FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Some of your questions may be answered here, but if you have additional queries, please get in touch with us at gradbusiness@scu.edu.

What is the application deadline for the MSF program?

The Master's in Finance program begins once a year in the Summer. The Admissions Committee will review applications twice each year: December 1st - early decision and February 1st. Any applicant who submits a completed application by December 1st will be invited for a final interview by December 15th and notified of an admissions decision by late January and any applicant who submits a completed application by February 1st will be invited for a final interview by February 15th and notified of an admissions decision by March 1st. There is no priority given to an applicant who applies early, other than the decision timeline.

What should I do if I cannot decide if the MSF program is the right fit for me?

For more information regarding our MSF program, we encourage you to reach out to us prior to submitting your application. We welcome you to schedule an in-person meeting or telephone conversation with an admissions counselor to address your individual questions. To arrange, please email us at gradbusiness@scu.edu with your availability.

How long will it take for me to complete the MSF program?

The MSF is a full-time one-year program (June to June) and is 48 quarter units.

Can I work while enrolled in an MS program?

Our MSF is full-time. Some students work part-time during the program and/or pursue an internship.

Where are the classes held?

Most of our Graduate Business classes are held in Lucas Hall, home of the Leavey School of Business on the Santa Clara University campus; some classes may be held in other buildings on campus.

What is a completed application and do I need to have all my documents together before sending them to Santa Clara University?

A completed application includes

  • online application
  • application fee
  • resume
  • GMAT or GRE score*
  • TOEFL score (if required)
  • two official transcripts from each college or university attended
  • one required essay
  • two confidential recommendation letters
  • a final interview

All materials do not need to be sent together; we will keep a file for each applicant as documents arrive.

An application will not go into final review with the Admissions Committee until all admissions materials are received. You are welcome to drop materials off at our office in Lucas Hall Suite 109 or mail them to:

Graduate Business Admissions
Leavey School of Business
Lucas Hall Suite 109
Santa Clara University
500 El Camino Real
Santa Clara, CA 95053

* We can use your unofficial GMAT or GRE scores and unofficial/in-progress transcripts for admissions purposes, however official documents are required should you decide to enroll in our program.

Why would I write the second optional essay?

Applicants may use the second essay to explain an element in their educational or professional history that might adversely affect their acceptance. For example, if you suffered a hardship during college that affected your GPA or have a large gap in your work timeline, the essay is your opportunity to explain that in detail to the Admissions Committee.

Whom should I have write my letters of recommendation and how do they get it to Santa Clara University?

If you have professional work experience or have interned, please ask recent supervisors who can speak directly to your professional strengths and potential to succeed in a graduate business program. For recent college graduates with no work experience, academic recommendations are acceptable, but supervisor recommendations are preferred, if available. We suggest you provide recommenders with a stamped envelope, pre-addressed to:

Graduate Business Admissions
Leavey School of Business
Lucas Hall Suite 109
Santa Clara University
500 El Camino Real
Santa Clara, CA 95053


The envelope must arrive sealed with the recommender’s signature across the seal. We do recognize that some circumstances require a faster or easier delivery method. As such, forms can be sent to us via email at: gradbusiness@scu.edu, but the email address must be that of the recommender and not the applicant. All recommendations are completely confidential.

What can you tell me about the GMAT and/or the GRE and is one weighed more heavily than the other?

While the GMAT (Graduate Management Admissions Test) has been the standard exam used for business schools, the GRE (Graduate Record Exam) is also accepted. We do not prefer one exam over the other. The average GMAT score for the MSF program is 640. The average GRE score is 310. Scores from either test are valid for five (5) years. Applicants are welcome to take either exam more than once; we will only consider the highest score.

Is the GMAT/GRE required before I apply to the program?

The GMAT/GRE is a required component for our MSF applications. The GMAT/GRE must be taken prior to the deadline for which you are applying and we do not allow for conditional acceptance while applicants prepare for the exam.

Is the TOEFL required?

Applicants whose first language is not English must take the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) and have ETS send the scores directly to Santa Clara University, Institution Code 4851, Department 02. A minimum TOEFL score of 100 on the IBT test is required. The TOEFL may be waived if the applicant receives a score in the 50th percentile or higher on the verbal portion of the GMAT/GRE or has a degree from a U.S. Institution.

Do I need to have work experience to be eligible for admission?

Our MS programs do not require work experience. College seniors and recent college graduates are eligible to apply. We do welcome applicants who have professional work experience as well.

Why do I need to submit two official transcripts from each college or university attended?

We require two official transcripts from each college or university attended as one copy will stay with your academic file in the School of Business and the other is required to be sent to the university Registrar office for your permanent student file. Two official copies are required to complete the application process.

Am I required to come to campus for an interview?

An on-campus interview is required for all applicants and is the final step in the admissions process. Once your application is complete, you will be contacted by a member of the Admissions team to schedule your interview. Non-local candidates have the option of a virtual interview if unable to come to campus in person.

Do you offer conditional acceptance?

We do not offer conditional acceptance under any circumstances.

I need Calculus. When do I need to have it completed by?

Admitted students must satisfy the calculus prerequisite BEFORE beginning the program. Failure to do so will jeopardize your progress and continuation in the program. If our initial evaluation of your transcripts has not waived you of the Math Analysis/Calculus prerequisite the options are:

  1. Submit the course syllabus for any intermediate-level college Math Analysis/Calculus course taken with the past 10 years. The course must cover integral and differential calculus. The course must have been taken for college credit (3 semester units or 4 quarter units) with a grade of C or better.
  2. Begin preparing for our OMIS 351 equivalency exam. The Academic Support and Records team will offer the OMIS 351 equivalency exam the first week of Summer 2015 classes. Topics which will be covered on the exam can be located here.
  3. Enroll in a pre-approved course. If the Math Analysis/Calculus prerequisite is required, we have a list of online, local, and self-paced courses. Any one of these courses will meet our requirement as long as you receive a grade of C or better.
Do you offer waiver or transfer credit for courses I have taken in the past?

Students in the MSF program may receive credit for coursework taken previously in limited circumstances. Students with a professional qualification (CPA, CMA, Chartered Accountant or similar) or recent (within 6 years) substantial coursework in accounting, including through Intermediate Accounting, may receive credit for the Accounting requirement. Students with substantial preparation in statistics, including coursework (within 6 years) may receive credit for the Statistics core requirement. A minimum grade of B is required in each class accepted for waiver credit. Transcripts for students with undergraduate degrees in Finance will be evaluated on an individual basis to determine if any waiver credit will be granted.

The determination of whether prior coursework or professional qualification is sufficient for credit may be made by the admissions staff in many circumstances. In unusual situations, students may be asked to prepare a petition outlining their prior preparation for faculty review.

I'm an international student and have questions about working/interning during/after the program.

F-1 students should refer to our International Student Services website for details regarding OPT/CPT eligibility, timing, etc.: http://www.scu.edu/studentlife/iss/employment/F-1-and-J-1-Employment.cfm