The USF Professional MSFA program is specifically structured to meet the special needs of working finance professionals. The two-year program (22 months) allows busy investment professionals to integrate the demands of their careers with graduate work and study for the CFA® exams.
For more information on the partnership, please see the CFA Program Partner page. The MSFA programs provide a coordinated, sequential approach to the tools and knowledge covered by the CFA Candidate Body of Knowledge.
The MSFA program takes place in a high-tech classroom environment where faculty and students have real-time access to a large variety of financial software programs and data.
The Professional program consists of 36 graduate units. Courses vary from 1 to 3 units, depending on the length of the course. Saturday courses are held from 8:00 am to 12:00 noon and 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm (with a one-hour lunch break).
The program begins in August of each year (fall admission). All classes in this full-time program are offered on Saturdays, and the program can be completed entirely on Saturdays. There are no classes held in the summer or during major holidays.
For more information on courses and a sample schedule, please visit the Courses page.
Goals of the Programs
- Ensure a thorough understanding of industry practice and standards as embodied in the skills and knowledge required by the CFA® designation.
- Master the fundamental economic techniques for valuing financial assets.
- Provide an interdisciplinary approach to the study of financial markets and the valuation of financial assets.
- Apply quantitative methods and economic theory to the analysis and management of financial asset portfolios.
- Understand the shortcomings of traditional accounting practice in the valuation process.
- Develop a broad understanding of the micro, macro and international trends that influence the values of financial assets and the evolution of financial markets.
- Study the role of ethical behavior in promoting the operational integrity of financial markets.
Theory and Practice
The MSFA provides a unique combination of academic rigor and practical expertise. The Program faculty include both USF professors and Bay Area financial professionals who are CFA charterholders to deliver a program strong in both theory and practical applications.
The Cohort Experience
Students in the MSFA progress through the program as a single group (or "cohort") of peers, who start together in August and finish after a set sequence of courses. The cohort model of education allows faculty to tailor practical examples and assignments in the courses to the unique needs and interests of individuals in each cohort.
Complementary strengths within each cohort provide students with the opportunity to learn with and from one another throughout the program. The cohort structure also encourages study groups that provide mutual support during the MSFA coursework and study for CFA exams.
The cohort structure reinforces mutual support throughout the program and encourages MSFA students to develop collegial and professional networks that continue well beyond the program.
CFA® is a registered trademark of the CFA Institute.