The spin interaction and the effective g factor of a magnetic exciton (ME) are investigated theoretically in a diluted magnetic semiconductor (DMS) quantum dot (QD), including the Coulomb interaction and the sp-d exchange interaction. At low magnetic field, the ME energy decreases rapidly with increasing magnetic field and saturates at high magnetic field for high Mn concentration. The ground state of the ME exhibits an interesting crossing behavior between sigma(+)-ME and sigma(-)-ME for low Mn concentration. The g(ex) factor of the ME in a DMS QD displays a monotonic decrease with increasing magnetic field and can be tuned to zero by an external magnetic field. (C) 2003 American Institute of Physics.