Invest in your future
Credit hours: 30+ (possible prerequisite)
Online and evening class options
Fully online option
Start terms: fall, spring, summer
A degree with high return
Our program has deep industry ties that connect you directly to companies inside and outside the classroom. Classes are held in the evenings and online, so you can take classes at times that work for your schedule. Our program offers you hands-on learning with experience in software and databases, such as Bloomberg, Morningstar, and CQG.
The first of its kind, the Center focuses on a broad range of commodities, including agriculture, energy, and mining. The Center’s initiatives include hosting internationally-renowned experts as guest speakers, an industry-focused symposium, and field trips to leading companies.
In our MS Finance and Risk Management program, you’ll gain insight into the economics and finance behind modern business and add critical quantitative skills to your resume.
As a part of the CFA Institute’s University Affiliation Program, a majority of the curriculum reflects the practice of investment management. By graduation, you’ll be prepared to pass the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) exam and land upper-level finance positions.
A hands-on degree, you’ll have the opportunity to dive deep into special topics like behavioral and political finance and international corporate governance. With five specialization options, you can also choose to tailor your degree to focus on commodities, risk management and insurance, economics, financial analysis, or general finance.
Quantitative skills are integrated throughout the curriculum. At our Commodities and Finance Lab, you’ll be able to participate in commodity market analysis, futures and derivatives trading, and portfolio management. Computer terminals are outfitted with the following software:
- IHS Markit
- Trading Technologies
The MS Finance and Risk Management curriculum consists of 30 hours of core courses and finance electives. There is also a three-hour prerequisite that may be waived based on prior business education.
Financial accounting prerequisite (3 hours)
This course may be waived if you have completed one undergraduate or graduate financial accounting course from an accredited institution with specific grade requirements.
Finance core courses (18 hours)
Grow your quantitative skills and theoretical knowledge in tandem with each other to better analyze financial trends and market changes. Course topics include:
- Financial management
- Macroeconomics and financial markets
- Quantitative methods for finance
- Applied economics for managers
- Investment management analysis
- Survey of financial and commodity derivatives
Finance specialization (12 hours)
Pursue one of five specializations in general finance, financial analysis and management, commodities, risk management and insurance, and economics. Options include a number of special topics courses that reflect modern trends in the financial markets. Course topics include:
- Financial modeling
- Strategic risk management
- Behavioral and political finance
- International corporate governance
- Probabilistic modeling
- Mergers and acquisitions
You will choose one of the following specializations as a part of your degree. Each specialization requires 12 hours of coursework.
This specialization allows students to customize their studies to finance-focused courses. It also allows flexibility to take risk or commodities courses. This is specialization can be done completely online. Course topics include:
- Financial statement analysis
- Entrepreneurial financial management
Financial Analysis and Management
This specialization caters to those looking at careers in corporate finance, financial analysis and management, acquisitions and corporate restructuring, private equity, or investment banking. Course topics include:
- Financial decisions and policies
- Business firm valuation
- International corporate governance
This specialization targets those looking to advance their careers in investments and trading in assets and derivatives. You’ll be able to fully leverage the resources from the J.P. Morgan Center for Commodities. Course topics include:
- Foundations in commodities
- Commodity supply chain management
- Trading in commodity and financial markets
- Probabilistic modeling
Risk Management and Insurance
Risk management is a field with huge demand for talent. 50% of the industry is expected to retire in the next few years. Learn how to identify, evaluate, and mitigate risks in relation to financial decisions. This is specialization can be done completely online. Course topics include:
- Cyber Risk Management
- Strategic Risk Management
- Corporate Risk Management,
- Global Risk Management,
- Principles of Risk & Insurance
Build a strong foundation of macro and microeconomics coursework that directly relates to the finance profession. Some courses are taken through the economics department and may require additional economics prerequisites. Course topics include:
- Mathematical economics
- Microeconomic theory
- Macroeconomic theory
We offer this degree entirely online. The online program has the same requirements as the on-campus program and is taught by the same professors. You can blend campus courses, hybrid courses, and fully online courses to fit your schedule.
