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Stevens Institute of Technology Financial Engineering program

Stevens Institute of Technology Financial Engineering program

I would absolutely recommend the Stevens MFE program. It is top-notch in terms of flexibility, courses offered, and convenience to the city.

I chose this program in 2016 when I lived in Atlanta over other programs in large part because it allowed me to start remotely. I ultimately received a job in NY during my program, and finished the rest of the courses in person. I highly recommend taking as much as you can in person because it allows you to connect with students, faculty, and others in the industry.

The MFE program offered courses at night, which was critical to my ability to engage part-time. The campus is also about 45 min by train from midtown Manhattan - which is also really important to those working.

I thought that the majority of the faculty was well-credentialed, great tutors, and accessible. A few in particular still serve as valuable mentors. The administrative staff is also great, as is the career services office.

I also liked the design of the coursework. One is required to take the core classes as with every MFE degree (stochastic calc, derivatives, computational finance), but the elective tracks are categorized in sensible fashion. I chose to focus on time series/statistics, and the courses along this track were extremely helpful. I've found the content of several of the courses (Portfolio Theory in particular) as critical in my current role. I would encourage the faculty to continue to develop more courses, particularly in new areas of 'quant' like machine learning and data science.

I absolutely recommend this program.
I did my MFE from Stevens, The program is well designed and has best faculty. It has helped me learn and develop the skills which are helpful in real world. The University has the best resource to help study and research.
And huge add on was my professor and career development team helped me and provided all the support while I was looking for job.
I would suggest and recommend Stevens for MFE program.
Good course. Proximity to Wall Street is a huge boon since the alumni are well recognized there. Extremely helpful and experienced professors who are interested in making sure the graduating students are well placed in the industry.
  • Anonymous
  • 1.00 star(s)
Avoid this school's mfe program at all cost. This program lacks of diversity and most of students are Chinese. These Chinese students use their own social media wechat spread gossips, rumors and scandals, probably because most of Chiniese students' main focus is dating instead of study. As a result, they think every student are busy dating. They fail to adapt to US society and even can't speak English. They stick to each other wherever they go and use their arcane language to spread rumors, gossips and scandals. Please don't say I am a racist, because I myself came from China too, that's why I know their secrets, and I feel I have the responsibilities to expose them so that prospective students can make better judgement based on the information I provided.
I was a master student here and transferred to Ph.D. I would like to recommend the study resources here, such as our financial lab, databases, etc. There are a lot of chances for you to improve your skill and knowledge from different aspects. The whole department are looking for all possible ways to make the program better and better. BTW, the professors are all really kind people :)
Good resource, good location, excellent professors. Near NYC, good access to intern and work opportunity.
As a Phd student in Financial Engineering, I would like to say Stevens has one of the best financial labs in the US. Our corporate partners are ConvergEx, Bloomberg, ICAP, Reuters, Gain Capital, etc. The high-frequency financial data from Reuters Tickhistory and News Analytics strongly support my research.Our professors have projects from Sloan Foundation, SEC, CFTC, ICAP, Accenture, Deloitte and many other places. The graduate students have chance to go to Jefferies for an intern as part of FE800 course. Co-op program is also available to FE students.
Excellent program, good location and nice professors! I was a master student of financial engineering at Stevens. It is definitely a good choice for you! Despite of the fierce competition in the job market, I got an internship and job as a Quant after graduation.
Good resources. Extensive quant courses. Good professors.
I am doing MFE from stevens and i believe there are various things i like and don't like about the program.

Likes:
1. This program is inclined towards mathematics, which gives people enough mathematical power to face real world quantitative challenges.
2. Weekly Financial Engineering workshops, allows students allows students to breath real world oxygen.
3. Recently they started dedicated Lab classes for Fin. Engineering students, to enrich their quantitative tools that are must for Quants / Risk Managers (i.e. C++, Bloomberg, Thomson Reuters, SaaS etc).
4. Stevens is known for building standard in mechanical industry and project like ACTUS allows them step into standardizing financial contracts as well.
4. Web Campus is a big plus for working professionals.
5. Most of the teacher are working in that industry and they are bringing valuable experiences to the desk.

Don't Likes:
1. Career Placement is the weakest part of the program, but i am glad that they have hired some good people for student outreach to fix this.

