Master of Science in Finance (M.S.F.)


The PLU M.S.F. program is competitive. Selection is based on several criteria including quantitative ability and potential contribution to the classroom experience. The Graduate Admissions Committee bases decisions on a holistic assessment of the individual merits of each applicant. For questions regarding admission to the M.S.F. program, contact the M.S.F. director at 253.535.7224.

To apply submit the following:

  • The PLU graduate application is available online at
  • A current resume detailing work experience and community service
  • All official transcripts from higher education institutions
  • A Statement of Professional Goals, Ethics, and Quantitative Skills
  • Official Graduate Management Assessment Test (GMAT) or Graduate Record Exam (GRE)
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • $40 Application Fee
International Students must also submit:
  • TOEFL or IELTS score report
  • I-20 Evaluation Documents
  • Declaration of Finances

An interview with the M.S.F. Graduate Admission Committee may be requested.

Applicants are evaluated individually, based on multiple factors indicating equivalence to admission standards, a promise of success in graduate school, qualities of good character, and potential contributions to the educational mission of graduate study.

Finance Program
36 to 40 semester hours, with 36 required for graduation
Fall Semester
12 to 16 semester hours
  • ECON 503: Economics for Finance (4)
  • BMSF 505: Financial Econometrics (4)
  • BMSF 512: Financial Accounting: Reporting and Analysis I (4)
  • BMSF 514: Foundations of Finance (4)
  • Note: Students with undergraduate majors in accounting, economics, or finance may be able to waive one of ECON 503, BMSF 512 or 514, respectively.
4 semester hours

Students may select from a rotation in which one of three courses will be taught or elect to complete a credit-bearing internship project.

  • ECON 516: International Economics (4)
  • BMSF 518: Financial Accounting: Reporting and Analysis II (4)
  • BMSF 530: Financial Markets, Institutions, and Intermediaries (4)
  • BMSF 595: Internship (4)
Spring Semester
16 semester hours
  • BMSF 507: Mathematical and Stochastic Foundations for Finance (4)
  • BMSF 532: Valuation, Fixed Income, Derivatives, Alternatives (4)
  • BMSF 534: Portfolio Theory and Management (4)
  • BMSF 536: Advanced Corporate Finance (4)
Summer Session
2 to 4 semester hours

Classes will be scheduled concurrently and run the month of June.

  • BMSF 538: Risk Management (2)
  • BMSF 599: Capstone: Integration and Graduate Research in Finance (2 or 4)
  • Note: Students may complete BMSF 538 and a 2-hour capstone or they may complete a 4-hour capstone.

Master of Science in Finance Courses

BMSF 505 : Financial Econometrics

Econometric methods in finance including specification, estimation, and testing in regression models as applied to financial problems. Analysis and forecasting of financial data including regression time series models. Detailed coverage of ARIMA models, nonstationary time-series, cointegration, and ARCH-GARCH models. Students use analytical software and basic programming/modeling skills on numerous real data sets. (4)

BMSF 507 : Mathematical and Stochastic Foundations for Finance

Mathematical tools essential for finance, including matrix algebra, constrained optimization, ordinary and partial differential equations, numerical methods for optimization and differential equations, and statistics. Using financial examples, the focus is on stochastic process and stochastic calculus. Topics include: general probability theory, martingales, Brownian motion and diffusion, jump processes, and Ito's lemma. Students gain modeling skills using analytical software. (4)

BMSF 512 : Financial Accounting: Reporting & Analysis I

Intermediate financial accounting, including financial reporting (IFRS and GAAP), financial statements analysis, analysis of inventories, assets, taxes, debt, and off-balance sheet assets, and liabilities. Emphasis on ratio and financial analysis, and the quality of reported data. (4)

BMSF 514 : Foundations of Finance

Foundations of finance across a wide spectrum of topics including the essentials of corporate finance, equity investments, fixed income, derivatives, alternative investments, and portfolio management. (4)

BMSF 518 : Financial Accounting: Reporting & Analysis II

Accounting topics including inventory, assets, inter-corporate investments, stock compensation, pensions, accounting for multinational firms, and financial statement analysis relevant to valuation. Includes accounting for business combinations. (4)

BMSF 530 : Financial Markets, Institutions, Intermediaries

Money and banking systems, both domestic and international. Efficiency and effectiveness of different markets and the institutions that regulate and control them. Includes the study of domestic (e.g., Fed, Treasury, SEC, FINRA, FDIC, SIPC) and international (e.g., BIS, IMF, World Bank) institutions, as well as the role of financial intermediaries (e.g., investment banks). Essentials of securities regulation (e.g., Securities Acts of 1933/4, Regulation FD, Sarbanes-Oxley, Gramm-Leach-Billey, Dodd-Frank, Volcker Rule). (4)

BMSF 532 : Valuation, Fixed Income, Derivatives, Alternatives

Introduction to various aspects of fixed income securities and markets. Covers classical fixed income valuation, including Treasury securities, valuation of fixed income securities, risk management, and term structure of interest rates as well as contingent-claims valuation such as mortgages and default risk. (4)

BMSF 534 : Portfolio Theory and Management

Portfolio theory and application. Includes the development of investment policy statement including asset allocation and security selection tools. Study of the management of individual/family/institutional/pension portfolios across asset classes (equity, fixed income, alternatives) with regard to risk management, tax efficiency, liquidity, and execution of portfolio decisions. Covers performance reporting and attribution, and manager selection processes. (4)

BMSF 536 : Advanced Corporate Finance

Issues faced by corporate financial managers within the firm at the firm- and investment levels. Covers firm financing structure, optimal capital structure derivation, financing alternatives, costs of financial distress, and financial securities (stocks, bonds, hybrids). Investment-level topics include tools for analyzing and financing projects, and intra-firm financial structuring alternatives. (4)

BMSF 538 : Risk Management

Comprehensive risk management frameworks to categorize and understand financial and non-financial risk. Includes the measurement of risk, as well as the tools used to manage and mitigate risk, including the use of derivatives. Covers the roles and aims of regulatory agencies and structures in managing risk. (2)

BMSF 548 : Topics in Finance

Covers contemporary and critical topics in finance. Specific topics, readings, and projects are determined by the instructor. May be repeated up to maximum of 4 hrs. (1 to 4)

BMSF 591 : Independent Study

Individualized reading and studies. Minimum supervision after initial planning of student's work. Rarely granted and requires approval of MSF director and consent of instructor. (1 to 4)

BMSF 595 : Internship

Application of finance in field setting. Credit granted determined by hours spent in working environment and depth of project associated with course of study. Pass/Fail. (1 to 4)

BMSF 599 : Capstone: Integration & Graduate Research in Finance

Program integration and research project in finance. (2 or 4)

ECON 503 : Economics for Finance

Macro and micro-economics including market forces of supply and demand, the goal of the firm, national income and accounts, business cycles, the monetary system, inflation, international trade and capital flows, currency exchange rates, monetary and fiscal policy, economic growth, effects of government regulation and the impact of economic factors on investment markets. (4)

ECON 516 : International Economics

Regional and international specialization, comparative costs, international payments and exchange rates; national policies that promote or restrict trade. (4)