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Master’s in Finance in Canada: Fees, Eligibility, and Scope • AdmitAbroad

Master’s in Finance in Canada: Fees, Eligibility, and Scope

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Table of contents:


Why Pursue a career in Finance

Every organization – no matter how small or large must deal with money. This study of managing money is what we call “finance”. Managing money or “finance” has been going on ever since man invented trade – and will go on as long as humans use money. Finance is thus, one of those rare industries which is immune to being replaced. Students who study finance and who work in finance are thus likely to have stable careers over the long term. While finance itself isn’t replaceable – financial products and the technologies used to facilitate public, corporate, and personal finance have become far more sophisticated in the last decade. Due to this, universities have sought to train those interested in finance through specialized degrees such as a Masters in Finance.


Pursuing a career in Finance in Canada

The total size of Canada’s Finance industry is $230 billion (Rs 3,220 lakh crores) as measured by revenue. What’s more is that the size of the industry is growing at 5% a year, twice the rate of Canada’s GDP growth. In fact, Toronto – Canada’s Financial Capital is the 2nd most important Finance centre in North America (1st is New York) and the 7th most important Finance centre in the world. One can pursue a career in the following areas:

  • Retail Banking
  • Risk Management
  • Investment Banking
  • Venture Capital
  • Portfolio Management
  • Stock Broking
  • Corporate Finance
  • Public Accounting


Here are some jobs related to finance students can pursue in Canada:

Role Average Annual Salary
Associate Financial Advisor Rs 35 lakhs
Risk Analyst Rs 38 lakhs
Financial Analyst Rs 39 lakhs
Finance Manager Rs 40 lakhs
Investment Analyst Rs 41 lakhs
Finance Product Manager Rs 43 lakhs
Risk Manager Rs 48 lakhs
Portfolio Manager Rs 48 lakhs
Finance Controller Rs 49 lakhs
Investment Banking Analyst Rs 60 lakhs
Corporate Controller Rs 64 lakhs
Director of Finance Rs 65 lakhs
Chief Financial officer Rs 80 lakhs

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Top Universities in Canada to pursue a Masters’ in Finance in Canada

University of Toronto – Rotman School of Management

Located in downtown Toronto, Rotman offers a 20 month Masters in Finance (MFin) program. This program begins in September each year with the first 16 months dedicated to courses and the last 4 months dedicated to a capstone project. Students are regularly exposed to technical workshops, case competitions and are encouraged to attend events and their speaker series. Rotman also has a Self Development Lab (SDL) and offers mentorship sessions to help students become leaders. Another attraction – especially for those wishing to get into fintech or start their own company is the Creative Destruction Lab (CDL) – a startup accelerator managed by Rotman which advises students on how to build their business and invests in these businesses. This program is very selective and is meant for those with at least two years of work experience in Finance or a Finance related job.


McGill University – Desautels Faculty of Management

The Master of Management in Finance (MMF) program at McGill can be completed in 12 or 16 months. It consists of 12 courses and students also complete an Applied Finance project in the final semester. The Applied finance project allows students to choose an area of interest and conduct research on the same which culminates into a research paper. This program offers strong opportunities for experiential learning. For example, it allows students to manage a fund worth $9 Million (Rs 54 crore) through the Desautels Capital Management investment firm. Students without work experience can apply for the program too.


McMaster University – DeGroote School of Business

McMasters’ Masters in Finance (MFin) program is geared towards risk management. The program is a partner of the Global Association of Risk Professionals. In the 16-month program, students are provided with in-depth training in finance emphasizing development of analytical skills. Within the 16 month period is scheduled a 4 month break during which time, students intern with companies, complete external certifications or develop additional language skills.


York University – Schulich School of Business

The Shulich Masters in Finance (MF) program is a 12 month program which helps students develop their understanding of corporate finance, private equity and compliance. Other critical topics like ethics, governance and the legal aspects of finance are embedded in the curriculum as well. This program is a partner of the CFA institute and the Global Association of Risk Professionals (GARP). As a result the program covers the entire syllabus of all three levels of the CFA exam and 70% of the FRM exam syllabus. This allows students to take these exams and earn two extra credentials.


Concordia University – John Molson

Concordia’s 20 Month Masters’ in Finance (MSc in Finance) program is a thesis based co-op program. Students are paired with a thesis advisor who helps them advance their research skill and develop expertise. Students are given an opportunity to present their research at an annual graduate research exposition to judges from academia and the business community. The small class sizes make for a rich, engaging experience. Additionally, the small class sizes allow the career management team to provide customized job search to help students.


