Twin Cities campus
 
Twin Cities Campus

Finance M.S.

Finance
Curtis L. Carlson School of Management
Link to a list of faculty for this program.
Contact Information
Phone: 612-625-5555
  • Program Type: Master's
  • Requirements for this program are current for Spring 2018
  • Length of program in credits: 39
  • This program requires summer semesters for timely completion.
  • Degree: Master of Science
Along with the program-specific requirements listed below, please read the General Information section of this website for requirements that apply to all major fields.
The 39-credit master of science program in finance provides students with an advanced understanding of the tools and methods used in businesses and in financial markets. The program focuses on combining financial theory with quantitative and computational methods and real-world applications. Students who graduate from this one-year, full-time graduate program will be able to analyze and interpret complex financial data and communicate its implications. Successful applicants begin their M.S. studies in summer (June).
Accreditation
This program is accredited by AACSB International. The M.S. program in Finance is STEM designated.
Program Delivery
  • via classroom (the majority of instruction is face-to-face)
Prerequisites for Admission
Other requirements to be completed before admission:
- University level courses in calculus and statistics are required. - Linear algebra is recommended, but not required. - Work experience is not required, but preferred.
Special Application Requirements:
Applicants must submit all application materials through the University's admissions system. Application materials include: - A GMAT or GRE General Test that is not more than five years old, with an acceptable score. - For international students, an acceptable score on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) International Language Testing System (IELTS). - Three letters of recommendations need to be submitted through the online application. - A personal statement of career goals, and objectives for pursuing a M.S. Finance degree. The personal statement questions are the following: Briefly describe your short-term and long-term career goals. Why are you choosing to pursue an M.S. in Finance at this time in your career, and what are you hoping to accomplish by doing so? Why are you interested in pursuing an M.S. degree in Finance at the Carlson School of Management? What do you feel makes you a strong candidate for the program? How will you contribute to the M.S. in Finance program overall? Applicants must submit a current resume that includes job responsibilities and accomplishments in the online application. - Applicants may choose to submit an essay to comment on any item(s) in their application they consider worthy of further explanation. - Applicants may be required to complete an admissions interview, which are by invitation only.
Applicants must submit their test score(s) from the following:
  • GRE
  • GMAT
International applicants must submit score(s) from one of the following tests:
  • TOEFL
  • IELTS
Key to test abbreviations (GRE, GMAT, TOEFL, IELTS).
For an online application or for more information about graduate education admissions, see the General Information section of this website.
Program Requirements
Plan C: Plan C requires 39 major credits and 0 credits outside the major. There is no final exam.
This program may not be completed with a minor.
Use of 4xxx courses towards program requirements is not permitted.
A minimum GPA of 2.80 is required for students to remain in good standing.
Required Courses: Summer (11 credits)
MSF 6421 - Computing for Finance: Excel/VBA I & II (4.0 cr)
MSF 6221 - Fundamentals of Finance I (2.0 cr)
MSF 6222 - Fundamentals of Finance II (2.0 cr)
MSF 6031 - Financial Accounting (3.0 cr)
Required Courses: Fall (16 credits)
MSF 6422 - Financial Econometrics and Computational Methods I (2.0 cr)
MSF 6223 - Fundamentals of Finance III (2.0 cr)
MSF 6022 - Financial Statement Analysis (2.0 cr)
MSF 6021 - Communications for Finance (2.0 cr)
MSF 6423 - Financial Econometrics and Computational Methods II (2.0 cr)
MSF 6322 - Corporate Valuation and Modeling (2.0 cr)
MSF 6621 - Finance within the Macroeconomy (2.0 cr)
MSF 6121 - Fixed Income and Securities (2.0 cr)
Required Courses: Spring (8 credits)
MSF 6821 - Experiential Learning (4.0 cr)
MSF 6522 - Derivatives and Risk Management (2.0 cr)
MSF 6321 - Quantitative Portfolio Analysis (2.0 cr)
MSF 6822 {Inactive} (2.0 cr)
Electives (4 credits)
Students can select from the following electives or graduate courses offered by other departments in the business school upon approval.
FINA 6325 - Behavioral Finance (2.0 cr)
FINA 6621 - International Financial Management (2.0 cr)
FINA 6222 - Mergers and Acquisitions (2.0 cr)
FINA 6122 - Financial Management of Depository Institutions (2.0 cr)
FINA 6324 - Securitization Markets (2.0 cr)
FINA 8803 - Theory of Capital Markets II: Continuous Time (2.0 cr)
Non-Credit Courses
Noncredit 1: On occasion, external speakers will be brought in to enhance the experiential learning component of the M.S. finance program. Students are required to attend such meetings, and their participation will be assessed on a pass/fail basis. Noncredit 2: Students will be required to pass the online ethics module from the Chartered Financial Analyst Institute by the end of the summer. Successful completion will be a requirement of the Fundamentals of Finance II course.
