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Master ofFinance

Program summary

Advance your career in financial or investment management or prepare for various professional certifications, including the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) or Certified Financial Planning (CFP) designations with this online master’s program.

Application deadline

Apply by July 15 to start August 26

Credits and costs

33 Credits$1,056 per credit

Nationally Recognized

US News and World Report graduate business badge
Select graduate business programs are highly ranked by U.S. News & World Report.

A Finance Degree to Address the Ever-Changing Market Environment

Technological advances and economic and political events have greatly influenced the financial industry in recent years. As the marketplace becomes increasingly complex, financial managers and analysts need an in-depth understanding of how to maximize global diversification of financial portfolios, shareholder value, and return on financial assets while managing the risk exposure to interest rate, exchange rate, and commodity fluctuation. A master's degree in finance can help equip you with the skills you need to meet the demands of today's marketplace.

Why an Online Master of Finance at Penn State

This program is AACSB Accredited

Penn State's online Master of Finance degree gives you a well-rounded understanding of finance by covering practical business applications that you can use to manage current financial challenges, as well as advanced financial theory that can provide you with the tools you need to address future trends. This well-respected graduate degree program is offered by AACSB-accredited Penn State Great Valley.  The course work can help to prepare you for various professional certifications, such as the Chartered Financial Analyst® (CFA®) certification.

As a student in the program, you can learn about:

  • financial modeling, including capital budgeting, basic statistics, and forecasting
  • financial accounting and the principles underlying financial accounting and use of accounting information for decision making
  • advanced topics involving strategic financial decisions, including capital structure and cost of capital, valuation, and corporate control
  • multinational financial management for companies subject to foreign exchange risk exposure and different tax regulations in foreign countries
  • financial derivative securities covering options, forwards, futures, and OTC derivatives

The Benefits of a Cohort Model

Penn State's online master's degree program in finance uses a cohort model in which all students in the cohort begin the program at the same time and progress through the courses together. The cohort model facilitates collaborative teamwork so that you can build relationships and network with other high-caliber individuals in the program, even while learning at a distance. It also allows the program course content to be integrated across courses so that you can learn to address the same financial scenarios from multiple perspectives.

Who Should Apply?

This program is designed for individuals who are interested in careers as financial professionals in financial management, or investment management, who have completed some course work in business statistics, financial management/corporate finance, and microeconomics.

Online Education at Penn State

Penn State has a history of 100+ years of distance education and more than a decade of experience in online learning. We create an online learning environment that offers you the same quality education our residential students experience in a face-to-face setting. Learn more about the benefits of taking courses online.  

Courses

The courses in the 33-credit Master of Finance program are designed to provide you with a common body of knowledge, with topics centered on financial accounting theory, quantitative methods, corporate financial modeling, financial and speculative markets, and multinational finance. As you progress through the courses, you can develop additional expertise in corporate finance and investments. A 3-credit capstone course provides a culminating experience for you to develop your analytical abilities to identify strategies that enhance value creation, by building on knowledge you have acquired from the core courses.

Your cohort will follow a predetermined schedule of courses. If you have questions about the cohort course schedule, please reach out to [email protected].

Required Courses (30 credits)

  • 3
    credits

    Measurement and reporting of financial information for external purposes, with particular attention to current problems in asset and income measurement.

  • 3
    credits

    This course provides a foundation in finance from the perspective of the firm. The objective is to show students that basic financial principles can be useful no matter the type of job.

  • 3
    credits

    The course is designed to expand the student's knowledge of the broad field of financial and investment analysis.

  • 3
    credits

    Study of quantitative methods used in financial and investment analysis and modeling.

  • 3
    credits

    Finance topics involving strategic financial decisions, including capital structure and cost of capital, financial forecasting, valuation, and corporate control.

  • 3
    credits

    This course focuses on the various income securities including bonds, mortgage-backed securities, asset-backed securities, interest rate derivatives, and credit derivatives.

  • 3
    credits

    Survey of drivers of success in M&A and develop knowledge and skills in the design and evaluation of M&A transactions.

