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.

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.

Applicants should:

  1. Have a 3.0 or better (on a 4.0 scale) junior/senior grade-point average.
  2. Submit a completed online application.
  3. Submit a GMAT or GRE score. Applicants can request a waiver if they meet one of the following criteria:
    • An undergraduate junior/senior GPA of a least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale at a regionally-accredited university with AACSB, EQUIS, or AMBA accredited business programs or an undergraduate junior/senior GPA of a least 3.3 on a 4.0 scale from a regionally-accredited university. without AACSB, EQUIS, or AMBA accredited business programs AND demonstrated effective communication and quantitative skills based on course work.
    • An advanced degree (master’s or higher) from a regionally-accredited university with AACSB, EQUIS, or AMBA accredited business programs.
    • Membership in Beta Gamma Sigma, the business honorary society recognized by AACSB.
    • One or more professional certifications including a C.F.A., C.P.A., F.R.M. and/or C.M.A., or doctoral degree (e.g. Ph.D., M.D., or J.D.).
  4. Submit a statement of intent or career path objective (one page).
  5. Submit one confidential evaluation form letters.
  6. Submit official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended. International applicants must submit official university records (transcripts/marksheets and diploma if date conferred does not appear on transcripts/marksheets), with attested English translations if the record is not in English. Notarized copies are not sufficient.
  7. Submit a current resume.
  8. Submit a visa application document if they are in the U.S. on a student or work visa.

Admission decisions are based on the quality of the applicant's credentials in relation to those of other applicants who meet the requirements for admission outlined above.

Application Filing Dates: Applications to the Penn State Great Valley's Master of Finance program are reviewed on a rolling basis. New students are admitted and begin their studies in early January.

Degree Requirements

Master of Finance (M.Fin.)

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

Thirty-three (33) credits are required to complete the M.Fin. degree. The course work includes:

  • six required core courses (18 credit hours) which provide a body of knowledge in finance;
  • four prescribed courses (12 credit hours) designed to help students develop additional expertise in financial analysis or financial data analytics;
  • and a capstone course (3 credit hours) which provides a culminating experience for students.
Required Courses
BA 831Foundations in Finance3
ACCTG 512Financial Accounting Theory and Reporting Problems3
BUSAD 525Quantitative Methods in Finance3
BUSAD 826Current Issues in Corporate Finance3
FIN 808Analysis of Financial Markets3
FIN 813Speculative Markets3
Electives or Option
Select 4 electives or complete the Financial Data Analytics Option required courses. 1 12
Culminating Experience
BUSAD 585Research in Security Valuation 23
or BUSAD 888 Applications of Financial Data Analytics
Total Credits33

For the base program, students may enroll in the Master of Finance program at the Great Valley Campus, taking courses in a face-to-face and blended format. Alternatively,students may enroll in the online Master of Finance program offered through the Penn State World Campus. A one-week residency at Great Valley is required as part of the online program.

Base Program

(Offered at Penn State Great Valley and through World Campus)

The program provides an advanced and specialized graduate education in finance for individuals with career interests as finance professionals in financial management, or investment management. The curriculum reflects a balanced combination of advanced financial theory and practical business applications. Major emerging concepts and practices in the finance field are introduced and discussed throughout the program. The program is designed to help graduates to become proficient in technical and analytical skills in finance and to develop expertise in financial problem solving and financial decision-making preparing them to advance their finance careers in organizations such as investment and commercial banking firms, mutual funds, other financial firms, non-financial businesses, consulting firms, government agencies and non-profit organizations. In addition, students will find a substantial number of courses in the M.Fin. program to be helpful in preparing for tests required for various professional certifications in finance, such as the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA).

Base Program Electives

Students are required to take 4 courses (12 credits) from a list of electives maintained by the graduate program office. The electives allow students to focus in a selected field of finance such as corporate financial management or investment management. Students may also choose one non-finance course (3 credits) with the approval of the adviser.

Base Program Capstone Course

BUSAD 585 Research in Security Valuation (3 cr.)

Financial Data Analytics Option

(offered at Penn State Great Valley)

This option prepares graduates to learn necessary knowledge and skills to analyze financial data to extract valuable insights in order to facilitate financial decisions. The courses in this option focus on how statistical methods and data mining techniques can be used to analyze real financial data.

Students are required to take 4 courses (12 credits) as indicated below.

Required Courses
BUSAD 829Data Analysis in Finance3
DAAN 871Data Visualization3
IE 575Foundations of Predictive Analytics3
SWENG 545Data Mining3
Total Credits12
Financial Data Analytics Option Capstone Course

BUSAD 888 Applications of Financial Data Analytics (3 cr.)

Student Aid

Graduate assistantships available to students in this program and other forms of student aid are described in the Tuition & Funding section of The Graduate School’s website. Students on graduate assistantships must adhere to the course load limits set by The Graduate School.

There are a limited number of scholarships, fellowships, and graduate assistantships available. For more information on these, contact the Financial Aid Office at Penn State Great Valley via email or visit the website.


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.

Finance (FIN) Course List

Learning Outcomes

  • Learning Goal 1: The students will demonstrate enhanced analytical and critical thinking skills. They will be able to:
    • Apply quantitative and analytical knowledge to financial analysis
    • Identify financial risk exposure and manage financial risks with appropriate financial derivative instruments
  • Learning Goal 2: The students will understand the impact of global influences on financial decision-making. They will be able to:
    • Demonstrate a knowledge of global financial and foreign exchange markets, and their impact on multinational enterprises
  • Learning Goal 3: The students will be effective financial decision makers. They will be able to:
    • Recognize and resolve ethical issues in financial decision making
  • Learning Goal 4: The students will be effective communicators in finance. They will be able to:
    • Make an effective presentation of analytical results
    • Prepare a written report on financial issues


Campus Great Valley
Graduate Program Head James A Nemes
Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) or Professor-in-Charge (PIC) Qiang Qiang
Program Contact

Lisa B Hallahan
Penn State Great Valley
30 E. Swedesford Road
Malvern PA 19355
(610) 648-3250

Program Website View
Campus World Campus
Graduate Program Head James A Nemes
Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) or Professor-in-Charge (PIC) Qiang Qiang
Program Contact

Lisa B Hallahan
30 E. Swedesford Rd
Malvern PA 19355
(610) 648-3250

Program Website View