Financial Masters Degrees 101 — The Admit Lab

Philippe Barr, PhD
9 min readFeb 6, 2023

Are you one of those recent graduates who are on the fence about whether or not to pursue a master’s degree in finance? You’ve probably been asking yourself questions like: Are financial masters degrees worth the cost and effort?

What kind of opportunities will you have with an advanced finance degree? How can you know if this type of graduate program is right for you? Don’t worry, because we’ve got all the answers! In this blog post, we’ll explore why a master’s degree in finance may be beneficial for your future career. We’ll look at current job opportunities available to those with financial training and delve into degree requirements, what it takes to impress the admissions team, what are the challenges of pursuing such a graduate degree, and more. So grab some popcorn, lower grade pressures aside (at least temporarily), and get ready to embark on an exciting educational journey!

Masters in Finance: Why Should You care?

A master’s in finance degree can allow you to focus exclusively on the finance-related things that interest and motivate you. Not only does this provide you with an opportunity to gain advanced knowledge in financial theory through a wide variety of courses, but it also offers you the chance to specialize in an area that may not have been available to you at the undergraduate level. It can also give you access to a network of industry leaders and world-renowned faculty who understand the field and may be able to provide guidance and insight, as well as practical skills.

Why a Master’s Degree in Finance?

Graduating from an MSF program demonstrates a strong commitment to furthering one’s education. It shows that the individual is dedicated to becoming an expert in their chosen field, and is willing to invest the time and energy necessary to do so. Masters of finance graduates have acquired a more advanced set of skills, which allows them to stand out among their peers. With a finance master degree in hand, an individual is more likely to gain access to higher-level positions and greater potential for career advancement. Thus, a master’s degree is an invaluable asset that demonstrates an individual’s dedication to their education and commitment to bettering themselves.

When you apply for a job, having the foresight and ambition to earn a master’s degree in your field of interest can help make an impression on employers. Imagine having the chance to interview with prestigious financial institutions, where one of your primary accomplishments is being able to list that impressive qualification!

Is a Master’s degree in Finance challenging?

Obtaining a master’s of science in finance can be a challenging endeavor. It requires extensive study and research, as well as a thorough understanding of the complex financial systems and strategies used in the modern business world. The courses are demanding, and the curriculum requires deep knowledge in multiple areas of finance, such as financial analysis, data analytics, investment banking, and wealth management. Furthermore, the coursework involves a great deal of critical thinking and problem-solving, which can be difficult to master. Ultimately, a master’s degree in finance requires dedication and hard work, but the rewards are great for those that are willing to put in the effort. The degree will provide invaluable knowledge and expertise, setting graduates up for success in their future careers.

What Employment Can You Get with It?

A master’s of finance degree can open the door to many career opportunities in finance, such as financial analyst, portfolio manager, or investment banker. As a financial analyst, you would analyze securities, markets, and/or investments to help guide companies on their strategic plans. As a portfolio manager, you would create and manage investment portfolios for individuals or businesses. An investment banker helps companies access capital through the sale of securities and other financial instruments. Each job requires different skills and knowledge, but a master’s of finance degree can help you understand the complexities of the financial markets and develop the necessary skills to succeed in these jobs. With the right qualifications, you can have a successful and rewarding career in finance.

This one-year program is also highly sought after by employers in other business industries, such as consultancy, accounting, and commercial banking. With the right qualifications and experience, you could become a business consultant, providing vital advice to organizations on their financial strategies. Alternatively, you could work in accounting and help organizations manage their finances or even become an auditor and provide assurance to external stakeholders. Finally, you could use your degree in banking, helping customers with their financial services needs, or even working in credit analysis.

What Are The Admissions Requirements For a Master’s Degree in Finance?

As a prospective student, it is important to keep in mind that admission to a master’s degree program in finance requires the completion of an undergraduate degree, including coursework in economics and quantitative methods. Additionally, many schools require applicants to have some work experience in the field of finance. While academic performance is an important factor, most programs also consider professional experience and any certifications the student may have. Applicants must also submit a personal statement or essay, two or three letters of recommendation, a resume, and their GRE or GMAT test scores. In addition, many schools require international students to provide evidence of English language proficiency. Finally, the school may require a personal interview with an admissions committee before making a decision. By considering all of the admissions requirements, prospective students can ensure they have a complete application ready for submission by the application deadlines.

How Hard Is It to Get Admitted To a Master of Finance?

Admission into a master of finance is an incredibly competitive process. Programs require students to demonstrate a strong academic background, proven professional experience, and a comprehensive understanding of the industry. With so many qualified applicants with different backgrounds, it can be difficult to stand out from the crowd and secure admission. The application process is designed to ensure only those with the highest potential and competence are admitted. With dedication and preparation, however, it is possible to become a successful candidate for admission into a master of finance.

What are the Main Areas of Specialization In a Master of Finance?

The master of finance provides students with the opportunity to specialize in a variety of areas within the field. These areas include corporate finance, financial planning, investments, portfolio management, and risk management. Additionally, students may focus on specialized fields such as derivatives, banking, or international finance. The degree is also ideal for those who wish to pursue a career in financial analysis, including roles within hedge funds or as quantitative analysts. It can also provide the necessary foundation for a career in financial consulting or auditing. With the increasingly complex and global nature of the financial industry, this degree is becoming increasingly necessary for those wishing to pursue a career in finance.

