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MS in Finance Program Launches

The University of Oregon's Lundquist College of Business announces the launch of a new master of science in finance (MSF) to its graduate-level degree options. We are now accepting applications for the 12-month, 49 to 56-credit MSF program, which has an emphasis in asset management.

The new degree offering represents the Lundquist College's response to an underserved market need for a master's degree in the subject of finance, as well as answers UO President Michael Schill's call for departments to be more entrepreneurial.

Lundquist College Associate professor of finance and finance PhD program coordinator Z. Jay Wang conducted a thorough market analysis and was the primary author on the proposal for the new MSF program.

“Specialized master's degrees are currently enjoying robust demand that is predicted to remain strong," Wang concluded.

Wang identified three key elements for a successful program launch: competitive tuition rates, an effective marketing campaign, and successful outreach to current UO students planning to continue their education at the master's level. International students currently studying at institutions in China and the Middle East with ties to the Lundquist College are also key markets.

The program will leverage existing resources including the Cameron Center for Finance and Securities Analysis, which facilitates access to the region's financial, banking, and investment industry.

Along with serving students in an area with a demonstrated need, the program will generate revenue that may be used for research support for existing faculty members, which in turn will serve to attract top researchers as prospective new hires for the college.

Wang noted that the Department of Finance is one of the most research productive units, with six tenure-track professors publishing in top finance or economics journals in the preceding 12 months. He estimates two new tenure-track faculty members and one nontenure-track faculty member will be needed to cover the additional teaching load. The Department of Finance already had plans to hire one additional tenure-track faculty member, regardless of the status of this new program.

“The Graduate Programs office is excited to welcome the inaugural class," said Paul Allen, Lundquist College's director of MBA and MSF recruiting and admissions. “Our master of science in finance students will be well trained and ready to fill a clear niche in the industry."

Wang noted that the MSF program will also broaden partnerships with such groups as the Certified Financial Analyst (CFA) Institute and the Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) Association. STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) program certification is also expected to be in place by soon. STEM certification provides international students 36 months of optional practical training (OPT) period to work in the United States after graduation instead of just 12 months.

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