Program at a Glance


Finance, MS


Online, Hybrid

Total Units



No GMAT or
GRE Required

Program Overview

The Master of Science in Finance is a specialized, technical program providing in-depth exposure to the principles and practices of corporate finance and investment management. The main objective of the program is to provide the specialized knowledge needed to add immediate value to your organization as a financial manager or investment adviser.

Located in the heart of San Francisco’s Financial District, Golden Gate University provides networking and internship opportunities through its 68,000-strong alumni network and relationships with the local financial community.

The MS in Finance program has been certified by the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Institute as a University Affiliation Program. This membership signals to employers that the MSF curriculum is closely tied to the practice of financial management, and helps to prepare students for the CFA exams.

The MS in Finance does not attempt to provide the broad overview of business that is typical of an MBA. Instead, it focuses on the specific areas of compelling interest to financial managers, security analysts, corporate bankers, and portfolio managers. This degree is intended for students who have made a professional commitment to this key business discipline, and who are interested in equipping themselves with a comprehensive array of analytical tools and techniques. This program is a STEM-designated degree program.

You can choose to earn this degree entirely online or through a combination of online and in-class courses that are taught by the same professors and present the same material as the traditional format.

Admission Requirements

  • Applicants should hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited US institution or the equivalent from a recognized foreign (outside the US) institution, and provide official transcripts.
  • Applicants whose native language is not English must meet the English Language Proficiency Admission Requirements.
  • Applicants with an undergraduate GPA below 3.00 should submit a statement of purpose and a resume. The statement of purpose should address the circumstances that may have led the applicants to poor academic performance, what had changed and why they think they’ll be successful now.

Proficiency Requirements

Math Proficiency

Intermediate Algebra (Math 20); See Graduate Mathematics Proficiency Requirement for more information.

Writing Proficiency

Students are expected to possess proficiency in writing to ensure they can be successful in their course of study. Students may meet this requirement by satisfying one of the screening criteria listed under Graduate Writing Proficiency Requirement.


The Master of Science in Finance requires completion of 6 units in the foundation program and 30 units of advanced program coursework, with a cumulative grade-point average of 3.00 or better in courses taken at Golden Gate University that are applicable to the program’s requirements. Courses carry three semester units of credit unless otherwise noted.

All course prerequisites must be satisfied prior to enrolling in a given course and are indicated in the the course description for each course. Individual foundation program courses may be waived if the student has previously completed comparable courses at a regionally accredited college or university. Students may enroll in advanced program courses before they have completed the entire foundation program (provided they have met any course prerequisites) but must complete the foundation program by the time that they have enrolled in 12 units in the advanced program.


Learning Outcomes

Graduates of the MS in Finance program will have the knowledge and skills to:

  • Evaluate and explain financial decisions regarding the firm’s investment and long- and short-term financing strategies by applying financial theory, quantitative decision-making tools, and analytical methods.
  • Apply economic analysis to the firm’s decision-making, taking into account the impact of markets, institutions, and international trends on these decisions. Understand whether or to what extent a financial market satisfies the conditions of an efficient market.
  • Define and measure business and financial risk. Describe the relationship between risk and return, and distinguish between expected and required returns. Explain how risk affects the valuation of real and financial assets, and describe techniques for managing risk.
  • Evaluate the corporate governance structures of firms and examine the interactions, from a governance perspective, among firm management, financial markets, and stakeholders.
  • Describe and evaluate the ethical implications of financial decision-making and financial practices, assess alternative recommendations for solutions to ethical financial problems, and offer appropriate resolutions to those problems.
Two professionals walking down the street and talking.