2023 QuantNet Rankings of Financial Engineering (MFE) Programs

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We are pleased to announce the publication of the QuantNet 2023 Rankings of Financial Engineering programs.

The full 2023 QuantNet MFE ranking is here. For comparison, the 2022 QuantNet MFE ranking is here.

New in 2023 QuantNet MFE ranking
  • New programs added: Oklahoma State University (Quantitative Finance) and Rutgers University (Financial Statistics and Risk Management)
  • Employment rate 3 months after Graduation (US only): Percentage of graduates seeking employment who were employed in the US 3 months after graduation.
  • Average starting salary plus sign-on bonus (US only). These data points are helpful for prospective students who are interested in jobs in the US.
 
It's hard to imagine what kind of job you do for a living to be able to have all the "insider" information to touch upon all these internal confidential documents from both the top schools and all these top firms who are competing against each other without any real evidence.
Hmm maybe someone in a top school who landed one or several of these firms for internship/full time whos friends in undergrad went to other top schools and also landed internships/full time at several of these firms. Or yeah I can be completely bsing, you don't have to believe me - alot of what I said I prefaced with "in my opinion" or "personal subjective rankings." Didn't say confidential documents from all these top firms - I only had access to the documents of one firm (the one that gave most quota to Princeton/Baruch), the other firms was just from my interview experience (where the interviewers came from) + a rough linkedin frequency count of how many buyside QRs came from each MFE program.

In my opinion, you look more like a keyboard warrior defending your loving school by making things up.
I mean I said good things about Princeton (said it was the #1), Baruch (said one of highest concentration of talents although recent placements in top buysides seem to be lagging), CMU (overall great but too much work), Columbia AND MIT (and also did place berkeley top 5 in my subjective rankings) so what school am I even defending again.

We have more than 30 top Chinese international students, so I don't know how you magically know "top Chinese international students have a bias towards Princeton/CMU/Baruch".
I didn't say ALL top chinese international students went to Princeton/CMU/Baruch - I said top chinese international talent is biased towards Baruch (Baruch has a very very strong international Chinese alumni network). You have no idea how much gossip we have on wechat and 1point3acres to have a general feel for these type of things.

This forum is called "QuantNet". Not "AnecdoteNet". Not "ShareTheStoryIJustMadeUpNet". Please argue with facts, evidence, and common sense instead of "luckily, I happen to omnisciently know what all the students were thinking and what all the firms were thinking". If we argue in such a fictional style, all the other programs would have reasons to be ranked higher.
"QuantNet" as in a net for quants.... I never claimed to know what all students are thinking or what all firms are thinking, I said theres a general preference of buyside firms towards 1) Princeton 2) CMU... of course some other firms might have a different preference. Okay, if you want objective evidence of what I mean by upper tail:
Here's CMU's current internship statistics: 3 Citadel (~60k for 10 weeks, 500-600k TC for FT), 1 DRW (~60k for 10 weeks, 375k TC for FT), 1 Two Sigma (lowballs internship relative to other top buysides but 205k base for full time), Cubist (unsure about intern pay but nearing 400k TC FT although I only have one sample point for this). There's a 10/13 rate of accepted offers to very reputable buysides. "o wow you're lying about these salaries how can you possibly know you couldnt have had offers to all of them!" - okay yea sure believe whatever. Furthermore, take some time, get linkedin premium and search as many QR profiles from Cit Sec as you can find and tally up the most common MFEs - now you constructed an empirical distribution (lmk what u find).
1670613382276.png

and now compare to Berkeley MFE internship placements (which does have respectable placements for sure but where's the HRT/Jump/IMC/DRW/Optiver/Citadel etcs?). Berkeley MFE is a good program, but based on my subjective experience in the current cycles, Princeton and CMU are placing better into these buysides (NOT to say that Berkeley MFE is not placing into these buy sides at all, they ARE, just not as many).

1670613754241.png
 
Wow, you really have the time and resources to do research about these irrelevant things even years after graduation just to prove the school that you graduated from is worth a better ranking. I'm done arguing. Maybe Quantnet should rank CMU up? I am just a stupid graduating student who may forget about this website three years later. Good for you~
 
and now compare to Berkeley MFE internship placements (which does have respectable placements for sure but where's the HRT/Jump/IMC/DRW/Optiver/Citadel etcs?). Berkeley MFE is a good program, but based on my subjective experience in the current cycles, Princeton and CMU are placing better into these buysides (NOT to say that Berkeley MFE is not placing into these buy sides at all, they ARE, just not as many).
Maybe the firms you mentioned don't have winter internships. I did see Citadel and Jump in the full-time section.
Btw, like @ZDH mentioned, I too, won't be active on QuantNet after I am done with my MFE. But for sure UCB Baruch and CMU will always be in the top 5.
 
