Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently asked questions about Fisher's Specialized Master - Finance (SMF) program are listed below, organized by topic. Click a question that interests you to see the answer.
Fisher’s Specialized Master in Finance degree is for individuals with a strong interest in a professional career in finance. Most MBA graduates have had adequate exposure to graduate finance coursework. Moreover, graduates of the SMF program will seek positions as entry-level financial analysts, which may not be suitable for someone with an MBA degree typically seeking experienced hire employment opportunities.
While we seek candidates with 1-2 years of prior full-time work experience in finance, the admission committee looks for quality of work experience, not quantity. We are open to considering well-qualified applicants without prior work experience.
Applicants should highlight skills developed, contributions they have made to organizations, and leadership roles. Relevant prior work experience will also enhance student learning through teamwork and classroom discussions. Equally important, recruiters view relevant prior work experience as an asset, which maximizes your career opportunities after school.
The SMF Admissions Committee will review scanned copies of official transcripts uploaded in your application for evaluation purposes. If you are admitted to Fisher, you will be required to submit final official transcripts. International credentials should include certified educational records and degree certificates or diplomas in the original language with English translations. See Admissions Requirements for more information.
If you have little or no work experience, we prefer to see academic references who can comment on your potential to succeed in a rigorous graduate finance program. If you are currently employed we understand the concerns about using a current employer.
College professors, clients and other supervisors can be used as references if you are uncomfortable requesting one from your current employer. Your reference should know you and your work well enough to tell us about your abilities and address the areas indicated on the reference form.
Your status can be checked online through our application system after you have officially submitted your application.
Please do not contact us to check the status of your application. As soon as your application status changes, you may be notified by our admissions office.
We are in the process of confirming that we have all the required information to evaluate your application. Typically, it takes us a few weeks to compile all the data. If we are missing any information we will notify you.
No, it is the policy of the admissions committee to not comment on admissions decisions for any applicant. If you are denied admission, you are welcome to submit an application for the following year once the application for that admission cycle is available.
Fisher College does not accept transfer credits from other institutions. We also do not waive any of the total number of courses required. However, our flexible curriculum and latest research know-how of our faculty will ensure that you are not likely to find yourself forced to repeat content you have already mastered.
The number of applicants placed on the Waitlist will vary from year to year and from deadline to deadline.
Every application is considered on its own merit and within the context of the entire applicant pool. While we cannot guarantee nor predict your acceptance, we can say that there are a number of applicants who are admitted from the Waitlist each year. The percentage of applicants admitted from the Waitlist varies from year to year.
We do not encourage applicants to come to campus to state their cases for admissions. However, if you would like to schedule a campus visit to learn more about Fisher College, we will gladly assist you.
Waitlist candidates are not ranked. All waitlisted applicants will be reviewed again in no particular order once decisions are made for the round.
Admissions decisions are made throughout the evaluation cycle. Please check your status online for updates.
The Specialized Master in Finance curriculum is designed as a nine-month intensive program of study. Therefore, it is suitable for full-time students only and no part-time version of the program is currently available.
Financial support is available on a merit basis, in the form of scholarships, assistantships, or fellowships.
The program starts in August. Students cannot start the program at any other point in the year.
We expect that students of Fisher’s Specialized Master in Finance program will target entry-level or more experienced financial analyst positions in various areas of finance. Students with three or more years of relevant work experience in finance may be able to target experienced hire positions.
We expect most of the applicants to have a prior degree in finance or business or a related field, such as accounting, economics, mathematics, computer science, engineering, physics, etc. Applicants without prior studies in finance or business (including accounting) are expected to have strong quantitative and analytical skills. Interested applicants who do not fit this profile are encouraged to consider a general management degree, such as an MBA.
No. The Fisher SMF program will accept either official GMAT or GRE scores as part of a complete application. Applicants do not need to take both tests - one will suffice.
GMAT and GRE scores are valid for 5 years.
For information about GMAT testing dates and locations in your area visit the GMAC web site.
For information about GRE testing sessions and locations in your area visit the ETS web site.
There is no minimum GRE or GMAT score requirement. For informative purposes, review the profile of the most recent admitted class. Please keep in mind that your GRE and/or GMAT score is only one of a number of factors we review in determining admission. If your scores are below our average, we still encourage you to apply. You may, however, want to consider retaking the GRE or GMAT to improve your score if you believe your scores are too low.
