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Rutgers University - Master of Quantitative Finance

Rutgers University - Master of Quantitative Finance

Headline
On the strength of Rutgers MQF - Alumni Review
Class of
2023
When looking at ratings and reviews of Quant programs on this site, you need to make sure to have the context behind the numbers in mind. Every program is designed to cater to a different incoming profile, so simply going off of the rating number will not give you a very effective indicator of whether a school is good for you, specifically or not. If you are someone who comes from a completely non-quant background, comparing a top 5 school to a 10-20 school is a waste of time. The top schools are mostly admitting students with heavy quant-like profiles, so if you don't fit that category, not taking a holistic approach is a big mistake. Secondly, from what I understand, the data submitted for these ratings is not standardized, i.e. different schools treat international, national (different parts of the country), missing, etc. in different ways, making the pure ranking number nothing but a popularity contest. These caveats need to be understood clearly so you don't decide your future based on lackluster/misleading information.

So where does Rutgers MQF stand in comparison to others and what is unique about this program? MQF is a program that takes a non-quant and makes a quant. That is, flat out the strength of the program. Students from many different backgrounds will be in your class and this will allow you to look at the subjects, projects, and understanding about topics from various perspectives. Another advantage of this is the lack of imposter syndrome as there will be many others who have not been exposed to many of the topics that are required and may seem difficult in the beginning. You should feel full personal freedom to ask questions and be as dumb as you need to be to fully understand what is needed. The available subjects cover, in my opinion, all the necessities of a quant who will be entering the industry. Check the curriculum for every program you're considering - it is the only thing besides the faculty that matters, everything else comes after. Besides the requirements, MQF offers Quantitative Risk Management, Machine Learning, Econometrics, Optimization Modes, Financial Time Series, Indexing & ETFs, and more. These are the electives I took when I was a student and I use pretty much all of them in my role - many times I have used my class notes and slides at work to understand something again. In terms of difficulty, it will entirely depend on your appetite for hard work and willingness to learn. If you are lazy and cruise by just copying from others, the negatives will come to you in the job search, the quality of your role, and/or how competent you will be at your workplace after graduating (you cannot escape the laziness to learn). The program offers more than enough guidance and support in terms of professor availability, intelligent TAs, other students who are willing to help, and quality of the homework/projects for you to be able to learn what is needed to succeed in your role and have the ability to learn beyond. I work with colleagues who went to the Top 5 programs and never have I felt that MQF did not give me the proper training to keep up or that I could not at the very least learn something that I do not know. Yes, my lack of real-world experience does show up but your workplace will have an understanding of this as expected from an industry beginner. MQF built me a strong enough blueprint and foundation to be good at my role (Quantitative Analyst - focusing on all Derivatives (Equity, Fixed Income/Rates, and FX) and be able to learn newer topics that extend from the school curriculum. You should be looking at the subjects and the topics a program offers with the highest weight and priority. Your knowledge is the main thing that will land you a good job, everything else is added after. Simply going to a top 5 school but not learning how to learn difficult things and work with other people will not help you in the practical world. School ratings vanish the moment you sit for an interview or start your job, so make sure you understand the curriculum and how it aligns with your current situation.

Lastly, the faculty, in my opinion, is the second most important factor to consider. MQF faculty is well equipped with theoretical knowledge and practicality of the topics to teach effectively. Of course, you will be a professor you do not like, this will be true anywhere you go, but overall the faculty is passionate about their subjects and understanding of the students and their backgrounds. As I said before, the strength of this program is the taking a non-quant and making a quant - the faculty's patience and ability to teach difficult topics like stochastic calc., numerical analysis, practicality of derivatives, risk management, and more in intuitive ways is the main driver of that strength. I never felt that I could not ask a professor even the most basic question (albeit you don't want to waste the class time either - use office hours). As a student, your main goal is to land a good job for which you need to truly understand what you're learning. To do that, having a faculty that allows you to feel like a student and ask questions to understand things intuitively is pertinent. My favorite professors at the program were as follows: Mariya Naumova (Econometrics, Numerical Analysis, and Risk Management) - extremely intelligent, logical, and willing to answer even the most basic questions to make sure you understand what is confusing. Andrzej Ruszczyński (Stochastic Calc. and Optimization Models) - a pioneer and well-known researcher in the optimization field who can answer any of your questions on pretty much any topic from many different angles. One of the most humble and knowledgeable people. Andrea Tamoni (Derivatives) - someone who understands derivatives from the most basic level to the highest complexity. This is the type of professor you want to make sure you utilize to the fullest to gain a good understanding of the topic. Every single thing in his class is important if you want to work in the derivatives field. His ability to connect traditional financial theories and models to the payoffs of options, credit derivatives, and the math behind pricing is impressive.