In addition to the specialized areas of study, students enrolled financial masters degrees also gain a solid foundation in mathematics, economics, and accounting. This foundational knowledge provides students with the analytical tools necessary to make sound financial decisions.

What Are 10 Great Financial Masters Degrees Programs in The World?

Because earning it can open up many career opportunities and greatly increase your earning potential, it is important to choose the right graduate program and school. With so many financial masters degrees and so many outstanding business schools around the world, we’ve narrowed down our top 10 greatest programs.

The University of Pennsylvania

This institution offers a top-ranked master’s in finance program that provides students with the skills and training they need to be successful in the financial sector. With a focus on corporate finance, investments, derivatives markets, and quantitative methods, students are well-prepared for top positions in the industry.

London Business School

This renowned institution offers an MSc in Finance program that provides students with a comprehensive understanding of the world of finance. Through their curriculum and research centers, students gain in-depth knowledge in areas such as investment banking, risk management and financial markets.

Stanford University

This Master of Science in Financial Mathematics program is an intensive training course that develops problem-solving skills and teaches students how to apply math and statistics to solve problems in the world of finance. Students learn a variety of topics from portfolio optimization to financial engineering.

The University of Chicago Booth School of Business

This top school offers a top-notch finance program that prepares students to excel in the world of finance. Students explore topics such as quantitative finance, private equity, and mergers & acquisitions.

The University of Oxford

This top-tier program provides students with a comprehensive understanding of the global financial markets. Students receive training in areas such as corporate finance and investments, capital structure, and corporate governance.

The University of Cambridge

This MPhil in Finance program is equipped with a rigorous curriculum that allows students to explore areas such as financial analysis and portfolio management.

The London School of Economics and Political Science

The school’s MSc in Finance program focuses on the theories and practices of financial economics, providing students with a comprehensive understanding of finance.

The University of St. Gallen

Located in Switzerland, this top institution offers an MSc in Banking & Finance program that provides students the opportunity to gain in-depth knowledge of the financial markets and advanced techniques for investment analysis.

The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

This Master of Finance program is designed to train students to gain a comprehensive understanding of finance and the international financial markets.

The University of California, Berkeley

This top-ranked Master of Financial Engineering program offers focus areas such as financial markets, derivatives, and risk management.

Completing a finance degree from one of these top universities will give students the necessary skills and knowledge to succeed in their chosen profession.

How Competitive Are Masters Degrees in Finance Programs?

To be a competitive applicant for a master’s degree in finance program, it is important to understand the admissions process and have the necessary academic qualifications and experience. A successful applicant must have a strong academic background, with an undergraduate degree in finance or related fields such as economics, accounting, and mathematics. It is also important to have an in-depth knowledge of financial topics such as investment banking, corporate finance, capital markets, and risk management. Additionally, experience in finance or related fields is highly valued and may be beneficial to the applicant’s chances of success. A good portfolio of financial projects, research papers, and internships is also a plus. Finally, applicants should demonstrate strong quantitative and communication skills to be successful in the program. To be a competitive applicant for financial masters degrees, it is vital to have a comprehensive understanding of the finance industry, as well as good analytical and problem-solving skills. With this knowledge and experience, applicants will have a much better chance of being accepted into the master’s program.

What Are The Best Ways to Stand Out In Your Application to Masters Degrees in Finance?

Standing out in your application for a master’s degree in finance requires demonstrating an understanding of the principles and techniques behind financial decision-making. You need to show you can interpret financial data and use it to make decisions. A good way of doing this is through coursework, demonstrating an understanding of topics such as financial analysis, capital budgeting, corporate finance, and portfolio management. You should also highlight any relevant experience you have had working in the financial sector, whether as an intern or in a full-time role. You will also need to demonstrate strong written and verbal communication skills since finance is all about communicating complex ideas and concepts concisely and clearly. Finally, a strong statement of purpose will allow you to explain why finance is the right field for you and why you would be a great fit for the program. With this combination of skills, knowledge, experience, and passion, you’ll be in a great position to stand out in your application for financial masters degrees.

What To Do If You Need Help With Your Applications?

A master’s degree in finance is a great way to combine your love of numbers and complex problem-solving with a potentially lucrative career. But before you apply to financial masters degrees, it’s important to know what the admissions requirements are, to have a clear idea of your short-term and long-term career goals, and why the programs you are targeting are the right fit for you. All this information needs to be clearly outlined and rigorously presented in your application essays. In addition, if you have been out of school for a while, it is important to make sure that your resume will clearly highlight your skills and achievements for admissions committees.

Although master of finance programs are competitive, with a little research and planning, you can set yourself up for success both during the application process and beyond.

If you need any help along the way, The Admit Lab is here to support you. Feel free to take a look at the wide variety of master’s of finance programs our clients have been admitted to in the past, and check out how our master’s application services can increase your chance of getting admitted into your dream program.

Originally published at https://admit-lab.com on February 6, 2023.

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Philippe Barr, PhD

I am Philippe Barr, founder of The Admit Lab, a graduate school admissions consultancy that helps students get admitted into grad school: https://admit-lab.com/