MS Finance | LSU Department of Finance

MS - Finance

MS - Finance

Why a Master of Science in Finance?

The Master of Science in Finance program provides students with the analytical and communication skills necessary for effective financial decision-making through the application of financial theory and quantitative techniques. ​With ever-increasing financial globalization and competition for employment in the financial sector, professionals must build a solid foundation to prepare for the increasingly complex world of finance. The MS Finance program offers a challenging advanced degree that prepares its participants to become the leaders of this rewarding and dynamic field.

MS Finance Curriculum with Specialized Career Tracks

The MS Finance program is 36 semester hours in length and is intended to be a full-time, three-semester program. MS Finance students are required to successfully complete at least 18 hours of finance courses, including three required courses. The remaining 18 hours should be chosen to support their specific career goals. In addition, 18 hours or more have to be 7000 (or higher) level classes. There are eight unique Career Tracks and one Specialization to meet each student’s specialized goals 

Career Tracks

MS Finance students can customize their curriculum to meet their long-term career goals through a variety of Career Tracks. Available Career Tracks include:

Typical Career Outcomes

The typical areas in which an MS Finance graduate would work are financial services, corporate finance, investments, real estate, or risk management. Possible careers include:

  • Financial analyst
  • Mergers and acquisition analyst
  • REIT manager
  • Financial consultant
  • Credit analyst
  • Portfolio manager
  • Mortgage administrator
  • Bank lending officer

*The MS Finance program allows students the flexibility to design a custom Career Track tailored to their individual needs and interests (with input and approval of the MS Finance advisor).

Specialization in Internal Auditing

MS Finance students may participate in LSU's prestigious Internal Auditing Program. As part of this world-class program and curriculum,  students may receive highly competitive intern positions at some of the nation's most esteemed firms.

Certification Opportunities 

For those with undergraduate degrees in accounting, the MS Finance program offers accounting electives in order for individuals to reach the 150-hour requirement for the CPA exam while pursuing a master in finance. In addition, the MS Finance program offers Bloomberg certification and excellent preparation for individuals seeking to become CFA and CFP certified.

Part-Time Study

Some students have completed the program on a part-time basis. Because the program is small, however, not all required courses are offered at times convenient for part-time students.

Advanced Resources

Through the LSU MS Finance program, students have the latest and most advanced educational resources at their fingertips. The Securities Markets Analysis Research and Trading (SMART Lab) allows students to access the latest technology in securities analysis, research and trading, while the Student Managed Investment Fund allows students real-life practice managing a portfolio.


We admit students in both fall and spring semesters. For admissions, we look at the entire application package, including transcripts, rather than focusing on any one test score. We target a 3.2 (on a 4.0 scale) undergraduate grade point average and a 600 or better on the GMAT (the code for LSU is 6373), with a balance between the verbal and quantitative sections.  For Fall 2021, we will waive the GMAT requirement for well-qualified candidates ( >3.5 GPA and good references are required). 

International applicants must also provide an official TOEFL score (the code for LSU is also 6373) of at least 550 on the paper-based exam, 213 on the computer-based exam, or 79 on the internet-based exam to be considered for admission. 

We encourage but do not require work experience.    

Letters of recommendation are also an important part of the assessment process. We use them to help us determine the applicant's likelihood of success both in the program and after graduation. We do not require specific forms for these letters; the respondent should write on standard letterhead. 

The applicant's undergraduate degree should be equivalent to that from a four-year accredited U.S. institution. Applicants should have successfully completed the core requirements for a business degree, roughly the equivalent of at least a comprehensive undergraduate minor in business administration:  calculus, micro-economics, macro-economics, one year of accounting including financial accounting, statistics through regression and hypothesis testing, business law, principles of marketing, principles of management, principles of finance, and either production management or operations research. Applicants should also be proficient in office applications software (i.e., word processor, spreadsheet, and presentation). 

The MS Finance program at LSU is small, with a total census of around 25. We usually accept between five and ten students each semester.

Since the curriculum is tailored to each applicant's needs, we require that you have already established a career goal and reasons for seeking the MS Finance degree. This information should be included in your statement of purpose on the graduate school application form and used to determine your program of study. 

Application Requirements

Students seeking the MS Finance degree must meet all degree requirements specified by the LSU Graduate School as well as specific departmental requirements outlined in the MS Finance Admissions section.

Prospective students should send all applicant documents and materials to the LSU Graduate School. Applicants should be sure to include:

  • resume

  • letters of recommendation

  • copies of the applicant's GMAT and TOEFL (international only) scores 

This site also contains much information about the admissions process. The LSU Graduate School sets the deadline on May 15 for Fall admission and October 15 for Spring admission but advises international students to submit their application at least ten months in advance of enrolling.


It is very difficult to estimate expenses since much depends on the individual and their spending preferences. Tuition, fees, and insurance are also subject to change without notice.  View tuition and fee estimates published yearly by LSU. The LSU International Services Office estimates that standard living expenses, including tuition and fees for the current year, to be $34,500.

Regrettably, at present, we do not anticipate offering any assistantships for the masters program for the coming year. 

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