Master of Science in Finance (MSF)

Rigorous. Relevant. Recognized. 

Niagara University’s master of science in finance provides students with a rigorous, advanced study focused on corporate finance and investments. 

Offered through Niagara's Holzschuh College of Business Administration, the 30+ credit hour program can be completed over a one-year period with evening and Saturday classes.

  • Up to four foundation classes may be waived or transferred in for candidates with high-performing undergraduate degrees in business.
  • Seven core classes provide a thorough foundation in the field of finance.
  • The balance of three advised electives are customized to a student's desired career path, from either accounting or finance tracks.

Course details are further defined here.

Students completing the program will be qualified to work at banks, investment management, and consulting firms.

Finance Foundation Courses*

Prior to beginning our program, students must demonstrate competence in the following business foundation courses.  If you received your bachelor's degree in business, these courses are subject to be waived. 

If you received a non-business bachelor's degree, students can obtain competence through our MBA IQ Program

  • MBA IQ is a self-paced module based system
  • You can begin this program at any time but must complete the subject matter prior to registering for the associated course
  • Students may need all or only a few modules
  • Our Academic Advising team will evaluate your official transcripts to determine what modules are required for your admission
  • Students must submit their pass rating from each required module.  Should you fail a module, you can repeat as needed
  • ACC 505: Financial and Management Accounting

    Credit Hours: 3

    This course covers fundamental concepts and procedures of financial and management accounting for business decisions. Financial accounting provides information primarily for external decision makers such as investors, creditors, suppliers, and government agencies. Management accounting serves the needs of managers to fulfill organizational objectives. Case studies will illustrate accounting and ethical issues. Topics include generally accepted accounting principles, international accounting standards, financial accounting procedures, financial reporting, inventory and depreciation methods, and cost analysis.

  • MGT 515: Analysis of Quantitative Data

    Credit Hours: 3

    The course focuses on the following topics (1) graphical and arithmetic description of data, (2) the use of computer software in solving statistical problems, (3) the theory of probability, (4) probability distributions and sampling distributions, and (5) estimation and hypothesis testing.

  • ECO 525: Economics for Managers

    Credit Hours: 3

    This course is a prerequisite course for ECO 621. The intent is to develop the basic tools of economic analysis. The microeconomic component of the course examines decision making by the individual economic unit, addressing such topics as demand and supply, price and output determination, cost behavior, profit maximization, and competition. The macroeconomic component examines models to explain: national output, inflation, and unemployment; and how fiscal and monetary policies stabilize the economy.

  • FIN 610: Financial Management

    Credit Hours: 3

    Using a balanced approach of theory and application, this class focuses on the analytical techniques involved in financial planning and decision making in the firm. Primary emphasis is placed on the importance of strategic investment and financing choices and the logic behind these critical decisions made by the financial manager. Case method will be used to apply principles developed in managerial finance to situations involving financial planning, valuation, capital budgeting risk analysis, and cost of capital.

* For students who have previously studied and successfully completed undergraduate coursework on the topics covered, prerequisite courses may be waived. Evaluating undergraduate coursework for substitution credit will be done on a case-by-case basis. Prospective students are encouraged to contact the Office of Graduate Business studies with specific questions regarding prerequisite course substitutions.

Block 1 | Finance Core: 21 Credit Hours

Classes that provide conceptual integration of accounting, economics, finance, and financial management.

  • ACC 601: Strategic Accounting Analysis and Planning

    Credit Hours: 3

    An advanced core course in strategic accounting which focuses on the interpretation and analysis of accounting information for business decisions. Case studies will be used to illustrate strategic decision processes. International accounting issues will be addressed. Topics include financial statement analysis, cash flow, case studies in budgeting, total quality management, activity-based management, target costing, job-order cost systems, cost allocation methods, and variable costing.

  • FIN 643: Corporate Financial Policy

    Credit Hours: 3

    This course focuses on financial decisions. The course will include cases that illustrate different real-world financial situations faced by corporations. This course should help prepare students for careers in commercial and investment banking, corporate financial management, as well as more general business careers that have a substantial finance component. Topics covered will include capital structure, payout policy, security issues, mergers and acquisitions, and risk management.

