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University of Illinois Masters in Finance Review

10 minutes

Table of Contents


    The University of Illinois Master of Science in Finance is a STEM-designated Master of Science degree. The University of Illinois Masters in finance degree is specifically designed to give you the knowledge and make you able to tackle the dynamic financial industry. The University of Illinois Masters in finance program is 15 months long and has inbuilt flexibility so that students can adjust and invest in making their future. Different kinds of students from different backgrounds apply to the program and gain valuable knowledge and insights. 

    Tuition Fees  $72,963
    Program Length 15 months
    Program deadline March 17, 2024
    April 28, 2024
    June 9, 2024
    Application Fees  $90

    University of Illinois Masters in Finance Class Profile

    Top-notch faculties and industry leaders teach their comprehensive, versatile, and leading-edge programs. The 15 months program will enable you to set up your successful career path. Their graduates have launched careers in leading corporations like PwC, Bloomberg, Deloitte, KPMG, etc. The program further introduces you to the latest concepts, practices, and innovations needed to thrive in today’s fast-paced finance industry. In addition, the MSF degree is STEM-designated, which may permit international students to stay in the US for up to 36 months on the Optional Practical Training STEM extension.

    The program does not diisclose it's class profile details. 

    Acceptance Rate

    The University of Illinois Masters in finance programme has a very competitive admissions process. Previous academic achievements, test scores, work experience, personal statement, CV, demonstrated potential for graduate and professional success, and references are used to make decisions. The acceptance rate for University of Illinois Masters in finance is around 62%.


    Program and Curriculum

    university of illinois masters in finance

    The University of Illinois Masters in finance has an innovative three-semester curriculum that presents students with a strong finance principles and practices foundation. Students can also choose from a wide array of electives in other spheres of finance, such as commercial banking, real estate, financial engineering or wealth management. Moreover, the optional full-semester practicum project will enable you to work on real-world projects for national and international companies to gain hands-on experience. The MSF program begins each year in August and is delivered in three semesters (fall, spring, fall)

    Core courses

    These core courses cover fundamental concepts, theories, and analytical techniques essential for success in the finance industry. Some of the core courses offered in the Illinois MFin program include:

    Topic Description
    Corporate Finance Corporate finance involves the financial activities related to running a corporation, usually with a focus on maximizing shareholder value through long-term and short-term financial planning and implementation.
    Financial Statements Financial statements are reports that summarize important financial accounting information about a business, providing insights into its financial health and performance. They include the balance sheet, income statement, and cash flow statement.
    Quantitative Methods Quantitative methods refer to the use of mathematical and statistical techniques in the analysis of data pertaining to finance, business, economics, and related fields. It helps in making informed decisions based on numerical data and models.



     These elective courses cover a wide range of specialized topics within finance, providing students with opportunities to deepen their knowledge in specific areas of interest and develop expertise in niche areas of the finance industry. Some of the elective courses offered in the Illinois MFin program include:

    Course Description
    Accounting Analysis Introduction to principles and techniques of financial accounting analysis.
    Financial Statement Analysis Methods for analyzing and interpreting financial statements for decision-making purposes.
    Real Estate Development Exploration of the process, strategies, and challenges involved in real estate development projects.
    Big Data Analytics in Finance for Predictive and Causal Analysis Utilization of big data analytics techniques in finance for both predictive and causal analysis.
    Financial Derivatives Study of financial instruments whose value is derived from the value of an underlying asset.
    Fixed Income Portfolios Management and analysis of portfolios consisting primarily of fixed income securities.
    Financial Modelling Development and application of models to analyze and forecast financial data.
    Enterprise Risk Management Strategies and techniques for identifying, assessing, and mitigating risks within organizations.
    Urban Real Estate Valuation Valuation methodologies specific to urban real estate properties.
    Real Estate Financial Markets Exploration of financial markets related to real estate investments.
    Machine Learning in Finance Application of machine learning algorithms and techniques in financial analysis and decision-making.
    Algorithmic Market Microstructures Study of market microstructure dynamics and the role of algorithms in financial markets.


    . Each specialization provides in-depth coursework, experiential learning opportunities, and specialized training to prepare students for careers in their chosen field of finance. By pursuing a specialization, Illinois MFin students can enhance their expertise, differentiate themselves in the job market, and pursue career paths aligned with their interests and goals.

