North Carolina State University Financial Mathematics program

North Carolina State University Financial Mathematics program

Application deadline
Feb 1 (preferred), rolling admissions
NC State’s Financial Mathematics Program is known for rigorous training in the core areas of probability, statistics, modeling, investment theory, stochastic processes, and economics. The depth of understanding prepares students to respond to today’s rapidly evolving, world-wide economic and financial landscape. During the 18 month program, students are encouraged to build on the core with a focus in areas such as risk management, data science, statistics, mathematics, or business management.

Official website: NCSU Financial Mathematics
The 18-month curriculum requires 7 core courses, 3 electives, and a private-industry internship (or project), and career skills seminars.

Students have held internships and jobs at Bank of America, Credit Suisse, Genworth, Goldman Sachs, McKinsey &Co, Morgan Stanley, SAS, Wells Fargo, and companies all over the world.

Required Classes

Semester One Core Requirements (Fall)
Capital Investment Economic Analysis (ISE 711)​
Statistical Theory I (ST 501)​
Asset Pricing (ECG 528)​
Career Development (Student Seminar)​

Semester Two Core Requirements (Spring)
Financial Mathematics (MA 547)​
Statistical Theory II (ST 502)​
Monte Carlo Methods for Financial Mathematics (FIM/MA 548).​
Career Development (Student Seminar)​

Semester Three Core Requirement (Fall)
Computational Methods in Economics and Finance (ECG 766)​

Electives Classes (Tracks).

Choices for the electives are quite extensive, so we developed Tracks to help guide your selections.

Data Science

CSC 505 - Design and Analysis of Algorithms​
CSC 522 - Automated Learning and Data Analysis​
MA 540 - Uncertainty Quantification for Physical and Bio. Models​
ST 540 - Applied Bayesian Analysis​
ST 564 - Statistical Thinking and Big Data​
ST 562 - Data Mining with SAS Enterprise Miner​
FIM590 - Financial Data Analysis in Python and R​

Risk Management

FIM(MA) 549 - Financial Risk Analysis​
ISE 519 - Database Applications in Industrial and Systems Engineering​
MBA 515 - Enterprise Systems​
MBA 518 - Enterprise Risk Management​
MBA 527 - Corporate Risk Management​
MBA 521 - Advanced Corporate Finance​

Actuarial Science

ECG 701 & 702 - Microeconomics I & II​
ECG(ST) 750 - Introduction to Econometric Methods​
ECG(ST) 752 - Time Series Econometrics​
ECG(ST) 753 - Microeconometrics​
MA(ST) 747 - Prob. and Stoch. Processes II​
MBA 518 - Enterprise Risk Management​

Portfolio Management

OR(ISE) 504 - Introduction to Mathematical Programming​
OR(ISE) 505 - Linear Programming​
OR 506 - Algorithmic Methods in Nonlinear Programming​
MBA 523 - Investment Theory and Practice​
MBA 524 - Equity Valuation​
MA(OR,E) 531 - Dynamic Systems and Multivariable Control I​
ISE 519 - Database Applications in Industrial and Systems Engineering​
FIM 590 -Investment in Financial Markets​

Career Services. Financial Math students have access to a wide array of career services
  • Friday Seminars- Industry-related presentations & projects
  • Financial Math Program’s Workshop Series
  • Customized, One-on-One Career Counseling
  • Career Fairs and Professional Networking Events

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Latest reviews

I graduated from this program in 2019. My reasons for recommending NC State include eclectic choices in electives, proximity to the Banking industry and the small class size.
There is flexibility to choose from a broad range of electives in Data Science, Statistics, Programming and risk related courses taught by industry experts.
Having come from a different professional culture, I was new to the idea of networking and exploring job opportunities through it. The course on career development taught me how to work on that. The weekly training session covers professional etiquettes and important lessons on soft skills. We also have speakers from the industry who give insights on the hot topics in their specialized fields.
The program organizes great opportunities for networking through workshops such as the two-day CECL summit, attended by regulators, consultants and banking officials. It also provides a platform to present our projects and get feedback from the attendees.
The program equips the students to be industry ready. Overall, it’s a great learning experience in terms of technical knowledge as well as professional skills.
I am a 2020 graduate of the NC State MFM program and with a year of experience in credit risk modeling I can confidently say that this program more than prepares it's graduates for modeling work in banking, insurance, and other quantitative financial roles.

