Penn State introduces master of finance degree delivered online

Working professionals who want to advance their careers in finance can earn a master's degree conveniently and apply new knowledge on the job

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- The lingering effects of the global financial crisis, growing global diversification of investments and changes to the banking, securities, commodity and investment industries are all driving increased demand for professionals who can deal with finance issues. Nearly 50,000 openings for financial analysts, for example, will need to be filled each year in the coming decade, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects. To help meet this demand, Penn State will offer a master of finance degree online starting in January 2012.

"The finance field is becoming increasingly complex," said Simon Pak, associate professor of finance at Penn State Great Valley School of Graduate Professional Studies and lead faculty member for the new online master of finance. "There are finance professionals in financial companies, as well as in nonfinancial companies. By making our existing resident master of finance program available online, finance professionals have a more convenient way to advance their careers."

The 30-credit master of finance degree is offered by Penn State Great Valley and delivered online through Penn State’s World Campus. The program covers advanced financial theory and is practice oriented, with significant hands-on components. Since 2007, 60 students have completed the campus-based degree.

The online program can help students interested in careers in financial management, financial analysis, personal financial planning, financial consulting, banking, government and nonprofit organizations. Courses cover topics such as financial modeling and forecasting in corporate finance, financial markets and derivatives, real options, financial accounting, multinational managerial finance, mergers and acquisitions, portfolio management, and firm valuation. Course contents also are aligned with the CFA Candidate Body of Knowledge, which can be helpful to those seeking professional financial certifications, including Chartered Financial Analyst®.

"Students will develop core competencies and analytical skills for solving corporate financial problems and learn to become financial decision makers," Pak explained.

The first group of students will begin the program in January 2012 and will progress through the 10 seven-week courses together to complete the degree in 20 months. Each spring, a new cohort of students will start the program. Beginning in 2013, a fall cohort will be added.

Information about the Penn State online master of finance program is available by cellphone and computer.

Penn State World Campus specializes in adult online education, delivering more than 70 of Penn State's most highly regarded graduate, undergraduate and professional education programs through convenient online formats. Founded in 1998, Penn State World Campus is the University's 25th campus serving more than 8,500 students in all 50 states and around the world. World Campus is part of Penn State Outreach, the largest unified outreach organization in American higher education. Penn State Outreach serves more than 5 million people each year, delivering more than 2,000 programs to people in all 67 Pennsylvania counties, all 50 states and 114 countries worldwide.

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Last Updated August 23, 2011