MSc International Finance Program Details

HEC Paris MSc International Finance program details

Curriculum

General Overview

Our program aims to fulfill two objectives within a short period of time: lay the necessary foundations for any career in finance and provide in-depth knowledge in each student’s field of specialization.
We achieve this goal by leveraging on the specific knowledge and experience students have acquired before joining HEC Paris:

  • Business track students: have already taken at least introductory level courses in financial accounting, corporate finance, financial markets, derivatives and statistics in a Tier-1 international business school or university. They frequently have had first internships in banking or consulting and are looking for an advanced set of tools to jump-start their career.
  • Accelerated track students: have received first class education in a highly quantitative field (maths, physics, engineering, econometrics...) and wish to switch their field to finance. They may or may not have taken some courses in finance and they may or may not have had a first internship in banking or consulting.

Business and accelerated tracks mainly differ in courses taught during the Fall term.

Business track students follow the same courses as the “Majeure Finance” students of the HEC Master in Management program, starting all courses at an advanced level and getting a first opportunity to specialize through “block electives”.

Accelerated track students start all finance courses at an introductory level. However, they go through an intensive Fall term where courses are taught making full use of their strong quantitative skills.

Business track and accelerated track students have access to the same pool of electives in the Spring term and have the same career opportunities at the end of the program. In particular, they both have access to either a specialization in Corporate Finance or a specialization in Capital Markets (Spring term).

HEC Paris MSc International Finance (MIF) students

Program Structure

  • HEC MIF courses take place from September to April.
  • Students then continue courses until June within one of the HEC certificates.
    An HEC certificate corresponds to a group of courses with a sectorial focus on a specific area such as Energy and Finance or Social Business.
  • Finally, MIF students must write a professional thesis and fulfill a professional experience requirement in order to graduate.
    The professional thesis may either be written while on campus or during the internship under the joint supervision of a professional and an HEC faculty member. It constitutes an important component of the HEC MIF learning experience. The objective of the thesis is to explore how cutting-edge research is being implemented in the daily practice of finance in a highly competitive environment.
  • The professional experience requirement is satisfied when the student completes a professional experience of at least 4 months in finance or related fields subsequent to his or her coursework at HEC Paris. It is, however, important to stress that this professional experience may not be an internship per se. Our policy at HEC Paris is that the best type of internship is a full-time job! We strongly encourage our students to look for permanent hiring as soon as the academic year starts.

The MSc in International Finance is granted when coursework, professional thesis and “internship” requirements are fulfilled.

Course Portfolio

While the first semester is dedicated to Core and Advanced Core Courses, the second semester allows students to choose from more than 40 electives: concentration electives related to their chosen specialization, as well as free electives.

Indeed, students are invited to select one specialization as soon as they apply for the MSc International Finance program. Their choice is not binding as they will have the opportunity to confirm or change their specialization in the first semester of the program. 

Two specializations are available:

  • Corporate Finance specialization: designed for students interested in careers in M&A, private equity, consulting, large multinational companies, etc.;
  • Capital Markets specialization: ideal for students interested in careers in trading, structuring, market analysis, but also wealth and asset management.

Core courses


  • Soft skills seminar
  • Ethics seminar
  • Probability and statistics refresher
  • Corporate Finance theory (2)
  • Corporate valuation (2)
  • Securities markets
  • Financial statement analysis (2)
  • Introduction to finance (1)
  • Corporate finance (1)
  • Financial accounting and reporting (1)
  • International macroeconomics (1)
  • Empirical methods in finance
  • Asset management (2)

(1) Accelerated Track only
(2) Business Track only

Advanced Core Courses

  • International finance (2)
  • Financial regulation
  • Fixed income and MM
  • Capital markets specialization courses:
    • Asset pricing theory
    • Financial engineering (2)
    • Quantitative asset management
  • Corporate finance specialization cources:
    • Financial modeling
    • Corporate restructuring
    • Derivatives (2)

(1) Accelerated Track only
(2) Business Track only

Corporate Finance specialization

Students follow the courses of one of the three following concentrations:

