Master of Science in Finance and Analytics

Introduced in June 2019, the Master of Science in Finance and Analytics (MSFA) is designed to produce graduates who have the skills to:

  • Interpret and analyze financial information with cutting-edge tools, and develop financial models to assist decision-making

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

  • Develop and strengthen skills in leadership and collaboration

The MSFA program is a full- or part-time degree program which equips the students with the analytical skills and practical experience to prepare themselves for careers in corporate finance, banking, consulting, and government. With finance elective courses the student can focus in corporate finance, investment management, or capital markets. The MSFA 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 MSFA program are similar to those for the Evening MBA program (please refer to the Admissions section, Chapter 2) with the following exceptions:

  • Admission is offered only once a year (Fall Quarter, September start)

  • 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. Course work must be completed from an accredited university and a have a letter grade assigned (pass/no pass is not acceptable):

  • One (1) course in college level calculus

  • One (1) course in college level statistics

Additionally, candidates must successfully complete the following areas prior to enrollment. Completion of these courses may be from online sources designated by the program:

  • One (1) course in linear algebra

  • One (1) course R programming

  • One (1) course in Python programming

For more information regarding the admission process please refer to chapter 2 or visit our website here. Admission correspondence also may be sent via email to

Academic Information

The MSFA program requires 36 units to complete the degree. Below is the required curriculum, listed by term. A 10- or 16-month full-time program is offered. Below is an example of the 10-month program. Schedule subject to change.

Fall Quarter (12 units)

  • FNCE 2400 - Corporate Finance & Financial Analysis (4 units)

  • MSIS 2402 - Math for Finance and Analytics with R (4 units)

  • MSIS 2403 - Database Management Systems- Fundamentals of SQL (2 units)

  • ECON 2409 - Econometrics (2 units)

Winter Quarter (12+ units)

  • FNCE 2405 - Investments (4 units)

  • MSIS 2407 - Data Analytics with Python (4 units)

  • MSFA practicum

  • MSFA electives (4+ units)

Spring Quarter (12 units)

  • MSFA practicum

  • MSFA Electives (remaining required units)

All electives will be numbered 24XX. Students may ask for permission to take one class outside of the approved electives, but they must meet the prerequisites of the class and there must be space available.

Students wishing to participate in the June Commencement Ceremony must complete all degree requirements by the end of the Spring quarter.

To Petition to Graduate, please visit the signature of emails.

Note: Please refer to Chapter 12 for all course descriptions.

Course Waiver Policy

Students in the MSFA program may receive credit for coursework taken previously in limited circumstances. A minimum grade of B is required in each class accepted for waiver credit. All waiver credit MUST be from a comparable Graduate Level Program.

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 MSFA program, a student requiring a leave of absence may be required to withdraw from the program. Alternatives to continuing their 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 MSFA 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 MSFA program]{.underline}, contact the Graduate Business Admissions Office, 116 Lucas Hall.

Academic Standing

To qualify for the MSFA 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, they 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 their 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 MSFA 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 4, for additional information.

MSFA Core Course Descriptions

*FNCE 2400. Corporate Finance and Financial Analytics

Introduces the basic concepts and tools of finance. Reviews balance sheet and income statement categories. Emphasizes the time value of money, present value calculations, the opportunity cost of capital, valuation of simple securities, and evaluating investment opportunities in a capital budgeting system. (4 units)

MSIS 2402. Math for Finance & Analytics with R

The objective of this course is to provide a comprehensive background in the

mathematical topics required for learning Quantitative Finance (QF) and Business Analytics and Data Science (BADS). The mathematical topics covered include Calculus, Linear Algebra, and Probability Theory. Applications of these topics in a variety of business contexts will be included. (4 units)

*FNCE 2405. Investments

Explores investment securities and markets; reviews valuation tools; analysis of stocks, bonds, and derivatives. Introduces constructing portfolios and controlling investment risks. Focuses on learning how to value assets given forecasts of future cash flows. Concentrates on the risk characteristics of different asset classes. (4 units)

*MSIS 2407. Data Analytics W/ Python

Data analytics involves the application of scientific methodologies to extract, understand, and make predictions based on data sets from a broad range of sources. Students will learn skills that cover the various phases of exploratory data analysis: importing data, cleaning and transforming data, algorithmic thinking, grouping, aggregation, reshaping, visualization, time series, statistical modeling, and data exploration and communication of results. The course will utilize data from a wide range of sources and will culminate with a final project and presentation. (4 units)

