Master of Science in Finance degree programs can prepare you for a career as a financial analyst, a portfolio manager, a commercial banker, or a risk manager. Usually, you can finish your degree in 1-2 years, depending on your program, and will need to take both core and elective classes. In this article, we will cover Illinois-based MS in Finance programs, including possible coursework, credit, and admittance requirements.
Illinois-Based Master of Science in Finance Programs
The University of Illinois at Chicago
The University of Illinois at Chicago offers a 32-credit hour MS in Finance degree program that is designed to be completed in only 1 year. This is a STEM-designated program as well, meaning it has been approved by the Department of Homeland Security for meeting certain requirements regarding the program's focus on science, tech, engineering, and math. In this program, you will likely take courses on investments, corporate finance, capital markets, and portfolio analysis. There are also several areas of specialization to choose from, including asset management, banking, corporate finance, and commodities, derivatives, and financial exchanges. There are no thesis or comprehensive exam requirements for this program.
The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
At The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, you can earn an MS in Finance in only three semesters. This program also offers a wide array of different specializations, such as asset management, real estate, quantitative finance, data analytics, and corporate finance. You could also choose a further concentration in accountancy, business and public policy, or data analytics, which will appear on your transcripts. Your core classes cover such topics as corporate finance and financial statements, while your electives will depend on your chosen specialty and concentration. This STEM-designated program has no thesis requirement but does offer an optional practicum that allows you to work on a real-world finance consulting project at a sponsoring corporation.
In Romeoville, Lewis University's MS in Finance degree program requires 36 credits. This program features five 8-week class sessions every year and offers classes in the evening so that working professionals can earn their degrees. This program includes core courses on international finance, derivatives, management strategies, and managerial economics as well as electives. The three required foundational courses in accounting, economics, and financing business can be waived if you have prior undergraduate finance coursework. Lewis University's MS in Finance program is also designed to help you successfully pass the CFA Level I Exam.
Northern Illinois University
The MS in Finance degree program at Northern Illinois University, with a main campus in DeKalb, requires 30 credits in total. Core courses include classes on risk management, fundamentals of financial markets, and data analysis. You will then be required to take 4 elective courses, which could be classes on derivatives, security analysis, or investment management, among others. This is also a STEM-designated program that also partners with the Global Association of Risk Professionals and has a Financial Risk Manager (FRM) designation, which means it has incorporated the FRM curriculum into your course of study.
Illinois Institute of Technology
Illinois Institute of Technology, located in Chicago, offers a 33-credit MS in Finance degree that can be earned in 2 years. In this program, you will take core courses in such subjects as financial modeling, statistical analysis of financial markets, and financial statement analysis. Your electives depend on your chosen concentration, which could be in trading, corporate finance, risk management, financial markets, or high frequency trading, among others. With no thesis requirement, you will have opportunities to participate in financial competitions, such as the CFA Institute Research Challenge, as well as opportunities to work on real-world projects.
Entrance Requirements for Master of Science in Finance Programs
The common application materials for most MS in Finance programs include an application, a fee, transcripts, a resume, and letters of recommendation. You also most likely need to submit GRE or GMAT scores for admissions. Also, international students need to submit TOEFL scores. While a certain kind of undergraduate degree is not required, some programs may want you to have undergraduate coursework in finance.
MS in Finance programs usually require core and elective coursework and often do not have any thesis or final project requirements. Also, you will likely be able to complete your degree in a short amount of time, usually only 1-2 years.