Hope that helps. Understand that your career is, for all practical purposes, only in your own hands. You should be crafting it purposefully and consciously at every moment. Work hard and good luck.
Recommendation
Yes, I would recommend this program to a friend
Students Quality
3.00 star(s)
Courses/Instructors
5.00 star(s)
Career Services
5.00 star(s)
I believe Rutgers MQF program is one of the top Quant programs in the US for the following reasons :
1. The program prepares you to be a well-rounded quant. Equal importance is given to finance, maths, and programming through the 15 courses we study here.
2. Faculty: Rutgers MQF has one of the finest faculties to learn some of the most difficult subjects in any master's program from. We were taught Stochastic Calculus and Optimization Models by Andrzej Ruszczyński and I feel his lectures were a treat to listen to. He takes a lot of effort to explain some of the most difficult concepts out there and I have personally learned a lot in his class. Professor Mariya Naumova is another great professor from the program who teaches Econometrics, Numerical Methods, and Risk Management and she is one of the smartest professors I had the pleasure of learning from. We were taught Fixed Income by Priyank Gandhi who has done a quant master's and has worked in the industry before. His lectures were really important to set our base of fixed income which is vital for any quant.
3. Electives: The program offers 5 electives, and I feel I have learned a lot from the electives I took: Machine Learning, and Risk Management to name a few. Professor Serdar Dinc has designed the Machine Learning course in a way where we actually program in every class in front of the professor. ML assignments were challenging and if you do each assignment judiciously you will gain a lot of knowledge about data cleaning and preprocessing, variable selection, which is vital for machine learning.
4. Interviews: The concepts taught in classes like Econometrics, ML, Financial time series, and Stochastic calculus immensely helped me in my interviews. Professor Mariya, Professor Serdar, and Professor Alex helped a lot during my interview process and I believe I landed my job because of their guidance. Professor Alex has been in the quant industry for more than 25 years and we were lucky to have him during the job search process.
5. Career Fair: Rutgers MQF has 2 career management classes and the career fairs organized really help students to get placed for internships and full-time jobs. I have seen most students get an internship/ job with the help of the fintech career fairs. I personally gave a couple of internship interviews ( & the only interviews I got) through the career fair.
6. Administration: Thomas does a fantastic job as the manager of the MQF program. He is always available to solve your problems and you can reach out to him about anything related to the MQF program. He has been of great help to all the students and he makes the experience of the program worthwhile.

The best thing about the MQF program is the diverse background of students (finance, engineering, management, maths, accounting, etc.). Unlike most other programs Rutgers MQF doesn’t hire students who are already quants, but they work on making you a quant and I feel that’s more important. I believe to make the most out of this program, attend all the classes, talk to the faculties about the subject, participate in all the career fairs, focus on learning rather than easy grades, and be the best quant you can be :). All the best!
I am an alumnus from the most recently graduated class here. The program has been a big disappointment and a rather poor investment. Right from the textbook-ish and outdated course content in all the core courses to the bureaucratic nature of the professors, the program leadership and the administrative staff. Many students who came in with experience in the industry have pretty much gone back to doing what they were doing before they entered the program. So, unless you are looking for your first job, there is really no tangible career progression laterally or vertically that has occurred, in a lot of cases.

Lets pick this out one by one.