*MSIS 2403. Database Management Systems- Fundamentals of SQL

This course aims to give an understanding of and hands-on experience with the most widely used database tools. The objective of this course is to convey intermediate to advanced database concepts and to acquaint students with state-of-the-art software tools. The course will rely on classroom discussions, media articles and cases, as well as programming exercises and an integrative group project. Use of database software is required. A lab fee is required. (2 units)

*ECON 2409. Econometrics

Covers the basic conceptual foundations and tools of econometrics and teaches students to apply them to case studies with real-world data. The key statistical technique used in this course is multiple linear regression. (2 units)

MSFA Elective Course Descriptions:

*FNCE 2404. Introduction to Time Series

This course is designed to provide a comprehensive introduction to forecasting methods used in Time Series Analysis. The Class covers a range of topics in Time Series Forecasting. This class will provide you with language to describe time series data and ultimately cover modeling techniques such as ARIMA, SARIMA and GARCH to produce forecasts. (2 units)

*FNCE 2408. Analytics for Finance

This course covers key issues in panel data analysis, with an emphasis on their applications in empirical research, especially empirical corporate finance. The course aims to introduce various economic methods for analyzing panel data and develop core techniques to identify causal relations in the data. Students will be exposed to a broad range of implications in finance through reading academic papers and conducting their own empirical analysis. (2 units)

*FNCE 2423. Introduction to FinTech

FinTech has rapidly become a prevalent part of our vernacular, and an understanding of the evolution of traditional finance methods is an important part of a Finance majors arsenal. This course covers the evolution of traditional finance methods -- namely, the disruptions and innovations that have transformed: (i) how we access capital; (ii) how we allocate or invest capital; (iii) how we settle or transfer capital; and (iv) how we monitor and maintain the integrity of financial institutions and transactions. (2 units)

FNCE 2428. Alternative Investments I: Partnerships & Venture Capital

This is the first of two courses that cover alternative investments. Alternative investments contrast to widely-held investments like stocks, bonds and mutual funds. This course covers how these investments are generally structured along with a closer study of a particular category, venture capital. (2 units)

*FNCE 2431. Introduction to Fixed Income

Provides an introduction to fixed income. It covers the valuation and application of basic fixed-income securities and an introduction to select credit derivatives. The main objective is to provide a foundation in the basic concepts and mathematics of these securities and their applications, holistically as it pertains to a means to (i) immunize investment portfolios; (ii) raise capital, and (iii) hedge attendant risks. (2 units)

*FNCE 2452. Challenges In Finance: Corporate Financial Transactions

This course goes over the techniques utilized in large scale corporate financial transactions. The course discusses the strategic use and value-add of each type of transaction, the appropriate context for using them, alternative implications, and valuation principles. (2 units)

*FNCE 2453. Corporate Finance

This course deals with the basic and advanced concepts of corporate finance, particularly the role of the financial manager and the goal of financial management. The course focuses on agency conflicts and corporate governance, capital structure, payout policy, financial distress, options derivatives/hedging, and international issues. (4 units)

FNCE 2457. International Financial Management

Studies financial issues specific to firms operating internationally. Examines the global financial environment, agency problems and corporate governance, international financial markets, exchange rate behavior, and corporate hedging decisions using currency options, currency futures, forward & cross-currency interest rate swaps by the multinational corporation (MNC) and understanding international parity relations. (4 units)

FNCE 2460. Mergers, Acquisitions & Corporate Reconstructing

Examines corporate governance and corporate restructurings. Emphasizes how corporate ownership, control, and organizational structures affect firm value. Other topics include valuing merger candidates, agency theory, and takeover regulation. Places a heavy emphasis on case projects and/or class presentations. (4 units)

FNCE 2461. Applied Portfolio Management I

This course introduces the practical aspects of investment management. This is one part of a two-course sequence. The two proposed courses will provide students a framework to gain a detailed understanding of dynamics and factors affecting today's investment managers. (2 units)

FNCE 2462. Applied Portfolio Management II

This course builds on the material covered in Applied Portfolio Management I and focuses on the practical aspects of portfolio performance evaluation and risk management. (2 units)

*FNCE 2480: Emerging Company Finance

Covers financial topics most relevant to newly formed companies, with an emphasis on Silicon Valley-style startups that target large markets and raise outside capital. (2 units)

*FNCE 2481. Emerging Company Finance II

This course focuses on the issues faced by start-up CFOs, and is directly relevant to entrepreneurs, founders and the early employees at start-ups who are evaluating, communicating, and implementing new business opportunities. Prerequisite: FNCE 2480. (2 units)

*FNCE 2482. Business Valuation

Discusses implementing finance theory for valuation problems. Provides practical valuation tools for valuing a company and its securities. Covers valuation techniques including discounted cash-flow analysis, estimated cost of capital, market multiples, free-cash flow, and pro forma models. Prerequisite: FNCE 2400. (4 units).