  • Corporate investment & financing policy:
    • Advanced financial accounting
    • Financing decisions of firms
    • Financial solutions for corporates
    • Equity capital markets
    • Entrepreneurial finance
  • Corporate restructuring:
    • Mergers & acquisitions
    • LBO structuring and modelling in practice
    • Real options
    • Private equity
    • Value / distressed investing
  • Corporate strategy:
    • Macroeconomics of crises economies
    • Corporate strategy & financial institutions
    • Behavioral strategy
    • Financial dimensions of strategic decisions
    • International expansion strategies

Capital Markets specialization

Students follow the courses of one of the two following concentrations:

  • Financial engineering:
    • Advanced Asset Pricing
    • Stochastic processes
    • Modeling techniques for financial engineering
    • FX derivatives trading
    • Origination of structured products
  • Capital markets:
    • Financial engineering & derivative products
    • Bond portfolio management
    • Sustainable & responsible investment
    • Alternative investments
    • Ethics: Financial analysts and portfolio managers

Free electives


  • Business taxation
  • Credit crisis: Historical and technical analysis
  • Credit risk & turnaround of distressed companies
  • Économie et Gestion Bancaires (taught in french)
  • Energy and finance
  • Energy markets
  • Financements structurés (taught in french)
  • Financial modeling
  • Infrastructure and real assets
  • Legal and contractual aspects of corporate finance
  • Real estate foundations
  • Topics in valuation
  • Numerical analysis
  • Quantitative asset management
  • Financial dimension of strategic decisions
  • Financing decisions of the firms

Certificates

Sponsored by a company, Certificates are a set of interdisciplinary courses corresponding to approximately 100 contact hours as well as business projects and other types of field work related to a given sector. Each student selected (in the 1st semester) for a certificate will be awarded an additional HEC certificate if he/she validates all the requirements of the course.

London Study Trip

At the beginning of September, students have the opportunity to go on a study trip to London. The trip offers students plenty of networking opportunities, conferences and team building exercises. Many networking events are organized with HEC Alumni’s UK branch - one of the largest in the world, with numerous active members working in the City.

The 2017-2018 London study trip included company events with:

  • Bank of America - Merrill Lynch
  • Barclays
  • BNP Paribas
  • Blackstone
  • Boussard & Gavaudan
  • Commerzbank
  • Crédit Agricole
  • Exane
  • Goldman Sachs
  • HSBC
  • Morgan Stanley
  • Société Générale CIB
  • Thomson Reuters
  • Unicredit...


Professional Thesis

MSc International Finance students must write a professional thesis and fulfill a professional experience requirement in order to graduate.

The professional thesis may either be written while on campus or during the internship under the joint supervision of a professional and an HEC faculty member. It constitutes an important component of the HEC MIF learning experience. The objective of the thesis is to explore how cutting-edge research is being implemented in the daily practice of finance in a highly competitive environment.

Professional Experience

The professional experience requirement is satisfied when the student completes a professional experience of at least 4 months in fields related to their coursework at HEC Paris. It is, however, important to stress that this professional experience may not be an internship per se.

Our policy at HEC Paris is that the best type of internship is a full-time job! We strongly encourage our students to look for permanent hiring as soon as the academic year starts.

Learn Languages at HEC Paris

As an international business school, HEC Paris welcomes students from all over the world. Almost one hundred nationalities live on the campus. It's a fantastic opportunity to discover other cultures and to share exceptional moments, and it's important that students can communicate as much as they wish.

HEC Paris Learning Center of Languages aims at helping students to learn or strengthen any language they would like, providing a wide range of I.T. and print resources.

Students do not need to speak French to enroll in the program as all core courses and most electives are offered in English. However, some knowledge of French can be useful to enjoy the full HEC experience, become professionally bicultural and optimize networking with French students and alumni.

MIF students are required to speak at least one language other than English at intermediate level upon graduation. Thus students who speak only English and no other language are strongly encouraged to attend either the Preparatory Intensive French Course in August or French Classes offered during the year.

