University of Southern California MSF Program Update – August 2019

The University of Southern California MSF Program has been really growing into its own over the years. Students continually ask me about it and the interest level only continues to grow as every year passed. There are limited options for students seeking a masters degree on the west coast and the USC brand and reputation makes this program one of the top choices for anyone looking to work in California. There have been a number of updates and changes so I felt it was time to give all of you an update  to make sure everyone who comes to the site is kept up to speed.


Class of 2020 Profile

The USC MSF program continues to increase their incoming class statistics YoY. I am including a handy chart below highlighting this. When students ask me about the program and what admissions looks at, I always tell them that grades and scores matter at USC. Keep this in mind when considering which program to apply to.

These stats are great and frankly come close to what MIT is seeing. I have differing opinions when it comes to standardized test scores, but it is undoubtable that USC has been able to recruit some impressive students. These stats should factor strongly into your application strategy.


Class of 2018 Placements

What I like about the USC program is they include links to the current placement report and the last 3 years of placements. Really handy when you want to compare placements over the years and when researching alumni to reach out to. The USC report is pretty detailed as well, very helpful in analyzing the data.

  • Class size – 77 Students
  • % Seeking Employment – 68%
  • Employment % 6 months post-graduation – 98%
  • Average Base Salary – $68K

The above stats are all really good. MSF programs are unique in the fact that not everyone is seeking employment as some students go on to other graduate or PhD programs, go back to family businesses or otherwise travel. That being said, the percentage finding employment after 6 months of graduating is the key metric and USC does a good job with that.

Placements by Industry

  • Investment Banking – 24%
  • Asset Management/Diversified Financial Services – 14%
  • Entertainment and Media – 12%
  • Real Estate – 10%
  • All the rest – 40% (includes healthcare, tech, commercial banking, PE/VC, etc)

As with most MSF programs, placements are heavily weighted towards finance roles. What is unique about the USC program is the Entertainment and Media (makes sense) and Real Estate. Also, when you look at cities where MSF students go to work, all the major California cities are represented. There are a number of International markets, as well as New York  and Houston on there as well.

Full report can be downloaded here.



Couple things. The school hasn’t posted their 2019 application schedule, but from their previous year it looks like November is the first round. This is quickly approaching so anyone interested in the program should start getting things in line. Tuition looks roughly to be around $66,492 for the program. This is just tuition (followed their link – $1,847/credit hour x 36 credit hours). There will be additional fees, living expenses, etc. so please factor that in mind.

Information Sessions are coming up, both in person and online. See below for dates. You can register here.

In Person

  • 9/27
  • 10/25
  • 11/22


  • 9/18
  • 10/16
  • 11/13

Lots of good things going on with the USC program. Class profile looks strong as they continue to recruit great students and this is reflected in the placement report. Application season is quickly approaching and the school is making an effort to give interested candidates a bunch of opportunities to talk with admissions about the program. I will keep checking to see if anything is new and if I find something interesting, I will make sure all of you hear about it. Until next time.


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


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