Financial Services Program M.S.

Erivan K. Haub School of Business
Karen Hogan, Ph.D. Chair, Finance
Jeannine Lajuenesse, M.B.A, Program Director
Kate Sonstein, M.B.A., Program Manager, Recruiter
Lauren DiNuzzo, Program Administrator, Student Support


This innovative graduate program provides professionals with the tools, theory, and practical knowledge to engage in professional financial planning services and financial analysis.

Admissions Requirements and Procedures

  • A completed application form
  • Non-refundable $35 application fee
  • Official transcripts indicating receipt of a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university;
  • Two (2) letters of recommendation from former professors and/or employers
  • A written statement or essay of academic and career goals
  • A résumé
  • Official scores on Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) scores or Graduate Record Examinations (GRE); Scores on the GMAT or GRE must have been taken within seven years of the student’s application; applicants with at least three years of professional experience and a CFP® or a CFA professional certification will be exempt from the GMAT or GRE. Applicants holding a CPA will also be exempt. Applicants holding other professional certifications with at least five years of professional experience may request a personal interview as a substitute for the GMAT/GRE requirement. 

International applicants are no longer required to submit a credentials evaluation—transcript evaluations will be performed by Admissions staff.

However, applicants already possessing a course-by-course evaluation of their transcripts are encouraged to submit this in place of original transcripts. For those who do not possess a course-by ­course evaluation, an official record of all college and university academic studies and results of state and/or national examinations taken are required. Academic records must include the name of each individual course, the grade earned, and the grading scale used. Documents must be submitted in one’s native language with an official English translation.

The Graduate Operations Office performs all international credential evaluations. Foreign documents, credentials and transcripts must be official (sealed and sent directly from the institution). Only originals or photocopies officially stamped and attested by a school official (Registrar, Principal, or Controller of Examinations) are accepted. Faxes, scanned or notarized copies or copies attested by a department head cannot be accepted as official. All credentials submitted to the Graduate Operations Office become property of the University and cannot be returned.

Applicants whose native language is not English are required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Arrangements should be made by writing directly to:

Box 6151
Princeton, NJ, U.S.A. 08541-6141

Students already in the Philadelphia area who do not have a TOEFL score may be admitted following satisfactory performance on the English test administered at the ELS Center on the Saint Joseph’s University campus. A minimum score of 550, internet based TOEFL 80, or 213 on computerized test on the TOEFL is required to take any course in the Program. An official IELTS score of 6.5 or an official PTE score of 60 is also acceptable. Qualified students who complete Level 112 at the ELS Language Center and receive a strong, positive letter of recommendation from the Center can begin their studies with the official TOEFL score. Applicants are required to register with the Word Education Services (WES) to have an official course-by-course evaluation of their undergraduate work. Additional information on WES transcript evaluation can be obtained by visiting them at Foreign applicants seeking an F-1 student visa must also supply a statement of financial support.

Retention Policies

Grading, Probation, Dismissal, and Failure

The grading system in effect at Saint Joseph’s University will apply to courses in the Master of Science Program. As per University guidelines for graduate study, a student enrolled in a Master of Science program who receives a single grade of C or below for three (3) credit hours will receive a warning letter. Students who receive a grade of C or below for six (6) credit hours will be placed on academic probation and will be so notified in writing. Students who receive a grade of C or below for nine (9) credit hours will be dismissed from the program.

Graduate students must fulfill all credit hour requirements for the Master of Science degree. Each candidate for graduation must have at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA, no more than two grades of C, and no F grades outstanding in order to be certified for graduation. The student, with support from the Program Director and Student Records Offices, is responsible for monitoring their own academic progress throughout the course of the program.

Retention Processes and Policies

Students enrolled in the M. S. in Financial Services Program have six years to complete their M.S. degree from Saint Joseph’s University. This six-year limit begins with the student’s first 550 level course registration. Extensions beyond this limit can only be made with the approval of the Dean, and only for unusual and serious circumstances.

Students who exceed the time limit to complete the M.S. Program will be dismissed from the program. Such students may reapply for admission into the program as new students and start the program with no credit from the previous courses taken.

Graduation/Commencement Policies

Students must complete all course requirements prior to graduation. Upon petition to the Dean, students may be permitted to take part in commencement exercises if they will be completing their graduate studies by August.

Financial Assistance

A limited number of graduate assistantships are available to students who have been admitted into the program. In exchange for carrying out assigned duties in the Department, students receive tuition assistance as well as a monthly stipend. For more information, please contact the Graduate Business Programs Office.


Jeaninne Lajeunesse, M.B.A., Director
280 Mandeville Hall
Saint Joseph’s University
5600 City Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19131-1395
Phone: (610) 660-1626
Fax: (610) 660-1599
E-mail: jeannine

Learning Goals and Objectives

Stakeholder Value/Functional: Students will demonstrate understanding of financial tenets: the risk-return trade-off; the time value of money; cash flow vs. profits; efficient capital markets; taxes bias business decisions; risk and diversification.

Problem Solving/Critical Thinking: Students will develop critical thinking skills, that is, the process of conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and/or evaluating information as the basis for solving problems and making decisions.

Interpersonal/Communication skills: Students will enhance the interpersonal skills needed for success within organizations, including an understanding of self and others, and building productive teams.   Students will demonstrate the ability to correspond effectively and persuasively in a business format, communicate effectively with individuals and within teams, and present to both individuals and groups clearly and convincingly.

