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Finance M.S.

MTSU’s Master of Science in Finance program is designed to provide a graduate-level knowledge base and expertise to those who work in the growing field of finance, assisting individuals, companies, and governments in navigating the increasingly complex and essential world of financial analysis. The program is ideal for a prospective student with a business/quantitative background (e.g. finance, economics, accounting, mathematics, or engineering undergraduate degree) who is seeking to advance his/her career in the rewarding world of finance. The 12-month, 33-credit hour program offers a class schedule to accommodate professionals in the work world as well as full-time students. The program aims to impart quantitative, practical knowledge in various areas within the field of finance; deliver hands-on experience applying various financial modeling and valuation concepts, tools, and techniques; and develop communication, critical thinking, analytical ethical decision making, and discipline-specific skills.

What We're Doing

Nagel draws on GM corporate work for teaching, research

Nagel draws on GM corporate work for teaching, research

Associate Professor Gregory Nagel, who joined MTSU's faculty in 2010, brings a 20-year corporate background from General Motors to his university teaching positions at the graduate and undergraduate level at MTSU and elsewhere. In his last position at GM, Nagel led a global team to make vehicle door systems common across worldwide operations. Before that, his analysis of GM's joint venture with Toyota resulted in changes to North American operations that saved approximately $250 million per year. His academic research on executive labor markets has been presented to heads of executive recruiting for Fortune 500-sized firms and is cited by professionals such as Claudio Fernandez-Araoz, a primary presenter at recent World Business Forums. Nagel's current research interests include board directors’ agency conflicts when filling executive positions and the monitoring role of institutional investors. His teaching areas of expertise are corporate finance and investments.

Program director Frank Michello

Program director honored with multiple awards

M.S. in Finance program director Frank Michello was honored with the 2019 John Pleas Faculty Award for demonstrated excellence in teaching, research and service. He boasts more than 30 years of experience teaching mathematics and finance. Former master’s student Kyle Motley said he considers Michello a friend who stands out because of “his caring nature for his students.” Michello's research interests include emerging markets, financial accounting, market microstructure, working capital management, portfolio performance evaluation, and risk management. Michello was also recognized as one of five unsung community heroes at the 23rd annual Unity Luncheon for his contributions to education. His previous awards include the 2018 MTSU True Blue Citation of Distinction for Achievement in Education; Outstanding Faculty Member in the Economics and Finance Department, 2002–03; Distinguished Assistant Professor, 2002–03; and Superior Faculty Advisor for 2006–07 from the Financial Management Association. “MTSU has been good to me by providing me the means and the opportunity to develop my academic and professional career and to be the best that I can be,” said Michello. “As a finance professor, I am blessed to be able to do the job that I love and love the job that I do.”

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The finance master’s degree aims to prepare students for careers as financial analysts, consultants, managers, and planners while promoting certifications such as Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), Certified Financial Planner (CFP), and Certified Treasury Professional (CTP).

Employers of MTSU alumni include

This information is still being compiled since this is a new program.

The Master of Science (M.S.) in Finance is offered by the Department of Economics and Finance in the Jennings A. Jones College of Business.

Admission decisions are based upon consideration of multiple criteria that are believed to indicate high potential for success in the graduate program.

Applicants to the Finance M.S. program must have

  • earned a bachelor’s degree.
  • recorded satisfactory official scores on the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) or the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Admission is based on a GMAT (or equivalent GRE) index score of 950 (200 x undergraduate grade point average + GMAT score must be equal to or greater than 950). A minimum GMAT score of 400 (or equivalent GRE) is required. Student performance on graduate admission tests is an important factor in the decision to grant admission.
  • completed FIN 3010 Business Finance or its equivalent. Applicants without this foundational course will be required to complete it as part of the program of study.
  • met the University’s English-language proficiency (TOEFL) requirements, if an international student.

The program director will suggest a course of study that will provide the necessary baseline knowledge to students who do not possess a prior degree in business.

Students may transfer up to six hours of appropriate graduate credit from another AACSB-accredited institution.

Candidates must complete 33 credit hours of coursework beyond a bachelor’s degree (27 hours of core courses and 6 hours of elective courses), successfully complete the capstone course (FIN 6720 Cases in Financial Management), and earn a cumulative GPA of 3.0 to graduate.

For complete curriculum details, click on the REQUIREMENTS  tab above.


