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HEC Paris Master In Finance Review | Curriculum, Careers & Application

What’s it like to study on the top-ranked HEC Paris Master in Finance? We reveal all about the program, including the curriculum, career prospects, and how to apply

Fri Jun 16 2023

BusinessBecause
The Master in International Finance (MIF) is a consistently top-ranked program. In 2023, it earned second place in the Financial Times Master in Finance ranking. In previous years, it has placed first for 10 out of 12 years. 

That’s enough to attract any aspiring financier to apply, but HEC Paris MIF students can also expect a diverse experience, mixing theoretical and practical learning with real-world, professional expertise.  

The HEC Paris MIF is highly competitive, so it’s important to be prepared before you apply. Read on to find out what you’ll need to do to stand out in your application, and how the program can help advance your career in finance.


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HEC Paris Master in International Finance | Who is it for? 

Aiming to provide a solid foundation for a finance career, along with specialized training tailored to each student’s career path, the HEC Paris Master in Finance appeals to ambitious students from across the globe. 

In the current MIF class, 87% of students hail from international backgrounds. As a pre-experience master’s, most students are recent graduates around 23 years of age. 

Boaz Brunsting is a prime example. A Netherlands-born MIF student, Boaz studied an econometrics bachelor’s and became interested in finance during a student investing club, and various finance-related internships and study trips. 


HEC Paris Master in Finance | Curriculum

The HEC Paris MIF is a 10-month, full-time program taught primarily at the school’s campus in Jouy-en-Josas, France. The curriculum begins by separating students into two tracks: Business and Accelerated, according to their prior training. 

Business track students have taken introductory courses in topics like financial accounting and corporate finance, and usually have internship experience. Accelerated track students have highly quantitative training in subjects like physics or economics, and are looking to pivot their skills to finance.

During the first term, students take part in a London study trip, visiting the UK offices of top financial institutions including Bank of America, Morgan Stanley, and Blackstone. 

They then return to campus for track-appropriate training: Business track students get their first chance to specialize, while Accelerated track students receive a thorough grounding in finance concepts. 

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Electives begin during the spring term, when students also choose a concentration in either Capital Markets or Corporate Finance. Boaz (pictured) chose the MIF over other top finance degrees largely because of the strength of its electives. 

“You have more opportunities to choose electives and to get the ones you want [at HEC],” he says. “I didn’t want to pay €40,000 at another school to get electives I didn’t want.” 

Key to the entire program is its grounding in real-world knowledge. “50% of our courses are offered by top-notch market practitioners, and this practical teaching is really important,” says Olivier Bossard, executive director of the MIF.

“These professors are actually bankers, traders or asset managers who take every year a few days off from their job in banking or trading to teach their current field of expertise as they live it ‘on the ground’.”

HEC Paris keeps the curriculum under constant review, integrating any regulatory changes into the program to keep students up to date. They also encourage students to pick up practical skills in areas like coding, and students are also required to attain proficiency in a non-English language by graduation.

Beyond the curriculum, the school also invites external speakers to deliver lectures on various interdisciplinary topics. 

“One of the biggest surprises that I’ve liked is the exposure that I’m getting,” says current student Nikita Khanna. “Last month we had the European Central Bank chief coming to talk to us about the Eurozone, and we’ve also had a lecture from [Nobel Prize winner] Daniel Kahneman.”


HEC Paris Master in Finance | Career opportunities 

During the penultimate stage of the MIF curriculum, students undertake a four-month work placement. The school encourages students to choose roles which could become permanent, and to be proactive in their search.

“I’m currently fully focused on Mergers and Acquisitions [M&A] in London,” Boaz says. “I have one offer already, and I’m in the process for a couple of different other ones.”

With such a strong emphasis on careers, it’s no wonder that 100% of HEC Paris students landed jobs within three months of graduation in the latest cohort, and 68% outside of their home country. 

HEC Paris MIF students also have strong salary prospects, experiencing the fourth-highest salary percentage increase of all schools in the Financial Times’ MiF ranking. The average starting salary for HEC Paris MIF students is around $85,500, rising to $175,703 after three years. 

Olivier attributes much of students’ success in the workplace to the program’s close relationship with its alumni, to whom they encourage students to connect from the moment they arrive.

“Every single day, I keep at least a minimum one hour free in my agenda in order to reach out to HEC alumni on the phone or via Zoom, in addition to regular meetings in the evenings,” says Olivier. “This is for me a unique opportunity to collect feedback and stay on top of the demand from the employers in the financial world.” 


