Master of Finance FAQs


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 and on 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.

Can the program be extended by 6 months or a year?

The Master of Finance program is designed as a full-time, one-year program, and we expect students to complete the degree in that time period unless there are extenuating circumstances.

Can I choose a minor?

The Master of Finance curriculum does not provide the opportunity for a minor.

Is it possible to complete a dual Master of Finance & MBA at Rady?

No, the Master of Finance program curriculum does not allow for a dual degree at this time.


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 you believe now is the right time for you to pursue the Master of Finance degree, and we will expect to see excellent academic records, relevant 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 computer-driven data 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, engineering or technical disciplines are particularly relevant, but these are by no means the only majors we consider. Please contact the Rady Master of Finance 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.

Because I do not have previous experience in Finance, would I need to complete additional courses and gain relevant experience prior to applying?

Coursework in subjects such as linear algebra, multivariate calculus, differential equations, numerical analysis or advanced statistics and probability will prepare you for the Master of Finance program. It is also beneficial to have experience with mathematical tools (Examples: MatLab, or Mathematica) and experience with statistical and econometric applications (Examples: SAS, STATA, MatLab, R, S-Plus).

The Application

Will the application be reviewed before or after the program deadline?

Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis, so once we receive all the pieces of your application file, the Faculty Admissions Committee will begin reviewing your application.

Will I be interviewed as part of the application process?

Interviews are a required part of the Master of Finance admissions process and are by invitation only.  Interviews for the MFin are completed via an online and asynchronous interviewing platform. 

Is there a word limit on Statement of Purpose?

Your Statement of Purpose should be no longer than 500 words, double-spaced, 12-point font.

Is English proficiency required for international applicants?

Demonstrated proficiency in the English language is required for all international applicants, unless the applicant meets the UC San Diego English Language Proficiency policy waiver requirements.

In order to meet the waiver eligibility, applicants must have completed studies as a full-time student at a recognized institution of higher learning in the United States (or other English-speaking country such as Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom, or Canada with the exception of Québec) for at least one full academic year while maintaining a “B” average before entering UC San Diego. These applicants are automatically exempt from the TOEFL/IELTS/PTE requirement. If this is the case, simply leave the TOEFL, IELTS, and PTE sections of the online application blank.

Costs, Fees and Financing

Are fellowships available? Are students are eligible for jobs as tutors or assistants to pay for their education?

Rady provides limited fellowship support to exceptional individuals. All domestic and international admitted students are considered for merit-based fellowships upon admission. No additional application is required.

How are fees for the Master of Finance program broken down across the four quarters?

Please refer to the Master of Finance estimated budget for details regarding fees and other costs.

Is an admission enrollment deposit required?

Yes, admitted students who want to reserve a seat in the incoming class must officially accept the admissions offer in the application system and must pay the deposit fee. The required deposit is $1,500 USD. This fee is non-refundable and is applied towards tuition and fees in the first term. Deposit deadline and payment instructions are provided to students who are extended an admissions offer. The $1,500 deposit payment is required if requesting a one-year deferral.

Housing Careers, Etc.

What resources are available to help students obtain internships and jobs?

Master of Finance students receive career support from Career Management Center. Through personal coaching, an array of programs and resources and a commitment to creating access to opportunities, Career Management Center enhances your potential for success. Career Management Center begins working with Master of Finance students during the summer prior to the start of the program in order to ensure students are prepared for the internship and job search process.

Are Master of Finance students eligible for internships?

Master of Finance students may hold summer internships during their final term, while also completing the capstone Applied Finance Project. While the AFP is an intensive and rigorous effort, no other courses are scheduled for Master of Finance students during this period specifically to allow interested students to pursue internships. International students may use Curricular Practical Training during this period.

What are housing options for graduate students?

Graduate students at UC San Diego have a variety of housing options, including on-campus and off-campus accommodations. Visit the UC San Diego HDH Graduate and Family Housing webpage for on-campus housing information. On-campus housing is limited; students wishing to live on-campus are encourage to submit a housing application as soon as they receive an admissions offer. All on-campus housing is managed by UC San Diego Housing Dining Hospitality (HDH); the Rady School is unable to answer on-campus housing related questions or request prioritization of housing applications. Please visit the UC San Diego off-campus housing webpage for more information about off-campus accommodation options.