The technical courses offered (Monte Carlo, Machine Learning, Time Series, etc.) give students lots of programming experience. These topics and skills are reinforced with research projects related to current financial events like the implementation of CECL and rollout of SOFR. By the end of the program most have strong technical skills and a big picture understanding of markets, which are always in demand.

The career development program goes a long way to get people prepared for interviews and helps many graduate with multiple offers.

The program is rigorous but the pay off is worth it and I'd recommend NC State to anyone interested in a role in quantitative finance.
I am currently studying Financial Mathematics from NCSU. My journey so far has been pretty good. Before joining this program, I have over seven years of experience in derivatives trading. This program enhanced my skills to a new level. The icing on the cake, through Friday's seminar I am able to make connections from industry professionals

CECL and Backtesting engine - these two projects improved my coding skills on python and give more insight into the current/upcoming risk management practice.

Program director Dr Tao Pang understand each student needs and always try to meet the current industry demand by conducting webinars, workshop and so on. For example- python, SAS and R workshop conducted for students who want to improve their coding skills.

The program is very intense, sometimes we have to do multiple things at the same time.
To get a degree we have to score minimum B in cores subject this constraint which I think can be relaxed as it is possible that some

Overall, I am happy with the program and I am giving 4star ratings
because nothing is perfect in the world and there is always scope for improvement
I am a first year student at NC State in Financial Mathematics Program, enrolled in the last FALL 2018. I think, I am well placed now to review the program.

MFM (Masters in Financial Mathematics) is a rigorous program for the students interested in specializing in Quant Finance. Seniors and Alumni of the program are doing pretty well in the industry, primarily in three broad roles namely, Risk Management, Quantitative trading and Business Intelligence.

My fellow classmates are from different backgrounds with varying background of Maths, Statistics, Compute Science and Finance. Most of them either have FRM and CFA or pursuing the same, thereby making the class very competitive.

Program is growing very well under the leadership of Dr. Pang and because of small class size individuals' aspiration are well accounted in the selecting the subjects. Program offers flexibility in selecting subjects from Statistics, Finance, Operations Research or B-School. In order to provide accelerated learning, on a regular basis workshops are being organized to name few on Python, R and SAS.

Moreover, in terms of flexibility - I was one among the few who got a chance to attend "Derivative Pricing" class with Skema Business School in the last semester as part of the exchange program. in addition, program has been providing various opportunities like participation in CFA Challenge and IAQF case competitions.

From infrastructure perspective, program has got dedicated Bloomberg Terminals, Graduate Lounge and Career coaches from NY,etc. added wit state of art of infrastructure of NC State.

Every Friday, we have seminar whereby we get a chance to meet Industry leaders, including potential recruiters. Program as a whole is industry bellwether in the area of Credit Risk (CECL - new accounting requirements) and is deeply invested in the same.

Overall program is power packed with Statistics, Finance and Programming and doesn't allow much room to party but we do have regular get togethers like, Chinese New Year, Christmas and Halloween Celebrations.

Overall the experience had been so far very good.
I am a second year MFM student at NC State. The program gives good exposure to core areas of statistics, programming, derivatives pricing, and risk management. Students are typically excellent programmers with solid industry knowledge and project experience by graduation.

Students can choose electives from an extensive list of courses offered in adjacent departments of statistics, computer science, MBA, etc. This, combined with excellent core courses gives both foundational knowledge and room for specialization/concentration.

Networking and career services are generally excellent. The school is disadvantaged to not be located in a financial center, but still manages to get industry professionals in front of students on a regular basis.

The leadership under Tao Pang is also excellent. He implements changes rapidly in response to feedback and gives students a good blend of coursework, projects, and networking. Unreasonable administrative hurdles are never an issue.

The biggest con comes from a lack of research professors studying quantitative finance. This results in a shortage of thought leaders, and there is no powerhouse economics/finance college to fill the gap. However, the excellent network with local and national industry professionals easily compensates for this.

Overall, a 5 star masters program. Being a state college, it is among the best ROI of any programs available.
As a graduate from FM program at NC State, I would like to say that it really plays a crucial role on my career path. By learning the courses like Statistics, Financial Math, and Risk Management, I got the fundamental and advanced theories in this field. Moreover, these courses helped me prepare for the CFA exam which was useful in the job market.