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HEC Paris MIF | Application & fees 

The HEC Paris MIF admissions process consists of an online application followed by a face-to-face or Skype interview. 

The application includes typical steps like providing an academic transcript and references, and requires students to submit a GMAT, GRE or TAGE score report. 

“I expect our students to have very high quantitative and analytical skills,” says Olivier. “We are extremely selective on the ranking of the undergraduate school, the students' GPAs, as well as their GMAT score—typically above 710.”

When it comes to the interview, Olivier’s advice is to showcase a passion for finance. 

“I love to hear candidates who are excited about a specific market, or who enjoy studying the economy of their home country, or a specific sector, or even a specific stock,” he says.

“I want students who are excited about finance, because they are going to spend more than 12 hours every day working in this field for over 40 years, and they will probably spend more time at work than with their family, so they really need to enjoy finance!”

HEC Paris MIF tuition costs €37,900 ($41,557), while this may seem expensive, the program ranks 13th on the Financial Times’ list for value for money. All admitted candidates are also automatically considered for Excellence Scholarships. 


Next Read: 

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Student Reviews

HEC Paris

Student

Verified

7/07/2022

On Campus

Cultural experience

I have met the most competent and diverse batch in this school. These people not only thrive on their own but also makes sure that you are doing it with them. The professors will take your had and walk you through all milestones and make sure you are not left behind. I have found their extracurriculars extremely engaging. There was always a room to have social life after academic life. The only hindrance is the location of the school, it is slightly outside city and living in city is expensive.

Sarah

Verified

18/03/2022

On Campus

Internationality and diversity of opportunities

About my programme I would say it is very international and flexible: we have the opportunity to choose exactly the courses we want. But at the same time, the frame of the campus is crucial in students' life and enable us to create friendships.

Student

Verified

29/10/2021

On Campus

Great selection of people

While HEC's MBA is highly selective, I really enjoy the type of people HEC's selects to make sure everybody gets the best out of their MBA experience and networking opportunities. Not only it's an incredibly diverse pool of people (~60 nationalities) but most importantly they make sure to let in friendly empathic and curious people.

Veronique

Verified

28/10/2021

Blended

Best in France for Grande ecole

A prestigious business school. Languages ​​are important. It is better to have a scientific baccalaureate with excellent grades in high school and good assessments. The courses are well designed as per the latest trends and practicality of learning in stressed upon. Overall, a very good experience.

Ghadi

Verified

11/06/2022

On Campus

Diversity and quality of fellow students

Very international and interesting place to be and opens a lot of opportunities, however the administration is very french and facilities are subpar (gym, classrooms) meaning the academic affairs is pretty much useless and lastly we are graded on a curve which can create a toxic environment because of the competition. With that being said the pros outweighs the cons by far.

Student

Verified

27/03/2022

On Campus

The quality of the teachers, the campus, the clubs

The school is very international indeed, we have courses with international students and share things with them within the extra academic life (in the social clubs especially). We have great career prospects if we prepare ourselves well - however, the global curriculum is still very finance-oriented, which is a pity for other interesting domains of the company world, which does not rely on finance only. The social clubs are good practice for the management and for now, are quite independent.

Lb

Verified

26/03/2022

On Campus

HEC Paris awaits you

HEC Paris is really a nice place to do a master's in business. Many classes are useful and interesting (corporate finance, financial accounting, contract law…), some are less - but the curriculum is to be reviewed in the year to come. Regarding the student life, it is incredible, with about 130 clubs, lots of great parties with even greater people. The Jouy campus offers a lot of opportunities to do sports, and you can breathe fresh air every day. HEC also helps a great deal to find an internship or a job.

Rajarshi

Verified

28/10/2021

Blended

A dream institute

Enrolling in the HEC MBA was by far the best decision I made for myself. The people and faculty are great, with lots of opportunities to meet people and expand your horizons. Very nice campus where I have had some good running sessions. The alumni network is superb and very helpful. It also has a good support system for entrepreneurs. Would definitely recommend it!

Student

Verified

19/10/2021

On Campus

Good choice for a career boost

The classes were extremely practical and relevant to the current challenges that businesses are facing. You have access to a wide range of professionals and good career prospects once you leave the university.

