"Everyone is talking about financial innovation. But when you’ve worked in finance, you realize that there are so many unanswered questions. I came here with a lot of questions. Now, they’re getting answered."
We’ve structured the MFin program to ensure that students have a strong understanding of the fundamentals of financial theory and practice, along with the flexibility to customize your coursework and experience to meet your career and personal goals.
Fundamentals First, Then Electives
Over the summer term, all students take intensive courses in finance theory and corporate financial accounting. In the first semester, you begin to specialize with coursework from a set of restricted electives, then further expand in your chosen area with general graduate electives from MIT Sloan or other MIT departments, such as Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Economics, or Mathematics.
Group learning and interaction with peers are highly valued and fostered at MIT. In courses based on cases and problem sets, you will connect with MIT students from around the world. Working in small groups, you will learn from and challenge one another, sharing different perspectives and backgrounds while building lasting relationships.
Beyond the Finance Classroom
The MFin at MIT Sloan is a business degree taught in a business school, with all the benefits that come from that environment. Some MFin classes are taken with other graduate students, including MBAs, PhDs, and MIT Sloan Fellows. As an MFin student, you will be welcome to join MIT’s Finance Club, Investment Management Club, and Venture Capital & Private Equity Club, as well as many other social and professional clubs available to all graduate students.
The curriculum consists of the following components:
- Required summer courses in finance theory, financial mathematics, and accounting to provide the foundation for financial management, along with workshops to improve “soft” business skills, such as writing résumés and cover letters, interviewing, and networking.
- A series of required advanced subjects, including a quantitative financial analysis course, which covers mathematical, statistical, and computational methods; an investments course, which covers portfolio and pricing theory; and an advanced corporate finance course.
- A set of required electives that focus on managerial areas in finance.
- An array of electives, ranging from financial technology courses and quantitative methods to economics, and additional advanced finance courses.
- Action Learning courses that integrate financial theory and applications with hands-on work experience in the financial industry. These project-based courses challenge students to solve real-world problems with MIT's partner corporations, culminating in student solutions presented to the actual corporate decision makers.
- A professional development course consisting of sessions focusing on ethics, professionalism, and giving voice to values.
- An optional industry trek to New York City and study tour to Asia to broaden exposure to financial careers and to the financial community.
Students have an option of writing a 24-unit thesis, which may replace a maximum of two electives, or a 12-unit independent study, which may count as one general elective, pending approval by the faculty director.
“We are very much an action-learning environment. The way to learn leadership is not only through reading cases, not only through learning theory — in fact we don’t want people to regurgitate the theory. We want people to take theory and to live it, use it.”
“At MIT Sloan you have a lot of opportunities to explore entrepreneurship. Especially in a place like Kampala where you have a lot of development, entrepreneurship can be very exciting.”
“These companies are really excited to work with MIT students.They reach out to the community to set up these projects and are great to work with. They give us access to all their resources and are very open to us.”
“I knew about American business, but not enough about what’s really become a global economy. … You can read about it all you want, but there’s no substitute for being there and seeing the context and seeing how completely different these [other countries] are.”
“Because of the diversity of our backgrounds, when we hit the ground in Tanzania it almost was a natural play where different people assume different roles.”
“We’re very interdisciplinary. Among the faculty in the group are an economist, a political scientist, a sociologist, and an industrial relations specialist. We’ve always made a big effort to be open to a variety of perspectives, but also to go beyond being open to them, to want to bring them in, because it makes for a richer environment.”
“I love being in a place that is such a nexus of people and ideas — people coming to learn something new and to define themselves. Being a part of that process is a real honor and a real gift.”
“For 35 years, we’ve been studying how companies get value from information. … We try to help organizations take a more holistic view of what they are trying to do.”
“You could talk about watershed management and conservation of energy all you want. But until you put numbers to it and financial analysis to it, you’re not going to get much done. I came to business school to speak that language, speak with people in terms of numbers, financial numbers so that I can get projects done.”
"After we gave our recommendations, the great part was that the very next day the CEO was in the boardroom implementing them with his top vice presidents."
“It was really rewarding that they wanted to know what we thought. We left there being fairly certain that they will do some of the things that we suggested.”
“I can honestly say that when I was planning on coming to business school I never thought that witnessing the birth of a child would be included in the education. It was definitely an experience.”
“The conditions in the neighborhoods we were visiting were different than what we realized before getting there. Beyond that, what was surprising was that there weren’t surprises!”
“One of the reasons I came to Sloan was because I wanted to be at a top MBA institution worldwide. But I also wanted access to working with the latest innovations and the highest technology that was coming out of the MIT labs.”
"The classroom itself is filled with so much collective brain power . . . it's obvious that I'm caught up in a room full of 124 of the brightest, most curious people from around the world."
"We have some demanding technical courses, but also a series of special seminars with very experienced practitioners who come in to run it with them — for instance, an experienced venture capital manager or a former CEO of a money management firm."