The financial analysis, commodities, and economics specializations require some on-campus learning. Specializations in finance or risk management and insurance can be completed entirely online.
MS Finance and Risk Management
Value 1: Think Critically
Outcome: Apply appropriate theories to available economic and financial data to arrive at value-maximizing decisions.
Value 2: Analyze Quantitative Data
Outcome: Apply quantitative models, methods, tools and/or frameworks, combined with theoretical knowledge, to a set of applied financial problems.
Value 3: Take a Global Perspective
Outcome: Evaluate the impact of global financial and economic contexts on business strategy and operations.
Value 4: Behave Ethically
Outcome: Apply appropriate theories to incorporate ethics into investment analysis and the financial decision-making process.
These objectives are assessed in relevant courses across the curriculum using exam questions.
Finance jobs are found in nearly all corporate, public sector and non-profit organizations. Key areas include corporate or public finance, banking, and investment services.
Finance Job Titles
- Budget Analyst
- Compliance Analyst
- Credit Analyst
- Financial Analyst
- Investment/Portfolio Analyst
- Insurance Agent
- Operations Analyst
- Loan Office/Banker
- Financial Advisor/Consultant
- Fixed Income Associate
- Equity Research Associate
- Retirement Associate
- Asset Analyst
- Wealth Advisor
Visit our Careers page for more detailed information on the resources available.
The cost of tuition for the MS Finance and Risk Management degree is different for in-state and out-of-state students.
Residents of western states may qualify for in-state tuition. The Western Regional Graduate Program (WRGP) requires that students maintain current residency of WRGP state until degree completion.
Scholarships are available for students. As a current student, you can apply for scholarships every semester. Some awards are based on program and course enrollment.
Prospective students (not yet admitted):
Newly Admitted and Continuing Students:
You can apply for additional scholarships every semester of enrollment. Some awards may be specific to individual programs or enrollment in specific courses. Certain specializations including risk management and insurance, commodities, and entrepreneurship have additional scholarship opportunities.
Dual degree options for Master of Science programs include all of our MBA programs and all Business School Master of Science programs. We design a specific degree plan so you get through both programs as quickly and cost-effectively as possible. The amount of credits in each dual degree depends on the amount of overlap between degree programs. Eligible Master of Science programs include:
- MS Accounting
- MS Business Analytics
- MS Finance and Risk Management
- MS Global Energy Management
- MS Information Systems
- MS International Business
- MS Management
- MS Marketing
If you are applying for both degrees, you will only need to submit one online application and pay one application fee. Be aware that you must meet specific admission standards for each degree. For more information about dual degree options and the application process, please contact BSchool.Admissions@ucdenver.edu.
Partner Dual Degree Programs
We have also partnered with other CU Denver departments to offer dual degree options for the following programs. You will need to apply to both programs separately and follow the admission requirements for each program.
- MA Economics from the CU Denver College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
- Graduate School of Banking at Colorado
$50 domestic, $75 international application fee
Official transcripts from each college or university attended
English language proficiency—international applicants only
Applicants are required to submit all application materials. Interviews are not a part of the admission process. To receive priority admission, we must have received your online application and all other required materials including transcripts and GMAT/GRE scores by the deadline.
You can check your admission status online through the account you created for the online application. You will receive a final decision by email within two to three weeks from the submission of all materials.
- Applicants must have completed an undergraduate program at an accredited United States college or its equivalent in another country.
- No work experience or formal business education is required for admission, however, you may have to provide a GMAT or GRE score if you do not have enough work experience, see below.
The GMAT/GRE is not required for this program
The MS in Finance and Risk Management program does not require GMAT or GRE scores for their degree program as part of the graduate admissions requirements. The requirements are a cumulative GPA of 3.25 or better from a US accredited four-year undergraduate institution or the successful completion of a graduate degree, and five or more years of full-time professional work experience.
