Finance FAQ



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General Program Overview
  • What is the study of MS in Finance about?
  • The Master of Science in Finance program teaches the principles and application of financial concepts. The program offers four different concentrations and is designed to give students a rigorous background in finance to prepare them for careers in corporate finance, investments, banking, or financial advisory. Students have a high degree of flexibility in selecting finance, economics, and accounting courses to meet their specific educational and career goals. Compared to the MBA degree, the MSF requires 36 hours compared to 53. It is devoted entirely to finance and related courses rather than the more broad-based MBA.

  • Where can I find more details on the tracks and courses?
  • What are the application deadlines?
  • For domestic applicants (Fall – July 1, Spring – November 1, Summer – April 1)
    For international applicants (Fall – May 1 , Spring – September 1 , Summer – March 1 )

  • Do I have to take the GMAT?
  • Yes, you must take either the GMAT or the GRE, if you have taken it previously; it must have been completed no more than five years prior to application.

  • What GMAT score is required for admission?
  • We do not have a minimum score and we consider other factors in addition to the GMAT score, including undergraduate grades, and letters of recommendation. Our average GMAT score is approximately 650.

  • Is an undergraduate degree in finance required?
  • No, the program is designed to accommodate both finance and non-finance undergraduate degrees. The program pre-requisites are calculus, basic statistics, and competence in personal computing. If you are deficient in one of these areas, you will have to take additional course work.

  • Is prior work experience required for admission to the program?
  • No, many of our students do not have prior work experience.

  • How many courses do students typically take per semester?
  • Four courses per semester is the typical load, but some students prefer to take three if they are have internships or are studying for a professional certification such as the CFA.

  • How long does it usually take to complete the MS in Finance program?
  • The MS in Finance program is a 36 semester credit hour program. It usually takes1.5 years to complete the program. Some students prefer to take two years to allow extra time for internships or preparing for finance certification exams.

  • Are there any Finance certifications?
  • The most popular is the Chartered Financial Analyst Designation. Our investment management concentration is designed to help prepare students for the exam. In addition, we support selected students by awarding a CFA scholarship to help pay for their costs for the exam. We also support the Financial Risk Management designation. Our financial engineering and risk management concentration is designed to prepare students for that exam.

  • Are there any online classes for the MS in Finance degree?
  • Yes, there are several classes offered online. Students can take some courses online or in the classroom to best meet their needs. However, the entire program is not available on line.

  • Can I pursue a dual degree: an MBA and the Masters in Finance?
  • Yes, if you have/not started either program, we recommend you apply for the Joint MS and MBA program which has the lowest required minimum of semester credit hours. If you do not enroll in this program, the joint minimum semester credit hours required for both degrees is 71 hours; however in this new program, students can earn both degrees with a required minimum of only 63 semester credit hours or 8 fewer semester credit hours. Please note that one unique characteristic of this program is that it requires that you first start and complete the MS in Finance, then complete the remaining courses needed for the MBA.

  • Can I pursue a dual Masters degree: a Masters in Finance and one of the other MS degree programs offered at UT Dallas like the ITM or Innovation & Entrepreneurship programs?
  • Yes, the minimum required total for both degrees is 54 semester credit hours, or 18 fewer semester credit hours than if you pursued them separately. However, you may have to do more than the minimum 53 semester credit hours because some Masters programs do not share many of the same courses. For example there would not be many shared courses in a dual MS in Finance and MS in Marketing.

  • What kind of careers can I look forward to?
  • Finance offers a wide range of career options in corporations, banks, investment banks, financial advisory firms, investment management, private equity investment, and other institutions. Finance is used in many facets of business including financial management, capital budgeting, raising capital, investment and portfolio management, mergers and acquisitions, turnarounds and restructuring, and other activities.

Admission Requirements/Procedures
  • I would like to start the admission process. Where do I begin?
  • First read the frequently asked questions provided by the Advising office, then please visit the graduate admission online for the MS in Finance degree. Click on the online admission process after you have read the instructions.

  • Do I need to turn in all my required documents by the deadline?
  • No. However, the more documents you turn in the better; but as long as you submit the online application and pay the application fee before the deadline you should meet the deadline. Also, keep in mind that before you can enroll in any course or be approved for financial aid you will have to be admitted into the program; and, in addition to turning in all the required documents, this process can take 3-4 weeks. Therefore, it is in your best interest to turn in everything as soon as possible.

