University of Minnesota Financial Mathematics program

University of Minnesota Financial Mathematics program

Application deadline
Feb 1 - First round review; applications received after the deadline will not be included in the first round of review;
The Master of Financial Mathematics ( MFM) program at the University of Minnesota (UMN) is part of MCFAM (Minnesota Center for Financial and Actuarial Mathematics) within the School of Mathematics.

Admission
February 1 - Applications due;
March 15 - First round offers made;
May 1 - Second & final round of offers made

Minimum Requirements for Admission:
A Bachelor's degree from an accredited U.S. university or foreign equivalent.

GPA: We follow the Graduate School's requirements for the minimum GPA, currently set at 3.0.

Mathematical background: All applicants should have completed college level courses in single variable and multivariable calculus and linear algebra. Background in Probability and familiarity with programming languages are highly recommended.

GRE: Either a GRE General or a GRE Math Subject test score is required. We do not set a minimal score for the GRE test but we definitely use it as well as other factors when making an admissions decision.

GRE Exam Codes: University of Minnesota School of Mathematics
  1. Institutional Code: 6874
  2. Department Code: 0703
English Proficiency-TOEFL: We follow the Graduate School's requirements for English language proficiency standards for international students. See the Graduate School's TOEFL page for exact details and latest updates.

TOEFL Exam Codes: University of Minnesota School of Mathematics
  1. Institutional Code: 6874
  2. Department Code: 0703
Application fee:
Domestic - $75; International - $95

Application and Acceptance Rate since the start of program.
About 20% of applicants obtain acceptance to the program per year.

Academics
Academics in the program and at the University of Minnesota’s School of Mathematics are rigorous. Multiple MFM professors received their PhDs in Mathematics at top-rated universitites including UMN's highly ranked Mathematics Department. In 2018 UMN's School of Mathematics was ranked 9th in the US for Applied Mathematics. In 2017 the University of Minnesota's Mathematics program was ranked 13th in the world for in US News Best Global Universities Listing.

Courses
The Master of Financial Mathematics (MFM) program consists of four course sequences:
Fall FM 5091, Spring FM 5092
Fall FM 5011, Spring FM 5012
Fall FM 5021, Spring FM 5022
Fall FM 5032, Spring FM 5032
  • These sequences may be taken either in parallel or sequentially, following their numerical order. The only exception is FM 5091/5092 - Computation, Algorithms and Coding in Finance. Full time students complete the program in 2 years. See: MFM Curriculum.
  • The MFM is structured with a balance between theory and real world industry applications. It features rigorous coursework in mathematics and statistics alongside a yearlong practicum course that is comprised of a variety of modules taught by industry professionals. For additional real world experience, students participate in an intensive 10-day modeling winter workshop in which they work in teams on a project mentored by quant finance and data science industry mentors.
  • Students admitted into the MFM program often have a variety of backgrounds. Some need to “brush up” on their mathematical foundation in order to be better prepared for the high level of mathematics throughout the MFM courses. If you need a graduate level refresher course we will require you to take FM 5001/5002 (Preparation for Financial Mathematics I and II) before enrolling in the other more advanced financial mathematics courses.
  • All MFM courses are offered in the evening. This accommodates part time working students and allows full time students to pursue additional coursework or a minor during the day. The mix of working and full time students benefits all students. Some full time students have been hired by their part time, working classmates. See more detail on the course schedule
  • We offer the Post Baccalaureate Certificate program, "Fundamentals of Quantitative Finance" (FQF). This program gives you the opportunity to strengthen your mathematical background for the MFM program and take the full year course FM5091-92 (Computation, Algorithms and Coding in Finance). Som MFM students take the same course sequence in the first year of the MFM. For FQF students who apply and are accepted into the MFM their FQF credits for FM 5091/92 credits transfer into the MFM. They also finish the MFM with the classmates with whom they started the program.
Course Instructors include academic faculty from excellent Universities world-wide as well as quants, heads of research, risk management and traders from major local and regional banking and insurance firms, hedge funds, asset managers, clearinghouses and commodities/agribusiness firms. See details at MFM Instructors.

Career Services
MFM students receive a full set of career services. The program includes a yearlong career workshop for first year students with many helpful career development and internship/job search strategies. The weekly workshop introduces students to a variety of companies, alumni and practitioners who hire MFM graduates. Students learn about the variety of jobs in the field of quant finance from alumni, colleagues and hiring managers currently working in those roles. We offer customized, one-on-one career coaching for all MFM students. The MFM sponsors a variety of career activitites including: panel discussions with industry leaders, local, quant finance and analytics competitons and receptions and career fairs where students can build their network of contacts and peers in the quantitative financial industry.

