University of Maryland Masters of Finance

The¬†University of Maryland Master in Finance Program is a program that I do not feature enough on this site. With class locations in Maryland and DC they offer flexibility as well as a low cost education to those seeking a masters degree. I’ve been lucky enough to have my very first student review of the program and am thankful to the person who provided it to me.

Hope it helps any of you looking at the program!

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Why a Masters in Finance? Why the Maryland MSF program in particular?

I chose an MSF as a preparation for a PhD. Have now realized a masters in economics or math would have been a better option but an MSF would have also allowed me to move into the business world if the PhD did not work out. I applied to 4 schools: Alabama, Maryland, Vanderbilt and Claremont McKenna. Got into UMD and Alabama, without standardized rankings like MBA programs I talked to professors from my undergraduate program who said UMD would be the better choice.

How would you review the program?
Pros:
For the most part the professors were really good. They all had very good backgrounds and would interact with the students outside of class. You can take classes in College Park or in DC. With DC costing $10,000 less in tuition. The course availability did not seem to be very different at either campus. Wide variety of classes, with a lot of room for electives  and the ability to tailor your degree to more of an asset pricing or corporate finance track. Two required econometrics classes were also a positive.
Cons:
It is a new program and with that means they are still working some things out. A lot of the professors do not like coming down to the DC campus, so classes there only meet once a week for 3.5hrs. There is not a lot of diversity in the program. The majority of the students are from Asia and this is almost exclusively a pre-experience program. Classes in the DC campus are usually 60 for required courses and 30 for electives.
Who would you recommend the University of Maryland Master in Finance program to?
I would recommend the program to someone who wants to work in the industry and does not want the “generality” of an MBA program. Currently, this seems to be more of a local program with placements in the DC area, however additional hires have been made to expand the career services department.
Anything else that you’d like to talk about?
Although I believe the website gives a recommended GMAT score of 640, the average score of the 2012 incoming cohort was over 715 and I was told that the incoming 2013 class was even higher. Personally, I did not spend too much time in college park, as I took class in DC and lived in Virginia so I cant give you much information on campus clubs.
Overall, this is an up and coming program. The faculty are always working with the students to make improvements to the program. You can finish the degree in one academic year, as I did, but most people take either 12 months or 2 academic years to do it. If you do it in on academic year, it is a very condensed schedule and you may not be able to take certain classes because of scheduling issues.
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