  • 3
    credits

    Analysis of the international aspects of managerial finance. Emphasis on the environmental and institutional factors influencing capital acquisition and allocation.

  • 3
    credits

    Analysis of factors affecting price determination in financial markets.

  • 3
    credits

    Analysis of derivative securities covering options, forwards, futures, OTC derivatives; topics include valuation, trading, hedging. Involves computer analysis.

Culminating Experience (3 credits)

  • 3
    credits

    Focuses on the analysis and valuation of a firm's equity securities in the financial market using a fundamental analysis. The course integrates topics discussed in various finance courses to help students to develop their analytical ability to identify strategies that enhance value creation.

Course Availability

If you're ready to see when your courses will be offered, visit our public LionPATH course search (opens in new window) to start planning ahead.

Costs and Financial Aid

Graduate Tuition

Graduate tuition is calculated based on the number of credits for which you register. Tuition is due shortly after each semester begins and rates are assessed every semester of enrollment.

2023–24 Academic Year Rates

Tuition rates for the fall 2023, spring 2024, and summer 2024 semesters.

How many credits do you plan to take per semester?Cost
11 or fewer$1,056 per credit
12 or more$12,678 per semester

2024–25 Academic Year Rates

Tuition rates for the fall 2024, spring 2025, and summer 2025 semesters.

How many credits do you plan to take per semester?Cost
11 or fewer$1,067 per credit
12 or more$12,805 per semester

Financial Aid and Military Benefits

Some students may qualify for financial aid. Take the time to research financial aid, scholarships, and payment options as you prepare to apply. Military service members, veterans, and their spouses or dependents should explore these potential military education benefits and financial aid opportunities, as well.

How to Apply

Deadlines and Important Dates

Admissions decisions are based on the quality of the applicants' credentials. A portfolio will be developed for a broad-based assessment of each applicant for the program. Your application will not be reviewed until all of your portfolio items have been submitted.

  • Fall DeadlineApply by July 15 to start August 26
  • Spring DeadlineApply by November 15, 2024, to start January 13, 2025

Please note that applications received by the early deadline will receive priority consideration. The cohort may reach capacity and close before the standard deadline.

Admissions Help

If you have questions about the admissions process, contact our admissions counselors.

Admission Requirements 

For admission to the Graduate School, an applicant must hold either (1) a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution or (2) a tertiary (postsecondary) degree that is deemed comparable to a four-year bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution. This degree must be from an officially recognized degree-granting institution in the country in which it operates.

What You Need

Applications are submitted electronically and include a nonrefundable application fee. You will need to upload the following items as part of your application:

Official transcripts from each institution attended, regardless of the number of credits or semesters completed. Transcripts not in English must be accompanied by a certified translation. Penn State alumni do not need to request transcripts for credits earned at Penn State, but must list Penn State as part of your academic history. If you are admitted, you will be asked to send an additional official transcript. You will receive instructions at that time.

GPA and Test Scores — An undergraduate cumulative grade-point average of 3.0 or better on a 4.0 scale in the final two years of undergraduate studies is required. Postsecondary (undergraduate), junior/senior (last two years) GPA is required.

Official GMAT or GRE scores from within the past five years are required. Preferred applicants will have a GMAT score (or GRE equivalent) of 500 or better.

Submit your GMAT or GRE scores directly from the testing center to Penn State as follows:

GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test): Pennsylvania State University Great Valley School of Graduate Professional Studies Master of Finance CTG-CV-59.

-or-

GRE (Graduate Record Examination): Code 2660 for Penn State.

Applicants may request a waiver if they meet one of the following criteria:

  • An undergraduate junior/senior GPA of at least a 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 at least a 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 (e.g. master’s or higher) from a regionally-accredited university with AACSB, EQUIS, or AMBA accredited programs
  • Membership in Beta Gamma Sigma, the business honor society recognized by AACSB
  • One or more professional certifications including a CFA, CPA, FRM, and/or CMA, or doctoral degree (e.g. Ph.D., M.D., or J.D.)

