MS in Finance FAQ

Program and Schedule


International Students



Program and Schedule:

What is MSF?

The GW MSF Program is a unique program that combines the best of a financial engineering program with a master’s of science in finance. The program emphasizes both financial theory and quantitative methods in financial management.

How long is the regular program?

Students in the regular program complete 48 credit-hours in six consecutive semesters, including two summers. Summers are mandatory.

How long is the intensive program?

In the intensive program, students complete 48 credit-hours in three consecutive semesters, including one summer. Classes are held Thursday and Friday from 6 to 10 p.m. and all day Saturday.

Does the program allow to be enrolled while working full time?

Yes. The MSF Program is designed to accommodate schedules for working professionals. In the first year, classes are held all day on Saturday; and in the second year, classes are held on Thursday and Friday from 6 to 10 p.m.

What will I do the rest of the week?

You can work on assignments for the program. The program recommends that you budget 20 hours (regular program) to 40 hours (intensive) to work on class assignments, depending on your background.


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My background in not in business or economics. Can I still apply?

Many of our students come from different professional and academic backgrounds. However, in order to apply, you must hold a bachelor’s degree and fulfill the prerequisites of six hours in microeconomics and macroeconomics, six hours in advanced mathematics (including calculus), and three hours each in financial accounting, managerial finance and statistics. If you lack any of these courses, we recommend that you plan ahead and take them.

Can students waive classes based on experience or academic background?

In general, they cannot. However, students with very strong backgrounds in a particular subject area can petition to waive up to two required courses or to replace with other relevant classes approved by the program director.

Can students transfer courses in coursework?

The MSF is a cohort program and does not include any elective classes. Therefore, students are not permitted to transfer courses from previous graduate studies.

When can I apply?

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis until May 31. Once all required documents have been received, the Admissions Committee will review the file and make admission decision.

How will you evaluate my application?

We consider a wide range of criteria when reviewing applications: post-academic performance, depth and breadth of professional work experience, communication skills, TOEFL scores for non-native speakers, and GMAT/GRE scores.

Is the GMAT or the GRE required?

The GMAT is usually required for applicants with less than 10 years of work experience. GRE scores are also acceptable, but GMAT is preferred.

What is a good GMAT score?

A good GMAT score should fall in the 85% percentile for the quantitative section.

What are the codes for GMAT, GRE, and TOEFL Codes?

The code numbers to use for the Master of Science in Finance at The George Washington University School of Business are:

  • GMAT: QK4-4F-18
  • GRE: 5246
  • TOEFL: 5246

Is work experience required?

We prefer that applicants have a minimum of two years of full-time, progressive and relevant work experience. Relevant work experience is one of the most important factors in the admission process.

What should I write in my statement of purpose?

We want to understand why you think this program is right for you. What will the MSF program enable you to do?

What is the cost of the program?

For more information on the per credit and total cost of each program visit the Student Accounts Office.


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International Students:

Is there any special requirements for International students?

International applicants will need to complete the “Visa Request and Financial Certificate Required for International Applicants” form. They must show a total of $61,200 in Year One and $61,200 in Year Two in the Source of Funds chart.

Necessary verification documents requested for each funding category must accompany the form. If applicants are bringing dependents, the bank statements must indicate additional funds for them. This information is necessary to obtain a visa.

Where can I find additional financial aid information?

The University’s Office of Graduate Student Assistantships and Fellowships provides information on financing a graduate degree.


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Do you offer career placement services?

The graduate Career Center in GW School of Business offers resources for career searches. The MSF program also sponsors several networking events tailored specifically for our students.

What are the types of jobs MSF students land after graduation from the MSF Program?

Many students are employed as financial analysts, financial engineers, traders and other positions in risk management, fixed income and portfolio management.

What are the work opportunities after graduation from the MSF Program?

MSF graduates are offered positions prestigious and attractive international financial institutions such as the World Bank, the IMF and the IFC, as well as at government agencies such as the FED and the U.S. Department of Treasury. Popular destinations for MSF graduates also include investment banks, hedge funds and other private financial corporations in Washington, D.C., New York City, and other financial hubs overseas.