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To be honest, the internship placement statistics mean literally nothing, considering the brief amount of training you receive before your application and the significant variance in candidate background even within the same program.

You start applying for internships even before coming to the program, and you start the majority of your OA and even some interviews before your midterm when you basically learned nothing more than where your dining hall is. We are all statisticians here, and as a statistician you probably should be aware that the high correlation between buy-side jobs and "good programs" does not necessarily imply causation. Let's be bluntly honest, smart kids get to good programs, and smart kids get to buy-side big names, but being surrounded by smart kids alone does not automatically make you a smart kid ---- and if you aint a smart kid (and if you do not have a gold medal dangling around your neck or if you are not sure whether you are smart then chances are you probably are not smart at a JaneStreet level), do not even dream of even reaching to the super day of JS/Citadel/Optiver/IMC/DEShaw/2Sig simply because you happen to be in a "Top 5 Quant Program as per QuantNet" together with some of those smart kids as your "PEERS" (who do not even bother to come to the lectures so technically "Peers" is an overstatement)

As a statistician, another harsh truth I have learned from my brief career is that the mean is more often than not misleading, especially when subgroups exist within the sample group. There is a bunch of Tsinghua guys/girls in Columbia MFE who know literally everything and came here just for the VISA (as per my great friend W.B.), and the fact that they got offer from JaneStreet/IMC/GS has nothing to do with an ordinary kid like me still struggling to ace my finals in 2 days. For all those innocent incoming applicants Window-shopping through QN going through the StatSheet back and forth time and time again daydreaming of models and bottles at a top HF/PropShop in NY/Chic/Bos/Lon/Amsterdam (trust me I'm in your shoes 2 years ago I know exactly the juice from daydreaming), I can guarantee y'all this: the average Columbia MFE ppl are struggling miserably, MISERABLY, as per my first-hand observation. I can also guarantee you guys that in the end, "WE" still gonna get good stats thanks to those TsingHua guys/girls, but what is the point? Brag about you got some Optiver "Network" from your Master program whom you have never ever seen for even one single peek since your DAY 1 Orientation?

An Optiver guy/girl will probably end up in Optiver no matter whether he/she is from Columbia, Berkeley, MIT, or CMU. If you aint an Optiver guy/girl, the most probable case is that neither Columbia nor CMU will provide you sufficient training in 1 month to land you in Optiver for an Internship.

I know, reality hurts.
 
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To be honest, the internship placement statistics mean literally nothing, considering the brief amount of training you receive before your application and the significant variance in candidate background even within the same program.

You start applying for internships even before coming to the program, and you start the majority of your OA and even some interviews before your midterm when you basically learned nothing more than where your dining hall is. We are all statisticians here, and as a statistician you probably should be aware that the high correlation between buy-side jobs and "good programs" does not necessarily imply causation. Let's be bluntly honest, smart kids get to good programs, and smart kids get to buy-side big names, but being surrounded by smart kids alone does not automatically make you a smart kid ---- and if you aint a smart kid (and if you do not have a gold medal dangling around your neck or if you are not sure whether you are smart then chances are you probably are not smart at a JaneStreet level), do not even dream of even reaching to the super day of JS/Citadel/Optiver/IMC/DEShaw/2Sig simply because you happen to be in a "Top 5 Quant Program as per QuantNet" together with some of those smart kids as your "PEERS" (who do not even bother to come to the lectures so technically "Peers" is an overstatement)

As a statistician, another harsh truth I have learned from my brief career is that the mean is more often than not misleading, especially when subgroups exist within the sample group. There is a bunch of Tsinghua guys/girls in Columbia MFE who know literally everything and came here just for the VISA (as per my great friend W.B.), and the fact that they got offer from JaneStreet/IMC/GS has nothing to do with an ordinary kid like me still struggling to ace my finals in 2 days. For all those innocent incoming applicants Window-shopping through QN going through the StatSheet back and forth time and time again daydreaming of models and bottles at a top HF/PropShop in NY/Chic/Bos/Lon/Amsterdam (trust me I'm in your shoes 2 years ago I know exactly the juice from daydreaming), I can guarantee y'all this: the average Columbia MFE ppl are struggling miserably, MISERABLY, as per my first-hand observation. I can also guarantee you guys that in the end, "WE" still gonna get good stats thanks to those TsingHua guys/girls, but what is the point? Brag about you got some Optiver "Network" from your Master program whom you have never ever seen for even one single peek since your DAY 1 Orientation?

