Vanderbilt University MSF Program Overview

Vanderbilt MSF Logo

I have written a lot about the Vanderbilt University MSF program over the years and I thought that it would be helpful to provide an updated summary of the program in one post for anyone trying to decide where to apply to. There have been a lot of changes over the year to the Vandy program, frankly, all positive, and I know that it can be sometimes daunting to read through the number of posts I have on this site when compiling a full picture. I hope this helps.

Class of 2020 Profile

The class profile continues to strengthen in this 15th year with impressive scores and class size. The university has also managed to create a well-balanced program, with 25% of the class being comprised of women and 14% international.

  • Class Size – 64
  • Average GMAT – 693
  • Average GPA – 3.7
  • Average Age – 23


With the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, the Vanderbilt University MSF program has decided to waive application fees for the next application deadline (May 7th) as well as providing GMAT/GRE waivers for students who have shown academic success during their undergraduate education. Applications after May 7th will be rolling.

Applicants are required to submit two letters of recommendations, a professional resume, transcripts, GRE/GMAT (can be potentially waived), an essay as well as a video essay.

Tuition for the program for the 2020-2021 year is currently $58,400. The program has a large number of scholarships based on merit, gender, international origin, etc. Very impressive and expansive. Make sure to look into this as this can help finance a large portion of your education.

All students are required to attend Orientation and complete on-campus course work prior to the start of the program. Classes typically start at the end of July (with ongoing flexibility given


The program is highly customizable. Students can take up to 50% of their classes at the MBA level, allowing you to focus your education however you see fit. Another side benefit is the fact that Vanderbilt MSF students will be able to interact and build connections with MBA students.

At least ten credit hours (effectively five classes since most are two credit hours apiece) must be from approved electives. These classes are what you would imagine standard graduate finance classes to be (Mergers and Acquisitions, Derivatives, Advanced Corporate Valuation, etc). Eight credit hours can be chosen from the other approved electives category. There are three classes in Real Estate, a number of valuation and accounting-type classes, as well as classes in economics and other topics.

Salary Data and Employment Outcomes by Industry

Vanderbilt University does a really good job of providing a lot of compensation information for both domestic and international students. This year is actually surprising in the fact international students had slightly higher overall salary and bonus data. I consider this to be great news for any of the foreign students considering studying in the US.

Base Salary (Domestic)

  • Avg. – $77,013 (High – $100K / Low – $55K)

Base Salary (International)

  • Avg. – $83,182 (High – $150K / Low – $25K)

This doesn’t factor in signing bonuses which can increase this number a lot. I think the average figures when it comes to signing bonuses are tough as investment banking analyst bonuses tend to be pretty similar. Commercial Banking and F500 have much lower bonuses. Also, this doesn’t include end of year bonuses which can be significant in the financial community. I think the key take away is that you will make a very good salary and have various bonuses coming from this program.

Here are a few other data points that I found interesting:

Top Metros:

  • New York – 18 placements
  • Nashville – 7 placements
  • Charlotte – 6 placements
  • Atlanta – 5 placements
  • Chicago – 5 placements

Couple take aways from this info. First, while Vanderbilt is a southern program, the New York outcomes are significant and prominent. I tell people all the time, school location does not necessarily dictate where you end up. Spending effectively a year in Nashville and then going to NYC for your career is pretty enticing. Second, you have strong southern metro placements, including Nashville. This should tell you how much people enjoy their time in that city. I also found Chicago to be surprising. As a current Chicagoan, this is a great city and strong financial hub. These stats should tell you that a Vanderbilt University MSF can help you find a job anywhere you want.

Top Hiring Companies:

  • Houlihan Lokey – 4
  • Jefferies – 3
  • Bank of America – 2
  • Raymond James – 2
  • UBS – 2

My thoughts on this is that any time you see a firm hiring multiple students you should see this as a good sign. This tells you that a program is truly imbedded in a company and they trust the quality of students coming from that school. You have a mix of larger banks and well respected middle market firms. Now this is just a small sample of where graduates go to work, but seeing this is a great sign. And this is repeated over past years.

I am working on some fresh, updated content for this program, but I hope anyone considering the program finds this post helpful. I’ve realized that it is often helpful to compile posts like this as it allows students an easy way to evaluate a program.


Here is a link to the Vanderbilt University MSF Program


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