Finance (M.S.)

Students working the trading lab
Prepare to meet the market’s finance needs.

Lerner College recognizes that financial management is key to both asset management and asset creation in every industry. The master of science in finance program covers both quantitative and qualitative aspects of financial decision making, including risk management, capital budgeting, investments, financing and corporate governance. Emerge ready to meet a growing demand for principled financial experts capable of practical, hands-on business problem solving.

Program Highlights

The Lerner M.S. in finance curriculum is based on the financial theory and empirical methods employed by professionals practicing corporate finance, financial security valuation, financial modeling, portfolio management, financial services management, financial risk management and corporate governance. You will gain a nuanced grasp of short- and long-term capital investment, the risks and rewards of mergers and acquisitions, and how to deal with financial distress.

Program Requirements

Students are expected to have had the equivalent of MATH 221 – Calculus and MATH 230 – Finite Mathematics with Applications. Also, students will need basic computer skills equivalent to MISY 160 – Business Computing: Tools and Concepts. As an additional prerequisite, incoming students are expected to acquire fundamental finance and accounting concepts in ACCT 600 – Financial Reporting and Analysis and FINC 650 – Financial Management. These prerequisite courses can be waived for students who have work experience or prior coursework in the area.
Courses (24 credits)
FINC 670 – Theory of Financial Decision Making
FINC 671 – Workshop in Finance Seminar
FINC 672 – Workshop in Finance: Empirical Research
ECON 622 – Applied Econometrics I
ACCT 625 – Financial Statement Analysis
FINC 662 – Fixed Income Securities
FINC 651 – Corporate Financial Analysis or FINC 619 – Financial Modeling & Valuation
FINC 652 – Investment Analysis & Portfolio Management or FINC 616 – Derivative Securities & Risk Management

Electives (6 credits)
BUAD 620 – Fundamentals of Analytics (C)
FINC 651 – Corporate Financial Policy (A, C)
FINC 652 – Investment Analysis and Portfolio Management (B, C)
FINC 612 – Capital Markets & Financial Institutions
FINC 615 – International Finance (C)
FINC 654 – Special Topics in Finance
FINC 616 – Derivative Securities and Risk Management (C)
FINC 619 – Financial Modeling and Valuation (C)
FINC 658 – Corporate Governance
ACCT 614 – Advanced Federal Taxation
STAT 674 – Applied Data Base Management* (C)
STAT 675 – Logistic Regression* (C)
ECON 800-level courses, with permission of Director
(A) Becomes an elective if FINC 619 was taken
(B) Becomes an elective if FINC 616 was taken
(C) These courses are sometimes offered online
*These courses require permission from the instructor in Applied Economics and Statistics (APEC) Department, AG College

STEM OPT Program

This STEM-designated degree program provides international students 24 months of OPT (Optional Practical Training) in addition to the original 12 months.

Program Format Options

Choose from five paths through the master’s in finance program, each suited to your specific current job position, career and salary goals, and life situation.

  • M.S. Accelerated Program
    If you already hold a B.S. in finance, you can complete the M.S. in finance in one year of intensive study (fall and spring semester, Winter and Summer sessions). This program is for you if you have excellent quantitative skills and can devote your full-time efforts to your coursework.
  • Full Time
    The full-time program offers more flexibility than the accelerated program and usually takes 18 months to complete. You can choose from a wide choice of elective courses and perhaps pursue an internship.
  • Limited Part-time Program
    If your work schedule is flexible, you can complete the M.S. in finance on a part-time schedule while working by taking some courses in the daytime. Some courses may also be offered in the evening.
  • Dual MBA/M.S. in Finance Program
    Our dual MBA/M.S. in finance program combines the strategic business skills of the MBA with the in-depth study of finance.
  • B.S. + M.S. Accelerated (4+1) Degree Program
    With the accelerated B.S. in finance + M.S. in finance, you can complete the necessary 145 credit hours needed to earn both the B.S. and M.S. in finance, in less time and with fewer credits than if completed separately.

Program Checklists

Accelerated Program Checklist (PDF)
Full-Time Program Checklist (PDF)
Accelerated (4+1) Flyer (PDF)

Career Opportunities

Your M.S. in finance degree can prepare you for a variety of career options and goals, from Wall Street to Main Street and business centers around the world.

Corporate finance positions can be found in companies of all sizes, from large, international entities to small start-ups. Additional corporate finance positions include financial analysts, treasurers and internal auditors.

  • Corporate finance
    Help large and mid-sized companies secure and manage the capital necessary to run the enterprise, while maximizing corporate value and reducing financial risk. Oversee financial statements, developing forecasts, creating models, studying potential acquisitions and developing capital spending programs.
  • Investment banking
    Help clients acquire capital by creating and issuing debt and equity securities. Play a key role in facilitating financial reorganizations, mergers and acquisitions.
  • Investment research
    Examine and evaluate a firm’s financial statements and economic trends. Produce reports and models used by banks or large investors to make portfolio recommendations and decisions.
  • Private wealth management
    Serve a base of high net worth clients by providing comprehensive and personalized financial planning services such as investment and risk management strategies.
  • Real estate finance
    Produce information that helps a company or client locate, purchase, develop and sell buildings and properties.
  • Advisory services and consulting
    Conduct expert and independent analysis on matters such as asset valuation or financial issues required for litigation.

Industry-Proven Faculty

Lerner finance faculty bring deep applied research knowledge, extensive corporate experience, and wide-reaching association memberships and networks — all of which can lead you to fresh insights on a changing global economy and industry. Faculty expertise includes such areas as:

  • Corporate finance
  • Valuation
  • Mergers and acquisitions
  • Corporate Governance
  • International Finance
  • Pensions
  • Initial Public Offerings


Admissions Information

Learn more about master of science in finance admissions requirements, deadlines, tuition and financial aid available to you.

Michael and Rosann Geltzeiler Trading Center
Michael and Rosann Geltzeiler Trading Center
The 2,200-square-foot trading center replicates the trading floors on Wall Street.

STEM-Designated Program
This STEM-designated program provides international students 24 months of OPT (Optional Practical Training) in addition to the original 12 months.

Carol A. Ammon Case Competition
Carol A. Ammon Case Competition
Graduate student teams present their solutions to current issues faced by the competition’s focal company.