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Master of Science in Finance

We encourage early applications as applicants are admitted on a first come, first served basis. Fall 2024 applications are now closed. We do not accept applications for the Spring term.

Application Deadline for Fall 2025: May 16, 2025

Sacramento State’s Master of Science in Finance (MSF) is a one-year, cohort-based program that admits one cohort per year in the Fall semester. The MSF prepares students with a rigorous training in finance and builds a strong foundation of investment analysis and portfolio management skills, as well as practical knowledge needed in today’s investment industry.

The program incorporates significant portions of the curriculum of the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA®) curriculum, a curriculum widely accepted as the industry standard for investment professionals. By drawing much from the CFA curriculum, the Master of Science in Finance program provides our students with in-depth knowledge and skills necessary for their careers in the investment industry.

MSF Featured in Sacramento State Newsroom

Kelly Joy - Senior Research Specialist

For additional information, please contact:
Lan Liu, PhD, CFA®
MSF Faculty Director
(916) 278-7071
Tahoe Hall - Room 2118

Download the MSF Flyer

GMAT not required for Fall 2025 Cohort.

MSF graduates will:

  • Master knowledge in different asset classes such as equity, fixed income, derivatives and alternative investments.
  • Demonstrate ability to formulate portfolio recommendations with clarity and purpose for both individual and institutional investors.
  • Demonstrate ability to evaluate portfolios and create portfolios for different investment objectives.
  • Demonstrate ability and skills to analyze and evaluate information in financial statements, business reports, media and related discipline research.”
  • Demonstrate the ability to critically analyze and evaluate ethical behaviors in investment management.
  • Demonstrate the understanding and application of global perspective in investment management.

MSF Program Highlights

Accelerated Format

  • 12-month program

Flexible Scheduling

  • Courses are each 4 weeks in length and held on Fridays (3-7pm) and Saturdays (8am-2pm)
  • Blended delivery (classes, lectures and distance learning)
  • Every 3rd week instruction offered online (weeks 1, 2 & 4 in-person)

Cohort-based Learning

  • Stimulating networking environment
  • Group work

Outstanding faculty

  • Scholar with industry experience & CFA® charter
  • Experienced co-instructors & guest speakers

Quality Accredited Program

  • AACSB accredited program
  • Assurance of student learning

Essential Resources

  • Bloomberg Terminals
  • Participation in the CFA Institute Research Challenge

Career Services

  • Personalized services available to graduate business students and alumni

UC Biz Contest 2023

Congratulations to our MS Finance students, Derek Steege, Jashandeep Saini, and Frank Kyekyeku, who secured an impressive 4th place at the UC Biz Contest 2023!


Program Academics

After the one-day orientation event to introduce faculty, staff and cohort members, students will complete six required “boot camp” modules before taking required courses in the program. There are ten 3-unit courses. All courses are required. There are no electives in the program.

Boot Camp

  • Basic Economics
  • Basic Finance
  • Quantitative Analyses I
  • Quantitative Analyses II
  • Financial Accounting
  • Financial Modeling using Excel

Required Courses

  • FIN 200 Financial Reporting and Analysis (3 units)
  • FIN 210 Financial Institution Management (3 units)
  • FIN 220 Corporate Finance (3 units)
  • FIN 230 Equity Analyses (3 units)
  • FIN 240 Fixed Income (3 units)
  • FIN 250 Derivatives (3 units)
  • FIN 260 Alternative Investments (3 units)
  • FIN 270 Portfolio Management (3 units)
  • FIN 280 Global Financial Markets (3 units)
  • FIN 500 Culminating Experience Project in Finance and Ethics (3 units)

Minimum Cumulative GPA: 3.0. The minimum acceptable grade for any graduate business course is “C.” No more than two (2) courses with a grade of “C” will be counted for satisfaction of graduate program requirements. Per CSU requirement, students must pass FIN 230 Equity Analysis to fulfill the GWAR before advancing to candidacy.

MSF Class Schedule and Format

This program is cohort based. All students will follow the same class schedule and take one-course-at-a-time. Each required course is 4 weeks long. First, second and fourth-week instruction will be in-person on Fridays (3pm-7pm) and Saturdays (8am -2pm). Third week instruction is online. The program is designed to be completed within 12 months.

MSF Minimum Qualifications Information

Candidates are required to have:

  • Undergraduate degree from an accredited institution with a 2.50 overall GPA. Title V of the California Educational Code requires that MBA candidates must have earned a minimum 2.50 cumulative GPA and an undergraduate degree from an accredited institution. Foreign undergraduate degrees must be evaluated as equivalent to a 4-year, U.S. bachelor's degree with a minimum 2.50 cumulative GPA on a U.S. 4.0 scale.
  • Official undergraduate and/or graduate transcripts.
  • Applicants with foreign documents must submit their transcripts for evaluation by one of the approved agencies. Please review the information from the Office of Graduate Studies.
  • Applicants who earned a degree from an institution located in a nation where English is not the official language, or where the language of instruction at that institution was not English, must take the TOEFL or IELTS or PTE and receive a passing score: a minimum TOEFL of 550 (paper-based) or 80 (Internet-based), IELTS score of 6.5, or PTE (Pearson's Test of English Academic) score of 65. Please review the Language Testing Requirements from the Office of Graduate Studies.
  • Two Letters of recommendation
  • Statement of Career Objectives (1 page): This statement should include a description of your long- and short-term career goals, and the ways in which you believe the MSF degree will help you to achieve them.
  • Work experience is preferred but not required.
  • Curriculum Vitae (CV) or Resume: a reverse chronological CV of your work experience, education, relevant course work, extra trainings and skills.

