Master of Science in Finance

  • Overview

    A Cox School MSF goes beyond the financial basics. Through this unique curriculum, you'll gain an edge in the marketplace by developing knowledge and skills in four areas of competency:

    • Alternative assets (a specialized course in hedge funds is also available).
    • Energy finance (you can add courses in energy risk management and energy project management).
    • Real-time markets and trading.
    • Investment portfolios.

    Along with rigorous classroom learning that includes MBA-level courses, you'll also gain real-world skills through hands-on experiences. And if you're planning to sit for the CFA Level 1, our CFA review course will prepare you.

  • Curriculum

    The Cox MSF is designed to provide students with a broad and intensive education in the finance field. Its focus is to provide specialized skills that enhance finance based employment prospects. Graduates will be positioned well with the knowledge and skills required by employers for entry-level financial analyst positions.

    To distinguish the Cox MSF from other programs offered by top graduate business schools, we have built the program around four areas of unique competency: 

    • Alternative Assets
    • Energy Finance
    • Real-time Markets and Trading
    • Investment Portfolios

    Additionally, SMU Cox offers a specialized course in hedge funds, which is aligned with our Alternative Assets Management Center, and specialized courses in energy risk management and energy project management, which connects with our Maguire Energy Institute. SMU Cox also utilizes the Kitt Trading Center in several courses including a course on markets and trading. The Kitt Trading Center is built around on-line and real-time trading and financial information processing. Finally, we connect some of our class applications to the management of the Cox and Underwood student-managed investment portfolios, which are real-time investment portfolios managed by Cox students.

    The 34-hour SMU Cox MSF Program is taken on a full-time basis over four modules (two semesters) or a part-time basis over eight modules (four semesters). All SMU Cox graduate classes are offered in eight-week modules (half-semesters) with each class receiving two credit-hours. Each semester has two modules, Module A and Module B. The ideal applicant to our program will be familiar with the basic introductory subjects covered in finance, accounting, economics and statistics at the undergraduate level, but we also host a Summer Boot Camp that provides familiarity in these subjects before starting in the Fall. Ambitious students may also be able to make up deficiencies while in the program.

    MS in Finance Program (Full-Time)
    Cox School of Business
    34 Credit Hours

    Term 1 – Fall Credit Hours

    Module A Courses

    MAST 6478 Data Analytics (0)

    FINA 6205 Finance Theory and Practice (2)

    FINA 6216 Portfolio Theory and Asset Pricing (2)

    MNGT 6004 Managing Your Career (0)


    Plus one of the following

    ACCT 6201 Financial Accounting I (2)

    ACCT 6210 Financial Reporting and Analysis I (2)

    FINA 6430 Asset and Wealth Management Practicum (4)*

    *Course to be completed in Mod A and Mod B

    *Requires an application and departmental permission

    Module B Courses

    MAST 6478 Data Analytics (4)

    FINA 6211 Valuation and Analysis (2)

    FINA 6219 Derivatives (2)

    FINA 6238 Financial Modeling (2)


    Plus one of the following (refer above)

    ACCT 6202 Financial Accounting II (2)

    ACCT 6212 Financial Reporting and Analysis II (2)

    FINA 6430 Asset and Wealth Management Practicum (4) *

    *Course to be completed in Mod A and Mod B

    *Requires an application and departmental permission


    Term Total : 18


    Term 2 – Spring Credit Hours

    Module A Courses

    FINA 6218 Fixed Income Securities (2)

    FINA 6226 Quantitative Trading Strategies(2)


    Plus one of the following:

    FINA 6431 Asset and Wealth Management Practicum (4)

    * Course to be completed in Mod A and Mod B and NOT take in Fall

    * Application required

    FINA 6228 Energy Project Valuation and Finance (2)      


    If only one of the above taken, take one of the following:

    ACCT 6211 Financial Statement Analysis (2)

    ACCT 6210 Financial Reporting and Analysis (2)

    Module B Courses

    FINA 6212 Corporate Financial Policies (2)

    FINA 6214 International Finance (2)

    FINA 6222 Financial Markets and Monetary Policy (2)


    Take one of the following*:

    FINA 6431 Asset and Wealth Management Practicum (4) *

    * Course to be completed in Mod A and Mod B

    ACCT 6211 Financial Statement Analysis (2)

    ACCT 6212 Financial Reporting and Analysis II (2)

    BUSE 6208 Special Topics in Energy Economics (2)


    Term Total 16

    Credit Hours in Full-Time MS in Finance Program Summary

    4 credit hours of required accounting courses – Students needs to take at least 2 accounting courses

    4 credit hours of Statistics - MAST 6278 is a required course worth 4 credits

    22 credit hours of required finance courses

    4 credit hours of electives

    34 credit hours total for Cox M.S.F. degree


  • Online Summer Boot Camp

    Maybe you have a passion for finance, but need to shore up your skills before taking on the rigors of the MSF. The SMU Cox online summer Boot Camp IS designed to prepare you. By the time school starts, you'll you’ll have a working knowledge of compound interest, discounted cash flow and financial statements. The Cox MSF Boot Camp includes: 

    •  Online Self-Study Guide. Authored by Cox faculty, this self-paced workbook offers a solid primer on basic financial concepts.
    • MyFinanceLab Homework Exercises. Cox faculty monitor your progress as you complete at-home assignments. The goal: Hit the ground running in your first on-campus finance class.

  • Beyond the Classroom

    The best way to gain leadership experience and confidence is by connecting with people in leadership positions and immersing yourself in real world business environments. At SMU Cox, we bring opportunities for hands-on experience to life outside the typical classroom setting, tapping our strong ties with business leaders in Dallas and beyond. Among your experiential learning opportunities at SMU Cox:

    • Applied leadership opportunities include the Nonprofit Consulting Program, which gives you the option to join a team of peers in addressing the challenges of a local not-for-profit organization.
    • The Practicum in Portfolio Management course allows a select group of MBA and MSF students to manage the $6 million Nancy Chambers Underwood Graduate Fund, one of the oldest student-managed portfolios in the country. It's a chance to practice major aspects of fund management, including client interface, asset allocation, individual security selection and performance evaluation.

  • Highlight: The Kitt Investment and Trading Center

    Kitt Investing Trading Center

    Get hands-on experience with industry-standard data feeds and financial software, along with an LED stock ticker, three video walls, 24 high-end work stations and 10 Bloomberg Professional terminals in this state-of-the art simulated trading room. You'll have a chance to get this unique hands-on experience as part of several MS courses.

    Learn what you can do at the Kitt Center