Master's in Finance Program Tracks

 

The Finance Department comprises world-class researchers, scholars and teachers in all areas of finance. Historically, students have been placed in a broad array of careers with some of the world's top companies. The department offers a wide variety of classes—including venture capital, entrepreneurship, real estate, fixed income, corporate finance, and investments.

The Finance Department has organized its programs around two tracks to assist Eller College Master's in Finance students in career planning.

Planning your curricula around these tracks enhances your job opportunities. You are now managing your own career and one ingredient of success is the ability to articulate a strategic plan. The department's tracks are designed to help you establish such a plan and communicate this plan with recruiters through your resume, cover letters, and interviews.
 

Current Student Handbook

 

UA BSBA-Finance major students, please see the special note on senior electives and the MSF coursework further down this webpage.

For non-finance or accounting major students, the following information is provided to outline prerequisite course requirements the Admissions Committee may require you complete before starting the Master's in Finance program.

Courses are offered in two hybrid modules (online and in-class) through the Finance Department and Eller Executive Education (EEE) in the summer (starting in late May) prior to starting the Master's in Finance program.

Prerequisite Courses

Prerequisite requirements are determined by the Finance Department Admissions Committee based on an individual applicant’s background, work experience, transcript, and chosen track within the MSF program. For students who can take courses prior to applying, recommended prerequisite courses can include:

  • ACCT200 taken at The UA within the last three years
  • ACCT400C taken at The UA within the last two years
  • FIN412 or equivalent
  • FIN421 or equivalent

Link to course descriptions at Finance Undergraduate Courses. Please note that ACCT400C, FIN412 and FIN421 are open to Eller College finance majors only. All other students will be required to take the summer course module described below.

Summer Course Module Enrollment Option

For students who have not met the prerequisite requirements as determined by the Finance Department Admissions Committee prior to applying to the MSF program, two modules are offered through UAOC. These are non-credit courses so financial aid is not usually available.

The modules are:

  • FINPREP1: Finance Preparation 1: Accounting and Statistics
    Starts the last Tuesday of May, ends before July 4 with exam
  • FINPREP2: Finance Preparation 2: Finance
    Starts the first Monday of July, ends the second Monday of August with exam
  • Review Exam and Case Study/Presentation on UA Campus, McClelland Hall
    Tuesday and Thursday the week before the start of Fall semester

These modules are required for entering students who demonstrate strong quantitative skills but lack the background and terminology gained in an undergraduate finance program and need to develop these skills in finance prior to joining the program on campus.  These courses are designed to give students the necessary proficiency to be on a par with their peers beginning the MSF program at Eller.

All Master's in Finance (MSF) tracks require a total of 36 credit hours of graduate coursework in finance. There are two options: 1) 10 courses total, 5 classes taken both Fall and Spring semester, plus a 6-unit summer master's project; or 2) 12 courses over a Fall, Spring and following fall semester. Students completing the master's project of 6 credit hours will work in pairs (completed during the summer following coursework). Ideally, projects will be structured to add to students' knowledge gained in the coursework of their chosen tracks.

Students entering the program in Fall 2017 or later, please scroll down or link below for details on a particular track of study: Investment Management or Corporate Finance.

These tracks consist of specific required courses and other select alternatives as identified. Excel worksheets are available for each track to help students plan their program of study. Please check the MSF Course listing for a full listing of finance courses that may be selected to complete the 10 or 12 course requirement, in addition to the finance track requirements.

The Investment Management track is designed for students seeking a career in investment management/capital markets. The program will also help students prepare to take the levels I and II Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) exams. Students willing to devote additional CFA exam preparation time should be well qualified to sit for the CFA level 1 exam in June after the two MSF semesters of coursework.

Each year the Finance Department and the Tucson CFA Society identify a number of worthy candidates to receive scholarships for the CFA exam. These scholarships are awarded on a competitive basis.

Coursework

The following eight classes are required in this track:

  • FIN 514. International Finance (Spring)*
  • FIN 516. Financial Statement Analysis for Investment Management (Fall)
  • FIN 521. Investment Analysis (Fall)
  • FIN 522. Advanced Risk Management and Derivatives (Fall)*
  • FIN 524. Applied Risk Management (Spring)
  • FIN 525. Empirical Finance Methods (Spring)
  • FIN 526. Portfolio Management Theory (Spring)
  • FIN 542. Fixed Income (Fall)

In addition, it is recommended that students pursuing this track apply for admission to the following classes:

  • FIN 523A. Applied Portfolio Management (Fall) - requires application and full year commitment
  • FIN 523B. Applied Portfolio Management (Spring)- requires application and full year commitment

Students may also need to select additional classes from the master's level finance electives offered during the program to complete the 10 or 12 required courses.