Ignatian Values: Students will develop an understanding of and ability to apply the Ignatian values of: a commitment to rigorous education and lifelong learning; an insistence upon ethical decision making; a desire for social justice; and a care and concern for others.

Program-Specific I - Practical Financial Knowledge: Students will gain exposure to independent problem solving, research and financial planning in a real world context.  Students will gain proficiency with the concepts and applications of federal income taxation, estate and gift planning, pensions and retirement planning, financial planning and investing.  Students will be able to synthesize the elements of comprehensive financial planning. Students will increase their knowledge of how the planning process is made operative in a variety of contexts.

Program-Specific II - Knowledge of Financial Tools: Students will understand time value concepts and be able to apply appropriate concepts to given circumstances.  Students will have operational knowledge of financial calculators.  Students will have a proficiency in use of spreadsheets.


The Master of Science in Financial Services degree requires completion of 30 to 41 credits with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better in courses taken at SJU. The degree can be completed in 30 credits (10 classes) by completing the Advanced Program if the Foundation Requirements can be met through acceptable undergraduate transfer credit, challenge, or CLEP exams. Students granted a business administration bachelor’s degree from an AACSB accredited program within 10 years of beginning the MS program normally take 30 semester credits to complete their degree. Courses carry three semester credits unless otherwise noted.

All course prerequisites must be satisfied prior to enrolling in a given course; prerequisites are indicated in the section on Course Descriptions. Students may be admitted to Advanced Program courses before completion of the entire Foundation Program, but must complete the Foundation Program by the time that twelve (12) credits have been earned in the Advanced Program Students may transfer up to a maximum of six credits from outside Saint Joseph’s University. The Math Proficiency Requirement may be met by taking DSS 500 (one course), CLEP College Algebra exam, or a challenge exam.

Seven courses in the MSFS program satisfy the education requirements of the CFP® certification examination and have been registered as such by the CFP Board. These courses are:

ACC 601Tax Planning3
FIN 601Personal Financial Planning3
FIN 602Portfolio Management3
FIN 604Personal Insurance Planning3
FIN 605Pensions & Benefits Admin3
FIN 606Estate Planning3
FIN 620Fin Plan Dev&Presentn Capstone3

The seven courses cover the complete topic list required by the CFP Board. For maximum benefit, the courses should be taken so that the first in the sequence is  FIN 601 , and the last three in the sequence are FIN 605, FIN 606, and FIN 620, in that order. The curriculum in the first four courses is essential to make the completion of the retirement, estate, and capstone courses both easier and more meaningful.

Saint Joseph’s University does not certify individuals to use the CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER and CFP® certification marks. CFP certification is granted only by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. to those persons who, in addition to completing an educational requirement such as this CFP Board-Registered Program, have met its ethics, experience and examination requirements.

Foundation Requirements

11 credits

ACC 500Acc, Bus Anlyss and Fin Report3
DSS 500Math for Grad Business Studies1
DSS 510Statistics Proficiency1
FIN 500Managerial Economics3
FIN 503Financial Management3

Students may demonstrate their mathematics proficiency by taking the CLEP College Algebra exam or a challenge exam. Those students who do not have a proficiency in mathematics will be required to successfully complete DSS 500, a one credit math workshop. Students who have taken six credits of Business Math or three credits of Calculus and have scored sufficiently in the quantitative section of the GMAT/GRE will receive a waiver for DSS 500, Math for Graduate Business Studies.

All students will be required to take the Aleks placement exam to measure their proficiency in statistics before the end of their first semester. Students who have received an 80% or above in the Aleks Placement exam will receive a waiver for DSS 510 Statistics Proficiency.

Students who have taken six credits of Business Math or three credits of Calculus and have scored sufficiently in the quantitative section of the GMAT/GRE will receive a waiver for DSS 500, Math for Graduate Business Studies.

Advanced Program Requirements

Core Requirements
FIN 550Shareholder Value Management3
FIN 600Fin Institutions & Capital Mkt3
FIN 602Portfolio Management3
Finance Elective Courses
Select seven of the following:21
Tax Planning 1
Financial Statement Analysis
Personal Financial Planning 1
Personal Insurance Planning 1
Pensions & Benefits Admin 1
Estate Planning 1
Risk Management
Advanced Financial Management
International Finance
Security Analysis & Investment
Mergers and Acquistions
Derivative Markets
Fin Plan Dev&Presentn Capstone 1
FIN 770-FIN 779: Topics in Finance
Stakeholder Theory & Soc Resp

CFP® Certification 

Our CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™1 Certificate Program has been specifically designed for students who have already earned an MBA degree, but do not have the requisite coursework to sit for the CFP exam.

Saint Joseph's University's Certificate in Financial Planning is registered with Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. (CFP) Board* as an approved education program. Certified Financial PlannerTM certification is the most recognized professional certification for financial planners, demonstrating expertise in the field and adherence to rigorous standards. As a CFP Board-Registered Program, successful completion of the Saint Joseph's University's Certificate in Financial Planning satisfies CFP Board's education requirement, allowing an individual to sit for the CFP Certification Examination.

ACC 601Tax Planning3
FIN 601Personal Financial Planning3
FIN 602Portfolio Management3
FIN 604Personal Insurance Planning3
FIN 605Pensions & Benefits Admin3
FIN 606Estate Planning3
FIN 620Fin Plan Dev&Presentn Capstone3