The UFV Senate approved a Master of Finance degree, adding to the university’s growing list of graduate school options.
At their June 9 meeting, the Senate voted to ratify the new program, which has been in various stages of planning for several years, and looks to take in students for the Fall 2018 semester.
Provost and vice-president, academic Eric Davis explained that the Master of Finance is designed to help students procure managerial positions in both public and corporate organizations, and in doing so is expected “to be of real benefit to the society and the economy of the Fraser Valley.”
In addition to assisting budding entrepreneurs and business managers, the program is also intended to prepare students for further graduate studies at the doctoral level. It is expected to be different from other, comparable offerings within the region, as it does not require pre-existing work experience, and is meant to be completed within one year.
The program’s unique design will fulfill core mandate of UFV. Rather than signifying a shift in a fresh direction, the new program is part of an attempt to reinforce the existing institutional values of the university.
“In our strategic direction statements, we have two core goals,” said Davis. “The first is to provide the best undergraduate education in the Fraser Valley, and the second is to be a leader in the economic, social, cultural, and environmentally responsible development of the Fraser Valley.”
Rather than an effort to move away from UFV’s reputation as a leader in teaching-focused undergraduate education, Davis sees the Master of Finance degree as being an opportunity to further support the current programming.
The presence of graduate students on campus, he suggested, would contribute to “the enriching of undergraduate life” for UFV’s present students, and also potentially bring in financial resources which could bolster existing programs.
Those financial resources are expected to primarily come from tuition, as Davis describes how, unlike with full-time undergraduates, the university does not receive government funding for each graduate student. The expenses incurred by the program would mostly need to be paid for by the students themselves, making graduate tuition more expensive. However, scholarships and grants are available to those students, potentially reducing the financial burden on applicants.
Davis predicts that initially, most students registering within the program will be UFV undergrads with bachelor’s degrees in business administration, but this is expected to change and expand over time as the program’s reputation grows and gains the attention of other applicants nationally and around the world.
The Master of Finance is intended to be taken full-time, with each cohort of students taking a specific collection of courses on the way to a final capstone project, which will then enable students to choose a research focus under the guidance of faculty members.