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.

Gain real-world skills through hands-on experiences.


The Cox Master's of Science in Finance 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. Along with rigorous classroom learning that includes MBA-level courses, you'll also gain real-world skills through hands-on experiences. 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, built around online and real-time trading and financial information processing, in several courses including a course on markets and trading. And 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. Finally, if you're planning to sit for the CFA Level 1, our CFA review course will prepare you.

The thirty-two-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 an Online 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.


Curriculum (As of Fall 2023 entry)
Total Credit Hours: 32

See course details

Term 1 – Fall Credit Hours: 16

Fall Module A Courses
Finance Theory and Practice
Portfolio Theory and Asset Pricing
Managerial Statistics
Managing Your Career (0 credit)
Optional Core* – ACCT 6201 or ACCT 6210 *See below for FINA 6430

Fall Module B Courses 
Valuation and Analysis
Financial Modeling
Optional Core* – ACCT 6202 or ACCT 6212 *See below for FINA 6430

Term 2 – Spring Credit Hours (16 credits)

Spring Module A Courses (4 total)
Fixed Income Securities
Quantitative Trading Strategies

Elective* Choose two from the following:
Financial Accounting I
Managerial Accounting I
Financial Statement Analysis
Topics in Energy Finance

Spring Module B Courses (4 total)
Corporate Financial Policies
International Finance
Financial Markets and Monetary Policy

Elective* Choose two from the following:
Financial Accounting II
Taxes and Business Strategy
Special Topics in Energy Economics
Financial Statement Analysis

*FINA 6430 Asset and Wealth Management Practicum is offered by application. It is a full semester (both modules A and B) and would take the place of 2 elective courses.

Credit Hours Summary for M.S.F. Program

  • 4 credit hours of required accounting courses
  • Students need to take at least 2 accounting courses
  • 2 credit hours of Statistics - MAST 6201 is a required course worth 2 credits
  • 20 credit hours of required finance courses
  • 4 or 6 credit hours of electives depending on number of finance courses
  • 32 credit hours total for Cox M.S.F. degree

Online 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 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