The Master of Science in Financial Economics (MSFE) is a 36-hour, non-thesis master’s degree program designed to be completed in less than one year (students may take longer if desired). The MSFE provides academically distinguished and industry-oriented students the opportunity to obtain a rigorous, graduate-level finance and economics education in an intensive 10-month program.
The Master of Science program in financial economics 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 MSFE program offers a challenging advanced degree that prepares its participants to become the leaders in this rewarding and dynamic field. The goal of the program is to provide students with the quantitative and theoretical tools for a successful career in finance with potential employers such as investment and commercial banks, economic and financial asset management companies, consulting firms, and policy-oriented organizations.
In addition to having a strong MSFE program, LSU has one of the most beautiful campuses in the country. It is conveniently located on the banks of Mississippi River, close to downtown and many of the city's other attractions. New Orleans, one of the top tourist destinations in the world, is just about an hour drive from the campus. Louisiana, known as the Sportsman's Paradise, has a perfect climate for outdoor activities year-round. The weather is pleasant from October to May. Many outdoor festivals, concerts, and events are held throughout the year and often involve cooking, eating, and socializing in the temperate weather.
Our MSFE program is designated as a STEM program. International students in STEM degree programs can apply for a 24-month STEM extension of their F-1 Optional Practical Training (OPT).
MSFE Career Paths
The typical areas in which a MSFE graduate would work are:
- Data analysis and forecasting
- Bank, economic and government regulation
- Commercial banking
- Investment banking
- Financial analysis
- Corporate Finance
- Central banks
Prior graduates received offers from these companies:
Applicants for the MSFE must meet the requirements for admission to the LSU Graduate
School and the MSFE program. Detailed information can be found in the prospective
students section on the LSU Graduate School's website. Please note that meeting the
LSU Graduate School requirements and those specific to the MSFE program does not guarantee
The MSFE program has the following requirements. Domestic applicants should submit their application by April 1 for fall admission and by November 1 for spring admission. Foreign applicants should submit their application by March 1 for fall admission and by September 15 for spring admission.
- GPA should be at least 3.0 (A=4.0)
- GMAT or GRE: We target a GMAT score of 600 or a GRE score of 290 with emphasis on the quantitative scores (i.e. a score of 155 or higher on the quantitative section of the GRE).
- TOEFL/IELTS/PTE: A minimum TOEFL score of 80 (internet-based exam) or 213 (computer- based exam); or a minimum score of 6.5 on the IELTS; or a minimum score of 59 on the PTE is required for international students.
- References: Two letters of recommendation are required. At least one letter should be from a current or previous professor.
- Statement of Purpose: Two-page summary of your purpose for applying to the MSFE program.
It would be preferable for students interested in pursuing the MSFE to have a STEM or business background, but it is not required.
There are a number of scholarships available for well-qualified candidates and assistantships available to very well-qualified candidates. All applicants will be considered for scholarships and assistantships. The scholarships vary in value from $1,000 to $5,000. The assistantships carry a competitive stipend and also include a full tuition waiver (the student will be responsible for university fees). Students holding full-time assistantships are expected to work with faculty or the departments for 20 hours per week.
MSFE Program: Details
The MSFE consists of a core of macroeconomic, microeconomic and finance theory and practice plus 3-4 elective courses used to tailor the curriculum to individual interests. The MSFE program is designed to take only 10-months, but students may take longer to complete the program (see the MSFE program adviser to tailor a curriculum path unique to your needs). The courses and suggested sequencing are as follows:
Summer intersession (2-weeks prior to fall semester–2 credit hours)
- Financial Analytics I (FIN 7708)
Fall semester (16 credit hours)
- Introduction to Advanced Microeconomics (ECON 7701)
- Introduction to Advanced Macroeconomics (ECON 7717)
- Applied Econometrics (ECON 7629)
- Financial Statement Analysis (FIN 4830)
- Advanced Financial Management (FIN 7719)
- Financial Economics in Practice (FIN 7800)
Winter intersession (2 credit hours)
- Financial Analytics II (FIN 7709)
Spring semester (16 credit hours)
- Investment Analysis and Portfolio Theory (FIN 7826)
- Financial Economics in Practice (FIN 7800)
- Finance, Economics or General Elective (4 courses, 12 hours)