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Application Process & Requirements

Students in the MSF program come from a variety of backgrounds. While many students in the program have a business-related undergraduate degree, the program also attracts students with undergraduate degrees in such areas as engineering, math, physics, and computer science.

Admission to the MSF program is highly competitive. Decisions are based on the individual's previous academic accomplishments, test scores, work experience, personal statement, resume, demonstrated potential for graduate and professional success, and references.

Classes start in August each year. Applications for 2020 will open in Fall 2019. Get notified when applications open.

Application Materials

It’s simple to apply online for the MSF program. To speed up the process, here are the items you’ll need and what you’ll need to do:

1. Begin the Graduate College application: All of the steps below must be completed online through this Graduate College application. Be sure to select your program as Finance, then Finance - MS as degree.

2. Upload your unofficial transcripts: The unofficial transcripts must include applicant's name, institution name, and a transcript legend, grade scale or grade criteria. If an offer of admission is made, the Official Transcript(s) are required to be submitted upon arrival to campus. If you've not yet completed your undergraduate degree at the time of application, we will review your application based on the in-progress unofficial transcripts you have uploaded.

3. Submit your GMAT or GRE score: All applicants, domestic or international, are required to take the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) or the Graduate Record Exam (GRE). Unofficial scores can be loaded into your application, but your official GMAT scores must be sent directly to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign: Institution Code – 1836. 

4. Send us your English proficiency scores (international students only): If you are a non-native English speaker, you’ll need to upload your unofficial TOEFL or IELTS scores directly to your application. For IELTS scores, you should upload a copy of your official score card. TOEFL scores of 103 or greater or IELTS scores of 7.5 or greater are required for full-status admission. Review the Graduate College’s English proficiency requirements for more details on full-status versus limited-status admission. Request your official TOEFL scores to be sent electronically to the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (Institution Code – 1836).

5. Upload your resume: Your professional resume should include personal information (name, address, telephone number and email address), educational background, work experience (start and end dates for each position and a brief description of responsibilities), internship experience, educational training, professional associations, and leadership experiences. Please limit your resume to one page only.

6. Upload your personal statement: Your personal statement should specifically answer the following questions. Please limit your personal statement to 300 words or less.

  • What is your area of interest in finance?
  • What are you goals upon completion of the MSF program?
  • What choices have led you to your current career path and position?

7. Choose your references: Please choose three references from academic and/or professional sources. Academic references should be from professors whose course(s) you’ve taken, and professional references should come from your supervisors and/or mentors. Once you enter their information into the online application, they will be notified to submit a letter of reference on your behalf. 

8. Provide proof of funding and Declaration and Certification of Finances Form (international students only): In order for your visa eligibility document to be issued, we will need appropriate funding documents uploaded directly into your online application. This is not required for application review, but will be needed if you are offered admission.  International students are required to show proof of funding for living expenses in addition to all tuition and fees.

9. Upload a copy of your passport (international students only): In order for your visa eligibility documents to be issued, we will need a copy of your passport information and photo, including dependents, if applicable. You can upload these directly into your online application. This is not required for application review, but will be needed if you are offered admission.  

10. Pay your application fee: For domestic students there is a $70 non-refundable fee to apply and for international students the non-refundable fee is $90. Applications received without payment of this fee cannot be processed. The application fee cannot be refunded.

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