Student

Verified

7/07/2022

On Campus

Cultural experience

I have met the most competent and diverse batch in this school. These people not only thrive on their own but also makes sure that you are doing it with them. The professors will take your had and walk you through all milestones and make sure you are not left behind. I have found their extracurriculars extremely engaging. There was always a room to have social life after academic life. The only hindrance is the location of the school, it is slightly outside city and living in city is expensive.

Sarah

Verified

18/03/2022

On Campus

Internationality and diversity of opportunities

About my programme I would say it is very international and flexible: we have the opportunity to choose exactly the courses we want. But at the same time, the frame of the campus is crucial in students' life and enable us to create friendships.

Student

Verified

29/10/2021

On Campus

Great selection of people

While HEC's MBA is highly selective, I really enjoy the type of people HEC's selects to make sure everybody gets the best out of their MBA experience and networking opportunities. Not only it's an incredibly diverse pool of people (~60 nationalities) but most importantly they make sure to let in friendly empathic and curious people.

Veronique

Verified

28/10/2021

Blended

Best in France for Grande ecole

A prestigious business school. Languages ​​are important. It is better to have a scientific baccalaureate with excellent grades in high school and good assessments. The courses are well designed as per the latest trends and practicality of learning in stressed upon. Overall, a very good experience.

Ghadi

Verified

11/06/2022

On Campus

Diversity and quality of fellow students

Very international and interesting place to be and opens a lot of opportunities, however the administration is very french and facilities are subpar (gym, classrooms) meaning the academic affairs is pretty much useless and lastly we are graded on a curve which can create a toxic environment because of the competition. With that being said the pros outweighs the cons by far.

Student

Verified

27/03/2022

On Campus

The quality of the teachers, the campus, the clubs

The school is very international indeed, we have courses with international students and share things with them within the extra academic life (in the social clubs especially). We have great career prospects if we prepare ourselves well - however, the global curriculum is still very finance-oriented, which is a pity for other interesting domains of the company world, which does not rely on finance only. The social clubs are good practice for the management and for now, are quite independent.

Lb

Verified

26/03/2022

On Campus

HEC Paris awaits you

HEC Paris is really a nice place to do a master's in business. Many classes are useful and interesting (corporate finance, financial accounting, contract law…), some are less - but the curriculum is to be reviewed in the year to come. Regarding the student life, it is incredible, with about 130 clubs, lots of great parties with even greater people. The Jouy campus offers a lot of opportunities to do sports, and you can breathe fresh air every day. HEC also helps a great deal to find an internship or a job.

Rajarshi

Verified

28/10/2021

Blended

A dream institute

Enrolling in the HEC MBA was by far the best decision I made for myself. The people and faculty are great, with lots of opportunities to meet people and expand your horizons. Very nice campus where I have had some good running sessions. The alumni network is superb and very helpful. It also has a good support system for entrepreneurs. Would definitely recommend it!

Student

Verified

19/10/2021

On Campus

Good choice for a career boost

The classes were extremely practical and relevant to the current challenges that businesses are facing. You have access to a wide range of professionals and good career prospects once you leave the university.

Student

Verified

1/06/2024

On Campus

Diverse

HEC, as an academic institution, serves as a launching pad for students to excel in their pursuits and careers. The diversity among students and professors is truly remarkable. The chance to attend seminars across five major continents is unparalleled. The exposure and relationships it fosters are invaluable.

Student

Verified

31/05/2024

On Campus

Super diverse

It's a super diverse and fascinating environment with tons of chances, but the management is very French, and the facilities like the gym and classrooms are not great. This makes the academic side quite ineffective. Plus, we're graded on a curve, leading to a competitive and sometimes toxic atmosphere. Despite all that, the benefits definitely overshadow the drawbacks.

John

Verified

10/06/2024

On Campus

Surreal academic experience

What stood out to me about HEC was the direction and insight it offered on coding approaches. Prior to joining the program, I attempted self-learning, but I felt disoriented and lacked a starting point.HEC enabled me to grasp the basics of programming and provided support when I encountered obstacles. Without that guidance, I doubt I would have achieved the progress I have made to date.

John

Verified

10/06/2024

On Campus

Good security

HEC boasts a dedicated team of security personnel who undergo rigorous training to ensure the perpetual maintenance of tranquility and orderliness within the institution. Their unwavering efforts are directed towards fostering a sense of security among the student body, thereby enabling them to channel their energies predominantly towards their academic pursuits.

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