An Optiver guy/girl will probably end up in Optiver no matter whether he/she is from Columbia, Berkeley, MIT, or CMU. If you aint an Optiver guy/girl, the most probable case is that neither Columbia nor CMU will provide you sufficient training in 1 month to land you in Optiver for an Internship.

I know, reality hurts.
After seeing your comment I truly wanna ask -whether a bachelor's from an Indian tier 2 college and later MFE from top 5/7 programs will ever land me at any of the firms you mentioned especially the HFs at least in Asian HFs? If not should I change my goal and be focused on CS side more?
 
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After seeing your comment I truly wanna ask -whether a bachelor's from an Indian tier 2 college and later MFE from top 5/7 programs will ever land me at any of the firms you mentioned especially the HFs at least in Asian HFs? If not should I change my goal and be focused on CS side more?
 
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Sharpen your own craft and learn prob and stats inside out. Sorry for being blunt but it is still really tough I would say, even with a background in top5/7 MFE.

If you really wish to end up in buyside, do a phd in ML/Stats/OR/Physics and apply for the Quant Researcher positions at HF. The "Quant" skills in sell side and buy side are quite different, and Financial Engineering at a master level tends to put heavy emphasis on Stochastic Calculus, which is mostly seen in options pricing and used to be "THE QUANT THING" but is quite sell-side biased. Buy side HF tends to employ REAL researchers who can do REAL high-end research (alpha generation from text data through NLP, portfolio optimization strategy through designing Convex Optimization Structure, continuous time reinforcement learning in trading, etc), and obviously based on my observation the general curriculum of a MFE course does not equip you with these research skills.

Or, if you simply wish to end up in buyside but do not really care about the work you do, maybe try applying for Quant Developer. It is essentially a glorified name for SWE at a quant fund, and the preparation you put in may also benefit your job search on the traditional CS side (FAANG etc).
Hey first of all thanks for being straightforward I truly liked that you were blunt and told the reality also thanks for not giving false hopes!!!
Can you list down some must books to learn Prob and Stats?
Also do Masters in CS have a shot for decent shops? I actually have been trading from past 4 years that's why I had aspirations towards buy side
One more question I had was are manual trading roles dead in HFs?
Thanks 🙏
 
Hey first of all thanks for being straightforward I truly liked that you were blunt and told the reality also thanks for not giving false hopes!!!
Can you list down some must books to learn Prob and Stats?
Also do Masters in CS have a shot for decent shops? I actually have been trading from past 4 years that's why I had aspirations towards buy side
One more question I had was are manual trading roles dead in HFs?
Thanks 🙏
 
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Looks like they mentioned it straight to you, so how many were there?
I don't understand why you are personally taking this. From your other posts I understood that you are big UCB fan! I can't understand why you blindly supporting for a program which is not as good as Princeton, Baruch, CMU, MIT, Columbia et cetera. Perhaps you only got admit from UCB and thus, you are trying to dream.
 
I’d love some evidence instead of anecdotal examples. But that’s alright,I’m not going to discuss this further. And not at all, I don't consider it as an insult. I don't want others getting the wrong idea after going through your posts - it's only a part of the story - not the entire tale.
I wanted to shed some light on the current state of the program because of your previous post. Hope you get into your dream program!
Thank you!
 
I don't understand why you are personally taking this. From your other posts I understood that you are big UCB fan! I can't understand why you blindly supporting for a program which is not as good as Princeton, Baruch, CMU, MIT, Columbia et cetera. Perhaps you only got admit from UCB and thus, you are trying to dream.
I just asked for some information that I thought you had. Talking badly about other programs without any evidence is not good. Therefore I just asked for that evidence which I now think you never had. So I don’t need to ask anything now.

I hope that you get into your dream program. With your background, you’ll probably get into a great QT role regardless of the school you attend. Hopefully, your interviewer won’t be a UCB MFE alum.

And one last thing, I didn’t apply to any of the above programs you think I got rejected from.
 
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I'd also like to request an additional metric for future rankings, as it would add a lot of context to salary data. In terms of average full-time work experience, the 29 programmes listed above have vastly different incoming class profiles. Graduates with four or more years of full-time work experience in finance, for example, will command a higher salary (and signing bonus) than a graduate with no full-time experience, regardless of which programme they attended. A column with the average number of years of full-time experience for the cohort ranked would be extremely helpful to prospective applicants and would set proper expectations of admission to a specific programme as well as expected salary after graduation.
 