1. Core course content and the professors who teach them.

Core mathematics components have faculty who are adept at making the students lose themselves in a flurry of symbols, equations and models. If you are mathematically inclined, you will enjoy these courses, irrespective of the fact that the content is purely textbook-ish and will be of very less practical relevance when you interview for jobs. I will give an example. There are several financial instruments which can be priced using different stochastic or numerical methods. But the only ones covered in these courses are vanilla calls or puts. While I agree that the fundamental principles of pricing will probably remain the same for many instruments, it is preposterous that the courses do not even touch on interest rate models or implied volatility models; which are the bread and butter right now. Hence my complaint of the course being outdated. In another example, the introductory econometrics course was so poorly conducted that the instructor did not even cover or touch upon logistic regression, which is a basic question in pretty much all credit risk interviews. Hence the mathematics component leaves a lot to be desired in terms of job interview preparation or relevance to the industry.

Core programming component. I should say this part was pretty much non-existent or taught like an undergraduate introduction course rather than engage students with relevant graduate level examples in quantitative finance. If you compare the syllabus of the OOP C++ and Python courses here with those at the top programs, you will notice that the other programs make an effort to cover pricing models implementation. Here, the focus is on looping, data types and other such introductory stuff. To be honest, the students have been complaining and requesting for a better instructor since the past two cohorts which graduated, but the program administration has made no effort to address this. MATLAB, R were covered in a single day workshop, together. To spend tuition on 6 credits for a 2 semester introductory sequence makes me feel I am throwing money down a drain. Instead, check out online websites which teach this content for free.

Core finance components. This was the better part of the program. Though the Options course left a lot to be desired. The instructors are much better than those from the Mathematics or Programming components.

2. Electives

The electives are the saving grace of the program. However, there are very few elective courses as part of the required 45 credits to graduate. ETFs, Data Mining and Advanced Financial Analysis are some courses really relevant to the questions you face in job interviews depending on which career track you choose. Though this program doesn't really send out students to hedge funds in the US, the course on Hedge Funds and the one on Portfolio Management were also very practical. But there are a few bad apples here too. For eg, the risk management elective spent only half out of 12 classes on option greeks, when in reality, almost all of market risk management is dependent on the greeks. Having come to the course with a background in risk management, I was surprised that barely any contemporary topics like CVA / XVA were covered, when in reality 75% of the market risk positions in the industry require some sort of CVA/XVA knowledge/experience. For my cohort, the Time Series professor had changed. He was replaced with someone part time from NJIT who handled the course so badly that in one class, one of the students had to go to the board, correct his mathematical proof, derive it for him and explain it to him in Mandarin and all this after the "professor" was actually looking at the textbook in his hand while scribbling the proof on the blackboard.

3. Career Outcomes.
Now, don't kid yourself. Everyone is here in this program hoping to come out of it with a good job. Some expect a certain title, some expect a certain industry, some expect a certain salary. You have to come to this program with a realistic expectation that not all of your dreams will come true. You will end up compromising on the role or the pay or the title or the brand. This is the job market's reality which many students gloss over. Your first job out of a grad program in business school, generally, is like a plank that will propel you to your dream job next. However, Rutgers MQF finds it difficult to even give you this plank, let alone your dream job. As I have said multiple times earlier, curriculum wise, you are already lagging behind in training, w.r.t the industry expectations. Next, you don't have an Ivy League brand. You aren't located in NYC. The career director spends an inordinate amount of time on fussing over vocabulary, punctuation and alignment in your resume (essentially lecturing you on how important soft skills are) rather than working to engage recruiters to come meet students or engage hiring managers to actually find out what is the skill set expected of fresh graduates (which is feedback that should ideally be passed on the program director and core faculty). Honestly, the resume stuff is not why she was hired and she should ideally delegate it. You should get your actual figures on salary and placement from the school but personally, the experience left a lot to be desired. The one saving grace here is the career director's initiative of experiential learning. Owing to her vast industry network, she engages a few of her ex-colleagues to provide unpaid work to students who don't find summer internships, working on some relevant industry projects. Atleast, this gives you some relevant stuff to put on your resume while searching for full time jobs. I will not get into the tough situation for international students in the job market as its not a problem that only Rutgers students face. But, remember that it adds on to everything intrinsically wrong with the program.

