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Villanova School of Business Introduces Enhancements to the Master of Science in Finance


Villanova, Pa. November 1, 2018 – The Villanova School of Business (VSB) is pleased to announce exciting enhancements to the Master of Science in Finance (MSF). Beginning with the Class of 2020, students will complete the new MSF program more quickly and with more flexibility to tailor the curriculum to their needs and to the evolving world of finance today.

The enhancements reflect needs in the marketplace as well as feedback from industry professionals. Financial professionals today need both a deep understanding of finance as well broad business acumen. The new MSF curriculum will augment the existing foundation in finance with a carefully curated set of electives to give students exposure to many areas closely aligned with finance such as statistics, analytics, quantitative finance, investment management, real estate, machine learning and coding.

“Finance in the 21st Century intersects with data, technology and quantitative skills like never before and extends even further into areas such as investment management and real estate,” explains Michael Pagano, PhD, the Robert J. and Mary Ellen Darretta Endowed Chair in Finance and the Faculty Director of the MSF program. “Students with a deep understanding of finance who can also converse on any of these subjects will enter the job market with a competitive advantage.”

The program will also include professional development and a focus on leadership, negotiation and communication skills that will complement students’ technical knowledge and prepare them for longer-term advancement opportunities.

Also as part of these enhancements, students will complete the MSF program in only nine months, down from 12 months, appealing to those who want to return to or enter the workforce more quickly. The start date will shift to mid-August, giving students the summer months to pursue internship opportunities, study for the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) exam and prepare for the MSF program. Classes will convene two weeks ahead of the rest of the University for an intensive quantitative seminar that sets the tone for the rest of the curriculum.

“At Villanova School of Business, we continually reexamine our programs in light of developments within the industry to ensure that our students graduate with the knowledge, experience and skills that enable them to achieve their goals and make positive contributions in business and the world at large,” said Joyce E. A. Russell, PhD, The Helen and William O’Toole Dean of VSB. “These changes to the MSF program provide students with the efficiency they want with the added value of a broader perspective they need to excel in the increasingly complex world of finance.”

The Villanova School of Business (VSB) undergraduate program is ranked #1 in the nation by Bloomberg Businessweek and has been at the forefront of business education since it was founded in 1922. Serving over 2,700 undergraduate and graduate students, VSB is home to five Centers of Excellence – the Daniel M. DiLella Center for Real Estate, the Elenore and Robert F. Moran Sr. Center for Global Leadership, the Center for Business Analytics, the Center for Marketing & Consumer Insights and the Center for Church Management – with each designed to foster innovative, cross-disciplinary research and applied opportunities for students. VSB is known for academic rigor; creativity and innovation; hands-on and service learning opportunities; a firm grounding in ethics; and an applied education that prepares students to become outstanding leaders and global citizens within the ever-changing, complex, and fast-paced world of business. For more, visit