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Benefit to taking undergrad classes I will retake in grad school?

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Benefit to taking undergrad classes I will retake in grad school? [#permalink]

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New post 28 Oct 2017, 10:18
I will be attending an MSF program in May without a business background (my degree is in biology). The only business classes I have taken are Financial Accounting and Financial Management. I am debating taking Investments and Problems in Financial Management in the spring. These 4 classes are prerequisites for Florida State University's MSF program. However, I am no longer applying to FSU and the schools that accepted me don't have prerequisites. Would I be at a disadvantage by not taking these two classes in the spring, given my non-business background?

I noticed that most MSF programs have an Investments class in the summer or fall semester. I am unsure if Problems in Financial Management is taught under a different name at other MSF programs. Thus, I am unsure if taking these two classes would be a waste of money. Would a fundamentals of investments class in grad school be different from a fundamentals of investments class in undergrad?

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Re: Benefit to taking undergrad classes I will retake in grad school? [#permalink]

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New post 29 Oct 2017, 08:34
Okay, my first thought is to ask whether you could audit/just sit in on the Investments and/or Problems in Financial Management courses. I'd say, depending on your own motivation/time you can devote to the classes/etc., you could probably learn maybe 50-70% of what you would if you took the class for a grade. But that 50-70% might make the transition to grad school a bit easier, if you already have some exposure to the topics of some of your first classes there. It could also help you learn the topics more deeply than you would have if the graduate course were your first exposure to the topic.

I'm not sure about the Problems in Financial Management course specifically. Hard to know without a course description or syllabus. In general, I'd say I have found that graduate courses that are "basically" the same course as an undergraduate version.... you'll cover much of the same content, but usually do so a little bit more rigorously. And the homework/problem sets might be a bit harder and require more intuition and independent thinking. They tend to teach assuming that you've had calculus/decent quant background, which means they can do proofs/explanations "the right way" instead of waving that stuff under the rug as tends to happen in undergrad. (My experience is mostly with stat/econ/accounting classes. Not sure if all this is true for Investments specifically, but definitely some of the more quantitative Finance courses.)

Other things to consider: are most of the MSF programs you're looking at one year? That is, would you be applying for jobs in the fall of that year? In that case, having more business background AND more finance courses on your transcripts *before* fall on-campus recruiting would be helpful. So that might argue for, no, not a waste of money. Because some companies might ask for transcripts and be looking for a specific number of business or finance courses. And because if you get interviews that have a business case study component, you'll be at an advantage if you already have some of the terminology under your belt.

On that note, you might also consider looking instead at general business classes that definitely wouldn't be taught in your MSF program, to give yourself the broader business background that a specialized masters might not. Something where you wouldn't have to worry about wasting money on repeat classes, but that still would be useful background. Maybe Macroeconomics or Management? Or, if you think your quant/math background is weak, Stat or Linear Algebra perhaps (depending what you've already had/need.)

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Re: Benefit to taking undergrad classes I will retake in grad school? [#permalink]

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New post 29 Oct 2017, 12:41
gmat_george wrote:
I will be attending an MSF program in May without a business background (my degree is in biology). The only business classes I have taken are Financial Accounting and Financial Management. I am debating taking Investments and Problems in Financial Management in the spring. These 4 classes are prerequisites for Florida State University's MSF program. However, I am no longer applying to FSU and the schools that accepted me don't have prerequisites. Would I be at a disadvantage by not taking these two classes in the spring, given my non-business background?

I noticed that most MSF programs have an Investments class in the summer or fall semester. I am unsure if Problems in Financial Management is taught under a different name at other MSF programs. Thus, I am unsure if taking these two classes would be a waste of money. Would a fundamentals of investments class in grad school be different from a fundamentals of investments class in undergrad?


No need to take them if they aren't required. You will learn them in the MSF and to a much more in depth level. You have a background in the sciences. You've taken accounting and financial management. You have the foundation for any MSF program.

Good luck!
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Re: Benefit to taking undergrad classes I will retake in grad school?   [#permalink] 29 Oct 2017, 12:41
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