University of Houston Masters in Finance Update – August 2019

The University of Houston Masters in Finance program has been around for a while now. In fact, I first briefly wrote about it back in 2010 (I cannot believe how long it has been!). The program has continued to grow and mature, changing in many positive ways. I figured it was long overdue that I posted an update on the program as Houston has become one of the hottest job markets and quickest growing cities in the country.


STEM Certified

The Houston MSF program will be STEM certified starting September 1st, 2019. This is a great addition and one that nearly every MSF program is becoming part of. Being STEM certified is incredibly important for international students as it allows for additional time in the US upon graduation. Programs that do not have this are at a market disadvantage. Glad to see the University of Houston rolling this out as I am sure it will help them attract quality applicants.


Main Tracks and Specializations

The Houston MSF program offers two tracks that students can choose from: Corporate Finance and Investments & Portfolio Management. I love when programs offer a choice of tracks as it allows students to really focus their education. Furthermore, you are allowed to specialize in Energy or Real Estate Finance. Being in Houston, the energy focus makes a ton of sense. Real estate as well considering the growth Houston as well as other Texas cities are seeing.


Emphasis on Experiential Learning

I think this is great and shows that the program is trying to really provide students with tangible, real world skills. The theory of finance is great, but you also need to know how to apply this knowledge in a practical way. This program works had to do this by including the following (taken directly from the website):

  • The Cougar Investment Fund (CIF) is a multi-million dollar private investment fund that is managed by selected MBA and MS Finance students.
  • Investment and Portfolio Management Project is a 6-credit course taught by an industry expert that uses a virtual fund to simulate the fund management experience.
  • Industry Consulting Project allows students to earn 3 credits over the summer while working on a real-life industry project.

The MSF is also a member of the CFA Institute Affiliate program.



The program can be either Part Time or Full Time, depending on preference. Classes are held at night though, from 6-9PM. Admissions wise, they will accept the GRE or GMAT, although GMAT is preferred. No minimum score, but they mention a 621 as being an average. Keep that in mind. Work experience is nice, but not required either. The program costs $53K for non-residents ($59K for international students), but is very affordable for Texas residents, costing $34K.

The next application deadline is coming up November 1st, 2019. This is for a Spring 2020 start. Internationals have a slightly tighter timeline, with their application being due October 1st, 2019. It looks like deadlines are in June and November going forward.

This program looks very interesting, especially for anyone in Houston or looking to break into the Houston finance industry. The customizations as well as cost make this very attractive. Being STEM definitely will help attract international students as well. I will keep updating this program going forward. Hope all of you find this helpful.


Here is a link to the University of Houston Masters in Finance program


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