 
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MSF 6421 - Computing for Finance: Excel/VBA I & II
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Summer
This course first introduces students to specific software (e.g., Excel VBA, ModelRisk Monte Carlo simulator) and databases (e.g., Bloomberg, Factset, CRSP, Compustat) that will be used throughout the MS program. It then focuses on the use of Excel for many topics in finance, including modern portfolio theory, optimal portfolio analysis and binomial option pricing. This course often takes the material being learned in the “Fundamentals of Finance” course to motivate specific examples.
MSF 6221 - Fundamentals of Finance I
Credits: 2.0 [max 2.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Summer
This course is the first course in a three-course sequence to introduce the ideas of corporate finance. This course will focus on an overview of corporate finance in the firm, the valuation principle, the time value of money, interest rates, valuing bonds, risk and return, and estimating the cost of capital.
MSF 6222 - Fundamentals of Finance II
Credits: 2.0 [max 2.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Summer
This course is the second course in a three-course sequence to introduce the ideas of corporate finance. Section I will introduce capital budgeting. Students will use the cost of capital learned at the end of the first course in conjunction with an introduction to the calculation of cash flows and the use of decision rules for project selection. Section II will move into stock valuation and company valuation based upon the dividend discount model and enterprise model of valuation; students will also be exposed to other valuation methods. Section III will introduce the effect of capital structure on company valuation, starting with perfect markets and introducing the opposing effects of taxation and financial distress on valuation. Students will complete a case to demonstrate understanding of the core concepts from the first three sections; the case is a continuing case with each week building on the prior week’s work. Section IV will provide an introduction to financial options and option valuation.
MSF 6031 - Financial Accounting
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Summer
This course provides students with a deep understanding of financial accounting fundamentals so that they can make decisions based on reported financials. Students will learn how a firm's operating activities, its investments, and financing transactions are recorded in the income statement, balance sheet, and statement of cash flows. Students will develop some skills needed to analyze financial statements that would later be used.
MSF 6422 - Financial Econometrics and Computational Methods I
Credits: 2.0 [max 2.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall
This course provides an introduction to the methods used in empirical finance. A review of statistics is followed by intensive instruction on matrix algebra that culminates in a fundamental understanding of linear regression, the basic empirical tool. Asset pricing theories are discussed and developed and then methods are derived to test them. The course will emphasize estimation and inference using computer-based applications. prereq: Summer Cohort Completion
MSF 6223 - Fundamentals of Finance III
Credits: 2.0 [max 2.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall
This course is the last of a three-course sequence that introduces the ideas of corporate finance. It focuses on the three major decisions of a firm: the financing decision, the capital structure decision, and the payout decision. There is also an introduction to corporate valuation. This course uses a balanced mix of lectures and case studies, and emphasizes the use of real world data. prereq: Summer Cohort Completion
MSF 6022 - Financial Statement Analysis
Credits: 2.0 [max 2.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall
This course teaches how to analyze financial statements, and it covers the following topics: overview of business activities and financial statements; profitability analysis and interpretation; credit risk analysis and interpretation; revenue recognition and operating income; asset recognition and operating assets; and inter-corporate entities. prereq: Summer Cohort Completion
MSF 6021 - Communications for Finance
Credits: 2.0 [max 2.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall
This course covers guidelines and practical skill development for writing well-organized, professional documents and delivering confident, credible, and dynamic presentations. Students will practice designing and delivering effective messages including reader-friendly documents and PowerPoint using a professional writing style and document design. Through discussion and practice, students will also learn to deliver poised, formal and informal presentations to small and large groups both individually and in teams. prereq: Summer Cohort Completion
MSF 6423 - Financial Econometrics and Computational Methods II
Credits: 2.0 [max 2.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall
This course builds on Financial Econometrics I and provides instruction on the econometrics used in empirical finance. Topics will include time series analysis, parametric models of volatility, evaluation of asset pricing theories, and models for risk management. The course will emphasize estimation and inference using computer-based applications. prereq: Fall A Cohort Completion
MSF 6322 - Corporate Valuation and Modeling
Credits: 2.0 [max 2.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall
