Invest in Yourself

Expand your career horizons with an advanced STEM-designated finance degree from the AACSB-accredited and internationally ranked Penn State Smeal College of Business. In just one year, develop critical thinking skills in areas such as corporate strategy, valuation, market analysis, capital budgeting, mergers and acquisitions, investment analysis, and more to be successful in the corporate world.

Complete In a Year

Begin in the summer with online coursework and finish in two semesters at University Park

High Returns

Increase your earning potential now and across your finance career

Develop In-Demand Skills

Establish effective analytical skills for today's fast-paced financial environment

"In just one more year, you can come out with a master's degree specifically in the finance field, which prepares you for any job across corporate America."

Brian Davis, Smeal Associate Clinical Professor of Finance and program faculty director

Program Structure

This 31-credit master program provides students with a solid understanding of the theory and practice of corporate finance, emphasizing the following analytical techniques: discounted cash flow, valuation, risk and return, the Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM), corporate capital structure, capital budgeting, mergers and acquisitions, investment and financing decision-making and quantitative analysis.

The program starts with online courses in the summer and spans two academic semesters divided into 7-week modules to provide an immersive study of course content.

Summer Semester

  • Financial Accounting (online): Basic concepts and principles underlying financial accounting practices.
  • Applied Statistics (online): Covers descriptive statistics, hypothesis testing, estimation, and more.

Fall Semester

Module 1:

  • Foundations in Finance: Covers basic financial principles such as how managers use financial techniques to make business decisions and how firms use financial markets to solve problems.
  • Foundations in Managerial Accounting: Cost accounting and design of management accounting systems for planning and controlling operations.

Module 2:

  • Global Finance: Provides a broad exploration of international finance in the context of how a corporate strategic manager analyzes the complexities of the international financial market.
  • Fundamentals of Financial Markets: Establishes a broad understanding of the pricing mechanism of the bond, equity, and foreign exchange markets.
  • Financial Engineering and Corporate Strategy: Describes important issues encountered in recognizing exposures to risk in financial and non-financial firms and explores methods of measuring, managing, and controlling risk.
  • Quantitative Analysis for Managerial Decision Making: Establishes construction and use of quantitative methods in business decision-making.

Spring Semester

Communication Skills for Management: The course provides students with the tools to clearly, forcefully, and professionally represent themselves and their ideas within a business context.

Quantitative Analysis for Real Estate: Explores widely used quantitative methods and their applications in business to solve real estate, financial, marketing, and risk management problems.

Corporate Financial Analytical Research Projects (Capstone): The capstone course integrates all of the essential concepts involved in corporate financial decision-making cultivated throughout the program.

Students will be expected to approach the analysis as if they were a Chief Financial Officer (CFO) in charge of setting strategic positioning for a simulated corporation, preparing them with the critical analysis and communication skills crucial for a successful corporate finance career.

Module 3:

  • Strategic Financial Management: Describes key concepts, tools, and principles of both strategy formulation and competitive analysis utilized by the successful corporate manager.

Module 4:

  • Modern Portfolio Management Theory: Explores tools used by corporate portfolio managers; students will be able to decide on and know how to manage a diversified investment portfolio and its currency risk.
  • Global Strategy and Organization: Focuses on the "strategic" challenges facing the multinational firm.


Tuition for students in the Master of Science in Real Estate Analysis & Development (MS-READ) Program from the Penn State Smeal College of Business is determined by the University and is based on the graduate rate for students in the category of Business, EMS, Science, IST, and Engineering.

The rate for Pennsylvania residents in 2018-19 is $22,976 per academic year, and the rate for non-Pennsylvania residents is $38,466. Tuition rates for the upcoming academic year are set by mid-summer by the University. For more information, visit

Admission Criteria

The Penn State Smeal MS-READ Program features a multi-step application process, during which you will be asked to submit the following:

  • Penn State Graduate School Application
  • Admissions Essay: What are your short-term and long-term career goals? How does your past experience enable you to achieve these goals? How do you see your MS-READ experience fitting into this plan? (600-word limit)
  • Resume
  • Educational Transcripts
  • Video Application Response
  • Letters of Recommendation (2): Professional recommendations preferred
  • Visa Application (International Candidates)
  • Official English Language Proficiency Exam Scores (International Candidates)
  • Application Fee: $65

Application Deadlines

The Penn State Smeal MS-READ features multiple application deadlines throughout the year. Application reviews and decisions are made on a rolling basis. All aspects of the application process must be completed, submitted, and received by the applicable deadline to be considered for admission.


Program taught in:
Smeal College of Business, Penn State

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Last updated February 4, 2019
This course is Online & Campus Combined
Start Date
May 2019
1 year
22,976 USD
for Pennsylvania residents. 38,466 USD for non-Pennsylvania residents.
Request Info
Mar. 1, 2019 (Final deadline for applicants outside the U.S.)/Apr. 1, 2019 (Final deadline for all domestic applicants.)
By locations
By date
Start Date
May 2019
End Date
May 31, 2020
Application deadline
Request Info
Mar. 1, 2019 (Final deadline for applicants outside the U.S.)/Apr. 1, 2019 (Final deadline for all domestic applicants.)

May 2019

Application deadline
Request Info
Mar. 1, 2019 (Final deadline for applicants outside the U.S.)/Apr. 1, 2019 (Final deadline for all domestic applicants.)
End Date
May 31, 2020