The ten-course MSF program has an innovative curriculum that provides you with a strong foundation in the principles and practices of finance. The program also introduces you to the emerging concepts, practices, and technologies necessary to be successful in today’s finance industry.

The Illinois MSF is a generalist graduate program in finance. The curriculum is composed of four core courses that are required for all students, and six electives. You select from a wide range of electives in all areas of finance. By customizing your study plan, you have the option to pursue a specialization track or take electives spanning several areas. Several half-semester module courses in special topics allow you to complete the program, and allow you to complete more than ten courses during your twelve months of study.

Core Curriculum

You begin the program in early June and enroll in two intensive seven week core courses – Corporate Finance & Valuation and Quantitative Methods for Finance. The summer courses provide you with thorough training in fundamental skills for financial and quantitative analysis and occur in a learning environment strongly marked by teamwork and software applications. In the fall semester, you take two additional required courses in Investments and Financial Economics. These core courses give you a strong foundation for advanced study during the remainder of the academic year.


In the fall and spring semesters, you select courses to customize your degree. Generally, students take most of their electives in areas of finance, but some take a few electives in other disciplines. Most students choose to follow a specialization track in one or more of the three most popular areas in the program: Corporate Finance, Asset Management, or Quantitative Finance.

However, the breadth of electives makes the Illinois MSF a unique program for students who are interested in specializing in other areas of finance, such as Banking, Insurance, and Real Estate.

Preparatory Workshops

To assist you in your preparation for summer coursework, Illinois MSF offers two preparatory workshops during the orientation prior to the start of summer classes. These workshops review very fundamental concepts in Finance/Accounting and Math/Statistics. You will be asked to take a diagnostic test prior to your arrival on campus. Based on your test performance, one or both of these workshops may be required for you to attend before you begin the two summer courses.