  • What are the steps I must take?
    • A complete online application, including the application fee. Please review the application guidelines.
    • GMAT (no more than five years old) or GRE (no more than five years old) scores. The school's average GMAT is 600; the average GRE is 1240. This is an average; lower scores can be compensated for by the GPA, work experience and extracurricular activities. The GMAT or GRE score is not the only criteria considered for admission.
    • Official transcripts from all colleges and universities previously attended. At least one transcript must show conferral of a degree. Official certified, signed or stamped transcripts must be turned into Enrollment Management or may be transferred electronically between institutions. Currently, our masters students have an average undergraduate GPA of 3.3.
    • For all international students, an English proficiency test no more than two years old from one of three testing services. Minimum scores required are TOEFL 80; PTE 67; IELTS 6.5.
    • A detailed resume of all work history.
    • Three letters of recommendation from current or past employers, community leaders, former professors, etc.
    • One page, double space, typed statement outlining the applicant’s academic interests and goals. This may be submitted with the online application.
  • While applying for the program, do I need to submit an original transcript?
  • While applying for the program you do not need to submit the original transcripts, but after admission and before registration for classes you will need to submit the official transcripts.

  • I am an international student. Will I need to submit a TOEFL score?
  • We require the TOEFL exam for international students unless they graduated from a university in the United States.

  • Who should write my letters of recommendation?
  • Your current academic adviser, faculty or if you are working, your supervisor, manager or colleague/coworker are the best persons to write your letters of recommendation.

  • What should I do to improve my GMAT score given its importance for admission and scholarship consideration?
  • We strongly recommend you take a preparatory course. Numerous third party companies offer GMAT exam preparation courses. UT Dallas offers a GMAT prep course at the UT Dallas campus.

  • In case of more than one GMAT score, would you consider the average or the best score?
  • For the MS in Finance program, we consider the best GMAT score.

  • What is your school's code so I can enter those in my GMAT or GRE application?
  • (Grades are sent to UTD automatically by the exam administrator, speeding up the process.)
    GMAT code is ZTZPQ60 
    GRE code is R6897.

  • Are internships available?
  • A number of internships are available or working for UTD or businesses and organizations in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area. However, the number of students desiring internships exceeds the number of internships that are typically available.

  • Can I get credit for an internship?
  • Yes. Domestic students must have completed one long semester and international students, two long semesters before they can take an internship for credit. A maximum of 3 semester credit hours for the internship can count towards completing the Master’s program. All international students studying on an F-1 visa can do their internships after completing 2 long semesters (18 semester credit hours) according to the United States Immigration.

  • I am a transfer student. Can I transfer some of my graduate level courses from my previous university?
  • You can transfer up to 9 semester credit hours depending on the relevance of your courses. You must have obtained a grade of B or better and the course cannot have been taken more than 5 years ago. You can apply for transfer or waive of credits after enrolling in the MS Finance degree.

  • To what extent can the Career Center help international students find an internship or job?
  • The Career Center helps international students in various areas such as: resume, mock interviews, English Improvement, job fairs, career counseling and other services. Please visit the Career Management site for more information.

  • I am an international student and would like to know more about orientation, student health insurance, medical screening, housing, financial sponsorship and visa rules. How can I proceed?
  • UT Dallas has a separate student services department, which helps international students with such related issues. Please visit the international student services.

Financial Aid and Scholarships
  • What is the cost of the program?
  • The cost varies, depending on your residency status. If you are a Texas resident, it is a lower price than for non-residents; however, if you qualify for the Dean’s Excellence Scholarship, in addition to the $1,000 scholarship for the academic year (not per semester) you also qualify for the Texas resident tuition rate, which in a one year period can be equivalent to a savings of $8,600 to $12,400.

    Because tuition can vary from year to year, please go the Bursar page and see what the cost of a 3 semester credit hour graduate course is, then multiply by the number 12 ( 3 semester credit hours x 12 courses= 36 hours). The Bursar’s tuition page can be accessed by clicking here. There is a section in the Bursars website detailing some additional fees, including some of special interest to international students.

  • What is “guaranteed tuition”?
  • This plan freezes tuition rates at the rate applicable to the first semester you enroll, and remains valid for a period of four years.

  • What is the difference between a grant and a loan?
  • Grants are a form of gift. They do not need to be repaid. Loans must be repaid with interest. Loans can be both subsidized and unsubsidized. You can learn more about student loans at the Office of Financial Aid.