4. Program Leadership and Administration.

Visionary, efficient and engaging are the wrong words to describe them. Bureaucracy, sloth-like response times and indifferent to student issues are the perfect adjectives. The program director has an archaic mindset towards both the curriculum and the job market and this hurts all the students in the program. I cannot think of a single instance in which he reached out to the students/alumni and tried to solicit feedback on what can be improved in the curriculum.
The admin staff and the International Students Office are worse than the US Congress. One example here is generation of CPT i-20s for international students. My friends from a university on Boston had theirs generated in a matter of 5 mins. Rutgers OISS takes 3-5 business days. Their standard answer for everything. Another friend from a university in North Carolina told me that his OPT form will all filled out and kept ready for him by his advisor and all he had to do was sign. At Rutgers, you have to fill out your form and a host of other paperwork yourself and just to get the university's endorsement (OPT i-20), you have to wait another 3-5 business days.

Overall, my experience with the program has left me disillusioned, in deep student debt and set me back 3 years in my career.
45 Credits in total compared 30 credits of most of the MFE programs. You could choose course in different area: math, programming, data analysis, system simulation, finance, accounting, etc. You also have many choices in New Brunswick. That means you have so many rooms to tailor the course with your career goal and interest.
The career services is excellent too. For example, this year, the career adviser bring several big name company to our program to conduct projects with students. Also many industrial people will be invited to give speeches in workshops.
The location also add great points to this program. 20 mins to WTC, 35 mins to mid town Manhattan, which makes to easy to participate in different events or interviews.
MQF class of 2015

Background
BA in Economics
No full-time work experience before attending MQF program

Coursework

10 core courses plus 5 elective courses required to complete the degree, some core courses are substitutable with certain electives

Students are allowed to take certain courses under other departments

Some courses have very heavy workload, some are comparatively light; most courses are of high quality and easy to follow

As a student with little programming background, I was able to master multiple programming languages though homework and projects.

Career services

The new career adviser is very professional and helpful.
MQF class of 2008

Before I attend MQF program, I had an education background of bioinformatics. I wanted to have a career switch at that time. So I chose the quant program at Rutgers. It turned out that it was the right choice. First, this program has diverse courses to choose. You can learn sophisticated math theory if you are good at it, or you can choose finance/economics/accounting courses if you like to explore finance. As far as I know, many other programs only offer or specialized in one side, but not both. Second, the professors are exceptional. The classes are well organized and they are extremely helpful in connecting the industry. I got my first internship in the first few months after attending this program. Third, there are many alumni working at wall street, which are the most powerful resources in job hunting and career development.

After working several years at different rating agencies/ banks, I am proud to say I made a right choice attending MQF program.
  • Anonymous
  • 5.00 star(s)
MQF class of 2015

BS in Engineering

Cursory research of the program shows it provides a balance between math, finance, and programming that many other programs are skewed in. After attending here, I believe my assumptions to be true for the most part. While course offerings are not very diverse each semester, there is bound to be opportunities to take very interesting electives. Core classes are flexible enough where time is not an issue. Coursework is reasonable enough to get proper practice without being overwhelming. Teams are important, and building of teams is encouraged in and out of the classroom setting.

Career advisory was lacking the first year. Many company visits, but not many practical opportunities. New career advisor is excellent. Works hard to provide opportunities for all students. Very personal and hands on in assisting each and every student who asks for help.

The biggest issue with the program is the structure of the courses. While the time when classes are taken is flexible to arrange, the sheer number of core classes makes specializing very difficult. Also, some courses do not focus on application enough.

Overall, the program is a great experience. For the most part, professors are excellent. Even if a professor may not teach material or in a manner suited to one's needs, the professor is still very helpful in other aspects of academic and career development.
  • Anonymous
  • 4.00 star(s)
MQF class of 2016

Background
B.Tech in Electronics and Communication Engineering
14 months work-ex in IT sector

Career Services
The no.of job postings on Rutgers MQF career website is limited. Rutgers NB career portal is a better choice. However, over the last few months the career service of MQF improved a lot. New Career director takes every case personally. Most of us received calls or leads in the last one month. I will be working as an intern in one of the rating agencies for this summer.

