The Master of Science in Financial Economics (MSFE) degree provides advanced training in economics and finance to students interested in careers and further graduate study involving quantitative analysis in various areas of financial economics. Graduate students will acquire the skills for employment in the financial services sector in positions requiring advanced analytical skills and in-depth familiarity with the structure and functioning of financial markets and institutions. The MSFE prepares graduates for research positions and for doctoral study in financial economics. The MSFE program integrates subject areas traditionally taught and trained in the Wisconsin School of Business Finance Department and the College of Letters & Science Economics Department. The partnership between these departments ensures that students gain a rigorous understanding of theoretical finance and the economic framework upon which that theory is based.

Please consult the table below for key information about this degree program’s admissions requirements. The program may have more detailed admissions requirements, which can be found below the table or on the program’s website.

Graduate admissions is a two-step process between academic programs and the Graduate School. Applicants must meet the minimum requirements of the Graduate School as well as the program(s). Once you have researched the graduate program(s) you are interested in, apply online.

Fall Deadline March 1
Spring Deadline The program does not admit in the spring.
Summer Deadline The program does not admit in the summer.
GRE (Graduate Record Examinations) Not required
English Proficiency Test Every applicant whose native language is not English or whose undergraduate instruction was not in English must provide an English proficiency test score and meet the Graduate School minimum requirements (
Other Test(s) (e.g., GMAT, MCAT) n/a
Letters of Recommendation Required 2

 Mathematics preparation should include multivariate calculus and statistics.

Graduate School Resources

Resources to help you afford graduate study might include assistantships, fellowships, traineeships, and financial aid. Further funding information is available from the Graduate School. Be sure to check with your program for individual policies and restrictions related to funding.

PROGRAM Information

Students enrolled in this program are not eligible to receive tuition remission from graduate assistantship appointments at this institution.

Minimum Graduate School Requirements

Review the Graduate School minimum academic progress and degree requirements, in addition to the program requirements listed below.

Major Requirements


Face to Face Evening/Weekend Online Hybrid Accelerated
Yes No No No No

Mode of Instruction Definitions

Accelerated: Accelerated programs are offered at a fast pace that condenses the time to completion. Students typically take enough credits aimed at completing the program in a year or two.

Evening/Weekend: ​Courses meet on the UW–Madison campus only in evenings and/or on weekends to accommodate typical business schedules.  Students have the advantages of face-to-face courses with the flexibility to keep work and other life commitments.

Face-to-Face: Courses typically meet during weekdays on the UW-Madison Campus.

Hybrid: These programs combine face-to-face and online learning formats.  Contact the program for more specific information.

Online: These programs are offered 100% online.  Some programs may require an on-campus orientation or residency experience, but the courses will be facilitated in an online format.


Minimum Credit Requirement 30 credits
Minimum Residence Credit Requirement 16 credits
Minimum Graduate Coursework Requirement 15 credits must be graduate-level coursework. Details can be found in the Graduate School’s Minimum Graduate Coursework (50%) policy (
Overall Graduate GPA Requirement 3.00 GPA required.
This program follows the Graduate School's GPA Requirement policy (
Other Grade Requirements n/a
Assessments and Examinations There are currently no assessments or examinations required by the financial economics program. Students must meet all Graduate School grade requirements.
Language Requirements There are currently no language requirements for the master's degree in Financial Economics.

Required Courses

Financial Economics Required Courses
ECON 702 Macroeconomics I3
ECON 704 Econometrics I3
ECON 721 Financial Microeconomics3
ECON 724 Financial Econometrics3
FINANCE 720 Investment Theory and Practice3
FINANCE 725 Corporation Finance Theory and Practice3
FINANCE 730 Derivative Securities - Theory and Practice3
FINANCE 830 Advanced Derivative Securities3
Elective Courses in Financial Economics Students will take one additional elective course in Finance and one additional elective course in Economics, from the list below. 6
Bank Management
Business Valuation
Mergers and Acquisitions
Analysis of Fixed Income Securities
Multinational Business Finance
Entrepreneurial Finance
Contemporary Topics
Theory of Finance
Seminar-Corporate Finance (Ph.D.)
Economic Statistics and Econometrics I
Economic Theory-Microeconomics Sequence
Economic Theory-Macroeconomics Sequence
Machine Learning for Economists
International Financial Economics
Data Analytics for Economists
Total Credits30

The Financial Economics sequence courses require students to write a paper. Financial Economics students also have the option of enrolling in directed research to complete the paper, under the supervision of the program faculty.

Students in this program may not take courses outside the prescribed curriculum without faculty advisor and program director approval. Students in this program cannot enroll concurrently in other undergraduate or graduate degree programs.

Graduate School Policies

The Graduate School’s Academic Policies and Procedures provide essential information regarding general university policies. Program authority to set degree policies beyond the minimum required by the Graduate School lies with the degree program faculty. Policies set by the academic degree program can be found below.

Major-Specific Policies

Prior Coursework

Graduate Work from Other Institutions

Graduate coursework from other institutions will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis by the Financial Economics faculty committee. With program committee approval, students are allowed to count no more than 9 credits of graduate coursework from other institutions. Coursework earned five or more years prior to admission to a master’s degree is not allowed to satisfy requirements.

UW–Madison Undergraduate

With program approval, up to 7 credits numbered 300 or above from a UW–Madison undergraduate career are allowed to count toward the minimum graduate degree credit requirement; if those 7 credits are numbered 700 or above from a UW–Madison undergraduate career, they are allowed to count toward the minimum graduate coursework requirement. All credits so counted must be over and above the minimum credits that were required by the original undergraduate degree. Coursework earned five or more years prior to admission to a master’s degree is not allowed to satisfy requirements.

UW–Madison University Special

With program approval, students are allowed to count no more than 12 credits of coursework numbered 300 or above taken as a UW–Madison Special student toward the residence and degree credit requirements; if those 12 credits of coursework taken as a UW–Madison Special student are numbered 700 or above, they are allowed to count toward the minimum graduate coursework requirement. Coursework earned five or more years prior to admission to a master’s degree is not allowed to satisfy requirements.


This program follows the Graduate School's Probation policy.


This program follows the Graduate School’s Advisor policy.


15 credits

Time Limits

This program follows the Graduate School's Time Limits policy.

Grievances and Appeals

These resources may be helpful in addressing your concerns:

Students should contact the department chair or program director with questions about grievances. They may also contact the L&S Academic Divisional Associate Deans, the L&S Associate Dean for Teaching and Learning Administration, or the L&S Director of Human Resources.



Graduate School Resources

Take advantage of the Graduate School's professional development resources to build skills, thrive academically, and launch your career. 

Program Resources for M.S. Financial Economics

MSFE students are among an elite group with easy access to the Career Management Center at the School of Business, providing exceptional career exploration, placement and professional development services. The School of Business has a proven record of placing students in leading financial services and consulting firms across the globe. Classes are more analytical and quantitative than traditional MS programs in either Economics or Finance making graduates prepared for roles at investment and commercial banks, asset management companies and consulting.   

  1. Demonstrate understanding of core principles of financial economics and theories in financial econometrics, financial markets, valuation of securities, and corporate financial structure.
  2. Apply financial econometric methods to process historical economic and financial data, build and estimate models of that data, and use the results to make financial decisions.
  3. Recognize and apply principles of ethical and professional conduct.
  4. Evaluate current events and historical information that provide a basis for evaluating and understanding economic and market conditions, leading to wise financial decisions.

David Brown, Faculty Director,

Ananth Seshadri, Faculty Director,

Cuixia/Trisha Zhu, Program Manager,