Master of Science in Financial Analysis - STEM Program


Read more about this program on the institution's website

Program Description

The MSFA program at the University of San Francisco provides a unique combination of academic rigor and practical expertise.

There is no city in the world like San Francisco. Transform your career in the SF Bay Area with the USF Master of Science in Financial Analysis.


  • Taught by USF Finance faculty and CFA-credentialed practitioners who are experts in their area.
  • USF’s Master of Science in Financial Analysis program is a CFA Institute University Affiliate.
  • The program enhances real-world uses of several spreadsheet applications.
  • STEM-Designated (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) 
  • Accredited by the AACSB, the highest standard of achievement held only by 5 percent of business schools worldwide.

"The MSFA program is exactly what I was looking for to push me forward in my career, since the program is tailored specifically investment management, with a clear objective of CFA certification. I really liked that the program helped me achieve my personal goals while working toward the greater good."
Matt Stalcup MS Financial Analysis ‘13

Investment management has evolved from an art to science in the last three decades. This evolution has placed strict demands on practitioners to master the complex analytical and quantitative methods increasingly used in managing the investment process.

In response to the demands that today’s sophisticated financial markets place on financial professionals, the University of San Francisco offers a STEM-certified Master of Science in Financial Analysis (MSFA) degree that provides rigorous specialist training in recent advances in quantitative financial analysis and economics.

The MSFA curriculum is structured around the areas of knowledge and skills deemed necessary for the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation by the CFA Institute. The MSFA program has been a CFA Institute University Affiliate since 2006, and our curriculum covers the majority of the CFA exam body of knowledge. Students may choose to take the CFA exams while in the MSFA program but are not required to do so.

The MSFA program at USF provides a coordinated, sequential approach to the tools and knowledge covered by the CFA Body of Knowledge. The MSFA curriculum is focused on bringing together finance theory and practice. Instructors in the program are a unique blend of USF professors and working CFA charter holders from local Bay Area firms. A thesis is not required for this program.

The USF MSFA program places a strong emphasis on ethical professional behavior in the financial industry–a characteristic that is integrated throughout the course of study.

Students graduate from the USF MSFA program with advanced quantitative training in economics and finance. Our graduates have the ability to understand and apply the most current tools used by investment management professionals today.

Learning Outcomes

In this program you will:

  • Use an interdisciplinary approach to the valuation of financial assets and the development of investment management strategies
  • Master the fundamental economic techniques for valuing companies and the financial assets they issue
  • Understand the shortcomings of traditional accounting practice in the valuation process
  • Apply quantitative methods and economic theory to the analysis and management of financial asset portfolios
  • Develop a broad understanding of the micro, macro, and international trends that influence the values of financial assets and the evolution of financial markets
  • Come away from the program with a thorough understanding of industry practice and standards as embodied in the skills and knowledge required by the CFA program

Major Requirements (35 units)

The Program is offered in two formats: an 18-month full-time program and a part-time hybrid live/online program that meets once a month over 2 years.

The 18-month program is 35 units and requires all of the courses below:


  • MSFA 710 - Microeconomics for Finance
  • MSFA 712 - Financial Markets
  • MSFA 714 - Corporate Finance
  • MSFA 716 - Macroeconomics for Finance
  • MSFA 720 - Equity Valuation
  • MSFA 722 - Fixed Income Valuation I
  • MSFA 724 - Derivatives I
  • MSFA 726 - Adv. Fin. Statement Analysis
  • MSFA 728 - Ethics & Finance I
  • MSFA 730 - Behavioral Finance
  • MSFA 732 - Derivatives II
  • MSFA 734 - International Finance
  • MSFA 736 - Econometrics
  • MSFA 740 - Capital Market Theory
  • MSFA 742 - Alternative Investments
  • MSFA 744 - Financial Econometrics
  • MSFA 746 - Portfolio Management

Complete one from the following:

  • MSFA 723 - Applied Investment Analysis
  • MSFA 725 - Applied Equity Valuation
  • MSFA 798 - MSFA Internship
  • MBA 6216 - Student Managed Fund I
  • MBA 6217 - Student Managed Fund II

Career Outcomes

Your Professional Network is Just Steps Away — and Reaches Around the World. 

As a USF student, you’ll have a strong support community of successful MSFA alumni.

Many of our former students are working just a few steps away from us in downtown San Francisco, at firms like BlackRock, Visa, and Charles Schwab.

Many of our international students return to their home countries, so you’ll gain access to a truly global network of fellow alumni.


Here is a selection of companies and startups who have hired recent USF MS Financial Analysis graduates in the years 2013-2017.

  • Bank of Tianjin
  • Bank of the West
  • BlackRock
  • Carta
  • CICC
  • CleanFund Commercial PACE Capital
  • Deloitte
  • Duff & Phelps
  • E*TRADE Financial
  • First Republic Bank
  • Fisher Investments
  • Goldman Sachs
  • ICONIQ Capital
  • Intel Corp.
  • International Monetary Fund
  • KPMG China
  • Lending Club
  • Magister Capital Management
  • McKesson
  • Meetyl
  • Merrill Lynch
  • Moody’s
  • Morgan Stanley
  • Nasdaq Sweden
  • Perigon
  • Passport Capital
  • Shanghai Brilliance Rating
  • Standish Management
  • Strategy613 Beijing
  • United Insurance Company of Vietnam
  • Virtú Investments
  • Visa International
  • VXI Global Solutions
  • Wells Fargo
  • Yum! Brand
Alumni job titles

*A selection of the most common positions for recent graduates.

