Finance - Master of Science (MSc)
The Master in Finance is a two-year program that offers students the choice between three specializations: Actuarial Science, Financial Economics and Financial Mathematics. The program, which is taught in English, is both quantitative and practical. If you want to learn more about quantitative methods and how to apply them, the MSc Finance is the right choice for you.
Master of Science (MSc)Type of study
- each winter semester
- no restriction
120Standard period of study (semester)
More about the course
Special attention will be given to quantitative approaches that form the basis for modeling financial products, for measuring risk and for setting up predictive models. Example applications are risk management, the pricing of insurance products, trading strategies, or the prediction of bankruptcies and other variables that are key to financial decision making. Many of the offered courses focus on such applications, and current issues such as climate risk or cryptocurrencies will be covered. Students will also gain familiarity with the information systems Refinitiv Datastream and Refinitiv Eikon, which are available in the faculty’s trading room. To learn more about the program, visit the MSc Finance webpage.
lm is a great place to live and to study. According to a ranking by Times Higher Education, which is based on research and teaching excellence, Ulm university is ranked among the top ten percent of universities world wide. And among all universities founded in the Golden Age of Higher Education, from 1945 to 1967, Ulm University is ranked 14 worldwide in another Times Higher Education ranking.
Ulm - the feel-good city
Studying and researching is all well and good. But Ulm, the birthplace of Albert Einstein, also has a lot to offer to keep you entertained in your spare time.
The city is beautiful and cozy, yet full of life. You can meet with your friends in one of the many cafes, pubs or parks. Events like the Ulmer Zelt (summer concert & comedy series), Nabada (carnival on the river) or the International Donaufest (food, craftworks & music) will get you on your feet and out and about in this medieval city with its quaint alleys and lush green parks.
Many more reasons for studying Finance in Ulm are described in this video.
Through the programme, students will gain a sound understanding of cutting-edge techniques used by financial institutions, consultants, regulators as well as fintechs, i.e., companies that offer new products based on modern technology.
To develop your practical skills, lecture courses are accompanied by sessions that involve applications, working with data, and coding. In addition, there are specially designed courses with a practical focus. Depending on your specialization, the course program also prepares you for GARP’s Financial Risk Manager exam or the professional examination of the German Actuarial Society (DAV).
The programme is spread over four terms (two years), with three terms of course work and one term to write the master‘s thesis. After the first term, students can decide whether to specialize in Actuarial Science, Financial Economics or Financial Mathematics.
Depending on the chosen specialization, core courses of the first term include Asset Pricing, Derivatives and Discrete Time Financial Mathematics. There are also compulsory practical courses, through which you will gain experience in implementing modern financial techniques. In seminars you will write and present papers and thereby prepare for the master‘s thesis. Seminars also make you familiar with current topics such as climate risk.
Courses from mathematics and statistics also constitute an important part of the program. Here you can choose among a wide range of topics, including courses on machine learning.
Among employers, Ulm University has an excellent reputation for well-trained finance students. One proof of this is the annual career fair at Ulm University, in which around 50 companies participate, many of them from the financial services sector. It is an excellent opportunity to talk to companies about an internship or a job.
For some of the jobs offered in Germany, employers expect graduates to have a good knowledge of German. But many of our students have secured such jobs even though they had no knowledge of German at the time they arrived – they learned German through the language courses we offer. In addition, many of our graduates work for global financial companies (e.g. Bank of America or Allianz). Employers of former MSc Finance students include:
- Bank of America
- Deutsche Bank
- Goldman Sachs
- Bank of China
- Ernst & Young
- DZ Bank
- ... and many others
Jovana from Serbia
What I really like about the Master in Finance program is that it offers courses that cover a wide range of areas in finance and that students are completely free to choose their own study path. Since I come from a country in which the financial sector is not very developed, this helped me a lot to get an overview of many different topics and to choose my area of interest. Furthermore, the environment and the overall atmosphere at the University is very stimulating and besides high-quality theoretical and practical knowledge that students can gain, they have a chance to work together with their colleagues who are coming from all around the world and to learn more about different cultures and team-work in such an international environment.
In my opinion, the experience I gained during two years I spent in Ulm prepared me in the best possible way for my future career and enabled me to enter a leading-edge company in the area of the investment and risk.
Jovana, student from Serbia.
After graduating in 2013, Jovana got a position as an analyst at risklab GmbH, The Investment and Risk Advisory Experts of AllianzGI Global Solutions
Sirui from China
"Studying at Ulm University has always been one of the best experiences to me. In my view, this is a great place where excellent faculty and brilliant students meet. And I am very thankful that I have been able to build up my knowledge and skills in a practical way via the MSc Finance program. Moreover, it has also been a great pleasure for me to make so many good friends throughout my study here. I miss them so much and I hope one day we could reunite in all parts of the world!"
Sirui, student from China.
After his graduation in 2019, Sirui started to work on his PhD at Goethe University Frankfurt.