  • FIN 644: Investments

    Credit Hours: 3

    This course deals with the theories, analysis and management of fixed income and equity securities in a global capital market. The emphasis is on the application of finance, economics, accounting and statistics to the valuation of the aggregate stock market, alternative industries, asset pricing models, and portfolio management.

  • FIN 645: International Finance

    Credit Hours: 3

    The focus of this course is on the international financial environment in which business firms operate and in which financial service providers compete. Attention is given to foreign direct investment, risk analysis, capital budgeting, international banking, and portfolio management. In addition, advanced topics such as international taxation, currency, and interest rate risk management will be discussed. The material presented will assist in the understanding of global management, international banking operations, and international financial institutions.

  • ECO 640: Econometrics

    Credit Hours: 3

    The objective of this course is to prepare students for empirical work in economics. Specifically, topics covered will include basic data analysis, regression analysis, testing and forecasting. Students are provided the opportunity to use economic data to test economic theories. We will utilize computer software in all facets of our approach. This is believed to be a more applied course. Ultimately knowing the limits of software packages and what theories mean for empirical analysis will be stressed.

  • FIN 615: Valuation & Financial Modeling

    Credit Hours: 3

    This course focuses on how assets, securities, and firms are valued in capital markets. We broaden the valuation techniques developed in financial principles classes and apply these methods across a range of financial data and assets. The course provides skills in valuation modelling used in other finance courses.

  • FIN 690: Applied Portfolio Management

    Credit Hours: 3

    This course blends theoretical concepts of equity analysis and portfolio management with practical experience in running the Monteagle Fund, Niagara University’s student-run investment fund. Students conduct analysis of potential stock investments and monitor existing portfolio holdings.

Block 2 | Advised Elective: 9 Credit Hours

Students have the option to take any three courses below.

  • FIN 681: Derivative Securities

    Credit Hours: 3

    This course is an introduction to the analysis and use of derivative securities, such as options, futures, forwards and swaps. Topics covered will include arbitrage, Binomial and Black Scholes pricing models, hedging, swaps and the increasingly critical role of derivatives in the financial system

  • FIN 689: CFA Exam Review

    Credit Hours: 3

  • ACC 602: Advanced Business Tax Strategy

    Credit Hours: 3

    This course begins with an overview of business taxation in the U.S., and international tax planning issues. This foundation serves as a basis for the development of business tax strategies for successful competition in the global marketplace. Research and case studies of international tax issues are explored. Topics include tax planning and administration, choice and tax implications of business entities, international tax principles, wealth management, and ethical issues.

  • ACC 603: Advanced Accounting Theory

    Credit Hours: 3

    This course explores the underlying concepts of financial accounting theory and its application to current accounting practice. Standards of the U.S. Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) and the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) are emphasized. Topics include the conceptual framework of accounting, financial accounting and reporting standards, and the rationale for generally accepted accounting standards. Research into the development of accounting theory is included.

  • ACC 604: Advanced Auditing

    Credit Hours: 3

    An advanced course in audit theory and practice, covering auditing concepts and procedures, audit research, computer auditing, and Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) audits. Computerized audit problems and case studies illustrate audit concepts and practice.

  • FIN 686: Financial Institutions

    Credit Hours: 3

    This course is a comprehensive review of the structure, function, and operation of financial institutions. Its focus is primarily with commercial banks, savings banks, investment banks, hedge funds, insurance companies and investment management firms. The course has a special emphasis on identifying, quantifying, and managing the risks faced by each of these organizations, including interest rate risk, credit risk, liquidity risk, market risk, and foreign exchange risk. For each of these risks, specific tools and techniques to manage these risks are examined and tested, such as asset liability matching, securitization, forwards, futures, swaps, caps, floors and collars.

  • FIN 685: Fixed Income Securities

    Credit Hours: 3

    This course develops an understanding of all aspects of fixed income securities investing, including trading, valuation, portfolio strategy and risk management. It covers the analysis of fixed income securities including bonds, bonds with embedded options, structured credit products, and asset backed securities. In addition, real estate investment is reviewed.