M.S.F. requirements

UPDATED 7/7/21: The Ilitch School is not currently admitting new students to the master of science in finance program. For more information, please contact the Graduate Programs Office.

The Wayne State University Mike Ilitch School of Business master of science in finance (M.S.F.) conforms to the standards set by the field of finance and the primary accrediting body for business education, AACSB International, for a master's degree in a specialized field.

The M.S.F. curriculum will provide the student with a solid foundation for the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) level one exam and will prepare them for a variety of financial roles.

Contact an advisor if you have questions or need more information.

Admission requirements

Admission to the M.S.F. program is contingent upon admission to the Wayne State University Graduate School. In addition, applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Baccalaureate degree in business administration, a discipline area of business administration such as accounting or finance, or in a quantitative field such as mathematics, economics, physics, engineering or statistics from a regionally accredited institution
  • A minimum GMAT score of 550*; or minimum GRE score of 155 on Quantitative Reasoning and 154 on Verbal Reasoning (*This program does not offer a GMAT/GRE waiver)
  • Overall undergraduate GPA of 2.75, with a 3.0 major GPA (on a 4.0 scale)
  • Submit a copy of your professional resume (should include start and end dates for each position held.)
  • Three letters of recommendation from professors or employers

On-campus or phone interviews may be required.

Curriculum requirements

Foundation courses

Before progressing to the core courses of the program, students should possess a solid foundation in finance and accounting as comprised by the following set of courses:

The graduate-level foundation courses (BA 6000, BA 6005, and BA 7000) cited above are open only to students who have been formally admitted to a graduate program at Wayne State. Analogous courses offered at the undergraduate level (as determined by the admission evaluation process) may be taken to satisfy foundation requirements before graduate admission. However, once a student has been formally admitted to the M.S.F. program, no graduate credit will be allowed for subsequent registration in undergraduate courses.

If the applicant's business administration, finance or accounting degree is from a college or university located outside of the United States, some or all of the foundation requirements may not be waived because the U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (US GAAP) may not have been studied.

Core courses

Five core courses form the backbone of the M.S.F. program, providing general analytical methods and technical tools that can be applied to a variety of sub-specialties in finance. Except for FIN 7220, the finance core courses shown below will be taken in the first semester, after which students may customize their program through electives according to their long-term goals and specific areas of interest.


Students may take elective courses before finishing all the core classes as long as prerequisites such as BA 7020, FIN 7220, and FIN 7230 are completed. After taking the 15-credit finance core, students can choose from a variety of elective courses to develop expertise in their areas of interest. Students may also opt to take an elective outside the program, such as in economics, with permission from the department chair.

An innovative feature of the M.S.F. is the ability for students to tailor the program to their individual needs and interests. Students may select courses that focus on corporate finance or investments, or both.

Corporate finance courses

The curriculum includes a study of asset, liability and capital structure management, with emphasis on valuation capital budgeting techniques; risk evaluation; working capital management, and methods of short-term, intermediate, and long-term financing. 

Students may take any five of the following elective courses if interested in the corporate finance area:

Investment courses

These courses focus on skills necessary in the financial services industry (such as banking, investment banking, consulting, or the financial service function of major corporations). Skillset involves analysis of investments, constructing investment portfolios, and advising clients on investment selection and portfolio strategy.

Students may take any five of the following elective courses if interested in the Investments area:

Other finance electives

Graduation requirements

The M.S.F. program requires a total of 30 credit hours. Up to six transfer credits from previous equivalent graduate coursework can be applied to the degree if those credits have not been counted toward a degree and are equivalent substitutes.  

Students can pursue the M.S.F. full-time or part-time, but all students must complete the program within six years.

A minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher is required for graduation. A maximum of two courses in which a C grade has been received may be used to meet graduation requirements, provided this is offset by sufficient A grades to maintain the required 3.0 average.