Why Rutgers
Close to NY. Great chance to network
Large no.of Rutgers alumni are in Financial services and are approchable
Relatively flexible

Coursework
Wide range of electives. you can choose MBAs and MFin electives.
You can take basic courses in Finance (A very good introduction for non finance students by Prof Castelino) , programming (C++, Sql, Phyton) and Probability and statistics
Prof. Steven Dym (options. He will be teaching Fixed Income as well from 2015) and Prof. Rusczynski (optimization and Stochastic calculus) are the best faculty of this program
Financial Time Series (Mandatory course) Hw’s are very practical. However, if you lack background in statistics it will be challenging.
Term projects in Fixed income and Numerical Analysis are industry oriented
Financial Modeling I (taught by Dr. Wu, The director of the program) assignments are very practical. He emphasizes on intuition behind every concepts
You can also take exotic electives such as Quant Equity trading (based on market microstructure and technical trading), Indexing and ETFs (Includes guest speaker sessions), Applied Portfolio Management (Equity Research - Provides networking opportunity with high profile people in industry) and Compliance

Disadvantages
Course structure. It would be more beneficial if students are allowed to choose electives and core courses to specialize in a particular stream
Few courses such as econometrics are very theoretical in nature ( I did not take the course. I am writing this based on my friends review)
More interaction across all Finance specialization of Rutgers
No online refresher courses prior to join the program
Lots of theory, limited application

What do you think is unique about this program?
Closeness to Mahattan is a unique characteristic due to the large number of finacial firms, and the ample opportunities to attend industry conferences, education seminars, and networking events.

What are the weakest points about this program?
The lack of practical application to real world finacial careers. While there is plenty of emphasis on purely academic work, it would nice to put some of it to work in a classroom setting. It would also be good to get some VBA experience as that can enhance any career. I also felt that too many professors have trouble conveying difficult topics.

Career services
This has been revamped since I was a student. New coordinator seems dedicated to helping students. The general business school career department is solely geared toward MBA students and can't provide much useful assistance. That being said, Dr. Wu does a nice job of exposing local companies to the program which leads to job opportunities.

Student body
Small number of American born studends with high levels of Asian students.
Very thorough and generates a deep understanding of financial concepts.

What do you think is unique about this program?
Interesting.
Unique
Very mathematical and concept oriented.

What are the weakest points about this program?
Does not give students the opportunity to select some courses and be flexible.

Career services
Still in the beginning stage. Not very helpful.

Student body
Diverse and helpful.
Can you tell us a bit about your background?
3 years of industry experience followed by a Ph.D. in economics
I who studied part-time in the program from 9/2009 to 5/2011

Did you get admitted to other programs?
Yes

Why did you choose this program (over others, if applicable)?
Was already a Rutgers student in the Economics dept. Value of program is better than other programs

What alternative sources of info you used to learn more about the program?
Online research, compared coursework of other programs
Tell us about the application process at this program
Applied online, submitted GRE scores and grades online

Does this program offer refresher courses for incoming students? What do they offer and how much it costs?
Yes, very brief introduction to finance course (free)

Tell us about the courses selection in this program. Any special courses you like?
There are a total of 16 courses (equivalent of Ph.D. program). There is a big lack of advanced statistics courses and stochastic calculus courses. This is remedied by speaking with the director and substituting courses to make up for this lack. The courses available in the Newark Campus are unfortunately very elementary (Microeconomics, Probability, Stochastic Processes, etc). I took these in the New Brunswick (top 25 math/stat programs) and the quality of the courses is much more advanced.

Tell us about the quality of teaching
New Brunswick's courses are much more rigorous than Newark's courses. However, most professors are excellent and care about their students.

Materials used in the program
Very good texts are used (if you take the NB courses), including Shreve, Hull, O'Kane, among others. For NB's microeconomics course, Rudin is used to build the advanced models.

Programming component of the program
1 course in c++ and 1 course in java, coupled with heavy use of Matlab

Projects
Wrote a paper which described liquidity premiums in fixed income markets using Markov chain Monte Carlo simulations (this is in an elective statistics course, in New Brunswick)

Career service
Rutgers Business School's Office of Career Management was absolutely useless. I used the equivalent service in New Brunswick (Rutgers CareerKnight), providing me with interviews at major invesment banks, consulting firms, and government agencies for quantitative interviews. I received a summer internship in fixed income quantitative analytics (using CareerKnight to interview). My score below will be for CareerKnight and not RBS OCM

What do you like about the program?
Great overall financial engineering education. It is what you make of it. You can speak to the director and substitute classes (case by case basis). This will make your education much better.

