The USF Accelerated MSFA program is structured to provide a one
year curriculum that covers all important area of the CFA® Candidate Body of Knowledge. Academically qualified students gain a thorough and practical
knowledge of finance and investment management in this full-time
For more information on the partnership, please see the CFA Program Partner page. The MSFA programs provide a coordinated, sequential approach to the tools and knowledge covered by the CFA Candidate Body of Knowledge.
The MSFA program takes place in a high-tech classroom
environment where faculty and students have real-time access to a large
variety of financial software programs and data.
The program begins at the end of August of each year (fall
admission) and in January (spring admission).
The Accelerated program consists of 35 graduate units. Most courses are 2
units. Courses will be scheduled during weekdays and weekday evenings.
For Graduate Course Descriptions and Sample Schedule See the Courses Page.
Goals of the Programs
- Ensure a thorough understanding of industry practice and
standards as embodied in the skills and knowledge required by the CFA designation.
- Master the fundamental economic techniques for valuing financial assets.
- Provide an interdisciplinary approach to the study of financial markets and the valuation of financial assets.
- Apply quantitative methods and economic theory to the analysis and management of financial asset portfolios.
- Understand the shortcomings of traditional accounting practice in the valuation process.
- Develop a broad understanding of the micro, macro and
international trends that influence the values of financial assets and
the evolution of financial markets.
- Study the role of ethical behavior in promoting the operational integrity of financial markets.
Theory and Practice
- The MSFA provides a unique combination of academic rigor and practical expertise.
- The Program faculty include both USF professors and Bay Area
financial professionals who are CFA charterholders to deliver a program
strong in both theory and practical applications.
The Cohort Experience
Students in both formats of the MSFA progress through the program as a
single group (or "cohort") of peers, who start together in August or January and
finish after a set sequence of courses. The cohort model of education
allows faculty to tailor practical examples and assignments in the
courses to the unique needs and interests of individuals in each cohort.
Complementary strengths within each cohort provide students with the
opportunity to learn with and from one another throughout the program.
The cohort structure also encourages study groups that provide mutual
support during the MSFA coursework and study for CFA exams.The cohort structure reinforces mutual support throughout the program
and encourages MSFA students to develop collegial and professional
networks that continue well beyond the program.
International students admitted to the MSFA Accelerated Program may
be required to participate in the exclusive orientation program, U.S. Business &
Culture Class (USBCC). The USBCC orientation program provides an
important period for international students to adjust to life in the
U.S. and settle into the City of San Francisco before MSFA courses
begin. USBCC participants have the opportunity to enhance their
communication and presentation skills, learn about unique aspects of
U.S. culture, and improve their knowledge of U.S. business practices and
vocabulary and through the use of case studies. For more information visit the USBCC page.
CFA® is a registered trademark of the CFA Institute.