The MS in Finance program at the GW School of Business

The MS in Finance (MSF) program at the GW School of Business produces leaders in the field of finance. The program focuses on risk management, financial engineering, banking, corporate finance, and portfolio analysis and management. It has been designed to combine quantitative and computer skills with financial theory and applications. We are proud to announce that the MSF program now qualifies as a STEM program.

Credits

The MSF program is a full-time, 48 credit-hour program. Students with very strong backgrounds in a particular subject area can petition to waive a required course, replacing it with an elective as approved by the program director. All courses are four credits and a full semester long (14 weeks). The summer term is mandatory for MSF candidates, and all its four-credit courses are a full semester (12 weeks).

Duration

Students can complete degree requirements in the following time frames:

  • Intensive Track (12 months) - Students take four classes per semester to complete the degree in 12 months, including a summer session. The intensive track is available only for students who can devote their full time and attention to the degree program.
  • Regular Track (24 months) - The regular track, for working professionals, paces classes over 24 months, including two summer sessions.

Class Profile

GW Master of Science in Finance 2022 class profile graphic. Graphic shows an average age of 25, an average of 2 years experience, and an average undergraduate GPA of 3.3. The class is comprised of 83 percent international students from 10 countries, and 33 percent are female. When they were undergraduates, their concentrations were 31 percent business, 31 percent finance, 22 percent economics, 8 percent engineering, and 8 percent accounting.

GWU’s MSF program expanded my horizons in finance. I was able to hone quantitative analytical skills, master the fundamentals of financial theories, and understand the constraints and limits of financial models and circumstances under which they are applicable. These qualifications have proven to be critical for financial professionals as the current financial crisis unfolds. I am glad to see how freely I leverage those analytical skills in portfolio risk management in daily work.

Shenghua Si • Quantitative Risk & Analytics, The World Bank Treasury

With its world class faculty, staff, and rigorous curriculum, the MSF program truly provides a challenging environment allowing top notch students from diverse backgrounds to optimize their learning experience. Striking a practical balance, from quantitative methods and finance theory to business law and programming, overcoming any real world challenge is possible. After the MSF, your enviable skills will be quickly recognized enabling you to rise through the ranks to leadership positions.

John Maalouf • Multifamily Underwriter, Freddie Mac

The George Washington University’s Master of Science program provides a substantial foundation in finance, econometrics and international business for those persons seeking to build their careers in the finance profession. Seasoned, highly accessible faculty with current private & public sector experience provide intensive treatment of quantitative and qualitative methods particularly in the analysis of financial institutions, corporate finance and accounting, and fixed income and derivative products. The skill sets that can be developed by motivated, persevering students are of immediate relevance to professional settings.

Martin C. Mitsoff • VP, Research & Strategy, Legg Mason Wood Walker, Inc.

The George Washington University’s MSF program, besides its convenient location, provided me with broad based and cutting edge skills in many areas of Finance and Banking, to complement my economic background and many years of professional experience.

Salomon Samen, Ph.D • Sr. Economist, The World Bank

Aside from exposure to the academic fundamentals of financial theory, the MSF Program provides a great deal of practical applications and simulations, ranging from floor trading to derivatives investment and hedging exercises. This emphasis on real-world applications, I believe, is what provides MSF students and alumni the needed edge in all aspects of their professional careers.

Faris H. Hadad- Zervos • Country Officer, The World Bank

The skills that I developed in the MSF program are essential in my new position. I am grateful for the rigorous program, which allows me to have a competitive edge in the financial community.

Cliff Booth • Managing Dir. & Head of Financial Institutions, Investment Banking, Janney Montgomery Scott

MSF graduates find employment at the most prestigious financial institutions including Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch and Wells Fargo, among others. Moreover, GWSB's unique location in Washington, D.C. offers MSF graduates the opportunity to be employed at prominent and attractive international financial organizations such as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the International Financial Corporation, and the Inter-American Development Bank. Furthermore, our graduates find employment with many government agencies such as the Federal Reserve and the U.S. Department of Treasury or with private financial corporations like Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.

In order to facilitate employment for program graduates, we are actively engaged in collaboration with a variety of financial institutions through faculty, alumni and administration in:

  • Posting job openings
  • Setting up interviews
  • Creating demand for MSF graduates

Additionally, we maintain a database of resumes accessible to potential employers, organize career workshops to prepare students in their job search and interviews, and collaborate with the F. David Fowler Career Center on a variety of career services. Finally, as a member of the International Association of Financial Engineers (IAFE), we organize trips to New York City to participate in the Financial Mathematics Career Fair.

To further promote internships and full time employment, each year the MSF program creates a resume book of a collection of current students’ resumes who are seeking new career opportunities.

Read Our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Learn About the MSF China Program

Explore Related Programs

 

Connect With Us

The George Washington University School of Business
Master of Science in Finance Program
2201 G St. NW, Funger Hall, Ste. 501
Washington, D.C. 20052
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 202-994-8880
Fax: 202-994-8926

 

graphic showing Financial Times ranking of MS in Finance program as number 2 worldwide

 

Course Requirements

Students must successfully complete the following course and program requirements and achieve at least a 3.0 cumulative grade point average at the time of graduation to be eligible for the Master of Science in Finance degree.

