Male student in a finance class working on a computer

Advance your future in finance

At Gies, we deliver a STEM-designated Master of Science in Finance (MSF) degree that creates transformational educational experiences and sets our graduates apart in the market. The Department of Finance features a faculty of experts and industry leaders teaching a flexible and cutting-edge curriculum.

Students arrive with different backgrounds and different levels of expertise in finance, so our 15-month program has built-in flexibility to deliver an education and experience that fits your needs. When you arrive in August, we’ll work with you to assess your skills and interests and place you in the classes that will prepare you for success.

Classes start in August (fall) each year. Applications for 2020 will open on October 1, 2019. Applications deadlines are as follows: 

  • Round 1 Deadline: Friday, 24 January, 2020
  • Round 2 Deadline: Sunday, 15 March, 2020*
  • Round 3 Deadline: Wednesday, 15 April, 2020

*Final deadline for international applicants requiring a visa.

Set up for career success

If you're looking for a career as an investment analyst, business valuation associate, or data analyst, our MSF program will prepare you for these careers as well as the CFA Level 1 exam. Over the past two years, graduates have gone on to work for major corporations such as PwC, Enfusion, Nanhua USA, Bloomberg, Deloitte, and KPMG China. Salaries for MSF alumni three years after graduation average $82,281 (based on 2018 Financial Times data).

Join the ranks of students who have seen their careers take off with their MSF degree.

A flexible, customizable, and cutting-edge curriculum

The MSF program has an innovative three-semester curriculum that provides you with a strong foundation in the principles and practices of finance. The program also introduces you to the emerging concepts, practices, and technologies necessary to be successful in today's finance industry.

In addition to the core curriculum, you will select courses to customize your degree. For instance, you may choose to follow a specialization track in one of the following areas:

  • Asset Management
  • Corporate Finance
  • Data Analytics and Fintech
  • Quantitative Finance
  • Real Estate
  • Finance Research (PhD Specialization)

You can also choose from a broad range of electives in other areas of finance, such as commercial banking, real estate, financial engineering or wealth management.

An optional full semester practicum project allows you the opportunity to work on real-world projects for national and international companies to gain hands-on experience. These projects, paired with cutting-edge courses in big data analytics, high-frequency trading, financial engineering, and valuation will prepare you to excel in the finance industry.

Admitted students with extensive finance experience may elect to complete their studies in two semesters with approval from the program director.

The Department of Finance boasts an elite faculty with eight chairs or named professorships. Numerous studies continue to rank the Department as among the most productive of all finance research units in the world. Finance Department faculty are outstanding teachers who deliver high-quality, challenging courses. In the classroom, practice and learning converge to create an active and engaging educational experience which will prepare students for the challenge of modern financial markets.

Tanvi Rotkar Portrait from the Master of Science in Finance Program

"The program has great professors who are very knowledgeable and come with rich experiences. The learning is phenomenal, and the breadth of courses offered is the key highlight of the program."

Tanvi Rotkar, MSF '16

Sashikanth Yenika Portrait from Master of Science in Finance program

"My time at Illinois has been an outstanding experience. I am highly thankful for the depth of knowledge the MSF program has armed me with. The support system created by the professors and the faculty is phenomenal."

Sashikanth Yenika, MSF '16

STEM-designated by design

The MSF degree is STEM-designated, which may allow international students to remain in the US for up to 36 months on the Optional Practical Training STEM extension. Our commitment to a leading-edge curriculum in data analytics, financial modeling, and financial technology secured this important designation.

Solve complex real-world problems

Round out your finance experience with innovative resources and options that will make your educational experience even more valuable. The Margolis Market Information Lab is a state-of-the-art lab designed to give you exposure to industry-leading tools like Bloomberg, Capital IQ, Tableau, and more. Business case competitions and Illinois Business Consulting (IBC) are two additional ways for students to apply what they learn in the classroom to real-world, client-focused projects.

Female student leaning over desk looking at notes with a calculator

Fast track your finance career

Earn a top-ranked, STEM-designated Master of Science in Finance in one year.


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