College of Business Launches Master of Finance Program

September 30, 2013



Travis Sapp, College of Business, (515) 294-2717

Dan Ryan, College of Business, (515) 294-5800


AMES, Iowa — The College of Business at Iowa State University is launching a full-time master of finance (MFin) graduate program and accepting applications for the spring 2014 semester. The Board of Regents, State of Iowa approved the creation of the program at its August meeting in Ames. The program is the first of its kind in Iowa.


Travis Sapp, director of the College of Business’ new master of finance program.


This 40-credit master’s degree will fill a growing need to better equip finance professionals with the quantitative skills that today’s rapidly changing financial environment increasingly demands. Employers of finance professionals seek candidates who are comfortable not only with finance, but also with advanced statistical modeling, programming, and optimization.


“As we sought approval for this program, we spent a great deal of time talking with professionals in the industry,” said Travis Sapp, Dean’s Fellow in Finance and the director of the new MFin program. “Areas such as credit modeling and risk management have become very quantitative and technical, requiring a higher degree of training than an undergraduate finance program alone can deliver.”


In addition to upper-level finance offerings, the program leverages courses in Iowa State’s departments of economics and statistics in order to build student analytical and statistical skills. In addition to core finance topics such as financial analysis and valuation, students will learn advanced regression techniques and programming approaches for data analysis, time series analysis and forecasting, use of probability distributions, optimization techniques, modeling of financial and risk variables, simulation techniques, value at risk measurement, and tools for effective risk management.


Sapp emphasized that this degree is very different from the master of business administration (MBA) that many professionals pursue. “The MBA is a general business degree which surveys all functional areas of business, while allowing students an area of emphasis through targeted electives,” he said. “The MFin is more sharply focused for students whose current or future career interests are in finance.”


The master of finance program prepares students for careers in corporate finance, financial analysis, investing and wealth management, and risk management. It seeks students with strong analytic backgrounds, including business disciplines, engineering, economics, computer science, statistics, and other fields. It is designed as a full-time resident program which can be completed comfortably in three semesters.


Visit the master of finance web site ( for more information and to apply to the program.


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2 comments on “College of Business Launches Master of Finance Program
  1. Katie Raymon says:

    We would be happy to help! Please contact the Graduate Student Office for more information and options. Their phone number: 515-294-8118.

  2. aminericher says:

    I am a business admin (finance concentration) student recently graduated during the financial crisis, and now working in the accounting field.
    I would like to know what would be my best (value wise) next step for my career: Either go into a reputable MBA programme, or get a certification (CPA, CFA, CMA, etc) along with professional experience and then join an MBA programme?

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