For any prospective MFE students I wouldn't suggest taking this ranking and employ stats too seriously. 1st vs. 15th+ is indicative of gap in program quality, but 3rd vs. 4th? Not really. So long as you're in one of the good programs mentioned in this thread, you will not be turned away by any good company just because you're in one program but not another.
Having just graduated from an MFE program, I know how the employment statistics can be rather misleading because you don't get the full story behind those data points. The mean vs. top-notch problem has already been stressed in this thread. Some people have 5yrs+ industry experiences but some are fresh out of undergrad. Some people go to companies that are less well known but are compensated very handsomely plus they love the job and the team. Some people with no prior experiences get analyst title in BB banks so may be paid less compared to their peers who go to HF but it is a great place to start one's career. Some people are given offers from top HF but the role is not in the front office and they are not satisfied. If you at least have a blurred idea of what people Citadel/Optiver/Jump hires, you will know that not everyone is cut out for those roles. Comparing the employment stats between a program amassing only such people and a program that has more diversified talents doesn't really say anything about the quality of the program itself. The comparison is all but pointless unless it is done on an individual basis.
I only attribute 10% of the employment results to the program itself, and the rest 70% to individual background and efforts (your past experiences, your GPA, your personality, the time you devoted to preparing for interviews and networking etc.) and 20% to luck (you're gonna flunk a few interviews). An elite class of extremely bright students can literally land anywhere they want in the industry but that does not mean the MFE program transformed them into such people. From my knowledge, people who got great internship offers already had a very impressive resume before they started their MFE program. The hard fact is that you will not have the same offers even if you are admitted to the same program because you don't have such resume.
Instead of focusing on employment stats and the division between 1st/2nd tier MFE programs which I know some people do, I would suggest thinking about what a particular MFE program can offer to transform you into a better candidate for your ideal position. If I were to choose MFE program again, I would look more closely at the curriculum and think what courses are most useful to my future career (ML? StoCal? C++? AM? Risk?). I would talk to more alumni and ask about their experiences (course workload can be a pain if you are recruiting in the 2nd year, but it also gives you more solid knowledge, so choose; another possibly useful fact I wished I knew is that Baruch allows 2nd yr international students work part-time on CPT, but MSCF doesn't). Career service imo is not that important because at the end of the day you're on your own, kid, but that's just my 2 cents. 1.5/2 yrs is an extremely short time but if you use it wisely you can still upgrade yourself in lots of aspects. Choose the program that will be your best helper in your career path, not the one with the most flashy employment stats, because it's not yours.
 
I mean an MFE degree with accounting as a CORE module. This program should be either considered by QuantNet (for MFE) or FT (for MFin post experience). Not both, in my opinion.
Accounting might be there but they are still sending the most people to the best quant trading and quant research roles!!!! That also for undergrads joining program direct! More people from MIT in HFT than Columbia, UCB, NYU together!! People on QuantNet do not give correct importance to MIT. IT IS MIT! Just check quality of students also. All from top 5 old IITs with top degrees. Other programs would beg for students like them. Fantastic fantastic
 
Accounting might be there but they are still sending the most people to the best quant trading and quant research roles!!!! That also for undergrads joining program direct! More people from MIT in HFT than Columbia, UCB, NYU together!! People on QuantNet do not give correct importance to MIT. IT IS MIT! Just check quality of students also. All from top 5 old IITs with top degrees. Other programs would beg for students like them. Fantastic fantastic
Yup, MIT MFin is an amazing program at the best university in the world. The program is in its own league that’s why I don’t compare it to other MFE programs.

Had I not studied accounting during my Masters and CFA Level 1 & 2 prep, I would’ve only applied to MIT.

But I really hate accounting now, haha and don’t wish to study it again.
 
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Yup, MIT MFin is an amazing program at the best university in the world. The program is in its own league that’s why I don’t compare it to other MFE programs.

Had I not studied accounting during my Masters and CFA Level 1 & 2 prep, I would’ve only applied to MIT.

But I really hate accounting now, haha and don’t wish to study it again
Yes, I saw your profile! Your decision is very correct since you want to do software engineering in FAANG or work in FinTech startups. Berkeley is fantastic for that
 
And one last thing, I didn’t apply to any of the above programs you think I got rejected from.
You probably did not apply because you knew from beginning itself that you would get rejected from all the good schools. Hence, it made sense for you to apply to only the not-great programs. This is admirable that yourself only understood that you are not good enough for the top fantastic schools. Yes some people should only stick to tech and dev work. QT is very high IQ job. I can understand. I am working as QT in HFT for few weeks now. It is not for dumb people. You need to be super smart which you are not. From Indian view only top 5 IIT people are good enough for this.
 
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