Master of Science in Finance | MSF

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Program Overview

The master of science in finance, or MSF, at Pacific University is a rigorous and comprehensive program that prepares students to work in an ever-changing economic landscape. With a curriculum based in fundamental economic principles, the program provides students with specialized knowledge and skills as well as insights into innovative theories. Classes are held Friday afternoons and Saturdays, every other weekend, for one year, at our Hillsboro Campus. 

Designed for experienced and aspiring professionals, the MSF program helps students broaden their knowledge of finance, launch notable careers, and become leaders in the field. Students develop targeted skills by selecting the concentration best suited to their career aspirations — corporate finance or investments.


Graduates of the MSF are in high demand by prestigious firms across the globe. As a graduate, not only will you have the technical abilities required of any top financial analyst, but you also will have the strategic business understanding that will allow you to make the best of these tools. Following graduation, MSF students typically go on to careers in corporate finance, asset management, financial services, and investment banking. From Wall Street to corporate finance to derivatives pricing to risk management, the range of available career options is broad, varied and full of potential.


The Pacific University MSF faculty reflects the broad diversity and extraordinary talent of finance-focused leaders in the Pacific Northwest region and throughout the nation. In addition to the permanent faculty at Pacific University, the weekend intensive structure of the program supports a remarkable set of cutting-edge practitioners as program faculty. Some of our faculty teach full time; some share their expertise for set modules. Guest lectures and case presentations are a prominent feature of the program. Experienced business leaders also support the program through the Innovation Academy Executive Council.

Program Delivery

For great convenience in Washington County, classes are held at our Hillsboro Campus in the Health and Education District of downtown Hillsboro. The campus is on the MAX line at SE 8th and SE Washington, right in the heart of Hillsboro.

More Information

MSF Overview (pdf)

Students take six core classes together as a cohort. Once those are complete, students take a three-course concentration in corporate finance or in investments, then come back together for a capstone experience. An optional mathematics course, recommended for those who have not used quantitative skills recently, is available before the program officially begins.

Core Courses

FIN 770 Quantitative Foundation for Finance (optional)

This course introduces fundamental mathematical tools utilized in theoretical financial analysis. Topics include basic linear algebra, calculus and probability theory. The use of these tools in constructing and analyzing financial models is emphasized. Students will receive review on optimization methods in portfolio allocation, matrix methods in bonds duration, probability calculations and the central limit theorem in binomial option pricing, and Taylor expansions as well as introductions to differential equations in derivatives pricing.

FIN 779 Financial Accounting and Financial Statement Analysis (3)

Introduction to financial and managerial accounting concepts, policies and procedures used to prepare and utilize corporate financial statements. Use of accounting and financial information to manage operational and strategic choices, determine pricing and profitability, control costs and assess performance.

FIN 771 Financial Econometrics (3)

This course applies econometric techniques to finance data and presents the essentials of econometric theory. The topics covered are statistical theory, (multi-variate) regression, model specification and estimation, and hypothesis testing. This course also serves as an introduction to time-series methods, including ARIMA models, nonstationary time-series, cointegration, and ARCH-GARCH models are discussed. Students use analytical software and programming/modeling packages with numerous real data sets.

FIN 782 Finance and Operations Management (3)

An examination of operations management designed to develop analytical skills needed to ensure the ongoing contribution of a firm's operations to its competitive position and financial strength. This course focuses on value creation and efficiency gains leading to financial strength through innovative product and process design and management. Topics include operations strategy, process design and analysis, resource selection, lean operations, supply chains, and risk management.

FIN 774 Asset Pricing I (Fixed Income) (3)

This course is designed for students seeking a sophisticated understanding of fixed income valuation and hedging methods, and a basic familiarity with the major markets and instruments such as real estate, venture capital, private equity, private firms, and commodities. Tools include duration, convexity, yield curve models, option pricing models and value at risk, which are used to understand pricing and hedging of forwards, futures and swaps, asset-backed securities and other fixed income derivatives.

FIN 775 Modern Financial Instruments (3)

This course introduces the pricing, trading and use of derivative securities such as forwards, futures, swaps and options contracts, emphasizing the management of risk arising from the volatility of exchange rates, interest rates and commodity and equity prices.  This course also examines EVA, real options, and alternative methods of valuation with an emphasis on using Excel modeling.  

FIN 773 Asset Pricing II (Equity) (3)

The objective of this course is to study the most important theoretical concepts in the field of investment, the functioning of securities markets, to examine the valuation of securities, and to practice modern portfolio management. Topics include advanced techniques in security valuation, standards and practices in investment management, portfolio evaluation standards and applications using real-time data. 

FIN 780 Capstone in Executive Leadership (3)

Explores the role of financial managers in leading organizations, organizational cultures, and organization change within a dynamic competitive environment. Emphasizes financial managers as critical members of the top management team. Insights on working with governing boards, chief executive officers, and other executive team members to achieve organizational goals and to deliver exemplary performance.

Concentration I: Corporate Finance

FIN 783 Corporate Macro Environment (3)

Examines strategy formulation and implementation in a global context. Emphasis on blending strategic management and financial management concepts, principles and techniques to create and maintain a corporation’s competitive advantage and to assess and act upon new market opportunities.

FIN 778 Corporate Financial Security and Real Options (3)

This course introduces the financial safety controls and derivatives tools used by firms to hedge risks. Topics included are hedging vehicles, such as convertible securities, beta hedge, event hedge, yield spread hedge, arbitrage hedge; and hedging operations, such as CDS and CDO for balance sheet renting purposes. The financial real options of firms are introduced, including LBO/MBO, venture capital, and private equity valuation.

FIN 777 Seminar in Corporate Finance (3)

This course examines major policy-making areas in corporate finance and the impact of alternative policies on the value of the firm. Emphasis is placed on strengthening financial decision-making skills. Advanced topics include capital investment policy, financing and capital structure policies, dividend policy, and corporate control, etc.

Concentration II: Investments

FIN 781 Portfolio and Risk Management (3)

This course examines the role and functioning of securities markets, valuation techniques, and the theory and practice of portfolio management. Topics include portfolio construction and evaluation metrics, relative valuation techniques and an introduction to derivative security pricing, etc.

FIN 772 Theory of Financial Decision Making (3)

This course discusses the branch of microeconomics called financial economics. Form the necessary building blocks for all of the traditional topics in finance including corporate finance, investments, financial markets and institutions and derivatives.

FIN 776 Investments Practice (3)

This course applies fundamental theory to practice. It emphasizes on the decision-making techniques relevant to financial and nonfinancial managers. Topics include valuation, risk and return, capital budgeting, cost of capital, financial analysis and planning, and working capital management. It encompasses investment policy statement (portfolio objectives, constraints, benchmarks, and reports), performance evaluation/attribution, analysis (economic, industry, company), valuation, recommendations, portfolio rebalancing, trade execution, and ethics of money management.