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Master's Degree Programs in Corporate Finance

Students interested in corporate finance can choose from a few different master's degree programs that train students in areas like accounting, finance, and communication. Here we discuss program and admission requirements for these degrees.

How to Earn a Master's in Corporate Finance

Students can typically pursue a Master of Corporate Finance, Master of Science (MS) in Corporate Finance, or a Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a concentration in corporate finance in an on-campus, online, and/or hybrid format. Some of these programs can be completed in as little as 1 year, may require between 30 and 39 credits, and may be taken in full- or part-time formats. Depending on the program, students may also be able to pursue a dual degree with the corporate finance degree, such as an MBA. The curriculum for the corporate finance degree typically consists of core courses, electives, and/or a capstone experience. Since some programs also have a list of foundational courses that need to be completed before program coursework, this may add additional time to degree completion, depending on a student's educational and/or professional background. The following represents some of the courses a student will typically take in one of these programs.

Corporate Finance

Students may take multiple courses in corporate finance to learn the concepts of the field and apply them to real world scenarios to help students further develop their decision-making skills. These courses may utilize case studies, discussions, and presentations to train students in the practical application of these concepts and developing multiple alternative solutions to issues. Specific topics in corporate finance that these courses may address include capital budgeting, time value of money, net present value, mergers and acquisitions, and cost of capital.

Managerial Accounting

Courses in managerial accounting are designed to equip current or future managers with the accounting skills necessary for the strategic management of an organization. Students may learn how to design accounting systems to oversee an organization's operations, identify and address ethical issues in the field, and prepare and manage a master budget. These courses may also discuss topics in cost accounting, cash flows, measures of returns, and performance evaluation.

Communication

Communication courses are typically geared towards managers in a business-type setting to help students further develop their skills in the subject. To help express themselves more effectively, students in these courses may examine communication theories and other communication tools, like conflict resolution and how to overcome communication barriers. These courses may also examine topics in cultural diversity and effects on communication, nonverbal channels, clear communication, person perception, and more.

International Finance

Courses in global or international finance may provide students with a broad overview of the subject and/or focus on management techniques in the field for those working for or with international businesses. Students may study the complex nature of international markets to better understand strategic decisions made by corporate managers and how to make quality decisions. Other topics for these courses may include capital structures, assets and liabilities, and capital budgeting.

Financial Accounting

Financial accounting courses examine common accounting practices for the field and/or the principles from which these practices are derived. Students in these courses may also receive hands-on training experience with financial reporting methods through case studies and may be required to complete a final project. These courses may also utilize other readings and research to teach students. These courses may discuss topics in the evaluation of accounting methods, accounting rule-making process, and financial instruments.

Admission Requirements for Master's Degree Programs in Corporate Finance

Admission to some master's degree programs in corporate finance may be a multi-step process, so students should be sure to follow the procedures and deadlines for their particular school(s) of interest. In general, applicants to these programs typically need to have a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution and demonstrate English proficiency if they are an international student. Some of these programs may require applicants to submit their official GMAT or GRE test scores to the Graduate School, unless they qualify for a waiver. It is fairly common for applications to these programs to require students to include their official transcripts, letters of recommendation, a resume, and/or a statement of purpose or personal essay. Some corporate finance programs may even require applicants to complete a video application response.

Students have several different degree options at the master's level to learn about corporate finance and prepare for a career in the field. Some of these programs can be completed in an online or hybrid format, may be taken full- or part-time, and may be completed in as little as 1 year.