    Course Description
    Asset Management Specialization This specialization focuses on the principles and practices of managing various types of assets, including equities, fixed income securities, and alternative investments. Students will learn portfolio management techniques, risk assessment, and investment strategies.
    Corporate Finance Specialization The Corporate Finance Specialization covers topics related to financial management within corporations. This includes capital budgeting, financial planning, mergers and acquisitions, and corporate governance. Students will gain insights into optimizing capital structure and maximizing shareholder value.
    Data Analytics and Fintech Specialization This specialization combines the fields of data analytics and financial technology (Fintech). Students will learn how to analyze financial data using advanced analytics techniques and explore innovative technologies shaping the finance industry, such as blockchain, AI, and machine learning.
    Quantitative Finance Specialization The Quantitative Finance Specialization delves into mathematical and statistical methods applied in finance. Topics include derivatives pricing, risk management models, and algorithmic trading strategies. Students will develop quantitative skills essential for roles in quantitative analysis and financial engineering.
    Real Estate Specialization This specialization focuses on the real estate industry, covering topics such as property valuation, real estate finance, development, and investment analysis. Students will gain a comprehensive understanding of the real estate market and the financial aspects of real estate transactions.
    Finance Research (PhD.) Specialization The Finance Research Specialization is designed for PhD students pursuing advanced research in finance. It covers various research methodologies, empirical analysis techniques, and theoretical frameworks relevant to financial research. Students will engage in independent research projects under the guidance of experienced faculty.


    The MSF Practicum offers students the opportunity to work along with a 4-5 person team on a short-term finance consulting project at a sponsoring corporation for the semester’s project during the Fall semester (for students in their third and final semester). The projects are designed in such a way that the final product will be delivered to the sponsor at the end of the Practicum. Each student team is allocated a faculty mentor on campus as a resource and backup support. Corporate partners assess the practicum to see your work on the job as a potential future employee.


    As the pursuit of a Master of Finance (MFin) degree at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign offers an unparalleled opportunity for academic and professional growth, the university is committed to ensuring that financial barriers do not hinder deserving students from realizing their ambitions. To this end, a range of MFin scholarships and financial aid options are available specifically tailored to support MFin students from Illinois and beyond.

    • Merit Scholarships:
    • Scholarship allocations are made with particular emphasis on selecting high calibre students from diverse backgrounds.
    • Golden Scholarships:
    • The MSF program offers the MSF Golden Scholarship to two qualified MSF students each year to help them cover a portion of their tuition expenses. Substantial academic performance is the primary criterion for the selection of candidates.

    Extra activities 

    Beyond the rigorous academic curriculum of the Master of Finance (MFin) program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, students have access to a vibrant array of extracurricular activities designed to enrich their educational experience, foster personal and professional growth, and build lasting connections with peers, faculty, and industry professionals. Engaging in these extracurricular activities not only complements classroom learning but also provides valuable opportunities for networking, skill development, and leadership experience. 

    • Developer Student Clubs (DSC)
    • Illini Rotaract Club
    • The Golden Z Club
    • Business and Technology
    • Cricket Club of Illinois
    • Wrestling Club

    Eligibility and Requirements university of illinois masters in finance


    Applicants must have earned at least a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university in the United States or a comparable degree from a recognized institution. Some of the MFin eligibility criteria are mentioned below. 

    • Bachelor's degree
    • GPA - 3/4
    • Academic Affiliations- AAU, BTAA, APLU, URA

    Application Documents

    Degree requirements for the MFin program may vary depending on the applicant's academic background and the university's guidelines, so it's crucial to thoroughly understand and fulfill these requirements to enhance one's chances of admission.

    • Online application
    • Unofficial transcripts
    • Submit your GMAT or GRE score
    • English proficiency scores- IELTS OR TOEFL (for international students only)
    • Resume
    • Personal statement
    • Letter of recommendation
    • Proof of funding and Declaration and Certification of Finances Form (international students only)
    • Copy of your passport (international students only)


    University of Illinois Masters in Finance Deadlines

    Application fee for domestic students- there is a $70 non-refundable application fee, and for international students, the non-refundable application fee is $90.