Before starting my MFE, i was already working for Energy Trading and Risk Management company, but i was able to attract people from various financial institutions and Hedge funds.
I attended and graduated Stevens' Master of Science in Financial Engineering program from 2011 to 2013 and highly recommend program. Upon completion of my Master's project and graduation I obtained a position at a large utility company in the structuring and quantitative analysis group; one which I believe would not have obtained without the Stevens MFE. The institute has a well known reputation for science and engineering and the MFE curriculum is worthy of that reputation. The skills I have learned have translated directly to my position and I have nothing but praise for the program and professors alike.
AVOID Stevens at ALL costs.
Courses are good. But its students are not very competitive in the job market, overwhelmed by surrounding colleges such as Columbia, NYU, Rugters and etc.
Stevens employs great, knowledgable, professors. Resources that students have access to are extremely useful. The Hanlon Financial Lab give students access to both Bloomberg and Thomson Reuters data. The campus location is very beneficial since its proximity to New York opens up more opportunities for internships.
It meets my expectations
Can you tell us a bit about your background
Bachelor's in Statistics, NYU Stern School of Business (2001 -2005)
GPA 3.3/4.0
Pricewaterhouse Coopers LLP - Actuarial Associate (2005 - 2006)
I studied full time in the Stevens Institute of Technology MFE program from 08/2006- 05/2008

Did you get admitted to other programs?
Yes

Why did you choose this program (over others, if applicable)?
The flexibility to pursue rigorous, proof-based mathematics classes as electives if one decides to pursue a PhD in Financial Engineering in the future. Affordability. Proximity to NYC. Good reputation in engineering & science.

Tell us about the application process at this program
The application process was smooth and the professors responded in a timely manner to my questions.
They didn't have an online tracking system but good old phone calls are good enogh to track application status

Does this program offer refresher courses for incoming students?
Yes. C++ Programming.

Tell us about the courses selection in this program. Any special courses you like
6 core courses + 4 electives:
Core - Stochastic Calculus, Pricing and hedging, Portfolio Theory and Management, Computational Methods in Quantitative Finance, Advanced Derivatives (focused on Interest Rate and Credit Derivatives) and Financial Engineering project.
Electives: I chose Real Analysis 1, Real Analysis 2, PDE and Numerical PDE. I also took an extra class in Abstract Algebra out of interest.
I loved the proof-based math courses - Real Analysis 1 and Real Analysis 2 because it was well-taught by a professor who teaches well and inspires as compared to professors who are more interested in their own research.

I tried to prepare for MFE programs back as an undergraduate at NYU by enrolling in relevant proof-based math classes and struggled in those classes. I never understood the proofs clearly as professors didn't take the time to show us how to approach such rigorous material. I was obsessed with learning how to handle such math.
At the end of the day, the issue came down to the method of instruction.

Tell us about the quality of teaching
The core classes are taught by academics with industrial, practical experience.
It differs for the electives depending on what the student chooses as his/her electives.
As all of my electives are proof-based math classes, they are taught by math professors who also happened to be really good at teaching.

Which reading materials are used in the program
Futures & Options by Hull, Intro to Mathematics of Financial Derivatives by Neftci, Implementing Derivatives Models by Clewlow and Stickland,
Numerical Solutions of Partial Differential Equation by Morton and Mayers.
Other courses were taught using notes provided by the professors.

Programming component of the program
R, C++, Java, Matlab.

Projects
Financial Engineering project at the final semester. It is both research-based and requires coding. It can be both an individual or group project.
Some students work on research topics posed by professors. Others (some part-time students) work on topics encountered in their line of work.

Career service
Stevens has a stellar career service with exceptional placement for its main engineering and computer science graduates. However, it still has some way to go in placing its financial engineering graduates.
A couple of companies, Hudson River Trading, LLC and GX Clarke (a fixed-income trading house) recruits from Stevens.

What do you like about the program?
The flexibility to pursue relevant, proof-based math classes as electives.
I agree with Sylvain Raynes in his article on The State of Financial Engineering that learning about numerical methods, stochastic differential equations takes time and that such knowledge are best learned properly through a classroom setting, in a standard, rigorous manner.

What DON'T you like about the program?
The career placement.

Suggestions for the program to make it better
Stevens also has a Master's of Science degree program in Stochastic Systems, housed under the Department of Mathematical Sciences.
Stevens' MFE program can do more to collaborate with the Stochastic Systems program in providing a better quality education for its students. For eg. Convex Analysis and Non-linear Optimization (a course in Stochastic Systems program) can involve assignments on how to apply such concepts to Portfolio Management.
Stevens MFE can also follow the example of Baruch MFE in vigorously and successfully promoting its program and improving its career placement rate.

What are your current job status? What are you looking for? What would you prefer to work in?
I currently work in a reinsurance company in an actuarial position. I am looking to work in structuring teams of investment banks that focus on insurance companies. I am working towards that direction.

Other comments
How much one benefits from a particular MFE program depends on how much work one is willing to put in and whether that MFE program fits the interests/aims of a student.
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