The testing agencies state that academic institutions will receive the scores within 10-20 days after the test is given. At times it may take longer, so allow plenty of time.
If you are uncertain as to whether we will receive your official scores by the deadline, you can e-mail your unofficial score report to email@example.com or send it via postal service to our office:
The Ohio State University Fisher College of Business
MBA Admissions Office
2108 Neil Avenue
Gerlach Hall 100
Columbus, Ohio 43210, USA
The Ohio State University Graduate School requires a cumulative 3.0 undergraduate GPA for admission to any graduate program at the university. Applicants with cumulative undergraduate GPAs less than 3.0 are subject to review and approval by the Graduate School. The SMF program recommends cumulative undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0 at time of application to be minimally competitive.
Applicants whose native language is not English must submit official Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores as part of a complete application. The Ohio State University Graduate School requires a minimum score on the TOEFL internet-based test (TOEFL iBT) of at least 79 to apply to any graduate program at Ohio State; however, the SMF program recommends your total TOEFL iBT score be at least 100 (with speaking score at least 24) to be minimally competitive.
The TOEFL will be waived if you have earned a degree from a U.S. university. Applicants who are citizens of, or who have received a bachelor’s degree or higher in, one of the following countries are exempt from the TOEFL requirement: Anguilla, Antigua, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Caicos Islands, Canada (except Quebec), Cayman Islands, Dominica, England, Grenada, Guyana, Ireland, Jamaica, Liberia, Montserrat, New Zealand, Scotland, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks, United States, and Wales.
Your TOEFL score will be valid for up to 2 years.
Fisher’s SMF is designed for individuals with a passion for finance and a desire to pursue a career as finance professionals. It is not meant for individuals with aspirations for a leadership career in business, which requires skills acquired in a general management program, such as an MBA. Also, the SMF curriculum has a narrow finance focus and does not provide exposure to many business areas, as is the case in an MBA program.
Yes. All incoming students will participate in a mandatory three-week preparatory training period in August. This will include review workshops in math and finance and a course in financial modeling with Excel.
You are expected to bring a notebook that runs Windows 7. During the course of your studies, you will receive training in Bloomberg, Crystal Ball, Capital IQ, and Rotman Interactive Trader.
Will Fisher’s SMF prepare me for the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and Financial Risk Manager (FRM) programs and when should I expect to take these exams?
Students in the SMF program will be strongly encouraged to pursue a professional designation, such as the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) or Financial Risk Manager (FRM) certifications. Through the program’s required and elective coursework, you will be well prepared to take the CFA Level I or II exams or the level I exam of the FRM program. You will be encouraged to take these exams at the end of your studies (June for the CFA exams and May for the FRM exam).
Fisher's Specialized Master in Finance is designed as a terminal Master’s degree. Students with a quantitative background and a strong desire to pursue a PhD degree may use their studies in the program to prepare for more advanced coursework.
Required courses will be taken with other Specialized Master in Finance students while electives will be taken together with MBA students specializing in Finance or students from other programs in Fisher College, such as the Master of Accounting. SMF students will benefit from collaborating with students from various backgrounds and experiences. In addition, there will be joint activities with MBA and other students interested in finance, such as speaker events, employer forums, etc.
Yes. You will have opportunities to meet professionals during our "Applied Finance Seminar" presentations, receptions, and other types of networking activities, including an annual reception with SMF alumni. Also, by participating in the required Team Finance Workshop, you and your teammates will work closely on a project with one or more finance professionals submitted by a financial firm.
The degree is based exclusively on coursework and no thesis option will be offered as part of the curriculum.
Will I have opportunities to develop my "soft skills," such as communication, teamwork, and leadership skills throughout my studies?
Yes. You will be required to take a customized course in team dynamics and leadership skills in the fall quarter, as well as participate in customized workshops on teamwork, presentation, and networking skills. You will have opportunities to practice your soft skills through your participation in the Team Finance Project as well as team assignments and presentations in various courses.
The Specialized Master in Finance curriculum is designed to offer training across a broad range of finance areas, but also allow students to pursue a specialization among four available tracks. By contrast, programs in Financial Engineering or Mathematical Finance limit students to specializing in one area and are viewed as "focused" as opposed to "general" degrees.