Rady Master of Finance FAQs


What programs are offered at the Rady School?

  • Full-Time MBA
  • FlexWeekend and FlexEvening MBA for working professionals
  • Master of Finance
  • Ph.D. in Management
  • Concurrent Ph.D./MBA with Scripps Institution of Oceanography
  • Undergraduate Courses
  • Executive Development Courses

For more about our Master of Finance program, click here. For more about our MBA programs, please click here. For more about our SIO Ph.D./MBA program or our Ph.D. program, please click here.

How long is the Master of Finance program at Rady?

The Master of Finance is a 12-month, full-time program starting in the Fall quarter.

How is the Master of Finance program different from an MBA with an emphasis in Finance?

The Master of Finance program provides deeper and more technically focused coursework in a program that, overall, has a more quantitative concentration than the MBA.  As a focused, one-year program, the Master of Finance may be an excellent choice if you have clear career goals in data-driven areas of finance.

The Master of Finance does not provide the broader perspective on business, management and leadership that the MBA offers:  no courses in management, leadership, marketing or operations are included in the Master of Finance.

How is the Master of Finance program different from Masters programs in Financial Engineering?

The Rady Master of Finance program is focused on data-driven financial decision-making.  This emphasis on data, financial econometrics, and financial risk management are distinguishing features of the Rady program.

If I already have an MBA, will the Master of Finance program provide additional learning or career options?

If your MBA program was not heavily quantitative or did not include coursework focused on data-driven financial decision-making, the Master of Finance may provide education that will assist in your career in finance.

What is the status of the Rady School's accreditation?

The Rady School of Management is accredited by AACSB International - Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. Founded in 2003, the Rady School is the only new business school created at a U.S. News & World Report top 10 ranked public research university during the past 30 years, and is one of the youngest in the nation to achieve this AACSB recognition.


My bachelor's degree is from a 3–year program, am I still eligible to apply?

Equivalency of a four–year U.S. bachelor’s degree is required. Thirty-six consecutive units of post-graduate, college-level courses taken prior to applying may fulfill the four–year requirement. Courses may be non–degree work.

I will complete my bachelor's degree in the spring and will not have any professional work experience. Will you consider my application for admission to the Master of Finance?

Work experience is not required for the Master of Finance program but is recommended.  If you do not have work experience, we will want to understand why is now the right time for you to pursue the Master of Finance degree and we will expect to excellent academic records, possible undergraduate internships, extracurricular activities, etc.

Do I need a business background to apply to the program?

Business coursework or work experience is not required for the Master of Finance program.

I have some quantitative or computing background, but not in all the areas listed. Can I apply to and be successful in the program?

The Master of Finance curriculum emphasizes both the mathematical foundations for financial decision-making and data-driven computer analysis.  Many applicants will be stronger in one of these areas than the other.  Applicants with strength in one area can be successful in admissions and then will develop additional skills in the program.

What are the minimum GMAT or GRE scores for the Rady Master of Finance program?

There is no minimum requirement; however, we will be looking particularly at the strength of your performance in the quantitative sections.  Strong scores may serve to balance lower undergraduate academic performance and are good predictors of how well students will do in the required core classes. GMAT or GRE scores in one sitting are evaluated, not averaged from multiple sittings.

I’m a college senior. Am I eligible to apply to the Master of Finance program?

The Rady School welcomes applications from undergraduates who have excelled academically and personally and who can articulate their reasons for continuing directly to the Master of Finance program. Undergraduate majors in quantitative, computer science, engineering, or other technical disciplines are particularly encouraged to apply, but these are by no means the only majors we consider. Please contact the Rady MBA/Masters Admissions Office for more information.

Does the Rady School accept students with advanced degrees?

The Rady School welcomes applications from individuals who have already completed advanced study in science, engineering, technology, or other quantitative disciplines.

Are there minimum requirements for language exams for international students?

There are mandatory minimum scores that are required by the UC San Diego’s Office of Graduate Studies. The university-wide minimum TOEFL score required for consideration for graduate admission is 550 for the paper based test (PBT), and 80 for the internet based test (iBT).

The university-wide minimum IELTS Academic Training exam score required for consideration for graduate admission is Band Score 7.
The minimum PTE Academic score required for graduate admission is Overall Score: 65.

The Admissions Process

How does the admissions process work?

