The Master of Science in Applied Finance (MSAF) is a 36-unit, part-time program that can be completed in four trimesters. Specifically, the program is designed primarily to train students interested in careers in asset management. Students seeking careers in investment banking and private equity will also find this training desirable and conducive to entering careers in those industries. Classes are designed to include materials covered in levels 1, 2, and 3 of the Certified Financial Analyst (CFA) exam.
The program meets the following objectives for students’ learning:
- Demonstrate the ability to fully analyze the global and domestic macro economy.
- Fully analyze the financial standing of a company.
- Persuasively and professionally articulate their thinking.
- Incorporate ethical considerations in decision making.
- Apply quantitative and technical tools to analyze data.
Core MSAF courses include ACCT 652 Accounting Information and Control Systems ; DESC 656 Quantitative Analysis for Business Operations ; ECNM 657 Prices, Profit, and the Market Economy ; and FINC 655 Financial Management of the Firm . These courses are designed to provide the foundation for further course work in finance.
The MSAF program is further enhanced by the following courses: FINC 634 The Management of Financial Risk , FINC 638 Financial Modeling , FINC 640 Derivative Contracts , FINC 664 Business Analysis Using Financial Statements , FINC 668 Valuation and Corporate Combinations , FINC 669 Investments and Portfolio Management , and FINC 667 Global Capital Markets and Institutions .
Ideally, students will complete the MSAF program as a cohort.
Students who complete the Fully-Employed MSAF program may apply to waive up to 16 units (DESC 656 , ACCT 652 , ECNM 657 , and FINC 655 ) from the core course requirements for the Fully-Employed MBA program if they have achieved a minimum grade of “B” in each of these courses in the Fully-Employed MSAF program. Students may also apply to waive up to 6 units from the Fully-Employed MBA elective requirements if they have achieved a minimum grade of “B” in the course for which they are requesting a waiver. Students must meet all Fully-Employed MBA admission criteria in order to be admitted to the program. They must complete a minimum of 30 units in the Fully-Employed MBA program.
Admission Requirements for the MSAF
The MSAF application process is intended to ensure a good fit between the program’s objectives and the applicant’s experience, qualifications, and potential. Each applicant is assessed in a holistic way; no single criterion controls the admission decision.
To be considered eligible for admission to the MSAF program, an applicant must have an undergraduate degree with an acceptable grade point average from a regionally accredited four-year college or university or foreign institution. International academic institutions must be accredited by the ministry of education or like accrediting bodies from their respective countries.
- A completed online Application for Admission with a specified essay and a $75 payment for the nonrefundable application fee must be submitted electronically to the Graziadio School Admission Office.
- An official transcript with the baccalaureate degree posted and mailed directly by the registrar from the college or university that granted the undergraduate degree must be sent to the Graziadio School Admission Office. If work toward the undergraduate degree or any graduate work was completed at other colleges or universities, official transcripts from all these institutions must be submitted.
- An acceptable score on the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) taken within the last five years is required.
- Applicants either must be currently employed or must have a minimum of two years of work experience or its equivalent.
- Applicants who are not United States citizens or permanent residents or applicants who completed coursework outside of the United States must also meet the appropriate requirements for the Admission of International Students listed in the Admission Information section of the catalog.
Notification of Admission
The Admission Office will inform the applicant of the status of the application, but it is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that all necessary documents are on file by published deadlines for admission.
While acceptance to the program may allow an applicant to enroll for 45 days as an unclassified applicant, admission to Pepperdine University will not be fully considered until the application file is complete. No amount of credit taken while on unclassified status will assure a applicant of admission. Admission will be confirmed by a letter from the associate dean.
Leave of Absence
A leave of absence may be granted during a student’s course of study. A letter or an e-mail from the student’s Pepperdine e-mail account must be submitted to the Program Office indicating the reason for the leave and the projected time of return. Students may be granted a leave of absence for up to three consecutive trimesters. If a student requires a leave of absence longer than three consecutive trimesters, the student must petition the Program Committee. For information regarding the submission of this petition, contact an academic advisor. International students in F-1 visa status must obtain clearance from the Office of International Student Services before taking a leave of absence.
Standards and Measurements of Achievement for MSAF Students
Each course in the MSAF program has its own method for measuring achievement. At the beginning of each course, the standards of achievement and method of measurement for a particular course will be described in the course syllabus.
A student must maintain a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 throughout the program. All course grades assigned in the program are entered on the student’s official transcript and counted toward the cumulative grade point average. A core course in which a grade lower than “C-” is earned must be repeated before the student will be allowed to graduate. A grade lower than “C-” earned in an elective course must be made up by repeating any elective course. Upon approval by the Program Committee, a course in which a grade lower than “B” is earned may be repeated. However, a course may be repeated only once. In cases where a course has been repeated, both course grades earned remain on the transcript and count toward the cumulative grade point average.
Students’ academic records are reviewed at the end of each trimester. If a student’s grade point average falls below 3.0, the student is placed on academic probation. While on probation, students will be limited to enrollment in one course. Students placed on academic probation shall be informed of any conditions for removing the probationary status.
Because students must maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.0 to graduate with an MSAF degree, attention to the grade point average is of concern throughout the student’s enrollment. A student is subject to academic dismissal for any of the following deficiencies:
- Failure to earn at least a 3.0 grade point average in the first trimester of enrollment.
- Failure to achieve a cumulative grade point average of 3.0.
- Earning a grade of “B-” or lower during a trimester in which a student is on probation.
- Earning a grade lower than “B-” in more than two courses.
- Earning a grade lower than “D” in any course.