Master of Science in Finance (STEM program)

The University of Kentucky's Master of Science in Finance (MSF) degree prepares students for a professional career in the finance and banking industries. Students gain first-hand asset management experience by managing $5 million of real money and access real-time financial information in our state-of-the-art Seale Finance Learning Center.

Program Goals

As an accepted member of the CFA Institute University Recognition Program since establishment, our program is designed to:

  • Provide rigorous and focused training
  • Create additional career opportunities
  • Sharpen students' skills for the fast-paced and competitive world of modern finance

Job Opportunities

Careers in the finance industry are substantial, intellectually stimulating, and high-paying. Job candidates with MSF degrees are highly desired in finance-specialized industries, such as:

  • Investment banking
  • Asset management
  • Mutual funds
  • Hedge funds
  • Pension funds
  • Corporate treasury departments

The University of Kentucky's MSF program is now a science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) program. This means international students are eligible for three years of Optional Practical Training (OPT) after graduation. OPT is a period during which undergraduate and graduate students with F-1 (non-immigrant student visa) status are allowed to work on a student visa and receive practical training to complement their education.

Hands-on Experience

MSF classes are offered in our modern Seale Finance Learning Center, where students can access real-time financial information from Bloomberg Terminals, Capital IQ, and other sources. As an MSF student, you will gain first-hand asset portfolio management experience by participating in our $5 million student-managed investment fund (SMIF). Your graduate course work will take you to a much higher learning level in your technical, communication, and analytical skills with more advanced material throughout each course. 

Nationally Recognized

Our Finance Department has been accepted into CFA Institute University Recognition Program since 2012. Our newly established MSF program has been added to the CFA Institute University Recognition Program starting August 2017. This status is granted to institutions whose degree programs incorporate at least 70% of the CFA Program Candidate Body of Knowledge (CBOK). We provide students with a solid grounding in the CBOK and prepare them to sit for the CFA exam. Each year, the CFA Institute allots thirteen scholarships to finance students (MSF or undergraduate). Students with scholarships will be able to access CFA preparation materials for free and take CFA exams at a significantly lowered rate.

Personalized Support

Our Graham Office of Career Management assists students in their career development process and employment success by working closely with employers who seek world-ready interns and graduates. We will also assist our students who wish to pursue Ph.D. education in finance or related areas at top U.S. universities.

Watch the video below to learn more about the MSF student experience. 

Top-Rated City

The city of Lexington is a great place to live and learn. Serving as the healthcare, retail, financial, educational, cultural, and entertainment center for both Central and Eastern Kentucky, Lexington features many of the advantages of a large city with the charm and hospitality of a small town. Reputable companies and employers such as Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Lexmark International, Big Ass Solutions, Valvoline, Link Belt, LBX, Tempur Sealy,, Xerox, Hitachi and Lockheed Martin all have a major corporate presence in the area. Watch this video to learn more. 

World-Renowned Faculty

Our faculty are highly regarded scholars and recognized leaders in the field, with articles appearing in the world's most prestigious finance journals such as Journal of Financial Economics, Journal of Finance, Review of Financial Studies, and Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis. Our faculty are frequently cited by the Wall Street Journal, Harvard Business Review and other financial media. Visit our faculty directory for bios, profiles, and publications. 

Faculty in the Media 

Brad Jordan is the coauthor of many popular finance textbooks such as Fundamentals of Investments and Essentials of Corporate Finance. Quint Tatro, who has taught FIN 685 and serves as a frequent guest lecturer, is often a guest on CNBC and Bloomberg TV, as shown in the videos below. The MSF Director Mark Liu is writing a Python programming book that will soon be published at No Starch Press (a well-known publisher of Python and other open-source books such as Automate the Boring Stuff, and Python Crash Course).

CNBC: Best Hedge Against Inflation is Gold, Says Expert
Bloomberg: U.S. Market Pullback Isn't Done Says Joule's Tatro
CNBC: Bull vs. Bear: Facebook

Contact for More Information

Dr. Mark Liu, MSF Director
Department of Finance and Quantitative Methods
345J Gatton College of Business and Economics
University of Kentucky
Lexington, KY 40506-0034
United States of America

Policy Changes

All statements made here are announcements of present policy only and are subject to change at any time without prior notice.

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