Q: How many credits are required for the Master of Finance - Financial Data Analytics Option?
A: The program is 33 credits/11 courses.
Q: Is the program accredited?
A: Our program is fully accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) International, a standing earned by less than five percent of the world's business programs. In addition, Penn State Great Valley has a chapter of Beta Gamma Sigma, an international honor society established in 1913. Membership in Beta Gamma Sigma is the highest recognition a business student can receive in an undergraduate or graduate program at an AACSB-accredited institution.
Q: Is the program STEM designated?
A: This program is STEM designated, allowing 36 months total of Optional Practical Training (OPT) compared to 12 months for non-STEM degrees.
Q: Does it matter if I don't have an undergraduate degree in finance?
A: An undergraduate degree in finance is not required; we examine a candidate’s quantitative skills when making an admission decision. In addition, our curriculum will prepare those candidates without any finance background with necessary foundation knowledge. Please refer to the Master of Finance- Financial Data Analytics Option Plan of Study for details.
Q: Can I choose a specific concentration?
A: The Financial Data Analysis Option allows you to specialize your studies on big data and analytical problems in finance and culminates in a capstone course that immerses you in real-world case analyses. The curriculum is designed to enable to you to solve practical problems such as financial fraud detection and financial forecast risks.
Q: Does the program offer any experiential learning opportunities?
A: Our courses employ experiential learning techniques to bridge the gap between theory and practice. For example, using up-to-date data from various sources and real-life scenarios, students assess, make financial projections, and create optimal stock portfolios tailored to a customer’s needs.
Q: Do you allow students to transfer credits into the program?
A: A maximum of 10 graduate credits earned at another accredited institution may be applied. Courses must have been completed, with a grade of B or better, within five years prior to the date of enrollment. Up to 15 credits from Penn State nondegree and graduate certificate courses can be applied to a degree program—more information can be found here. Transfer credit approval is granted by the student's academic adviser and division head after an admission offer has been accepted.
Q: I am worried about flexibility. How are classes delivered?
A: Our courses are offered in seven-week sessions. This is not a cohort program, meaning students have the flexibility to take courses at their own pace, whenever is most convenient for them. Classes are usually scheduled one day a week for three hours in the evening. Most courses require one in-person meeting per week, with additional work being offered online asynchronously. Our students find this mix of in-person and online courses offers the opportunity to better collaborate, network with peers, and take advantage of our campus resources.
Q: I've been out of school for 15 years. Will I feel out of place taking classes after all that time?
A: The average age of our students is 32. You will find most of our students share the same concern and worry how they will be able to juggle graduate school with an already busy life. Our financial data analytics program is designed with the needs of working adults in mind.
Each semester, prospective students can take advantage of our “test drive” program, which offers the opportunity to sit in on a class. To arrange a test drive, email [email protected] and a program representative will reach out to discuss options with you.
Q: How long will it take me to graduate?
A: The choice is yours! We provide flexibility for students, many of whom may be using tuition benefits from their employer or financing their studies on their own. You can take up to eight years to complete a degree program, and up to three years to complete a graduate certificate. You can expect to complete our 33-credit financial data analytics program in one year with a fall admission and if attending classes full-time, or two years if going part-time. Applications are considered for the fall and spring semesters.
Q: Are career services provided?
A: Yes. We have a Career Management Services office that provides one-on-one career advancement support, internship guidance, access to career fairs and other career events with local and national companies, as well as an array of other services. An additional perk of being part of the Penn State family is free career services for life!
Q: Is there an application fee? What are the application deadlines?
A: Yes, there is a $65 application fee. Schedule a meeting with a program representative to discuss eligibility for an application fee waiver. We recommend applying no later than July 15 for a fall (end of August) program start, or December 6 for a spring (January) start. See the admission requirements page for more information. International application deadlines may differ; for more information visit the international applicant page.
Q: Is the GMAT or GRE ever waived?
A: A GMAT/GRE waiver can be requested and is dependent on a candidate’s previous academic history and professional work experience. Schedule a meeting with a program representative to discuss the waiver policy.
Q: Where can I find information on scholarships and funding options?
A: There are a variety of scholarships available to half-time and full-time students who meet certain criteria. More information can be found here.
Q: Are there program metrics?
A: The Graduate School provides metrics on admission data, GMAT/GRE scores, enrollment, student demographics, time to degree, and degree conferral; more information can be found here.