Please note: If your degree is from outside the U.S. and you are requesting the test waiver, you must provide a course-by-course evaluation indicating the U.S. equivalent of your academic credentials by ECE®.

English Proficiency — The language of instruction at Penn State is English. With some exceptions, international applicants must take and submit scores for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Minimum test scores and exceptions are found in the English Proficiency section on the Graduate School's "Requirements for Graduate Admission" page. Visit the TOEFL website for testing information. Penn State's institutional code is 2660.

Reference (1) — you will need to initiate the process through the online application by entering the name, email address, and mailing address of one reference. Upon submission of your application, an email will be sent to your reference requesting they complete a brief online recommendation regarding your commitment for success in an online program. Please inform your recommender they must submit the form in order for your application to be complete.  

Program-Specific Questions/Materials

Résumé — Upload your résumé (one-to two-pages) to the online application.

Statement of Purpose — In one page, describe your short- and long-term professional goals and how enrolling in the Penn State Master of Finance program would help you achieve them. It should also include your expectations of the Master of Finance program and the skills and strengths you would bring to the cohort. Upload your one-page statement to the online application.

Start Your Application

You can begin your online application at any time. Your progress within the online application system will be saved as you go, allowing you to return at any point as you gather additional information and required materials.

Begin the graduate school application

  • Choose Enrollment Type: "Degree Admission"
  • Choose "WORLD CAMPUS" as the campus

Checking Your Status

You can check the status of your application by using the same login information established for the online application form.

Technical Requirements 

Review the technical requirements for this program.

Ready to Learn More?

Get the resources you need to make informed decisions about your education. Request information on this program and other programs of interest by completing this form.

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Ready to take the next step toward your Penn State master's degree?

Apply by July 15 to start August 26. How to Apply 

Start or Advance Your Career

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You can use the knowledge gained from this program and the support of Penn State career resources to pursue careers in a variety of fields, depending on your goals.


Job Titles Related to This Degree

The following roles are often held by people with this type of degree:

  • Chief Financial Officer (CFO)
  • Corporate Controller
  • Credit Administration Manager
  • Financial Analyst
  • Financial Center Manager

Employment Outlook for Occupational Fields Related to This Degree

Estimates of employment growth and total employment are provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and are subject to change. While these occupations are often pursued by graduates with this degree, individual outcomes may vary depending on a variety of factors. Penn State World Campus cannot guarantee employment in a given occupation.

Financial Managers

16%
employment growth (10 years)
740,780
total employment

Financial and Investment Analysts

7.6%
employment growth (10 years)
291,370
total employment

Chief Executives

-8.2%
employment growth (10 years)
199,240
total employment

Career Services to Set You Up for Success

Student having a virtual meeting on a laptop with a career counselor

From the day you're accepted as a student, you can access resources and tools provided by Penn State World Campus Career Services to further your career. These resources are beneficial whether you're searching for a job or advancing in an established career.

  • Opportunities to connect with employers
  • Career counselor/coach support
  • Occupation and salary information
  • Internships
  • Graduate school resources 

Contact Us

To learn more about the Master of Finance, offered in partnership with the Penn State Great Valley School of Graduate Professional Studies, follow the guidelines below.

For questions regarding how to apply, contact:

World Campus Admissions Counselors
Phone: 814-863-5386
Email: [email protected]

For general questions about the program, contact:

Dr. Amanda Neill
Email: [email protected]

Faculty

  • Thomas Harvey

    • Degree
      MBA, Ross School of Business, University of Michigan
    • Degree
      B.S., Economics, University of Michigan

    Thomas Harvey is an instructor of corporate finance and mergers and acquisitions. His experience includes 14 years in investment banking, responsible for the origination, design, and execution of capital markets solution for middle-market companies, including corporate sales, divestitures, leveraged buyouts, and recapitalizations. His expertise includes corporate strategy, mergers and acquisitions, and financial risk management.

