Master of Science in Financial Services

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the difference between enrolling in the MSFS program and an MBA with a concentration in finance?
The MSFS program is a specialized Master's program, with all coursework in finance. The MBA is a generalized business degree that focuses on four general themes - ethics, technology, globalism, and the consumer.

2. Is the MSFS program full-time or part-time?
Our program is designed as a part-time program, with courses offered in the evening and occasionally on Saturdays, to accommodate the schedules of working professionals. It can, however, be pursued full-time for international students whose Visa requirements necessitate a full-time (3 course, or 9-credit) schedule.

3. What if I am interested earning my CFP?
Six courses in the MSFS curriculum satisfy the education requirement of the CFP Board. These six courses can also be taken as a stand alone certificate program for candidates who already possess an MBA from an AACSB accredited college or university.

4. How is the CFP certificate program different from a CFP review program?
CFP certificate program
is a graduate education program delivered in a traditional classroom environment. We provide a solid educational foundation in the subjects required by the CFP Board. However, we do not teach to the exam, nor is this a prep course..

5. I presently have a CFP® (or CFA, or CPA). What is the benefit of receiving a MSFS?
40% of students entering the  MSFS program
have already earned either a masters degree or the CFP®, CPA or CFA designations. Often students who have earned an MBA are looking to expand their knowledge in finance, or are looking to sit for a professional certification exam in financial services. Many students who have earned a CFP®, CPA or CFA are looking to add an additional masters degree to their resume in order to enhance their knowledge of their profession.

6. Are laptops required for any classes?
Laptops are welcome, but not required. Our business school is housed in Mandeville Hall and has been recognized by the Chronicle of Higher Education as one of the most technologically advanced business school buildings in the United States. Every desk in every classroom is wired to the Internet (both ethernet and wireless).

7. Can I complete the degree at the Ursinus campus?
Saint Joseph's University uses Ursinus College in Collegeville, PA, as an extension campus, which can be convenient for students who live or work west of the city. It is possible to complete your degree or certificate program at either our main campus, Ursinus, or both campuses.

8. How much does the program cost?
Tuition for 2012 - 2013 academic year is $892 per credit, or $2,676 per course. Note: all MSFS courses are three credits each.

9. What is the "tuition deferral" program and how does it work?
Students who receive tuition reimbursement from their employers may participate in our Employer Tuition Deferral Program. You will need to provide proof of employment, a copy of your company's reimbursement policy and a $35 non-refundable processing fee. Your company must agree to pay Saint Joseph's University directly within 30 days after the final day of the semester. This program saves the student from "fronting" the money and waiting for their tuition reimbursement check.

10. How long does it take to complete the program? How long can I take? How quickly can I get complete it?
On average, it takes our students two years and six months to complete the program. Students must complete the program within six years. The MSFS program requires completion of 30 credits depending (some prerequisite coursework may be required). Prerequisite requirements can be met through transfer of undergraduate credits, challenge exams, or completing actual prerequisite coursework (prerequisite courses are listed and taught at the graduate level). Courses are offered in the fall, spring and across two (2) summer semesters. Some students have aggressively completed the MSFS degree in one (1) year.

11. Is the GMAT required?
The GMAT is required for acceptance into the MSFS program. The GMAT can be waived for applicants who have already earned Masters Degree in Business or a quantitative field. The GMAT will also be waived for applicants who have earned the professional designation of CFP®, CPA or CFA.

12. Can I take the GRE instead of the GMAT?
Both Test are acceptable.

13. Does a CFP (or other designation) waive me from the prerequisite courses?
Prerequisite courses can be waived due to undergraduate or graduate transfer credit. Your prior academic background will be reviewed for evidence of two semesters of Accounting (both managerial and financial), two semesters of Economics (both micro and macro), two semesters of Statistics or quantitative analysis, and one semester of Finance.

14. What are the professional backgrounds of students entering the program?
Our students are grouped into five (5) principal categories:

1). those who are pursuing careers in financial planning;
2). those are pursuing careers in financial analysis;
3). those who are pursuing careers in corporate finance;
4). those who are transitioning their careers into finance;
5). recent college graduates looking to gain a competitive edge as they begin their careers.

15. Is the MSFS program accredited?
Yes, all programs offered by Erivan K. Haub School of Business are accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), the professional accrediting body for business schools.

16. What is the difference between the MSFS and a MBA with a finance concentration?
The MSFS curriculum is an in-depth study of finance theory and its real-world application. The MBA curriculum is broad-based, covering accounting, finance, economics, management and information systems.

17. When can I apply for admission to a program?
For most graduate program at Saint Joseph's students can apply and be admitted for the Fall (September), Spring (January) and Summer (May) semesters. It is recommended that you apply for admission no later than one month prior to the semester you wish to begin. In certain cases applications may be accepted up to the beginning of the semester. International students should apply for admission no later than two months prior to the beginning of the semester in which they wish to begin.

18. I'd like to meet with an advisor to discuss a graduate program. How do I do this?
Saint Joseph's has two ways to help you meet your goal. Our Graduate Directors meet individually with prospective students to discuss their interest and answer their questions about attending Saint Joseph's University. To request an appointment, click on the "Contact Us" link in the upper right hand corner of this web page. We also host Open Houses and Information Sessions periodically throughout the year. Click the "Open House" link on the left side of the web page to check the schedule and make the reservation.

19. Can I apply online for admission to a graduate program?
Sure! We provide a very easy way to complete your application online. There is a $35 application fee.
Click on the "Apply" link at the top of this web page.