Master of Science in Finance

About the Master of Science in Finance Program

The Master of Science in Finance program is designed to help students develop technical and analytical skills in the area of finance and to acquire the core conceptual knowledge about the applications of those skills in solving financial issues and furthering the body of knowledge through ongoing research.

Master of Science in Finance students learn from accomplished professors and scholars who are committed to high-quality teaching. Topics include:

  • The ability to value financial assets such as stocks, bonds, and derivatives using current valuation methods.
  • A strong understanding of how to evaluate capital budgeting projects.
  • The ability to construct efficient portfolios.
  • A comprehensive understanding of how markets work according to the Efficient Market Hypothesis.

What can I do with a Master of Science Degree in Finance?

This program is designed to be a terminal degree for those looking to pursue a career in private or public sector after program completion.

While the Finance field is highly competitive, students may typically begin careers in industries such as wealth management, trusts, and banking in positions such as a financial advisor or financial or research analyst.

Is funding available?

The Office of Student Financial Aid & Scholarships is available to meet with any students needing information on federal- and state-based financial aid programs. For additional information on funding for graduate students, review the tuition tab above to learn about costs,  what funding is available through the Graduate School, as well as  external funding opportunities.

How do I apply?

To be considered for Fall semester, all materials must be received by March 15.
To be considered for Spring semester, application materials must be received by October 15.
Review the admissions tab at the top of the page for admission criteria and application procedures.

More Information


Contact the Finance MS Director

Dr. Hongchao Zeng
(775) 682-9195


Thesis or non-thesis option

The Master of Science in Finance program consists of two options: option A (thesis option) with 30 credits and option B (non-thesis option) with 33 credits.

The thesis option provides students the opportunity to complete a research project under the guidance of expert faculty. Completing a thesis can strengthen your profile both academically and professionally.

Consider these additional points:

  • If you are interested in pursuing a Ph.D. in Finance at another institution, the thesis option is advantageous.
  • It may require additional time to complete a thesis.
  • A thesis option may be helpful in getting employment in research roles.

The non-thesis option allows the student to have more class time and a structured syllabus instead of research. This might be an option for those who prefer to finish the program as quickly as possible and begin a job search outside of academia or research.

Course Overview

Plan A (non-thesis):

  • ECON 702 - Advanced Microeconomics 3 OR
  • BADM 730 - Economics in the Firm 3
  • BADM 741 - Financial Management 3
  • BADM 742 - Research Methods in Finance 3
  • BADM 743 - Investment Management 3
  • FIN 620 - International Finance 3
  • Approved Electives * 18

Total : 33

Plan B (thesis):

  • ECON 702 - Advanced Microeconomics 3 OR
  • BADM 730 - Economics in the Firm 3
  • BADM 741 - Financial Management 3
  • BADM 742 - Research Methods in Finance 3
  • BADM 743 - Investment Management 3
  • FIN 620 - International Finance 3
  • Approved Electives * 9
  • BADM 797 Thesis 6

Total : 30


  • FIN 610 - Derivatives
  • FIN 604 - Financial Management Theory and Practice
  • BADM 744 - Security Analysis and Portfolio Management
  • BADM 745 - Commercial Bank Management
  • BADM 746 - Corporate Treasury Management
  • BADM 748 - Real Estate Finance
  • FIN 693 - Advanced Seminar in Finance
  • ECON 703 - Advanced Macroeconomics
  • ECON 641 - Econometrics

Admission Criteria

In order to pursue a program leading to an advanced degree, you should meet the criteria for both the University of Nevada, Reno Graduate School and the Finance Area of the MGRS Department MSF program. All applications are reviewed by the MSF admission committee. Only complete applications will be reviewed by the committee. Applications approved by the committee are forwarded to the Graduate School for final disposition. Admission requirements, procedures, and deadlines are described below.

Graduate School Requirements:

  1. Grade Point Average of 3.00 on a scale of 4.0, or an average of 3.25 or higher for the courses taken during the last half of the undergraduate program.
  2. A baccalaureate (or an advanced) degree from an accredited four-year institution; any major is acceptable.
  3. GRE/GMAT scores must be from within the last five years.

Finance Area of MGRS Department MSF Requirements:

  1. Completion of the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) with a minimum score of 550 or the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) with a minimum score of 1100. Students must also place in the 20th percentile or higher in each portion (verbal, written, and quantitative) of the exam. [These minimum scores are subject to change.]
  2. All students are expected to be proficient in word processing and are also expected to be able to use computers to analyze and solve business problems using software such as spreadsheets, statistical packages, and databases.
  3. If the applicant does not meet all of the preceding requirements, admission to graduate standing on a carefully prescribed basis may sometimes be considered.
  4. International student applicants must submit satisfactory scores on the Test of English as a Foreign Language TOEFL) indicating an ability to speak, write and understand the English Language sufficiently. The minimum TOEFL score accepted is 550. International students may be required to complete additional Intensive English courses during their first semester in the program. The TOEFL will be waived for students who have completed degree programs conducted in English in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Australia, or New Zealand.
  5. Students must complete the following courses within five years of admittance to the program:

    • Basic Calculus (equivalent to MATH 176)
    • Statistics of Decision Making (equivalent to BADM 700)
    • Financial Reporting and Accounting (equivalent to BADM 710)
    • Intermediate Microeconomics (equivalent to ECON 302), if Advanced Microeconomics ECON 702 is to be taken as an elective
    • Intermediate Macroeconomics (equivalent to ECON 303), if Advanced Macroeconomics ECON 703 is to be taken as an elective

Specific Prerequisites

A bachelor degree in business or finance is not required for admission. Students without an undergraduate degree in finance or business normally earn the MSF degree by completing the aforementioned set pre-core courses.

Application Deadlines

To be considered for Fall semester, all materials must be received by March 15.
To be considered for Spring semester, application materials must be received by October 15.

Application Procedure

The Ph.D. in Economics program is governed by University of Nevada, Reno Graduate School requirements. All material should be submitted online through the Graduate School.
Applicants should submit the following:

  • All required application materials as required by the Graduate School admissions requirements, including official transcripts from all previous educational institutions and GRE/GMAT scores.
  • A $60.00 non-refundable application fee. ($40 non-refundable fee for University of Nevada, Reno Grads.)

The following documents must be submitted to the MSF Program Director:

  • Three letters of recommendations.
  • Statement of Purpose for pursuing the Master Degree in Finance, addressing the student’s particular interest in Finance and his or her future professional and/or academic goals.

International Students

The MSF program requires a four-year degree program to be considered for admission. International students applying with a three-year degree will not be considered. 

For international student information, please consult the Office of International Students and Scholars.

Tuition, Cost Calculator and Funding

Tuition for the Master of Science degree in Finance will vary depending on the number of courses needed and the background of the student. Here are several steps you can follow to understand the cost of the program and the funding opportunities available:

International Students

View a sample table of the fees for international graduate students. For information on funding for international students, please consult the Office of International Students and Scholars.


Unlike other graduate degree problems within The College of Business, the MSF does not require the graduate student to have an advisory committee.

For advising questions, please contact the Finance MS Director:

Dr. Hongchao Zeng
Ansari Business 313
(775) 682-9195

More Info