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5 August 2023

5 minutes read

MS in Finance in the USA

Key Takeaways

  • A Master’s in Finance in the USA offers global recognition and diverse career prospects.
  • Specializations range from Corporate Finance to Behavioral Finance.
  • Top universities include MIT Sloan, Stanford, and Wharton, with various program lengths and specializations.
  • Eligibility typically requires a bachelor’s degree, test scores, and English proficiency.
  • Post-graduation, students can access high-profile finance roles, with salaries varying by position.

The United States stands as a beacon for higher education, especially for those looking to forge a career in finance. A Master of Science (MS) in Finance from a US institution not only offers in-depth knowledge and practical skills in the field but also opens doors to unparalleled career opportunities globally.

This guide dives deep into what prospective students need to know about pursuing an MS in Finance in the USA, from choosing the right university to understanding the financial and academic commitments involved.

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Why Pursue a Master in Finance in the USA?

Global Recognition and Career Prospects

  • Academic Excellence: US universities are renowned for their rigorous curriculums, distinguished faculty, and research opportunities.
  • Career Opportunities: Graduates can access top-tier positions in corporate finance, investment banking, financial analysis, and more.
  • Networking: The US offers vast networking opportunities with professionals, alumni, and industry leaders through internships and university events.

Diverse Specializations

An MS in Finance program in the USA offers a variety of specializations to cater to the diverse interests and career aspirations of students. These include:

  • Corporate Finance: Focuses on managing a company’s financial activities, capital structuring, and investment decisions.
  • Investment Management: Covers portfolio management, asset allocation, and investment strategies to maximize returns.
  • Financial Engineering: Combines finance with mathematical models and computational techniques to solve complex financial problems.
  • International Finance: Explores global financial markets, exchange rates, cross-border investment, and how geopolitical events affect finance.
  • Risk Management: Teaches how to identify, assess, and mitigate financial risks in business operations.
  • Real Estate Finance: Focuses on financing, investing, and managing property and real estate portfolios.
  • Private Equity and Venture Capital: Covers the sourcing, valuing, and managing of private equity investments and venture capital.
  • Behavioral Finance: Examines how psychological influences and biases affect financial markets and decision-making.
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Top Universities for MS in Finance in the USA

University NameLocationAverage Tuition FeeProgram LengthSpecializations OfferedKey Features
MIT Sloan School of ManagementMassachusetts$77,168 per year12-18 monthsCorporate Finance, Financial EngineeringHands-on learning through Action Learning Labs, a strong alumni network
Stanford Graduate School of BusinessCalifornia$74,570 per year1 yearInvestment Management, Financial Data AnalyticsInterdisciplinary approach, access to Silicon Valley networks
University of Chicago Booth School of BusinessIllinois$73,440 per year9 monthsAnalytic Finance, Banking, Corporate FinanceFlexible curriculum, Nobel laureate faculty
Harvard Business SchoolMassachusetts$73,440 per year2 yearsBehavioral Finance, Risk ManagementCase method teaching, global immersion experience
University of Pennsylvania Wharton SchoolPennsylvania$80,432 per year18 monthsReal Estate Finance, Private EquityLeadership training, global study opportunities

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MS in Finance in the USA Requirements

Quick Tip!

  • Tailor your statement of purpose to each program to highlight your unique fit and career goals.

Standard Criteria

To be eligible for an MS in Finance program in the USA, applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Bachelor’s Degree: A four-year bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution, preferably in finance, economics, business, or a related field.
  • Test Scores: Valid GMAT or GRE scores. Some programs may have minimum score requirements.
  • English Proficiency: Non-native English speakers must submit TOEFL or IELTS scores to prove their proficiency.
  • Work Experience: While not always mandatory, relevant work experience in finance or related fields can strengthen an application.
  • Academic Transcripts: Official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended.

Application Essentials

A complete application to an MS in Finance program typically includes:

  • Application Form: Filled out through the university’s admissions portal.
  • Personal Statement or Statement of Purpose: A detailed essay explaining your academic interests, professional goals, and reasons for choosing the program.
  • Letters of Recommendation: Two or three letters from academic instructors or professional supervisors who can vouch for your abilities and potential.
  • Resume or CV: A current resume outlining your educational background, work experience, and any relevant skills or achievements.
  • Official Transcripts and Test Scores: Must be sent directly from the testing agencies and previous educational institutions.

Quick Tip!

  • Choose recommenders who can provide detailed insights into your abilities and achievements.

