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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.  This program is 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.

Example MSF 12 Month Schedule 

  Class 1 Class 2
Fall Accelerated Term 1 Foundation of Finance Financial Modeling
Fall Accelerated Term 2 Financial Data Analysis Financial Statement Analysis
Spring Accelerated Term 1 Advanced Financial Data Analysis Investments
Spring Accelerated Term 2 Corporate Finance Financial Markets and Institutions
Summer Term 1 Portfolio Theory Mergers and Acquistions
Summer Term 2 Cases in Finance  


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.

Founding Program director Frank Michello

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.”

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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

  • 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
  • Suzy
  • UBS
  • 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 student.

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 economics.

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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 and discuss their plans with their advisor.

Finance, M.S.

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. The program is designed to be completed in one calendar year and through synchronous online delivery.

Admission Requirements

Applicants must provide

  • transcript(s);
  • personal statement of purpose;
  • resume or CV.

The GMAT/GRE requirement may be waived for applicants that meet any of the following conditions:

  • an earned bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university with GPA 3.0 or higher (International transcripts must have an official evaluation by a NACES member.)
  • an earned bachelor's degree with a GPA of 2.75 - 2.99 and five (5) or more years of professional/managerial work experience (resume required)
  • an earned graduate or professional degree from a regionally accredited college or university

Application Procedures

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

Applicants must

  1. submit an application with the appropriate application fee (online at 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.
  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 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.

Curriculum: Finance

The following illustrates the coursework requirements.

Core Courses (24 hours)

  • FIN 6010 - Foundations of Finance

    3credit hours

    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 Data Analysis and Applications

    3credit hours

    Prerequisites: FIN 6010 and FIN 6110. Focuses on understanding and working with data to make statistical inference. Statistical software used for data collection, data cleaning, dataset creation, and applied regression analysis.

  • FIN 6110 - Financial Modeling

    3credit hours

    Prerequisite: FIN 6010 (or concurrent enrollment in FIN 6010). 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.) 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

    3credit hours

    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

    3credit hours

    (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  3 credit hours  

    FIN 6750 - Corporate Finance

    3credit hours

    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  3 credit hours  

    FIN 6920 - Cases in Finance

    3credit hours

    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)

  • Approved electives (5000/6000 level) 9 credit hours

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.

Financial Assistance

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.


Online or Hybrid Programs at a Glance

This program is available fully online.

For More Information or Explore Your Options​

Contact your department / program coordinator or advisor for more details about the program OR work one-on-one with your advisor to explore your options.

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The Online Advantage​

With over 25 years of experience in online teaching and learning, MTSU Online offers students access to innovative, high-quality programs. Designed with students in mind, our courses allow maximum flexibility for those unable to participate in person. ​

Resources and services for online students are available from MTSU Online or contact us at

Contact Information

Dr. Jeff Stark

Who is My Advisor?

Dr. Jeff Stark

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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