MSF Advice - OSU vs. UMD vs. JHU vs. CWRU vs. Purdue

Cloudynesz's picture
Rank: Chimp | 5

Hi Everyone,

I am trying to decide a MS Finance program at one of the following schools to attend in this Fall. I think these schools are decent but not preeminent; however, could anyone please tell me which school might be a better choice in terms of its educational quality and general reputation in the area of finance?

The Ohio State University
The University of Maryland
Johns Hopkins University
Case Western Reserve University
Purdue University

Thank you so much!

Comments (18)

Apr 1, 2012

I can't attest to all of them, but I actually was accepted to and visited Purdue and was unimpressed. A lot of the coursework is just review from undergrad (if you were a finance/accounting undergrad). If you're looking for any "hands-on" learning, stay away from Purdue as well. Even if your number 1 choice for work is in Chicago, I would still look at OSU before considering Purdue.

Apr 1, 2012

ANT's website may be use to you:

Apr 1, 2012

Purdue OCR has a shit load of firms though

Apr 1, 2012

The JHU carey business school is not good! Dont go ...

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Apr 2, 2012

none of them tbh

I didn't say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you.

Apr 2, 2012

Thank you so much for your replies, folks.

Purdue attracts me because its program is small and has the lowest cost comparing to other schools in my list. According to the review posted on, students in this program share most classes with 2nd year MBA students, who concentrate in finance or accounting. In addition, this program consists of many case-based learning opportunities, which I think might be very helpful if this review is accurate.

Any more comments?

Apr 2, 2012

Purdue attracts me because its program is small and has the lowest cost comparing to other schools in my list.

Approximately what is the cost of each of these programs?

Apr 2, 2012

Again on Purdue. Their program is almost completely international students. Which on the surface is not a bad thing at all. But talking to the admissions department and career center revealed that almost all of these students go overseas to find work in their home countries after graduation. Any domestic employment data you see for the MSF program is going to have a very small sample size and therefore not reliable. Obviously if you are an international student or have desires to work overseas then this would be a great fit, but it was not for me.

It is true that a lot of the work in class is case work, so if that's what you're interested in, it'd be a good fit. I sat in on 2 classes when I visited and both were in the 5th (last) module. At least in those 2 classes, everything that was covered in class I had done during my Finance undergrad.

The reputation both internationally and domestically is there for Purdue, so that is a plus as well.

Apr 3, 2012

The Ohio State University-49K+
The University of Maryland-45K
Johns Hopkins University-40K
Case Western Reserve University-50K
Purdue University-39K

Apr 3, 2012

Any more comments?

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Apr 3, 2012

This probably goes without saying, but if I were in your shoes I'd make sure that I really hustle once I get in. As I mentioned above, many people assume that education is a magic pill, even though it usually isn't. If I was doing an MSF (which I actually did consider), I'd be networking like crazy, get an internship, be interviewing like crazy, keeping the grades up, etc. If you play the game right, you can probably get a solid job afterwards.

Hopefully ANT will weight in at some point on these programs, since he really is the expert. If it were me, I'd probably choose Case because the school itself has a great reputation, and that will stick with you a long time. (I should probably admit though that I know little to nothing about these MSF programs, so take my last comment with a huge grain of salt.) I also wouldn't really consider the price differences among these programs, since it's really not a very big difference -- just pick the program that will likely give you the best opportunities.

By the way, what exactly are your plans and/or goals afterwards?

Apr 3, 2012

Econ, thanks for your reply.

I am an international student from East Asia and will complete my bachelor's degree in finance at a U.S. institution (not a prestigious one though) in this May. I know employers here in the U.S. look at my overall package and my education is only a part of it; however, in my home country, or possibly in East Asia, employers seem to favor those candidates with higher degrees, especially for those young kids without much working experience. Since I would finally return to East Asia to seek employment, I would have to follow this culture to pursue my master's degree in finance and I would also like to do so because of my interest in finance.

I intent to target an analyst position in a bank or in a firm upon completion of my master's degree. I don't really care about a program's placement rate, since this rate is only good for domestic residents without VISA issues; otherwise, it is hard everywhere for an international student in my opinion. Instead, I do care about the educational quality and general reputation of a school, which I think are more important in my future career path.

As a pretty average student without fantastic academic record or significant internships, I haven't had a chance to attend a program at one of those top universities such as WUSTL, MIT, Vandy, Rochester, and etc. Those schools in my list are decent but not preeminent in my opinion; therefore, I am trying to select a school that will best suit my need, specifically, boost my knowledge and enhance my resume.

Finally, I appreciate any comments that will help me to make a decision.

Apr 3, 2012

Purdue is solid and cheaper, but like you said, it is all foreign students and probably doesn't put too much emphasis on placements.Case is a good school, but the MSF program is kind of an after thought IMO. If you want to work in Cleveland I would go there.

JHU is a part time program with a ton of students in various stages of completion of the program. I've heard mixed things about it so do your homework.

OSU is the only one of the above that has a fully functioning MSF. By functioning I mean a cohort, full time, recruiting, etc.

I'm not telling you where to go, just saying each school has pros and cons. If you are cool with doing your own things, don't go with OSU. If you are looking for a program with a cohort and everyone goes through it together, OSU is probably the one you should choose.

Apr 3, 2012

TNA, I appreciate your comments.

I did some research regarding these programs and I mostly agree with you. JHU definitely has a big name, but I am concerning about its program quality. Since I am a finance undergraduate, I really want to further advance my knowledge through the master's program instead of dropping 40K just for a big name. Case is a top ranked school. Again, I have no idea about its business school.

I prefer to make a decision among UMD, OSU, and Purdue:
The program at OSU is cohort, small, but expensive. Its degree reads as "Specialized Masters-Finance", which sounds a little unprofessional to me. I don't know how employers will think about this degree.

UMD has a long list of respected finance professors, who offer a large number of selective courses. However, this program has more than 150 students, I don't know how seriously the school will treat this program.

As you guys said, the depth of knowledge that will be taught in Purdue's program is uncertain. Could anyone please tell me how solid this program will be?

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Nov 17, 2013


'Before you enter... be willing to pay the price'

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Sep 30, 2013

Vote for OSU, my dream program

May 6, 2014

Hi, I am an undergrad from a decent business undergrad in CA.
I have been accepted to USC, BC, and Johns Hopkins for an MSF.
I am interested in hearing what advice everyone has about where to attend.

I know that Johns Hopkins is not the top school out of these, but I am leaning towards it. I would prefer to live in DC as it is closer to home and the area could have great internship/job opportunities.
I visited BC and while I know the program is good, I didn't feel like the school was the right fit. Does anyone have anything strong feelings?

May 6, 2014