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Financial Economics: MS

Financial Economics

The master of science in financial economics is designed as a terminal, professional degree in financial economics. The curriculum includes courses in the key areas of finance and the supporting areas of economics and quantitative methods, and is designed to help students pass the first Chartered Financial Analyst exam at the end of their second semester in the program.

The CFA is the most internationally recognized and credible credential for financial professionals and is earned by passing a series of analytically rigorous exams. Students have the opportunity to work with qualified faculty members with extensive training in finance and financial macroeconomics. Faculty members are experts in economics and finance research and they have professional credentials and real-world experience.

The department is also one of the select few departments in the nation that provides students with access to Bloomberg Terminals and Training. These terminals not only support classroom instruction and faculty research, but provide a means for students to become certified in the use of Bloomberg, a skill that provides value to future employers once students begin their professional careers.

The oldest business school west of the Mississippi, USU has offered business degrees since 1894 and has long held prestigious accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International and continues to be on the forefront of advanced business education.

The MSFE prepares students for a wide range of careers both within and outside the financial industry, including:

  • Risk management
  • Asset management
  • Macroeconomic and financial forecasting
  • Trading
  • Financial and economic research

Admissions Requirements

Students from various majors are welcome to apply; however, it is preferred that students have taken courses in intermediate microeconomics and macroeconomics, econometrics or statistics, mathematical economics/calculus, and corporate finance.

Application Requirements:

  • Complete the online application
  • Pay the $55 application fee
  • Score at or above the 40th percentile for the verbal portion and above the 60th percentile for the quantitative portion on the GRE or GMAT
  • Have a 3.0 or higher GPA on your last 60 semester or 90 quarter credits
  • Provide transcripts of all college/university credits
  • Provide three contacts for letters of recommendation

International students have additional admissions requirements.

Admissions Deadlines

The department has the following deadline:

  • Fall semester – June 30
  • In order to increase chances for financial assistance, students should apply by March 15.

Master's Degree Plan Option(s)

Students can receive the MSFE by pursuing the following option:

  • The Plan B option requires the production of a paper or creative work of art and is expected to reflect equivalent scholarship standards as a thesis.

Financial Assistance

Most graduate students in this program receive placement as a research assistant, which includes a one-year, $9,000 stipend and subsidized health insurance.

A variety of funding opportunities are available, including fellowships, scholarships, tuition awards, and travel support.

Basudeb Biswas, PhD, University of Chicago
Area: International trade and economic development
Office: BUS 614
Phone: (435) 797-2304

Ben Blau, PhD, University of Mississippi
Assistant Professor
Area: Short-scale constraints, market efficiency informed trading
Office: BUS 603
Phone: (435) 797-2340

Tyler Bowles, PhD, University of North Carolina
Department Head, Professor
Area: Econometrics, international economics
Office: BUS 615
Phone: (435) 797-2378

Frank Caliendo, PhD, Utah State University
Associate Professor
Area: Macroeconomic dynamics with a focus on public and private pension design, behavioral economics and finance, saving for retirement, household finance, mathematics
Office: BUS 602
Phone: (435) 797-2963

Drew Dahl, PhD, University of Tennessee
Howard Dance Professorship
Area: Financial institutions, international finance
Office: BUS 804
Phone: (435) 797-1911

Christopher Fawson, PhD, Texas A&M University
Senior Associate Dean
Area: Senior Associate Dean
Office: BUS 309
Phone: (435) 797-2320

James Feigenbaum, PhD, University of Iowa
Assistant Professor
Area: Lifecycle consumption and saving, macroeconomics, finance, econophysics
Office: BUS 620
Phone: (435) 797-2316

T. Scott Findley, PhD, Colorado State University
Assistant Professor
Area: Pension design within the context of life-cycle consumption, saving theory
Office: BUS 612
Phone: (435) 797-2371

John Gilbert, PhD, University of Auckland
Vernon Maughan Buehler and MaRee C. Buehler Professor
Area: International trade theory and policy, applied general equilibrium modeling, development economics
Office: BUS 604
Phone: (435) 797-2314

Terry Glover, PhD, Purdue University
Area: Production economics and policy
Office: BUS 607
Phone: (435) 797-2297

Dwight Israelsen, PhD, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Director of International Academic Initiatives
Area: Comparative systems, economic history
Office: BUS 608
Phone: (435) 797-2298

Austin Kwag, PhD, University of Tennassee - Knoxville
Associate Professor
Area: Investments, corporate finance
Office: BUS 605
Phone: (435) 797-2361

Robert Malko, PhD, Purdue University
Area: Corporate and energy utility finance
Office: BUS 606
Phone: (435) 797-2363

Shannon Peterson, PhD, The Ohio State University
Clinical Assistant Professor
Area: History of economics, political science, international relations and trade
Office: BUS 309
Phone: (435) 797-3966

Randy Simmons, PhD, University of Oregon
Area: Environmental politics and policy, public choice
Office: BUS 618
Phone: (435) 797-1310

Alan Stephens, PhD, University of Utah
Associate Professor
Area: Corporate finance, systems thinking, investments
Office: BUS 806
Phone: (435) 797-2367

Diana Thomas, PhD, George Mason University
Assistant Professor
Area: Public choice, development economics
Office: BUS 616
Phone: (435) 797-2013

Professional Organizations, Honor Societies, and Clubs

Finance and Economics Club: The mission of the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business Finance and Economics Club is to be a career accelerator for students by exposing them to exceptional speakers, providing experiences for hands-on learning and developing lasting relationships with alumni to increase networking opportunities.

Beta Gamma Sigma: BGS is the international honor society serving business programs accredited by AACSB International (Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business). Membership in Beta Gamma Sigma is the highest recognition an AACSB business student can receive.

Jeffrey D. Clark Center for Entrepreneurship: This Center prepares tomorrow’s leaders by providing both inside-the-classroom instruction and outside-the-classroom experiences in innovative business thinking, new venture competencies, and ethical leadership to strengthen local, national and global economies and societies. The curriculum and programs are designed to take students through the stages of new venture creation: opportunity assessment, business model development, planning, funding, marketing and growth. The Center helps students develop skills in both enterprise creation and social venturing, and emphasizes entrepreneurship as a leadership model for existing organizations. World-renowned faculty and successful entrepreneurs from a variety of industries teach in formal and informal settings.

Huntsman Computer Laboratory: The Jon M. Huntsman School of Business Computer Labs are located in the Basement (1st floor) of the Business Building. The labs are open access except for when classes are being held in the rooms. A schedule of each room will soon be available online. Schedules for each room are posted at each entrance. The Labs has over 150 computers running Windows 8 Plus 10 Apple iMacs running both OS X and Windows 7.

Partners In Business: Partners In Business is a student-run, non-profit organization sponsored by the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business at Utah State University. The program holds a series of professional business conferences featuring topics on operational excellence, accounting and leadership. Students are encouraged to attend and network with industry leaders, faculty and gain insight to improve business practices.

Small Enterprise Education and Development Program (SEED): SEED connects skilled and passionate students with the opportunity to empower individuals, families and communities through teaching enterprise creation and sustainability in developing regions of the world. SEED students make an impact in the world while having a transformative experience that distinguishes them from among their peers.


Rick Hornsby
Lecturer, and Graduate Program Director
Office: EBB 607
Phone: (435) 797-5786

- Economics and Finance Department

- Jon M. Huntsman School of Business

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