The Master of Science in Finance is a specialized, technical degree program that provides in-depth exposure to the principles and practices of corporate finance and investment management. It is a primary objective of this program to ensure that, by the time they graduate, students will have acquired the specialized skills and knowledge needed to add immediate value to their organizations in their roles as financial managers or investment advisers. This degree is intended for students who have made a professional commitment to this key business discipline and who are interested in equipping themselves with the most comprehensive array of analytical tools and techniques. The MS in finance does not attempt to provide the broad overview of business that is typical of an MBA; instead, it focuses with great intensity on the specific areas of compelling interest to financial managers, security analysts, corporate bankers, and portfolio managers.
The four-course foundation of the MS in finance emphasizes practical skills essential for success in this field. It’s a challenging beginning to the course of study (though it may be possible to waive some or all of these courses on the basis of equivalent undergraduate work), but it prepares students for the sophisticated analysis that this degree and this professional discipline demand.
The five-course (15 unit) core of the MS in finance degree emphasizes critical fields of knowledge that are required of all financial professionals. Three courses in corporate finance, investments and capital markets represent the conceptual foundations of the discipline-the “three legs of the stool.” Two courses in financial analysis and financial modeling build on and strengthen the student’s background in accounting and computer applications, providing the tools to pursue the more advanced and specialized studies in the concentration.
The 18-unit concentration allows students to choose a general concentration to maximize the flexibility of their program or a more targeted concentration in corporate finance or investment management.
Student Learning Outcomes
Graduates of the MS in finance program will have the knowledge and skills to:
- Evaluate and explain financial decisions regarding the firm’s investment and long- and short-term financing strategies by applying financial theory, quantitative decision-making tools, and analytical methods.
- Apply economic analysis to the firm’s decision-making, taking into account the impact of markets, institutions, and international trends on these decisions. Understand whether or to what extent a financial market satisfies the conditions of an efficient market.
- Define and measure business and financial risk. Describe the relationship between risk and return, and distinguish between expected and required returns. Explain how risk affects the valuation of real and financial assets, and describe techniques for managing risk.
- Evaluate the corporate governance structures of firms and examine the interactions, from a governance perspective, among firm management, financial markets, and stakeholders.
- Describe and evaluate the ethical implications of financial decision-making and financial practices, assess alternative recommendations for solutions to ethical financial problems, and offer appropriate resolutions to those problems.
Declaring Program Concentrations
Students may declare concentrations when they have completed the coursework required for their desired concentrations, or after the “Last Day to Drop Course without Tuition Charge” (per the Academic Calendar) for their final terms, if they will be able to complete their concentrations in their final terms.
To be eligible to declare concentrations, students must have already completed the required concentration coursework, or be able to complete it in their final terms without requiring waivers, substitutions, or directed study courses, unless they are approved in advance by the department chair, program director, or dean.
Students may declare up to two concentrations in a given degree program. Students seeking to declare more than two concentrations will be required to appeal to the dean or vice president of academic affairs for approval. Students’ diplomas will list the concentrations that they had successfully completed at the time their degrees were conferred. Students may not declare additional concentrations after their degrees have been conferred.
The following concentrations are available:
Requirements for the Master of Science in Finance
The Master of Science in Finance requires completion of 9 units in the foundation program and 33 units of advanced program coursework, with a cumulative grade-point average of 3.00 or better in courses taken at Golden Gate University. Courses carry three semester units of credit unless otherwise noted. All course prerequisites must be satisfied prior to enrolling in a given course; prerequisites are indicated in the chapter on course descriptions in this catalog or at www.ggu.edu/info. Individual foundation program courses may be waived if the student has previously completed comparable courses at a regionally accredited college or university. Students may be admitted to advanced program courses before completion of the entire foundation program, but must complete the foundation program by the time that 12 units have been earned in the advanced program.
Business Proficiency Requirement
Students admitted to this program are required to possess an understanding of U.S. business practices equivalent to BUS 201 Economic and Regulatory Essentials of U.S. Business . This requirement must be completed in your first term, and you must have completed this requirement no later than your first nine units at GGU. A grade of “C-” or better is required for BUS 201 . However, graduate students must maintain a 3.00 “B” cumulative grade point average to remain in good standing.
Computer Proficiency Requirement
Applicants are expected to have access to current levels of computing, including the internet, and to demonstrate a working familiarity and skill with computers and software applications appropriate for graduate studies. This includes knowledge of word processing, spreadsheet analysis, visual presentation software and network access capabilities. Faculty may require additional preparation for those students who have not achieved the needed proficiency.
Graduate Writing Proficiency Requirement
Students are expected to possess a level of writing skill and knowledge equivalent to ENGL 201 . Students may meet this requirement by satisfying one of the screening criteria. See Graduate Writing Proficiency Requirement for more information.
Graduate Mathematics Proficiency Requirement
Students admitted to this program are expected to possess a level of mathematical skill at least equivalent to college algebra (MATH 30 ). Students may meet this requirement by satisfying one of the screening criteria listed under Gradaute Mathematics Proficiency Requirement .
Foundation Program - 9 units
Advanced Program - 33 units
Corporate Finance Concentration - 18 units
The range of electives associated with the corporate finance concentration provides an opportunity for students to add a final, specialized emphasis to their program. In the 12 units of required courses for the corporate finance concentration, students develop the skills essential for careers in financial management, from financial analyst to CFO. These courses examine the tools and techniques of managing short-term assets and liabilities, fixed assets and capital investments, and long-term financing. In addition, courses in international finance and in financial strategy provide a high-level management perspective on the relationship between financial decisions, both domestic and global, and value creation. A list of recommended finance electives that corresponds to the particular demands of corporate finance careers is suggested, but students are free to select other finance or economics courses if desired.