FNCE 2484. Financial Engineering

Examines the design, valuation and risk management of derivative securities. Including structured products, arbitrage, theory, futures, equity options, bond options, credit derivatives, swaps and currency derivatives. Mathematical modeling of Derivatives including implementation and applications in investments, corporate finance & risk management. (4 units)

FNCE 2486. Behavioral Corporate Finance

This course identifies the key psychological obstacles to values maximizing behavior, along with steps that managers can take to mitigate their effects. The objective of the course is to help students learn how to put the traditional tools of corporate finance to their best use, and mitigate the effects of psychological obstacles that reduce value. (4 units)

FNCE 2492. ESG Investing

ESG is shorthand for environmental, social and governance investment criteria. Earlier and concurrent names include Socially Responsible Investing (SRI), Sustainable investing, Impact investing, Ethical Investing, Faith-Based Investing, Values-based Investing (VBI), and Green Investing. We will explore the following questions - What is ESG? What do ESG investors want? What do ESG investors get? What is the practice of ESG? What is the link between ESG and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)? (2 units)

FNCE 2464. Real Estate Finance

Course teaches the concepts and techniques necessary to analyze financial decisions embedded in property investment, development and Finance. Students will analyze the real estate market, investments in residential and commercial real estate by individuals, partnerships and trusts. Emphasis is on the valuation and cash flow of analysis of these projects and an understanding of the financing alternatives using actual properties for sale and case analysis. (4 units)

*MSIS 2428. Big Data Modeling & Analytics **This course is a lab led and open source software rooted course. Students will learn the fundamentals of Hadoop framework, NoSQL databases and R language. The class will focus on storage, process and analysis aspects of Big Data. Students will have access to a MapR Hadoop image. The image is enhanced by instructor to include MongoDB and R. (4 units)

*MSIS 2429. Dashboards

This course enables you to transform data into persuasive dashboards that effectively inform and guide management actions. Dashboards are persuasive if they motivate actions in an intended audience. Dashboards are effective if they offer comprehensive and reliable information. This course introduces and discusses the fundamental design principles and technology of dashboards and allows you to design, implement, and critique dashboards. Prerequisites: MSIS 2407, 2403 and MSFA. (2 units)

*MSIS 2431. Machine Learning

This course introduces participants to quantitative techniques and algorithms that are based on big data (numerical and textual) or are theoretical models of big systems or optimization that are currently being used widely in business. It introduces topics that are often qualitative but that are now amenable to quantitative treatment. The course will prepare participants for more rigorous analysis of large data sets as well as introduce machine learning models and data analytics for business intelligence. Prerequisites: MSIS 2407, 2402, and 2403. (4 units)

*MSIS 2439. Data Visualization

This course enables you to explore data, identify insights, and develop evidence-based arguments using data visualization techniques. Completing this course equips you with a moderate level of data literacy, the ability to interpret, construct and convey arguments through the functional and truthful visual presentation of data. You will wrangle data, customize data visualization technologies, and programmatically develop data visualizations. Prerequisite: MSIS 2429. (2 units)

MSIS 2459. Financial Markets & Institutions

This course analyzes the main functions of financial institutions such as commercial banks, investment banks and insurance companies from the perspective of a corporate issuer, and reviews the recent developments in the financial service industry. (2 units)

OMIS 2496. MSFA Internship

Enriches the academic experience of MSFA students through a structured experiential-learning program. Designed as a partnership between the Leavey School of Business, partner employers, and the MSFA student, the experiences gained through an internship complements classroom learning, and provides an extension of the classroom experience, integrating theory and practice. (1 unit)

OMIS 2497. MSFA Internship

Continuation of OMIS 2496 internship course under direction of faculty. (1 unit) Prerequisite: OMIS 2496

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