An Excel worksheet is available to help students plan their finance courses within the Investment Management track.

Careers

The Investment Management track is designed to enable students to pursue a CFA designation and a career in professional investment management. Good starting positions are available at asset management and brokerage firms, bank trust departments, state and local pension funds, and insurance companies. Careers-in-Finance offers good insight into a few of the types of positions and day-to-day work in these fields.

The corporate finance track is designed to familiarize students with the financial decisions made and decision-making tools used by corporate financial managers.

Coursework

The following five classes are required in this track:

  • FIN 512. Advanced Corporate Finance (Fall)
  • FIN 513. Valuation Modeling (Fall)*
  • FIN 521. Investments Analysis (Fall)
  • FIN 525. Empirical Finance Methods (Spring)
  • FIN 532. Corporate Finance Strategy (Spring)

In addition, students pursuing this track must select at least three classes from the following list:

  • FIN 514. International Finance (Spring)*
  • FIN 515. Venture Capital (Fall)
  • FIN 516. Financial Statement Analysis for Investment Management (Fall)
  • FIN 531. Financial Intermediaries (Spring)*
  • FIN 536. New Venture Finance (Fall)
  • FIN 560. Real Property (Spring)*

Students must also select two classes from the master's level finance electives offered during the program.

An Excel worksheet is available to help students plan their finance courses within the Fixed Income track.

Careers

The Corporate Finance track is designed to enable students to pursue a wide variety of fascinating careers at the world's top companies whose main business is not finance. These companies need finance professionals in the treasury, planning and budgeting, and strategic planning and risk management areas. Careers-in-Finance offers good insight into the types of positions and day-to-day work in these fields.

Based on your undergraduate senior elective coursework, students graduating with a BSBA in Finance from the University of Arizona will not be allowed to take the following courses in the MSF program. Students will substitute other 500-level finance courses to complete the 36-unit degree requirements.

Senior Elective Course Completed    MSF Course Requiring Substitution with a Different FIN 500-Level Course*
FIN 413 FIN 513
FIN 414 FIN 514
FIN 422 FIN 522
FIN 431 FIN 531
FIN 460 FIN 560

Students interested in taking the Chartered Financial Analyst® (CFA®) designation exam, a globally recognized standard for measuring the competence and integrity of investment professionals, will find that the courses in this program begin their preparation of required core competencies and the candidate body of knowledge covered on the examination. An overview of the CFA designation and requirements is available here.

Each year the Finance Department and the Tucson CFA Society identify a number of worthy candidates to receive scholarships for the CFA exam. These scholarships are awarded on a competitive basis.

Students and non-members are welcome to join the CFA Society of Tucson at local events. Please visit the chapter website for more information on meetings and events.

The University of Arizona Finance Department participates in the CFA Institute University Affiliation Program. The Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Institute provides program scholarships that “contribute to the CFA Institute mission of promoting the highest standards of ethics, education, and professional excellence. CFA Institute currently offers two types of scholarship opportunities.” (https://www.cfainstitute.org/programs/scholarships/Pages/index.aspx)

Access Scholarships

The CFA Program Access Scholarship is a needs-based opportunity for those unable to afford the full price of the enrollment and registration fees. The online application is available from 1 March – 15 September, for exams offered the following calendar year.

Historically, more CFA Access Scholarships have been available than applicants, so if students qualify, apply for an Access Scholarship.

Awareness Scholarships: Academic Student Scholarships

Awareness scholarships are merit or role-based opportunities that offer a reduced fee for CFA Institute educational programs. Applications for the five scholarships available each year are made directly to the Finance Department faculty CFA representative. Awareness Scholarships are made in conjunction with, awarded through and processed by the CFA Institute.

Eligible student applicants: Full-time students attending a school in a CFA Institute University Affiliation Program.

A summary page provided by the Finance Department faculty CFA representative is available here.

The University of  Arizona Finance Department is also a member of the Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) Association Academic Partnership Program (APP). As a member of APP, four scholarships are available for each CAIA exam through the Academic Scholarship Program. 

Applications for the four scholarships available each exam (two exams per year) are made directly to the Finance Department faculty CAIA representative. CAIA scholarships are made in conjunction with, awarded through and processed by the CAIA Association. 

Eligible student applicants: Full-time students attending a Academic Partnership Program (APP) Institution when the application is made, even if the student will graduate before the exam is held.

An outline of the CAIA Association Level 1 exam curriculum is available here.