Application Tips

To enhance your application, consider the following tips:

  • Tailor Your Statement: Customize your statement for each program, highlighting why you are a good fit for that specific program and how it aligns with your career goals.
  • Choose Recommenders Wisely: Select individuals who know you well and can provide specific examples of your abilities and accomplishments.
  • Showcase Quantitative Skills: Highlight your quantitative skills and achievements, as these are crucial in finance.
  • Research the Program: Demonstrate your knowledge of the program and how its offerings match your interests.
  • Proofread: Ensure your application is free from errors and communicates your strengths and motivation.
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Financing Your Studies: Tuition and Scholarships

MS in Finance in the USA Fees

For detailed info on the cost of studying in the USA, click here

Cost TypeDescriptionEstimated Cost Range
Tuition FeeVaries by university, program length, and residency status.$30,000 – $100,000 per year
Living ExpensesIncludes accommodation, food, transportation, and personal expenses.$10,000 – $20,000 per year
Books and SuppliesTextbooks and other course materials.$1,000 – $2,000 per year
Health InsuranceMandatory for international students in many universities.$1,000 – $2,500 per year
Miscellaneous ExpensesIncludes visa fees, travel expenses, and leisure activities.Varies greatly by lifestyle

Funding Opportunities

Funding TypeDescriptionAvailabilityHow to Apply
University ScholarshipsMerit-based or need-based awards are offered by universities.Both domestic and international studentsApply during admission or through the financial aid office
Research AssistantshipsPositions that involve assisting in research, and offering tuition waivers and stipends.Primarily PhD students, but some master’s programs offerCheck with the department or graduate studies office
Teaching AssistantshipsTeaching roles that come with tuition waivers and stipends.Both domestic and international studentsApply through the department after admission
External ScholarshipsAwards from government bodies, foundations, and corporations.Both domestic and international studentsApply directly to the offering organization
Student LoansLoans from banks or government bodies.Mostly domestic students, with limited options for international studentsApply through financial institutions or government programs

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Career Opportunities After Graduation

Quick Tip!

  • Take advantage of internships and networking events offered by the university to enhance real-world experience and connections.
PositionDescriptionAverage Salary RangeKey Skills Required
Financial AnalystAnalyzes financial data to assist businesses in decision-making.$61,000 – $85,000Analytical skills, financial modeling
Investment BankerAdvises on and facilitates mergers, acquisitions, and capital raising.$100,000 – $150,000Deal structuring, market analysis
Portfolio ManagerOversees investment portfolios for individuals or institutions.$92,000 – $130,000Asset allocation, risk management
Risk ManagerIdentifies and mitigates financial risks for organizations.$85,000 – $120,000Risk assessment, compliance knowledge
Corporate Finance ManagerManages the financial activities within a corporation.$95,000 – $130,000Strategic planning, budgeting
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Life as an MS Finance Student in the USA

Life as an MS Finance student in the USA is both challenging and rewarding, with opportunities to:

  • Engage in Rigorous Coursework: Be prepared for a heavy workload with advanced courses in finance, economics, and quantitative methods.
  • Participate in Internships: Many programs offer or even require internships, providing real-world experience and networking opportunities.
  • Join Finance Clubs and Organizations: Enhance your learning and connect with like-minded peers by participating in finance-related clubs.
  • Attend Workshops and Seminars: Take advantage of extra-curricular activities such as workshops, guest lectures, and seminars on current finance topics.
  • Experience Cultural Diversity: Enjoy a multicultural environment, with classmates from around the globe offering different perspectives on finance.
  • Access Career Services: Utilize the university’s career services for resume reviews, interview preparation, and job placement assistance.
  • Explore the USA: Take time to explore the cultural, historical, and natural attractions of the USA during your studies.


Pursuing an MS in Finance in the USA is a transformative journey that goes beyond acquiring a degree. It’s about gaining a global perspective, understanding the nuances of financial markets, and building a network that will support your career aspirations.

With the right preparation, choosing the appropriate program, and immersing yourself in the academic and cultural life of the USA, you can set the stage for a successful and fulfilling career in finance.

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What are the eligibility criteria for an MS in Finance in the USA?

Applicants typically need a bachelor’s degree, GMAT/GRE scores, English proficiency test scores (for international students), and relevant work experience.

Can I pursue an MS in Finance in the USA without a GRE or GMAT score?

Some programs may waive GRE/GMAT requirements based on work experience or academic achievements. It’s essential to check with individual universities.

How much does it cost to study MS in Finance in the USA?

Tuition fees vary widely but generally range from $30,000 to $100,000 per year, excluding living expenses and other costs.

Are scholarships available for international students pursuing an MS in Finance in the USA?

Yes, many universities offer scholarships based on merit or need. Additionally, external scholarships and fellowships are available.

What are the career prospects after completing an MS in Finance in the USA?

Graduates can pursue careers in various fields like investment banking, corporate finance, financial analysis, and portfolio management, among others.

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