  • Are there any grants or financial aid (loans) available for International students?
  • While international graduate students can receive merit based scholarships, they are not eligible for need based grants through UT Dallas. International students can apply for loans, but they need a credit worthy cosigner who is a US citizen or permanent resident who resides in the United States. UT- Dallas does not have its own loan program. If you would like to pursue a private education loan you will need to select a lender and apply directly. While UT- Dallas may be asked by the lender to confirm you are a student we are not otherwise involved in the process and cannot recommend any lender. Additional information can be found at the Office of Financial Aid.

  • What is the deadline to apply for financial aid and what happens if I miss that deadline?
  • The deadline for submitting the FASFA and supporting documentation is available through the Office of Finanacial Aid. The spring deadline is October 15, 2011. HOWEVER, you can still apply for financial aid after the deadline. All applications are considered for federal loans. Because the federal Direct Stafford Loan is an entitlement program there is enough funding for the program without regard as to when the FAFSA was submitted. Additional information can be found at the financial aid office.

  • What are the Financial Aid application steps for domestic students?
    • Complete the online application at this federal government website (do not go to the .com website as this is a private entity which will charge you a fee): http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/#
    • FASFA (federal government) will send you by email a Student Aid Report (SAR) within approx. 3 business days telling you your expected contribution to your educational expenses.
      After the Office of Financial Aid has reviewed your application they will offer you a financial aid award. This award usually includes one or more of the following:
      • A Subsidized Federal Direct Stafford loan up to $8,500 per year (Fixed percent 6.8%)
      • Unsubsidized Federal Direct Stafford Loan up to $12,500 per loan (6.8%)
      • Graduate PLUS loan (7.9%) The Graduate PLUS loan borrowing limit is UTD’s Cost of Attendance budget, minus other scholarships, grants and loans. This budget can be found at the Office of Financial Aid.

      The differences between the unsubsidized and subsidized loans are that the government pays the interest owed during the loan period. To see more details go to the office of financial aid.

    • Once admitted nothing is done or sent by UTD’s Office of Financial Aid until you are admitted into our program. UTD’s Financial Aid office first sends out letters beginning in April, and continues on a rolling basis for applications submitted later. The Office of Financial Aid sends continuing students their financial aid offer beginning in June. They will check to see if you are maintaining a 3.0 GPA average and complete at least 2/3 of the classes you attempt. Academic progress standards for financial aid eligibility can be found at the financial aid office.

    To be eligible for federal student loans you must be registered as at least a half-time student. For graduate students this is considered to be 5 semester credit hours per semester long term and 3 hours in summer.

  • What if I miss the deadline, my financial aid hasn’t been approved and I have to pay for my tuition to enroll in classes?
  • Unfortunately you will have to pay the tuition; however, when the financial aid is approved you will be reimbursed very quickly for the tuition you paid (assuming you do end up qualifying).

  • Are scholarships available for students?
  • Yes, scholarships are available for national as well as international students. In addition to the School of Management scholarships, there are several scholarships given by UT- Dallas. Please visit the scholarship information.

  • What is the advantage of the Dean’s Excellence scholarship?
  • In addition to the $1,000 scholarship for the academic year (not per semester), you qualify for the Texas resident tuition rate which in a one year period can be equivalent to a savings of $ 8,600 to $12,400 in savings.

  • What is the deadline for the Dean’s excellence scholarship?
  • The deadline for this scholarship is the 2nd Friday of July for the fall semester and the 2nd Friday of November for the spring semester.

  • Can I apply for more than one scholarship?
  • Yes, students can apply for as many as scholarships as they wish. However, some scholarships do NOT allow you to “stack” or use more than one scholarship per semester.

  • Do I need to apply for scholarships separately or will I automatically be considered for scholarships upon admission?
  • If the student’s application is considered amongst the top applicants, then the student may be considered for a scholarship automatically, in which case the student will be notified accordingly.

  • Do I need to be enrolled at UT Dallas to apply for the scholarship?
  • No, students don’t need to be enrolled at UT-Dallas to apply for the scholarships but they should register for the required number of semester credit hours once they come to UT Dallas.

  • I am an International Student and have taken the GRE. Can I still apply for Scholarships?
  • Students who have taken the GRE within the past 5 years can apply for scholarships only after completing one (1) semester at UT-Dallas. Your cumulative GPA from the previous semester will be considered as part of the assessment process.

  • I am an International Student and have taken the GMAT. Can I apply for scholarship at the start of my degree?
  • Yes. You are eligible for scholarship as soon as your degree starts. If you are provided with a scholarship, it will be mentioned in your I-20 form as well.