Employment

Graduating Class (May 2019)

Graduates in Market: 33
Placement: 21 (63.64%)
Not in contact with 4 alumni but included in "graduates in market"

Graduating Class (May 2018)
Graduates in market: 31
Placement: 29 (93.55%)
Not in contact with 2 alumni but included in "graduates in market"

Industry Sector Placement Breakout
Alumni go into a wide range of fields including: banking, risk management, investment banking, commodities trading, market making, quantitative analysis, enterprise risk management, portfolio management, investment hedging, and data analytics. Both US and international alumni have been placed in Minneapolis-St. Paul, the Greater NYC area, Boston, Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Charlotte, Chicago, Phoenix, Atlanta, Toronto, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Beijing, Hongzhou, Hong Kong and Seoul. A list of the companies hiring our alumni can be seen here.

Housing
There is an abundance of on and nearby off campus housing. See:
Welcome | Housing & Residential Life

Tuition and Funding Options
Minnesota State Resident Tuition 2018-19 academic year - MFM credits to graduate: 32: $32,128 ($1,004/credit). Some students will have to take the Financial Mathematics (FM) preparatory sequence with a total of 38 credits to graduate.

Non-Resident Tuition for 2017-18 academic year - MFM credits to graduate-32: $40,224 ($1257/credit). Some students will have to take the Financial Mathematics (FM) preparatory sequence with a total of 38 credits to graduate.
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Rating
4.71 star(s) 41 ratings
Students Quality
4.75 star(s)
Courses/Instructors
4.88 star(s)
Career Services
4.88 star(s)

Latest reviews

Headline
Great program!
Class of
2021
One thing I want to highlighted from our program is the interesting and rigorous curriculum. I developed and grew my knowledge in many perspectives: financial derivatives pricing, risk hedging, portfolio theory, statistical modeling and programming. These are what I have not originally contemplated when I entered into this program. Our professors also provide research opportunities to let me to practice my quantitative knowledge and explore my interests in a deeper level. All of experience support me to explore my real interests and strengths and prepare my career path.

Another thing I want to mark is our program career support. Our program director and professors are really nice and supportive. They help students to connect with the alumni with different quantitative fields, share the working opportunities they know and invite various industry practitioners to share their working experiences and research interests. They hope each of us to succeed in the future and provide as many as opportunities for us.

I really recommend our program!
Recommendation
Yes, I would recommend this program to a friend
Students Quality
5.00 star(s)
Courses/Instructors
5.00 star(s)
Career Services
5.00 star(s)
Headline
Great Program
Class of
2023
It's a great program with excellent instructors and atmosphere.
First, the courses setting is very comprehensive, which is suitable for students from different backgrounds. And I also gained a lot projects experience in the program.
Second, there are many meetings and chances to broaden contacts and give students more knowledge about the industry, and also it has specialized career fair and workshop. All of them could be very helpful if students plan to find a job after finishing the program.
Third, the instructors and people in this big family are quite nice! They are willing to share and provide help.
Recommendation
Yes, I would recommend this program to a friend
Students Quality
5.00 star(s)
Courses/Instructors
5.00 star(s)
Career Services
5.00 star(s)
Headline
Review
Class of
2021
Great instructors and faculties won the five stars in my review. Every one of them that I came across during my time in the program was very supportive, helpful, and accessible. They provided me great guidance and supports both academically and professionally.

In terms of the coursework, I personally felt like it's a great combination of quantitative skills, math, finance, programming and more. Most of the stuff - financial modeling, coding, analysis, etc. that we learned are relevant and applicable to my current role in the finance industry.

Very strong alumni network in the Twin Cities and throughout the US

Would recommend
Recommendation
Yes, I would recommend this program to a friend
Students Quality
4.00 star(s)
Courses/Instructors
5.00 star(s)
Career Services
5.00 star(s)
Headline
Great program!
Class of
2021
My 3 favorite things about the program were.
The project-based approach in most courses, incorporating vital quant skills like programming, and mathematical finance modeling. I remember working through majority of problems sets that utilized or required those skill sets. This effectively equipped us for roles in the quant job market.

The curriculum was also well designed as it exposed us to various asset classes and their function within portfolios.

Finally, the combination of theoretical and practical models, often taught by industry practitioners, greatly enhanced my learning experience.
Recommendation
Yes, I would recommend this program to a friend
Students Quality
5.00 star(s)
Courses/Instructors
5.00 star(s)
Career Services
5.00 star(s)
Headline
Review
What I enjoyed most about the MFM program is that it promoted the environment for growth. I especially enjoyed relevant industry projects and class discussions. The program gave me the foundation needed for the job that I got after graduation. Even if I came across a new concept, using the foundation that MFM built for me I could learn new concepts on my own. Financial modeling and coding were especially very helpful.
Recommendation
Yes, I would recommend this program to a friend
Students Quality
5.00 star(s)
Courses/Instructors
5.00 star(s)
Career Services
5.00 star(s)
Headline
A Student's Review
One of the highlights I liked the most about the MFM program was the breadth of the curriculum. The program covered a wide range of topics, from risk management to stochastic calculus and financial modeling (the most fun in my opinion) and, of course, quantitative finance. Given I had little background in finance, I appreciated the opportunity to explore various aspects of financial mathematics to make myself more well-rounded.

