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Graduate Degree Programs in Financial Management Overview

Majors Overview May 5, 2015

Get information about graduate degree programs in financial management and their education requirements, coursework, career choices, and job and wage outlook.

Information on Financial Management Graduate Degree Programs

There are many career options, specializations, and functions in the financial management field. Work in this field involves responsibility for the analysis, collection, and management of financial data and systems.

Graduate level programs are devised to teach and develop the skills students need for a career in the field. Given the breadth of the field of financial management, students from various backgrounds and undergraduate degree programs can enter degree programs like the Master of Science (M.S.) in Financial Management. The program is devised to teach students about financial services such as corporate finance, raising capital, securities, mergers and acquisitions, and investing.

Once the program is over, financial management techniques, concepts, and principles may be applied by students to a real-world environment. Consequently, the program fully equips students to pursue the financial management position of their choice.

Education Requirements

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold no more than an undergraduate degree in any major from an accredited school. However, holding a degree in a finance-related subject, such as a bachelor’s in finance or accounting, will allow them to skip some core courses. The primary focus is instead on the elective courses chosen.


The core courses have a predominant focus on advanced, intermediate, and basic accounting, in addition to corporate finance and project management. A foundation in finance is available through these core courses. After completion of the core courses, a specialization can be chosen. Core coursework may include topic areas such as:

•Project Management
•Mid-level and Advanced Accounting
•Accounting Basics
•Management Roles in Accounting
•Finance and Accounting Concepts
•Finance in Corporate Environments

While many career tracks may be available for students armed with a financial management degree, three main specializations are offered by the program, namely, fraud examination, financial analysis, and public accounting. Upon completion of the core courses, electives in one of these areas may be taken by students.

Career Choices

Although a financial management degree can open the doors to various career choices, students may choose from a few main popular career options:

•Financial Analyst
•Chief Information Officer (CIO) or Chief Financial Officer (CFO)
•Financial Manager
•Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
•Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE)

Job and Wage Outlook

In May 2012, financial analysts and financial managers brought in respective average annual wages of $76,950 and $109,740. Over the 2012 – 2022 decade, a job growth rate of 16% has been predicted for financial analysts. Over the same decade, financial managers are expected to see growth of 9% (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics).

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