    Deadline Dates
    Round 1 March 17, 2024
    Round 2 April 28, 2024
    Round 3 June 9, 2024

    *Final deadline for international applicants requiring a visa.

    Employment And Placement

    university of illinois masters in finance

    The University of Illinois prepares students for careers in the finance field to take up roles like investment analyst, business valuation associate, data analyst, etc. Moreover, their MSF program would prepare students for these careers and the CFA Level 1 exam. Gies hosts more than 250 companies recruiting on-campus, thus giving you ample opportunities to make your mark. In addition, career services will provide customized employer engagement opportunities to the graduates. From workshops and forums to career fairs and on-campus interviews, you’ll interact face-to-face with some of the world’s most renowned businesses.

    Graduates of the Master of Finance program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign can pursue roles such as Business Analyst, Credit Risk Associate, Equity Research Analyst, Investment Analyst, and Risk Analyst. Salaries for these positions typically range from $60,000 to $100,000 per year, depending on factors like industry, location, and experience. With a strong alumni network and career services support, Illinois MFin graduates are well-equipped to secure employment and command competitive salaries in the finance industry.

    Average Salary  University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign are positioned for success in the competitive finance industry, with an average salary of $70,842 reflecting the program's effectiveness in preparing students for lucrative careers.
    Employment Report University of Illinois also enjoys great career outcomes, The robust placement rate of 88% further underscores the university's commitment to equipping graduates with the skills and knowledge necessary to excel in their chosen fields. 

    Top Sectors Hiring 

    The Master of Finance (MFin) program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign opens doors to a wide range of MFin Jobs across various sectors of the finance industry. Some of the top sectors actively hiring MFin graduates include investment banking, asset management, corporate finance, consulting, financial analysis, and fintech.

    Consulting  Finnance Technology
    PwC Enfusion Bloomberg
    KPMG Nanhua PayPal

    Alumni Info

    The University of Illinois Masters in finance, Gies Business Alumni Association (GBAA) strives to enhance and advance the association between Gies College of Business and its alumni members. GBAA also acknowledges alumni achievements and holds various awards and scholarships. Gies Business alumni become members of the GBAA automatically when they join the University of Illinois Alumni Association. The Gies College of Business has numerous exceptional alumni members and friends who work every day to make the world better. The Distinguished Alumni Award and Gies College of Business Appreciation Award are bestowed each year to students for outstanding career achievements and service to Gies Business.

    Some Famous Alumni

    • Zulay Sosa Bazante Senior Consultant, Deloitte Advisory
    • Chris Glotzbach Senior Trading Assistant, Chicago Trading Company
    • Meruyert Izmukhanova Senior Consultant, PricewaterhouseCoopers
    • Unnati Thapar International Valuations, Deloitte Financial Advisory Services
    • Yiqi (Delia) Ye Business Valuation Associate, Deloitte Financial Advisory Services 

    Application Essay

    Dear Admissions Committee,

    I am writing to express my keen interest in the Master of Finance program at the University of Illinois. As a recent graduate with a Bachelor's degree in Finance and Accounting, I am passionate about pursuing a career in the field of finance and believe that the MFin program at the University of Illinois would provide me with the knowledge and skills necessary to achieve my professional goals.

    Throughout my undergraduate studies, I have gained a solid foundation in financial analysis, financial reporting, and investment analysis. However, I recognize that the field of finance is constantly evolving and that I need to continue to enhance my knowledge and skills to stay competitive in the job market. I believe that the MFin program at the University of Illinois would provide me with the opportunity to do so.

    I am particularly drawn to the program's curriculum, which includes courses such as Financial Modeling, Investments, and Corporate Finance. These courses will not only provide me with a deep understanding of finance theory but will also equip me with practical skills that I can apply to real-world problems.

    In addition to the program's curriculum, I am also impressed by the caliber of the faculty members at the University of Illinois. Their vast experience and expertise in the field of finance will undoubtedly help me to flourish in life.

    Yours Sincerely 

    (Your Name)

    Letter of Recommendation 

    Please select three academic and professional sources as references. Professional references should come from your superiors and mentors, while academic recommendations should come from instructors whose course(s) you’ve taken. They will be notified to submit a letter of recommendation on your behalf once you add their information to the online application. The recommender should sign and date all letters of recommendation. The letter should be written on the letterhead of the institution or company.

