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Ivy, LAS calculating Fintech master’s program

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Matthew Rezab/Iowa State Daily
Gerdin is home to Iowa State’s Ivy College of Business.

Iowa State’s computer science and finance departments are collaborating to release a master’s program in Fintech, a potential program under the Degrees of the Future initiative.

The departments belong to different colleges, which creates a cross-campus collaboration.

James Brown, department chair of finance, said the coursework for the interdisciplinary program is split in half between the two colleges, with computer science offering half of the classes and finance offering the other half. Brown said students can expect to learn the technologies used in financial services and the impact technologies have.

The initial Degrees of the Future initiative received a $1.5 million investment to create the six programs.

The Fintech master’s, as well as other proposed programs like digital health, digital storytelling and game design are aimed to address growing industries and to accommodate students who are interested in the emerging fields.

Tyler Jensen, an associate professor in finance, said the idea in mind when developing the program is to give students who are technologically skilled some business knowledge and to go the opposite direction as well. 

“Iowa State has lots of very technically sound students and lots of very good business students, and our idea is to kind of bridge the gap between those two to offer those very technically skilled students an opportunity to get some business knowledge, some finance knowledge and an opportunity to go in the opposite direction as well,” Jensen said.

Brown said what makes this program unique is that students are required to take classes from both fields. 

“It is at the cutting edge of where the financial industry is headed,” Brown said. “We are trying to keep up with that demand.”

According to Jensen, there are five core classes, two in finance, two in computer science and one in information systems, including investments and software development. 

“I think from a faculty perspective, we’re really excited about this collaborative opportunity,” Jensen said. “We know that there’s lots of really talented students at Iowa State and we’re excited about the ability to get to see them move across campus.”

Both Brown and Jensen said they are hoping to see this program in the fall of 2025 at the latest.

The financial technology master’s program is one of two master’s programs introduced amongst the six Degrees of the Future.

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