Tippie College of Business embraces partnerships with Iowa universities to accelerate master’s program

Three years after developing a Master of Finance program, the University of Iowa’s Tippie College of Business is beginning a partnership with a few Iowa based universities to help students earn their masters in three semesters.

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Grace Smith

The Tippie College of Business, located at the University of Iowa, is seen on Monday, March 15, 2021. Iowa’s business school has declared a program between business schools from University of Northern Iowa, Grinnell, and Cornell, to allow students to get their master of finance degrees quicker. (Grace Smith/The Daily Iowan)

Eleanor Hildebrandt, News Reporter


Two Iowa colleges and the University of Northern Iowa are helping students fast-track their Master of Finance degrees thanks to new partnerships with the Tippie College of Business.

Cornell College, Grinnell College, and UNI all have partnerships with the University of Iowa’s Tippie College of Business that allows students to earn a Master of Finance degree in three additional semesters after earning a bachelor’s degree in any sector of business.

Professor of Economics & Business at Cornell College Santhi Hejeebu said the agreement between the schools allows seniors with specific course and GPA requirements to apply to the program without GRE scores and formal letters of recommendation.

Even though the agreement was formalized in January 2021, there is already interest in the program from students, Hejeebu said. Cornell College is currently seeing growth in its business school, she said, and this partnership will help current and future students.

“Our business curriculum as a whole has doubled in the last five years and the number of students in our majors has grown substantially,” she said. “The timing of this partnership could not have been better.”

While students can still apply to the program with the universal application, Hejeebu said she already has students applying to get their Master of Finance through the partnership’s application.

UI Tippie College of Business Departmental Executive Officer Thomas Rietz said although the Master of Finance program is only three years old, it’s already helping students get started in careers.

He said this degree would allow students to find jobs anywhere, especially in small towns and cities in Iowa.

“This is a great service to the state in terms of meeting the demand for financial professionals,” he said. “There is an enormous demand for people who know finance, and this is a great way to hone skills or switch careers if students want to.”

Related: Tippie to offer new Master of Finance degree starting fall 2018

Rietz said this program is only beginning, and the Tippie College of Business is hoping to find more future programs to partner with.

“We’re quite interested in expanding,” he said. “We want to work with UNI in any way that we can cooperate with the regents’ institution and we are exploring a limited number of additional opportunities.”

Head of the Department of Economics & the Department of Finance at UNI Sharmistha Self said the program is an excellent opportunity for students.

“The Master of Finance program is relatively short, it’s just three semesters, but it’s very analytics and application focused,” Self said. “It’s something that will help our students … This program also has a very good placement rate so it will complement our students’ degrees very well.”

Self said the UI is holding 10 spots for UNI students, a number she is willing to push higher if there is more interest from students in her department. The program is also another selling point to get business students to attend UNI and other schools partnering with the UI, she said.

These programs have the ability to change people’s lives, Hejeebu said, and encourages students to continue to learn about the business field.

“The advantage of getting a specialized degree and extending themselves for another three semesters will transform their 20s,” Hejeebu said. “In your 20s, you can pivot to a completely higher career and income trajectory if you go into a program like this.”

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