However, if you received your bachelor’s degree with a grade point average of less than 3.25 or have less than 5 years of professional work experience, you will be asked to submit a statement that outlines other indicators of exceptional motivation, such as solid upper-division performance, GMAT or GRE scores, and other relevant professional experience. The MS Finance and Risk Management admissions committee may require a minimum GMAT or GRE score for students that do not automatically qualify by GPA and prior work.
How Decisions Are Made
The admissions committee considers each candidate’s entire record of achievement. This is demonstrated through:
- Academic transcripts
- Essay responses
- Work experience
- Extracurricular and community activities
- Letters of recommendation if applicable
- GMAT/GRE scores if applicable
No work experience or formal business education is required for admission. However, professional experience strengthens your application. Candidates with less work experience can show potential through academic and experiential success.
For any questions, please contact our admissions team at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 303-315-8200.
International graduate applicants must have their academic credentials evaluated by either Educational Credential Evaluators (ECE) or World Education Services (WES). If you have already had an international credential evaluation from another company, please contact CU Denver International Admissions at email@example.com to determine whether it meets our requirements.
To meet the English Language Proficiency (ELP) criteria, you must either showcase your proficiency through past education in English instruction or an English Language Proficiency test. If you are a citizen of a country whose official language is English, you do not have to prove proficiency. See below for a listing of accepted countries.
To claim proficiency, you must complete one of the following criteria. Please note that test scores are valid for two years.
- Submit a TOEFL score that meets the minimum requirements of 83 (IBT) or 560 (PBT).
The minimum IBT sub-scores for each section are:
- Reading: 18
- Listening: 17
- Speaking: 20
- Writing: 17
- Submit an IELTS score of at least 6.5 The minimum IELTS sub scores for the reading, listening, speaking, and writing sections are 5.5.
- Submit a copy of completion from the CU Denver ESL Academy.
- Be a citizen of a country whose official language is English. International applicants holding a citizenship from the following countries do not need to prove their English language proficiency for admission to CU Denver: Antigua & Barbuda, Australia, Barbados, Belize, Canada, Dominica, Granada, Guyana, Ireland, Jamaica, Malta, New Zealand, Saint Kitts & Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent & the Grenadines, The Bahamas, Trinidad & Tobago, United Kingdom.
- International applicants may meet the English language proficiency requirement through any of the options below for previous coursework completed. Options for previous coursework completed which will satisfy admissions ELP requirements:
- Earn an associate or bachelor's degree in the US
- Earn a post-secondary credential (comparable to a US associate or bachelor's degree) in any of the exempt countries listed above
- Earn a post-secondary credential (comparable to a US associate or bachelor's degree) at an exempt-country-accredited school located in a non-exempt country
- Earned 12 or more credit hours in a master or doctoral degree program in the United States, an exempt country, or at an exempt-country-accredited school in a non-exempt country AND earned an overall college-level GPA of 3.0 or higher.
To be eligible for scholarships you must apply by the priority deadlines. Plan to submit materials early to expedite processing. Deadlines apply to all required documents. Please note that if you apply by the final deadlines many classes may be full.
Plan to submit materials early to expedite processing. Deadlines apply to all required documents.
- Priority: April 15
- Final: July 15
- Priority: March 15
- Final: May 15
- Priority: October 15
- Final: December 15
- Priority: September 15
- Final: October 15
- Priority: February 15
- Final: April 15
- Priority: January 15
- Final: March 15
Our ties to industry partners include companies such as:
- Ardent Mills
- CME Group
- CQG, Inc.
- Encana Oil and Gas
- J.P. Morgan
- Newmont Mining
- Robert Bosch GmbH
“My time at the J.P. Morgan Center for Commodities prepared me for a career in commodities by exposing me to many different aspects of commodity related industries. When I started the program, I thought I had a relatively good idea of what I wanted but after taking all the required courses, I realized just how much I had learned and how valuable the knowledge and experiences I gained through the JPMCC were to my career.”
– Conor Steffey ’17, Trader at Fonterra
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