  • Daniel C. Indro

    Degree
    Ph.D., Finance, Kelley School of Business, Indiana University in Bloomington

    Dr. Daniel C. Indro teaches financial modeling, valuation, real options, and quantitative methods courses. He was the 2004 recipient of Penn State Great Valley's Teaching Excellence Award. He was selected as a 2013–14 Fulbright Senior Scholar in Taiwan, where he served as a U.S. cultural ambassador and taught at Soochow University in Taipei. He has published his research in such publications as Journal of Banking & FinanceJournal of Behavioral FinanceFinancial ManagementFinancial Analysts JournalEuropean Journal of Operational Research, and Journal of Management.

  • Pornsit Jiraporn

    • Degree
      Ph.D., Finance, Southern Illinois University Carbondale
    • Degree
      MBA, The University of Texas at Arlington
    • Degree
      B.S., Industrial Engineering, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand

    Dr. Pornsit Jiraporn is a professor of finance. He is an active scholar whose research studies have been cited nearly 10,000 times, according to Google Scholar. He is recognized as one of the top 2% of researchers, according to a study by Stanford University. His research has appeared in numerous well-known journals, such as Academy of Management Journal and Journal of Banking and Finance. In addition, Dr. Jiraporn serves as an associate editor of finance research letters. He is also a member of the editorial board of the Review of Financial Economics.

  • Sang Mook Lee

    • Degree
      Ph.D., Finance, Temple University
    • Degree
      MBA, Ohio State University
    • Degree
      B.B.A., Sung Kyun Kwan University

    Dr. Sang Mook Lee received his Ph.D. from Temple University (2014) and his MBA from the Ohio State University (2007). Prior to joining Penn State University, he gained professional experience as a senior manager at the Korea Deposit Insurance Corporation and as a fixed income trader at the Asian Banking Corporation. He has been successful in publishing papers in many prestigious journals, including Financial Management, Journal of Organizational Behavior, Journal of World Business, Long Range Planning, Business & Society, Human Resource Management, and International Business Review. He teaches multinational managerial finance, financial markets and institutions, financial derivatives, and fixed income securities. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA).

  • Bo Ouyang

    • Degree
      Ph.D., Accounting, University of Texas at Arlington
    • Degree
      MPA, University of Texas at Arlington
    • Degree
      B.A., English Education, Hunan Normal University, China

    Dr. Bo Ouyang is an educator and researcher in financial accounting and auditing. He has published his research in such publications as The Accounting Review, Review of Accounting Studies, and Organization Science. He has studied accounting information disclosure, corporate governance, auditor independence, audit fees, and ethics in accounting. Dr. Ouyang is an associate professor of accounting at Penn State Great Valley School of Professional Studies.

  • Qiang (Patrick) Qiang

    • Degree
      Ph.D., Management Science, University of Massachusetts Amherst
    • Degree
      M.S., Systems, University of Colorado Boulder
    • Degree
      B.E., Automation, Shanghai Jiaotong University

    Dr. Qiang (Patrick) Qiang's research interests include network vulnerability study. He is also interested in sustainable supply chains. He developed network performance/efficiency measures that have been applied to supply chains, transportation networks, the internet, and finance. Dr. Qiang's research has appeared in such journals as OMEGAJournal of Global OptimizationOptimization LettersInternational Transactions in Operational Research; and EPL. He also co-authored the book Fragile Networks: Identifying Vulnerabilities and Synergies in an Uncertain World, published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc., in 2009.

  • Judy Qiu

    Degree
    Ph.D., University of Queensland

    Dr. Judy Qiu has more than 10 years of teaching experience, including positions at Ithaca College, the University of Western Australia, and the University of Queensland. She has also held visiting professor positions at NYU and Konstanz University in Germany. Dr. Qiu teaches courses in corporate finance, investment analysis, and risk management. Her research focuses on mutual fund and hedge fund performance, asset pricing, and applied financial econometrics. She has published in international refereed journals such as Entropy, PLOS One, and Australian Journal of Management.

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Ready to take the next step toward your Penn State master's degree?

Apply by July 15 to start August 26. How to Apply