Plain English Answers to Top 10 FAQs About MS in Finance
Finance is a growing field today. So now is the right time to get an MS in Finance degree from the US.
Now, you obviously have questions about getting an MS in Finance.
But luckily, we have all the answers.
Check out our FAQs about MS in Finance. In plain English. So that you can quickly get the answers you are looking for.
Let’s dive right in.
FAQs about MS in finance
1. Can I pursue an MS in Finance online from the US?
Certainly. Many universities offer online programs for MS in Finance. (Harvard and John Hopkins, to name a few.)
An online degree in Finance offers the advantage of flexibility. With that, you can manage your coursework along with other obligations. Plus, online programs cost less than traditional on-campus programs. And you can also save money on overheads like travel and accommodation.
An analysis published by CNBC in 2016 shows that students can save up to $20,000 by getting a degree online instead of on campus.
With prices being on an upward trend since then, the savings now can be significantly higher.
But remember, you’d be missing out on some things. Face-to-face interaction with professors and fellow students, for example. Further, you’ll need more self-discipline. That’s because you won’t have the organized routine of an in-person classroom.
Is the cost of getting an MS in Finance offline the only thing pulling you back? Consider getting proper funds for your foreign education dream.
2. What is the acceptance rate for MS in Finance programs in the US?
Most universities don’t publish their acceptance rates online. But according to various sources, the rates are competitive. For example, Harvard has a mere 4% acceptance rate. So do Princeton and Standford.
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Now, acceptance rates for MS in Finance programs in the US vary by school. But being one of the most lucrative fields today, Finance programs, attract a large number of applicants. Thus, the acceptance rates are likely to be competitive.
While applying for MS in Finance, thus, you should make sure you do your background research well.
You can improve your chances of getting accepted though. How? By selecting colleges/universities where you meet the admission criteria.
3. What kind of research opportunities are available in an MS in Finance program in the US?
- There are several research opportunities available for candidates pursuing MS in Finance.
- Some of them include
- Opportunities to work with faculty on research projects,
- Participating in case competitions, and
- Complete a thesis or capstone project.
You can also search for opportunities in online databases. For example, you can explore the American Finance Association’s job board.
Or visit the Social Science Research Network (SSRN) website. These databases often include listings for research assistant positions or fellowships.
4. Can I pursue an MS in Finance without a background in finance or business?
Yes, you can pursue an MS in Finance without a background in finance or business. However, you may need to take additional courses to catch up on the basics.
Some programs offer foundational courses to help you prepare for the program. Check your program’s prerequisites carefully before applying.
5. Can I work part-time while pursuing an MS in Finance in the US? If yes, where?
As an Indian student pursuing MS in Finance in the US, you can work part-time during your course. However, the F-1 student visa has the following regulations:
- You can work on-campus for up to 20 hours per week during the academic year
- During the summer/winter break, you can work full-time
- Off-campus employment is also allowed, but only under certain conditions. You will need prior authorization from the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
You can also apply for Optional Practical Training (OPT)
More details about OPT can be found here.
To find part-time jobs in the Finance field, you can take the help of
- University career services
- Online job boards like LinkedIn, Indeed, Glassdoor, and SimplyHired
- Finance associations and networking events.
6. How can I network with finance professionals while pursuing an MS in Finance in the US?
Networking is essential for a successful career in finance. And the best time to do that is while pursuing MS in Finance. It will help you find the right internships/jobs. And also further your understanding of the finance industry.
For networking with finance professionals, you can:
- Join finance clubs at your university,
- Attend industry events (for example, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) Future of Everything Festival, Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) conferences, and Financial Planning Association (FPA) events to name a few),
7. What kind of extracurricular activities should I participate in while pursuing an MS in Finance?
Engaging in extracurricular activities while pursuing MS in Finance can help hone skills. And also help you showcase your potential in the finance field. This makes your job search simpler.
Say you wish to showcase your financial leadership skills. For that, you can lead fundraising efforts for a local charity. Or you can organize a financial literacy seminar for underprivileged high school students.
Joining/co-founding a finance or investment club on campus can also be helpful.
Further, you should make sure your extracurricular adventures show longevity. For that, you can volunteer at a non-profit financial organization during your course.
8. How can I prepare for the rigorous coursework in an MS in Finance program in the US?
The coursework in an MS in Finance program in the US can be rigorous.
To prepare, start by reviewing the program’s prerequisites. Then brush up on any areas where you may be lacking. Some tips include:
- Strengthen your quantitative skills, including math and statistics.
- Brush up on your accounting and financial statement analysis skills.
- Build your knowledge of financial instruments and markets. Study about stocks, bonds, options, and futures.
- Stay updated on current events in the financial industry. Regularly read financial news.
- You might also want to consider enrolling in pre-finance courses or online courses. This can give you a head start on the curriculum.
9. What is the classroom experience like in an MS in Finance program in the US?
MS in Finance programs are designed to prepare you for a fast-paced career. That’s important given how dynamic the world of finance is. Thus, MS in Finance programs aim to equip you with analytical and critical thinking.
Thus, the classroom experience is designed to be challenging and intellectually stimulating.
Classes are typically taught by experienced faculty members. Often these professors have practical experience in the field of finance. Lectures involve case studies, simulations, and group projects. Actively participating in class discussions, asking questions, and challenging assumptions are encouraged. Guest lectures from industry professionals are common.
Also, MS in Finance programs often require independent study outside of class.
10. What kind of support is available for career placement for MS in Finance graduates in the US?
Career placement support for MS in Finance graduates in the US varies by school and program. Many schools have dedicated career centers too. These offer services/help in the form of resume reviews and interview coaching. Job search resources are also provided.
Knowing what kind of career support your preferred college/university offers is thus, important.