Ken from Japan
I see three strong advantages in studying the MSc Finance program at Ulm. First, I feel the course offers a perfect mixture between theoretical and practical knowledge. My first degree was in mathematics, where knowledge was passed on through a piece of chalk on the blackboard. As much as I enjoyed this experience, in Ulm many courses are real-life oriented, we are able to gain experience applying knowledge and handling data using software such as Bloomberg, DataStream, MATLAB, R, or C++. I personally found this extremely helpful during my internships. Second, the diversity of students in the program is just surprising. Colleagues literally come from around the globe (of course, Germany too!) and it is a great opportunity to be able to network with such a diverse range of colleagues. Third but not least, I find this program very flexible. You have an opportunity to become a teaching assistant in your third semester. You can write your master's thesis in collaboration with a renowned institution. You could perhaps do an exchange semester in the USA or take a semester off doing an internship. I have seen colleagues structure their own unique master's program here.
Finally, as a student studying finance, taught to make 'rational' decisions, I would like to end by saying that the cost and quality of education in Ulm leads me to believe that I was able to maximize utility doing my master's degree here.
Ken, student from Japan.
After graduating in 2013, Ken went to Tokyo, Japan, where he is working as an asset manager.
How to apply
Applicants to this programme must have earned or be in the process of earning a bachelor's degree (or an equivalent thereof) in mathematics or in another quantitative and mathematically-orientated discipline from a recognized university. Applicants with a degree in actuarial science, computer science, engineering, or physics are usually eligible. A degree in economics can be sufficient provided that you have successfully taken a significant number of courses in mathematics and statistics. A degree in business, commerce or accounting is usually not sufficient for admission because typical programmes in these fields do not contain the amount of training in mathematics and statistics that is required for the MSc Finance. Please note that mathematics courses outside university (e.g. secondary school) cannot be considered as a surrogate for missing qualifications at the Bachelor's level.
We expect an above-average performance in the completed degree.
Interest in Mathematics
Note that courses in financial mathematics and mathematics, which are an integral part of two out of three specializations of the MSc Finance, are on the level of mathematics programs. Applicants interested in these two specializations (Actuarial Science and Financial Mathematics) should therefore have a genuine interest in mathematics. Applicants interested in the specialization Financial Economics should note that the specialization is still fairly quantitative compared to many other Finance programs.
If you are in doubt whether you meet the requirements, beginning from October 1st each year, you can send us an email with only your transcript of records for a preliminary check. Please try not to send attachments larger than 2 MB.
English language test
Furthermore, good knowledge of the English language is required. You can use a TOEFL (score of at least 72 for the internet-based test) or an IELTS (score of 5.5 or better). A test is not needed by applicants whose mother tongue is English or who have completed a Bachelor taught in English.
No Background in Finance needed
You do not need prior knowledge in finance. The compulsory courses of the first semester are structured such that they can serve as an introduction to finance. Successful applicants will display the willingness to work in a challenging, multi-cultural environment, a strong mathematical ability and good communication skills.
Next intake is winter semester 2024/2025.
To submit your application, apply online via the application portal and upload all documents. Please make sure that you fulfill the formal requirements.
Application is open from Feburary 1 to March 15, 2024.
We recommend you to apply as soon as possible.
Guidance on the application process is provided here.
Prospective students can find a comprehensive list of all required application documents on the webpage of the admission department:
The information is provided on the bottom of the page in the section 'Further information'.
We strongly recommend to visit this page before applying to ensure you have all required materials for a successful application.
Fees & Living Expenses
Students who are not nationals of the European Union or member states of the European Economic Area (Island, Liechtenstein, Norway) and who come from abroad to study in Ulm need to pay a tuition fee of 1500 Euro per semester, i.e. 3000 Euro per year or 6000 for the entire Master programme if you complete it within the envisaged two years. There are some exceptions. For example, students who completed schooling in Germany (Abitur) or who already have a permanent residential permit in Germany are not required to pay.
An administrative fee of presently 180.00 Euros (student union fee 92.00 Euro, administrative fee of 70 Euro, fee for constituted student body 18 Euro) will be charged per semester.
Students are responsible for their own living expenses which run, as a guide line, at 600 to 850 Euro per month. For a more detailed overview, please consult this page.
You can take up part-time jobs during your studies. These can be related to finance and similar to an internship experience. It is also possible to work as a part-time teaching or research assistant at the university. Typically, it is easier to find such positions during your second year of studies.
For information on scholarship programs consult the DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) scholarship database. Make sure that you tick "Graduate" in the status field on the left when searching the DAAD database. Several of our students have DAAD scholarships, in particular Study Scholarships - Master Studies for All Academic Disciplines. Unfortunately, these scholarships are availabe only for specific countries. The DAAD database will inform you whether you can apply for such a scholarship.
For many scholarships awarded by German institutions, application is usually only possible once you study in Germany. For others, e.g. DAAD sholarships, you need to apply early. The University of Ulm also awards scholarships. For the Deutschlandstipendium, a national scholarship program, application is possible only once you study in Ulm.
Most international students live in one of the student residences (dorms). We will help students find a room in one of the dorms. General information about the dorms is available here.