Frequently Asked Questions

Graduate Certificate in Financial Analysis and Valuation

Topics Addressed In Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to be a current USC student to apply for admission to this program?

No. Anyone who has the necessary qualifications is welcome to apply.

Can I start with the certificate and then transfer to the Master of Science in Finance degree?

No. Admission to the Graduate Certificate program will not change your chances of getting into the MS degree program and could create curricular overlap problems that could be expensive. You should apply to the MS program instead. Anyone in the certificate program who is subsequently admitted to the MS program will not be allowed to earn both diplomas, but instead will be required to drop out of the certificate program. Whether or not courses taken for the certificate will be applied to the MS degree is at the discretion of the MS program.

I already hold a master's degree. Do I have to submit test scores?

Yes. Holding a prior master’s degree does not exempt applicants from submitting the required test scores. 

How long does it take to complete the program?

The length of time needed to complete the program varies from student to student.

  • Most full-time students complete the program over two semesters.
  • International students must complete the program in no more than two semesters.
  • Part-Time domestic students and permanent residents may choose to complete the program over several years.

Cost/Tuition and Fees

For those who are not already graduate students at USC, the cost of the program is around $31,000 plus books, fees, insurance, and living expenses. Fees and insurance can total more than $2,000 per year. Living expenses (housing, food, transportation, etc.) run about $20,000 per year. Current USC tuition and fee information is available at Select the next future semester and then the 'Tuition and Fees' tab on the left side of the screen. Tuition rates do increase each year.

Financial Aid/Scholarships

This program is not funded for scholarships. Other scholarship programs might be available. Visit the USC Awards Database for more information.

This certificate is eligible for federal financial aid. To apply for federal financial aid, please click here

Career Development and Placement Services

Certificate-only students are provided career transition services through the USC Career Center. Certificate students are encouraged to join graduate student clubs and organizations in their field of interest as well.

SIF Students

Selection to participate in the Marshall Student Investment Fund (SIF) seminar (FBE-553ab) does NOT guarantee admission into the the certificate program. A separate formal application to the certificate program is required. Refer to the instructions under the "Admissions" link.

MAcc Students

Certificate students pursuing the corporate finance option who are simultaneously enrolled in the Master of Accounting program may be advised to not take ACCT-572. In this case they may (a) take it anyway for application to the Certificate only or (b) substitute an additional FBE course from the corporate finance option curriculum for ACCT-572 or (c) take ACCT-532 and ACCT-533 (Mergers and Acquisitions) instead.

Current USC Students - Creating a New Application

You will need to submit a new application to apply for admission to this program. Applications to the Graduate Certificate are submitted on-line via

  • Start by applying for an application fee waiver. (First year students must wait until they have completed their first semester to apply for a fee waiver.)  Follow the instructions under
    step 3 at or
    step 4 at
    Processing of application fee waivers usually takes 2-3 working days.
    When you try to submit your application, if the system asks for a credit card number, do NOT give it a credit card number. Contact USC Admissions to follow up on the status of your waiver.
  • If you have not used this system before, you will need to create a login and password. If you have applied to USC using this system before, use your existing login and password to retrieve your file.
  • Under the "Add Program" tab search for "Program Level" Certificate, find "Marshall School of Business" and select the Graduate Certificate in Financial Analysis and Valuation from the list for the appropriate semester.
  • Return to the "My Application" tab and complete the required portions of the application. Test scores and transcripts submitted to USC with your prior application should be on file in the USC admissions system, so you should not have to submit new official scores or new official transcripts, but do fill in the requested fields and upload scanned copies as requested to your application.
  • In the "Academic Background" section don't forget to add your current USC degree program to your education history and upload a copy of your current STARS report in lieu of a USC transcript .
  • In the "Program Materials" quadrant, the "Questions" are required.
  • Don't forget to "Submit Application" after you have received your approved application fee waiver.

What did we miss?

For more information, write to or call (213) 740-3198.