North Carolina State University Financial Mathematics program

North Carolina State University Financial Mathematics program

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

Pros
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.

Cons
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.
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.
This program gives you the most flexibility for your future career. Based on mathematics, you can involve with Finance, economics, statistics, computer science and even business. As long as you have a clear goal and what kind of person you would be, this program can carve it will professionals.
As a current student, I found this program focus on statistic and math more than finance. May be because it is based on math department. These rigorous courses could help you launch a job in data mining, risk management etc
With the help of career service , many international student found their internships/full-time jobs. Of course, good location with low living cost is a big plus.
The NC State Financial Math program is getting better and better from what i see,students have over 30 classes to take from five different departments though i do hope more finance classes w i l l be offered. Everyone is working hard here. Now the program has strong connection with the industry which provides many opportunities for students to meet and talk with professionals. Three December graduates all find their jobs and I believe this program is really worth it.
Pretty good.
As a recent graduate from NCSU, I have to say this program has a horrible attitude towards its student.

It is a professional master degree, but the professors and the program directors spent very little time to help you find a job. Instead, they low your GPA, delay your graduation time and basically try their best to stop you from getting a good offer. For example, MA547 is a core class in this program and everyone has to take it and B is the minimum passing grade. Last year, Dr. Pang failed 1/3 of the student in the class so they have to take a 4th semester to finish the program while you normally only need 3 semesters to graduate. This year, 12 out of 29 people in this class get their GPA hammered and are forced to take a fourth semester to graduate. If you want the students to get a job, stop give the majority of the class B and delay their graduation.

The program director, Dr. Jeff Scroggs either doesn’t understand anything about the current job market or couldn’t care less about the future of the students. There is no company conducting campus recruitment for this program and no real alumni network. You are on your own to get jobs. So family connections are the most common way people land an internship/job. This year, only three people received summer internship in United States. With such a program director, it is not surprising that this program has horrible job placement. It used to be among the top 20 programs in Financial Engineering but now it’s in the middle of nowhere.

Overall, I don’t recommend this program to anyone who wishes to find a good job in US. The faculties don’t put student’s benefit as their priority and ignore much of the students’ need. Instead of treating students as their current customers and the future donors, they still believe that they are the professors so they can do whatever they want. Unless they change the program director, I don’t see how this program will get better in the future.
  • Anonymous
  • 4.00 star(s)
As a current student, at the Financial Mathematics program at NC State, what I like most is the interest that the faculty take in student development.

Core courses of the program focus on Mathematics and Statistics thus building a solid foundation of fundamental principles of Risk and Investments. Elective courses of the program are oriented towards the computational aspect with emphasis on MATLAB programming, SAS programming (Base SAS) and SAS Enterprise Miner, making it relevant to the industry especially jobs requiring data mining, data manipulation and analysis and business analytics.

A recent addition to the program is the course ‘C++ for financial mathematics’ conducted by the director of the program. This course is a major milestone in making students competent at programming and thus more job-ready.

Keeping in mind the importance of summer internships and full-time placements, the program has added to its team a new ‘Director of Career Services’ to attract employers to campus. The Director of Career Services brings with her prior experience of serving as a liaison between the industry and the students.

The students in this program also benefit from various alumni interactions that are arranged from time to time. The students not only get an insight into working of the industry but it also helps them identify their field of interest and choose their career path accordingly.
This program is in the Math Department which make it more rigorous. Because of good reputation in Math and Statistics, this program benefit a lot. We have taken many statistic courses so far,which are very useful for us to master further study.
Furthermore, it is because the number of students is not big, advisers have time to care about every student. They help every student figure out career planning and provide many opportunities to find an intern or a job.
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