The Master in Finance program at Pacific Lutheran University is going on its second year and I am pleased to report that it is doing very well. I’ve been in contact with the school since the program started up and have been able to watch it grow and mature. It is a great program and anyone looking to go to school in Seattle or the West Coast should check it out.
I am also lucky enough to be able to provide a student review of the program. This is the perspective of a graduating master in finance student who went through the inaugural class. I hope it helps anyone looking into the program!
I strongly believe, for an inaugural program, Pacific Lutheran University has an extremely outstanding experience. The tagline of the program should be “how to kill two birds with one stone.” The one stone is the Master in Finance degree and the two birds are the CFA Level 1 and Level 2 exams. Overall, the program is very structured. I came to the program with an economics background, so my financial knowledge was very limited. I thought I would be at a disadvantage compared to the students that came in with a finance background. I was immediately proven wrong because everyone had to work extremely hard to keep on top of the program.
All the professors are on point and the curriculum is very tough and rigorous. The program did a fantastic job of setting me up to gain an understanding of important and relevant financial concepts and helped me successfully passed the CFA Level 1 exam.
Being a new program, there will always be room for improvement. One positive has been that the professors and faculty are very receptive to our suggestions. When a class could use a little more coverage in an area, I feel comfortable to tell them that. Overall my cohort is under the same positive mindset: “make the program challenging but relevant to the world.” We enjoy our professors giving real world examples, and not textbook perfect examples. In addition, I appreciate the industry-experienced professors who teach and mentor in the program. They bring in an aspect of reality that enhances the learning experience.
I feel one major item that has successfully been distinguished is the fine line between the CFA and the masters program material. It is very difficult and most professors have the distinction down pat. While it has curriculum aligned with the CFA, it not just a test prep course. It is a graduate program first! Another positive is the length of the program. It is fast paced and goes over what would normally take at least two years of a traditional masters program and incorporates it into 10 months. This gets you out into the work place faster. On top of that, what you learn in the program preps you for CFA level 1 and level 2, a feature that I have not seen in a majority of Master in Finance programs.
Anyone who is looking at a graduate program is already thinking about employment after graduation. With that in mind, the well-connected alumni are extremely helpful and try to get to know the students on a more personal level. They try their best to align students in the areas they are interested in pursuing as a career. This is one of the major advantages of this institution. The small class size helps the program faculty, staff, and alumni to get to know you as individuals and they go out of their way to help you succeed in your career aspirations.
This is an inaugural program after all, so there are some minor tweaks that need to be made. However, my overall experience has been wonderful and I do not regret my decision to pursue the MSF from Pacific Lutheran University. I know that the students coming after me are only going to have a greater experience with outstanding educational and professional results.
Here is a link to the Pacific Lutheran University Master in Finance Program