Master's Project Guidelines

The Master's project is an important component of the MSF program and is required of each MSF student. Students work in pairs with a Finance Department advisor to deepen their understanding of some aspect of Finance.  Residency in Tucson is required, along with weekly submission of assignments leading to the final paper and presentation.

Students must complete the master's project during the summer only and following the completion of the majority of the required 30 hours of coursework for the MSF degree. If not completed in the first summer attempted, the project must be completed the following summer and within one calendar year of the completion of the required coursework. If the project is not completed within that time, the student may receive an E grade for the project and be ineligible (per UA Graduate College requirements) to receive a master's degree.

For deailts on the project, please scroll down or link below:

Types of Projects

The requirements for the project are flexible enough to encourage a wide range of topics and approaches, including updating research in a published academic paper with current data, studying a new as yet unpublished research topic, or working with a corporation on a finance project (beyond the scope of the company's day-to-day finance work). Projects will be completed working as a team with one other student.

Time Commitment

Since the project is a substantial undertaking, it requires careful analysis and planning. The scope of the project needs to be designed to be of sufficient rigor for a master's level project. Students should plan on spending 20 to 25 hours per week over the course of two summer semesters on the project.

International students should be aware that they will begin working with their Ph.D. advisor and teammate toward the end of spring semester to outline the project and set a schedule of activities and weekly deliverables for the summer.  The project is six credits and therefore needs to be equivalent work of two master’s classes.  Teams will be meeting weekly during the summer with the Ph.D. advisor, meeting interim deadlines and receive grades for both Summer I and Summer II sessions, working toward the presentation in August.  Also, most of the data needed for the projects must be accessed from our department.

Therefore, if a student really needs to return home, it might work to take one or two weeks in late May, following the end of spring semester.  Three weeks would be the longest a student could plan to go home, but one to two weeks is preferred.  If a student leaves for a short time, he or she should have plans agreed upon with the teammate and Ph.D. advisor as to tasks to complete during the trip and a schedule of when the team and advisor will communicate by email.

Master Plan of Study

As soon as you have identified your general topic and teammate, complete the Master's Plan of Study in UAccess Student Center: GradPath and submit it online. The Plan of Study must total 36 units, which will include 10 master's level courses, 3 units each of FIN909, Master's Project in Summer I and Summer II (and any fall semester courses, if applicable). You will find more information on how to complete the form on the Master's Plan of Study webpage. The form will be submit automatically for approval to Kay Ross, Director, Graduate Programs.  

Project Registration

Before completing your program, you must register for two semesters of FIN909 Master's Project in Summer I and Summer II sessions following or during completion of your coursework. After you have identified your topic and teammate, you need to complete the Master's Plan of Study as described above and also register for FIN909. When you submit the completed and signed copy of the Master's Plan of Study to Kay Ross, you will complete two Change of Schedule Forms to add for FIN909 for the appropriate semesters.

Project Topic and Agreement

Once you have identified a general topic and teammate, submit a written proposal on the process and product of your master's project using the MSF-FIN909-Agreement Form. Guidelines to help you with the process are provided on the next page, Master's Project Topic. After you have started your research, you will also want to read the requirements for the final paper and presentation, as well as University of Arizona Completion of Degree Requirements form. 

For additional information, please contact us.