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Masters in Finance Requirements

Masters in Finance Requirements

Most master's level degrees in finance are offered as a major, or area of concentration, in a MBA program. Virtually every university has its Department of Finance folded into the School of Business. There are a few exceptions, and there are some schools that offer a separate degree in Finance Mathematics, or in Financial Engineering. These degrees may be found in a math department or in the case of Financial Engineering, in the computer science or engineering departments. But for students interested in a well rounded graduate degree in finance within the context of the business world and the economic structures that define financial practices, a MBA in Finance is a good option. The requirements for this degree typically divides into the business oriented courses and the finance related courses taught as electives in the second year of the MBA program.

Masters in Finance Core Courses

Generally the first year of a MBA program is devoted to the basic or core course and the second year to the electives that shape the area of concentration. That does not mean, however, that there is not a great deal of mathematics and finance included in year-one studies. At Duke the core courses include Financial Accounting, Business Computer Applications, Global Financial Management, and Managerial Economics. That's about half of the first year courses, devoted to one aspect of finance or another.

The MBA program at Columbia also has a heavy emphasis on finance and the mathematics involved in finance during the first year. The courses in Corporate Finance and Financial Accounting are twice as long as the other core courses. Columbia revised its MBA curriculum in 2008, to reflect the changes in business management practices and the new technology that is applied in business decision making. The result is first year courses in Global Economic Environment, Managerial Statistics, Managerial Economics and Decision Modeling. Much of that has to do with the IT applications used in business today.

Masters in Finance Specialization Courses

The second year in a MBA in Finance program is going to zero in on the complex analytic processes used in corporate business and in the world of financial services. Those processes may include designing financial instruments, analyzing complex risk scenarios, or actually engaging in financial analysis and securities sales in a hyper-charged trading atmosphere. The University of Illinois MBA in Finance program includes the Illinois Business Consulting program, which puts students into an internship position in the executive ranks of major corporations.

The course work is also going to cover a multitude of potential career positions. Ohio State University's Fisher School of Business has several MBA majors related to finance, but the broadest option is probably the MBA in Corporate Finance. That degree option includes courses in Risk Management, International Finance, Entrepreneurial Finance, Private Equity, Real Estate Investments, and Fixed Income Securities. Those are six courses that hint at six different career paths.

Regulatory Courses

Corporate regulatory issues are a growing priority for companies in the United States for two reasons. The first is the slew of new reporting requirements generated by the financial crisis of 2008 - 2009, particularly in the banking industry. The other reason is the globalization of business that has seen a remarkable number of U.S. businesses of all sizes develop offshore business presence or partners or manufacturing concerns. Different nations have different regulatory issues and it is incumbent on a corporate financial executive to be conversant with all that are relevant to his firm. For that reason the MBA in Finance will usually include courses such as those offered at the University of Virginia in Mergers & Acquisitions, Corporate Financial Policies, and Financial Statement Analysis.

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