The process of evaluating an application takes between four to six weeks. After you submit your application, you will receive confirmation and instructions for further action, if necessary. The admissions committee will review the application to determine if we would like to schedule an interview.

How can I set up an interview with admissions?

Interviews are by invitation only. We will contact you to schedule an appointment. All admitted students will have been interviewed.

If I’m not admitted to the program, can I get feedback on my application?

If requested, the admissions committee will provide feedback to applicants once the admissions cycle is complete and classes are seated.

If not admitted, can I reapply the next year?

Yes, the application process is the same when reapplying. You would submit a new application with all supporting documents, including transcripts and letters of recommendation. If you retake the GMAT, GRE and/or TOEFL, your scores need to be sent to us.

The Application

What are the application deadlines and when can I apply?

Our online application is currently available and, we are accepting applications for Fall 2014. To view specific deadlines click here.

Why are there multiple deadlines for submitting an application?

We admit on a rolling basis, so our deadlines give you a sense of where we are in the admissions cycle. As we move through that cycle, we have begun to make offers of admission. A few things to consider while deciding when to submit your application:

  • When are you satisfied that what you are submitting represents you well?
  • When would you like to have your admission decision?
  • We aim for a four to six week turnaround time once we have a completed application.
  • Fewer spaces are available in the class, the later you wait to submit your application.

What is the application fee and can it be waived under certain circumstances?

The required application fee for fall 2014 is $80 for US citizens or Permanent Residents; $100 for international applicants. Fee waivers are not available.

What are the required application materials?

  • Application form (must be submitted online)
  • Official transcripts from all prior academic work.
  • Resume
  • Recommendations (2)
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Statement describing quantitative background
  • GMAT or GRE
  • TOEFL or IELTS (if applicable)
  • Application fee

See the detailed Application Checklist for further details.

Can the GMAT or GRE be waived?

Scores from the GMAT or GRE are required for consideration for admission.

Can I submit my application before taking the GMAT or GRE?

Yes. On the application indicate when you are scheduled to take the exam. We will assemble your application and do a preliminary review while waiting for the results. No admission decision will be made until we have your GMAT or GRE scores and your application is complete.

Am I required to submit a TOEFL score?

The TOEFL or IELTS is required if your undergraduate academic instruction was not in English, unless you meet the following criteria:

  • you have completed your studies as a full-time student for one academic year or more at a U.S. academic institution/university while maintaining a “B” average or better, or
  • you are permanent resident of the U.S., or you are a U.S. citizen

Do I need to submit a translated copy of my transcript?

Official academic records must be issued in the language of instruction and accompanied by official English translations. Acceptable documentation includes:

  • Originals issued by the university bearing the original stamp or seal and the signature of the authorized official.
  • Official copies issued by the degree granting university bearing the stamp or seal and signature of the authorized official.
  • Official literal (word-for-word) English translations issued by the degree-granting institution or official authorized translation services.

Who should my letters of recommendation be from?

Recommendations should generally be from your professional network — someone who knows you well enough to provide us with insight regarding your professional qualifications and potential for contribution. The most effective recommenders are those willing to speak on your behalf and supplement the application materials. Two letters are required; both do not need to be from your place of employment.

I am enrolled in another Master of Finance program – can I transfer to the Rady program?

Typically the Master of Finance program does not accept transfers.

Costs, Fees and Financing

What are the fees for the Master of Finance program?

Estimated fees for the Master of Finance program for 2014-15 are $55,400.

  • Fees are billed quarterly. The fees do not include living expenses, student health insurance and other campus fees, textbooks and course materials or campus parking permits.

Fees for the Master of Finance program are subject to change and approval by the UC Regents.

What options do I have for financial assistance?

  • All students admitted to the Master of Finance program are considered for merit-based fellowships awarded at the time of the admission offer. There is no separate application to complete.
  • FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is available to U.S. citizens or permanent residents.
  • Educational loans may be an option to consider. The UC San Diego Financial Aid office provides a list of preferred lenders to assist graduate students.

Are there funding options for members of the military?

Yes, read more about federal veterans’ benefits available at UC San Diego.


What are the options for on- and off-campus housing?

UC San Diego offers limited, high–quality, on–campus housing for graduate students. We recommend you apply for campus housing as soon as possible after being admitted. To learn more visit: http://hdh.ucsd.edu/arch/gradhousing.html