Other graduate programs in the department

Graduate students can earn Master of Arts (M.A.) or Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degrees in Economics. The M.A. in Economics includes a concentration in financial economics.

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Finance, M.S.

Economics and Finance
(615) 898-2520

The purpose of the M.S. degree in Finance is to provide a graduate-level knowledge base and expertise to those who work in the growing field of finance, assisting individuals, companies, and governments, among others, in navigating the increasingly complex and essential world of financial analysis. The M.S. in Finance program seeks to provide students with instruction that will prepare them for careers as financial analysts, consultants, managers, and planners.

Admission Requirements

Applicants are expected to possess a satisfactory score on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). FIN 3010 is a prerequisite for admission.

Application Procedures

All application materials are to be submitted to the College of Graduate Studies.

Applicant must

  1. submit an application with the appropriate application fee (online at www.mtsu.edugraduate/apply.php);
  2. submit official scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE);
  3. submit official transcripts of previous college work.

Degree Requirements

The Master of Science in Finance requires completion of a minimum of 33 semester hours (24 hours of core courses and 9 hours of elective courses). Students will have the opportunity to complete the curriculum in one calendar year with courses offered in the evenings and on the weekend.

Curriculum: Finance

The following illustrates the minimum coursework requirements.

Core Courses (24 hours)

  • FIN 6010 - Foundations of Finance

    3credit hours

    Provides an introduction to finance at the graduate level. Topics include the time value of money, valuation of debt and equity, risk and return, financial statements, and capital budgeting.

  • FIN 6060 - Financial Econometrics

    3credit hours

    (Same as ECON 6060.) Econometrics for students pursuing a M.S. in Finance. Focuses on ordinary least squares regression analysis. Statistical software used as a tool for manipulating data, conducting forecasts, and performing statistical inference.

  • FIN 6110 - Financial Modeling

    3credit hours

    Prerequisites: Admission to the Master of Science in Finance program. Includes mathematical, programming, and statistical tools used in the real-world analysis and modeling of financial data; applies these tools to model asset prices and returns, to measure risk, and to construct optimized portfolios. Examines real-world problems faced by investment advisors, consultants, and investors in putting finance theory into practice.

  • FIN 6460 - Investments  3 credit hours  

    FIN 6460 - Investments

    3credit hours

    (Same as ECON 6460.) Focuses on the pricing of equity and debt securities using discounted cash flow, relative valuation, and the Black-Scholes real option valuation approaches in the top-down analysis framework. Focuses on analyzing the macroeconomic environment, forecasting short-term and long-term stock market trends, performing industry analysis, identifying the key value drivers for the industry and stocks, interpreting accounting and non-accounting information necessary for valuation, establishing assumptions for valuation models, applying valuation quantitative models in the stock research project, and presenting equity research in a professional manner.

  • FIN 6710 - Financial Statement Analysis

    3credit hours

    Prerequisite: FIN 3010 or FIN 6000. Theory of corporate finance with applications. Techniques and problems for maximizing wealth through the application of discounted cash flow analysis. Emphasis on risk, capital budgeting, and capital structure.

  • FIN 6730 - Financial Institutions and Markets

    3credit hours

    (Same as ECON 6730.) Focuses on the common and distinctive aspects of the provision of financial services and the management of risk associated with those services. Roles, characteristics, and operation of financial institutions, constraints that these institutions face in meeting that objective, regulatory environment within which they operate, risks they face and the management of those risks, evolution of the financial industry over time, and the causes and reactions to financial crises throughout the world.

  • FIN 6750 - Corporate Finance  3 credit hours  

    FIN 6750 - Corporate Finance

    3credit hours

    Topics include ethical decision making, advanced risk analysis, advanced project analysis, advanced capital structure concepts, valuation techniques, and cash flow analysis.

  • FIN 6920 - Cases in Finance  3 credit hours  

    FIN 6920 - Cases in Finance

    3credit hours

    Prerequisite: FIN 6710. Applications-oriented approach to managerial problem-solving. Topics may include working capital management, capital budgeting, cost of capital estimation, lease/purchase decisions, bond refunding, and international issues.

Elective Courses (9 hours)

Choose 9 hours from the courses listed below.

  • FIN 5900 - TVA Investment Challenge

    3credit hours

    Theories and concepts related to investing, security analysis, and portfolio management will be put to the test in the management of a real portfolio of stocks. TVA investment guidelines, portfolio management strategies, stock selection, investment gurus, individual investment styles, data sources and Internet sites, stock-screening techniques, and portfolio rebalancing.

