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Illinois MSc in Finance: Detailed Overview





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Introduction to Illinois MSc in Finance

At Gies, they deliver a STEM-designated Master of Science in Finance (MSF) degree that thoroughly prepares students for the dynamic world of finance. Their comprehensive, flexible, and cutting-edge curriculum is taught by faculty experts and industry leaders.

Students arrive with different backgrounds and different levels of expertise in finance, so our 15-month program has built-in flexibility to deliver an education and experience that fits your needs. When you arrive on campus, they will work with you to assess your skills and interests and place you in the classes that will prepare you for success.

Why Study Illinois MSc in Finance?


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Unleash Your Financial Prowess with the University of Illinois’ Master of Science in Finance (MSF)

In the dynamic world of finance, where fortunes are made and lost in the blink of an eye, expertise is the key to unlocking opportunities and achieving your financial ambitions. The University of Illinois’ Master of Science in Finance (MSF) program is your gateway to a world of possibilities, empowering you to navigate the intricate landscapes of finance with confidence and precision.

Embrace Rigorous Academics and Real-World Experience

MSF program is not just about learning abstract theories; it’s about immersing yourself in the practicalities of finance, guided by a faculty of renowned scholars and experienced practitioners. You’ll delve into the intricacies of financial analysis, corporate finance, investments, and international finance, equipping yourself with the knowledge and skills to make informed decisions that shape the financial landscape.

Forge Industry Connections and Elevate Your Career

The University of Illinois boasts an extensive network of alumni and corporate partners, opening doors to a wealth of internship and networking opportunities. Imagine stepping into the shoes of a financial analyst at a Fortune 500 company, gaining invaluable hands-on experience and forging connections that will propel your career forward.

Program Costs + Living Expenses : Illinois MSc in Finance


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The living expenses for student will vary depending on their individual lifestyle and spending habits. However, as a general guideline, students can expect to spend around $25,000-$30,000 per year on living expenses. This includes housing, food, transportation, utilities, personal care, and entertainment.

Employment Prospects: Illinois MSc in Finance


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    Most Sought-after Jobs

Associate, Valuation Services

Business Analyst

Credit Risk Associate

Data Analyst

Equity Research Analyst

Financial Advisor Associate

Financial Analyst

Investment Analyst

Application details for Illinois MSc in Finance

To apply online for the MSF program, follow these steps:

  1. Begin the Graduate College Application:

    • Complete the application online, selecting Finance as your program and Finance – MS as the degree.
  2. Upload Unofficial Transcripts:

    • Include transcripts with your name, institution name, and a legend or grade scale.
    • International candidates must also provide a copy of their degree certificate or provisional certificate.
  3. Submit GMAT or GRE Score:

    • Upload unofficial scores, but official scores must be sent directly to the University (Institution Code – 1836).
  4. English Proficiency Scores (International Students Only):

    • Upload unofficial TOEFL or IELTS scores.
    • TOEFL scores of 103 or greater or IELTS scores of 7.5 or greater are required.
  5. Upload Resume:

    • Include personal information, educational background, work experience, internship experience, and leadership experiences. Limit to one page.
  6. Submit Academic Statement of Purpose (Spring 2024 Applicants Only):

    • Limit to 300 words, answering specific questions related to finance interests, post-MSF goals, and career choices.

    • For Fall 2024 and Beyond Applicants:

      • Academic Statement of Purpose (300-500 words): Address academic and professional background, program benefits, academic interests, and reasons for pursuing the program.
      • Short Personal Statements 1 & 2 (250 words max each): Discuss experiences shaping intellectual and personal development, and contributions to a diverse community.
  7. Choose References:

    • Select three references from academic or professional sources. They will be notified to submit reference letters on your behalf.
  8. Provide Proof of Funding and Declaration and Certification of Finances Form (International Students Only):

    • Upload funding documents for living expenses, tuition, and fees.
  9. Upload Copy of Passport (International Students Only):

    • Upload a copy of your passport information and photo, including dependents if applicable.

Application Deadlines - Illinois MSc in Finance

Application deadlines for Fall 2024:

  • Round 1 Deadline: January 21, 2024
  • Round 2 Deadline: March 17, 2024
  • Round 3 Deadline: April 28, 2024
  • Round 4 Deadline: June 9, 2024

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Scholarships Available: Illinois MSc in Finance

This MSF program offers a limited number of scholarships to program participants. Scholarship allocations are made with particular emphasis on recruiting high caliber students from diverse backgrounds. All students are considered for Merit Scholarships. Decisions regarding scholarship awards will be made shortly after the admission decisions are released. Recipients will be notified via email.

Specializations & Electives Offered


  • Asset Management
  • Corporate Finance
  • Data Analytics and Fintech
  • Quantitative Finance
  • Finance Research (PhD Specialization)


  • Alternative investments
  • Fixed income analysis
  • Derivatives
  • Financial modeling
  • Valuation
  • Mergers and acquisitions
  • Capital structure analysis
  • Data mining
  • Machine learning
  • Blockchain technology
  • Asset pricing
  • Behavioral finance

FAQs About MIF

The MSF program is for individuals with a strong desire to pursue a professional career in finance. MBA graduates with a strong interest in a finance career who feel they lack solid training in finance will find the MSF program very beneficial to their careers.

During the Fall and Spring terms classes are offered Monday through Thursday, typically during the day, but in some cases a class is offered in the evening. A class is typically held two days (twice) a week for an hour and twenty minutes each day.

Throughout the entire year, Friday afternoons are typically reserved for Professional Development activities such as guest lecturers, field trips, and other career development activities

Yes! They have a full-time faculty member with extensive experience to guide you as you develop your study plan. You will work closely with Professor Martin Widdicks, Director of the MSF program, to define your study plan. Professor Widdicks provides individualized attention for MSF students so that their study plans accurately reflect their academic goals.

The MSF program is a self-supported program, therefore assistantships and fellowship funding are not available. A small scholarship pool is available. All students are considered for these scholarships which are granted based on merit with an emphasis on maintaining diversity in the program.

Professional work experience is recommended, not required. However, all students admitted to the MSF program have some type of work experience. High-quality summer internships and part-time work experience might be enough to compensate for less than two years of full-time work experience if other credentials are sufficiently strong. While the MSF Admissions Committee places a strong emphasis on admitting students with at least 2 years of professional work experience following their undergraduate degree, applicants with less work experience and strong academic credentials are also encouraged to apply.

Application Process & timeline

We strongly advise all our clients to have a proper excel sheet or a timetables mapped out.
Once you are done with GMAT the entire application process usually take 4-6 weeks

Step 1

GMAT / GRE Score

2-3 months.

If you are not sure about what score to target then look at the average score of the schools you want and shoot above the average. 

Step 2

Profile Evaluation

 1-2 weeks.

Get your profile evaluated from a professional consultant and figure out what schools you can target based on your profile

Step 3

Application Prep

3-4 weeks at least. 

Start writing at least 1 month in advance of their 1st deadline. First application usually takes the longest.

Step 4

Interview Prep

1 week

School will notify you and give you roughly 1 week to schedule your interview. Ideally, start your prep ASAP and Do some mock interviews.

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