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2nd undergraduate to MFE or PHD

doublek

New Member
Hi all,

I am looking for some advice on my somewhat complicated situation. I am currently about to graduate undergraduate in Finance at a non-target, but decent, school (Iona College in New Rochelle, New York). I managed to get an internship at a small quantitative hedge fund in my final full semester (not including my summer classes which Im taking now; I'm finished in August), so I have about 6 months of experience (started in February of this year). I fell in love with the work and became very interested in quantitative finance. My goal is to work for a buy side firm as a quantitative researcher and eventually become a portfolio manager. I have become proficient in Python (I'd consider myself intermediate level, with some advanced capabilities) as well as Microsoft Excel (advanced nested functions, pivot tables, etc).

Anyway, I've decided to apply for a second undergraduate degree in Financial Mathematics at Baruch College for a couple reasons. For one, my GPA at Iona isn't great, sitting at a 3.2 assuming A's in both my summer classes (very likely). This is due to some serious medical issues I experience during college. However, The medical issues have cleared up and I'm in the best health I've ever been in. My semester GPA for the spring semester was a 3.75 (should have been a 4.0, but I had a very incompetent group for a big project). I intend to get at least a 3.75 at Baruch, which I think I will be able to do without much problem now that my medical issues are cleared up. Second, Baruch is a much better name than Iona, so I think it will fare better for job applications and applications for MFE/MS in Statistics/Applied Math etc, as well as PHD programs. Finally, I want to get my math background strong before moving on to graduate level studies. For my Finance degree at Iona, I was only required to take Calculus 1. I am currently taking Calculus 2 which will transfer to Baruch. I was accepted to Baruch and intend on going there starting in fall 2020.

My questions are the following:
1. Do you think that going for the second undergraduate is worth it? I guess lets assume I am able to do well and earn >3.75 GPA
2. What do you recommend, a PHD, a MFE, or a Masters in Stats/Math/something else? I personally don't mind being in school for a number of more years, but if I could I would rather work sooner than later.
3. What sort of extracurricular activities should I partake in to maximize my chances of getting an internship at a bigger firm?

Note: The reason I am not simply continuing to work for my current job is because unfortunately my fund is closing down (The owner has medical issues). They have given me some advice but I want more advice from you guys.

Edit: The Second undergraduate should not take longer than 2 years. I figure thats relevant.

I appreciate any help and advice anyone can provide. Thank you.
 
Last edited:

Michsund

Well-Known Member
C++
Why not directly talk to the programs you really want to do and ask them what you would need to do to get in? Then from there maybe go do some online classes or night classes they recommend and work on the side so your not wasting time.
 

doublek

New Member
Why not directly talk to the programs you really want to do and ask them what you would need to do to get in? Then from there maybe go do some online classes or night classes they recommend and work on the side so your not wasting time.
Hey, Thanks for you reply. I have thought of this for sure, but I'm not sure I can find another job that is relevant right now, I think my only decent chance is an internship next summer. I would love to work and go to school part time, but I'd probably have to settle for a non quant job and I think school would be a more ideal choice since what I would be learning would directly apply to quant finance. Plus I don't need the money right now, I live at home and have very few bills. Also, Baruch will be essentially free to attend (with financial aid its like $1000 per year).

I tried getting info from the Baruch MFE program, but they don't advice students on how to get admitted because, according to them, there is too much demand for the program.

I will definitely reach out to some math/stats masters and phd programs and ask for their advice. But I'm also looking for advice on what programs specifically to look into,
 

princeofbelair

Active Member
u Already graduated so financial aid won’t cover a second degree. I graduated from baruch with a 2nd degree in math. As much as the Mfe is praised, the undergrad FM is just ok in my opinion. It’s a good undergrad to apply for mfe but it’s a lot a lot of courses, and some of the courses’ quality aren’t all that great. The traders club at baruch is a great way to get real experience.

I suggest taking the foundational courses like calc, prob, programming, etc. and then apply to mfe. If u don’t get in then u can continue finishing your studies. The undergrad program may take longer than 2 years because of the pre reqs. Your first semester will probably be just calc 2 and then 2nd semester might be calc 3 with one other course. Baruch math courses have limited seating as well
 

doublek

New Member
u Already graduated so financial aid won’t cover a second degree. I graduated from baruch with a 2nd degree in math. As much as the Mfe is praised, the undergrad FM is just ok in my opinion. It’s a good undergrad to apply for mfe but it’s a lot a lot of courses, and some of the courses’ quality aren’t all that great. The traders club at baruch is a great way to get real experience.

I suggest taking the foundational courses like calc, prob, programming, etc. and then apply to mfe. If u don’t get in then u can continue finishing your studies. The undergrad program may take longer than 2 years because of the pre reqs. Your first semester will probably be just calc 2 and then 2nd semester might be calc 3 with one other course. Baruch math courses have limited seating as well
Hey, Thanks for your reply.

According to the email, I have 9000 in financial aid, but perhaps they arent taking into account that I will be finishing my degree in august. Even without the aid, I think its worth it though.

I will definitely look to join the traders club.

I am currently taking calc 2 as a summer course so I should start with calc 3 in the fall. I will probably apply for MFE after taking some math and programming and probability courses as you said, but I would like to finish the second degree if I can. I am leaning towards an applied math/stats masters degree though, which is part of the reason I want to finish the undergrad.

Thanks for your help.
 

YankeesR

Active Member
C++
It seems like your time can be allocated more efficiently by just doing a math degree if you want to get all the pre reqs.. if it were me I would do the math degree and take some CS electives along the way when possible. if you still need calc 3 in the fall , the first semester is a good opportunity to grab some CS electives with Calc 3 as your stuck trying to grab more math courses. also Baruch undergrad math department does not look like it offers a wide range of math courses every semester. I would go to hunter for the math pre reqs. Hunter has a wide range of math and stats courses every semester and you can grab these pre reqs relatively quickly as opposed to at Baruch... I’ll be applying to programs for fall 2021 for full disclosure. Take my advice with a grain of salt. a lot more experienced people on here that can give advice, but figured I’d explain what I’ve seen over the last few years of prepping for these programs.
 
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