The University of Florida Master of Science in Finance (MSF) Program has evolved into a Combined Degree Program for students from various UF undergraduate degree programs wanting to complete both their undergraduate degree and a Master of Science Finance degree within four years.
Students apply to the program their second year at UF for eligibility to begin graduate level courses their third year. They intern the summer after their third year with the firm they plan to return full-time upon graduation.
Students typically begin their careers in investment banking, commercial banking, corporate finance, or private wealth and asset management. Though the majority of recent placements are investment banking, that should not indicate application preference for IB candidates. The program is seeking students from a variety of finance related interest areas.
The MSF program is not seeking applications from students outside of UF.
UF 1st Year and Early 2nd Year Students
This is the stage for MSF inquiry and essential individual student development.
Gleaning information from several resources over time offers candidates and the MSF Admissions Committee reassurance that the MSF Program is the best choice for the student's education and career preparation.
- Attend an MSF Information Session.
- Attend the Finance Professional Speaker Series consistently
- Attend spring small group sessions with Mr. Bruce Foerster
- Have an impact in a student organization, vs. joining several
- Utilize the reading list provided by MSF alumni
- Investigate the Gator Student Investment Fund
- Join Student Finance Group to receive announcements regarding company visits
- Attend company presentations
To stay on track for MSF application and course planning aim for the following:
- Try to complete any required summer credits before the second year on campus
- Finance majors need to complete all prerequisites for undergraduate Debt, Equity and Financial Management in their second year
- Keep overall GPA above a 3.5
- Keep up with finance related current events
- Take the GMAT exam
UF 2nd Year Students
Application by most MSF students is made to the Combined Degree Program in the second year on campus. The earlier a second year student applies, the better it is for course planning, coaching and mentoring opportunities. Students accepted to the program early enough in their second year are often assisted in finding sophomore summer opportunities and are automatically considered for paid internships at the University of Florida Investment Corporation.
Oct – March: Interviews for the MSF Combined Degree Program
Holistic Admissions Process
Interviews for MSF Combined Degree Program candidates are scheduled monthly beginning in fall and will extend through the spring semester.
Applicants who have completed the GMAT to their satisfaction, composed their resume in a format similar to those on the MSF website, compiled their Statement of Purpose, believe their transcript is competitive for graduate school application, and have received confirmation that their recommendations have been received by Mrs. Herring, must sign up for an interview and bring several of their materials to the interview.
In the interview, candidates will need to demonstrate the qualifications expected by the firms they have targeted in their Statement of Purpose. These traits include:
- An innate interest in financial current events and other industry related subjects
- Strong interpersonal skills and ability to articulate ideas
- Strong communication skills, both written and oral
- Strong work ethic
- Achievement-oriented character
Each of the application materials, and the interview, will be used to assess an applicant's motivation, ability, preparedness and maturity for the MSF Combine Degree Program.
Once an applicant receives conditional acceptance to the Combined Degree Program a student may proceed with MSF activities established for them throughout the rest of the second year. Conditional acceptance will be lifted upon review of the sophomore spring grades and the student will be eligible for MSF course registration.
Bring to the Interview
- 2 copies of your resume
2 copies of the unofficial GMAT score report received at the testing center to the interview. The written portion is not required, and the reasoning section will not be considered. Scores do not need to be reported to Mrs. Herring in advance of the interview.
Mid-50% GMAT Range, Admitted Combined Degree Applicants Class of 2014 Class of 2015 Class of 2016 Total Score 650 – 710 660 – 690 650 – 700 Percentile, Quantitative Portion 57 – 76 57 – 73 61 – 70
A wide swath of GMAT test scores is considered. There is no cut-off/benchmark requirement. There is also no formula or weight assigned to standardized testing. However, the ranges are useful indicators of admissible standards. Certain initial career paths will expect higher GMAT scores.
- 2 copies of your Statement of Purpose describing the chosen career path and listing firms in the areas of interest. An important criterion for admission is a document focused briefly on long-term career expectations, and more detailed on the junior summer internship from which the applicant would want to receive an offer to return full-time. The document must show evidence that applicant has a clear idea of what the internship entails, their suitability for the job, and what they like about the job and that particular area of finance. Include information about how these decisions were made. An Excel or Word table with the following should accompany the paragraphs of text: the list of firms targeted for junior summer internship, the caliber of students those companies select (GMAT, GPA, other suitability criteria), some understanding of the recruitment process (hiring calendars for those firms, indication of which companies recruit UF students on campus and which firms that have hired MSF students that do not recruit on campus).