During their studies, students may also register for a two week French language course (TEF certificate – all levels) in August. This is an exceptional opportunity to learn French before joining the Campus. Extra fees are applicable.

Academic Team

Message from the Directors

The financial crisis has taught us many lessons. Now more than ever, finance is a field which requires passion and commitment, but also strong ethics and advanced technical skills. If you are looking at our program, there is a fair chance that you have a first training in either finance (business track) or math, economics, physics or engineering (accelerated track) and are now looking to acquire the extra set of skills that will provide a pathway to a successful career in finance. Many high-quality programs exist in Europe, so you are debating which one to choose.

Finance and economics have always been essential components of HEC Paris’ DNA. Over the years, the MIF (MSc in International Finance) and the “Finance Major“ of our Master in Management have supplied major international investment banks with their largest contingent of European graduates. They also irrigated the French and European economies beyond the boundaries of Finance: our alumni have a strong toehold in fields as diverse as strategic consulting, top management of industrial firms or public policy making.

There are many ways in which education at HEC Paris is different. Our approach is deeply rooted in the French tradition of strong analytics. We are looking for candidates who are strong quantitatively and we do our best to challenge them during the program. Another feature is our obsession with “tailor designing“ our programs to our students. The two different tracks, business and accelerated, allow us to leverage on pre-existing skills and knowledge to design the curriculum in a way that would be impossible in a “one size fits all“ regime. Finally, we believe in giving our students not only strong theoretical grounding with courses taught by world class researchers, but also “hands-on“ knowledge with courses taught by top practitioners working for, or at the head of, international banks, corporations and consulting firms. This unique combination is at the heart of the attractiveness of HEC Paris graduates for international recruiters.

As we write this message, we have just finished recruiting students for the Class of 2017. We must say that we are quite excited by the profiles of the men and women that we met throughout the year, coming from all five continents. We have been deeply impressed by their academic, personal and often even professional achievements. We are proud that they chose HEC Paris as the next step in their successful career.

We hope that you will want to come and join them: we are looking forward to meeting you soon! »

Alexei Ovtchinnikov, HEC Paris MSc International Finance program director

Olivier Bossard, Afiliate Professor of Finance and Executive Director of MSc Interantional Finance HEC Paris

Alexei Ovtchinnikov, 
Associate Professor of Finance
and Academic Director

 

Olivier Bossard,
Affiliate Professor of Finance
and Executive Director

See the article "HEC Paris appoints Olivier Bossard its new Executive Director for the MSc International Finance"

Program Faculty

The quality of education is driven by the quality of professors. A distinguishing feature of education at HEC Paris is that half of course work is taught by researchers who are worldwide leading experts in their field and the other half by practitioners. More information about the HEC Finance Department.

  • A. Ovtchinnikov, Associate Professor and Academic Director (see his interview)
  • O. Bossard, Affiliate Professor and Executive Director
  • B. Allaz, Professor
  • A. Apffel (HEC 1991), founder and Managing Director, Perennium (see his interview)
  • S. Bedrossian, Investment Director, Bpifrance
  • A. Benos, Director, Group Risk Control and Architecture, National Bank of Greece
  • J-C. Bertrand, Head of Multi Asset, HSBC Global Asset Management
  • V. Capkun, Associate Professor
  • F. Ceddaha, Affiliate Professor
  • N. Columelli, Consultante, Finance Training
  • T. Foucault, Professor (see his interview)
  • A. T. Goh, Associate Professor
  • U. Hege, Professor (see his interview)
  • L. Henry, Head of Foreign Exchange Structuring Paris
  • P. Legland, Global Head of Research and a member of the Global Executive Committee, Société Générale (see his interview)
  • O. Levyne, Director, CA-CIB (M&A)
  • N. Naillon, Vice President, Healthcare team, Deutsche Bank
  • J. Olivier, Professor (see his interview)
  • F. Petra, Affiliate Professor (see his interview)
  • P. Quiry, Affiliate Professor
  • I. Rosu, Associate Professor
  • ...