URI introduces Rhode Island’s first master’s in finance degree program

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KINGSTON, R.I. – April 2, 2015 – The University of Rhode Island’s College of Business Administration has added a new graduate program that many students and professionals in the finance industry can count on to sharpen their skills. The program was approved by the Rhode Island Board of Education on Wednesday, April 1.

The University’s master of science in finance (MSF) will be the first and only program to be offered in Rhode Island. The program will join the college’s other accredited graduate programs in business at the Providence Campus, the epicenter of the state’s financial district.

“This is a win-win for current and new professionals in the finance and insurance industries and the State of Rhode Island,” said interim College of Business Dean Kathryn Jervis. “The new MS in finance will enrich the skills of professionals within these industries and provide companies with a new pool of talent in this competitive market.”

URI’s program will provide a new option for people living or working in Rhode Island who want to continue their education in this high profile field. The program is available at regional tuition rates to students living within 25 miles of the Rhode Island border.

Applications are now being accepted for the program that is scheduled to begin in Jan. 2016. The program will take one-year (two semesters and a summer) to complete.

“The MSF is considered to be one of the best graduate degrees to earn. Because of the strong analytical skills needed in complex financial situations, having an MSF often leads to the best job opportunities for graduates,” said Finance Professor Bing-Xuan Lin, who coordinates all of the colleges finance programs. “It is a giant career step for recent graduates and professionals in a host of public and private sector enterprises.”

MSF applicants will typically have an undergraduate degree in business, economics, engineering, computer science, or math. Collectively, URI, Brown and other Rhode Island colleges and universities graduate about 3,000 to 4,000 students each year in these disciplines.

Unlike the traditional MBA, the one-year MSF program is designed to help financial professionals advance their careers through comprehensive training in global financial markets, financial theory, analysis, and strategy. It provides students with a focused, intensive course of study in the technical aspects of corporate finance, business and security valuation, trading strategies, hedging, and corporate reorganization. The curriculum will also be helpful to students preparing for their CFA or CFP exams.

Last year, the College of Business expanded its undergraduate program in finance through a dual degree with Zhongnan University in Wuhan, China. There will be 30 students enrolled and the MSF may provide additional opportunity for these students to continue their studies in the U.S.

The URI College of Business Administration, with more than 1,500 undergraduate students and 250 graduate students, has served as the leader in business education, research, and outreach in the State of Rhode Island and beyond since it was founded in 1923. It is the first accredited business school in Rhode Island (1969) and has the first accredited accounting program at both the undergraduate and graduate levels in the Northeast (1993). The College’s undergraduate finance program is the only Chartered Financial Analysts (CFA) partner institute in New England.