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Masters in Finance Overview

By Thomas Graf

Finance Masters are just like Business Masters in general: examples of postgraduate education such as the MSc in Management or the Master of Arts. The program is also called Master or Master of Science in Finance, or simply M.Fin. With this Master’s degree graduate students are supposed to be prepared to expedite their careers and help any kind of firm with analysing and working on their financials such as financial analysis, investment management and corporate finance. In the U.S. and Canada this degree can be a professional degree, meaning that government or a government-approved body has licensed or otherwise regulated it.



MSc in Finance Sources of Information

Content of M.Fin. programs

M.Fin. programs basically teach students in analyzing: How to businesses and institutions implement investment strategies? How do they allocate these funds to investment opportunities and how do they weigh potential benefits against risks and calculate future pay-offs? Accordingly, the core of finance programs deals with financial markets and investment strategies, corporate finance and corporate accounting as well as financial management.

Example London School of Economics (LSE)

At the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) for example, students learn to analyze firms' investment decisions and costs of capital as well as financial decisions such as dividend choice, IPOs, and mergers and acquisitions. Fixed-income, equity and derivatives markets.In the second part students gain knowledge in financial systems, risk management, portfolio management methods, advanced derivatives and structured financial products, fixed income, and applied financial valuation.

Structure of Masters in Finance

Like Masters in Management, postgraduate programs on financial issues are offered as fulltime and part-time programs. Fulltime programs ususally require one or two years. Part-time programs are offered on weekend courses or in modular tracks and usually take about double the time as the regular program the university or school offers. Almost every program requires exams to wrap it up – though the testing can be dispersed over the course of the program. To see whether the program also demands a thesis (some universities offer a non-thesis degree), it is best to check with the university in consideration.

Requirements: Bachelor degree

As a postgraduate degree program, the Master of Finance requires a bachelor’s degree though this does not necessarily have to include a major in finance or economics. Within our MIM-Compass research, we found that only 25% of all Masters of Finance require a business or economics related bachelor degree (please use our search-engine and its filter "entry requirements" to identify programs with or without these requirements).

Requirements: GMAT

Almost every university also requires the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) which tests analytical and English language capacities.

Requirements: Essays and Recommendation

Some universities also ask for a sort of motivational essay or a text on a related subject, wanting proof that candidates are serious in their request for a degree. Also, sometimes a letter of recommendation by a former professor or educator can be a requirement for the application.

Requirements: Work experience

Masters in Finance

Master in Finance programs can be classified into pre-experience and post-experience programs. The former is for graduates with no or only little work experience, the latter is for professionals. In addition, part-time programs often not only require the student to already be employed but also to have a certain amount of relevant working experience (about 2 to 3 years), so as to justify the participation in that special program. This employment is also considered to be the main source of funding for the student’s schooling, usually approved by the employer and – depending on previous arrangements in every individual case – payed for by the employer as well.

Further information on Masters in Finance