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M.S. Finance FAQ

Program Prerequisites:

Do I need a bachelor's degree?
Yes, a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university is required. Your undergraduate major may have been in any discipline to be considered for admission.

Are there any prerequisite courses? 
Candidates should have completed two accounting courses, microeconomics, macroeconomics, statistics, calculus, business finance, and investments. All prerequisite courses are available via on-line opportunities with the University.

Do I need an undergraduate degree in accounting, finance, or other business discipline or do I need a professional business background? 
No, a bachelor's degree in any major from an accredited institution is acceptable. Our two year program offers the foundation knowledge in the business disciplines that will prepare you for finance specialization.

Is work experience required? 
Work experience is encouraged, but is not required. For candidates who lack work experience, a finance internship will supplement their classroom education to prepare them for the profession.

Is an interview required?
An interview is required for the finance specialty, and it is highly recommended for all applicants to the general MBA program. We will arrange for an interview, either in person or by conference call, during the admission process.

Are there GMAT waivers?
No, there are no waivers or substitutes for the Graduate Management Admission Test. The GMAT is required of all applicants.

What other undergraduate majors are good candidates for the program?
Beyond the business disciplines, undergraduate study in engineering, mathematics, or the sciences provide the easiest transition to the study of finance.

Critical Dates:

When does the program begin?
Candidates normally begin their program of study during the summer session with the first class starting in mid-Summer of each year.

How long does it take to complete the program?
The typical student will complete a two-year course of study for the MBA with the second year emphasizing the specialization in finance. Some candidates will have sufficient academic background in finance that will permit them to complete the program within one calendar year. An individual plan of study will be developed for each candidate to meet his or her particular circumstances.

May a student begin in any semester?
Ordinarily, students will begin during the summer session. However, some students may be admitted for the spring semester if they are fulfilling prerequisite deficiencies.

When are applications due?
Applications may be submitted at any time, but the review of applications will begin on January 15 of each year. As such, candidates are encouraged to complete their files by the end of the calendar year to ensure full consideration.

When are admission decisions made?
Initial admission decisions will be released on January 31 of each year.  Additional admissions will be made on a rolling basis after that date.

When are financial aid decisions made?
The first round of offers for graduate assistantships and scholarships are made with the offers of admission. Additional offers may be made after that time as funds become available.

Two-Year and One-Year Programs

Is it recommended that a student take the two year MBA dual degree program or just the MS Finance program?
In general, candidates will receive the greatest benefit from participation in the two-year program as the successful candidate refines his or her general managerial skills along with mastery of the finance curriculum. Some candidates, however, will be prepared to enter directly into the finance specialty. The admissions committee will review and make recommendations for admission to the program and evaluate candidates for the appropriate plan of study.

Is part-time enrollment possible?
Yes, it is possible to enroll in the program on a part-time basis. The program is designed so that a candidate may undertake full-time study and complete the finance portion of the curriculum within one year or take the curriculum on a part-time basis and complete the program of study over two or more years.

Is an internship required?
For most candidates, an internship will be required. Some candidates, however, have significant and relevant work experience that will permit them to forego the internship.

Is a global immersion course required for the MBA/MSF dual degree?
One requirement of all MBA students is that they complete an immersion in another culture. For international students, the participation in the WVU program satisfies that requirement. For domestic students, a separate international immersion is required.

Financial Assistance

Do you offer financial aid to international students?
For any questions regarding financial aid opportunities, we recommend that candidates work directly with the WVU Office of Financial Aid to determine what assistance is available.

Are assistantships or scholarship opportunities available?
There are several competitive graduate assistantships and scholarships available for highly qualified students. Both domestic and international candidates may apply for these opportunities.

How do I apply for financial aid?
All completed applications are automatically considered for available graduate assistantships and scholarships. For assistance beyond the program offerings, candidates will need to contact the WVU Financial Aid Office (http://www.finaid.wvu.edu)

May students take some classes without enrolling in the entire program?
Yes, individual classes are open to qualified candidates who have been admitted to another WVU graduate program or admitted to the University as a non-degree candidate on a space available basis. Such candidates will be required to have met all prerequisite coursework.

The CFA Designation

What is the CFA?
The designation CFA stands for Chartered Financial Analyst. This is the industry designation for expertise regarding securities, from assessments of risk to interpretation of value. The CFA designation is awarded after the successful candidate passes three levels of testing over an expansive list of topics from ethical practice to general technical knowledge of investment and securities. For more information about the CFA, visit the CFA Institute.

Will this program prepare a student to take the CFA exams?
This program of study includes the CFA candidate body of knowledge among its core offerings. The program is designed so that a student may sit for the CFA Level One exam in December of the program and sit for the CFA Level Two exam the following June.

Why is the CFA designation desirable?
The CFA is demanded by major employers for senior positions in securities research and investment management. It also can be required for certain financial advisor roles. Even where it is not necessary, it is a prestigious credential that enhances your worth and credibility as a financial professional.

What career paths are open to a graduate with the CFA designation?
The combination of the CFA and an MBA opens up possibilities across the financial world. To uncover the breadth of these opportunities, visit the CFA Institute.

Will completion of the program guarantee passing the CFA exams?
The program will prepare the candidate for the CFA exams, but does not guarantee a passing grade. Candidates are expected to sit for their Level One exam at the end of the first full semester in finance specialty. The successful candidate will then be prepared to sit for the Level Two exam immediately following graduation.

GMAT and TOEFL Requirements

What GMAT score is required?
The program does not have a minimum GMAT score. Each candidate is evaluated using a variety on instruments including the GMAT verbal, quantitative and the GMAT analytical writing assessment. Other factors include past academic work, significant work experience, and information gleaned via candidate interviews. Although there is no minimum, the average finance candidate scores around the 75th percentile on the GMAT and above the 50th percentile in each individual testing area.

What TOEFL or IELTS score is required for international students?
The program does have a minimum score requirement of the 80th percentile on the TOEFL. We also accept the IELTS with a minimum score of 6.5 required. Should a candidate fall short of this minimum, the candidate may request admission to the University's Intensive English Program and request conditional admission to the MBA program.

What is the total expense for the program?
The most up to date information on the program cost is available at http://www.be.wvu.edu/financemba/costs.htm

Whom do I contact with additional questions?
email financemba@mail.wvu.edu or call 304‐293‐7888