Available at the interview:
- Two letters of recommendation must be emailed directly to Mrs. Herring by the people making the recommendations. The student will be copied on the thank you reply, using the email address on file from the MSF Information Session attendance, so the applicant will know the recommendation has been received.
Transcripts are available to the MSF Admissions Committee electronically. Applicants do not need to order or email their transcript. It will be available at the interview. The Committee will be looking for evidence that the undergraduate courses at UF have not been enough of a challenge.
Mid-50% GPA Range, Admitted Combined Degree Applicants Class of 2014 Class of 2015 Class of 2016 3.70 – 4.00 3.68 – 3.94 3.70 – 3.98
UF 3rd Year and Transfer Students
These applicants are required to have accepted a junior summer internship at the firm they plan to place full-time.
The MSF is a Combined Degree program designed for sophomores accepted to partake in the program for the final two of four years at UF.
The traditional MSF Combined Degree timeline does not work for transfer students or third year applicants. By fall of the third year, juniors have missed the deadline for the two year program. Transfer students do not have UF transcript evidence that more difficult UF coursework is needed.
However, transfer students and juniors that have secured a junior summer internship at the firm they expect to accept a full time offer may apply during their junior year to complete the MSF degree by the end of their fourth year. Course timing is tricky. This option worked for only one student in both the MSF 2014 and 2015 classes.
For more information about applying in the junior year, or to learn about opportunities available to juniors from the MSF Program, attend an early fall MSF Information Session.
UF 4th Year and Non-UF Students
The UF MSF Program is not seeking graduating students or students with work experience.
Graduates of this particular program place in entry level analyst positions. The current job market is not conducive to analyst placement without the student having had a junior summer internship at the firm they wish to join full-time. The program’s recruiting focus has shifted to current University of Florida sophomores to focus on internship preparation and placement.
Other UF Hough Graduate School of Business Programs to Consider:
- One of UF's various MBA Programs may be an option for applicant's that meet minimum work experience requirements.
The following one year master's degree programs are offered at UF:
- Master of International Business
- Master of Science in Entrepreneurship
- Master of Science in Management
- Master of Science in Real Estate
UF Graduate Students
JD and PhD students may apply.
Students already accepted to UF’s Levin College of Law may apply to the MSF Program for a Joint JD/ MSF arrangement. Students enrolled in a PhD program at UF may apply for a Non-Traditional degree arrangement that allows students with permission from their PhD department to simultaneously work towards the MSF degree. If accepted to either the Joint or Non-Traditional MSF Programs, the students may apply 9 of the credits taken in the JD or PhD program towards the MSF degree, reducing the MSF degree from 32 credits to 23. Joint degree students may not graduate from either program until they have met all graduation requirements for both degrees; then, they graduate from both programs at the same time.
JD and PhD students may inquire about program suitability by emailing (kelly.herring at warrington.ufl.edu) to Kelly Herring:
- Explanation for wanting to pursue the MSF degree
Full application by current UF PhD students requires submission the following to Kelly Herring:
- UFID: The applicants standardized test results and transcript records will be printed from UF’s electronic records system and added to an application file. There is no need to order these materials.
- The University of Florida Graduate School Nontraditional Doctoral/Master’s Degree Program form, Form 1, with signatures from the doctoral program indicating approval to partake simultaneously in both the doctoral program and the master’s program. If accepted to the MSF Program, Graduate Program signatures will be provided for Form 1, and Form 2 will be completed and signed by the Master’s program.
- A timeline for completion of PhD and MSF coursework.
A Statement of Purpose describing short- and long-term career goals, as well as an explanation of the job placement desired immediately upon graduation, and how it will be acquired. Include information about prospective positions such as firm names, location, how the feasibility of the position was determined, hiring timelines, assurance that students with a PhD are hired to those positions, explanation of the recruiting/interview process for those positions, the necessity of an internship to gain a full time offer (and how such internship will be acquired), and any additional considerations that need to be taken by international students. The data may be in a Word table or Excel file.
If a job position awaits the candidate, pending graduate finance coursework or degree completion, please provide documentation.
As the above materials are received, they will be placed in an application file for review. Once the candidate establishes that they have submitted all of their application materials, the MSF Admissions Committee will review the completed application file and contact the student regarding whether or not an interview will be offered.