FAQ’s

For whom is this Master’s Program in Finance designed?
The Master’s Program in Finance is designed to offer focused and timely financial expertise to young professionals starting their careers.  As a result, this Program is best suited for individuals who have recently earned their Bachelor’s degree or who are less than five years into their careers.

What courses will I complete in this Master’s Program in Finance?
Graduate students will pursue coursework designed to apply modern finance theories and tools to real-world situations.  In addition to the two-three week Intensive Workshop in August and co-curricular activities throughout the year, graduate students may complete the following courses:

  • Financial Reporting
  • Advanced Accounting
  • Corporate Financial Management
  • Investments
  • Portfolio Management
  • Asset Pricing and Derivatives
  • Entrepreneurial Finance
  • Financial Econometrics
  • Mergers & Acquisitions
  • Global Finance

For further course descriptions, please see our Graduate Curriculum. To learn more about the academic requirements and additional graduate student resources, please view the Graduate Student Academic Handbook and the Graduate Resource Guide.

What is the difference between a Master’s in Finance and an MBA?
Overall, an MBA is a more general business degree, which requires students to complete courses in Marketing, Human Resources/Management, Accounting and Finance.  By contrast, the Master’s Program in Finance is narrowly focused on finance and eliminates many of the general business courses in an MBA program, allowing students to delve much further into modern finance theory and application.  Due to this focus on Finance, this Program’s prerequisites and course work are more quantitative than that of an MBA program.

Does this Master’s Program in Finance preclude the pursuit of an MBA?
No.  Although this Program is designed to be a terminal degree for individuals who pursue careers in finance, the management and marketing skills taught in traditional MBA programs nicely complement the skills taught in this Program.

What is the difference between a Master’s in Finance and a Master’s in Financial Engineering?
The Master’s Program in Finance is not as quantitative as a Financial Engineering program.  Financial Engineering programs generally are offered by mathematics or engineering departments and require a higher level of mathematics and computer programming skills.  Additionally, many applicants to Financial Engineering programs have years of work experience and advanced degrees.

The focus of this Master’s Program in Finance is the application of the tools and theories of finance, not the creation of those tools.  Furthermore, the Master’s Program in Finance is not designed for individuals with years of work or academic experience, but rather for young professionals starting their careers.

What makes this Program different from other Master’s in Finance programs?
This Program emphasizes leadership and real-world application of modern theories and tools of finance.  It is a well-funded program that is not tuition-driven.  Consistent with the liberal arts culture of top-ten ranked Claremont McKenna College (CMC), the Program focuses on both professional and personal development.

  • Leadership – CMC’s undergraduate focus on leadership has earned distinction among the nation’s best liberal arts colleges and it continues in the selection and education of graduate program participants.
  • Real-World Application – Claremont McKenna College is not only unique because it boasts the largest economics faculty of any liberal arts college in the nation, but also because it has a faculty committed to teaching real-world applications of economics and finance. As a result, graduate students will experience case-based teaching methods, practical seminars through the co-curricular activities and applied courses, such as Portfolio Management, where students experience what it is like to be an asset manager.
  • Resources – The generous gift that accompanied the vision of alumnus Robert Day’s (’67) ensures a world-class faculty with the resources to focus on a real-world financial education. Robert Day’s generous support also allows for substantial merit-based scholarship support so that students may similarly focus on this intensive educational experience. Additionally, the Program’s resources allow for an extensive array of co-curricular activities, including networking trips, that are all fully-funded.

What degree is awarded?
Master of Arts in Finance, consistent with Claremont McKenna College’s role as a Liberal Arts College.

When do classes begin for Fall 2015?
The program starts in mid-August with a two-three week orientation and intensive seminar in applied finance.

Is it possible to start the program in the spring?
We have structured this one-year program to maximize the interconnection of classes, as well as drawing on the strengths of a cohort experience. Because much of the learning depends on this sequence and the interaction of classmates, classes only start in the fall.