Master of Science in Finance

Why Lindner for Finance?

Designed for the world's future financial leaders, Lindner's Master of Science in Finance program provides students the training in both the theory and application of financial concepts needed to succeed in the industry. Our nationally-ranked program is among the top 10 best value programs in the country, allowing you to get the most out of your investment, while also putting your career at the forefront.

How does the Master of Science in Finance degree differ from an MBA degree?

The Lindner Master of Science in Finance program is for professionals who have a strong interest in finance and a desire to pursue a career as a finance professional. In contrast, the MBA degree is meant for individuals with leadership aspirations which require general management skills. The Master of Science in Finance program has a narrow focus on finance as opposed to the broad exposure to all aspects of business (including finance, accounting, economics, marketing and management) supplied by the MBA curriculum.

When is the application deadline?

Information regarding upcoming application deadlines can be found on our graduate admissions page.

Can full-time students begin the program in the spring semester?

Yes. But the program will require an extra semester to complete the degree based on course scheduling. 

Do I need an undergraduate degree in Finance in order to be accepted into the program?

No, the program welcomes applicants from all academic and professional backgrounds. Please note that students without an undergraduate business degree may be required to take additional business foundational courses. See the program curriculum for more information.

Do I need work experience in order to qualify for admission?

No, there is no specified minimum work experience requirement for admission into the program.

How many classes does the average student take each semester?

We recommend that full-time students take five or six courses (usually 15 credits) per semester. The University of Cincinnati Master of Science in Finance program is designed to be completed in two semesters with students taking five courses each semester. Please note that international students are generally required to carry a full course load in order to maintain their immigration status.

How long does it take to complete the degree requirements?

The program is designed to be completed by full-time students in two semesters. Students who have not already satisfied the prerequisites will need to satisfy those prior to beginning the program.

Can I earn the MS-Finance degree as a part-time student?

Yes. The pace at which part-time students progress towards their degree varies with their individual situations. By taking an average of six hours per semester, a part-time student can finish the program in five (5) semesters. If classes are taken during the summer as well, a part-time student could begin during the fall semester and finish during the second spring semester (about 20 months). Students who have not already satisfied the prerequisite requirements or who take fewer hours per semester will obviously take a little longer to complete the program.

Program highlights

Our program is flexible. You can complete the MS Finance program in as little as two semesters of full-time study, or five semesters as a part-time student.

Specialize your degree by taking specific courses to gain distinction in one of our four focus areas: Corporate Finance, Investments, Risk Management, and Real Estate.

The courses in the MS Finance curriculum prepare students for the Chartered Financial Analyst® (CFA), Certified Financial Planner™ (CFP), and Financial Risk Manager (FRM) examinations.

The MS in Finance program at Lindner prides itself on its diverse student population. The program qualifies as a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) designated program, allowing international students to extend their training in the U.S. by 24 months after graduation.

Career connections

Seventy-five percent of our domestic MS Finance graduates accept a full-time position within three months of graduation. Our graduates earn an average starting salary in excess of $75,000 and are hired by many of the country's most respected companies.

  • American Modern Insurance Group Inc.
  • Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center
  • Cintrifuse
  • Citigroup Inc.
  • Ernst & Young LLP
  • Fidelity Investments
  • Fifth Third Bank
  • Fund Evaluation Group, LLC
  • Intelligrated
  • Johnson Investment Counsel Inc
  • PwC LLP
  • U.S. Bank
  • WorldPay (formerly Vantiv)

Focus areas

The Lindner MS Finance program allows you to select an area of specialization, enabling you to build on the breadth and depth of the curriculum offered. Our strong core curriculum, coupled with the specialization options, provides the flexibility to design a program that enables you to achieve your career objectives. The MS Finance program currently supports the following focus areas:

  • Certified Financial Planner™ (CFP)
  • Corporate finance
  • Investments
  • Real estate
  • Risk management


The program requires all students to complete a capstone experience. Students will complete their capstone requirement by competing in the ACG Cup competition or completing a research project with an industry partner. In addition, all students will describe their capstone experience in an essay.


Organized by the Cincinnati Chapter of the Association of Corporate Growth, for the last ten years the University of Cincinnati has participated in the ACG Cup case competition. MS Finance students who participated in the 2017-2018 Cincinnati ACG Cup case competition and finished within the top four teams satisfied the first element of their capstone requirement. Students also need to complete their capstone essay for their capstone requirement to be fulfilled.

Research project

Students work with Finance faculty and an industry partner on a research project. The project will be presented to participants in the first week of spring semester, with project presentations being concluded by the first week of April. As with the ACG Cup, participants will need to complete their capstone essay for their capstone requirement to be fulfilled.

What you'll learn

This program blends theoretical and applied knowledge, preparing you to grasp theory and develop skills to apply financial concepts in real-world situations.

Partnership with GARP

The Lindner MS Finance program is an academic partner for the Global Association for Risk Professionals (GARP), which helps connect students and faculty to training and professional development opportunities, such as:

GARP logo with is GARP in navy text with two parenthesis to the left with a light blue dot in the middle and underneath it says FRM Academic Partner
  • The ability to nominate up to six students and one faculty member for Financial Risk Manager (FRM) Part 1 exam scholarships.
  • Student eligibility for GARP research grants (up to $3,000 each per semester).
  • Annual complimentary copy of relevant study guides for MS Finance students.
  • Networking opportunities among GARP’s 257K global members.

Founded in 1996, GARP is a membership association for risk managers. GARP offers foundational and certificate programs in risk management, the best known of which is the FRM certification.

Program length

The program may be completed as either a full-time student or as a part-time student and can be completed in as little as nine months. This program is STEM designated and international students qualify for the STEM OPT extension.

Student testimonials

Anurag Sahay headshot

Where are you from?

My birthplace is Patna, and I’ve lived most of my life in the heart of India, New Delhi.

What advice would you give to prospective students?

Identify what you are looking to get out of the MS Finance program. There is immense value to be derived from the program and if you know what you want, you can make the most of this top-notch opportunity.

The MS Finance program offers the opportunity to develop skills and knowledge that are applicable to the industry, and it bodes well if students know where they see themselves as future professionals.

What industry do you hope to start working in upon graduation?

I come with five years of work experience and an MBA in Finance prior to attending UC for my MS in Finance. I'm looking to work in the private equity industry.

Why did you choose UC, and this program?

UC truly showcases a beautiful mix of global representation, world-class facilities, and faculty members with glowing credentials. The campus is big, with a mix of new and old buildings, a wholesome culture unique to UC, and a special emphasis on safety.

As for the MS Finance program, its industry relevance, choice of subjects, and most importantly its faculty were the reasons why I chose UC.

What unique perspective do you bring to the MS Finance program at UC?

Having traveled extensively, I'm sensitive to the dynamics of cross-cultural exchange. Professionally, I have always looked to exceed myself. Both these characteristics have helped me make the most of the challenging, yet rewarding MS Finance program.

Further, as an ambassador for the MS Finance program, I intend to be a bridge for prospective students, helping them transition into this program that will leave them enriched with knowledge they can actually use in the industry. This program brings out the best in you and refines it.

What do you like most about the program?

The two-pronged agenda of this program as I see is to develop students into true-blue professionals that have unique personalities, and equip them in getting there.

The faculty are always available to guide you, in academics or career management. This personable approach is the hallmark of this program for me.

Contact Us

Headshot of Michael Neugent

Michael Neugent

Assistant Professor-Educator and Director, MS Finance Program, Department of Finance, Real Estate, and Insurance and Risk Management

2314 Carl H. Lindner Hall