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. Beginning
Fall 2022, this program will be delivered through a synchronous online method which
provides the benefits of live instruction (Zoom or similar platform) with the flexibility
to attend class from anywhere. 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.
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 honored with multiple awards
The Founding director of the M.S. in Finance program 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.”
MTSU College of Graduate Studies
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
Employers of MTSU alumni include
- Ascend Federal Credit Union
- Back Office Valuation and Consulting
- David Adams Wealth Group LL
- Electronic Express
- Episode Solutions
- Financial Marketing Solution
- Goldman Sachs
- H&C Concrete Construction Group
- HCA Healthcare
- Inception Fertility
- Integrated Oncology Network
- M&A Firm (Netherlands)
- Morrelli (Nissan)
- MTB Metals
- State of TN
- United Health Care
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 at a minimum have:
- Earned a bachelor’s degree.
- If GMAT is required, 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.
- Met the University’s English-language proficiency (TOEFL) requirements, if an international
Candidates must complete 33 credit hours of coursework beyond a bachelor’s degree
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
Professional Licensure Disclosure
The Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting (B.B.A.) and Master of Science (M.S.) in Finance in Jones College of Business at Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) are accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International). Completion of the 120-semester hour BBA-Accounting qualifies students to sit for the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) examination in Tennessee. Awarding of a Tennessee CPA license requires 150 semester hours of credit, or 30 credit hours beyond the undergraduate degree. The MS in Finance in Jones College of Business can provide the additional 30 credit hours of business courses beyond the undergraduate BBA-Accounting degree. In addition, there are other business degree programs in Jones College of Business that could provide the additional 30 credit hours of business courses beyond the undergraduate BBA-Accounting degree. Among these are: MAcc-Accounting; MBA; MA—Economics; MS—Information Systems; and MS—Management.
Students should be aware that licensure requirements vary from state to state and are subject to change. MTSU has not made a determination whether these programs will meet all of the certification requirements of a US state or territory. Students who plan to practice outside the state of Tennessee should consult the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy listing of state certification requirements at https://nasba.org/stateboards/ and discuss their plans with their advisor.
Economics and Finance
Jeff Stark, program director
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.
Applicants must provide
- personal statement of purpose;
- resume or CV.
Applicants with less than a 3.0 GPA or without an undergraduate degree in business must also submit GMAT or GRE scores.
The GMAT/GRE requirement may be waived for applicants that meet any of the following conditions:
- An earned bachelor's degree with a GPA of 2.75 and five (5) or more years of professional work experience;
- An earned graduate degree or professional degree from a regionally accredited college or university.
All application materials are to be submitted to the College of Graduate Studies.
- submit an application with the appropriate application fee (online at mtsu.edu/applynow/application/login). Once this initial application has been accepted, the applicant will receive directions on how to enter the graduate portal to be able to submit other materials.
- submit official scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).
- submit official transcripts of previous college work.
The Master of Science in Finance requires completion of 33 semester hours (24 hours of core courses and 9 hours of elective courses). The program is designed to be completed in one calendar year.
The following illustrates the coursework requirements.
Core Courses (24 hours)
FIN 6010 - Foundations of Finance
For Finance M.S. students only. 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
(Same as ECON 6060.) Prerequisite: FIN 6010. 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
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
(Same as ECON 6460.) Prerequisites: FIN 6010 and FIN 6110. 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
Prerequisites: FIN 6010 with C or better. 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
(Same as ECON 6730.) Prerequisites: FIN 6010 and FIN 6110. 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
Prerequisites: FIN 6010 and FIN 6110. 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
Prerequisites: FIN 6460 and FIN 6750. 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
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
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
(Same as ECON 6560.) Prerequisites: FIN 6010 and FIN 6110. 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
Prerequisites: FIN 6010 and FIN 6110. 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
Prerequisites: FIN 6010 and FIN 6110. 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
Prerequisites: FIN 6010 and FIN 6110. 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
Prerequisites: FIN 6010 and FIN 6110. 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.
Our adjunct faculty bring outstanding professional experience to our programs. Many are industry leaders with decorated careers and honors. Importantly, they are innovative educators who offer hands-on learning to our students to prepare them to enter and thrive in a dynamic, and oftentimes emerging, industry and professional world. They inspire, instruct, and challenge our students toward academic and professional success.
The program offers graduate 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.