Master of Science in Financial Analysis (MSFA)
The history of the MSFA degree at Portland State University provides insight into our mission. Developed in close cooperation with the business community, the program was initially created to provide a comprehensive “big picture” business education for future Certified Public Accountants fulfilling their fifth-year education requirement. It soon became apparent that this broad-minded degree held appeal for a wider range of finance-related careers. In today’s average MSFA class, the student body is divided into thirds, with one group preparing for careers in public accounting, another group preparing for careers in investment management, and the third group preparing for careers in corporate financial management.
The focus of the MSFA coursework is ideally suited for those interested in management-track careers in finance and accounting; many of our graduates ultimately seek CFO and partnership positions in their offices. The degree may be completed in 1 year for full-time students and in 21 months for part-time students.
The MSFA Difference
The MSFA degree is carved out of the finance and accounting coursework of our highly regarded MBA program. MSFA students share all but 2 courses with students and faculty of the MBA program, giving them access to the many resources of the School of Business Administration and the larger University. The MSFA program is divided into three key areas:
■11 credits of business strategy and project experience
■30 credits of financial analysis core courses
■8 credits of financial analysis electives
The MSFA curriculum provides students with analytic and forward-thinking skills in the application of accounting and finance. This prepares MSFA graduates to become high-level decision makers capable of integrating accounting and financial information to serve the needs of a business enterprise. Our goal is to cultivate future finance professionals with the vision to pursue sustainable financial management practices that reflect the core values of the PSU School of Business Administration and our Northwest community.
The MSFA program at PSU is extremely well connected to the financial community in Portland, with many alumni positioned at local companies and in the Portland CFA Society. These links provide MSFA students with many outstanding opportunities for internships, real-world project experience, and job hunting resources.
PSU’s location in the heart of the thriving downtown Portland business community helps us to provide unmatched access to regional business leaders. Our students encounter a wide range of business professionals, both as educators, and as recruiters and professional contacts.
You will also benefit from real-world experience in finance and accounting. For example, an elective course in the MSFA curriculum gives students the unique opportunity to help manage a six-figure investment fund. For all students, the MSFA program culminates in a Final Business Project, offering substantial real-world experience. Students work in groups to provide consulting services for a variety of local companies. MSFA business project students traditionally work on issues of financial analysis and valuation.
The MSFA program also boasts the highest caliber faculty and student body. Each member of our full-time faculty has both a doctorate degree and corporate business experience. Our instructors receive recognition and honors for their outstanding efforts in business-related research, writing, and editing. In addition, the MSFA program attracts top accounting and finance students from all over the world, resulting in a student body with great diversity. The end result is a highly engaging academic environment.
Requirements for Admission into the MSFA Program
The MSFA degree is for students who have already completed undergraduate accounting coursework. Because the MSFA program is only 49 credits, it requires that applicants have the necessary business background that an undergraduate degree in business or Post-Baccalaureate Accounting Certificate (PBAC) would provide prior to starting the program. Completion of all the MSFA prerequisites is essential to succeding in the program. Prerequisites cannot be substituted for work experience or financial certifications. Applicants that do not meet this requirement may need to complete the PBAC or the following prerequisites prior to admission into the MSFA program:
■Managerial and Financial Accounting (BA 211 and BA 213)
■Micro and Macro Economics (EC 201 and EC 202)
■Statistics (STAT 243 and STAT 244)
■Finance (BA 303)
■Intermediate Accounting (ACTG 381, ACTG 382 and - starting Fall 2009 - ACTG 383)