MS in Finance

Realize a return on investment with a Master of Science in Finance from the Costello College of Business at George Mason University. 

Prepare for a career in commercial banking, investment banking, corporate finance, regulatory finance, or portfolio management. 

With Mason's STEM-designated master of science in finance (MSF) program, become skilled at navigating diverse regulatory environments locally and globally. Use the latest quantitative and analytical methods and techniques to analyze complex financial issues. Gain the knowledge and skills necessary for financial planning, portfolio management, and financial risk mitigation including:  

  • How to communicate analysis results, recommendations, and solutions to problems to finance professionals, clients, and top executives.   
  • How to value and budget complex large scale (i.e., valued in billions of dollars), long-term projects and involve multiple entities.   
  • How to manage large portfolios for mutual funds or pension funds.   
  • How to value and issue financial securities.  

Develop diverse business skills, broader insights, and confidence while expanding your professional network by connecting with your classmates and Mason’s international business alumni network of more than 36,000 members. Benefit from a dedicated career services team that offers you personalized career coaching, employment and networking opportunities, and planning services for life. 

A “HyFlex” delivery that makes it easy to manage your life’s competing demands

The program’s courses are offered in a “HyFlex” (hybrid+flexible) model: you can choose to participate face-to-face in a classroom or live, synchronously online. No matter what you choose, you’ll interact with your professors in real time. 

More Program Highlights:

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STEM-Designated
F-1 students who have elected to pursue Optional Practical Training (OPT) can work in the US for up to 36 months
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CFA Institute Affiliated Program
The first and only Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) affiliated master’s of finance program in Virginia.
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No Finance Background Needed
All quantitative backgrounds such as engineering, math, statistics, physics, and computer science are encouraged to apply.
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Flexibility
Attend classes in-person at Mason’s Fairfax, Virginia campus, just outside of Washington, D.C., or participate virtually in real time.
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Investment Fund
Engage in a capstone experience managing a live investment fund.
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At Your Pace
Graduate in one or two years with our 33-credit, eight-week module structure.
Mason Master's in Finance student Sean P

"My passion for finance began in the second semester of my junior year as a biology major…but I still wanted to finish my biology degree. I chose Mason’s Master of Science in Finance program [because] it doesn’t require a finance background. [The program] provided a gateway to turn my passion into a career."

Sean Prendergast, reinsurance broker at Howden Tiger, MSF ‘23​

Request More Information

To learn more about Mason's Master of Science in Finance program, submit this form:

Curriculum

CFA Affiliated Program
A CFA Institute Affiliated Program

The STEM-Designated Master of Science in Finance program requires 33 credits: 30 credits of core courses and three credits for a Capstone course. Students can complete this program in either one year or two years.  The program follows the 8-week module format and courses are offered in the evening online or in-person to accommodate working professionals.

Our curriculum is structured around the principles of finance knowledge including corporate finance, investments, derivatives, and banking. You will learn essential topics such as corporate payout, capital structure, capital budgeting, and restructuring policies, venture capital asset allocations, and portfolio performance evaluation. Additional coursework will educate you on topics such as managing bank balance sheets to achieve liquidity and managing the risk of assets and liabilities using futures, options, and other derivatives.

Our curriculum is also focused on advanced quantitative and programming skills. You will gain proficiency in Python, the widely used computational software program in the finance industry. You will also become proficient in working with big data, using database analytics and management programs.

Coursework will allow you to become knowledgeable about internationalization in financial markets, understand relevant, diverse regulatory environments, and utilize a variety of financial instruments to solve current and emerging issues in the global economy. An emphasis on ethics is embedded in the coursework, ensuring that our students are exposed to ethical professional standards which govern finance professionals.

Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Program

Request more information here.

Are you a highly-qualified Mason undergraduate? Academically strong Mason undergraduates can apply for an accelerated Master’s program and earn a Bachelor’s and a Master’s in five years. Visit our Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Programs page for more information.

Explore Degree Requirements

See courses and electives for the master's of science in finance program in Mason's University Catalog

The University Catalog is the authoritative source for information on program requirements and courses. Requirements may be different for earlier catalog years.

Sample Schedule

See a sample class schedule to discover how earning a master’s in finance can fit into your work and life. 

Student Managed Investment Fund Capstone Course

The master’s in finance capstone course gives you the opportunity to experience the real-world responsibilities of managing a portfolio in a large mutual fund company. Operating as a managerial team, you and your classmates will evaluate past performance of the fund, manage the risk of the fund portfolio, collect financial data, analyze the securities which may become investments of the fund, conduct research on corporations and financial markets, and present your analysis to College of Business faculty and the Board of the Mason Foundation. 

Meet Your Instructors

Mason’s faculty live, work, and consult in the Washington, D.C., area and draw on their real-world experience to enrich classroom instruction. They serve as your mentors and are involved in every aspect of your education.  

Faculty members include:

Tiago Requeijo
Assistant Professor

Alexander Philipov
Area Chair, Finance

Jiasun Li
Assistant Professor

Derek Horstmeyer
Professor, Finance
Co-Founder & Director of the GMU Student Managed Investment Fund

Stephen Christophe
Professor

Lin Sun
Assistant Professor

Bo Hu
Assistant Professor

Frequently Asked Questions

If you have additional questions, call us at (703) 993-8006.   

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

Prior business or finance coursework is not required for the Master of Science in Finance program. Undergraduate majors in quantitative, engineering, or technical disciplines are particularly relevant, but these are by no means the only majors we consider. 

Is this a STEM-designated program?

Yes. The MS in Finance is a STEM-designated program. The STEM designation provides F-1 visa students the benefit of working in the United States for up to 36 months. Traditionally, with an F-1 visa in a non-STEM program, an F1 student would be eligible for up to 12 months of Optional Practical Training (OPT) authorized work. With this STEM designation, F-1 students are allowed to extend their OPT period by up to 24 months.

Is work experience required?

No. Work experience is not currently required to apply to our Master of Science in Finance program.  

I'm a college senior. Am I eligible to apply to the Master of Science in Finance program?

The Costello College of Business welcomes applications from undergraduates who have excelled both academically and personally. 

What does “HyFlex” mean?

HyFlex means you have the freedom to decide whether to attend your Master of Sciene in Finance courses in-person at our Fairfax campus or remotely, in real time, from the comfort of your own location.

Can I work full-time while completing this program?

Yes. Our program is designed to accommodate the schedules of working professionals. 

What can you tell me about Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Mason?

Diversity is one of Mason's core values; everyone is welcome here. Mason was recently named the most diverse university in Virginia by U.S. News & World Report. To learn more about diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) at Mason, visit the university's DEI website. Visit this page to learn more about DEI at the College of Business. 

What will I learn?

After earning your master’s in finance from George Mason University, you’ll be able to: 

  • Recognize ethical issues related to the finance profession such as conflict of interest, insider trading, and fiduciary duties. 
  • Analyze financial markets, industries, securities, and projects, using advanced quantitative and qualitative methods and techniques with sound theoretical foundations. 
  • Apply interpersonal and team-leadership skills needed to form, lead, and work effectively with diverse organizational teams within a large financial institution. 
  • Conduct research, using large data and advanced programming skills, to (1) manage equity and fixed income portfolios, (2) utilize complex derivatives for hedging strategies, and (3) optimize corporate dividend, investment, and capital structure policies. Effectively summarize and present research findings through various communication tools. 
  • Utilize knowledge in the diverse regulatory environments of U.S. and international markets to address current and emerging issues in the global economy.