Fordham University Quantitative Finance program

Fordham University Quantitative Finance program

Intimate Classes/ Amazing Classmates/ Passionate Professors/ Relevant Curriculum/ Prime Location
I am a May 2023 Fordham University, Gabelli School of Business Master of Science in Quantitative Finance graduate. I attended Fordham from Fall 2021 to Fall 2022, receiving a full-time offer to an asset management firm in portfolio construction at the beginning of Fall 2022 after a Summer 2022 internship. I was able to finish classes in December 2022 and begin working in January 2023.

Each and every day, something I learned at Fordham has been called upon during the execution of my projects. From my Simulation Applications and Computational Finance classes with Professor Balsera and Professor Sheng to my Portfolio Theory course with Professor Macqueen and Fund Strategy and Performance course with Professor Tong, everything has been of use. I consistently reference my class notes and slides and have even found myself reusing code from previous notebooks. The cohorts are small, and the professors are extremely passionate about what they teach and care about us as students. Professor Sheng is the program director and still makes herself accessible and works to connect the dots for us. The professors have vast networks and ensure that if you are doing the work, asking questions, and communicating your goals, they will put you in the right places. We have a Research Seminar course where Professor Sheng invites colleagues from the street to discuss what they are doing at their firms and their perspective on the industry's current state in general. For me, this is something that genuinely illustrates the quality of the professors because, first and foremost, the industry is small; therefore, you must have a good name on the street, meaning you have built good relationships over time, to have past friends and colleagues be willing to take the time to come and speak with us. From there, the professors have no problem taking things even further and introducing you to the speakers if they are doing something in line with your interests. This further illustrates the weight of the professors' names and the power of their recommendations. I have been in a situation where a director at my current employer spoke of the high quality of work of my Interest Rate Derivatives professor, Professor Ren-Raw Chen. The professors are willing to put you in the direction you want, but you must be willing to do the work and express yourself. I witnessed classmates receive internships right out of research seminars, leading them to full-time offers.

When reviewing QuantNet before I started my program, it felt like many prospective students expected schools to find them a job directly. Fordham is more grassroots and relationship based. Fordham has a vast alumni network, and job and internship opportunities are constantly floated around the cohort. Still, you are your biggest advocate when it comes to your job search. The Career Development Center is working to better understand the needs of the Quantitative Finance student, but again, at Fordham, the professors pay close attention to the students. They listen to what you are looking for, review your work, and notice your strengths and participation; it is a relationship, and communication is a must. When you show what you can do, come to class, talk with the professors, express your interests, ask engaging questions, be humble, and be hungry, they will help guide you to where you want to go. Remember, this is graduate school, and you are an adult. If you are applying for a specialization like this, you should already have a plan. Go in applying for summer internships; you must know this from the beginning because classes start in September, which is already late for many internship applications. Remember, the internship is vital to a smooth transition into a full-time role post-graduation. Then pay much attention in your first-semester research seminars, figure out what is happening on Wall Street, and figure out how what you like relates. Then start looking at what courses interest you, figure out what you are passionate about, and put all your effort into knowing about this. After that, begin expressing these interests to your professors, start trying to attend events that involve these interests, and network.

Another great thing about the program is that the Lincoln Center is in Midtown, and the SQA (Society of Quantitative Analysts) has events right in our auditorium. Fordham sets you up for success. Perform well in your classes, discuss your interests with the professors, and attend events; something will mold together. Always be engaged and curious; I can assure you Fordham will help you reach your goals. My classmates are quantitative analysts at bulge bracket banks, traders at market-making firms, and quantitative researchers at crypto hedge funds. Good luck, and feel free to reach out if you have any questions. I am generally busy with work, but I will try to get back to you.
Yes, I would recommend this program to a friend
Students Quality
5.00 star(s)
5.00 star(s)
Career Services
4.00 star(s)
Elite faculty covering most fields in quant finance, boutique class size so you can get exceptional faculty/student ratio than most of the other programs. You can always pick your favorite reach in quant finance and work closely with the faculty to develop your skill set.
  • Anonymous
  • 5.00 star(s)
Great MSQF Program! Strongly recommend!
Great tier faculty, perfect location next to Lincoln center, powerful alumni network:
Financial industry becomes more quantitative and competitive as employers look for strong candidates with adequate backgrounds to help them change how companies do business today in order to boost companies’ financial ratios and profit margins. Fordham MSQF is unique program with one of the largest amount of classes available in quant field and great professors that come both from academia and industry sides. Director of the program Prof. Blackburn is one of the best finance professors in the school, having many years of teaching experience.

I joined the program back in September 2015, and to be honest it’s been quite a challenge for me, with a lots of homework with short due dates.

Fordham MSQF (45 credits) is located in the center of New York City right next to Lincoln Center.

Regarding internship and job placement, there are some positions available from Fordham Carrera Center and Aluminate’s network, but Quantitative Finance/ Financial Engineering field are in demand right now, therefore, I recommend to look on your own as well – there are many opportunities in New York City, Connecticut, etc. Majority of students end up with full time offers or summer internships in large banks, Hedge Funds, Insurance companies, Federal Reserve, Credit Rating Agencies, etc.

Here you can find more information about the program:
A very rigorous and challenging program but very effective in touching a wide range of finance and mathematics topics related to the modern day world of quantitative finance. This program consists of a curriculum that builds upon knowledge with each succeeding class. You might end up deriving the black scholes equation, for example, in three different methods in four different classes - each time giving you a new perspective on how to think about its derivation. I myself came in with no financial background, but an applied math undergrad majors with professional experience in computer science. I learned a lot about my strengths and weaknesses and what to do with each one. The professors are knowledgeable but also demanding of their students. Therefore if you aren't catching up with the material it's best not to let much time pass.

I first obtained an internship after my first year working for the New York Mets as a business analyst. Working with Python , SAS, and SQL to create a wide range of data analytics reports for various business departments.

Currently I'm working as an Operational Risk reporting developer at Guggenheim Partners - a role I was able to obtain with the help of a Fordham MSQF alumnus , who current sits a few rows behind me on the Sales and Trading floor. If you give this program your very best effort, you will be nothing short of pleased by the outcome.
There is a long story to tell. Certainly, I could not finish today. I will try to write as much as I can later on. Fordham, to be honest, is the transitional point in my life, even viewed ten or twenty years later.

I came from a top 10 university in China, with its reputation being one of the earliest universities in China that opened undergraduate programs of Financial Engineering. Viewed from my master training, to be honest, teachers at my undergraduate school do not have fully technique knowledge of continuous-time finance, though they do have the intuitive understanding of all concepts and try to teach us as much as they can.

Entering Fordham MSQF, I felt extremely hard at the very beginning due to lack of training in programming. Fortunately, I had audited four key graduate courses in Financial Engineering in my last semester at my undergraduate school, I did have more knowledge of Econometrics, derivatives, and a little bit continuous-time finance (just two-weeks in Intro to Stochastic Calculus). Therefore, I spent much of my time learning coding details. However, the course schedule is too intensive that I could not learn VBA quite well in the first eight-week course called Advanced Financial Modelling taught by Prof. Blackburn. I finished half coding in the midterm exam in the fourth week and a little bit more than half coding in the final exam in the eighth week. Honestly speaking, Fordham MSQF program is more intensive than many of Econ/Fin Ph.D. programs at universities ranking around 80-120, in terms of homework and the difficulty of materials.

To be continued...