MS in Financial Engineering & Risk Management

College of Business & Economics | California State University, Fullerton

Admission requirements

Admission Requirements

To help ensure your success in the program and beyond, you will need a bachelor's degree from an applicable field, core competency in a few key areas and a GRE or GMAT score.

To set up a pre-application review of your qualifications, we encourage you to make an appointment with our Faculty Advisor Dr. Xiaoying Xie at

Applicable fields

Applicants should have a degree from one of the following fields. Degrees from other fields may be accepted. If you have a degree from a different, related field,  you should contact us or schedule an advising session with our Faculty Advisor Dr. Xiaoying Xie at

Finance Finance
Economics Economics
Mathematics Mathematics
Engineering Engineering
Science Science
Risk Management and Insurance Risk Management and Insurance

Required core competencies

To be successfully admitted into the MS FERM program, a minimum of a B average (GPA of at least 3.0) is required across courses in the final year of study. Students with degrees in business, economics, statistics, mathematics, computer science, engineering or actuarial science are preferred, but other degrees will be considered if there is evidence that the candidate has strong quantitative skills.

Students must submit a Graduate Management Admission Test/Graduate Record Exam (GMAT/GRE) score with their application. Students who do not achieve a minimum score of 4 on the GRE Writing Assessment Test, a minimum score of 4 on the GMAT Analytical Writing Assessment, or have not completed the upper-division writing requirement at any CSU campus, will be required to take BUAD 501. The writing requirement should be met within two semesters of admission. 

One of the following must also be satisfied to be considered for admission:

  • Option 1: Complete courses in Foundations of Finance, Investments and financial derivatives, Business Calculus and Business Statistics.
  • Option 2: Demonstrate proficiency through a professional designation and/or work experience in the financial services industry. Or: Pass an industry exam such as CFA, FRM, actuarial exams within the last five years.
  • Option 3: Score in the 80th percentile on GMAT/GRE and have passed a course in calculus.
    Pass a qualifying exam covering the following topics: time value of money, investments, accounting, corporate finance, college algebra, college calculus, probability and statistics.

In addition, candidates must submit:

  • GMAT/GRE score
  • Resume, statement of purpose (required) and letter(s) of recommendation (optional)
  • For international students, a minimum TOEFL score of 550 on the paper exam, or a score of 80 on the internet based (iBT) is required

International student requirements

There are language requirements for international students. To view minimum language proficiency, please visit the CBE Admission Requirements for Graduate Programs page .

How to apply

Applications open in the fall. You can view application instructions and dates, or start your application, on our Apply page. If you would like to receive application updates, join our email list below.

What’s your next step?

Learn about the program schedule or receive a FERM Program Guide by joining the email list. By joining the FERM list you will also receive program and application updates.

Program Schedule

What's your next step - Schedule

The 12-month FERM program is one of the fastest ways to earn your advanced degree. Get details on the classes you will be taking every semester.