Students who wish to pursue careers in the financial management of businesses or investment management might consider earning a Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a concentration in finance. Read on to learn more about what MBA in Finance programs might look like, common courses, and typical admissions requirements.
MBA in Finance Program Overview
MBA programs in any discipline traditionally take two years of full-time study to complete. However, for those who cannot commit to this type of intensive study, there are many program options available. These include accelerated MBA programs, on-campus programs, online programs, and part-time study.
Students enrolled in an MBA in Finance program will begin by taking core MBA classes. These are courses taken by all MBA students regardless of concentration, to provide a background in business and management. These courses may include financial accounting, managerial economics, and marketing. Upon the conclusion of these core courses, students will begin specialization courses in the field of finance.
In addition to coursework, MBA students can develop their professional expertise through experiences such as business competitions and MBA clubs. Most MBA programs will also provide extensive networking and mentoring opportunities for MBA students with local business executives.
MBA in Finance Courses
MBA in Finance specialization courses will help students to develop high-level skills in financial analysis within a range of industries. Some common courses follow.
Applied Financial Management
An applied financial management course may consider how financial managers in various industries deal with common business problems. Topics such as capital budgeting, working capital, and valuation might be considered. Students might review case studies in order to understand these concepts.
Students enrolled in an investment analysis course are likely to consider issues related to the management of portfolios. Topics such as diversification, common stocks and bonds, and risk vs. return might be studied. Strategies for building portfolios could be considered.
Within this class, students may become familiar with how to analyze the financial statements of a business. Specific topics could include loan requests, bond ratings, and the reliability of accounting data. The extensive use of databases may be expected.
This course could review international financial structures and markets. Students may cover topics including currency, international liquidity, cryptocurrencies, and international stock portfolios. How developments in international finance affect financial institutions, and their management of risk might also be considered.
Fixed Income Securities
A class in fixed income securities might provide an introduction to investments that guarantee a fixed stream of payments, such as home mortgages and government debt issues. Students could become familiar with the quantitative and analytical models that are used to value and manage fixed income securities. Those who are taking this course may be asked to use either computerized tools or Bloomberg terminals in order to conduct relevant analyses.
MBA in Finance Prerequisites and Admissions
Students who are applying to an MBA in Finance program should hold a bachelor's degree in any subject area. Some universities prefer students to have taken undergraduate courses in accounting, calculus, statistics, and business finance. Students who do not have these prerequisite classes can often build them into their MBA program schedule. Applicants should expect to provide transcripts, GMAT or GRE scores, recommendations, and personal statements.
Earning an MBA in Finance can provide an intensive education regarding financial markets and analysis. Those who hold a bachelor's degree can apply to gain admission to these programs.