A high-impact career in the investment industry starts with a strong foundation

The Master of Science in Finance: Applied Security Analysis at the Wisconsin School of Business will give you the theoretical knowledge, analytical skills, and real-world insights to confidently launch your career in investment research and portfolio management.

This high-impact program is designed for all Wisconsin Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) majors and UW–Madison undergraduate economics students, offering an efficient path to an MS degree with one additional year of study beyond BBA requirements.

In this program, you will connect with industry professionals and have the opportunity to manage over $20 million in equities and fixed income assets. Wisconsin MS in Finance students are highly sought after—for both internships and full-time positions—by leading investment firms.

Employment Statistics

MS in Finance 2018 Graduating Class


Placement rate within three months of graduation


Internship placement rate

Base Salary


Average base salary


Median base salary


Average signing bonus

Hawk Center Advisory Board Meeting with students presenting

Preparation for the Real World of Investments

Opportunities for hands-on experience are central to the Wisconsin MS in Finance Program. A hallmark of the program is our portfolio of over $20 million in assets, managed entirely by students. As a student here, you’ll be part of a team managing real money held in an equity or fixed income portfolio. You will make presentations to a panel of professionals, experiencing the client-manager relationship firsthand. You’ll also gain an insider’s view of the investment industry from guest lecturers and through on-site visits to leading investment firms.

Alumni Dedicated to Your Success

The Applied Security Analysis Program (ASAP) at the Wisconsin School of Business has a strong base of more than 600 alumni worldwide. Many have founded their own asset management firms, while others are working in top investment firms. Alumni engage with students and the School on a regular basis, making presentations in classes, serving on our advisory boards, and providing internship and employment opportunities. As your career progresses, you can continue to tap into this alumni network for career connections, information sharing, and more.

Two people talking at an alumni conference
Two students working together on laptops

Connections to Leading Employers

Top employers value the challenging and highly individualized education provided in our MS in Finance Program. They also count on the University of Wisconsin–Madison to provide high-caliber employees. Leading investment research firms and other industry partners recruit Wisconsin students year after year for internships and full-time positions. We help you meet your career goals by providing industry-specific career advising. We can also facilitate connections with potential employers in the geographic region you prefer.

A Highly Regarded ASAP Program

The MS in Finance Program is delivered through the Stephen L. Hawk Center for Investment Analysis. The Hawk Center helps deliver a challenging, comprehensive Applied Security Analysis Program (ASAP) that prepares students for careers in investment management. The program benefits from the active participation of seasoned professionals who hold leadership positions in the investment community, including Hawk Center advisory board members, alumni, and other industry partners.

A CFA Institute University Affiliation Program School

The Wisconsin School of Business is a participant in the CFA Institute University Affiliation Program, which ensures that our curriculum is closely tied to professional practice and is helpful to students preparing for CFA Program exams.

Kara Olsen

“The biggest strength of the program is the extent to which we are taught how to analyze investment opportunities; it was very clear during the interview process for internships that the specific training we received was an advantage. My summer internship at Barclays in sell side credit research was a great opportunity to see how the investment process works at a first tier investment bank while working toward getting a full-time job offer.”

—Kara Olsen, MS in Finance ‘18
Credit Research Analyst, Barclays Capital

Frequently Asked Questions