MSF Application Dates and Deadlines

The Sacramento State MSF program admits students for the fall semester only each year.

Fall 2025

  • Cal State Apply application available: October 1, 2024
  • All application materials due: May 16, 2025

NOTE: You must complete the entire application process and pay the $70 fee by the appropriate deadline to be considered an applicant to the program. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.

Please follow the directions carefully below to be considered for the MSF Fall 2025 program. Applicants will need to submit the following:

  1. On the first page, please select which term you would like to apply to: Fall 2025.
    Campus: Sacramento State
  2. Add Program: Business Administration – Master of Science, Finance listed under "Sacramento Extension"
  3. Complete the Personal Information, Academic History, and Supporting Information Sections
  4. Under Program Materials, applicants will submit the following:
  • Statement of Career Objectives (1 page): This statement should include a description of your long- and short-term career goals, and the ways in which you believe the MSF degree will help you to achieve them.
  • Curriculum Vitae (CV) or Resume: a reverse chronological CV of your work experience, education, relevant course work, extra trainings and skills.
  • Request for two letters of recommendation: Applicants will enter name and an email request will automatically be sent to the recommender on your behalf. Please advise your recommender to look for this email in their inbox, as well as their spam or junk-mail folder, as emails do occasionally get filtered out. Recommenders should complete the Recommendation Form and upload directly through the email portal.

Copies of official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended, other than Sacramento State sent electronically to or hard copy to:

Office of Graduate Studies
California State University, Sacramento
Riverfront Center, Room 215, MS 6112
6000 J St.
Sacramento, CA 95819

Cal State Apply Application

students graduating

Program Fees

The total cost for the program is $30,550 ($1,300 Orientation/Boot Camp and $975 per unit for 30 required units), which includes books, course materials, meals (Friday dinner, Saturday breakfast and lunch). The program will be billed in installments per class and a fee schedule will be provided for you based on the admission term. Please see below for the program calendar and payment schedule (on 2nd page) for each term. The MSF program is a partnership program with the College of Continuing Education (CCE) who handles the logistics of the program.

Financial Aid may be available for students pursuing the MSF degree. We recommend starting the financial aid process as early as possible by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). More information can be obtained from the CCE Financial Aid Page.

CSU Employees: The MSF is considered self-support (i.e. Extended Education) and is not eligible for the CSU Employee Fee Waiver and Reduction Program.

Current MSF Student Information

MSF Calendar Fall 2022

MSF Calendar Fall 2023

MSF Calendar Fall 2024

MSF Student Testimonials

"Through the MSF program, I gained valuable skills in risk management, communication, and data analysis, which have significantly contributed to my professional development and ability to drive business growth." - Alycia Maharaj, M.S Finance | Financial Analyst

"My MSF journey was truly one of the most special educational experiences that I've had. I'm grateful to the dedicated faculty for supporting our cohort during and after the program. Whether we were looking for opportunities to advance in our career or grow our professional network, the faculty is always willing to become our resources and provide us with guidance to ensure our success." - Yen Truong, M.S. Finance, CFP® | Specialist | Financial Planning | CAPTRUST

frank“As a first-generation graduate hailing from Ghana, my journey to pursue a Master’s in Finance in the United States has been nothing short of transformation. The MSF program here at SacState has provided me with a rich tapestry of knowledge, practical skills, and global perspectives. In the hallowed halls of our finance classrooms, I’ve engaged with brilliant professors, collaborated with diverse classmates, and delved into cutting-edge topics. The curriculum, based on the CFA, has not only sharpened my financial acumen but also instilled in me a passion for innovation and ethical decision-making." - Frank Oppong Kyekyeku, M.S. Finance

Contact Information

Program Curriculum

Lan Liu, PhD, CFA®
MSF Faculty Director
(916) 278-7071
Tahoe Hall - Room 2118

Hao Lin, PhD, CFA®
Department Chair – Finance, Insurance & Real Estate
(916) 278-7054
Tahoe Hall - Room 2120

Prospective Students & Admissions

Claire Goldsby
(916) 278-2895

Current Students & Academic Advising

Serena Hoffman
(916) 278-6391

Graduate Programs Office

Maleeha Khan
Executive Director of Graduate Programs
(916) 278-6464

Mailing Address

California State University, Sacramento
College of Business - MSF
Tahoe Hall, Room 1020
6000 J Street
Sacramento, CA 95819-6088