  • Financial Analyst
  • Valuation Analyst
  • Credit Analyst
  • Investment Analyst
  • Treasury Analyst
  • Research Analyst
  • Equity Research Analyst
  • Data Analyst
  • Business Analyst
  • Sales Analyst
  • Portfolio Manager
  • M&A Analyst
  • Project Manager
  • Commercial Banker
  • Personal Banker
  • Financial Planner
  • Underwriting Analyst
  • Associate
  • Vice President
  • Auditor

Graduate Admission

Our office processes your application and prepares it for review by your program's admission committee. In addition, we can provide you contacts to important services at the university as you prepare to begin your graduate studies at USF. Please contact us if you'd like to speak with someone on the team or to schedule an appointment.

Please be advised that classes in SOM graduate programs begin on August 18. Select SOM programs are still accepting applications. If you would like to proceed with your application for Fall 2021, the application review will be expedited as well as your registration and tuition obligations. Email with any questions.

How to Apply

The application process is entirely online. No items need to be mailed to USF. Upload all of your application items to your account.

Test Score Requirements

GMAT Code: 91M-7L-93, GRE Code: 4850

  • If you submit test scores, you must upload a copy of your score and request that an official score report be sent to USF.
  • If your program does not require a test score, you may still submit the score report if you choose to do so.
Application Requirements
  • Transcript(s)
    The minimum graduate admission requirement includes a bachelor’s degree or recognized equivalent from an accredited institution prior to enrollment. Copies of your transcripts from each accredited college or university attended must be uploaded to the online application. Once admitted to the program, instructions for sending official, sealed transcripts will be provided.
  • Résumé
    Your current résumé or CV can list and describe your educational history, work or job history, coursework related to the graduate program to which you are applying, and any experiences relevant to your pursuit of graduate studies - including internships, published articles, or other published materials, volunteer and/or community service experience, study or work outside of your home country, and any other interests or activities related to your graduate program.
  • Letters of Recommendation
    Two letters of recommendation are required. Applicants to all programs should submit at least one letter from a professional contact, if possible. Ideally, one or both of your professional recommendations will come from a current or former direct supervisor. Academic recommendations are also appreciated for current undergraduates.
  • Statement of Purpose or Essay
    A 1000 word essay is required and must be uploaded in the online application Please address the following questions in a single document:
    • What are your short and long-term professional goals and how will this degree help you achieve those goals?
    • Why have you chosen this degree and who or what experience influenced you to apply?
    • Why USF?
  • Interview
    Interview requirements vary by program. All interviews are by invitation only. Should you be selected to interview, an invitation will be sent to the email account associated with your online application and include all necessary details.
  • Self-Evaluation (Optional)
    Use this essay to evaluate your leadership and management skills, capabilities, and talents as they stand today. What would your colleagues/classmates say about you as a leader? What areas do you feel you could further develop?
  • Scholarship Statement (Optional)
    The USF School of Management offers general merit and special interest scholarships. Review available scholarships and use this essay to explain your eligibility and/or qualifications for one or more of these scholarships.
  • Additional Information (Optional)
    Use this essay to share additional information you would like to be considered as part of your application (i.e. gaps in employment, academic issues, etc.)
Program Specific Requirements

The following courses must be completed prior to enrollment: Microeconomics, Macroeconomics, Accounting, Probability and Statistics, Calculus courses, and knowledge of spreadsheet applications.

Additional Requirements for International Applicants
  • Passport
    Applicants who require an F-1 student visa must submit a copy of their valid passport with their application. Please be sure to submit a clear copy of your passport photo/information page. This can be uploaded via your application portal or by emailing
  • International Address
    All F-1 and J-1 visa applicants are instructed to use their international address on the application. If you are currently in the United States, you can use that address for mailing.
  • Visa Transfer
    If you are currently on an F-1 visa or returning from OPT and are planning to transfer your SEVIS record please review the section titled SEVIS Transfer Applicants (create a new page with the information listed below). If you are currently in the United States in F-1 status or currently on OPT, you can transfer your status to USF. Students who have completed at least one academic term in the U.S in F-1 status can transfer their SEVIS record to USF, or complete a “Change of Level” from another USF degree, and continue to maintain F-1 status.
    Please submit a completed School of Management Graduate Application by June 1.

Additional requirements on the following pages:

We cannot sponsor F1 student visas for part-time programs.

If you have questions about this process, please contact us for further instructions.

Last updated Nov 2020

About the School

When you join the USF School of Management you join a university committed to developing compassionate and productive leaders. Our mission is to challenge you to reimagine business and management to c ... Read More

When you join the USF School of Management you join a university committed to developing compassionate and productive leaders. Our mission is to challenge you to reimagine business and management to create a more humane and just world. We demand academic excellence in the service of humankind. We broaden your understanding of today’s global marketplace. We are located in the heart of San Francisco, one of the most intense business ecosystems in the world, which allows us to provide students with unparalleled access to high tech, biotech, finance, venture capital, and entrepreneurial leaders. Read less
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