The program had a strong emphasis on practical applications. The inclusion of real-world projects gave me the chance to apply the concepts I learned to what can be seen in the workplace. This made the courses more engaging and relevant to my goals. Going through the program equipped me with a robust set of skills and knowledge that have been instrumental in my career. I gained a deep understanding of financial markets, derivatives, and risk management techniques.

The program emphasized quantitative skills, including programming (Python, C#, and SQL), advanced mathematics, and statistical analysis. These skills have been crucial in my day-to-day work, as they enable me to analyze complex financial data and understand sophisticated models.

The MFM program has been pivotal in preparing me for my current role in the financial industry. I enjoyed the program's practical approach and focus on real-world applications. Additionally, the program fostered a collaborative learning environment. Group projects, semester-end presentations, and discussions with fellow students allowed me to develop strong teamwork and communication skills. These skills have been indispensable in my current role, where effective collaboration and clear communication are essential.

The quality of instruction in the program was high. My professors were accessible in office hours and willing to provide guidance and support outside of class. I really appreciate the industry experience they bring into the classroom.

My experience is quite positive. The program's comprehensive curriculum, practical approach, and high-quality instruction have equipped me with the skills and knowledge necessary for a successful career in finance. I highly recommend it to anyone applying to graduate quantitative financial programs.
Recommendation
Yes, I would recommend this program to a friend
Students Quality
5.00 star(s)
Courses/Instructors
4.00 star(s)
Career Services
5.00 star(s)
Headline
What I gained in this program
The time I spent in MFM program is one of the most valuable experiences in my life.

The most impressive parts about this program is people. It is a smaller group of people comparing to other programs. We built a close connection in our alumni community and current students. The first two jobs I got are through alumni's connection. People in this program are nice and supportive. Also, advisors and professors are very supportive too. They are more like friends than teachers.

About coursework, one of the nice parts is it is continuingly updating according to the industry development. Technical-wise, I learnt python, C#, Matlab here. In financial math area, I learnt stochastic calculus, basics of option pricing, fixed income, risk management. We also learnt some machine learning related topic in the financial area.

You can even discuss your opinion with the advisor for the program. Advisor will listen to everyone's opinion and make the most appropriate decision and design.

I hope someone who is suitable for this program can find the right place. I believe it will be mutual beneficial. I know this program is not at the top of the ranking list. But it is definitely a good choice for some people. It has great reputation in the industry, especially around Midwest area. Most companies know about this program because there are very limited number of similar programs. It is also relatively cheaper than other programs but with good quality of course content and professors.
Recommendation
Yes, I would recommend this program to a friend
Students Quality
5.00 star(s)
Courses/Instructors
5.00 star(s)
Career Services
5.00 star(s)
Headline
Program Review
- What did you enjoy most about the MFM program?

Overall, the most enjoyable part of the MFM program is the professors. The conversations had outside of class often led to a lot of new insight not present in the traditional classroom discourse. Ultimately, the greatest strength of the MFM is the professors they employee and the personalities they have.

- What skills and knowledge did you gain that have been valuable in your career

Outside of general knowledge of quantitative finance as a whole, I can't truly pinpoint anything in specific. I use most of the general theoretical knowledge gained in the program routinely, though it does mainly relate to XVA.

- How has the program prepared you for your current role?

The program has prepared me for my current role well. The in depth knowledge of financial instruments and their machinations leads to an easier understanding of complex topics and allows an easier transition into the workforce.

- Course instruction quality

Overall course instruction quality was great! While there were some courses where I don't feel I learned as much as I could of, I believe that that would fall on me. The courses are tough, but the instructors are more than willing to make the extra effort.
Recommendation
Yes, I would recommend this program to a friend
Students Quality
4.00 star(s)
Courses/Instructors
5.00 star(s)
Career Services
4.00 star(s)
I graduated from U of Minnesota's Master of Financial Mathematics (MFM) in class of 2018. I enjoyed every bit of it -taught by top-notch industry practitioners and faculty, I gained a lot of in-depth knowledge in areas such as: Derivative pricing , Quantitative risk management, Fixed income,MBS, Stochastic Calculus,Non-linear Optimization, Data Modelling, Markov Chains and programming (Python, MATLAB ,C#) etc.

The program also offers fantastic career development services through student workshops, 1-on-1 career advising and a vibrant alumni network.

MFM prepared me adequately to take on my first job as a front-end Quant pricing electricity derivatives. I get to build quantitative models in VBA and python. Knowledge about derivative pricing, counter-party credit risk and montecarlo simulation have also been pivotal in excelling in my job.
I graduated from the MFM program back in 2015 and thought it was a great program to help launch my career in the financial industry.

Before joining the program, I didn't have any experience in finance, but had the technical skills necessary for modeling and programming.

The MFM program bridged that gap, and helped me learn about various financial concepts and subjects (option pricing, portfolio management, risk management, etc.. Also, the program provide a way to practice my programming and analytical skills in a controlled setting, but with real world examples and projects which I could use to impress interviewers.

I secured a job during my second year of the program at a large regional bank in a Capital Markets risk management team, and have since moved on to a Quant role in the credit risk department.

The programming skills honed during the program helped build a great foundation for the work I'm doing now.
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