• C++ Programming for Financial Engineering
    Highly recommended by thousands of MFE students. Covers essential C++ topics with applications to financial engineering. Learn more Join!
    Python for Finance with Intro to Data Science
    Gain practical understanding of Python to read, understand, and write professional Python code for your first day on the job. Learn more Join!
    An Intuition-Based Options Primer for FE
    Ideal for entry level positions interviews and graduate studies, specializing in options trading arbitrage and options valuation models. Learn more Join!

Chicago MSFM Anyone heard back from UChicago

Temperature of the program or university? In any case my experience is limited to the prop trading firms that my friends from high school/ college ended up at as well as my own.

My firm in particular cares a lot more about strong programming experience over financial knowledge so we typically don’t recruit researchers out of MFE programs. That being said, if we come across a candidate with a MFE (I.e from UChicago) and they have like python / Java / c++ splattered all over their CV we will 100% interview them because it’s rare to find a good developer with strong finance background knowledge out the gate. Like to be clear when I say strong programming knowledge, I mean someone who has the equivalent experience of a computer science undergrad or entry level software engineer which sadly most MFE programs do not give ( you can build up this skill set yourself however and demonstrate it in a number of ways).

To be clear, I don’t think most of the top firms in the city like citadel, optiver, IMC, DRW, jump, flow, or others are going out of their way to interview MFE candidates in general. Firms definitely do value UChicago as a brand name since it’s the top local university and a renowned financial institution.
I was talking about the program, but you answered everything I was inquiring about in the next two paragraphs. This was helpful. Thank you!
 
Also was admitted with 70% scholarship. Honestly shocked, will 99% be attending.


Temperature of the program or university? In any case my experience is limited to the prop trading firms that my friends from high school/ college ended up at as well as my own.

My firm in particular cares a lot more about strong programming experience over financial knowledge so we typically don’t recruit researchers out of MFE programs. That being said, if we come across a candidate with a MFE (I.e from UChicago) and they have like python / Java / c++ splattered all over their CV we will 100% interview them because it’s rare to find a good developer with strong finance background knowledge out the gate. Like to be clear when I say strong programming knowledge, I mean someone who has the equivalent experience of a computer science undergrad or entry level software engineer which sadly most MFE programs do not give ( you can build up this skill set yourself however and demonstrate it in a number of ways).

To be clear, I don’t think most of the top firms in the city like citadel, optiver, IMC, DRW, jump, flow, or others are going out of their way to interview MFE candidates in general. Firms definitely do value UChicago as a brand name since it’s the top local university and a renowned financial institution.
I haven't done a deep dive into UChicago's curriculum yet, is it not as heavy programming based as other MFEs? One of the reasons I wanted to get a degree was to improve my programming abilities
 
Also was admitted with 70% scholarship. Honestly shocked, will 99% be attending.



I haven't done a deep dive into UChicago's curriculum yet, is it not as heavy programming based as other MFEs? One of the reasons I wanted to get a degree was to improve my programming abilities
How have you not done a deep dive on curriculum if you applied there! I’d say Chicago does a pretty good job with the computing side of things — Computing Courses | Financial Mathematics | The University of Chicago . The advanced C++ course looks great along with the one in deep learning.

Also, congratulations!!
 
I guess my stance on programming courses in MFEs is that they're meant to give you some exposure, but are definitely not enough to be writing productionized code. So, unless you're going to a place that isn't fully automated, or where researchers pass of the implementation details to full time developers after writing hacky code themselves, you're not going to really be self sufficient without doing a lot of extra training yourself (I still think fin math / MFEs are useful, I just want to be clear on this because I feel like it's a very common misconception a lot of students going into MFEs seem to have). One to two semesters of programming classes is *NOT* going to make you a good or even decent developer in comparison to CS undergrads with similar math experience or PhDs with years of CS courses in addition to their finance expertise, it will just allow you to function in a limited capacity. At my firm, we have hired graduates from Columbias MFE for example. Their career outcomes are quantitative trading roles ( a step below quantitative research at my firm) in which capacity they perform primarily python analyses that inform trading activity + might be used by the researchers as support points for a model they're designing

Depending on the place (i..e citadel, my firm or other prop shops in Chicago), that is not going to be enough in many instances, but again is something you can get better at yourself with a lot more practice. Again open to being wrong, but this has been what I've surmised from recruiting at my firm + talking to friends that do recruiting at DRW/Citadel/Optiver and I guess for context I also have an undergrad in CS & Econ. There's a lot that goes into being a good researcher, and IMO these days being a good developer is important. Unfortunately, being a good developer isn't something you can just pick up from 2-3 courses.
 
Last edited:
Yeah I think the computing courses are interesting here. Surprisingly, this was one of the reasons I prefer/preferred Columbia going into this process. The ability to take multiple electives in the CS department is highly intriguing to me.
 
Yeah I think the computing courses are interesting here. Surprisingly, this was one of the reasons I prefer/preferred Columbia going into this process. The ability to take multiple electives in the CS department is highly intriguing to me.
What other courses do you feel have a similar possibility of choosing courses from the CS department? I did feel the Boston MSMFT had a good set of computing courses, as well as it gives us the ability to take courses from the CS department.
 
What other courses do you feel have a similar possibility of choosing courses from the CS department? I did feel the Boston MSMFT had a good set of computing courses, as well as it gives us the ability to take courses from the CS department.
I believe MIT and Princeton MFin allow you to take courses from the CS dept along with Columbia MSFE (Econ). I think @Skellam may be referencing the MSFE (Eng) at Columbia, and if this is the case then you can add them as well. I imagine that there are exceptions almost everywhere though and that you could potentially petition to take courses from the CS dept in any quant finance/applied math/stats program, though I'm sure success rates vary and that it at least marginally depends on the student's background.
 
Yeah I think the computing courses are interesting here. Surprisingly, this was one of the reasons I prefer/preferred Columbia going into this process. The ability to take multiple electives in the CS department is highly intriguing to me.
May I ask where can I find information about allowed courses from other departments/colleges of Columbia's MFEngineering program? thanks in advance!
 
I believe MIT and Princeton MFin allow you to take courses from the CS dept along with Columbia MSFE (Econ). I think @Skellam may be referencing the MSFE (Eng) at Columbia, and if this is the case then you can add them as well. I imagine that there are exceptions almost everywhere though and that you could potentially petition to take courses from the CS dept in any quant finance/applied math/stats program, though I'm sure success rates vary and that it at least marginally depends on the student's background.

What other courses do you feel have a similar possibility of choosing courses from the CS department? I did feel the Boston MSMFT had a good set of computing courses, as well as it gives us the ability to take courses from the CS department.
@Qui-Gon pretty much said what I would've relayed. Within the list of programs I was applying, Columbia and MIT seemed the most flexible (did not apply to Columbia Business School). I agree with @Qui-Gon that it could be other programs allow this freedom, but it seemed these two programs advertise and encourage it. I didn't have a big list of programs I was applying to and someone else would be better suited to know flexibility throughout. The programs I was considering when I started this application process were Columbia, CMU, Baruch, MIT, NYU Courant, and UChicago.
 

Meredith

Chicago MSFM
I've been getting more and more frustrated with their lack of communication on why there is a delay this year. Almost every other program has released some results or communicated an exact day when results will be released
Sorry to hear that you felt there was a lack of communication on a delay. Our Admissions Committee is working tirelessly to reach our goal of all decisions released by March 18 and we do not feel behind or delayed at this time. Happy to answer any questions or concerns! Thank you!
 
Top