Simon Fraser University – Beedie School of Business

SFU’s MSc in Finance is a 16 month program which focuses on providing students with the practical skills needed to succeed in a career in finance. The university has a $24 million (Rs 144 crore) student managed fund through which students invest money and generate returns. Located in downtown Vancouver, the program boasts a 97% employment rate thanks to its focus on experiential learning and its location next to offices of companies like KPMG, PWC and Deloitte. Students applying to this program are automatically considered for scholarships.



HEC Montreal

HEC Montreal offers three types of 20-month masters’ programs in the realm of finance. The Masters of Finance, the Masters of Financial Engineering and the Masters of Applied Financial Economics. The MSc in Finance trains students to seek traditional careers in finance while the MSc in Financial Engineering trains students to develop software that helps make investment decisions. The MSc in Applied Financial Economics is ideal for those who wish to pursue a carer in microeconomics.  Students are provided with personalized mentoring by faculty and are taught French too – as the university is located in Quebec, a province where French is the most widely spoken language. Students can choose to either complete a research thesis or undertake a supervised project to complete the program.



Tuition Fee, Eligibility criteria and Application Procedure

Masters’ in finance programs can cost anywhere between Canadian $30,000 – $80,000 (Rs 18 lakhs- Rs 48 lakhs). There are several scholarships offered by universities to students while applying and these typically reduce the tuition fee by $5,000 – $15,000 (Rs 3 lakhs – Rs 9 lakhs).


The eligibility criteria is as follows:


Undergraduate Qualification

Most universities require students to have completed a 4 year bachelors’ degree in a Math heavy field like finance, engineering or physics. Some universities may allow students to apply even with a three-year undergraduate degree if the have at least a year of work experience in finance or have cleared the first level of the CFA or FRM exams.


Undergraduate GPA

Most universities require a minimum of 3.0 on 4.0 while applying while the average GPA at top universities can be as high as 3.6 on 4.0. If your undergraduate grades are in percentage or on a ten point GPA scale, you can avail the services of organizations like WES to convert your GPA to the Canadian equivalent.


Test Scores (GMAT or GRE)

Universities generally require students to take either the GMAT or the GRE and submit their scores for the Masters in Finance program. Universities expect students to have secured a minimum GMAT score of 500 (i.e. 302 on the GRE) when applying. The average GMAT score at top universities is around 660 (i.e. 321 on the GRE). However, some universities might be willing to waive the GMAT / GRE requirement if students have work experience or have cleared the first level of the CFA or FRM exams.


English Language Tests


Students must submit their English Language Test scores when applying to the Masters in Finance programs in Canada. The minimum scores generally accepted are a band 6.5 in the IELTS (with no band less than 6.0) or a 90 on the TOEFL (with no section less than 20). 


To apply to a Masters’ in Finance program
in Canada
, students
must submit the following:

  • Undergraduate Transcripts: Students must collect signed and stamped transcripts from their undergraduate college and  upload the same to the university application portal.
  • Resume: A updated one or two page resume detailing their education background and relevant work experience, additional courses or certifications.
  • A Statement of Purpose: A one or two page long document describing why the student wants to pursue a Masters in Finance. Some universities might ask specific essay questions too. 
  • Two to three letters of Recommendation: Two to three letters of recommendations by teachers, supervisors at work or clients that speak to the candidates’ ability to study finance and work in finance.
  • GMAT / GRE Test scores: The official GMAT / GRE test scores must be submitted to the university.
  • TOEFL / IELTS Test scores: The official English language test scores must be submitted to the university
  • Certificates: If students have pursued relevant credentials like a CFA or an FRM, they are encouraged to submit proof of the same as this might make their application more competitive.
  • Work Experience Proof: If candidates have work experience, they should procure appointment letters or experience letters to prove their work experience. Candidates with work experience have a higher change of securing scholarships.

In addition to the above, students might be asked to interview with the admissions committee or submit a video essay.


Difference between an MBA in Finance and an MS in Finance

The major difference between an MBA in Finance and an MS in Finance is that an MBA provides more depth of knowledge by teaching students subjects like strategy, marketing, operations, and organization design. On the other hand, a master’s in finance seeks to teach only Finance related subjects – but in far more depth than what an MBA program would. MBA programs tend to be more selective and more expensive – but the starting salaries for MBA graduates is higher too.

What you choose depends entire on your interest, you career goals, where you are in your career and your budget. Early career finance focused students with a low budget should target MS in Finance programs over an MBA in Finance.

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