North Carolina State University Financial Mathematics program

North Carolina State University Financial Mathematics program

Established
2002
Type
Full-time, part-time
Tuition
per semester $8,286 (resident); $15,547 (nonresident)
Application deadline
Feb 1 (preferred), rolling admissions
Location
Raleigh, NC
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 business management, statistics, mathematics, or risk management.

Official website: NCSU Financial Mathematics
Official blog: www.ncstatefinancemath.com
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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 Duke Energy, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, BB&T, SAS, Credit Suisse, Genworth, Goldman Sachs 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​

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​

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
Please contact us: Financial_Mathematics@ncsu.edu
Author
Jeff Scroggs
First release
Last update
Rating
4.38 star(s) 21 ratings

Latest reviews

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.
O yeh, Rigorous and PITB program. It's upto you how much you learn and groom. Program getting very popular. After graduation, I got interview calls from top industry fin.cos. Smaller class size, Quantitatively rigorous.

Don't waste your time in copying others' homeworks. Work hard cz companies ask so many tricky questions. Best course was Computational Methods in Eco & Fin (P. Fackler) but sadly no project now. This course helped me in performing well in many interviews.

Pros:
Good professors, many options for courses, small class size, RTP/Charlotte (a new fin hub) edge, good reputation, successful alum, low tuition and living cost, awesome weather and beaches around.
Cons:
Some demanding topics not covered in any course, few exclusive fin math professors, weak connection with business school, career service improving but not best, bigger percentage of Asian students' intake (balance is the key to derive benefit from global diversity)

Forsee bright future of the program if persistent efforts from director and career director.

Advice: Don't copy paste homeworks, assign....don't try to memorize and rely on past exams. you will be butchered in job market.
  • Anonymous
  • 5.00 star(s)
I am a graduate of this Program and I must say that It was one extremely rigorous program of the State. Overall program is tailored in such a way that the entire emphasis is on developing Mathematical/quantitative skills of the students instead of general business school approach (broader general knowledge) and this is the best part of the program since it is not an MBA. So if you want fun --> go for MBA or Master of Management etc. (Yes this is not a right program for you). On contrary, those who want to learn real Financial Engineering skills, this program would give you full liberty to tailor your career and build your strength.

As highlighted above, the best part of this program is that it is established in Mathematics Department, so professors and faculty mostly talk about quant/maths stuff instead of sticking around CAPM model for entire 2 long years ;) .

Second, you would find world's best professors in Maths Department of NC State. I found them super awesome in delivering concepts and knowledge.

Third, you almost have liberty to choose any course from different schools (Maths, Stats, Computer Sciences, Economics, Business School, even in Kenan Flagler, Fuqua Duke etc). You can go in any direction as per your career path such as Computational Finance stream by taking courses at Comp Sc school, Math intensive stream, Business Stream by taking all electives in business school, Economics/Econometric stream, Operation Research etc.

Fourth, gradually this program is getting popular in industry due to it's competitive alumni in very good jobs especially in RTP area. Exclusive career service director is working good in making connections in the industry and recent graduates got good jobs while many enrolled students got very good internships (eventually leading to the jobs)

Fifth, the school has small class intake, which is great too because students can get closer attention of the professors in core classes.

Regarding core courses, the courses are very good and faculty is amazing. Program director is a good person and very helpful.

Best suggestion is to prepare yourself before start of the program and build your statistical and mathematical knowledge beforehand.

Program should consider restructuring few courses and should introduce some unique/latest courses.

Overall my experience to the program is very satisfactory, i got maximum out of the program, enjoyed my stay at school, attended good seminars, met international students from all over the world in different elective classes and many more.

Note: This program is Work hard, No play at all :(

Great Professors to work/study with: Dr. Tao Pang, Dr. Paul Fackler, Dr. Antje Berndt, Dr. Min Kang and Dr. Scroggs (Director).

Goodluck
I entered the financial mathematics program at NCSU on 2012. Since then I took a load of mathematics and statistics courses till the completion of my program. Several courses that I personally highlight as part of the main course of the program are
1) C++ for financial mathematics (taught by Professor Scroggs): one of the most important courses that will help you understand data structures, OOP for developing your skills in C++.
2) Asset pricing (taught by Professor Antje Berndt): this course is the best course in terms of options and futures pricing. You should pay attention to this course since it will be useful for future interviews in the hedge fund/Investment banking industry.
3) Financial mathematics (taught by Professor Tao Pang): this course will depthen your ability to use stochastic calculus for pricing derivative assets. I highly suggest you to brush up linear algebra, calculus, and probability theory before taking this course.
4) Optional: Computations for Statistical Research (taught by Doctor Eric Laber) and Advance Computing (taught by Doctor Chi): both of these courses are marvelous since it teaches computing in an applied mathematical way. It will show you how to compute algorithms in Python (which is extensively used in the industry) and also in R/Julia (which is a new thing in statistics). Doctor Chi has been a wonderful mentor through this learning process, and if anyone is interested to be in machine learning, he is the best lecturer in NC State.

Over all the experience that I had in this program was very good. Recently there has been high interest from recruiters like Credit Suisse and Bank of America that would recruit from this program.
The Financial Mathematics program here at NC State offers the best courses available. Overall, you have to take 7 core courses and 3 electives and the electives can be chosen based on the different career tracks provided by the department. This way the students will have a clear picture to get to know their area of interest. Another best part is students are trained to get the BASE SAS certification in the first semester itself and are assigned projects. The course work will help you to get the knowledge of SAS, R , Matlab, C++ and MS-tools, which will be very helpful during the job search.
The program has a career development program, which helps the students to improve soft skills. The Friday seminars is one of the biggest strength to the program. It helps the students to improve their communication skills through mock interviews, presentations and many more. Also, the Friday seminars stand to be a very good platform for networking with industry professionals. Overall, I would say that, the program not only helped to enhance my finance knowledge but also it helped a lot in improving my people skills, which is very important to land in a good job
As a Financial Math student I can say that I feel very confident about this program and I feel I made the right decision to join.
The program not only offers a good variety of core classes, but depending on the career track one can choose variety of electives. All the staff is available to answer any questions that the students might have.
The most distinct feature of the structure of this program is that the program wants the students to the "job-ready". I have not come across any other program that works on the soft skills of students while building on their technical knowledge. We have seminars which focus on developing the soft skills that a company looks for when it hires a candidate. The program makes sure that once you apply for jobs, you are not only well equipped with all the technical knowledge but you also have the soft skills such as presentation skills, communication skills etc.
It is a known fact that if a company hires a candidate they want someone is an all rounder in the sense that not only can that person apply his/her technical knowledge at work place, but can also communicate well with other colleagues and can present what work they have done.
The program staff also makes sure to give opportunities to students who want to get hands on experience in the work field. What better way to do than when you are actually studying.
I have had a wonderful experience with Financial Math program and I would recommend it to everyone who is looking for a great learning experience.
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