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University of Illinois

University of Illinois MSF Review

The University of Illinois, Gies College of Business, Master of Science in Finance (MSF) degree prepares students holistically for the dynamic world of finance.

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University of Illinois MSF Introduction


International Students



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Course Duration

15 Months


Course Fee




University of Illinois MSF Class Profile

Students in the MSF program come from varied backgrounds. Even though most students in the program have a business-related undergraduate degree, the program also draws students with undergraduate degrees in areas such as engineering, math, physics, and computer science. The Department of Finance hosts an elite faculty with eight chairs or named professorships. Numerous studies have continued to rank the Department as among the most productive of all finance research units in the world. At the University of Illinois, teaching and learning concentrate on creating an engaging educational experience to prepare students for the challenge of modern financial markets.

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.

Average Age






Average Work Ex

3.14 Year

Average GPA


Class Size


University of Illinois MSF Acceptance Rate 

The MSF 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.

Program and Curriculum of University of Illinois MSF

The MSF program 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)


  • Accounting Analysis
  • Financial Statement Analysis
  • Real Estate Development
  • Big Data Analytics in Finance for
  • Predictive and Causal Analysis
  • Financial Derivatives
  • Fixed Income Portfolios
  • Financial Modelling
  • Enterprise Risk Management
  • Urban Real Estate Valuation
  • Real Estate Financial Markets
  • Machine Learning in Finance
  • Algorithmic Market Microstructures

Required Courses

  • Economics of Stock Market Fundamentals
  • Investments
  • Professional Development 

Core courses

  • Corporate Finance
  • Financial Statements
  • Quantitative Methods


  • Asset management Specialization
  • Corporate Finance Specialization
  • Data Analytics and Fintech Specialization
  • Quantitative Finance Specialization
  • Real Estate Specialization
  • Finance Research (PhD.) Specialization


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.


  • 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 


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

Eligibility and Requirements (How to get into University of Illinois MSF) 


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.

  • Tuition Fee- $61,521
  • Academic Affiliations- AAU, BTAA, APLU, URA

Application Documents

  • 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 MSF 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.

Application deadlines for Fall 2022:

  • Round 1 Deadline: January 23, 2022
  • Round 2 Deadline: March 13, 2022
  • Round 3 Deadline: May 1, 2022,*
  • Round 4 Deadline: June 12, 2022

*Final deadline for international applicants requiring a visa.

University of Illinois MSF Employment

The University of Illinois prepares students for careers in the finance field to take up roles like an 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.





Top Sectors hiring University of Illinois MSF Graduates

Consulting Sector

  • PwC
  • Deloitte
  • KPMG


  • Enfusion
  • Nanhua


  • Bloomberg

University of Illinois MSF Alumni info

The University of Illinois, 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 

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Letter of Recommendation for University of Illinois MSF

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.

Interview Questions for University of Illinois MSF

Set 1

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

Set 2

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

Set 3

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

What makes the University of Illinois MSF Unique

The University of Illinois 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 programme 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 programme 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.



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What areas of finance do I have the opportunity to specialise in?

You will choose courses to customise your degree in addition to the standard curriculum. You could, for example, pursue a specialisation in one of the following fields: Asset Management, Corporate Finance, Data Analytics and Fintech, Quantitative Finance, and Finance Research are some the fields in which you can work (PhD Specialization).

How many classes in various departments on campus may I take?

As an MSF student, you must attend four basic finance classes (16 hours) and 12 hours of additional finance electives. Then, you can either study more Finance electives or choose a related discipline such as Accounting, Economics, or Math for the remaining 12 hours.

Will I be able to plan my studies with the help of an advisor?

Yes! We have a full-time faculty member with years of experience who can assist you in developing your study plan. To establish your study plan, you will work closely with Professor Martin Widdicks, the MSF program’s Director. Professor Widdicks gives MSF students individualised attention so that their study plans accurately reflect their academic objectives.

How would the MSF help me prepare for the CFA exams?

The MSF programme is excellent preparation for the CFA Level I and II exams. Students can also enrol in a CFA Level I preparatory course, which is offered every spring semester.


Is it necessary to have prior work experience?

Work experience in a professional setting is preferred but not needed. On the other hand, all MSF students have some level of work experience. If other credentials are good enough, high-quality summer internships and part-time work experience may be enough to compensate for less than two years of full-time work experience. While the MSF Admissions Committee prefers candidates who have at least two years of professional job experience after their bachelor’s degree, applicants with less work experience but outstanding academic credentials are invited to apply.

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