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International Finance Specialization

Master in Management

Finance and economics have always been essential components of HEC Paris’ DNA. Over the years, our Finance Majors have supplied leading international investment banks with their largest contingent of European graduates, all while irrigating the French and European economies beyond the boundaries of finance. HEC alumni have strong footholds in fields as diverse as strategic consulting, top management of industrial firms and public policymaking.

The approach to this specialization is deeply rooted in the French tradition of strong analytics and theoretical grounding with courses taught by world class researchers, but also in “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.

The curriculum has a strong analytical focus and is common with HEC’s MIF (MSc in International Finance), ranked #1 worldwide by the Financial Times. Both populations of students are grouped within the same promotion and have access to the same courses.

By choosing the International Finance Specialization, students will be able to build on the fundamental knowledge acquired during the M1 year in the field of finance, thanks to a wide range of core and elective courses.

Throughout M1, students get to know the general functioning of companies in all its dimensions: management, law, marketing, finance, etc. During the Specialization in Finance’s year, they will go in deep into the different components of the financial discipline, from financial instruments to ethics, including capital markets, financial engineering, and corporate finance.

Balance Between Theory and Practice

The number of hours spent in the classroom significantly exceeds the international standards. Around half of that time will be spent in front of researchers, teaching students state-of-the-art knowledge. The other half will be spent in front of top-notch practitioners. The latter is one of many ways in which the learning experience at HEC Paris is different.

A Strong and Cohesive Peer Group

Who your peers are matters: for the quality of your learning experience, for the perception by potential employers and for the value of your network after you graduate. This is why academic performance is at the top of our admission criteria. But academic performance is not enough: smart, ambitious individuals will underperform if they do not cooperate. Within this group of students from almost 30 nationalities (in 2014), we particularly emphasize team spirit and group cohesion.

A Core of Common Values

HEC Paris believes that a strong Finance program goes hand in hand with strong values. That is why HEC Paris wants its students to enrich their experience and vision with a social dimension, by providing:  

  • Ethics classes: in collaboration with the CFA Institute (the HEC MIF is a CFA partner program), we included an ethics seminar and an ethics class in our curriculum years before the crisis even started
  • Pedagogical engineering: HEC Paris has been at the forefront of pedagogical engineering on topics such as social business. HEC MIF students have guaranteed access to the HEC Paris Social Business Certificate during the May-June period.

Career Outlook

Between practical course work, networking events and specific career fairs, the International Finance Specialization paves the way to a successful career in finance or consulting from day one. With a highly time sensitive interview process, the first few weeks of class are dedicated to job market training classes, professional workshops with leading banks, as well as a study trip to London. This career oriented approach sets our curriculum apart and leads to a 100% employment success rate within the first 3 months of graduation in sectors such as Asset management, M&A, Private Equity, Strategic Consulting, Trading and Structuring in top firms worldwide.

The International Finance Specialization’s curriculum 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.

Core Courses

  • Asset Management
  • Asset Pricing Theory
  • Corporate Finance
  • Corporate Finance Theory
  • Corporate Valuation
  • Derivatives
  • Empirical Methods for Finance
  • Ethics Seminar
  • Financial Engineering
  • Financial Modeling
  • Financial Regulation
  • Financial Statement Analysis
  • Fixed Income and Money Market
  • International Finance
  • Mergers and Acquisitions
  • Probability and Statistics Refresher
  • Quantitative Asset Management
  • Security Markets
  • Soft Skills Seminar
  • Valuation Refresher.

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

Professional Thesis

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 specialization in the International Finance 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.

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...