M.S. in Financial Economics

Financial Economics (M.S.)

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Much of finance has its roots in economics, so mastery of topics at the intersection of those two fields is key to understanding and solving challenges in today’s financial system and to the proper application of regulation and public policy.

The Master of Science in Financial Economics program at Stuart School of Business provides a foundation in both the theory and practical areas of finance and economics. You’ll develop the comprehensive scientific, mathematical, and applied skill sets for testing and applying financial and economic models, as well as the tools and critical thinking skills to solve problems in practice and regulation involving asset pricing, risk management, financial engineering, corporate finance, or portfolio management.

The program’s curriculum is particularly well-suited to students with a background in economics or finance who are interested in highly employable careers conducting research, making policy, or managing risk in financial institutions or government entities.

At Stuart, you’ll learn the latest industry-relevant ideas and technologies from faculty who are both practitioners and scholars and who bring their career knowledge and understanding of the marketplace directly into the classroom.

Chicago is a global financial center, and our strong industry connections open up opportunities for internships, real-world projects in courses, and networking with Stuart alumni and other accomplished professionals.

Through Illinois Tech’s one-of-a-kind Elevate program, you are guaranteed hands-on experiences, such as internships, throughout your graduate education, as well as personalized guidance from a career adviser, academic mentor, and alumni coach.


STEM-Designated Program

This is a STEM-designated program, and international graduates of the program are eligible to apply for an extension for Optional Practical Training in the United States.

Program Overview

This interdisciplinary program focuses on the practical application of economics and data analytics through the lens of finance and the markets. You’ll develop sophisticated quantitative, analytical, and modeling skills that are in demand for research, policy making, and risk management jobs, especially in the financial and public sectors.

Career Opportunities

The M.S. in Financial Economics program provides excellent preparation for the private, public, and nonprofit sector job markets in positions such as economists, policy analysts, financial analysts, and management consultants. Depending on the concentration that you choose, the degree is flexible and also includes career paths ranging from investment adviser, to economic forecaster, to data analyst.

Graduates with this degree have a relatively high mean starting salary of $61,000 (base) and report a job satisfaction rating of 4.5/5.0 according to payscale.com. Ziprecruiter.com reports a higher mean starting salary of $82,000.

The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics reports a median annual wage for economists of $105,630 in 2021, with those working in the finance and insurance industries earning a median annual wage of $163,640.

The M.S. in Financial Economics program draws from Stuart’s M.S. programs in finance, management science, and marketing analytics to deliver a combined skill set that offers a unique economic focus on financial topics. A selection of elective concentrations allows you to develop valuable expertise in industry specializations. The program requires successful completion of at least 33 credit hours (11 courses). 

View finance (MSF), management science (MSC), marketing analytics (MAX), and business administration (MBA) course descriptions.

Core Courses
Required; 21 credit hours (seven courses)
MSC 511—Mathematical Economics I (Micro)
MSC 512—Econometrics and Statistics I
MSC 514—Mathematical Economics II (Micro and Macro)
MSC 515—Econometrics and Statistics II
MSF 504—Valuation and Portfolio Management
MSF 506—Financial Statement Analysis
MBA 505—Microeconomics and Game Theory

Elective/Concentration Courses
Students take 12 credit hours (four courses) in addition to the core courses, which may consist of an optional (and strongly recommended) concentration of three courses plus one elective course. Students who opt out of a concentration choose four elective courses. The following five concentrations are offered; each requires the three courses listed.

Asset Pricing and Investments
MSC 631—Theory of Finance I
MSC 623—Investments
MSF 544—Asset Valuation

Financial Engineering
MSF 505—Derivative Securities
MSF 524—Models for Derivatives
MSF 545—Structured Fixed Income Portfolios

Risk Management
MSF 555—Credit Risk Management
MSF 554—Market Risk Management
MSF 566—Time Series Analysis

Corporate Finance and Valuation
MSF 534—Corporate Finance
MSF 535—Investment Banking and Venture Capital
MSF 544—Asset Valuation

Data Analytics
MAX 502—Analytics for Decision Making
MAX 507—Visual Analytics - Data Analytics & Visualization
MSF 566—Time Series Analysis

Custom Concentration
It is possible to earn a custom concentration by specifying a three-course sequence and obtaining permission from the program director. The courses should form a coherent theme, enumerated by the student. In this case, the concentration should be approved in advance of enrolling in the final nine credit hours for the program.

Electives
You may choose as an elective any MSC course of higher number than MSC 515 or any MSF course of higher number than MSF 505 that is not part of your program already due to a concentration or core requirements.

  • Completed online application
  • Official transcript submission with a minimum cumulative undergraduate grade-point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale
  • No GMAT or GRE scores required
  • Official TOEFL or IELTS score, if required. A minimum score of 85 on the internet-based TOEFL, 600 on the paper-based TOEFL, or 7.0 on the IELTS exam is required for admission consideration
  • A one-page statement of purpose, with goals and objectives
  • At least one letter of recommendation from an academic or professional reference

Scholarships

Domestic students pursuing the M.S. in Financial Economics degree are eligible to apply for the Chicago Talent Pipeline Scholarship, which supports motivated individuals to advance their career paths in Chicago’s dynamic finance industry. This scholarship awards a maximum of $14,000 per degree.

International students pursuing the M.S. in Financial Economics degree are eligible to apply for the Stuart School of Business Dean’s Scholarship, which awards up to $14,000 for the full two-year program.

Tuition and Fees

Get Hands-on with Finance

Internship Opportunities at Stuart School of Business

Through Stuart School’s connections, our students get a head start on their careers with internships at CME Group, Eurex, Wintrust, and other top companies.

Stuart Investments for hands-on experience for Finance students

Learn by doing in Stuart Investments, the student-led organization where you can participate in equity research, valuation modeling, and portfolio management.

Finance competitions at Stuart School of Business

From risk management to equity valuation, Stuart students put their financial knowledge and skills to the test in national and international business competitions.

Move Your Career Forward

Alumni relations

A global network of accomplished Illinois Tech alumni is available to engage with and support our students.

Career development

Stuart’s Career Management Center offers individualized career counseling, resources for job and internship search, and opportunities to network with industry professionals.

Stuart Stands Out

5%

Stuart is AACSB Accredited. Only 5% of Business Schools Globally Are.

—Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International

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Your Career Is Our Priority

Stuart’s Career Management Center offers personalized resources exclusively for business students.

Featured Faculty

Ricky Cooper
Director, M.S. in Finance Director, M.S. in Financial Economics Associate Professor of Finance
Haizhi Wang
Professor of Finance
Liad Wagman
John and Mae Calamos Dean Endowed Chair Professor of Economics Affiliate Professor, Lewis College of Science and Letters
Benjamin Van Vliet
Associate Director, M.S. in Finance Associate Professor of Finance Director, Center for Strategic Finance
Priyanka Sharma
Associate Professor of Economics
Sang Baum Kang
Assistant Director, Undergraduate Programs in Business Associate Professor of Finance
Yiwei Fang
Associate Professor of Finance
Li Cai
Associate Professor of Finance
2019 McGill International Portfolio Challenge team

Excellence in Competitions

Stuart students have excelled in competitions in areas such as equity research, portfolio and risk management, and trading against teams from top universities around the world.

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Stuart student conducting research

Tools for Research

The Financial Markets Research Lab at Stuart School of Business is designed to give students the tools they need to pursue high-level research in finance. The lab features 10 individual dual-monitor Bloomberg workstations, two large wall-mounted monitors for screen sharing, and the latest software and subscriptions to major business databases.