Master of Science in Finance

Introduced in June 2013, the Master of Science in Finance (MSF) is designed to produce graduates who have the skills to:

  • Evaluate risk, devising appropriate risk and investment management strategies

  • Interpret and analyze financial information, and develop financial model to assist decision-making

  • Understand ethical standards in business and recognize and evaluate issues of ethics and integrity facing financial

  • Develop and strengthen skills in leadership and collaboration

The MSF program is a one-year, full-time degree program which equips the students with the business skills and practical experience to ready themselves for careers in banking, consulting, corporate finance, government, and investments. With finance elective courses the student can focus in corporate finance, investment management, or capital markets. The MSF program is taught by the same faculty as the MBA program, and has the same Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International (AACSB) accreditation. A new cohort is admitted each year.


Admissions requirements for the MSF program are similar to those for the evening MBA program (please refer to the Admissions section, Chapter 3) with the following exceptions:

  • Admission is offered only once a year

  • Deferments are generally not permitted

  • Professional work experience recommended, but not required

  • An interview is required

Applicants also must have successfully completed the following areas prior to enrollment:

  • Two (2) courses in level calculus

  • One (1) course in college level statistics

Please refer to the website for more information.

Academic Information

The MSF program requires 46 units to complete the degree. Below is the required curriculum, listed by term.

Fall Quarter (12 units)

- FNCE 2453 Corporate Finance (3 units)\

  • FNCE 2455 Investments (3 units)\
  • MGMT 2501 Managerial Competencies and Team Effectiveness (3 units)\
  • Elective (3 units)

Winter Quarter (12 units)

- ACTG 2303 Corporate Financial Reporting (3 units)\

  • MGMT 2512 Practice and Morality of Leadership (3 units)\
  • 2 elective courses (2 course/6 units)

Spring Quarter (12 units)

- 4 Finance Electives (4 courses/12 units)

Of the 7 electives required, a minimum of 4 must be in Finance. Finance electives may be clustered to create a focus in corporate finance, investment management, or capital markets

Note: Please refer to Chapter 14 for all course descriptions.

Course Waiver Policy

Students in the MSF program may receive credit for coursework taken previously in limited circumstances. Students with a professional qualification (CPA, CMA, Chartered Accountant or similar) or recent (within six years) substantial coursework in accounting, including through Intermediate Accounting, may receive credit for the Accounting requirement. Students with substantial preparation in statistics, including coursework (within six years) may receive credit for the Statistics core requirement. A minimum grade of B is required in each class accepted for waiver credit. Students with substantial preparation in Microeconomics, including coursework (within six years) may receive credit for the Economics core requirement. Transcripts for students with undergraduate degrees in Finance will be evaluated on an individual basis to determine if any waiver credit will be granted.

The determination of whether prior coursework or professional qualification is sufficient for credit may be made by the Graduate Business Program Office staff. In unusual situations, students may be asked to prepare a petition outlining their prior preparation for faculty review.

This policy applies to matriculated students only. Course waivers may reduce the unit load in a given quarter. International students are required to maintain the term-unit load requirements as outlined by the Global Engagement Office at Santa Clara University. Policies for a non- matriculated students may be different.

Leaves of Absence

Due to the full-time nature of the MSF program, a student requiring a leave of absence may be required to withdraw from the program. Alternatives to continuing his/her education should be discussed with the director, M.S. Programs.

Program Withdrawal

Students who want to withdraw from the program and the university must notify the Graduate Business Programs Office of their intent in writing. Some portion of the tuition may be refunded and will be determined at time of withdrawal notification. Withdrawal from the university is not complete until the student clears obligations with the Bursar's Office.

Transferring into Another Graduate Business Program

Transferring into another graduate business program is possible if the student is in good academic standing and has a minimum GPA of 3.0. A transfer will be granted only once, by application, and is at the discretion of the faculty director and the senior assistant dean. Applications can be submitted between September 15th and March 15th of each academic year.

Students wishing to apply for a transfer to another graduate business program will need to complete the following:

  • M.S. transfer application

  • A brief personal statement (1 page) advocating transfer

  • A recommendation from a SCU faculty member attesting to performance and supporting the transfer

The Faculty Director and Senior Assistant Dean will review the application, personal statement, and recommendation in concert with the student's GRE/GMAT score and academic performance in the current M.S. program before making a decision on the request. A transfer back to the M.S. in Finance is not possible once the student is approved to transfer to another graduate business program.

For information regarding entrance into the MBA program after completion of the MSF program, contact the Graduate Business Admissions Office, 116 Lucas Hall.

Academic Standing

To qualify for the MSF degree, a student must maintain an overall grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.0 in all work taken in the Leavey School of Business. A grade of C- is considered a minimum passing grade in each course. A grade of F is considered a failing grade, and the units will not be counted toward graduation requirements.

Students who receive an F in a required course are eligible for immediate dismissal based on the availability of the course and its requirement as a prerequisite for other courses.

If a student has a cumulative GPA below a 3.0, he/she will be placed on academic probation. A student then has one quarter to raise the GPA to a cumulative 3.0 or they will be dismissed from the program. Students failing required classes may be dismissed immediately if it is mathematically impossible to return to good standing and remain on track to graduate with his/her class.

If a student has a cumulative GPA below a 3.0 at the end of his/her final quarter and all course requirements have been satisfied, no degree will be awarded until the cumulative GPA is a 3.0 or better through completion of additional graduate course work in the Leavey School of Business.

Student Responsibility

Students enrolled in the MSF program are required to follow the same policies and procedures as students in the evening MBA program. Each student is personally responsible for knowing all of the academic regulations of the graduate business school. This includes, but is not limited to: grading, honor code, leave of absence, withdrawal, and concurrent enrollment policies. Please refer to the Academic Information section, Chapter 5, for additional information.

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