This course develops the financial modeling principles and tools needed to build, operate, and understand the standard business performance, M&A, equity, and credit models that have become central to modern financial decision making. The course develops a deep understanding of financial models so they can be used to analyze a wide range of financial issues. Finance concepts introduced in other courses are reinforced by having students build them into models and by having students interpret the results produced by those models. Students build a financial model on their own, learn to use a fully developed financial model and use models repeatedly to evaluate and plan performance, to estimate value added from projects, operating strategies and financing proposals and to estimate the value of securities. This course extensively uses VBA macros, sensitivity tables and scenario analyses. prereq: Fall A Cohort Completion
MSF 6621 - Finance within the Macroeconomy
Credits: 2.0 [max 2.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall
This course is intended to provide you with an understanding of modern macroeconomics. We are particularly interest in how financial markets and institutions fit into the overall macro system. By the time that the term is over you will have a much stronger sense of the ongoing macroeconomic news and policy discussion. Having a sense of this material is often helpful in job interviews as well. prereq: Fall A Cohort Completion
MSF 6121 - Fixed Income and Securities
Credits: 2.0 [max 2.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall
This class provides an introduction to fixed income markets. Topics include the price/yield relation, no-arbitrage pricing of stripped coupon bonds, the duration/convexity approximation, the term structure of interest rates, defaultable bonds, mortgage-backed securities, inflation protected securities, bonds with embedded options, swap rates, the Fed Funds rate, repurchase agreements, and attribution analysis. prereq: Fall A Cohort Completion
MSF 6821 - Experiential Learning
Credits: 4.0 [max 2.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Spring
This course is the first half of the experiential learning segment of this program. Students will be partitioned into groups to investigate a particular project. The students will identify the most crucial issues associated with the project, collect the necessary data that will be used to analyze the issue at hand, and determine the quantitative tools that will be required to analyze the relevant issues. prereq: completion of Fall Cohort.
MSF 6522 - Derivatives and Risk Management
Credits: 2.0 [max 2.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Spring
This class provides an introduction to derivatives markets. This course is designed to achieve two main objectives. First, provide students with a rigorous framework used in valuing derivative contracts. This will include an in-depth treatment on the two work horses of the binomial model and the Black-Sholes-Merton model. Second, apply the framework to understand a wide variety of issues related to risk management and investment decisions. prereq: Fall A Cohort Completion
MSF 6321 - Quantitative Portfolio Analysis
Credits: 2.0 [max 2.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Spring
This course develops and examines models for portfolio decisions by investors and the pricing of securities in capital markets. We will develop portfolio theory along the way and also study the extensive empirical work that characterizes movements in security prices and evaluates alternative asset pricing models. Topics include the mean variance portfolio analysis, the capital asset pricing model, arbitrage pricing theory, the empirical performance of asset pricing model (market anomalies), multi-factor asset pricing models, time varying risk and returns, and portfolio performance evaluation, including style and attribution analysis. Extensive use of the computer will be required. prereq: Fall A Cohort Completion
FINA 6325 - Behavioral Finance
Credits: 2.0 [max 2.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Spring
Psychology/realistic settings that guide/develop alternative theories of financial market. How behavioral finance complements traditional paradigm on investors' trading patterns, behavior of asset prices, corporate finance, various Wall Street institutions/practices. prereq: MBA student
FINA 6621 - International Financial Management
Credits: 2.0 [max 2.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Spring
Applying finance theory to multinational corporations' investment, financing, risk management, decisions. International financial system. Spot, forward, swaps, option markets for foreign exchange. Interest rate arbitrage, parity. Exchange rate risk analysis/forecast. Measuring/managing currency exposure. Long term financing with swaps. Multinational capital budgeting. Cost of capital for international projects. prereq: MBA 6230, MBA student
FINA 6222 - Mergers and Acquisitions
Credits: 2.0 [max 2.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Spring
How corporate managers achieve growth through mergers/acquisitions. Examine buyer/seller motivations in context of M&A transactions/strategic alliances. Private equity, especially in context of corporate M&A transaction. prereq: 6241, MBA Student
FINA 6122 - Financial Management of Depository Institutions
Credits: 2.0 [max 2.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Spring
Commercial banks, other depository institutions. Asset/liability management, risk management, geographic expansion, investment banking, public policy issues. Lectures, student presentations, project. prereq: MBA 6230, MBA student
FINA 6324 - Securitization Markets
Credits: 2.0 [max 2.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Spring
Splitting risks. Redirecting risks to investors able to analyze and take on those risks. Reasons for development of securitization. Products, their similarities in character. How to build simple models and analyze examples of actual securitized liabilities. prereq: 6121, MBA student
FINA 8803 - Theory of Capital Markets II: Continuous Time
Credits: 2.0 [max 2.0]
Typically offered: Every Spring
Continuous-time financial economics. Emphasizes mathematical/statistical tools. Ito processes, Girsanov?s theorem, risk-neutral pricing. How to formulate/analyze continuous-time models. prereq: [Econ 8101, Econ 8102, Bbsiness admin PhD student] or instr consent