About the UIC MSF
The UIC Liautaud Master of Science in Finance program emphasizes a strong foundation in the financial principles that underlie modern finance. Unlike many universities offering an MSF, UIC is a research university. That means that professors in the finance department ask (and answer) questions that change how people worldwide think about finance.
Exposure to financial research is an important element of the program. We run an active weekly seminar series featuring the best minds from around the world. We also bring the latest research into the classroom — years before it is written into textbooks — to give our students a first look at the newest insights and trends across the evolving financial landscape. You will also gain the critical perspective that comes from tackling hard questions. Our goal: when the world of finance changes (and it will), you will be prepared for the opportunites that arise.
For students seeking employment in the wide range of finance occupations in both the private and public sectors, the program takes full advantage of the global financial markets in Chicago: the International Center for Futures and Derivatives has strong relationships with the local exchanges and hosts events like the annual R/Finance conference. Students use leading financial and analytical technology in our state-of-the-art Trading Lab and can sign up for free training on lab software.
For those seeking professional certification, investment in the MSF program offers a valuable return. Graduates of the program will be well prepared to take the professional exams that measure the competence and integrity of financial analysts, financial planners, and alternative investment analysts. They will also be prepared for certifications in independent risk management and decision making. Holders of these certificates gain a competitive edge and are typically rewarded with higher salaries.
The UIC Advantage
Unique Program Features
Technology has revolutionized the world of finance, from trading to portfolio construction to risk management. Access to information has exploded, transactions are now faster, and even how we analyze data has changed. Life moves fast, and our program is designed to get you up-to-speed quickly.
Fast-paced and flexible: Thirty-two credit hour degree program that can be completed in one year full-time study (or more than one year of part-time study).
Not the typical classroom experience: Advanced courses like Market Microstructure and Electronic Trading; Chicago Exchanges; Asset Management; Commodities, Energy, and Related Markets; and, Fixed Income and Structured Products. Many of our most advanced courses are unique to UIC. Other schools have tried copying these; none have succeeded.
CME Training Lab: Virtual electronic trading center featuring Bloomberg Professional and other industry software that makes students marketable and job ready for finance careers. Because finance has become automated, we offer free training on the latest software, including Bloomberg, R, and OneTick. We also offer access to NYSE TAQ data, Datastream, and SDC and incorporate these into our courses.
The Power of a Research University: The International Center for Futures and Derivatives hosts presentations by executives from financial markets and trading firms in Chicago and across the US. Every spring we host 300 people—hedge fund managers, heads of research, government regulators, and academics from around the world—at the R/Finance conference. The finance department hosts weekly seminars featuring the latest academic research. Finally, we bring that research into the classroom years before students read about it at other schools.
Financial certification preparation: Preparation to pass key professional exams.
Scholarships: We offer scholarships for highly qualified applicants. Scholarships are competitive and merit-based. Students should submit the application for admission and all required supporting materials by the application deadline. No additional paperwork is necessary.>
Our inaugural class consists of a hand-picked group of highly-motivated individuals. While their grades and standardized test scores were stellar, we also looked for drive, focus, and sharp thinking.
The typical MSF student excelled in their undergraduate training, scored in the high 600s to 700s on the GMAT (or similarly on the GRE), and has already achieved at a high standard. What kind of people will you meet in class? People whose past includes:
- a size trader of gasoline for an oil supermajor,
- a consultant leading a team building a risk management system,
- a logistics specialist whose models squeezed the competition,
- a banker who managed credit and FX risk at offices in China's biggest cities, and
- an undergraduate doing PhD-level research and data analysis.
Students are expected to have successfully completed prior study comparable to the following courses, or demonstrate appropriate comparable work experience, before beginning the MS in Finance program:
Accounting 210/ 211 or 500 – Introduction to Financial Accounting
Finance 301/302 or 500 – Introduction to Finance
IDS 371 or Finance 330 – Business Statistics and/or Quantitative Methods
For applicants with limited to no background in the above areas, these courses will be added to their program of study. The number of prerequisite courses that can be added ranges from 1–3 additional courses, depending on an applicant’s background and is determined at the time of admission.
The program requires a minimum of 32 credit hours (not counting prerequisite courses). Unless otherwise noted, a course counts for 4 credit hours.
Finance 510 – Investments
Finance 520 – Corporate Finance
Finance 570 – Quantitative Methods in Finance
Elective courses will be selected in consultation with an adviser with the intent to meet the educational goals and occupational needs of the student. At least five courses must be chosen from the following list of approved electives. Other courses may be elected with prior approval of the Director of Graduate Studies. At most, two of the first five elective courses can be in disciplines other than Finance.
- Portfolio Analysis
- Fixed Income and Structured Products
- Options and Futures Markets
- Commodities, Energy, and Related Markets
- Money and Banking
- Capital Markets
- Asset Management
- International Finance
- Islamic Finance
- Empirical Issues in Finance
- Market Microstructure and Electronic Trading
- Chicago Exchanges
- Special Topics
- Independent Study
- Financial Accounting
- Financial Statement Analysis
- Corporate Valuation & Accounting Information
- Game Theory
- Managerial Economics
Information and Decisions Sciences
- Data Mining for Business
- Business Research and Forecasting
- Time Series Analysis
Degree candidates must have a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.00 (A=4.00) for 32 hours counting toward the degree.
- Complete online application.
- Non-refundable application fee ($60)
- Official transcripts of all post-secondary study
- Official GMAT or GRE score
- Have your score sent to:
University of Illinois at Chicago, Liautaud Graduate School of Business, MSF
- Two letters of recommendation.
- Personal Statement of Purpose.
- Current resume.
- International Applicants: Official TOEFL score sent to school code 1851.
- International Applicants: Declaration of Finances form and financial support documents
June 15 – Fall semester entry
November 1 – Spring semester entry
February 15 – Fall semester entry
July 15 – Spring semester entry
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