or other institution where English is the required language of instruction; therefore, it cannot be waived). The code to send GMAT scores to Florida State is PN8K567, and the code to send GRE or TOEFL scores is 5219.

For more international applicant information, including financial responsibilities, degree equivalency, etc., visit


International applicants should visit for information concerning financial responsibilities, degree equivalency, etc.

English Language Proficiency Exam
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 an English Language Proficiency exam and submit official test results in order to be admitted to Florida State University. The College of Business accepts all of the following examinations taken within the past two (2) years:

•    Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL): a minimum score of 600 on the paper-based test and 100 on the internet-based test
•    International English Language Testing System (Academic IELTS): minimum score of 7
•    Pearson Test of English (PTE): minimum score of 66
•    Duolingo: minimum score of 120
•    Cambridge C1 Advanced Level: minimum score of 180
•    Michigan Language Assessment: minimum score of 55


The entrance exam requirement may be waived for outstanding applicants who meet certain criteria. Read the official policy.

Applicants from AACSB-accredited business schools with an overall GPA of at least 3.4, an upper-division GPA of at least 3.2, 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 at least three of the following FIN courses completed at the time of application: FIN 3244, FIN 3403, FIN 4424, FIN 4504 and any FIN 4000-level electives.

  Program Costs

Many of our top applicants will earn assistantships and scholarships to pay for part of their expenses in the program. This financial support is awarded after admissions decisions are made and is based on the qualifications of the applicants, such as undergraduate GPA and entrance exam scores. Some awards are based on documented financial need (e,g, FAFSA report, Pell Grant, substantial financial aid debt).


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 considered A 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 website for more information on types of financial aid.

  Course Descriptions

FIN 5425 Problems in Financial Management
This advanced-case course includes an in-depth study of topics such as the investment, financing, and dividend decisions of the firms and the valuation theory. 3 credit hours

FIN 5455 Financial Data Analytics
This course provides an introduction and understanding of how financial data analytics are used in business, specifically through the use of R. Students develop data analysis skills that enable them to implement financial modeling across a variety of topics while utilizing a variety of common financial and economic data sources. 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 5545 Fixed Income Securities
This course describes important fixed income securities and markets, and develops tools for valuing fixed income securities and managing interest rate risk. The course covers traditional bonds and term structure concepts as well as fixed income derivatives and interest rate modeling. 3 credit hours

FIN 5537 Financial 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 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 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 5917 Student Investment Fund/Program Assessment
Students, under the supervision of a faculty advisor, are responsible for actively managing an investment fund currently valued well in excess of $5 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

FIN 5935 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

MAN 5716 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

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.

REE 5205 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. 3 credit hours

REE 5209 Advanced Real Estate Finance and Investment
Prerequisite: REE 5305. 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 Investment
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. (Available for Real Estate specialization) 3 credit hours

For more information, download our MSF brochure.

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