Chicago MSFM Any one tell me about the "New" Chicago MSFM program

Reyn S

Greetings everyone.

I heard a lot of news about this Chicago program, it is said that two or three years ago this program is just something like cash-cow, with negative reviews. However, recently a new director has been in his position, hoping to change the situation in this program. Could any one comment on this "new" program after changing its director, and talk about its reputation, placement or curriculum?

Ivan Zhang

New Member
As an alumni who was there when this was announced, I can confirm that there will be a new director although I don't recall whether this will be effective for this fall or later. I think it will bring about a great deal of positive change to the program. I see no official news on the website however, so I'll leave it at that for now.

I attended the program in '08-'09 and found it somewhat challenging even though I had a background in math. I think this is where most people have gripes with the program since the incoming students have such diverse backgrounds and expectations. The two main cohorts of students at the time were comprised of:
  • working professionals in a finance related field (fintech) looking to get into a full-fledged finance/trading role
  • undergraduates with strong quantitative backgrounds and some internships in finance
In general the first group found the coursework a bit difficult and/or too theoretical in nature. Given that the program was only 1 year long at the time, it was essentially a fairly steep ramp up curve to learn all the stats/stochastic calculus/programming.

The second group kept pace with the coursework, but being mostly comprised of international students, had a somewhat difficult time getting into shape for the fall '08 recruitment process scarcely 1 month into the program while the global financial crisis was in full swing. Having said that, my personal recollection was that probably 85%+ of students found a job by graduation that year, many of them going to local trading houses in Chicago.

Given that the current program is now longer and more headcount/resources have been dedicated to improve career development, I feel the program is going in the right direction.


C++ Student
I spoke with the "current" director a couple weeks ago, as we had been communicating prior to that, and he indicated that he was on the way out and that a new director was going to be starting there shortly. However, website still lists him as the current director, so not sure what's happening there.