Required:
FINA 6271Financial Modeling and Econometrics
FINA 6272Global Financial Markets
FINA 6273Cases in Financial Management and Investment Banking
FINA 6274Corporate Financial Management and Modeling
FINA 6275Investment Analysis and Global Portfolio Management
FINA 6276Financial Engineering and Derivative Securities
FINA 6277Comparative Financial Market Regulation and Development
FINA 6278Financial Theory and Research
FINA 6279Real Estate Finance and Fixed-Income Security Valuation
FINA 6280Financial Institution Management and Modeling
FINA 6281Cases in Financial Modeling and Engineering
FINA 6282Advanced Financial Econometrics and Modeling

Additional Requirements for Specific Degree Programs

The Master of Science in Finance degree can also be combined with a Bachelor's degree through GWSB's new 4+1 Program, which allows students to complete both a Bachelor's and a Master's degree in five years.

Learn more about this 4+1 Program option

  • MSF Program Prerequisites: Advanced Mathematics (6 credits, 3 of which must be calculus), Microeconomics (3 credits), Macroeconomics (3 credits) Financial Accounting (3 credits), Managerial Finance (3 credits), Statistics (3 credits)
  • Students who are admitted to the BSF program and have completed 75 credit hours with a cumulative GPA of 3.25 or better may apply for admission to the BSF/MSF 4+1 Program. In evaluating applications to this degree, special attention will be given to grades in Accounting and Finance courses.
  • Upon acceptance, students are eligible to register in MSF graduate courses. A max of 12 credit hours of graduate level courses may count towards the BSF degree. The BSF degree is awarded after the successful completion of the undergraduate requirements. The MSF degree is awarded separately upon the successful completion of the graduate requirements.

For students pursuing a BSF and a Master of Science in Finance dual degree program, all requirements for both degrees must be fulfilled. Twelve credits of graduate coursework may be shared between the BSF and the Master of Science in Finance course requirements. Those twelve shared credits must be comprised of the following courses:

  • FINA 6271 | Financial Modeling and Econometrics | 4 Credits
  • FINA 6274 | Corporate Financial Management and Modeling | 4 Credits
  • FINA 6276 | Financial Engineering and Derivative Securities | 4 Credits

For students pursuing a MBA and a Master of Science in Finance Joint degree program, all requirements for both degrees must be fulfilled. Applicants must apply to both programs simultaneously, meet the admission standards of both programs and be admitted to both programs in order to be eligible for the joint degree. Applicants are considered for Fall entry only. Admission standards are high for both the MBA and the MSF. The joint program is rigorous and intensive, particularly if completed within the two-year option. If admitted to both programs, students would complete the MBA core during the 1st year. This would satisfy MSF prerequisite requirements in calculus, economics, financial accounting, managerial finance, and statistics. Existing students interested in the joint degree will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

The Master of Business Administration (MBA)/Master of Science in Finance (MSF) joint degree program is a unique opportunity to deepen your education in the fields of finance and business by combining the finest of both programs. With today’s job market, the demand is shifting towards having a quantitative background with an ability to understand markets, policies, and strategies.


 

Admissions

Admission to the MSF program is highly competitive and enrollment is limited. Students operate in two cohorts throughout the academic year.

Due to the rolling admissions policy, it is highly recommended that candidates submit applications early. The candidate’s major and trend in grades, personal achievements, and letters of recommendation also affect the admission decision. This program seeks social, ethnic, cultural and geographical diversity in its student body.

  • Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university with credit hours in:
    • Advanced Mathematics (6; three credits must be Calculus)
    • Microeconomics (3)
    • Macroeconomics (3)
    • Financial Accounting (3)
    • Managerial Finance (3)
    • Statistics (3)
    Additional coursework, degrees, and/or work experience in these five areas are considered favorably in the selection process.
  • Strong academic performance
  • Demonstrated professional interest in finance

Applying to a program at the GW School of Business may seem like a complicated process, but the GWSB admissions team is here to help. The application process for this program can be found on our How to Apply page. All application materials should be sent to the GWSB Graduate Admissions Office. The GRE or GMAT test is not required — however, if you feel that submitting your scores will strengthen your application, you are welcome to submit them. We also offer a wealth of resources to help you finance your degree, from scholarships and fellowships to loans and work-study arrangements.

To be considered complete, the following must be included in the application:

  • Completed online application form
  • Application fee (non-refundable)
  • Current résumé uploaded through the online application system
  • Two letters of recommendation from professional and/or academic references
  • Statement of Purpose: In no more than 500 words, describe how this program fits into your professional life and your career objectives.
  • Upload copies of your transcripts from all colleges/universities attended, whether or not the program was completed or the credit appears as a transfer credit on another transcript. Note that admitted students will be required to submit official, sealed transcripts with proof of bachelor’s degree. There is no need to submit them at the time when you first apply.
  • The GRE or GMAT test is not required for this program — however, if you feel that submitting your scores will strengthen your application, you are welcome to submit them. Learn more about our test-optional policy on the How to Apply page. GW School of Business applicants interested in taking the exam can benefit from 10% off any Kaplan GMAT or GRE preparation course. Use discount code GWUSB10.

