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Graduate finance program introduced

Finance students can now apply to the master’s of science in quantitative finance program and stay at Bradley to complete their graduate work.
Professor of finance and quantitative methods Phillip Horvath is in charge of getting the new program up and running and said he talks with interested students about the details of the program daily.
“So far, there has been a lot of interest in the program,” he said. “I speak with two to three students per day who are interested.”
Current finance students have expressed interest in the degree, as well, junior finance and economics major Curtis Starkey said.
“People have been talking about it in my classes,” he said. “The general feel is that everyone knows about this and is excited that Bradley now has a graduate school option.”
The program will begin next year, and Horvath said he has high hopes for the enrollment.
“Thirty to 40 students would be a very acceptable size for this program,” he said. “We are getting about one application a week. We don’t even have a Web site for it yet, and the promotional materials are still being developed.”
Starkey said although the program’s official promotional materials are not ready, finance professors have already been promoting the program themselves.
“Teachers have been talking about it in class and really spreading the word,” he said.
The new program will feature two different tracks students can take.
Students can apply to the new master’s program, which is open only to those who have already completed their undergraduate work, Horvath said.
“Students can apply to this program at just about any time,” he said. “When they are judged able to complete the program, they will be admitted.”
The other option is a combination of an undergraduate and graduate degree.
“For the 3-2 program, we expect a lot of incoming freshmen to apply,” Horvath said. “A lot of students will also transfer into this program from other majors.”
The 3-2 program will consist of a strictly structured undergraduate program before students move into the graduate school.
“There are not many degrees of freedom here,” Horvath said. “It is very strict, so we are going cautiously.”
While some classes have been created specifically for the new programs, some are currently listed in the class catalogue, Horvath said.
“Many classes are already in the books, and many of the graduate ones have been around for some time,” he said. “Six new 600-level finance courses have been approved. They are in the closing end of being developed and by the time students reach them, they will be well thought out and well taught.”
Although some of these classes will be taught by current Bradley professors, some new teachers have been hired specifically to teach in the new program.
“Two new faculty members have come on board this semester, and a healthy part of their work will be teaching these courses,” Horvath said. “It just depends on who has the appropriate skill level to teach as they are very hard classes.”
Starkey said he thinks some professors in the finance department are already well-qualified to teach graduate-level courses.
“We have some really good finance professors here,” he said. “The graduate degree will be well structured and well taught. I have a feeling it will be a really good program.”
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