What DON’T you like about the program?
Obvious gaps in the program structure coupled with absense of flexibility.
The quality of the Newark courses is abysmal (particularly microeconomics and probability). This is remedied by taking the same courses in New Brunswick. This program has a huge need for advanced statistics (particularly time series analysis). It would also need another semester of stochastic calculus. The programming aspect is a bit too simplistic.

Suggestions for the program to make it better
Add a time series analysis course (Econometrics 2, NB campus, Prof Swanson), add another semester of stochastic calculus. Get rid of the java course and add a rigorous quant dev class (Computational Finance, NB Campus, Prof Feehan). Teach microeconomics more rigorously (real analysis, topology, advanced risk models) (or take in NB campus). Get rid of probability and add a rigorous measure theory course.

What are your current job status? What are you looking for?
Offer in fixed income quantitative analytics (begin July 2011)

Other comments
This is a great program, if you take most courses in New Brunswick and use CareerKnight in NB instead of RBS OCM
Can you tell us a bit about your background?
A master's in mathematics and a PhD in a field not related to finance. GPA 4.0, GMAT 710
I studied part-time in the program from 9/2006 to 12/2010

Did you get admitted to other programs?
No, I chose not to apply that year

Why did you choose this program (over others, if applicable)?
I needed a program that would allow to take only one or two courses at a time in a flexible order and stay close to home (family circumstances)

What alternative sources of info you used to learn more about the program?
University website provided good overview of the program.

Tell us about the application process at this program
I applied offline and got positive response almost immediately

Does this program offer refresher courses for incoming students? What do they offer and how much it costs?
There was a free-of-charge week's long orientation course going over introduction to finance prior to the start of the program.

Tell us about the courses selection in this program. Any special courses you like?
The list of courses required to receive this degree is very rigid. If I remember correctly off the top of my head, there are only 2 elective courses to be selected. The core list is generally well thought-through, with one major blatant exception: the program provides no courses in time series and advanced statistics. Given that taking those courses as electives requires traveling to a different campus at odd time of the day, this effectively means that those courses are not available to part-time working students even if they realize that they lack those.

Tell us about the quality of teaching
The courses are generally skewed toward theory, but I would not say it is a disadvantage. There is some limited number of courses taught by current and former practitioners as well (risk management, numerical analysis, financial institutions). Teching quality falls within a huge range, from excellent in-depth theoretical courses (probability and stochastic processes, systems simulation) to somewhat less laudable.

Materials used in the program
Hull – Options Futures and other derivatives;
Shreve – Stochastic Calculus for Finance;
Cochrane – Asset pricing;
Etheridge – A course in Financial Calculus;
Baklawski - Introduction to Probability with R;

Programming component of the program
MatLab is used throughout many courses; C++ and Java are covered in dedicated courses (2 semesters)

Projects
Numerical analysis and Financial Risk Management Theory course (however, none are taught in this format any longer, at least to the extent of my knowledge), individual projects
Courses in both C++ and Java involve a series of programming projects, individual projects
Financial modeling II projects on pricing (again, no longer taught in the same format as the professor left Rutgers), team projects
Projects in R - probability course, individual projects.

Career service
I didn't approach career services, so the rating below is done on feedback from my fellow students

What do you like about the program?
For those students who are motivated and know what they need from a financial engineering program and research all their options, Rutgers is an excellent choice: quality of teaching is very good, and many courses, even if they don't cover the subject sufficiently, generally provide a good start for further self-education in the area.

What DON’T you like about the program?
Obvious gaps in the program structure coupled with absense of flexibility.
Also, I regret to see the program sliding from being aimed at graduate degree holders who are switching fields after several years of work experience (this is where it was when I joined 4 years ago) to traditional graduate program for fresh-out-of-college students.
Suggestions for the program to make it better
Cannot stress the absense of time series and advanced statistics courses enough. Also, making the program more flexible would be a tremendous advantage.

What are your current job status? What are you looking for?
I am employed full-time at a risk methodology department at a major bank. I am not looking for any other position right now, and chances are that I won't be looking for one any time soon if at all.