Applicants who require a visa to study in the United States must also fulfill additional requirements in order to be considered for admission to a graduate program at the School of Business. Please visit our How to Apply page for further details.

 

Application Deadlines

Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. Candidates seeking financial assistance and international students requiring visas are encouraged to apply early. Only completed applications, with all required materials, will be considered for admission.

International Student Application Deadlines (for students currently outside the U.S.)

  • Spring: November 1
  • Fall: June 1

Transfer Student Application Deadlines (for students currently living in the U.S. who do not require a student visa)

  • Spring: December 1
  • Fall: July 1

Tuition and Other Costs

Explore tuition rates and fees, view health insurance and housing costs, and more.

Please visit the Student Accounts Office for a complete list of tuition rates and fees.

  • Student Health Insurance
    GW offers voluntary comprehensive health insurance through Aetna Student Health. All F-1 and J-1 international students are automatically enrolled. See the Student Health Insurance page for rates and other important information.
  • Housing
    View information about on-campus and off-campus housing for full-time GW graduate students.

Financial Resources

From scholarships and fellowships to loans and work-study arrangements, we offer a wealth of resources to help you finance your degree.

The GW School of Business offers merit-based fellowships to incoming students at the time of admission. While applying to graduate degree programs at GWSB, prospective students may opt in to be automatically considered for all fellowship award opportunities funded by the School of Business as well as various university-funded tuition awards administered by the Office of Graduate Student Assistantships and Fellowships (OGSAF). Unless otherwise stated, no separate application is required.

In limited circumstances, current students may also be eligible for merit-based tuition fellowship awards.

The Office of Graduate Student Assistantships and Fellowships (OGSAF) maintains a comprehensive database of GW and external fellowships to support graduate-level study and/or research. Incoming and current students are encouraged to browse the OGSAF website for information about additional merit-based funding opportunities.

U.S. Citizens and eligible noncitizens may qualify for:

  • Federally sponsored education loans through the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan and Federal Graduate PLUS Loan Programs
  • Need-based financial assistance through the Federal Work Study Program, which allows students to earn income while working part-time at pre-approved organizations during their program

To apply for federal financial aid, submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by the appropriate deadline using GW’s FAFSA school code: 001444. Please note that students must apply for federal financial aid each academic year.

Visit the Office of Student Financial Assistance for details about eligibility criteria, application steps, and deadlines. Information about alternate private and federal loans is also available.

Employer Discounts

The GW School of Business offers a tuition discount to current employees of the following companies:

  • Leidos
  • Lockheed Martin
  • Organization of American States (GS/OAS)
  • SAIC

Please note that eligible programs vary by employer. View details about eligibility, conditions, and the application process.

Grad2Grad Program

GW undergraduate students who continue their studies at GW by enrolling in certain graduate degree or certificate programs may qualify for a 10 percent graduate tuition reduction through the Grad2Grad program. For information about eligibility and the application process, visit the Grad2Grad page.

Nationally recognized as a top military- and veteran-friendly university, GW offers a wealth of services and benefits to student veterans, military personnel, and dependents of the United States Armed Forces. As a proud participant in the Yellow Ribbon Program, GW funds tuition expenses exceeding the maximum base pay amount covered through the GI Bill®, and its contributions are matched by the Department of Veteran Affairs.

For more information about the Yellow Ribbon Program and other education benefits, visit GW Veteran & Military Services (VMS).

GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government website.

The F. David Fowler Career Center supports GWSB student and alumni professional development by providing career management resources, career fairs and expos, and employer information sessions. GWSB students also have access to employment services and resources provided through GW’s Center for Career Services.

Handshake is the official online recruiting platform and event calendar for the F. David Fowler Career Center and the Center for Career Services. To search for jobs and internships, find and register for events, and connect with career coaches, log in to Handshake.

Federal Work Study

The Federal Work Study Program is a federally-funded and need-based work program that allows GW students to earn income through part-time employment during the academic year at GW and other pre-approved organizations. Graduate students interested in the program must submit the FAFSA and apply through the Office of Student Financial Assistance.

The Center for Career Services provides awarded students assistance with finding positions. Visit the Center for Career Services for information about the Federal Work Study Program at GW.

International Students

Students studying at GW on F-1 or J-1 visas may have additional restrictions on their employment due to visa regulations. F-1 Students are required to obtain Curricular Practical Training (CPT) authorization from the International Services Office for all paid, off-campus internships and employment. GW-sponsored J-1 Exchange Visitors are required to obtain employment authorization for all employment, whether on-campus or off-campus.

For more information about the CPT application process, see GWSB Global & Experiential Education’s Curricular Practical Training page.

For information about how your visa status may affect your employment options, please visit the International Services Office.

The Student Accounts Office manages all student accounts and processes student bills, refunds, disbursements, payment plan enrollment, employer reimbursements, third party billing, and financial holds. For inquiries regarding your Student eBill, tuition and fees, or payment options and due dates, visit the Student Accounts Office.

 

Next Steps

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