University of Illinois
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5 reasons to choose the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s Master of Science in Finance

Successful organisations need finance departments filled with individuals who boast analytical minds and strong attention to detail — both of which are traits needed to make effective, profitable decisions.

Gies College of Business at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign is home to a STEM-designated Master of Science in Finance (MSF) that prepares students for this dynamic, lucrative sector. Many students with various levels of finance experience, representing several nationalities, choose the MSF to fast-track their progression to high-level positions. These are their reasons:

University of Illinois

Source: Gies College of Business

Learn from the best

Award-winning finance faculty and leading industry experts help prepare students to become in-demand professionals. Gies faculty work tirelessly to deliver high-quality, challenging lessons designed to get students ready for modern financial markets.

Groundbreaking researchers abound within the Department of Finance, which is one of the finest finance research units in the world. Gies Business is ranked #9 in UTD Top 100 Business School Research Rankings among North American b-schools in research productivity.

Customise your academic journey

No two aspirations are the same, which is why the Gies Business MSF’s innovative, three-semester curriculum is flexible to fit students’ unique goals. While offering students a strong foundation in the principles and practices of finance, it also offers five specialisation track options: Asset Management, Corporate Finance, Data Analytics and Fintech, Quantitative Finance, and Finance Research.

University of Illinois

Source: Gies College of Business

Concentrations — essentially a minor within a graduate degree — in Accountancy and Data Analytics in Finance are available too; as are electives in a vast range of areas, such as commercial banking, real estate, financial engineering or wealth management.

Jumpstart your career

All MSF students at Gies Business are given the chance to apply their newfound knowledge in real-world settings. For instance, through the optional full semester practicum, they will be able to gain hands-on experience at national and international companies. Not only do they get valuable experience and an opportunity to significantly impact a company, each student will also have access to specialised insight or tools.

University of Illinois

Source: Gies College of Business

Industry-level skills are easily gained around campus as well. In the state-of-the-art Margolis Market Information Lab, students gain exposure to industry-leading tools like Bloomberg, Capital IQ, and Tableau. Those looking to truly put their skills to the test are welcome to participate in the business case competitions of their choosing. Alternatively, by participating in Illinois Business Consulting — the largest student-run, professionally managed consulting organisation in the US — students enjoy a project-based journey to leading with confidence.

An unrivalled location with many opportunities

Anything is possible in Illinois, which is home to one of the most diversified economies in the world — think of a world-class business environment, a skilled workforce, and not to mention a culturally-vibrant landscape.

Hence why the state is home to 36 Fortune 500 and 14 Global 500 companies, 241 companies on the Inc. 5000 List, and 29 S&P Companies, according to the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.

International students looking to find their place within these multinationals will be happy to know that the MSF is STEM-designated, meaning they may be able to remain in the US for up to 36 months on the Optional Practical Training STEM extension. And with a degree from a university ranked 47th in the nation – and 15th among all public universities – they stand out from the competition.

The university is the home of 24 Nobel Prizes and the birthplace of the first graphical web browser, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, and Blue Waters, a petascale supercomputer operated by the National Centre for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA).

The university is also located in the twin cities of Champaign and Urbana in east-central Illinois, about 140 miles south of Chicago, 125 miles west of Indianapolis, and 180 miles northeast of St. Louis. In addition to the low cost of living, the architecture and landscape present an inspiring environment to learn and enjoy life.

University of Illinois

Source: Gies College of Business

On campus, students have access to Research Park, a leading innovation hub for technology commercialisation with a unique environment that cultivates startups and increases capabilities for established companies. Research Park is home to more than 120 companies and growing, employing over 2,100 people in high-technology careers. At any given time. more than 800 student interns are gaining valuable experiential learning while making real contributions to internal corporate R&D and product development programmes.

Success guaranteed

Whether you’re looking to advance your existing finance career or build one from the ground up — the MSF can help you pass Level 2, if not Level 3. Its impact is proven by a track record of graduates who have achieved outstanding outcomes in the last couple of years.

Today, Gies MSF alumni can be found in major corporations such as PwC, Enfusion, Nanhua USA, Bloomberg, Deloitte, and KPMG China — 94% landed their dream role within just six months of graduation.

So what are you waiting for? The finance education of your dreams is just an application away. Click here to get started.

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