    University of Illinois Masters in Finance Interview Questions 

    Preparing for interviews is a crucial step in the application process for the Master of Finance (MFin) program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. While interview formats may vary depending on the program and the interviewer, here are some common interview questions that applicants may encounter:

    Set 1
    Q: Tell me about yourself. / Walk me through your resume.
    Q: What do you like about your current job?
    Q: What do you like to do outside of work?Q: Why do you want an MFS?
    Q: Why now?
    Q: Why the University of Illinois?
    Q: What first got you interested in the University of Illinois?
    Q: What would you contribute to Anderson?
    Q: Are you applying to other California schools?
    Q: What other schools did you apply to?
    Q: Based on your current interests, have you looked into schools A and B?
    Q: If you got into all your schools, why would you pick the University of Illinois over schools that are higher ranked?

    Set 2
    Q: Tell me about your teamwork experience.
    Q: Describe a difficult team situation you have had to deal with in the past?
    Q: Tell me about another teamwork experience.
    Q: What would you do when a team member wasn’t pulling his own weight?
    Q: What would your teammates say about you?
    Q: Discuss a team failure you were part of.
    Q: Who do you admire as a leader?
    Q: Have you held leadership positions at work?
    Q: What kind of leader are you?

    Set 3
    Q: Can you describe a difficult/challenging interaction you had at work?
    Q: Which personal accomplishment are you proudest of?
    Q: What do you think are your application’s greatest strengths? Weaknesses?
    Q: Tell me about a time when you received constructive feedback.
    Q: Describe a situation where you had to make an ethical decision.
    Q: Tell me about a book you’ve read recently.
    Q: When was a time you used your strengths to make an impact?
    Q: What will be a challenge for you at Anderson?
    Q: Is there anything you wish I had asked you?
    Q: Questions for me?

    What Makes University of Illinois MFin Unique

    university of illinois masters in finance

    Is MFin worth it? The University of Illinois Masters in finance offers a STEM-designated Master of Science in Finance (MSF) degree that comprehensively qualifies students for the fast-paced financial industry. There are a lot of factors that make this program at the University of Illinois unique- 

    Helps set your career for success- Our MSF program will prepare you for a career as an investment analyst, business valuation associate, data analyst, and the CFA Level 1 exam.

    Offers a flexible and cutting-edge curriculum- The MSF program includes a unique three-semester curriculum that gives you a solid foundation in financial principles and practises. The curriculum also teaches you the new concepts, processes, and technology required to succeed in today’s financial business.

    With eight chairs or titled professorships, the Department of Finance has a distinguished faculty. According to numerous studies, the Department continues to be ranked among the most productive of all finance research groups in the world.

    Complement your finance knowledge with cutting-edge materials and options that will enhance the value of your study.


    The University of Illinois Masters in finance  degree (termed MSF) is a STEM-designated program that lets you stay in the country for up to 36 months on the Optional Practical Training STEM extension. It becomes a great assistance for an international student at a time when you are expected to grab a job at such a pace that makes you compromise with your career. The MFin master is committed to an education based on data analytics, financial modeling, and financial technology, making the program one of a kind in the USA. If you are a business aspirant with a nudge of the technical sector, the University of Illinois MFin is for you.

    Know Your Author
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    Rohit Rajaram
    Study Abroad Expert
    Rohit is a results-driven individual with a strong background in Education Mentorship, Program Management and Business Development. Holding a Master's degree in Management from ESCP Business School in Paris, Rohit combines academic excellence with extensive industry experience. Throughout his career, Rohit has consistently delivered exceptional results, driving sales, increasing turnover, and achieving targets. Known for his strategic acumen, Rohit formulates and executes successful business strategies, enhancing operational quality, customer satisfaction and key bottonline drivers. As the Co-Founder of MiM-Essay, a leading Early Career Degrees application consulting company, Rohit has successfully mentored over 10,000+ students, enabling them to secure admissions in top-ranked schools worldwide with significant scholarships. Under his leadership, the company has maintained high-quality service and exceptional client satisfaction rates. With expertise in analytics, product development and business excellence, Rohit has successfully driven the success of various initiatives. Committed to constant innovation, he is expanding the company's offerings by introducing digital and technology-powered products for comprehensive education solutions.
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