Finance (Smeal)

Graduate Program HeadKimberly Cornaggia
Program CodeFIN
Campus(es)University Park (M.Fin.)
Degrees ConferredMaster of Finance (M.Fin.)
The Graduate Faculty


The Master of Finance in Finance program prepares graduates to stand out in a competitive job market by studying at a highly reputed business school with some of the world’s leading academic thinkers in finance and industry experts. This program provides students with the analytical skills grounded in finance and economics needed to successfully engage as strategic managers. Students will gain the skills needed to succeed in today’s dynamic work environments, gain a firm understanding of issues and problems facing management, develop an understanding and appreciation for leading edge research in finance, and be prepared to become a successful leader. World-class professors who are specialists in finance and economics will teach in the program. A solid foundation in finance, decision analysis, project management, accounting, valuation, market analysis, econometrics, and investment analysis will make the target audience more attractive to hiring managers and enable graduates to advance more rapidly into management and leadership positions.

Admission Requirements

Applicants apply for admission to the program via the Graduate School application for admission. Requirements listed here are in addition to Graduate Council policies listed under GCAC-300 Admissions Policies.

Educational Background

Applicants must:

GMAT and/or GRE scores will not be required for admission. Accordingly, these scores will not be accepted.  

Students who do not have foundational backgrounds in accounting or statistics may be required to take MBADM 811 and/or MBADM 813 (or equivalent course work) prior to entering the program.  The program faculty director will assess the background of each applicant.

Language of Instruction

The language of instruction at Penn State is English. English proficiency test scores (TOEFL/IELTS) may be required for international applicants. See GCAC-305 Admission Requirements for International Students for more information.

Core Application Packet

Degree Requirements

Master of Finance (M.Fin.)

Requirements listed here are in addition to Graduate Council policies listed under GCAC-700 Professional Degree Policies.

The number of total credits required for the MFIN program is 31 credits at the 400, 500, or 800 level, with at least 18 credits at the 500 or 800 level, and at least 6 credits at the 500 level.

Required Courses
BA 512Quantitative Analysis for Managerial Decision Making2
BA 545Business, Government and International Economics2
BA 817Communication Skills for Management2
BA 821Foundation in Managerial Accounting2
BA 831Foundations in Finance2
FIN 550Financial Analysis and Valuation2
FIN 577Financial Engineering and Corporate Strategy2
FIN 855Global Finance2
FIN 871Strategic Financial Management2
FIN 875Fixed Income Markets2
FIN 881Fundamentals of Financial Markets2
FIN 883Modern Portfolio Management: Theory and Practice2
REST 575Quantitative Analysis for Real Estate3
RM 875Risk Management and Compliance2
Culminating Experience
FIN 880Corporate Finance Analytical Research Projects (Capstone Course)2
Total Credits31

The MFIN program culminates with the capstone course, FIN 880 Corporate Finance Analytical Research Projects. FIN 880 combines multidisciplinary critical analysis and problem solving of strategy in the context of a challenging business environment. The capstone course integrates all of the essential concepts involved in financial decision making cultivated throughout the program.

The aim of the capstone is to assess students' ability to synthesize and integrate the skills they have developed throughout their course work. This course is structured to support student success in fulfilling program goals and requirements. The projects students tackle will mirror what they’ll encounter on the job as a significant member of the planning strategic management team. The course integrates topics and methodologies analyzed throughout the program, leading students to understand that strategic analysis, and ultimately, the firm’s ability to enhance shareholder value, is a holistic and multifaceted analytical process.


A graduate minor is available in any approved graduate major or dual-title program. The default requirements for a graduate minor are stated in Graduate Council policies listed under GCAC-600 Research Degree Policies and GCAC-700 Professional Degree Policies, depending on the type of degree the student is pursuing:

Student Aid

Refer to the Tuition & Funding section of The Graduate School's website. Students in this program are not eligible for graduate assistantships.


Graduate courses carry numbers from 500 to 699 and 800 to 899. Advanced undergraduate courses numbered between 400 and 499 may be used to meet some graduate degree requirements when taken by graduate students. Courses below the 400 level may not. A graduate student may register for or audit these courses in order to make up deficiencies or to fill in gaps in previous education but not to meet requirements for an advanced degree.

Business Administration (BA) Course List

Finance (FIN) Course List

Learning Outcomes

The Master of Finance in Finance Program Learning Goals and Objectives include:

1. Broad Core of Finance Knowledge: (Know) - MFIN graduates will master a broad core of financial and economic knowledge and be able to apply and integrate this knowledge to business situations as managers and strategic partners in industries requiring interdisciplinary skills and global perspectives.

Primary Learning Objectives:

  • MFIN graduates will demonstrate advanced competency in the underlying concepts, theory, and tools taught in core finance and economics programs.
  • MFIN graduates will be prepared to synthesize their knowledge of finance, economics and markets to identify, analyze, and recommend solutions to complex strategic problems and projects requiring interdisciplinary and global perspectives.

2. Analytical and Critical Thinking Skills: (Apply/Create) - MFIN graduates will acquire the analytical and critical thinking skills needed to identify, analyze, and evaluate alternative solutions to problems and projects facing today’s managers and strategic planners.

Primary Learning Objectives:

  • MFIN graduates will be able to analyze and properly articulate and defend their examinations and recommended and create solutions to multiple audiences from business, government, and the community.
  • MFIN graduates will be able to integrate findings and analyses from contemporary academic and practitioner research to projects and problems and projects confronting American and Multi-National firms.

3. Interpersonal Skills: (Communicate) - MFIN graduates will develop the interpersonal skills needed to synthesize and evaluate complex situations that impress hiring managers and become effective leaders.

Primary Learning Objectives:

  • MFIN graduates will demonstrate skilled leadership, team building, interpersonal influence, and the management of change.
  • MFIN graduates will be able to integrate their broad core of finance knowledge, analytical and critical thinking skills, and interpersonal influence to effectively communicate and work successfully with others in work settings involving cultural and demographic diversity.
  • MFIN graduates will become natural team leaders with the ability to diagnose and limit the phenomenon of “group think” that often plagues underperforming corporations. Graduates will be able to evaluate, prioritize and recommend ways to draw out the high potential from their team members, leveraging the team’s ability to analyze problems from many points of reference.

4. Inter and Intra Discipline Analysis and Critical Thinking: (Think)- MFIN graduates will demonstrate analytical and critical thinking processes across a broad range of projects and corporate situations.

Primary Learning Objectives:

  • MFIN graduates will exhibit the skills needed to arrange and classify complex and unique financial situations into elements for the actionable implementation of contemporary strategic and tactical plans.
  • MFIN graduates will employ the skills needed to modify the analytical and critical thinking processes and adapt to the needs of other business units such as accounting, marketing, supply chain, and other firm-specific business units.
  • Primary Learning Objectives:
  • MFIN graduates will be skilled at evaluating the impact of various courses of action and assess the impacts on multiple stakeholders, including investors, lenders, employees, customers, vendors, and society.

5. Value System: (Professional Practice) - MFIN graduates will be able to evaluate the ethical and societal implications of the strategic decision-making for which they are involved and responsible.

Primary Learning Objectives:

  • MFIN graduates will be skilled at evaluating the impact of various courses of action and assess the impacts on multiple stakeholders, including investors, lenders, employees, customers, vendors, and the implications to society and the community.


Campus University Park
Graduate Program Head Kimberly J Cornaggia
Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) or Professor-in-Charge (PIC) Jason Lunn
Program Contact

Andrea Lyn Murphy-Faust
220 Business Building
University Park PA 16802
(814) 863-0474

Program Website View