  • FIN 6550 - Real Estate Finance and Investment

    3credit hours

    Development of a framework for making real estate finance and investment decisions and for analyzing real estate finance and investment alternatives.

  • FIN 6560 - Mergers and Acquisitions

    3credit hours

    (Same as ECON 6560.) Issues covered include the reasons firms merge, buyer and seller motivations, the assessment of merger prospect value, merger waves and their consequences, the concentration of economic power resulting from mergers, policies toward mergers, the effects of takeover defenses, and the effects of mergers on the economy.

  • FIN 6740 - Bond Market Analysis

    3credit hours

    Prerequisite: FIN 3810 or FIN 6000. Analyzes fixed income securities. Uncovers innovations in bond markets, preparing students for careers in bond markets. Demonstrates active portfolio management and the analysis of yield spread trades in cash and futures markets. Approximates bond price using duration and convexity. Bonds with imbedded options, such as collateralized mortgage obligations, floaters and inverse floaters, and other derivatives, are financially engineered from the underlying fixed income securities.

  • FIN 6760 - Derivatives Valuation

    3credit hours

    Prerequisite: FIN 4910, senior Finance major/minor, or M.B.A. Explores and analyzes the key issues associated with theory and practice of derivatives instruments. Includes advanced topics dealing with pricing, risk management, and structuring of global derivatives products such as options, forwards, futures, swaps, caps, collars, and swaptions in the equity, foreign exchange, commodities, and interest-rate markets.

  • FIN 6780 - Portfolio Analysis

    3credit hours

    Prerequisites: FIN 6460 and FIN 6740. Focuses on both theoretical and practical aspects of investment analysis, security selection, and portfolio management. Topics include asset allocation, investment policy statement, mean variance optimization, contemporary asset pricing theories, equity and fixed-income portfolio strategies, managing interest rate risk and credit risk, using derivatives in portfolio management, and alternative investment.

  • FIN 6860 - International Financial Management

    3credit hours

    Prerequisite: FIN 3010 or FIN 6000. International capital markets, exchange rate exposure, risk management, and other multinational finance issues. Essential not only for United States exporters, but also for those facing competition from abroad.

Program Notes

Candidate must

  1. file a degree plan in the College of Graduate Studies prior to entry into the program;
  2. file a notice of Intent to Graduate form with the College of Graduate Studies within the first two weeks of the term in which the student intends to graduate.

Financial Assistance

The program offers nine-month M.S. assistantships that provide up to $40,000 per year in tuition reimbursement (including out-of-state fees) and annual stipend. In return, students serve the Department of Economics and Finance by, for example, supporting faculty research projects or assisting with teaching responsibilities.

Assistantships are awarded competitively. The application deadline to be considered for financial assistance is June 30, 2015. 

Program of Study

Core courses, 27 credit hours

ACTG 6920   Financial Statement Analysis
ECON 6060   Econometrics I
ECON 6010   Macroeconomics I
FIN 6710   Financial Analysis
FIN 6720   Cases in Financial Management
FIN 6750   Advanced Corporate Finance
FIN 6760   Derivatives Valuation
FIN 6770   Modern Applications in Finance
FIN 6460   Equity Valuation 

Elective courses, 6 credit hours chosen from the following or other course with approval of advisor

ACTG 5530   Federal Taxation I  
ACTG 6110   Advanced Financial Accounting
ACTG 6670   Advanced Financial Accounting and Reporting Problems
ACTG 6910   Accounting and Business Decisions
BLAW 6500   Legal Aspects of Healthcare
FIN 5900   TVA Investment Challenge
FIN 6560   Mergers, Acquisitions, and Corporate Restructuring
FIN 6740   Bond Market Analysis  
FIN 6780   Portfolio Analysis  
FIN 6860   International Financial Management
INFS 6300   Information Systems and Security Management
INFS 6610   Information Systems Management and Applications
MGMT 6750   Business Ethics  
QM 6770   Computer Based Decision Modeling

Contact Information

Frank Michello

Who is My Advisor?

Frank Michello

Mailing Address

Department of Economics and Finance
Middle Tennessee State University
MTSU Box X005
1301 East Main Street
Murfreesboro, TN 37132

College of Graduate Studies
Middle Tennessee State University
MTSU Box 42
1301 East Main Street
Murfreesboro, TN 37132

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