Students can typically pursue graduate programs in corporate finance at the certificate and master's degree levels. These programs can equip students with the finance, accounting, analysis, and other business-related skills necessary for working in the corporate world. We discuss some of the more common graduate programs in the field in more detail below.
Graduate Degree Programs in Corporate Finance
Master of Science in Finance/Corporate Finance
Students can pursue a Master of Science (MS) in Corporate Finance or an MS in Finance with a concentration in corporate finance. These degree programs are available in part- and full-time formats, can be taken online or in the evening for flexibility, and may be completed in as little as 12 to 15 months. Students may be required to take between 30 and 40 credits, depending on their educational background, and/or complete a capstone experience. Coursework often includes case studies, simulations, and other hands-on learning opportunities and may include topics in financial modeling, risk management, managerial economics, and corporate financial management.
Master of Business Administration in Corporate Finance
Some Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree programs may offer a concentration in corporate finance. These degree programs typically take 2 years to complete and may include a summer internship opportunity for hands-on learning. Coursework for these degree programs usually includes core MBA courses in various areas of business, like leadership, ethics, business strategy, accounting, economics, and marketing. Students then take courses in the corporate finance concentration, such as those in investments, mergers and acquisitions, investment banking, entrepreneurial finance, and valuation.
Graduate Certificate in Corporate Finance
Another common program is a graduate certificate in corporate finance that can usually be taken on-campus or online. These certificate programs are available in part- or full-time formats and can be completed in as little as 5 to 9 months. Often, some of the credits from these certificate programs can count towards a graduate degree in finance or management and may require students to maintain a 3.0 GPA throughout the program. Students may explore course topics such as valuation, corporate finance, financial regulation, financial accounting, and quantitative methods.
Common Entrance Requirements
Admissions for graduate programs in corporate finance tend to vary by institution and the type of degree program. All of these programs generally require students to hold a bachelor's degree, but some programs require the GRE or GMAT exams, while other programs do not. MBA programs may have the most unique and detailed admission requirements: prerequisite courses in areas such as statistics, accounting, economics, and financial accounting; a preference for work experience; and/or an interview process. Some graduate certificate programs may simply allow students to enroll in courses without an application, while others require an application and may even have prerequisites, like statistics. Common application materials for any degree program in corporate finance include transcripts, letters of recommendation, a resume, and a personal statement or essay responses.
An MS, MBA, or graduate certificate in corporate finance are some of the most common programs for the field and usually provide students with hands-on learning experiences. These programs are often available in online or flexible formats and can typically be finished in 2 years or less.