In addition, I also improved my coding skills like C++, R, SAS, and Matlab. By learning related courses and doing projects with the director, I applied what I had learned into practice, which was really helpful for job interviews.
I enrolled in the program in Fall 2017. It's quite a rigorous program that you really can learn a lot here. They will train you in computer programming, finance, mathematics, and statistics, all of them can play an important roll in your career pursuit. What's more, you will spend some of your time searching summer internship. However, it's no worry because FIM500 and FIM 601 are designed to help students with the job hunt. They will enhance your background in resume writing, interview, network and technical skills.

Now the director is Dr. Pang, who highly cares about students. He spends lots of time assisting the student with job hunting. Anytime you want you can just email him for advice or just reach to his office.

In your first year, you will be trained in some programming languages which are highly useful in industry. You are supposed to get your SAS Base certificate, which is very useful in this field. Besides, you will have chance touch MATLAB, Python, VBA, as well as R. Anything you want you can find. If not, you can choose computer science courses as your elective. It's a little bit tricky but you can ask for help anytime as I referred before.

In general, I will rate this program 5 stars. I really attained a lot of skills and knowledge. If you are a person who highly interested in the field of financial mathematics, this program deserves your consideration.
Currently, I am a candidate for MFM at NCSU. I joined the program last fall, and I expect to graduate by the end of this year.

One of the reasons why I selected this master is because it is an 18 months program, which in my opinion allows the students to get more solid basis of quantitative finance. I pursed a 12 month master program before, and the intensity of the program does not allow the students to enhance their full potential since they have to process, digest and retain a lot of information.

I confirm my decision as a right one, since I am part of a diverse cohort which has become a family for me. As a group we help each other to understand and discover beautiful and challenging applications of mathematics. I found this program to have allowed me to fulfil my academic goals, which for now have been a good liftoff for my career in the finance world.

Regarding the courses taught, the syllabus is well structured. In the first semester, it gradually introduces the students into finance and mathematics. It allows students to choose electives from departments like statistics, college of management, operations research and mathematics. I feel obligated to share the amazing opportunity that I had when taking Probability Theory and Stochastic Processes with Professor Min Kang - a course which she teaches with strong passion, and which give the basis for a career in quantitative finance.
I joined the MFM program in Fall 2017 and am currently in my second semester. The journey so far has been exciting and challenging at the same time. The program is math driven and requires a strong understanding of mathematical concepts from second semester onwards.

It has a well structured curriculum; each subject requires students to be on top of the topics taught as there are assignments, projects as well as exams spread out over the entire semester. The professors are helpful, reachable and the courses taught provide students a strong base to enter the world of quantitative finance.

The program also arranges for career panel discussions and opportunities to network with program alumni.

I have also taken up the Data Science Foundations Certificate along with the MFM program. This gives me an exposure to data science subjects that can help in broadening job prospects.

I recommend this program to anyone whose interest lies in quantitative finance.
I am currently in my second semester of the NCSU MFM, and am serving in the newly-created position of FM Ambassador. I can confirm that the program is indeed rigorous, and requires a great deal of time and effort to stay on top of classes. Not only that, but a large amount of your time will also go towards career development / job or internship hunt. However, hard work in these areas will be rewarded well.

The directorship of the program has recently shifted to Dr. Tao Pang, who is extremely knowledgeable and capable. As a consequence, the program's curriculum and structure are undergoing an update process, with input from students, alumni, and industry professionals.

However it changes, be prepared to code. A lot. In today's industries, there's really no avoiding it. The SAS Base was required for the first-semester seminar, and several of us have gone on to take the Advanced and/or Business Analyst. We had projects during the first semester in SAS, VBA / Excel, and R. Monte Carlo (FIM 548) and ECG 766 both require some MATLAB.

As it currently stands, you must take at least three electives. My advice is that you choose your three as early as possible, and spread them out over the three semesters so that you don't get overwhelmed. MBA and computer science classes can be tricky to get into; don't be afraid to ask instructors directly if you can enroll.

Overall, I'm rating this program with 5 stars. Every day, I feel more and more prepared and confident to jump into a career. My skills and knowledge from my first-semester CCAR project and Options & Derivatives Pricing class (and communication skills) landed me a SAS internship. If you're driven, love math or finance, and have a good work ethic, this program is perfect for you.