Other comments
This program provides a very good jump-start to becoming a quant, but one definitively needs to spend a lot of time studying on his/her own. If you decide to join this program part-time, research all courses and options well in advance and tailormake your schedule to make sure you don't "get stuck" between the semester schedules (some classes are only offered once a year, and given some pre-requisites are involved, one may easily end up delaying some course for more than a year). Think wise about picking the electives and try to make use of resources available in New Brunswick campus - although it may be problematic for those who work in the city.
Can you tell us a bit about your background?
B.A. from University of Virginia in Economics
Minor in Mathematics
I studied full-time in the program from 9/2009 to 5/2011

Did you get admitted to other programs?
No. Didn't apply

Why did you choose this program (over others, if applicable)?
Location & Practicality. Preferred to remain in-state to further my studies related to economics and mathematics while obtaining programming and industry relevant experience.

What alternative sources of info you used to learn more about the program?
Rutgers webpage provides a valid source of information regarding the program

Tell us about the application process at this program
Applied offline and received an acceptance almost immediately.

Does this program offer refresher courses for incoming students? What do they offer and how much it costs?
Students are required to participate in summer orientation where Introduction to Finance is taught. Otherwise no refresher courses are necessary.

Tell us about the courses selection in this program. Any special courses you like?
The initial semester is a waste and used as a refresher with courses in microeconomics, probability, C++, and Finance. With an extraordinary amount of international students, I assume this is to create common level of understanding for the remainder of the program, but this is essentially a waste allowing the university to "steal" a semester tuition and help create Rutgers' comparatively lengthy 2 year program. Courses in stochastic calculus, operations research, and numerical analysis provide the basis for a mathematical foundation, yet the program fails to deliver on time-series analysis and extensive econometrics. The program does provide sufficient exposure to Matlab, VBA, C++, and R. With only 3 electives available and an administration that disapproves of class substitutions the curriculum is very inflexible.

Tell us about the quality of teaching
Extremely Variant. Professors vary from American to International and with experience to those who are solely academics. Professors with industry experience within the U.S. provide the most practical, well taught classes.

Materials used in the program
Hull - Options Futures and other derivatives
Shreve - Stochastic Calculus for Finance
Cochrane - Asset pricing
Etheridge - A course in Financial Calculus
Huang and Litzenberger - Foundation for Financial Economics
Along with numerous Finance and programming texts

Programming component of the program
Matlab, VBA, R, C++, JAVA

Projects
Entire courses in both C++ and JAVA (why JAVA?) creates numerous programming projects
Matlab projects using Fama-French model and CAPM are very useful.
Limited projects in VBA and R with no introduction to SQL or STATA.
Obtain sufficient knowledge of Excel.

Career service
The career services department mostly neglects quant finance majors with the majority of opportunities and corporate presentations tailored to MBAs. International students will find job opportunities far more scarce, and with the majority of the program's students being international, especially Asian, they will find it far more competitive. However, opportunities are available for internships and full-time positions, but students must look for openings individually.

What do you like about the program?
If a student is willing to do the above and beyond, and push for scheduling tailored to their needs, the professors and materials are present to learn both the theoretical and practical aspects of financial engineering.

What DON’T you like about the program?
Program administration. Program is resistant to allowing students to pursue the education they came to achieve by allowing nearly zero flexibility and forcing students to learning overly theoretical material, ala microeconomics.
Also, whether this is the fault of faculty or student body, there is a mentality present to obtain grades anyway possible, regardless of ethics, that can detract from your ability to learn, which is far more important.

Suggestions for the program to make it better
More scheduling flexibility, especially for full-time students who continuously encounter scheduling conflicts every semester.
Scrap the first semester, shorten the program, and focus on the skills and knowledge that needs to be obtained by any financial engineering program.

What are your current job status? What are you looking for?
Switching to part-time come spring. Looking for full-time work as soon as semester completes in the fields of either fixed income analysis or risk management.

Other comments
The program does provide a sufficient transition from undergraduate studies to preparation for becoming a full-time quant.
If you participate in this program, research possible courses and plan your schedule immediately. Locate classes at NJIT and in New Brunswick that may further the knowledge you seek to obtain, and this program can easily be completed in 1.5 years if you are able to avoid scheduling conflicts.
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