The Master of Science-Business: Finance, Investment and Banking degree adds a fifth year of study for UW–Madison Bachelor of Business Administration students pursuing any major, as well as for undergraduate economics students at UW–Madison. Upon completion of this program, students graduate with both a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in finance and a Master of Science degree in finance, investment and banking focused on applied security analysis. Students who have already completed an undergraduate degree from any institution may be interested in the Wisconsin MBA Program with a specialization in applied security analysis.

The program in applied security analysis and the MS in Finance degree provides the foundation needed to launch a career in investment research and portfolio management. As a student, you begin your program as an undergraduate during your senior year, and earn your master’s degree in your fifth year of study. A research internship at an investment firm in the summer after your senior year adds relevance to the graduate-year curriculum, strengthens your résumé, and positions you to land an attractive full-time job offer after graduation.

The program also helps equip you to take the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Level I exam after your senior year and the CFA Level II exam following graduation.

The MS in Finance program has an outstanding track record, with 100 percent of students placed in internships and 100 percent accepting job offers within three months of graduation.

Manage Real Money

As a student in the MS in Finance program, you will have the opportunity to co-manage over $20 million in assets held in equity and fixed income portfolios. Working as a team with other Wisconsin MS in Finance and MBA students, you will define an investment philosophy and process to guide your investment decisions. Using the same tools as those used by professionals, you will have complete authority to direct assets into investments you choose.

Administer a multimillion-dollar portfolio.

The board members for the Hawk Center—many of whom are alumni of Wisconsin’s Applied Security Analysis Program—serve as mentors and advisors as you develop strategies to optimize these investments. Quarterly presentations to the board members enable you to experience the dynamics of an actual client-manager relationship.

Two students working together at laptops
Students work in teams to manage real portfolios that collectively hold over $20 million in equities and fixed income assets.

Learn from Industry Practitioners

The program incorporates classes taught by practitioners who have extensive investment management experience. In these classes, you will develop analytical and communication skills, as instructors provide individual critiques of your models and reports. Class speakers have represented firms such as:

  • Fidelity Management & Research Company
  • Fiduciary Management
  • Northwestern Mutual
  • OppenheimerFunds
  • Robert W. Baird & Co.
  • T. Rowe Price
  • Waddell & Reed
  • Wells Capital Management

You can also experience two important financial centers firsthand in the program. In an optional trip over the winter break, Wisconsin MS in Finance and MBA students visit leading investment firms in New York City and Boston. The trip provides an insider’s look at the various types of firms and careers that exist within the investment profession, as well as an opportunity to network with Wisconsin alumni and other professionals. Some of the travel costs are subsidized by the Hawk Center.

Ricky Sandler speaking with two students
Ricky Sandler, CEO and chief investment officer at Eminence Capital in New York City and a Wisconsin School of Business alumnus, visits campus regularly to speak with students in the Applied Security Analysis Program.

Get an Early Start on Your Academic Plan

The faculty and staff of the Stephen L. Hawk Center for Investment Analysis will be available to you on a one-on-one basis to discuss admissions questions, provide academic advising, and get help mapping out an individual course plan. You actually begin preparing to enter the MS in Finance program during your junior year.

As a BBA or undergraduate economics student, you can take advantage of additional opportunities to build a strong a foundation for a successful career.

  • Many undergraduates participate in the Capital Management Club (CMC), in which students engage in researching and selecting investments, network with industry professionals, and make trips to leading investment firms.
  • Exceptional BBA students majoring in finance may also apply to the Applied Equity Market Research (AEMR) course. This unique undergraduate course enables students to learn from industry leaders and apply concepts to real-world investment problems.

Students who participate in CMC and/or AEMR get a head start on the MS in Finance curriculum and gain a competitive edge that benefits their careers.

Raefe Gross

“The MS in Finance degree’s applied security analysis curriculum gives students an unparalleled opportunity to take responsibility at the beginning of their career. Managing this magnitude of assets is a privilege most other college graduates won't enjoy until years later in their professional life. The learnings realized from a hands-on, risk-oriented program like this one are invaluable for accelerating your career trajectory.”

—Raefe Gross, MS in Finance ‘18
Frontier Markets Research Analyst, Frontaura Capital LLC

A Focused Curriculum

The MS in Finance Program is designed to provide the theoretical, analytical, and experiential education needed to begin your career in investment analysis. The curriculum requires a minimum of 27 credits in the graduate year. You have the flexibility to customize your academic experience with elective graduate courses, which can be drawn from a number of business disciplines.

First Year

Your senior year as an undergraduate will include required electives in applied security analysis, as well as the courses you need to complete your BBA with a major in finance.

  • Classes required to finish a BBA with a major in finance
  • Security Analysis
  • Analysis of Fixed Income Securities
  • Introduction to Applied Security Analysis
  • Introduction to Applied Portfolio Management

Summer after Senior Year

  • Research internship at an investment firm
  • Portfolio management responsibilities

Second Year

  • Applied Security Analysis & Investment Management I
  • Applied Security Analysis & Investment Management II
  • Electives (3) in finance or accounting
  • Electives (3) in any business discipline

At least nine credits of electives must be taken in each semester of your graduate year.

This degree plan is subject to change based on course availability. The curriculum shown is representative of the course of study.