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Financial Engineering

Top Master's Degree Programs

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Carnegie Mellon University logo
Carnegie Mellon University

Financial Engineering Overview: As the role of the so-called quant has grown in importance within Wall Street firms and the broader financial services industry, a new academic specialty has developed in its wake. Degrees in financial engineering, mathematical finance, financial mathematics, quantitative finance or computational finance, as this new discipline is variously known, are being awarded by an increasing number of universities. For the prospective quant, this presents an alternative to obtaining an MBA in addition to a degree in engineering, mathematics, physics or other highly quantitative fields.

The 2011 QuantNet Ranking: The Quant Network is based in New York City and focuses on financial engineering education and career resources for so-called quants. It boasts 13,000 members. QuantNet rated a preselected group of 22 North American master's degree programs in financial engineering (MFE) in July and August 2011. Factors used to rank the programs were:

  • Frequency with which employers interviewed or hired graduates
  • Starting salaries
  • Employment rate at graduation
  • Employment rate three months after graduation
  • Student to administrator ratio
  • Average GRE quantitative scores of students
  • Average undergraduate GPA of students
  • The percentage of applicants accepted

The latter three measures indicate the selectivity of the program. The more selective, the higher the program ranks.

Caveats with the QuantNet Ranking: The ranking started out with a preselected list of 22 master's in financial engineering programs. Data from the schools were not independently audited. Surveys of employers went to a select list, of which only 39% responded. The survey favors programs with fewer students per administrator, though the supposed benefit gained by the student from this cost-increasing factor is not described. Finally, as with any degree program, attendance at any institution is no guarantee that the degree holder will obtain a suitable job in the field.

Key to the Rankings: Following the institution's name is its location, the name of the degree awarded, the tuition cost, whether full-time (FT) or part-time (PT) study is offered, and the length of the program in years.

  1. Carnegie Mellon University
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Computational Finance
    $73,800
    FT/PT
    1.5 years

  2. Princeton University
    Princeton, NJ
    Master in Finance
    $77,240
    FT
    2 years

  3. Columbia University
    New York, NY
    Financial Engineering
    $52,992
    FT
    1 year

  4. New York University
    New York, NY
    Mathematics in Finance
    $49,752
    FT/PT
    1.5 years

  5. Baruch College, City University of New York
    New York, NY
    Financial Engineering
    $21,315 (in-state) $32,040 (out-of-state)
    FT/PT
    1.5 years

  6. Stanford University
    Palo Alto, CA
    Financial Mathematics
    $43,400
    FT
    1 year

  7. University of California, Berkeley
    Berkeley, CA
    Financial Engineering
    $54,950
    FT
    1 year

  8. Columbia University
    New York, NY
    Mathematics of Finance
    $38,614
    FT/PT
    1 year

  9. Cornell University
    Ithaca, NY
    MEng, FE concentration
    $61,987
    FT
    1.5 years

  10. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    Cambridge, MA
    Master of Finance
    $73,800
    FT
    1 year

  11. University of California, Los Angeles
    Los Angeles, CA
    Financial Engineering
    $51,500
    FT
    1 year

  12. Rutgers University
    New Brunswick, NJ
    Mathematical Finance
    $29,052 (in-state) $49,648 (out-of-state)
    FT/PT
    1.5 years

  13. University of Chicago
    Chicago, IL
    Financial Mathematics
    $44,892
    FT/PT
    1 year

  14. Georgia Institute of Technology
    Atlanta, GA
    Quantitative and Computational Finance
    $15,561 (in-state) $50,313 (out-of-state)
    FT/PT
    1.5 years

  15. University of Toronto
    Toronto, Canada
    Mathematical Finance
    C$38,000
    FT
    1 year

  16. University of Michigan
    Ann Arbor, MI
    Financial Engineering
    $32,769 (in-state) $61,002 (out-of-state)
    FT
    1.5 years

  17. Boston University
    Boston, MA
    Mathematical Finance
    $58,971
    FT/PT
    1.5 years

  18. NYU-Poly
    Brooklyn, NY
    Financial Engineering
    $43,446
    FT/PT
    1.5 years

  19. North Carolina State University
    Raleigh, NC
    Financial Mathematics
    $15,668 (in-state) $39,764 (out-of-state)
    FT/PT
    2 years

  20. Claremont Graduate University
    Claremont, CA
    Financial Engineering
    $75,888
    FT/PT
    1.5 years

  21. Illinois Institute of Technology
    Chicago, IL
    Mathematical Finance
    $49,104
    FT/PT
    2 years

  22. Kent State University
    Kent, OH
    Financial Engineering
    $21,552 (in-state) $32,070 (out-of-state)
    FT
    1 year

Other Related Categories: You may want to browse our extensive library of articles on these other aspects of financial careers:

  1. About.com
  2. Careers
  3. Financial Careers
  4. Education & Training
  5. MBA
  6. Top Financial Engineering Programs (Quant Network)

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