MS - Finance
The Advantage of an LSU Master of Science in Finance
The Master of Science program in finance 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, it is crucial that professionals prepare for the increasingly complex world of finance by building a solid foundation. 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 Concentrations and Specialization
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 career goals. In addition, 18 hours or more have to be 7000 (or higher) level classes.
A viable alternative to an MBA, the MS in finance offers a number of concentrations that allow students to customize the curriculum to fit a variety of career goals including:
- Actuarial Science
- Corporate Finance
- Information Systems & Decision Sciences
- Internal Audit
Specialization Option in Internal Auditing
Moreover, MS Finance students may participate in LSU's prestigious Internal Auditing Program. As part of this world-class program and curriculum, MS Finance students may receive highly competitive intern positions at some of the nations most esteemed firms.
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.
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.
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.
MS Finance Career Paths
The typical areas in which a MS Finance graduate would work are: financial services, corporate finance, investments, real estate, or risk management.
Sample Career Outcomes:
- Financial analyst
- Mergers and acquisition analyst
- REIT manager
- Financial consultant
- Credit analyst
- Portfolio manager
- Mortgage administrator
- Bank lending officer
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 balance between the verbal and quantitative sections. We do not accept the GRE.
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 aid us in determining 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.
Your undergraduate degree should be equivalent to that from a four-year accredited U.S. institution, and you 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. You should also be proficient in office applications software (i.e., word processor, spreadsheet, and presentation).
The MS program in finance 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 is used in determining your program of study.
Students seeking the Master of Science degree in finance 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:
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 his or her spending preferences. Tuition, fees and insurance are also subject to change without notice. Click here to 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.